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ENTERPRISE
CONTENT
MARKETING
ENTERPRISE
CONTENT
MARKETING
BENCHMARKS, BUDGETS,
AND TRENDS
INSIGHTS FOR 2021
2
SURVEY TERM DEFINITIONS
Content marketing: 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.
Success: Achieving your organization’s
desired/targeted results.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
m INTRODUCTION......................................................................... 3
m ENTERPRISE CONTENT MARKETING TOP PERFORMERS AT A GLANCE.........4
m KEY FINDINGS............................................................................ 5
m MATURITY & STRATEGY.............................................................. 6
m TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING....................................... 11
m CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION.................................... 18
m METRICS, GOALS & OVERALL SUCCESS.................................... 27
m BUDGETS & SPENDING............................................................ 32
m INSIGHTS FOR 2021................................................................. 36
m METHODOLOGY....................................................................... 41
m ABOUT..................................................................................... 42
LISA
MURTON
BEETS
Research Director/
Report Author, CMI
STEPHANIE STAHL
General Manager, CMI
ROBERT ROSE
Chief Strategy Advisor, CMI
KIM MOUTSOS
VP Content, CMI
CATHY McPHILLIPS
VP Marketing, CMI
JOSEPH “JK”
KALINOWSKI
Creative Director, CMI
3
INTRODUCTION
Welcome to our annual Enterprise Content
Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends
report. Here we present the findings from enterprise
marketers (those who work in organizations with
1,000+ employees) who replied to our 11th Annual
Content Marketing Survey.
At the time of the survey, content marketers had just
made it through the first half of 2020. Most reported
that their organization made quick changes when
the pandemic hit, most notably by changing their
targeting/messaging strategy, adjusting their
editorial calendar, and changing their content
distribution/promotion strategy. The majority (57%)
expected to spend about the same on content
marketing during the second half of 2020 as they
spent in the first half (17% expected a decrease).
Team size hadn’t changed drastically compared with
the previous year (48% said it stayed the same); yet,
another 35% reported an increase.
Overall, one-third of the enterprise respondents
reported high levels of content marketing success.
These top performers said the top two factors
contributing to that success in the last 12 months
were “the value our content provides” (79%) and
“website changes” (62%).
Looking forward, 74% of respondents felt the
pandemic would have a major or moderate long-
term impact on their organization’s overall content
marketing success. It will be interesting to see how
enterprise marketers rise to the challenges in 2021.
3
4
All Enterprise Respondents Top Enterprise Performers*
Has a documented content marketing strategy 49% 62%
Organization’s content marketing is sophisticated/mature 50% 79%
Uses an editorial calendar 72% 83%
Has established an online community 43% 57%
Uses metrics to measure content performance 84% 95%
Has a centralized content marketing group that works with multiple brands/products/
departments throughout the organization	
29% 44%
Has a small (or one-person) marketing/content marketing team serving the entire organization 22% 10%
Has six or more full-time employees dedicated to content marketing	 32% 48%
Size of content marketing team increased in last 12 months 35% 48%
Content marketing budget for 2020 was $100K or more (pre-pandemic)	 54% 71%
Strongly agrees:
Organization made quick changes due to the pandemic 52% 64%
Organization made effective changes due to the pandemic 37% 58%
Uses content marketing successfully to:
Build loyalty with existing clients/customers 69% 79%
Enterprise Content Marketing Top Performers at a Glance
TOP PERFORMERS
This chart shows key areas where we observed a gap of at least 10 percentage points between all enterprise
respondents and the top performers among them.
*Chart term definitions: Top performers are those who characterize their organization’s overall content marketing approach as extremely or very successful.	 Base: Enterprise content marketers.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
5
Enterprise marketers made quick
changes due to the pandemic.
Most enterprise respondents agree that
their organization made quick changes
when the pandemic struck in early
2020. The top three content marketing
changes they made: changed targeting/
messaging strategy (68%), adjusted
editorial calendar (66%), and changed
content distribution/promotion strategy
(60%). See pages 9 and 10.
Content teams at top-performing
organizations are more likely to be
centralized.
Forty-four percent of top content
marketing performers report they
“have a centralized content marketing
group that works with multiple brands/
products/departments throughout the
organization.” Only 29% of enterprise
respondents as a whole report they have
a centralized content marketing group.
