11 New B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks for 2015

I recently published a post on Content Marketing Institute's recent B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks and what B2B marketers could learn from other B2B marketers. Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs also recently released the third annual B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America report. The report is full of statistics and trends in content marketing, but here are some key takeaways for content marketers when it comes to building a cohesive customer journey.

1. Only 27% of B2C marketers have a documented content marketing strategy.
50% have a content marketing strategy, but it is not documented. 43% of those who have a documented strategy, though, say they are successful at tracking ROI (compared to 23% of the total population surveyed). If you want to be more effective at content marketing and tracking your success, document your strategy. Take a look at other differences between companies with a well-documented content marketing strategy and those without. It's clear to see the advantage of having a documented content marketing strategy.

2.  Social media and eNewsletters top the list of most-used content marketing tactics.
93% of B2C marketers use social media and 80% use eNewsletters. Marketers used 11 tactics on average for their content marketing. The biggest increase in utilisation over last year was branded content tools, which grew from 37% to 47%. 

3. eNewsletters, in-person events, illustrations/photos and social media are rated the most effective content marketing channels for B2C marketers.

What is interesting is that CMI found that B2C marketers rated all of these tactics as less effective than they did last year. B2C marketers who ranked their overall content marketing as highly effective, though, found themselves slightly more effective at each of these channels than the sample as a whole. The most effective B2C marketers found social media content to be the most effective tactic at 80%.

4. Facebook is the most-used social media platform with 94% of B2C marketers using it. Twitter came in second with 84% of B2C marketers using Twitter.
The average number of social media platforms used by B2C marketers is seven, compared to six last year. The biggest mover this year was Instagram, which grew by 17%. 

The social channels used least often by B2C marketers were Tumblr (29%), Foursquare (28%), Vimeo (27%), Flickr (26%), Vine (21%), SlideShare (20%), StumbleUpon (20%) and SnapChat (15%).

5. 58% and 52% of B2C marketers rate Facebook and Twitter respectively as effective social media platforms. 
YouTube was rated the third most effective social platform with 49% of B2C marketers rating it as effective. LinkedIn (36%) actually saw the largest decrease in effectiveness with a drop in six percentage points. This differed dramatically with the B2B marketers as LinkedIn was the most used social platform and the most effective social platform for B2B marketers.

6. Print or other offline promotions and SEM topped the list of most-used paid advertising channels for B2C marketers at 71% and 63% respectively. 
Social ads, promoted posts and traditional online banner ads were also all used by over 50% of B2C marketers. The average number of paid advertising channels used was four. Overall, B2C marketers used more paid methods than B2B marketers.

7. SEM (57%), social ads (49%) and promoted posts (47%), though, were rated as the most effective B2C paid advertising methods.
71% of B2C marketers use "print or other offline promotion", but only 46% of them rate is as being an effective method.

8. Customer retention/loyalty, engagement and brand awareness are the top organisational content marketing goals for B2C marketers.
See the full list of organisational goals B2C marketers ranked below.

9. Website traffic (62%) and sales (54%) were the most popular metrics for measuring B2C content marketing success.
Just as with B2B marketers, B2C marketers' content marketing metrics rely heavily on web traffic. Sales, though, rose to the top as the second most popular metric. It is interesting to me, though, that most of the top metrics used by B2C marketers are not correlated to their top organisational goals. I think the most effective content marketers will be those that either realign objectives and metrics or start to measure metrics that lead to meeting your organisational goals.

10. Only 23% of B2C marketers say they are successful at tracking the ROI of their content marketing program.
Only 6% of B2C marketers would rate their organisations at being "very successful". I think this is a major epidemic for content marketers and marketers running content marketing programs. 43% of B2C marketers with a documented content marketing strategy, though, rate themselves as successful at tracking their ROI.

11. Measuring content effectiveness (51%), producing engaging content (50%) and lack of budget (46%) were the most popular challenges B2C marketers faced.
Only 36% of B2C marketers said measuring content effectiveness was a challenge last year. Finding trained content marketing professionals also saw a large jump over last year from 10% to 32% this year.

Be sure to check out the complete study from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs for all the B2C content marketing benchmarks. If you're interested to see more of the differences between B2C and B2B content marketing benchmarks check out the chart below.

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