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B2CCONTENT
MARKETING
2015
Benchmarks,
Budgets,
and Trends—
North America
SponSored by
2
	Welcome................................................................................................................................................. 3
	Executive Summary/Key Takeaways................................................................................................... 4
	Usage & Overall Effectiveness.............................................................................................................. 8
	Strategy & Organization...................................................................................................................... 10
	Goals & Metrics..................................................................................................................................... 14
	Content Creation & Distribution........................................................................................................ 17
	Budgets & Spending............................................................................................................................ 28
	Challenges & Initiatives...................................................................................................................... 30
	Comparison Chart: Profile of a Best-in-Class B2C Content Marketer............................................35
	Comparison Chart: Documented vs. Verbal or No Content Marketing Strategy..........................36
	Comparison Chart: Differences Between B2C and B2B Content Marketers.................................37
	Comparison Chart: Key Areas of Difference Between B2C and B2B Initiatives............................38
	Demographics...................................................................................................................................... 39
	About..................................................................................................................................................... 40
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Hello Content Marketers,
Welcome to B2C Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America.
Five years ago, Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs launched the first annual
content marketing survey. This year, the survey has grown to reach more than 5,000 marketers,
both for-profit and nonprofit, in 25 industries in 109 countries.
Each year, we take the topline results and look at them in many different ways—by nature
of organization, company size, effectiveness, and the presence or absence of a documented
content marketing strategy. We then produce a variety of reports focusing on specific segments.
In this report, you’ll learn how the business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers from North America
responded. This is the third year we’ve reported B2C findings.
We made changes to the survey this year to better reflect how the content marketing industry is
maturing. We added new questions, changed the way we asked some of the old ones, and even
removed a few. We also asked content marketers about the initiatives they’re working on.
We’re excited about the results and hope you find them as insightful as we do.
Yours in content,
Joe & Ann
Joe Pulizzi
Founder
Content Marketing Institute
Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer
MarketingProfs
3
WELCOME
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/KEY TAKEAWAYS
Business-to-consumer (B2C) content marketers struggle with measurement;
so do business-to-business (B2B) and nonprofit marketers. You probably
hear this a lot when you’re at industry events or reading content marketing
articles and news, but this year’s research really helps put the problem into
perspective.
Based on the responses to one of this year’s new survey questions, we found that only 23% of B2C
marketers are successful at tracking the return on investment (ROI) of their content marketing
program. Additionally, 51% say measuring content effectiveness is a challenge, compared with 36%
last year.
Having a documented content marketing strategy helps in both regards: 43% of B2C marketers who have
one say they are successful at tracking ROI, while the number who cite measuring content effectiveness as a
challenge drops to 33%.
In fact, having a documented content marketing strategy helps increase effectiveness in all areas of content
marketing. However, only 27% of B2C marketers have taken the time to put their strategy in writing. Many
more than that (50% of the entire sample) have a verbal strategy only.
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/KEY TAKEAWAYS
Here are some other key takeaways:
	 45% of B2C marketers have a dedicated content marketing group in their organization.
	 69% are creating more content now than they did one year ago.
	 The use of blogs dropped from 72% last year to 67% this year; the biggest increase in tactic usage has 		
	 been for branded content tools (from 37% to 47%).
	 B2C marketers are using, on average, 7 social media platforms this year, compared with 6 last year.
	 71% of B2C marketers use print or other offline promotion, making it the paid method they use most 		
	 frequently to promote/distribute content, yet only 46% of them say it’s effective; the method they find 		
	 most effective is search engine marketing (57%).
	 More B2C marketers are challenged with finding trained content marketing professionals this year (32%) 	
	 than they were last year (10%).
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/KEY TAKEAWAYS
New for this year
We asked several new questions this year. Among them:
	 How many different audiences do you target with separate content marketing strategies? The average is 4.
	 How many paid advertising methods do you use to promote/distribute content? The average is 4.
	 How often do you publish new content to support your content marketing program? 48% say daily or 		
	 multiple times per week.
	 How many content marketing initiatives are you presently working on? The average is 13.
	 How many content marketing initiatives do you plan to begin working on within the next 12 months?
	 The average is 9.
B2C marketers are juggling many initiatives
When presented with a list of 28 possible content marketing initiatives and asked to indicate which they are
presently working on, the largest percentages of B2C marketers said:
	 Better converting visitors on website: 65%
	 Creating more engaging/higher-quality content: 62%
	 Becoming better storytellers: 61%
	 Optimizing content: 61%
	 Organizing website content: 61%
With regard to the next 12 months, the highest percentages said better mobile strategy (38%), marketing
automation/lead nurturing (38%), and measuring content marketing ROI (37%).
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/KEY TAKEAWAYS
B2C marketers want to learn more about…
At the end of the survey, we asked B2C marketers for a write-in response to the question, “What one area of
content marketing would you like to learn more about?” A large plurality of B2C marketers said they wanted
information about measurement/tracking ROI. The second most mentioned was creating engaging/effective
content, followed by marketing automation.
Although by no means comprehensive, this is a list of some other areas they mentioned:
	 Content marketing strategy
	 Email marketing
	 Lead generation/nurturing
	 Optimizing content
	Personalization
	Sales
	 Social media
	Video
	 Visual storytelling
One respondent simply said, “I want to develop a better understanding of what inspires.”
Here’s hoping these survey results inspire you on your journey to become a better content marketer.
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USAGE & OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS
Does your organization use
content marketing?
77% say yes
Last year, 90% of B2C respondents said they
use content marketing. Back then, we defined
content marketing as the “creation and
distribution of educational and/or compelling
content in multiple media formats to attract and/
or retain customers.”
This year, we defined content marketing as
“a strategic marketing approach focused on
creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and
consistent content to attract and retain a clearly
defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive
profitable customer action.”
The new definition—crafted by Content
Marketing Institute in early 2014—better reflects
how content marketing has grown from the mere
“creation and distribution” of content to a formal
business discipline.
PercentageofB2CRespondents
UsingContentMarketing
77%
Yes
23%
No
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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USAGE & OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS
Overall, how effective is
your organization at
content marketing?
37% say they are effective
B2C marketers continue to grow steadily in
their confidence with content marketing. Three
years ago, 32% said they were effective; last
year, 34% said they were effective.
Note: For purposes of our annual survey,
we define effectiveness as “accomplishing
your overall objectives.” Those who rate their
organizations a 4 or 5 (on a scale of 1 to 5, with
5 being “Very Effective” and 1 being “Not at all
Effective”) become our “most effective” or
“best-in-class.” The 1s and 2s are our “least
effective,” while the 3s are neutral.
HowB2CMarketersRatethe
EffectivenessofTheirOrganization’s
UseofContentMarketing
0 10 20 30 40 50
Very Effective 8%
29%
36%
22%
Not At All Effective 5%
5
4
3
2
1
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION
Does your organization
have a content marketing
strategy?
27% say they have a
documented strategy
Last year, we asked marketers for the first
time whether they had a documented content
marketing strategy. The high percentage of B2C
marketers who said no (52%) left us wondering
whether some had a strategy but had simply
not taken the time to document it. So this year
we asked the question a bit differently, and
we found that many more do indeed have a
strategy, but for 50% of B2C marketers it is
verbal only. The 27% who have documented
their strategy are more effective in all aspects
of content marketing than those who have not.2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
PercentageofB2CMarketers
WhoHaveaContentMarketingStrategy
0 10 20 30 40 50
Yes, and it is documented 27%
Yes, but it is not documented 50%
No 15%
Unsure 8%
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STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION
How closely does your
content marketing strategy
guide your organization’s
content marketing efforts?
34% say very closely
Having a strategy is one thing—following
it is another. The more effective a B2C
marketer is, the more likely it is that his or
her organization follows the strategy very
closely (52% of the most effective follow their
strategy very closely).
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Percentage of B2C Marketers
Who Say Strategy Guides Efforts
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Very closely 34%
Somewhat 57%
We rarely use it 6%
Unsure 2%
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STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION
Does your organization
have a dedicated content
marketing group?
