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30 Content Marketing Statistics You Should Know

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30 Content Marketing Statistics You Should Know

Content continues to rule most marketing strategies, and there is evidence to support my assertion.

Simply put, content marketing is a crucial aspect of any digital marketing strategy, whether you’re running a small local business or a large multinational corporation.

After all, content is indisputably the very lifeblood upon which the web and social media are based.

Modern SEO, for all intents and purposes, has effectively become optimized content marketing as Google demands and rewards businesses that create content demonstrating Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness to the benefit of their customers.

Content marketing involves creating and sharing valuable, relevant, entertaining, and consistent content in various text-based, video, and audio formats.

The primary focus should be on attracting and retaining a clearly defined audience, with the ultimate goal of driving profitable customer action.

But with so much content being produced and shared every day, it’s important to stay updated on the latest trends and best practices in content marketing to keep pace.

To help you do just that, here are 30 content marketing statistics I think you should know:

Content Marketing Usage

How many businesses are leveraging content marketing, and how are they planning to find success?

  1. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 73% of B2B marketers and 70% of B2C marketers use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.
  2. 91% of marketing pros surveyed by Semrush achieved success with their content marketing in 2021.
  3. A B2B Content Marketing Study conducted by CMI found 40% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy; 33% have a strategy, but it’s not documented, and 27% have no strategy whatsoever.
  4. Half of all marketers say they outsource some content marketing.
  5. The pandemic increased content usage by 207%.

Content Marketing Strategy

What strategies are content marketers using or finding to be most effective?

  1. 83% of marketers believe it’s more effective to create higher quality content less often.
  2. In a 2022 Statista Research Study of marketers worldwide, 62% of respondents said they believed it was important to be “always on” for their customers, whereas 23% thought content-led communications were most effective for personalized targeting purposes.

Types Of Content

Content marketing was synonymous with posting blogs, but the web and content have evolved into audio, video, interactive, and meta formats.

Here are a few stats on how the various types of content are trending and performing.

  1. The top three types of content being created by marketing teams in 2022 included videos, blogs, and images.
  2. Short articles/posts (83%) and videos (61%) are the top two content types that B2C marketers used in the last 12 months. Their use of long-form articles increased to 42% from 22% last year.
  3. Short-form video content like TikToks and Instagram Reels is the most effective type of social media content.
  4. 40.8% of marketers said original graphics (infographics, illustrations) helped them reach their marketing goals in 2020 (Source: Venngage)
  5. 72% of B2C marketers expected their organization to invest in video marketing in 2022. (Source: CMI)
  6. Short content (300-900 words) attracts 21% less traffic and 75% fewer backlinks than articles of average length (900–1200 words.) (Source: Semrush State of Content Marketing 2022)
  7. Interactive content sees 52.6% more engagement than static content, with buyers spending an average of 8.5 minutes viewing static content items and 13 minutes on interactive content items. (Source: Mediafly)

Content Distribution

It is not simply enough to create and publish content.

For a content strategy to be successful, it must include distributing content via the channels frequented by a business’s target audience.

  1. Facebook was the top distribution channel for B2C marketers in the past 12 months and the channel that drove the best results. (Source: CMI)
  2. B2B marketers reported to CMI that LinkedIn was the most common and top-performing organic social media distribution channel.
  3. 80% of B2B marketers who use paid distribution use paid social media advertising (Source: CMI)

Content Consumption

Once content reaches an audience, it’s important to understand how an audience consumes the content or takes action as a result.

  1. A 2021 DemandGen study revealed 62% of those making B2B purchase decisions said they relied more on practical content like case studies and visual content, such as webinars, to guide their buying decisions and citing a higher emphasis on the trustworthiness of the source.
  2. Buyers are willing to spend no more than 5 minutes reviewing most content formats. (Source: DemandGen Content Preferences Survey)
  3. In a recent post, blogger Ryan Robinson reports the average reader spends 37 seconds reading a blog.
  4. 65% of respondents to DemandGen’s survey said they give more credence to peer reviews, user-generated content, and third-party publications/analysts vs. company-generated content.

Content Marketing Performance

One of the primary reasons content marketing has taken off is its ability to be measured, optimized, and tied to a return on investment.

  1. B2C marketers reported to CMI the top three goals content marketing helps them to achieve are creating brand awareness, building trust, and educating their target audience.
  2. Content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing but costs 62% less (Source: CMI).
  3. 56% of marketers who leverage blogging say it’s an effective tactic, and 10% say it generates the greatest ROI (return on investment). (Source: Hubspot blog research)
  4. Over 60% of marketers measure the success of their content marketing strategy through sales. (Source: Hubspot State of Marketing Report, 2021)

Content Marketing Budgets

Budget changes and the willingness to invest in specific marketing strategies are good indicators of how popular and effective these strategies are at a macro level.