See pages 4 and 14.
More enterprise marketers are using
virtual events and livestreaming.
The use of virtual events/webinars/online
courses among enterprise marketers
increased to 75% from 67% the previous
year. The use of livestreaming increased to
44% from 17%. See page 21.
They’re having more success with
using content marketing to build
loyalty with existing customers,
build credibility/trust, and generate
demand/leads.
The percentage of enterprise marketers
reporting success in these three areas
increased by 13, 11, and 9 points,
respectively, compared with one year ago.
See page 29.
Many anticipate website changes
and investment in content creation
for 2021.
Enterprise respondents expected
website enhancements (67%) and
content creation (63%) to be top areas
of content marketing investment in their
organizations in 2021. See page 38.
KEY FINDINGS
NTERPRISE
ONTENT
ARKETING
NTERPRISE
ONTENT
ARKETING
NCHMARKS, BUDGETS,
AND TRENDS
MATURITY
& STRATEGY
6
7
50% of enterprise marketers report that their organization is in the sophisticated/mature phase of
content marketing maturity.
SOPHISTICATED
Providing accurate measurement to the business, scaling
across the organization
MATURE
Finding success, yet challenged with integration across
the organization
ADOLESCENT
Possessing a business case, seeing early success,
becoming more sophisticated with measurement and
scaling
YOUNG
Experiencing growing pains, challenged with creating a
cohesive strategy and a measurement plan
FIRST STEPS
Doing some aspects of content, but have not yet begun to
make content marketing a process
How Enterprise Marketers Rate Their Organization’s
Content Marketing Maturity Level
4%
7%
28%
18%
43%
■ Sophisticated
■ Mature
■ Adolescent
■ Young
■ First Steps
Base: Enterprise content marketers.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
MATURITY & STRATEGY
8
MATURITY & STRATEGY
49% of enterprise marketers indicate that their organization has a documented content marketing strategy.
	
82% made major or moderate adjustments to their content marketing strategy in response to the pandemic.
	
59% describe the adjustments as both short- and long-term.
Percentage of Enterprise Marketers
With a Content Marketing Strategy
16%
49%
5%
30%
■ Yes, and it is documented
■ Yes, but it is not documented
■ No, but plan to within 12 months
■ No, with no plans
Base: Enterprise content marketers.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights
for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs,
July 2020.
Nature of Adjustments Made to
Enterprise Content Marketing Strategy
as a Result of Pandemic
28%
59% 8%
6%
■ Short-term adjustments
■ Long-term adjustments
■ Both short- and long-term adjustments
■ Unsure
Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations
adjusted their strategy in response to the pandemic.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021.
Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
Impact of Pandemic on
Enterprise Content Marketing Strategy
15%
30%
3%
52%
■ Major
■ Moderate
■ Slight
■ None
Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations
have a content marketing strategy.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021.
Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020
9
MATURITY & STRATEGY
Most enterprise marketers agree their organization made quick and effective pandemic-related changes and expect
the changes to stay in effect for the foreseeable future.
Base: Enterprise content marketers who answered each statement.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
Our organization made quick changes
due to the pandemic.
Our organization made effective changes
due to the pandemic.
We expect some of the changes we made to
stay in effect for the foreseeable future.
0 20 40 60 80 100
■ Strongly agree ■ Somewhat agree ■ Neither agree nor disagree
■ Somewhat disagree ■ Strongly disagree
52%
37%
39% 50%
46% 10%
35%
6%
7% 6%
1%
0%
0%
9% 2%
Enterprise Marketers’ Opinions About Changes Their Organization
Made to Content Marketing in Response to Pandemic
10
MATURITY & STRATEGY
68% of enterprise marketers changed their messaging/targeting strategy in response to the pandemic. Far fewer took
actions such as revisiting customer personas (16%) and changing their content marketing metrics (12%).