45% say yes
This is a new question on our annual survey.
The numbers you see here are for all B2C
content marketers, but the most effective
(63%) as well as those who have a documented
strategy (75%) are far more likely to have a
structure, regardless of what that structure is.
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Percentage of B2C Marketers Who
Have a Dedicated Content Marketing Group
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Yes, and it functions independently as its own unit 17%
Yes, and it works horizontally across the organization silos 28%
No, but planning to have one 21%
No, and no plans to have one that I know of 33%
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STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION
Which area in your
organization is accountable
for content marketing?
It often depends on
company size
Where content marketing sits on the
organizational chart has much to do with
company size. The larger a B2C organization,
the more likely it is that content marketing is
situated under the product marketing umbrella.
Teams in smaller companies are more likely to
report to the owner/C-level.
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
AreasAccountablefor
B2CContentMarketing
Owner/C-level
Product Marketing
Social Team/Social CRM
PR/Corporate Communications
Demand Gen Marketing
Other
No One, Unsure, or No Answer
27%
19%
13%
13%
10%
11%
7%
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GOALS & METRICS
How important is each
of the following content
marketing goals to your
organization?
Multiple goals are rated almost
equally as important
In years past, we asked marketers to “check all
that apply” on a list of potential goals for content
marketing. This year, we asked them to rate how
important each goal is to their organization on a
scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being “Very Important” and
1 being “Not at all Important”).
The percentages on this chart indicate the
proportion of marketers who rated each goal a 4
or 5.
New on the list this year is customer evangelism.
86% of the most effective marketers said this was
an important goal, versus only 69% of the overall
sample, making it the area of greatest difference
between the two groups.
Organizational Goals for
B2C Content Marketing
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Customer Retention/Loyalty
Engagement
Brand Awareness
Sales
Customer Evangelism
Lead Generation
Lead Nurturing
Upsell/Cross-sell
88%
88%
87%
77%
69%
69%
61%
50%
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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Which metrics does your
organization use to assess
content marketing success?
62% say website traffic
Note: Fewer than 30% of B2C marketers said they use
the following metrics: Customer Renewal Rates (26%),
Inbound Links (23%), Benchmark Lift of Company
Awareness (23%), Benchmark Lift of Product/Service
Awareness (21%), Sales Lead Quality (16%), Cost Savings
(15%), and Sales Lead Quantity (15%).
In our surveys, B2C marketers have consistently cited
website traffic as the metric they look to most often—
regardless of company size, effectiveness, or whether or
not they have a documented strategy.
New on the list this year is higher conversion rates.
Those who cited sales increased from 44% last year to
54% this year. Time spent on website and qualitative
feedback from customers both dropped 8 percentage
points this year.
SEO ranking and subscriber growth both remained
fairly steady.
GOALS & METRICS
Metrics for B2C
Content Marketing Success
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Website Traffic
Sales
HigherConversionRates
SEO Ranking
Time Spent on Website
Qualitative Feedback from Customers
Subscriber Growth
62%
54%
39%
39%
38%
35%
34%
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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How successful is your
organization at tracking
the ROI of its content
marketing program?
Only 23% say they
are successful
As these percentages show, many B2C
marketers have a difficult time tracking ROI.
Having a documented content marketing
strategy helps, though, as 43% of those
who possess one are successful in this area,
compared with the 23% average for the
overall sample.
GOALS & METRICS
HowB2CMarketersRateTheir
Organization’sSuccessat
TrackingROI
0 10 20 30 40 50
Very Successful 6%
17%
24%
23%
Not At All Successful 9%
We Do Not Track 21%
5
4
3
2
1
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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Compared with one year
ago, how much content is
your organization creating?
69% are creating more
B2C marketers from companies of all sizes are
creating more content—even the least effective
and those who have no strategy. This number
is, however, down slightly from last year, when
72% said they were creating more (with 32%
having said significantly more).
The most effective B2C marketers and those
who have a documented content marketing
strategy are creating the most content (80% of
both of those segments say they are creating
more, versus 69% of the overall sample).
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
ChangeinB2CContentCreation
(OverLast12Months)
Significantly More
More
Same Amount
Less
Unsure
26%
43%
3%
6%
21%
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How many different
audiences does your
organization target
with separate content
marketing strategies?
The average number is 4
B2C marketers target an average of 4
audiences, regardless of how large the B2C
marketer’s company is. This is different from
B2B companies: large B2B companies target
more audiences than small B2B companies do.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
NumberofAudiences
thatB2CMarketersTarget
0 10 20 30 40 50
5%
7%
21%
47%
7%
13%
10+
7-10
4-6
2-3
1
Unsure
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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Which content marketing
tactics does your
organization use?
Social media content and
eNewsletters top the list
Average Number Used: 11
Note: Fewer than 40% of B2C marketers said they
use the following tactics: Print Magazines (37%),
Online Presentations (36%), Case Studies (35%), Print
Newsletters (34%), Webinars/Webcasts (31%), Books
(30%), Research Reports (28%), White Papers (28%),
Digital Magazines (27%), eBooks (25%), Podcasts
(22%), Virtual Conferences (22%), and Games/
Gamification (20%).
Usage of almost all of the tactics on this chart has
risen this year over last year. The exceptions are blogs
(down 5 percentage points) and articles on your
website (which has stayed the same).
The biggest jump in usage has been for branded
content tools (from 37% to 47%). Illustrations/photos is
new to the list this year.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
B2C Content Marketing Tactic Usage
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Social Media Content – other than blogs
eNewsletters
Articles on Your Website
Illustrations/Photos
Videos
In-person Events
Blogs
Branded Content Tools
Infographics
Microsites
Mobile Apps
93%
80%
78%
75%
74%
69%
67%
47%
45%
44%
42%
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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20
Trending data for the
tactics that are used
most often
Tactic usage continues
to grow
This chart takes a closer look at the tactics
that more than 70% of B2C marketers use, and
how that usage has changed over the last few
years. As you can see, usage has steadily risen
for these 4 key tactics, with the exception of
articles on your website, which has stayed
flat. Illustrations/photos, which 75% of B2C
marketers use, is not shown on this chart
because this is the first year we asked about it.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
60%
2013 2014 2015
80%
90%
70%
65%
75%
85%
95%
100%
Social Media Content
(other than blogs)
eNewsletters
Articles on Your Website
Video
Changes in B2C Content Marketing Tactic Usage
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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How effective are the
following tactics that
you use?
eNewsletters are rated the
most effective
Note: Percentages shown represent marketers who
rated each tactic a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale where
5 = “Very Effective” and 1 = “Not at all Effective.”
Of all the tactics B2C marketers use, these are the 10
they say are most effective.
B2C marketers rated all of these as less effective
than they did last year.
However, when we look only at the highest-
performing (“most effective”) B2C marketers, we see
that they view all of these tactics as more effective
than the overall sample does; 80% say that social
media content is effective, making it the tactic they
view most favorably.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
eNewsletters
In-person Events
Illustrations/Photos
Social Media Content – other than blogs
Blogs
Videos
Articles on Your Website
Mobile Apps
Webinars/Webcasts
Online Presentations
Effectiveness Ratings for B2C Tactics
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
66%
63%
59%
58%
54%
54%
53%
49%
46%
45%
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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22
Which social media
platforms does your
organization use to
distribute content?
Facebook is used most often
Average Number Used: 7
Note: Fewer than 45% of B2C marketers said they
use the following social media platforms: Tumblr
(29%), Foursquare (28%), Vimeo (27%), Flickr (26%),
Vine (21%), SlideShare (20%), StumbleUpon (20%),
and SnapChat (15%).
B2C marketers are now using an average of 7
social media platforms to distribute content,
compared with 6 last year. All platforms have
experienced some level of increase this year
(except for LinkedIn, which has stayed the same).
