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2014 B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends

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Business-to-consumer (B2C) content marketing adoption is on the rise, with 60% of B2C marketers planning to increase content marketing spend over the next 12 months, according to the second annual B2C Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America report (PDF), produced by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

Fully six in ten B2C marketers (60%) plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months (compared with 55% last year), and 72% percent are creating more content than they were one year ago, according to the report, which was sponsored by content marketing agency Imagination.

Among other highlights of the study:

  • 90% of B2C marketers are using content marketing, compared with 86% last year.
  • 34% of B2C marketers consider themselves effective at content marketing—up from 32% last year.
  • B2C marketers have rated many tactics higher in effectiveness this year; in-person events and e-newsletters top the list of effective tactics.
  • B2C marketers are using all social platforms more often, with LinkedIn use registering the biggest jump (from 51% to 71%).

Below, additional findings from the CMI and MarketingProfs study, B2C Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America.

Content Marketing Effectiveness


b2c content marketing effectiveness, 2014

Just 34% of B2C marketers say they are effective at content marketing, up slightly from the 32% who said so last year. More B2B marketers—42%—say they are effective at content marketing.

Content Marketing Strategy

For the first time, the annual study asked marketers whether they have a documented content strategy (39% do) and a person who oversees content marketing strategy (67% do).

  • 60% of the most effective B2C marketers have a documented content strategy, compared with 12% of the least effective B2C marketers.
  • 85% of the most effective B2C marketers have someone who oversees content marketing strategy, compared with 50% of the least effective B2C marketers.

Content Marketing Tactics Used

b2c content marketing tactics used, 2014

  • Some 72% of B2C marketers are producing more content than they did one year ago, but they are using the same number of tactics as they did last year (12, on average); their B2B counterparts use 13.
  • As with B2B, infographics is the tactic with the largest increase in usage (from 33% last year to 40% this year).

Content Marketing Tactic Effectiveness

  • B2C confidence in the effectiveness of all these tactics has risen, with the exception of blogs, confidence in the effectiveness of which is down two percentage points.
  • For the second year in a row, B2C marketers have rated in-person events as the most effective tactic, with confidence in effectiveness increasing substantially: from 62% last year to 74% this year.
  • The most effective B2C marketers, however, rate e-newsletters as the most effective tactic (91%), followed by in-person events (81%).

Use of Social Media for Content Distribution

b2c content marketing use of social media, 2014

  • B2C marketers are using every social media platform listed in the chart more often than they did last year.
  • B2C (and B2B) marketers both use an average of six social media platforms; last year, B2C used four.
  • LinkedIn had the biggest jump in B2C usage: from 51% last year to 71% this year.

Content Marketing Spending

  • 60% of B2C marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months, compared with the 55% who said so last year.
  • 69% of the least effective B2C marketers plan to increase their spend, compared with 55% of the most effective.

See a SlideShare presentation of the full report:


About the study: B2C Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America reports on the findings gathered from the fourth annual Content Marketing Survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. The B2C research was sponsored by Imagination. Some 307 B2C marketers in North America, from a range of industries, company sizes, and job functions responded to the survey in July and August 2013.


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