Content Marketing Changes Enterprise Organizations
Made in Response to the Pandemic
68%
66%
60%
44%
37%
29%
23%
23%
21%
16%
12%
0 20 40 60 80
Changed targeting/messaging strategy
Adjusted editorial calendar
Changed content distribution/ promotion strategy
Put more resources toward
social media/online communities
Changed website
Reexamined customer journey
Adjusted key performance indicators (KPIs)
Changed our products/services
Increased time spent talking with customers
Revisited customer/buyer personas
Changed content marketing metrics
(e.g., set up new analytics/dashboards)
Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations made at least one of the changes shown on the aided list. Multiple responses permitted.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
11
NTERPRISE
ONTENT
ARKETING
NTERPRISE
ONTENT
ARKETING
NCHMARKS, BUDGETS,
AND TRENDS
TEAM
STRUCTURE &
OUTSOURCING
11
12
TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
While nearly half of enterprise respondents say the size of their content marketing team stayed the same in the last
12 months, 35% report that it increased.
Base: Enterprise content marketers.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
Size of Enterprise Content Marketing Team
Compared With 12 Months Ago
35%
48%
16%
■ Increased
■ Stayed the same
■ Decreased
13
TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
32% of enterprise respondents report that their organization has six or more full-time employees dedicated to
content marketing.
Enterprise Organizations’ Content Marketing Team Size
(Full Time/Dedicated to Content Marketing)
10% 18%
14%
17%
41%
■ 11+
■ 6-10
■ 2-5
■ 1
■ 0 (no one is full time, dedicated)
Base: Enterprise content marketers.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021.
Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
14
TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
Whereas the most common structure among all enterprise respondents is “both a centralized group and individual
teams throughout the organization” (38%), the “centralized content marketing group” is the most common among
top performers (see page 4).
Base: Enterprise content marketers.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
Enterprise Organizations’
Content Marketing Team Structure
11%
29%
38%
22%
■ Both — We have a centralized group and individual
teams throughout the organization.
■ We have a centralized content marketing group that
works with multiple brands/products/departments
throughout the organization.
■ We have a small (or one-person)
marketing/content marketing team.
■ Each brand/product/department has its own
content marketing team.
15
TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
62% of enterprise marketers report that their organization outsources at least one content marketing activity.
Base: Enterprise content marketers.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
Does Your Enterprise
Organization Outsource Any
Content Marketing Activities?
62%
38%
■ Yes
■ No
16
TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
Among those who outsource, content creation is the activity most outsourced by far.
Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations outsource at least one content marketing activity. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
Content Marketing Activities Enterprise Organizations Outsource
92%
33%
20%
20%
18%
16%
4%
Content creation
Content distribution
Content strategy
Measurement
Editorial planning
Content technology
Other
0 20 40 60 80 100
17
TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
Enterprise marketers who outsource at least one content marketing activity say their biggest challenges are finding
partners with adequate topic expertise (62%) and budget issues (55%).
Top 5 Challenges When Seeking
Outsourced Enterprise Content Marketing Help
62%
55%
40%
38%
35%
29%
24%
8%
7%
0 20 40 60 80
Finding partners with adequate topic expertise
Budget issues
Lack of clear return on investment (ROI) metrics
Finding partners who understand/are able to empathize with our audience
Lack of integration with our organization’s process/tools
Finding partners who can provide adequate strategic advice
Lack of comprehensive solutions from one partner
Finding partners who consistently deliver on time
Other
Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations outsource at least one content marketing activity. Aided list; up to five responses permitted.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
NTERPRISE
ONTENT
ARKETING
NTERPRISE
ONTENT
ARKETING
NCHMARKS, BUDGETS,
AND TRENDS
CONTENT
CREATION &
DISTRIBUTION
18
19
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
The top three technologies enterprise marketers use to assist with content marketing are analytics tools (90%), social
media publishing/analytics (81%), and email marketing software (78%).
Technologies Enterprise Organizations
Use to Assist With Content Marketing
90%
81%
78%
58%
54%
53%
42%
26%
22%
2%
Analytics tools (e.g., web analytics, dashboards)
Social media publishing/analytics
Email marketing software
Content creation/collaboration/workflow
Content management system (CMS)
Customer relationship management (CRM) system
Marketing automation system (MAS)
Content distribution platform
Content performance/recommendation analytics
Other
0 20 40 60 80 100
Base: Enterprise content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
20
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
77% of enterprise marketers use keyword research tools for search engine optimization (SEO) during the content
creation process.