The following stats certainly seem to indicate marketers have bought into the value of content.

  1. 61% of B2C marketers in CMI’s 2021 study said their 2022 content marketing budget would exceed their 2021 budget.
  2. 22% of B2B marketers said they spent 50% or more of their total marketing budget on content marketing. Furthermore, 43% saw their content marketing budgets grow from 2020 to 2021, and 66% expected them to grow again in 2022. (Source: CMI)

Challenges

All forms of marketing come with challenges related to time, resources, expertise, and competition. Recognizing and addressing these challenges head-on with well-thought-out strategies is the best way to overcome them and realize success.

  1. Top challenges included “attracting quality leads with our content” (41%), “generating enough traffic and promoting our content” (39%), “creating content that resonates with our audience” (31%), and “proving the ROI of our content” (30%). (Source: Semrush’s State of Content Marketing 2022)
  2. Changes to SEO/search algorithms (64%), changes to social media algorithms (53%), and data management/analytics (48%) are among the top concerns for B2C marketers. (Source: CMI)
  3. 47% of people are seeking downtime from internet-enabled devices due to digital fatigue (Source: EY Survey)

Time To Get Started

As you can clearly see and perhaps have already realized, content marketing can be a highly effective and cost-efficient way to generate leads, build brand awareness and drive sales.

Those willing to put in the work of building a documented content strategy and executing it by producing, distributing, and optimizing high-value, relevant customer-centric content can reap significant business rewards.

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Featured Image: Deemak Daksina/Shutterstock



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Google’s AI Overviews Shake Up Ecommerce Search Visibility

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Google's AI Overviews Shake Up Ecommerce Search Visibility

An analysis of 25,000 ecommerce queries by Bartosz Góralewicz, founder of Onely, reveals the impact of Google’s AI overviews on search visibility for online retailers.

The study found that 16% of eCommerce queries now return an AI overview in search results, accounting for 13% of total search volume in this sector.

Notably, 80% of the sources listed in these AI overviews do not rank organically for the original query.

“Ranking #1-3 gives you only an 8% chance of being a source in AI overviews,” Góralewicz stated.

Shift Toward “Accelerated” Product Experiences

International SEO consultant Aleyda Solis analyzed the disconnect between traditional organic ranking and inclusion in AI overviews.

According to Solis, for product-related queries, Google is prioritizing an “accelerated” approach over summarizing currently ranking pages.

She commented Góralewicz’ findings, stating:

“… rather than providing high level summaries of what’s already ranked organically below, what Google does with e-commerce is “accelerate” the experience by already showcasing what the user would get next.”

Solis explains that for queries where Google previously ranked category pages, reviews, and buying guides, it’s now bypassing this level of results with AI overviews.

Assessing AI Overview Traffic Impact

To help retailers evaluate their exposure, Solis has shared a spreadsheet that analyzes the potential traffic impact of AI overviews.

As Góralewicz notes, this could be an initial rollout, speculating that “Google will expand AI overviews for high-cost queries when enabling ads” based on data showing they are currently excluded for high cost-per-click keywords.

An in-depth report across ecommerce and publishing is expected soon from Góralewicz and Onely, with additional insights into this search trend.

Why SEJ Cares

AI overviews represent a shift in how search visibility is achieved for ecommerce websites.

With most overviews currently pulling product data from non-ranking sources, the traditional connection between organic rankings and search traffic is being disrupted.

Retailers may need to adapt their SEO strategies for this new search environment.

How This Can Benefit You

While unsettling for established brands, AI overviews create new opportunities for retailers to gain visibility without competing for the most commercially valuable keywords.

Ecommerce sites can potentially circumvent traditional ranking barriers by optimizing product data and detail pages for Google’s “accelerated” product displays.

The detailed assessment framework provided by Solis enables merchants to audit their exposure and prioritize optimization needs accordingly.


FAQ

What are the key findings from the analysis of AI overviews & ecommerce queries?

Góralewicz’s analysis of 25,000 ecommerce queries found:

  • 16% of ecommerce queries now return an AI overview in the search results.
  • 80% of the sources listed in these AI overviews do not rank organically for the original query.
  • Ranking positions #1-3 only provides an 8% chance of being a source in AI overviews.

These insights reveal significant shifts in how ecommerce sites need to approach search visibility.

Why are AI overviews pulling product data from non-ranking sources, and what does this mean for retailers?

Google’s AI overviews prioritize “accelerated” experiences over summarizing currently ranked pages for product-related queries.

