Getting a handle on the current trends, consumption habits, and issues swirling around the content marketing space is critical to making informed investments, sound strategy decisions, and crafting campaigns that resonate. But with new reports and studies dropping daily, it can be tough to keep up with it all and cut through to the most critical stats for content and demand gen marketers.
We combed through the latest and greatest facts and figures to bring you this list of need-to-know stats for marketers in 2022 — complete with context, so you can lead your program to success throughout this year and beyond.
1. Over 60% of marketers measure the success of their content marketing strategy through sales.
studioID says: The goal of brand marketing is to build a positive impression over time and create brand salience while demand marketing involves identifying prospects who are ready to buy and employ tactics to convert their interest into sales. And while the above stat may be true, we know brand strategies don’t necessarily connect to a sales pipeline, and that demand doesn’t always lead to increased awareness in the market. But when efforts from both sides are designed to complement one another, it’s possible to reach a new, previously unattainable level of cohesion across an entire marketing program.
Additional insight: “In the world of brand building and lead generation, success doesn’t come overnight,” according to Travis Gonzalez, our Director of Strategy, U.S. “It comes from maintaining a regular rhythm of engagement with potential customers that takes the big brand moments and connects them to their everyday experiences and needs. This is what we refer to as an always-on content strategy, and it’s the fuel that will keep your brand top of mind for customers across the marketing funnel.”
2. 55% of B2B buyers say if thought leadership content doesn’t pique their interest within the first minute, they’ll move on.
Source: LinkedIn x Edelman
studioID says: Companies and marketing professionals have been told to act like publishers for years, but in today’s climate, brand journalism takes on a new sense of relevancy — and of urgency. In fact, Edelman’s 2021 Trust Barometer revealed that brands are now more trusted than media institutions, which means we have a new opportunity and responsibility to provide quality information.
It’s important to narrow your focus and become the best at what you do so that readers trust you have the expertise to lead discussions on the topic at hand. That way, you’re bound to boost your brand’s authority, credibility, and reputation via in-depth educational and informational pieces that are powerful and authentic.
Additional insight: “High-performing thought leadership strikes a balance between being authoritative and provocative yet human in tone and even fun,” according to LinkedIn and Edelman’s B2B Thought Leadership Report. “B2B buyers are people too. They want content that’s useful but also interesting. The vast majority — or 87% — say that thought-leadership content can be both intellectually rigorous and fun to consume.”
3. 65% of successful brands run content audits more than twice a year.
studioID says: As the death of the third-party cookie looms, many of the data sources marketers rely on to understand who their audience is and what they care about will all but vanish — shifting the focus to first-party data. And since not every business may have the means to do a deep dive of their own, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to share some insightful data of our own to help. For Audience Snapshots 2022, we assessed engagement trends across 22 leading Industry Dive publications to bring you niche-specific breakdowns that feature the issues, articles, approaches, keywords, and formats your audience engages with the most.
Additional insight: “How do you keep track of how content is performing? Do you use those metrics to improve for future campaigns? If you’re missing this kind of organization for your company, consider investing in a content audit,” HubSpot advises. “They are an excellent planning resource and roadmap for future content creation, while organizing analytics so you can refer back to high-performing posts if needed.”
4. 42% of Gen Z consumers are more loyal to brands that commit to addressing social inequalities.
studioID says: Gen Z has grown up amongst a backdrop of progressive social change and conversation about all kinds of inclusivity. From body positivity and gender fluidity to climate change, gun violence, and equal rights and representation, these young people care about current events and champion causes that are close to their hearts. Gain their trust with meaning values, authentic actions, ownable conversations, and mission-driven content marketing.
Additional insight: “When we think about taking actual stands, it’s not enough to just sell your product,” says Meredith Ferguson, Managing Director at DoSomething Strategic. “It’s about using your power, influence and platform to work to solve the world’s most pressing problems today.”
Related reading: 4 Tips to Better Engage Gen Z with Content Marketing in 2022
5. Only 12% of marketers think their content marketing programs reach the right audiences.
Source: CMO Council
studioID says: Investing in expert, niche content is a powerful way to differentiate your brand and stand out to a specific subset of users because the more you narrow your aim, the more likely you are to hit your target. And the ability to speak to their unique needs in a more personalized way via email marketing campaigns or customized content often leads to improved conversion rates and makes for immediate wins.
Additional insight: “Research shows that most marketers view their content marketing process as ad hoc, decentralized and driven by internal stakeholders rather than customer interests,” according to Marketing Dive. “This could present a challenge for marketers as digital content [continues] to play a larger role in demand generation.”
6. 75% of executives say that since the pandemic began, it’s been harder to build and maintain trust with their customers.
studioID says: As tech takes over, screen time grows, and the pandemic continues to take its toll, people are craving personalized experiences, human interaction, and genuine added value in their everyday lives.
“In a climate of wariness on all issues, consumers are spending their money only with brands they trust,” says Forbes.
“Earning that trust requires sharing content that is timely, easily accessible, and honest” — and what we really need is a healthy dose of humanity to create stronger emotional connections.
Additional insight: “Preparing customers for purchase means to start engaging them when they’re not at all interested in what you have to say,” Les Binet tells Think With Google. “This can only be achieved by sharing memorable content that is intrinsically interesting. And the most powerful selling tool we have is emotion. It’s not the message that makes advertising work, but the way it makes people feel.”
7. Ad placement and audience targeting are the top ways that advertisers drive more demand.
studioID says: With ever-changing algorithms and fast-moving markets, it gets harder and harder to keep up with organic growth and targeting tactics that deliver the best results. For an effective approach to brand-to-demand content marketing that drives serious ROI, you need to strike a delicate balance.
Overdoing it on niche, demand marketing like gated ebooks and display ads can yield too many unqualified leads. And focusing solely on broadly targeted brand marketing like advertorial videos and sponsored content can stunt growth and revenues. Instead, leverage niche to target people in-market and broad to reach future buyers, influencers, and brand advocates.
Additional insight: “Brands often focus on the low hanging fruit through niche targeting…But that’s not good enough if you want to build long-lasting brands,” Peter Field tells Think With Google. “The world’s greatest brands were not founded on small thinking or niche targeting. They were built on big visions and ambitions. If you want to achieve that, it is necessary to reach as broadly as possible, as often as possible.”