Content marketing isn’t just on the rise these days, it’s arrived. As I mentioned in my previous stats posts, there’s no question that a content marketing strategy is a powerful tool for growing your business. But as content marketing achieves widespread adoption, organizations are continuing to struggle with how to turn content marketing into a structured and successful business process. Check out these stats to learn about the current state of content marketing.

Only 44% of B2B content marketers have a documented content strategy.

Source: Aberdeen

While the idea of content marketing is certainly taking off, B2B organizations need to focus more on strategy. Content marketing isn’t just about creating more content. It’s about creating a unified business process that includes identifying your buyers’ needs, creating content to meet those needs and distributing that content to the right buyers at the right time. B2B companies with a content strategy see website conversion rates of almost twice their counterparts who lack a strategy and email click through rates that are up to 30% higher.

Only 44% of B2B content marketers have a documented content strategy.

B2B marketers cite lack of time (69%), producing enough content (55%), and producing the kind of content that engages (47%) as their top three content marketing challenges.

Source: CMI

Getting time and resources for creating enough valuable, engaging content for an effective content strategy still tops the list as the biggest challenge for B2B marketers. This is hardly surprising now that you know most marketers don’t have a strategy or process in place for content marketing. If your organization is constantly struggling to fill your editorial calendar, consider using the content pillar approach. Create large “pillar” pieces of content, such as eBooks, white papers, videos or webinars, around important themes and then break those pillars down into lots of smaller, derivative assets such as blog posts, images, emails, social, etc.

Top 3 content marketing challenges are lack of time, producing enough content & producing content that engages.

Up to 70% of B2B content goes unused.

Source: SiriusDecisions

If you combine this stat with the one above it, you start to see that something is seriously rotten in the state of content marketing. How can B2B marketers simultaneously have too much and not enough content? According to marketing research firm SiriusDecisions, content marketing has a serious process problem. Organizations are creating a lot of content, but not necessarily the content that their buyers’ need. To address this, organizations need to rethink how they are creating content and restructure their content factory.

Up to 70% of B2B content goes unused.

Only 27% of B2B marketers say they are effectively tracking content utilization metrics.

Source: Aberdeen

Determining what content is working continues to be a bit of a sticky wicket for marketers everywhere. Because the field is so new, there is yet to be a consensus on how best to track how your content is performing. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the top two metrics B2B marketers focus on are web traffic (63%) and sales lead quality (54%).

Only 27% of B2B marketers say they are effectively tracking content utilization metrics.

Annual growth in unique site traffic is 7.8x higher for content marketing leaders compared to followers (19.7% vs 2.5%).

Source: Aberdeen

Speaking of web traffic, if that’s a metric your organization is focused on, there’s no better way to give it a boost than improving your content marketing strategy. Content marketing “leaders” are best in class content marketers who have a defined content marketing strategy in place (see statistic #1). When the right content combines with intelligent strategy, you’ll find it a lot easier to earn links and drive your target buyers to your site.

Annual growth in unique site traffic is 7.8x higher for content marketing leaders compared to followers.

73% of B2B organizations have a person dedicated to overseeing content marketing strategy.

Source: CMI

Content marketing is not a side note in your overall marketing plan. To do it right, you need both a defined strategy and the people in place to make it work. If you want to make content a priority, there needs to be someone in your organization who is tasked with overseeing your content marketing strategy.

73% of B2B organizations have a person dedicated to overseeing content marketing strategy.

72% of adult internet users in the U.S. are now active on at least one social network, up from 67% in 2012 and just 8% in 2005.

Source: Pew Research

Social media continued its meteoric rise in popularity this year, making it even more essential for marketers to be building active communities on these sites. B2B organizations have increased their social media usage as well, going from an average of 5 social media sites in 2012 to 6 in 2013. Which sites are most popular for B2B marketers? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are the top four, followed by Slideshare, Google+ and Instagram.

72% of adult internet users in the U.S. are now active on at least one social network, up from 67% in 2012.

Year-over-year growth in marketing’s contribution to revenue is more than 6x higher for leaders compared to followers (10.2% vs. 1.6%).

Source: Aberdeen

This is the stat you’ve been waiting for. As more data becomes available marketers are experiencing an increase in both resources and accountability. This means that marketers are under increasing pressure to demonstrate measurable contributions to revenue goals. Fortunately for us, the data shows that excelling at content marketing can allow you to do just that.

Year-over-year growth in marketing’s contribution to revenue is 6x higher for content marketing leaders vs. followers.

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