The biggest increase this year has been with
Instagram (up 17 percentage points), followed
by Google+ (up 13 percentage points).
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
LinkedIn
Google+
Pinterest
Instagram
B2C Content Marketing
Social Media Platform Usage
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
94%
84%
76%
71%
68%
59%
49%
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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Trending data for the social
media platforms that are
used most often
The numbers make clear
the rise of social media
After a dramatic rise in usage between 2013
and 2014, LinkedIn has leveled off. The use of all
the other platforms shown here continues
to increase.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Twitter
Facebook
YouTube
LinkedIn
Google+
Pinterest
Instagram
Changes in B2C Content Marketing
Social Media Platform Usage
20%
10%
40%
60%
80%
90%
70%
50%
30%
100%
2013 2014 2015
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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24
How effective are the
social media platforms
that you use?
Facebook is rated the
most effective
Note: Percentages shown represent marketers
who rated each platform a 4 or 5 on a 5-point
scale where 5 = “Very Effective” and 1 = “Not at
all Effective.”
As they did last year, B2C marketers rated
Facebook as the most effective platform;
however, their confidence in it dropped 4
percentage points this year.
The biggest increase in confidence was with
Instagram (up 9 percentage points). The biggest
decrease was with LinkedIn (down 6 percentage
points).
Google+ stayed the same, while the remaining
platforms fluctuated slightly.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Instagram
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Google+
Effectiveness Ratings for
B2C Social Media Platforms
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
58%
52%
49%
43%
41%
36%
23%
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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25
How often does your
organization publish new
content that supports
its content marketing
program?
48% say daily or multiple
times per week
B2C marketers publish content more
frequently than their B2B counterparts
do (42% of B2B marketers publish daily or
multiple times per week).
B2C marketers who rate themselves as most
effective are the most likely to publish new
content daily (20%), although 45% publish
multiple times per week.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
HowOftenB2CMarketers
PublishNewContent
Daily
Multiple Times per Week
Weekly
Multiple Times per Month
Monthly
Less than Once per Month
Unsure
17%
31%
16%
11%
10%
9%
6%
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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26
Which paid advertising
methods do you use to
promote/distribute
content?
92% use at least one
Average Number Used: 4
This year is the first time we asked this question.
The most effective B2C marketers, as well as
those who have a documented strategy, use all
of these paid methods a bit more frequently than
the overall sample.
In addition, B2C marketers use more paid
methods than their B2B counterparts (who use
an average of 3). In fact, more B2C than B2B
marketers use each of the methods shown here.
The biggest difference is in the use of print or
other offline promotion, which only 52% of B2B
marketers use.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
B2C Paid Advertising Usage
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Print or Other Offline Promotion
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Social Ads (e.g., LinkedIn ads
Promoted Posts (e.g., promoted Tweets)
Traditional Online Banner Ads
Native Advertising
Content Discovery Tools
71%
63%
60%
59%
59%
38%
19%
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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27
How effective are the
paid advertising methods
that you use to distribute
content?
B2C marketers have the
most confidence in search
engine marketing (SEM)
Note: Percentages shown represent marketers who
rated each method a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale where
5 = “Very Effective” and 1 = “Not at all Effective.”
Even though 71% of B2C marketers use “print or other
offline promotion,” only 46% of them say it is effective.
Although the percentage of B2C marketers who use
“newer” paid methods such as native advertising
and content discovery tools isn’t very high yet,
40% to 42% of those who use them say they are
effective. This is a higher confidence rating than
B2C marketers give for the more established
method of “traditional online banner ads.”
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Effectiveness Ratings for
B2C Paid Advertising Methods
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Social Ads (e.g., LinkedIn ads)
Promoted Posts (e.g., promoted Tweets)
Print or Other Offline Promotion
Content Discovery Tools
Native Advertising
Traditional Online Banner Ads
57%
49%
47%
46%
42%
40%
39%
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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28
Approximately what
percentage of your
organization’s total
marketing budget (not
including staff) is spent on
content marketing?
The average is 25%
Last year, B2C marketers said they allocated
24% of their budget to content marketing.
There is a correlation between effectiveness
and the amount of budget allocated to content
marketing. The most effective B2C marketers
allocate 29%, on average, whereas the least
effective allocate 17%.
B2C marketers who have a documented
content marketing strategy allocate even more
budget (32%).
BUDGETS & SPENDING
PercentageofTotalMarketingBudget
SpentonB2CContentMarketing
0 10 20 30 40 50
100%
75-99%
50-74%
25-49%
10-24%
1-9%
0%
Unsure
1%
4%
8%
11%
20%
24%
5%
26%
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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29
How do you expect your
organization’s content
marketing budget to
change in the next 12
months?
59% say they will increase
spending
Last year, 60% of B2C marketers said they
would increase spending, compared with 59%
this year.
55% of the most effective B2C marketers plan
to increase their spending, which is the same
percentage as last year.
Their lack of success thus far isn’t going to
stop the least effective B2C marketers from
increasing their content marketing budget: 61%
of them say they plan to do so.
BUDGETS & SPENDING
B2CContentMarketingSpending
(OverNext12Months)
0 10 20 30 40 50
Significantly Increase 9%
Decrease 2%
Increase
Remain the Same
50%
26%
Unsure 13%
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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30
With regard to content
marketing, how challenged
are you with each of the
following?
51% cite measuring content
effectiveness
Note: Percentages shown represent marketers who
rated each challenge a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale where
5 = “Very Challenged” and 1 = “Not at all Challenged.”
Last year, 36% of B2C marketers said measuring
content effectiveness was a challenge, compared
with 51% this year. We also saw a big jump this year in
finding trained content marketing professionals (from
10% to 32%). Coincidentally, we saw big increases in
both of these areas for B2B marketers this year as well.
As it is for their B2B counterparts, producing engaging
content is a perennial top challenge for B2C marketers.
This year, we replaced the option of producing enough
content with producing content consistently. New to
the list this year is technology-related challenges.
CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES
Challenges that B2C Marketers Face
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Measuring Content Effectiveness
Producing Engaging Content
Lack of Budget
Producing Content Consistently
Producing a Variety of Content
Gaps in Knowledge and Skills of Internal Team
Lack of Integration Across Marketing
Finding Trained Content Marketing Professionals
Technology-related Challenges
Lack of Buy-in/Vision from Higher-Ups
51%
50%
46%
44%
40%
38%
34%
32%
29%
28%
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
31
CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES
Which content marketing initiatives are you working on?
“Better converting visitors on website” tops the list of 28 potential choices.
New this year, we presented marketers with a list of 28 initiatives. We asked them to select one of three options for each:
working on now, plan to begin working on within 12 months, and not a priority.
B2C marketers are working on an average of 13 initiatives, and plan to begin working on an average of 9 over the next 12 months.
The largest percentages of B2C marketers are working on:
	 Better converting visitors on website: 65%
	 Creating more engaging/higher-quality content: 62%
	 Becoming better storytellers: 61%
	 Optimizing content: 61%
	 Organizing website content: 61%
As for which they are planning to begin working on within 12 months, the highest percentages selected:
	 Better mobile strategy: 38%
	 Marketing automation/lead nurturing: 38%
	 Measuring content marketing ROI: 37%
	 Better understanding of what content is effective—and what isn’t: 35%
	 Leveraging user- or fan-generated content: 35%
	 Understanding/using content marketing technology: 35%
The initiatives you see presented on the next few pages are the 10 that received the highest combined percentages of
“working on now” and “plan to begin working on within 12 months.”