Editorial Tools Enterprise Marketers Use While Creating Content
77%
72%
60%
51%
43%
31%
23%
6%
0 20 40 60 80
Keyword research for search engine optimization (SEO)
Editorial calendar
Shared docs to collect/track ideas (e.g., Google Docs, Excel)
Personas (e.g., buyer, customer, audience)
Ideation/collaboration/project management platforms
Writing readability tools (e.g., Grammarly, Hemingway Editor)
Fact-checking procedures/tools
Other
Base: Enterprise content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
21
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
The top two types of content enterprise marketers use are blog posts/short articles (89%) and videos (pre-produced) (81%).
Notable differences from last year:
	
Virtual events/webinars/online courses increased to 75% from 67%.
	
In-person events decreased to 49% from 77%.
	
Livestreaming content increased to 44% from 17%.
	
Print magazines decreased to 18% from 29%.
Enterprise marketers who use at least
two content types reported that virtual
events/webinars/online courses
(30%) and blog posts/short articles
(17%) produced the best overall
content marketing results for their
organization in the last 12 months.
Other content types used in last 12
months: Research reports (38%), long-
form text (e.g., articles 3,000+ words)
(35%), podcasts (29%), digital magazines
(23%), print magazines (18%), print
books (7%), and other (3%).
Content Types Enterprise Marketers Used in Last 12 Months
89%
81%
76%
75%
75%
68%
57%
49%
48%
44%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Blog posts/short articles
Videos (pre-produced)
Email newsletters
Infographics/charts/photos
Virtual events/webinars/online courses
Case studies
White papers
In-person events
E-books/guides
Videos (livestreaming content)
Base: Enterprise content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
22
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
43% of enterprise marketers indicate that their organization has established an online community. Among those who
have not, 19% say they are likely to within the next 12 months, while another 45% say they are unlikely to.
Has Your Enterprise Organization
Established an Online Community?
43%
57%
■ Yes
■ No
How Likely Is Your Enterprise Organization to Establish
an Online Community in the Next 12 Months?
17%
2%
20%
16%
27%
18%
■ Extremely likely
■ Somewhat likely
■ Neither likely nor unlikely
■ Somewhat unlikely
■ Extremely unlikely
■ Unsure
Base: Enterprise content marketers.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for
2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations have not established an online community.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
23
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
The top three organic content distribution channels enterprise marketers use are social media platforms (86%), email
(85%), and their organization’s website/blog (83%).
Organic Content Distribution Channels
Enterprise Marketers Used in Last 12 Months
86%
85%
83%
53%
44%
39%
33%
24%
19%
16%
2%
0 20 40 60 80 90
Social media platforms
Email
Their organization’s website/blog
Speaking/presenting at virtual events
Speaking/presenting at in-person events
Guest posts/articles in third-party publications
Media/influencer relations
Guest spots (e.g., podcasts, live videos)
Collaborative social spaces (e.g., Slack, Teams)
Listening platforms (e.g., Audible, Spotify, Apple Podcasts)
Other
Base: Enterprise content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
24
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Enterprise marketers use LinkedIn as their top organic social media platform for content distribution.
Enterprise marketers who use
at least two organic social
media platforms reported
that LinkedIn (57%) and
Facebook (24%) produced
the best overall content
marketing results for their
organization in the last 12
months.
Other organic social media
platforms used in last 12
months: Pinterest (8%),
Snapchat (5%), Medium (5%),
Reddit (4%), TikTok (4%),
Quora (3%), and other (3%).
Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations used organic social media platforms to distribute content in the last 12 months.
Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
Organic Social Media Platforms
Enterprise Content Marketers Used in Last 12 Months
92%
83%
79%
74%
54%
0 20 40 60 80 90 100
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Instagram
25
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
90% of enterprise marketers used paid channels to distribute content in the last 12 months. The one notable difference from
the previous year is that the use of social media advertising/promoted posts increased to 89% from 79%.
Base: Enterprise content marketers.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021.
Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations used paid content
distribution channels in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021.
Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
Did Your Enterprise Organization
Use Any Paid Distribution
Channels for Content Marketing
Purposes in the Last 12 Months?
10%
90%
■ Yes
■ No
Paid Content Distribution Channels
Enterprise Marketers Used in Last 12 Months
89%
72%
65%
61%
46%
37%
5%
Social media advertising/ promoted posts
Search engine marketing (SEM)/pay-per-click
Banner ads promoting content
Sponsorships (e.g., events, booths, workshops)
Native advertising/sponsored content
(not including social media platforms)
Partner emails promoting content
Other
0 20 40 60 80 100
26
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Of the enterprise marketers who use paid advertising on social media, the two platforms they use most often are
LinkedIn (76%) and Facebook (73%). The one notable difference from the previous year is that the use of paid YouTube
increased to 34% from 18%.