This shift focuses on showcasing directly what users seek instead of traditional organic results.

For retailers, this means:

  • A need to optimize product pages beyond traditional SEO practices, catering to the data requirements of AI overviews.
  • Opportunities to gain visibility without necessarily holding top organic rankings.
  • Potential to bypass traditional ranking barriers by focusing on enhanced product data integration.

Retailers must adapt quickly to remain competitive in this evolving search environment.

What practical steps can retailers take to evaluate and improve their search visibility in light of AI overview disruptions?

Retailers can take several practical steps to evaluate and improve their search visibility:

  • Utilize the spreadsheet provided by Aleyda Solis to assess the potential traffic impact of AI overviews.
  • Optimize product and detail pages to align with the data and presentation style preferred by AI overviews.
  • Continuously monitor changes and updates to AI overviews, adapting strategies based on new data and trends.

These steps can help retailers navigate the impact of AI overviews and maintain or improve their search visibility.


Featured Image: Marco Lazzarini/Shutterstock



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Google’s AI Overviews Go Viral, Draw Mainstream Media Scrutiny

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Google's AI Overviews Go Viral, Draw Mainstream Media Scrutiny

Google’s rollout of AI-generated overviews in US search results is taking a disastrous turn, with mainstream media outlets like The New York Times, BBC, and CNBC reporting on numerous inaccuracies and bizarre responses.

On social media, users are sharing endless examples of the feature’s nonsensical and sometimes dangerous output.

From recommending non-toxic glue on pizza to suggesting that eating rocks provides nutritional benefits, the blunders would be amusing if they weren’t so alarming.

Mainstream Media Coverage

As reported by The New York Times, Google’s AI overviews struggle with basic facts, claiming that Barack Obama was the first Muslim president of the United States and stating that Andrew Jackson graduated from college in 2005.

These errors undermine trust in Google’s search engine, which more than two billion people rely on for authoritative information worldwide.

Manual Removal & System Refinements

As reported by The Verge, Google is now scrambling to remove the bizarre AI-generated responses and improve its systems manually.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that the company is taking “swift action” to remove problematic responses and using the examples to refine its AI overview feature.

Google’s Rush To AI Integration

The flawed rollout of AI overviews isn’t an isolated incident for Google.

As CNBC notes in its report, Google made several missteps in a rush to integrate AI into its products.

In February, Google was forced to pause its Gemini chatbot after it generated inaccurate images of historical figures and refused to depict white people in most instances.

Before that, the company’s Bard chatbot faced ridicule for sharing incorrect information about outer space, leading to a $100 billion drop in Google’s market value.

Despite these setbacks, industry experts cited by The New York Times suggest that Google has little choice but to continue advancing AI integration to remain competitive.

However, the challenges of taming large language models, which ingest false information and satirical posts, are now more apparent.

The Debate Over AI In Search

The controversy surrounding AI overviews adds fuel to the debate over the risks and limitations of AI.

While the technology holds potential, these missteps remind everyone that more testing is needed before unleashing it on the public.

The BBC notes that Google’s rivals face similar backlash over their attempts to cram more AI tools into their consumer-facing products.

The UK’s data watchdog is investigating Microsoft after it announced a feature that would take continuous screenshots of users’ online activity.

At the same time, actress Scarlett Johansson criticized OpenAI for using a voice likened to her own without permission.

What This Means For Websites & SEO Professionals

Mainstream media coverage of Google’s erroneous AI overviews brings the issue of declining search quality to public attention.

As the company works to address inaccuracies, the incident serves as a cautionary tale for the entire industry.

Important takeaway: Prioritize responsible use of AI technology to ensure the benefits outweigh its risks.



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New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

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New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

A keynote at Google’s Marketing Live event showed a new AI-powered visual search results that feature advertisements that engage users within the context of an AI-Assisted search, blurring the line between AI-generated search results and advertisements.

Google Lens is a truly helpful app but it becomes unconventional where it blurs the line between an assistant helping users and being led to a shopping cart. This new way of engaging potential customers with AI is so far out there that the presenter doesn’t even call it advertising, he doesn’t even use the word.

Visual Search Traffic Opportunity?

Google’s Group Product Manager Sylvanus Bent, begins the presentation with an overview of the next version of Google Lens visual search that will be useful for surfacing information and for help finding where to buy them.

Sylvanus explained how it will be an opportunity for websites to receive traffic from this new way to search.

“…whether you’re snapping a photo with lens or circling to search something on your social feed, visual search unlocks new ways to explore whatever catches your eye, and we recently announced a newly redesigned results page for Visual search.