SponSored by
32
CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES
Creating More
Engaging/Higher-Quality Content
Better Understanding of What
Content is Effective—and What isn’t
Better Converting Visitors
on Website
Now Within 12 Months Not a Priority No Answer
62% 65%24% 54%35%
8% 7%
27%
7%
4% 3% 4%
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by
33
CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES
Optimizing Content Better Understanding of AudienceCreating Visual Content
Now Within 12 Months Not a Priority No Answer
61% 60%26% 58%27%
10% 12%
24%
11%
4% 4% 3%
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by
34
CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES
Finding More/Better Ways
to Repurpose Content Developing an Email StrategyOrganizing Content on Website
Now Within 12 Months
Not a Priority No Answer
54% 61%23% 56%
26%
12% 15%
30%
14%
2%
Creating a Greater Variety of Content
53%
29%
15%
3%
4% 3%
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by
35
COMPARISON CHART
 Has a documented content marketing strategy.........................................................................................47%................... 27%.................... 5%
 Has a content marketing strategy, but it’s not documented.....................................................................38%................... 50%................... 52%
 Content marketing strategy very closely guides efforts.............................................................................50%................... 34%................... 11%
 Content marketing strategy somewhat guides efforts...............................................................................45%................... 57%................... 61%
 Has a dedicated content marketing group.................................................................................................63%................... 45%................... 25%
 Places high importance on customer evangelism as a goal......................................................................86%................... 69%................... 59%
 Is successful at tracking ROI........................................................................................................................43%................... 23%.................... 7%
 Average number of tactics used................................................................................................................... 12...................... 11........................9
 Average number of social platforms used.....................................................................................................8........................ 7.........................6
 Publishes new content daily or multiple times per week..........................................................................65%................... 48%................... 44%
 Percentage of total budget allocated to content marketing......................................................................29%................... 25%................... 16%
 Challenged with measuring effectiveness..................................................................................................39%................... 51%................... 67%
 Challenged with producing engaging content...........................................................................................36%................... 50%................... 65%
 Average number of initiatives working on now........................................................................................... 15...................... 13.......................10		
 Average number of initiatives planning to begin working on within 12 months........................................8........................ 9........................11
Most
Effective
Profile of a Best-in-Class B2C Content Marketer Average/
Overall
Least
Effective
Chart term definitions: A “best-in-class” content marketer (aka “most effective”) is one who rates his or her organization a 4 or 5 in effectiveness on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being
“Very Effective” and 1 being “Not at all Effective.” Those who rate themselves 1 or 2 are the “least effective.” The numbers under “average/overall” represent total respondents.
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by
36
COMPARISON CHART
 Considers organization to be effective at content marketing....................................................................65%................... 28%................... 11%
 Content marketing strategy very closely guides efforts.............................................................................52%................... 25%....................N/A
 Content marketing strategy somewhat guides efforts...............................................................................44%................... 63%....................N/A
 Has a dedicated content marketing group.................................................................................................75%................... 38%................... 11%
 Is successful at tracking ROI........................................................................................................................43%................... 19%.................... 3%
 Average number of tactics used................................................................................................................... 13...................... 11........................8
 Average number of social platforms used.....................................................................................................8........................ 7.........................6
 Publishes new content daily or multiple times per week..........................................................................52%................... 51%................... 30%
 Percentage of total budget allocated to content marketing......................................................................32%................... 25%................... 11%
 Challenged with producing engaging content...........................................................................................37%................... 56%................... 58%
 Challenged with measuring effectiveness..................................................................................................33%................... 58%................... 72%
 Average number of initiatives working on now........................................................................................... 16...................... 13........................9
 Average number of initiatives planning to begin working on within 12 months.........................................7........................ 8........................11
Documented
Strategy
Documented vs. Verbal or
No Content Marketing Strategy Verbal
Strategy
No
Strategy
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by
37
COMPARISON CHART
 Uses content marketing...............................................................................................................................77%................... 86%
 Considers organization to be effective at content marketing....................................................................37%................... 38%
 Has a documented content marketing strategy.........................................................................................27%................... 35%
 Has a content marketing strategy, but it’s not documented.....................................................................50%................... 48%
 Does not have a documented strategy.......................................................................................................15%................... 14%
 Has a dedicated content marketing group.................................................................................................45%................... 47%
 Is successful at tracking ROI........................................................................................................................23%................... 21%
 Average number of tactics used................................................................................................................... 11...................... 13
 Average number of social platforms used.....................................................................................................7........................ 6
 Average number of paid advertising methods used to promote/distribute content..................................4........................ 3
 Publishes new content daily or multiple times per week..........................................................................48%................... 42%
 Percentage of total budget allocated to content marketing......................................................................25%................... 28%
 Challenged with measuring content effectiveness....................................................................................51%................... 49%
 Average number of initiatives working on now........................................................................................... 13...................... 13
 Average number of initiatives planning to begin working on within 12 months.........................................9........................ 8
B2CDifferences Between B2C and B2B Content Marketers B2B
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by
38
COMPARISON CHART
Creating a better mobile strategy...................................................................................................................74%................... 58%
Better understanding of content marketing technology...............................................................................77%................... 70%
Leveraging user- or fan-generated content....................................................................................................70%................... 48%
Real-time content marketing..........................................................................................................................58%................... 47%
Content personalization..................................................................................................................................70%................... 64%
Developing a channel plan for social media...................................................................................................75%................... 67%
B2C
Key Areas of Difference Between B2C and B2B Content Marketing Initiatives
(Working on Now + Will be Working on Within 12 Months)
B2B
Note: B2C and B2B marketers have prioritized many of the same initiatives over the next 12 months (e.g., doing a better job of converting website visitors,
creating more engaging content, measuring content marketing ROI, etc.). This chart shows where the biggest gaps are.
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by
39
DEMOGRAPHICS
B2C Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America was produced by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs and
sponsored by EnVeritas Group.
The fifth annual content marketing survey, from which the results of this report were generated, was mailed electronically to a sample of marketers
using lists from Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs, the Business Marketing Association (BMA), Brightcove, Blackbaud, EnVeritas Group (EVG),
The Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising (ADMA), the Direct Marketing Association UK (DMA), Industry Week, New Equipment Digest,
WTWH Media, and Corporate Financial Group.
A total of 5,167 recipients from around the globe—representing a full range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes—responded throughout
July and August 2014. This report presents the findings from the 307 respondents who said they were B2C marketers in North America (235 of whom said
“yes, our organization uses content marketing”). The B2B percentages referred to in this report derive from the same research study. The full findings for
B2B North America are available in a separate report.
B2C Industry Classification B2C Job Title/Function
Size of B2C Company
(by Employees)
20%
33% 29%
14%
24%
9%
8%
7%
24%
19%
24%
8%
8%
6%
6%5%5%
42%
5%
4%
■ Retail Trade/Distribution
■ Education
■ Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals
■ Travel/Tourism/Hospitality
■ Banking/Accounting/Financial
■ Entertainment/Interactive/Gaming
■ Insurance
■ Other
■ Marketing/Advertising/
Communications/PR Management
■ Corporate Management/Owner
■ Content Creation/Management
■ Marketing Administration/Support
■ General Management
■ Sales/Business Management
■ Website/Technology
■ Other
■ Micro (Fewer than 10 Employees)
■ Small (10-99 Employees)
■ Midsize (100-999 Employees)
■ Large (1,000+ Employees)
SponSored by
40
ABOUT
About Content Marketing Institute
Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is the leading global content marketing education and training organization. CMI
teaches enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multi-channel storytelling. CMI’s Content
Marketing World event, the largest content marketing-focused event, is held every September in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.  CMI
also produces Intelligent Content Conference, Content Marketing Sydney and Content Marketing Singapore. CMI also
publishes the bi-monthly magazine Chief Content Officer, and provides strategic consulting and content marketing research
for some of the best-known brands in the world. CMI is a 2012, 2013 and 2014 Inc. 500 company. View all CMI research at
www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/research. Learn how to create a documented content marketing strategy, a key
component for improving overall content marketing effectiveness.
About MarketingProfs
MarketingProfs offers real-world education for modern marketers. More than 640,000 marketing professionals worldwide
rely on our free daily publications, virtual conferences, and more to stay up-to-date on the most important trends in
marketing—and how to apply them to their business. Visit MarketingProfs.com for more.