Other paid social media
platforms used in last 12
months: Pinterest (5%),
Quora (2%), Reddit (2%),
Snapchat (2%), TikTok (2%),
and other (5%).
Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organization used paid social media platforms to distribute content in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
Paid Social Media Platforms
Enterprise Content Marketers Used in Last 12 Months
76%
73%
37%
34%
34%
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube
0 20 40 60 80
NTERPRISE
ONTENT
ARKETING
NTERPRISE
ONTENT
ARKETING
NCHMARKS, BUDGETS,
AND TRENDS
METRICS,
GOALS &
OVERALL
SUCCESS
27
28
METRICS, GOALS & OVERALL SUCCESS
84% of enterprise marketers report that their organization uses metrics to measure content performance.
Website traffic (89%) is the metric they use most often.
Does Your Enterprise Organization
Use Metrics to Measure
Content Performance?
10%
84%
6%
■ Yes
■ No
■ Unsure
Base: Enterprise content marketers.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021.
Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations use metrics to measure content performance.
Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs,
July 2020
Metrics Enterprise Organizations Tracked to
Measure Content Performance in Last 12 Months
89%
87%
87%
81%
80%
56%
55%
49%
49%
42%
2%
0 20 40 60 80 90
Website traffic
(e.g., page views, backlinks)
Email engagement
(e.g., opens, clicks, downloads)
Website engagement (e.g., time spent,
bounce rate, form completions)
Social media analytics
(e.g., time spent, views, shares)
Conversions (e.g., traffic to
subscribers, leads to sales)
Search rankings
Email subscriber numbers
(e.g., growth, unsubscribes)
Marketing qualified lead metrics
(e.g., MQLs, SQLs)
PR mentions/media coverage
Cost to acquire a lead, subscriber,
and/or customer
Other
29
Enterprise marketers continue to report using content marketing successfully to reach numerous goals.
Notable differences from last year:
 Build credibility/trust increased to 77% from 66%.
 Generate demand/leads increased to 73% from 64%.
 Build loyalty with existing clients/customers increased to 69% from 56%.
All Respondents
As Reported
One Year Ago*
As Reported
Two Years Ago**
Create brand awareness 84% 83% 79%
Build credibility/trust 77% 66% 62%
Educate audience(s) 77% 77% 70%
Generate demand/leads 73% 64% 63%
Build loyalty with existing clients/customers 69% 56% 53%
Drive attendance to one or more in-person or virtual events 62% 59% 53%
Nurture subscribers/audiences/leads 61% 65% 58%
Support the launch of a new product 60% 58% 49%
Generate sales/revenue 56% 49% 39%
Build a subscribed audience 45% 40% 37%
*See Enterprise Content Marketing 2020: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends
*See Enterprise Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends
Base: Enterprise content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
Goals Enterprise Marketers Have Achieved by Using
Content Marketing Successfully in Last 12 Months
METRICS, GOALS & OVERALL SUCCESS
30
33% of enterprise marketers say their organization was extremely or very successful with content marketing in the last
12 months; another 55% say it was moderately successful.
Base: Enterprise content marketers; aided list.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
How Enterprise Marketers Rate
Their Organization’s Overall Level of
Content Marketing Success in Last 12 Months
28%
55%
10% 5%
2%
■ Extremely successful
■ Very successful
■ Moderately successful
■ Minimally successful
■ Not at all successful
METRICS, GOALS & OVERALL SUCCESS
31
Enterprise marketers who report high levels of content marketing success (the top performers), say the top factors
contributing to that success are the value their content provides (79%) and website changes (62%).
Factors Enterprise Marketers Attribute to Their Organization’s
Content Marketing Success in Last 12 Months
79%
62%
43%
40%
33%
22%
16%
3%
0 20 40 60 80
The value our content provides
Website changes (e.g., new content)
Search rankings
Strategy changes
Changing buyer/consumer behaviors (e.g., more time on internet)
Earned media (e.g., PR mentions, media coverage)
Changing our products/services
Other
Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations were extremely/very successful with content marketing in the last
12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
METRICS, GOALS & OVERALL SUCCESS
NTERPRISE
ONTENT
ARKETING
NTERPRISE
ONTENT
ARKETING
NCHMARKS, BUDGETS,
AND TRENDS
BUDGETS
& SPENDING
32
33
BUDGETS & SPENDING
Most enterprise respondents went into 2020 with a content marketing budget. As 2020 progressed toward the
midpoint, one-third decreased their content marketing spending, but 48% made no change.
