We’re reaching that point in the year where people like to take stock, looking back at what they’ve accomplished over the past few months and where they can go over the course of the next twelve.
And while we hunker down for a chilly and gray Chicago winter for the foreseeable future, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom in the Windy City – particularly when it comes to content marketing! In fact, 2017 was a banner year for digital marketing, and 2018 seems poised to continue the trend. And we’ve got the numbers to prove it!
Content Marketing Is Already Essential…
First and foremost, it’s important to consider just how essential content marketing is to our digital ecosystem in 2017, with the vast majority of brands reporting that they already have some sort of content marketing in place.
In fact, 86% of B2C and 89% of B2B brands using marketing already have a content marketing process in place, and more than 70% of those who do report that content marketing is “an ongoing business process,” rather than “simply a campaign.”
Of those that don’t already have a content strategy in place, 51% of B2C and 52% of B2B plan to start in the near future, and it’s easy to see why. After all, 70% of companies report that content marketing now is “somewhat” or “much more effective” than it was even a year ago. Even better, consumers continue to respond positively to content, and prefer it over traditional advertising methods: 70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles than an advertisement, and nearly as many (68%) report feeling more positive about a brand after consuming content from it.
… And Creating Content Is Only Going to Grow More Important in 2018
Year to year, brands are only increasing their commitment to content marketing, in terms of both time and budget. In fact, 39% of both B2B and B2C brands expect their content marketing spending to increase within 12 months; as it stands, content marketing efforts already account for nearly a third of total marketing spend for B2B organizations, and more than a quarter of total spend for B2C.
As for overall commitment? 60% of B2C and 63% of B2B brands report that they are “very” or “extremely” committed to content marketing; likewise, if trends continue, a vast majority intend to generate more content than ever next year.
With all of this considered, content marketing is expected to be a $300 billion industry by 2019. Can you afford to not keep up?
It’s Time to Refocus on the Marketing Channels You’re Already Using
While the next big thing is a pretty compelling idea, the reality is that redoubling your efforts on the delivery systems that work will only pay dividends moving forward.
What do we mean? Well, consider, for instance, that blogs remain the preferred marketing tactic for B2B in 2017, with 52% ranking them as the tactic “most critical to content marketing success;” among B2B brands, blogging was closely followed by email and social media, both of which secured 40% of the vote. Meanwhile, social media content took the top spot for B2C marketers (85%), followed by blogging and email (75% apiece).
However, it is important to keep abreast of what is happening around those channels. Social media, for instance, is a landscape always in flux. That being said, Facebook is still projected to remain king among B2C brands, since 90% of social media users still utilize the platform; meanwhile, LinkedIn is still a vital marketing platform for 94% of B2B organizations.
But the biggest shift? Paid social and search marketing have only grown in importance this year, and will continue that trend next year. Both B2B and B2C use an average of three paid channels to promote their content; social promotion ranks highest for B2C, while search engine marketing takes the top spot for B2B. For better or worse, your budget may have to adapt to the changing times.
OK, OK, OK, as for that next big thing? It’s video. See, by next year, 79% of internet traffic is expected to be video, and many brands are going to race to keep up; in fact, 69% of companies report that their video marketing budget will be increasing.
The Bottom Line
As we head into the holiday lull, the time is right to consider your brand’s digital marketing efforts, including SEO, social media, email, and reputation management strategies.
If you already have a comprehensive content marketing strategy in place, we’d be happy to sit down and talk about how you can refine your approach and attain even greater success in the months ahead; if you’ve been hesitant to get started, there’s no time like the present to take the plunge and see how digital marketing can bolster your brand reputation and draw you fresh leads.
Ready to talk shop? Have any more questions about what it takes to succeed at content creation and digital marketing? Don’t hesitate to drop us a line today, or reach out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, where we keep the conversation going 24/7.