About EnVeritas Group
EnVeritas Group is a little global giant. From our offices in Greenville and London, we work with clients to tell stories. The
EVG team is a group of strategists and yarn-weavers, big thinkers and painters, number crunchers, and poets. We develop
strategies, deeply anchored in storytelling and content creation that will move your needle. A lot. Our services include
content strategy and creation, social media marketing, multicultural content marketing, web design, content management,
graphic design, and more.
Visit www.enveritasgroup.com to learn more about who we are, and follow us on Twitter @EnVeritasGroup to join the
content marketing conversation.
For more information about this report, contact research@contentinstitute.com.
SponSored by

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2015 b2 c_research

  • 2. 2  Welcome................................................................................................................................................. 3  Executive Summary/Key Takeaways................................................................................................... 4  Usage & Overall Effectiveness.............................................................................................................. 8  Strategy & Organization...................................................................................................................... 10  Goals & Metrics..................................................................................................................................... 14  Content Creation & Distribution........................................................................................................ 17  Budgets & Spending............................................................................................................................ 28  Challenges & Initiatives...................................................................................................................... 30  Comparison Chart: Profile of a Best-in-Class B2C Content Marketer............................................35  Comparison Chart: Documented vs. Verbal or No Content Marketing Strategy..........................36  Comparison Chart: Differences Between B2C and B2B Content Marketers.................................37  Comparison Chart: Key Areas of Difference Between B2C and B2B Initiatives............................38  Demographics...................................................................................................................................... 39  About..................................................................................................................................................... 40 TABLE OF CONTENTS SponSored by
  • 3. Hello Content Marketers, Welcome to B2C Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America. Five years ago, Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs launched the first annual content marketing survey. This year, the survey has grown to reach more than 5,000 marketers, both for-profit and nonprofit, in 25 industries in 109 countries. Each year, we take the topline results and look at them in many different ways—by nature of organization, company size, effectiveness, and the presence or absence of a documented content marketing strategy. We then produce a variety of reports focusing on specific segments. In this report, you’ll learn how the business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers from North America responded. This is the third year we’ve reported B2C findings. We made changes to the survey this year to better reflect how the content marketing industry is maturing. We added new questions, changed the way we asked some of the old ones, and even removed a few. We also asked content marketers about the initiatives they’re working on. We’re excited about the results and hope you find them as insightful as we do. Yours in content, Joe & Ann Joe Pulizzi Founder Content Marketing Institute Ann Handley Chief Content Officer MarketingProfs 3 WELCOME SponSored by
  • 4. 4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/KEY TAKEAWAYS Business-to-consumer (B2C) content marketers struggle with measurement; so do business-to-business (B2B) and nonprofit marketers. You probably hear this a lot when you’re at industry events or reading content marketing articles and news, but this year’s research really helps put the problem into perspective. Based on the responses to one of this year’s new survey questions, we found that only 23% of B2C marketers are successful at tracking the return on investment (ROI) of their content marketing program. Additionally, 51% say measuring content effectiveness is a challenge, compared with 36% last year. Having a documented content marketing strategy helps in both regards: 43% of B2C marketers who have one say they are successful at tracking ROI, while the number who cite measuring content effectiveness as a challenge drops to 33%. In fact, having a documented content marketing strategy helps increase effectiveness in all areas of content marketing. However, only 27% of B2C marketers have taken the time to put their strategy in writing. Many more than that (50% of the entire sample) have a verbal strategy only. SponSored by
  • 5. 5 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/KEY TAKEAWAYS Here are some other key takeaways:  45% of B2C marketers have a dedicated content marketing group in their organization.  69% are creating more content now than they did one year ago.  The use of blogs dropped from 72% last year to 67% this year; the biggest increase in tactic usage has been for branded content tools (from 37% to 47%).  B2C marketers are using, on average, 7 social media platforms this year, compared with 6 last year.  71% of B2C marketers use print or other offline promotion, making it the paid method they use most frequently to promote/distribute content, yet only 46% of them say it’s effective; the method they find most effective is search engine marketing (57%).  More B2C marketers are challenged with finding trained content marketing professionals this year (32%) than they were last year (10%). SponSored by
  • 6. 6 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/KEY TAKEAWAYS New for this year We asked several new questions this year. Among them:  How many different audiences do you target with separate content marketing strategies? The average is 4.  How many paid advertising methods do you use to promote/distribute content? The average is 4.  How often do you publish new content to support your content marketing program? 48% say daily or multiple times per week.  How many content marketing initiatives are you presently working on? The average is 13.  How many content marketing initiatives do you plan to begin working on within the next 12 months? The average is 9. B2C marketers are juggling many initiatives When presented with a list of 28 possible content marketing initiatives and asked to indicate which they are presently working on, the largest percentages of B2C marketers said:  Better converting visitors on website: 65%  Creating more engaging/higher-quality content: 62%  Becoming better storytellers: 61%  Optimizing content: 61%  Organizing website content: 61% With regard to the next 12 months, the highest percentages said better mobile strategy (38%), marketing automation/lead nurturing (38%), and measuring content marketing ROI (37%). SponSored by
  • 7. 7 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/KEY TAKEAWAYS B2C marketers want to learn more about… At the end of the survey, we asked B2C marketers for a write-in response to the question, “What one area of content marketing would you like to learn more about?” A large plurality of B2C marketers said they wanted information about measurement/tracking ROI. The second most mentioned was creating engaging/effective content, followed by marketing automation. Although by no means comprehensive, this is a list of some other areas they mentioned:  Content marketing strategy  Email marketing  Lead generation/nurturing  Optimizing content  Personalization  Sales  Social media  Video  Visual storytelling One respondent simply said, “I want to develop a better understanding of what inspires.” Here’s hoping these survey results inspire you on your journey to become a better content marketer. SponSored by
  • 8. SponSored by 8 USAGE & OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS Does your organization use content marketing? 77% say yes Last year, 90% of B2C respondents said they use content marketing. Back then, we defined content marketing as the “creation and distribution of educational and/or compelling content in multiple media formats to attract and/ or retain customers.” This year, we defined content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” The new definition—crafted by Content Marketing Institute in early 2014—better reflects how content marketing has grown from the mere “creation and distribution” of content to a formal business discipline. PercentageofB2CRespondents UsingContentMarketing 77% Yes 23% No 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 9. SponSored by 9 USAGE & OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS Overall, how effective is your organization at content marketing? 37% say they are effective B2C marketers continue to grow steadily in their confidence with content marketing. Three years ago, 32% said they were effective; last year, 34% said they were effective. Note: For purposes of our annual survey, we define effectiveness as “accomplishing your overall objectives.” Those who rate their organizations a 4 or 5 (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “Very Effective” and 1 being “Not at all Effective”) become our “most effective” or “best-in-class.” The 1s and 2s are our “least effective,” while the 3s are neutral. HowB2CMarketersRatethe EffectivenessofTheirOrganization’s UseofContentMarketing 0 10 20 30 40 50 Very Effective 8% 29% 36% 22% Not At All Effective 5% 5 4 3 2 1 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 10. SponSored by 10 STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION Does your organization have a content marketing strategy? 27% say they have a documented strategy Last year, we asked marketers for the first time whether they had a documented content marketing strategy. The high percentage of B2C marketers who said no (52%) left us wondering whether some had a strategy but had simply not taken the time to document it. So this year we asked the question a bit differently, and we found that many more do indeed have a strategy, but for 50% of B2C marketers it is verbal only. The 27% who have documented their strategy are more effective in all aspects of content marketing than those who have not.2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs PercentageofB2CMarketers WhoHaveaContentMarketingStrategy 0 10 20 30 40 50 Yes, and it is documented 27% Yes, but it is not documented 50% No 15% Unsure 8%
  • 11. SponSored by 11 STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION How closely does your content marketing strategy guide your organization’s content marketing efforts? 34% say very closely Having a strategy is one thing—following it is another. The more effective a B2C marketer is, the more likely it is that his or her organization follows the strategy very closely (52% of the most effective follow their strategy very closely). 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Percentage of B2C Marketers Who Say Strategy Guides Efforts 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Very closely 34% Somewhat 57% We rarely use it 6% Unsure 2%
