Will the marketers of the future look back and decide that 2013 was the year of content marketing? Maybe so, according to data from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs. In a survey of marketing professionals in North America at business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, the overwhelming majority of respondents—90%—had used content marketing in 2013, compared with 86% of companies who did so the year before.
These B2C marketers also heavily rely on social media other than blogs to get their message out; The survey found 88% of respondents saying they had used such social networks. The written word also emerged as a popular medium for content marketing messages—78% said they used articles posted on their website, 76% employed electronic newsletters and 72% had blogs in their content marketing mix. Videos were also a popular content marketing medium, employed by 72% of respondents. B2C marketers saw significantly less value in podcasts, video conferences and games and gamification efforts.
Zeroing in on social media, CMI and MarketingProfs found that Facebook was the most popular platform this year, used by 89% of B2C marketers, followed by Twitter (80%), YouTube (72%), LinkedIn (71%), Google+ (55%) and Pinterest (53%). The survey also revealed that social network usage saw a jump across the board over 2012, and that marketers were spreading their efforts across a number of different channels, with respondents using an average of six social media platforms.
Despite the attention paid to content marketing, 23% of B2C marketers—a significant number—were unsure how much of their total budget was allocated to the practice. Of those that did know, one-fifth said that between 10% and 24% of their budget had been earmarked for content marketing purposes. Seventeen percent of respondents said content marketing comprised only between 1% and 4% of their overall budget, a sign that content marketing may be widely adopted but given scant resources.