Base: Enterprise content marketers. Aided list.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
Base: Enterprise content marketers.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs,
July 2020.
2020 Annual Budget for Enterprise
Content Marketing: Pre-Pandemic (Average)
30%
23%
9%
7%
8%
22%
■ Less than $100,000
■ $100,000 to under $500,000
■ $500,000 to under $750,000
■ $750,000 to under $1,000,000
■ $1,000,000 or more
■ We didn’t have a content marketing
budget established for 2020
Note: The question read: “Prior to the pandemic, approximately how much
had your organization budgeted for 2020 content marketing (not including
salaries), in U.S. dollars?”
Change in Enterprise Content Marketing
Spending in H1 2020 in Response
to Pandemic
48%
33%
19% ■ No change in our spending
on content marketing
■ Decreased our spending
on content marketing
■ Increased our spending on
content marketing
34
BUDGETS & SPENDING
The majority of enterprise respondents expected to spend about the same on content marketing during the second
half of 2020 as they did during the first half.
Enterprise Marketers’ Estimated Change
in Content Marketing Spending:
H2 2020 vs. H1 2020
57%
17%
26% ■ Increase
■ Stay the same
■ Decrease
Base: Enterprise content marketers.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
35
BUDGETS & SPENDING
32% said their enterprise organization had shifted traditional paid advertising dollars to content marketing in the last
12 months.
Base: Enterprise content marketers.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
Did Your Enterprise Organization Shift
Paid Advertising Dollars to Content Marketing
in the Last 12 Months?
32%
32%
15%
22%
■ Yes
■ No
■ Unsure
■ We haven’t spent on traditional
advertising in the last 12 months
NTERPRISE
ONTENT
ARKETING
NTERPRISE
ONTENT
ARKETING
NCHMARKS, BUDGETS,
AND TRENDS
INSIGHTS
FOR 2021
36
37
INSIGHTS FOR 2021
74% of enterprise respondents felt the pandemic would have a major or moderate long-term impact on their
organization’s overall content marketing success.
Base: Enterprise content marketers.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
Long-Term Impact Enterprise Marketers Think Pandemic
Will Have on Their Organization’s Content Marketing Success
19%
55%
20%
4%
3%
■ Major
■ Moderate
■ Slight
■ None
■ Unsure
38
INSIGHTS FOR 2021
Enterprise respondents expected website enhancements (67%) and content creation (63%) to be top areas of
content marketing investment in their organizations in 2021.
Top 5 Areas of Content Marketing Enterprise Marketers
Think Their Organization Will Invest in During 2021
67%
63%
49%
37%
36%
35%
35%
34%
31%
24%
16%
1%
0 20 40 60 80
Website enhancements
Content creation
Events (digital, in-person, hybrid)
Social media management/community building
Getting to know audiences better
(e.g., personas, social listening, research)
Content distribution – organic/nonpaid
Customer experience
Content distribution – paid
Earned media (PR/media/influencer relations)
Content marketing-related technologies
Staffing/human resources
Other
Base: Enterprise content marketers. Aided list; maximum of five responses permitted.
Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
39
INSIGHTS FOR 2021
Stop Waiting For The New
Normal—We’re Already In It
Welcome to 2021. You know, we spent
so much time in 2020 struggling for an
answer to “what now,” that it seemed
impossible to plan for 2021. And now we’re all wondering
if 2021 is simply a replay of last year.
What can we do, then? We often mistakenly believe that
“what now” means we should take the experiences we had
in 2020 and try to predict the new normal future. Will it be
summer when we get back to normal? Will the vaccines
help? Will the economy improve? We often plan our “what
now” road map based on an assumption that our previous
experience helps us to see around corners.
Spoiler alert: No one really knows what will happen.