  • 12. SponSored by 12 STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION Does your organization have a dedicated content marketing group? 45% say yes This is a new question on our annual survey. The numbers you see here are for all B2C content marketers, but the most effective (63%) as well as those who have a documented strategy (75%) are far more likely to have a structure, regardless of what that structure is. 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Percentage of B2C Marketers Who Have a Dedicated Content Marketing Group 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Yes, and it functions independently as its own unit 17% Yes, and it works horizontally across the organization silos 28% No, but planning to have one 21% No, and no plans to have one that I know of 33%
  • 13. SponSored by 13 STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION Which area in your organization is accountable for content marketing? It often depends on company size Where content marketing sits on the organizational chart has much to do with company size. The larger a B2C organization, the more likely it is that content marketing is situated under the product marketing umbrella. Teams in smaller companies are more likely to report to the owner/C-level. 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs AreasAccountablefor B2CContentMarketing Owner/C-level Product Marketing Social Team/Social CRM PR/Corporate Communications Demand Gen Marketing Other No One, Unsure, or No Answer 27% 19% 13% 13% 10% 11% 7%
  • 14. SponSored by 14 GOALS & METRICS How important is each of the following content marketing goals to your organization? Multiple goals are rated almost equally as important In years past, we asked marketers to “check all that apply” on a list of potential goals for content marketing. This year, we asked them to rate how important each goal is to their organization on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being “Very Important” and 1 being “Not at all Important”). The percentages on this chart indicate the proportion of marketers who rated each goal a 4 or 5. New on the list this year is customer evangelism. 86% of the most effective marketers said this was an important goal, versus only 69% of the overall sample, making it the area of greatest difference between the two groups. Organizational Goals for B2C Content Marketing 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Customer Retention/Loyalty Engagement Brand Awareness Sales Customer Evangelism Lead Generation Lead Nurturing Upsell/Cross-sell 88% 88% 87% 77% 69% 69% 61% 50% 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 15. SponSored by 15 Which metrics does your organization use to assess content marketing success? 62% say website traffic Note: Fewer than 30% of B2C marketers said they use the following metrics: Customer Renewal Rates (26%), Inbound Links (23%), Benchmark Lift of Company Awareness (23%), Benchmark Lift of Product/Service Awareness (21%), Sales Lead Quality (16%), Cost Savings (15%), and Sales Lead Quantity (15%). In our surveys, B2C marketers have consistently cited website traffic as the metric they look to most often— regardless of company size, effectiveness, or whether or not they have a documented strategy. New on the list this year is higher conversion rates. Those who cited sales increased from 44% last year to 54% this year. Time spent on website and qualitative feedback from customers both dropped 8 percentage points this year. SEO ranking and subscriber growth both remained fairly steady. GOALS & METRICS Metrics for B2C Content Marketing Success 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Website Traffic Sales HigherConversionRates SEO Ranking Time Spent on Website Qualitative Feedback from Customers Subscriber Growth 62% 54% 39% 39% 38% 35% 34% 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 16. SponSored by 16 How successful is your organization at tracking the ROI of its content marketing program? Only 23% say they are successful As these percentages show, many B2C marketers have a difficult time tracking ROI. Having a documented content marketing strategy helps, though, as 43% of those who possess one are successful in this area, compared with the 23% average for the overall sample. GOALS & METRICS HowB2CMarketersRateTheir Organization’sSuccessat TrackingROI 0 10 20 30 40 50 Very Successful 6% 17% 24% 23% Not At All Successful 9% We Do Not Track 21% 5 4 3 2 1 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 17. SponSored by 17 Compared with one year ago, how much content is your organization creating? 69% are creating more B2C marketers from companies of all sizes are creating more content—even the least effective and those who have no strategy. This number is, however, down slightly from last year, when 72% said they were creating more (with 32% having said significantly more). The most effective B2C marketers and those who have a documented content marketing strategy are creating the most content (80% of both of those segments say they are creating more, versus 69% of the overall sample). CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs ChangeinB2CContentCreation (OverLast12Months) Significantly More More Same Amount Less Unsure 26% 43% 3% 6% 21%
  • 18. SponSored by 18 How many different audiences does your organization target with separate content marketing strategies? The average number is 4 B2C marketers target an average of 4 audiences, regardless of how large the B2C marketer’s company is. This is different from B2B companies: large B2B companies target more audiences than small B2B companies do. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION NumberofAudiences thatB2CMarketersTarget 0 10 20 30 40 50 5% 7% 21% 47% 7% 13% 10+ 7-10 4-6 2-3 1 Unsure 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 19. SponSored by 19 Which content marketing tactics does your organization use? Social media content and eNewsletters top the list Average Number Used: 11 Note: Fewer than 40% of B2C marketers said they use the following tactics: Print Magazines (37%), Online Presentations (36%), Case Studies (35%), Print Newsletters (34%), Webinars/Webcasts (31%), Books (30%), Research Reports (28%), White Papers (28%), Digital Magazines (27%), eBooks (25%), Podcasts (22%), Virtual Conferences (22%), and Games/ Gamification (20%). Usage of almost all of the tactics on this chart has risen this year over last year. The exceptions are blogs (down 5 percentage points) and articles on your website (which has stayed the same). The biggest jump in usage has been for branded content tools (from 37% to 47%). Illustrations/photos is new to the list this year. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION B2C Content Marketing Tactic Usage 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Social Media Content – other than blogs eNewsletters Articles on Your Website Illustrations/Photos Videos In-person Events Blogs Branded Content Tools Infographics Microsites Mobile Apps 93% 80% 78% 75% 74% 69% 67% 47% 45% 44% 42% 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 20. SponSored by 20 Trending data for the tactics that are used most often Tactic usage continues to grow This chart takes a closer look at the tactics that more than 70% of B2C marketers use, and how that usage has changed over the last few years. As you can see, usage has steadily risen for these 4 key tactics, with the exception of articles on your website, which has stayed flat. Illustrations/photos, which 75% of B2C marketers use, is not shown on this chart because this is the first year we asked about it. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION 60% 2013 2014 2015 80% 90% 70% 65% 75% 85% 95% 100% Social Media Content (other than blogs) eNewsletters Articles on Your Website Video Changes in B2C Content Marketing Tactic Usage 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 21. SponSored by 21 How effective are the following tactics that you use? eNewsletters are rated the most effective Note: Percentages shown represent marketers who rated each tactic a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale where 5 = “Very Effective” and 1 = “Not at all Effective.” Of all the tactics B2C marketers use, these are the 10 they say are most effective. B2C marketers rated all of these as less effective than they did last year. However, when we look only at the highest- performing (“most effective”) B2C marketers, we see that they view all of these tactics as more effective than the overall sample does; 80% say that social media content is effective, making it the tactic they view most favorably. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION eNewsletters In-person Events Illustrations/Photos Social Media Content – other than blogs Blogs Videos Articles on Your Website Mobile Apps Webinars/Webcasts Online Presentations Effectiveness Ratings for B2C Tactics 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 66% 63% 59% 58% 54% 54% 53% 49% 46% 45% 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 22. SponSored by 22 Which social media platforms does your organization use to distribute content? Facebook is used most often Average Number Used: 7 Note: Fewer than 45% of B2C marketers said they use the following social media platforms: Tumblr (29%), Foursquare (28%), Vimeo (27%), Flickr (26%), Vine (21%), SlideShare (20%), StumbleUpon (20%), and SnapChat (15%). B2C marketers are now using an average of 7 social media platforms to distribute content, compared with 6 last year. All platforms have experienced some level of increase this year (except for LinkedIn, which has stayed the same). The biggest increase this year has been with Instagram (up 17 percentage points), followed by Google+ (up 13 percentage points). CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn Google+ Pinterest Instagram B2C Content Marketing Social Media Platform Usage 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 94% 84% 76% 71% 68% 59% 49% 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 23. SponSored by 23 Trending data for the social media platforms that are used most often The numbers make clear the rise of social media After a dramatic rise in usage between 2013 and 2014, LinkedIn has leveled off. The use of all the other platforms shown here continues to increase. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Twitter Facebook YouTube LinkedIn Google+ Pinterest Instagram Changes in B2C Content Marketing Social Media Platform Usage 20% 10% 40% 60% 80% 90% 70% 50% 30% 100% 2013 2014 2015 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 24. SponSored by 24 How effective are the social media platforms that you use? Facebook is rated the most effective Note: Percentages shown represent marketers who rated each platform a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale where 5 = “Very Effective” and 1 = “Not at all Effective.” As they did last year, B2C marketers rated Facebook as the most effective platform; however, their confidence in it dropped 4 percentage points this year. The biggest increase in confidence was with Instagram (up 9 percentage points). The biggest decrease was with LinkedIn (down 6 percentage points). Google+ stayed the same, while the remaining platforms fluctuated slightly. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Pinterest LinkedIn Google+ Effectiveness Ratings for B2C Social Media Platforms 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 58% 52% 49% 43% 41% 36% 23% 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 25. SponSored by 25 How often does your organization publish new content that supports its content marketing program? 48% say daily or multiple times per week B2C marketers publish content more frequently than their B2B counterparts do (42% of B2B marketers publish daily or multiple times per week). B2C marketers who rate themselves as most effective are the most likely to publish new content daily (20%), although 45% publish multiple times per week. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION HowOftenB2CMarketers PublishNewContent Daily Multiple Times per Week Weekly Multiple Times per Month Monthly Less than Once per Month Unsure 17% 31% 16% 11% 10% 9% 6% 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 26. SponSored by 26 Which paid advertising methods do you use to promote/distribute content? 92% use at least one Average Number Used: 4 This year is the first time we asked this question. The most effective B2C marketers, as well as those who have a documented strategy, use all of these paid methods a bit more frequently than the overall sample. In addition, B2C marketers use more paid methods than their B2B counterparts (who use an average of 3). In fact, more B2C than B2B marketers use each of the methods shown here. The biggest difference is in the use of print or other offline promotion, which only 52% of B2B marketers use. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION B2C Paid Advertising Usage 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Print or Other Offline Promotion Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Social Ads (e.g., LinkedIn ads Promoted Posts (e.g., promoted Tweets) Traditional Online Banner Ads Native Advertising Content Discovery Tools 71% 63% 60% 59% 59% 38% 19% 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 27. SponSored by 27 How effective are the paid advertising methods that you use to distribute content? B2C marketers have the most confidence in search engine marketing (SEM) Note: Percentages shown represent marketers who rated each method a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale where 5 = “Very Effective” and 1 = “Not at all Effective.” Even though 71% of B2C marketers use “print or other offline promotion,” only 46% of them say it is effective. Although the percentage of B2C marketers who use “newer” paid methods such as native advertising and content discovery tools isn’t very high yet, 40% to 42% of those who use them say they are effective. This is a higher confidence rating than B2C marketers give for the more established method of “traditional online banner ads.” CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Effectiveness Ratings for B2C Paid Advertising Methods 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Social Ads (e.g., LinkedIn ads) Promoted Posts (e.g., promoted Tweets) Print or Other Offline Promotion Content Discovery Tools Native Advertising Traditional Online Banner Ads 57% 49% 47% 46% 42% 40% 39% 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 28. SponSored by 28 Approximately what percentage of your organization’s total marketing budget (not including staff) is spent on content marketing? The average is 25% Last year, B2C marketers said they allocated 24% of their budget to content marketing. There is a correlation between effectiveness and the amount of budget allocated to content marketing. The most effective B2C marketers allocate 29%, on average, whereas the least effective allocate 17%. B2C marketers who have a documented content marketing strategy allocate even more budget (32%). BUDGETS & SPENDING PercentageofTotalMarketingBudget SpentonB2CContentMarketing 0 10 20 30 40 50 100% 75-99% 50-74% 25-49% 10-24% 1-9% 0% Unsure 1% 4% 8% 11% 20% 24% 5% 26% 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 29. SponSored by 29 How do you expect your organization’s content marketing budget to change in the next 12 months? 59% say they will increase spending Last year, 60% of B2C marketers said they would increase spending, compared with 59% this year. 55% of the most effective B2C marketers plan to increase their spending, which is the same percentage as last year. Their lack of success thus far isn’t going to stop the least effective B2C marketers from increasing their content marketing budget: 61% of them say they plan to do so. BUDGETS & SPENDING B2CContentMarketingSpending (OverNext12Months) 0 10 20 30 40 50 Significantly Increase 9% Decrease 2% Increase Remain the Same 50% 26% Unsure 13% 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 30. SponSored by 30 With regard to content marketing, how challenged are you with each of the following? 51% cite measuring content effectiveness Note: Percentages shown represent marketers who rated each challenge a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale where 5 = “Very Challenged” and 1 = “Not at all Challenged.” Last year, 36% of B2C marketers said measuring content effectiveness was a challenge, compared with 51% this year. We also saw a big jump this year in finding trained content marketing professionals (from 10% to 32%). Coincidentally, we saw big increases in both of these areas for B2B marketers this year as well. As it is for their B2B counterparts, producing engaging content is a perennial top challenge for B2C marketers. This year, we replaced the option of producing enough content with producing content consistently. New to the list this year is technology-related challenges. CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES Challenges that B2C Marketers Face 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Measuring Content Effectiveness Producing Engaging Content Lack of Budget Producing Content Consistently Producing a Variety of Content Gaps in Knowledge and Skills of Internal Team Lack of Integration Across Marketing Finding Trained Content Marketing Professionals Technology-related Challenges Lack of Buy-in/Vision from Higher-Ups 51% 50% 46% 44% 40% 38% 34% 32% 29% 28% 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 31. 31 CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES Which content marketing initiatives are you working on? “Better converting visitors on website” tops the list of 28 potential choices. New this year, we presented marketers with a list of 28 initiatives. We asked them to select one of three options for each: working on now, plan to begin working on within 12 months, and not a priority. B2C marketers are working on an average of 13 initiatives, and plan to begin working on an average of 9 over the next 12 months. The largest percentages of B2C marketers are working on:  Better converting visitors on website: 65%  Creating more engaging/higher-quality content: 62%  Becoming better storytellers: 61%  Optimizing content: 61%  Organizing website content: 61% As for which they are planning to begin working on within 12 months, the highest percentages selected:  Better mobile strategy: 38%  Marketing automation/lead nurturing: 38%  Measuring content marketing ROI: 37%  Better understanding of what content is effective—and what isn’t: 35%  Leveraging user- or fan-generated content: 35%  Understanding/using content marketing technology: 35% The initiatives you see presented on the next few pages are the 10 that received the highest combined percentages of “working on now” and “plan to begin working on within 12 months.” SponSored by
  • 32. 32 CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES Creating More Engaging/Higher-Quality Content Better Understanding of What Content is Effective—and What isn’t Better Converting Visitors on Website Now Within 12 Months Not a Priority No Answer 62% 65%24% 54%35% 8% 7% 27% 7% 4% 3% 4% 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs SponSored by
  • 33. 33 CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES Optimizing Content Better Understanding of AudienceCreating Visual Content Now Within 12 Months Not a Priority No Answer 61% 60%26% 58%27% 10% 12% 24% 11% 4% 4% 3% 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs SponSored by
  • 34. 34 CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES Finding More/Better Ways to Repurpose Content Developing an Email StrategyOrganizing Content on Website Now Within 12 Months Not a Priority No Answer 54% 61%23% 56% 26% 12% 15% 30% 14% 2% Creating a Greater Variety of Content 53% 29% 15% 3% 4% 3% 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs SponSored by
  • 35. 35 COMPARISON CHART  Has a documented content marketing strategy.........................................................................................47%................... 27%.................... 5%  Has a content marketing strategy, but it’s not documented.....................................................................38%................... 50%................... 52%  Content marketing strategy very closely guides efforts.............................................................................50%................... 34%................... 11%  Content marketing strategy somewhat guides efforts...............................................................................45%................... 57%................... 61%  Has a dedicated content marketing group.................................................................................................63%................... 45%................... 25%  Places high importance on customer evangelism as a goal......................................................................86%................... 69%................... 59%  Is successful at tracking ROI........................................................................................................................43%................... 23%.................... 7%  Average number of tactics used................................................................................................................... 12...................... 11........................9  Average number of social platforms used.....................................................................................................8........................ 7.........................6  Publishes new content daily or multiple times per week..........................................................................65%................... 48%................... 44%  Percentage of total budget allocated to content marketing......................................................................29%................... 25%................... 16%  Challenged with measuring effectiveness..................................................................................................39%................... 51%................... 67%  Challenged with producing engaging content...........................................................................................36%................... 50%................... 65%  Average number of initiatives working on now........................................................................................... 15...................... 13.......................10  Average number of initiatives planning to begin working on within 12 months........................................8........................ 9........................11 Most Effective Profile of a Best-in-Class B2C Content Marketer Average/ Overall Least Effective Chart term definitions: A “best-in-class” content marketer (aka “most effective”) is one who rates his or her organization a 4 or 5 in effectiveness on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “Very Effective” and 1 being “Not at all Effective.” Those who rate themselves 1 or 2 are the “least effective.” The numbers under “average/overall” represent total respondents. 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs SponSored by
