Welcome to 2017, where content marketing is alive and well and doing better than ever before.
Why is content marketing doing so well? It all comes down to cold, hard facts and data. Data doesn’t lie. Instead, it shows exactly why so many brands can benefit from content marketing.
More People Are Online
These days, it’s a rare person who isn’t online or who doesn’t use the internet. In fact, a 2016 survey from Pew Research Center found than just 13 percent of people in the US don’t use the internet.
Meanwhile, that same survey from Pew found that nearly three quarters of the adult population in the US goes online daily. Of those people, 20 percent say that they are online “constantly.”
While people are online, they are visiting lots of websites and reading plenty of content. The 2017 State of the Creator Economy (SOCE) study found that the average person visits nearly 400 websites a month and reads more than 200 articles, which works out to about 20 content marketing opportunities per day.
More People Use Social Media
More people aren’t just online these days—they are also more likely to be using at least one social media network. Facebook is the leader, with nearly 80 percent of online adults (or 68 percent of Americans) using the site, according to Pew.
But people aren’t just more likely to be on Facebook. They are also likely to visit the site on a regular basis. According to the SOCE, the mean number of monthly visits per user in 2016 was 101. The SOCE also found that an influencer marketing message on Facebook had a 35 percent positive effectiveness momentum in 2016.
More People Are Blocking Ads
While more people are online and using social media, more people are also likely to block ads. The “New York Times” reported that the use of ad-blocking software is up by 30 percent globally, with around 11 percent of internet users installing some type of software.
That means that marketers need to think beyond banner ads when it comes to reaching their audiences. People will continue to use ad-blocking software, no matter what social networks and websites do to try to stop it. It’s up to marketers to create a form of advertising and marketing that people actually want to see.
More People Trust Their Friends
People trust what they know. Nielsen’s 2015 Global Trust in Advertising Report found that 83 percent of people in countries around the world trust recommendations from friends and families. Additionally, 70 percent of people trust content and advertising on a brand’s own website, making it the second most-trusted form of online advertising.
Although content can appear in a variety of places online, from a sponsored post on a blog or lifestyle website to a social media post, the study from Nielsen suggests that marketers will have the most success focusing on boosting the amount and quality of content on their brand’s own website.
More People Look to Experts for Advice
When they aren’t looking to their friends for advice, people are going to look to experts to get valued opinions. The SOCE found that most important attribute an influencer or content creator could have was credibility or believability, with 67 percent of respondents rating that as the most important.
Additionally, 63 percent of consumers stated that the source/writer’s expertise or knowledge of a product or brand was the most important attribute when it came to determining the effectiveness of content.
Email Is Alive and Well
It’s estimated that nearly a third of the world’s population will be using email by 2019. Despite constant claims that email is dead, it’s actually a very effective form of content marketing. The SOCE found that 36 percent of influencers used a sponsored email message in 2016, up 4 percent from the year before.
If you want to deliver a message directly to a consumer, you really can’t go wrong using email.
Marketers Are Devoting Larger Budgets to Content Marketing
One final data point that clearly demonstrates why content marketing is doing better than ever: Marketers are willing to spend more and more on it.
According to the SOCE, 58 percent of companies that do content marketing have separate budgets for it. Of those, 29 percent have a content marketing budget of more than $500,000.
As content marketing continues to thrive, marketers are going to gain more experience with it. Around 94 percent of marketers had professional experience with content marketing, and 70 percent had used it in the past year. If your brand has yet to dip its toes into content marketing, there really has never been a better time to start.