Soon, instead of just visual matches, you’ll see a wide range of results, from images to video, web links, and facts about the knowledge graph. It gets people the helpful information they need and creates new opportunities for sites to be discovered.”

It’s hard to say whether or not this will bring search traffic to websites and what the quality of that traffic will be. Will they stick around to read an article? Will they engage with a product review?

Visual Search Results

Sylvanus shares a hypothetical example of someone at an airport baggage claim who falls in like with someone else’s bag. He explains that all the person needs to do is snap a photo of the luggage bag and Google Lens will take them directly to shopping options.

He explains:

“No words, no problem. Just open Lens, take a quick picture and immediately you’ll see options to purchase.

And for the first time, shopping ads will appear at the very top of the results on linked searches, where a business can offer what a consumer is looking for.

This will help them easily purchase something that catches their eye.”

These are image-heavy shopping ads at the top of the search results and as annoying as that may be it’s nowhere near the “next level” advertising that is coming to Google’s search ads where Google presents a paid promotion within the context of an AI Assistant.

Interactive Search Shopping

Sylvanus next describes an AI-powered form advertising that happens directly within search. But he doesn’t call it advertising. He doesn’t even use the word advertising. He suggests this new form of AI search experience is more than offer, saying that, “it’s an experience.”

He’s right to not use the word advertisement because what he describes goes far beyond advertising and blurs the boundaries between search and advertising within the context of AI-powered suggestions, paid suggestions.

Sylvanus explains how this new form of shopping experience works:

“And next, imagine a world where every search ad is more than an offer. It’s an experience. It’s a new way for you to engage more directly with your customers. And we’re exploring search ads with AI powered recommendations across different verticals. So I want to show you an example that’s going live soon and you’ll see even more when we get to shopping.”

He uses the example of someone who needs to store their furniture for a few months and who turns to Google to find short term storage. What he describes is a query for local short term storage that turns into a “dynamic ad experience” that leads the searcher into throwing packing supplies into their shopping cart.

He narrated how it works:

“You search for short term storage and you see an ad for extra space storage. Now you can click into a new dynamic ad experience.

You can select and upload photos of the different rooms in your house, showing how much furniture you have, and then extra space storage with help from Google, AI generates a description of all your belongings for you to verify. You get a recommendation for the right size and type of storage unit and even how much packing supplies you need to get the job done. Then you just go to the website to complete the transaction.

And this is taking the definition of a helpful ad to the next level. It does everything but physically pick up your stuff and move it, and that is cool.”

Step 1: Search For Short Term Storage

1716722762 15 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows an advertisement that when clicked takes the user to what looks like an AI-assisted search but is really an interactive advertisement.

Step 2: Upload Photos For “AI Assistance”

1716722762 242 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above image is a screenshot of an advertisement that is presented in the context of AI-assisted search.  Masking an advertisement within a different context is the same principal behind an advertorial where an advertisement is hidden in the form of an article. The phrases “Let AI do the heavy lifting” and “AI-powered recommendations” create the context of AI-search that masks the true context of an advertisement.

Step 3: Images Chosen For Uploading

1716722762 187 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows how a user uploads an image to the AI-powered advertisement within the context of an AI-powered search app.

The Word “App” Masks That This Is An Ad

Screenshot of interactive advertisement for that identifies itself as an app with the words

Above is a screenshot of how a user uploads a photo to the AI-powered interactive advertisement within the context of a visual search engine, using the word “app” to further the illusion that the user is interacting with an app and not an advertisement.

Upload Process Masks The Advertising Context

Screenshot of interactive advertisement that uses the context of an AI Assistant to mask that this is an advertisement

The phrase “Generative AI is experimental” contributes to the illusion that this is an AI-assisted search.

Step 4: Upload Confirmation

1716722762 395 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

In step 4 the “app” advertisement is for confirming that the AI correctly identified the furniture that needs to be put into storage.

Step 5: AI “Recommendations”

1716722762 588 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows “AI recommendations” that look like search results.

The Recommendations Are Ad Units

1716722762 751 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

Those recommendations are actually ad units that when clicked takes the user to the “Extra Space Storage” shopping website.

Step 6: Searcher Visits Advertiser Website

1716722762 929 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

Blurring The Boundaries

What the Google keynote speaker describes is the integration of paid product suggestions into an AI assisted search. This kind of advertising is so far out there that the Googler doesn’t even call it advertising and rightfully so because what this does is blur the line between AI assisted search and advertising. At what point does a helpful AI search become just a platform for using AI to offer paid suggestions?

Watch The Keynote At The 32 Minute Mark

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Ljupco Smokovski

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