  • 36. 36 COMPARISON CHART  Considers organization to be effective at content marketing....................................................................65%................... 28%................... 11%  Content marketing strategy very closely guides efforts.............................................................................52%................... 25%....................N/A  Content marketing strategy somewhat guides efforts...............................................................................44%................... 63%....................N/A  Has a dedicated content marketing group.................................................................................................75%................... 38%................... 11%  Is successful at tracking ROI........................................................................................................................43%................... 19%.................... 3%  Average number of tactics used................................................................................................................... 13...................... 11........................8  Average number of social platforms used.....................................................................................................8........................ 7.........................6  Publishes new content daily or multiple times per week..........................................................................52%................... 51%................... 30%  Percentage of total budget allocated to content marketing......................................................................32%................... 25%................... 11%  Challenged with producing engaging content...........................................................................................37%................... 56%................... 58%  Challenged with measuring effectiveness..................................................................................................33%................... 58%................... 72%  Average number of initiatives working on now........................................................................................... 16...................... 13........................9  Average number of initiatives planning to begin working on within 12 months.........................................7........................ 8........................11 Documented Strategy Documented vs. Verbal or No Content Marketing Strategy Verbal Strategy No Strategy 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs SponSored by
  • 37. 37 COMPARISON CHART  Uses content marketing...............................................................................................................................77%................... 86%  Considers organization to be effective at content marketing....................................................................37%................... 38%  Has a documented content marketing strategy.........................................................................................27%................... 35%  Has a content marketing strategy, but it’s not documented.....................................................................50%................... 48%  Does not have a documented strategy.......................................................................................................15%................... 14%  Has a dedicated content marketing group.................................................................................................45%................... 47%  Is successful at tracking ROI........................................................................................................................23%................... 21%  Average number of tactics used................................................................................................................... 11...................... 13  Average number of social platforms used.....................................................................................................7........................ 6  Average number of paid advertising methods used to promote/distribute content..................................4........................ 3  Publishes new content daily or multiple times per week..........................................................................48%................... 42%  Percentage of total budget allocated to content marketing......................................................................25%................... 28%  Challenged with measuring content effectiveness....................................................................................51%................... 49%  Average number of initiatives working on now........................................................................................... 13...................... 13  Average number of initiatives planning to begin working on within 12 months.........................................9........................ 8 B2CDifferences Between B2C and B2B Content Marketers B2B 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs SponSored by
  • 38. 38 COMPARISON CHART Creating a better mobile strategy...................................................................................................................74%................... 58% Better understanding of content marketing technology...............................................................................77%................... 70% Leveraging user- or fan-generated content....................................................................................................70%................... 48% Real-time content marketing..........................................................................................................................58%................... 47% Content personalization..................................................................................................................................70%................... 64% Developing a channel plan for social media...................................................................................................75%................... 67% B2C Key Areas of Difference Between B2C and B2B Content Marketing Initiatives (Working on Now + Will be Working on Within 12 Months) B2B Note: B2C and B2B marketers have prioritized many of the same initiatives over the next 12 months (e.g., doing a better job of converting website visitors, creating more engaging content, measuring content marketing ROI, etc.). This chart shows where the biggest gaps are. 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs SponSored by
  • 39. 39 DEMOGRAPHICS B2C Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America was produced by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs and sponsored by EnVeritas Group. The fifth annual content marketing survey, from which the results of this report were generated, was mailed electronically to a sample of marketers using lists from Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs, the Business Marketing Association (BMA), Brightcove, Blackbaud, EnVeritas Group (EVG), The Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising (ADMA), the Direct Marketing Association UK (DMA), Industry Week, New Equipment Digest, WTWH Media, and Corporate Financial Group. A total of 5,167 recipients from around the globe—representing a full range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes—responded throughout July and August 2014. This report presents the findings from the 307 respondents who said they were B2C marketers in North America (235 of whom said “yes, our organization uses content marketing”). The B2B percentages referred to in this report derive from the same research study. The full findings for B2B North America are available in a separate report. B2C Industry Classification B2C Job Title/Function Size of B2C Company (by Employees) 20% 33% 29% 14% 24% 9% 8% 7% 24% 19% 24% 8% 8% 6% 6%5%5% 42% 5% 4% ■ Retail Trade/Distribution ■ Education ■ Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals ■ Travel/Tourism/Hospitality ■ Banking/Accounting/Financial ■ Entertainment/Interactive/Gaming ■ Insurance ■ Other ■ Marketing/Advertising/ Communications/PR Management ■ Corporate Management/Owner ■ Content Creation/Management ■ Marketing Administration/Support ■ General Management ■ Sales/Business Management ■ Website/Technology ■ Other ■ Micro (Fewer than 10 Employees) ■ Small (10-99 Employees) ■ Midsize (100-999 Employees) ■ Large (1,000+ Employees) SponSored by
  • 40. 40 ABOUT About Content Marketing Institute Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is the leading global content marketing education and training organization. CMI teaches enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multi-channel storytelling. CMI’s Content Marketing World event, the largest content marketing-focused event, is held every September in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.  CMI also produces Intelligent Content Conference, Content Marketing Sydney and Content Marketing Singapore. CMI also publishes the bi-monthly magazine Chief Content Officer, and provides strategic consulting and content marketing research for some of the best-known brands in the world. CMI is a 2012, 2013 and 2014 Inc. 500 company. View all CMI research at www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/research. Learn how to create a documented content marketing strategy, a key component for improving overall content marketing effectiveness. About MarketingProfs MarketingProfs offers real-world education for modern marketers. More than 640,000 marketing professionals worldwide rely on our free daily publications, virtual conferences, and more to stay up-to-date on the most important trends in marketing—and how to apply them to their business. Visit MarketingProfs.com for more. About EnVeritas Group EnVeritas Group is a little global giant. From our offices in Greenville and London, we work with clients to tell stories. The EVG team is a group of strategists and yarn-weavers, big thinkers and painters, number crunchers, and poets. We develop strategies, deeply anchored in storytelling and content creation that will move your needle. A lot. Our services include content strategy and creation, social media marketing, multicultural content marketing, web design, content management, graphic design, and more. Visit www.enveritasgroup.com to learn more about who we are, and follow us on Twitter @EnVeritasGroup to join the content marketing conversation. For more information about this report, contact research@contentinstitute.com. SponSored by