Looking Back at 2015 Content Marketing Trends

How did the increased investment in social and content marketing work out during 2015 and what does it mean for 2016?

Earlier this year, content marketers expected to increase their budgets, expand their offerings, and deepen their commitment to content marketing. Almost 30 percent expected content marketing to be their most important tactic in 2015. A retrospective of the year from BuzzSumo examines how that investment panned out.

Having increased their investments, 80 percent of B2B marketers made sure their investment was protected by creating a strategy. The most mature content marketers invested up to 46 percent of their budgets, while effective marketers allocated 42 percent; the average B2B marketers allocated 28 percent of their budgets into content marketing overall.

While marketers have developed strategies, 48 percent of haven’t documented their strategies, and up to 70 percent lack consistent or integrated strategies. But marketers are learning from their mistakes, with 67 percent relying more on content and research to make their B2B purchasing decisions than they did a year ago.

The increased investment in content and social marketing hasn’t necessarily resulted in an explosion of shares and links. BuzzSumo found that50 percent of posts received eight shares or less, while 75 percent received less than 39 shares, and 75 percent received zero referring domain links.

In his post, BuzzSumo director Steve Rayson posited:

It could be the result of content shock, poor amplification or decreasing quality in large-volume areas. Many sites still achieve very high levels of shares, which suggests that sites that have built a large audience and which produce quality content can still attract thousands of shares and links. However, it is getting harder to maintain this success.

There were other significant challenges faced by marketers this year. BuzzSumo discovered that 51 percent said they lacked the time or bandwidth to create content, 50 percent had trouble creating enough variety or a significant volume of content, and 42 percent had a hard time producing truly engaging content.

To see which types of content performed the best during the year, and the the goals marketers have set for themselves for 2016, check out Rayson’s post on the BuzzSumo blog.

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