What we do know is that as enterprise marketers,
developing direct relationships with consumers will
increasingly depend on great digital experiences. So, we
can start planning with a self-assessment of our content
marketing plan. Remember that answering “what now” is
not trying to plan for “what’s next.” Look at all the things
that evolved this past year. What things do you want to
keep? What do you want to change? What should you and
your team stop doing? Then, with those things in mind, ask
yourself how you and your team might change to prepare
for whatever comes next.
Content Marketing Is Cool—But Content
Operations Make It Work
As 2021 begins, we’re seeing more enterprise businesses
begin to in-source many elements of content creation,
production, and management, particularly within large
ACTION STEPS FOR MOVING FORWARD
By Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Advisor, CMI
(continued on next page)
40
INSIGHTS FOR 2021
companies. This move to “in-house” services, however, is
fueling a broader evolution in building a more creative and
media-fluent service to the overall business.
As content marketers, it’s not enough to just understand
how to create blogs, infographics, or other media assets.
We need to understand how content operations work at
scale. That means understanding technology, governance,
and how to structure content so that it can be reused,
repackaged, and leveraged across silos.
It won’t be long before your business starts looking hard
at how to make content more efficient—and measurable
at scale. Content marketers that have skill sets and
knowledge beyond just creating powerful content will be
ready to evolve and lead that charge.
Get Your Audience Data Plan Together
Customer data is going to become an increasingly
precious commodity. As we saw from this year’s research,
“building credibility and trust” is a huge goal for content
marketing now. You’ll need the data in order to know
where and how to be trustworthy. But you’ll need to be
trustworthy in order to get the data. If that sounds like a
Catch-22, it is. But delivering value to audiences before
they become customers is the way out of it.
If you’re looking for measurability, there will be no other
foundational element as important as connecting your
content marketing experiences and being able to have
a 360-degree view into the audience you are engaging.
This includes, of course, the data that customers willingly,
trustingly, and emotionally give to you as part of that
program. This is what Forrester calls “Zero Party Data.”
We just call it building an audience.
41
METHODOLOGY & DEMOGRAPHICS
Enterprise
Industry Classification
Size of Enterprise Company
(by Employees)
Enterprise
Job Function
■ 1,000to4,999employees
■ 5,000to9,999employees
■ 10,000ormoreemployees
■ Content creation/content management
■ Marketing management
■ Marketing operations
■ Senior leadership (e.g., CEO, owner, CMO, VP, GM)
■ Advertising/PR/communications
■ Other
14%
20%
29%
17%
47%
17%
36%
8%
7%
4%
15%
35%
32%
10%
9%
8%
6%
■ Technology/IT/software/hardware
■ Manufacturing
■ Financial services/banking/insurance
■ Healthcare/med/pharma/life sciences
■ Professional services
■ Publishing/media
■ Other
This report is based on the results of the Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs 11th Annual Content Marketing Survey. The online survey was emailed to a sample of marketers using lists from
CMI and MarketingProfs. A total of 1,707 recipients from around the globe—representing a range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes—replied to the survey in July 2020. This report
presents the findings from the 232 respondents who indicated:
 Their organization employs 1,000 or more people.
 Their organization has used content marketing for at least one year.
 They are a content marketer, involved with the content marketing function, and/or someone to whom content marketing reports.
Of the 232 primarily B2B (77%) respondents, 82% were from North America.
Note: In instances where we observed notable year-over-year differences, this report contains comparisons with findings from last year’s 10th annual survey—reported on in Enterprise Content
Marketing 2020: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends. Note that some percentages do not equal 100 due to rounding.
Find all our past research at ContentMarketingInstitute.com/research.
42
Thanks to all the survey participants who made this research possible and to everyone who helps disseminate
these findings throughout the content marketing industry.
About Content Marketing Institute
Content Marketing Institute is the leading global content marketing education and training organization, teaching enterprise brands how to attract
and retain customers through compelling, multichannel storytelling. CMI’s Content Marketing World event, the largest content marketing-focused
event, is held every fall in Cleveland, Ohio, and ContentTECH Summit event is held every spring in San Diego, California. CMI publishes Chief Content
Officer for executives and provides strategic consulting and content marketing research for some of the best-known brands in the world. Content
Marketing Institute is organized by Informa Connect. Learn more at ContentMarketingInstitute.com.
About Informa Connect
Informa Connect is a specialist in content-driven events and digital communities that allow professionals to meet, connect, learn, and share
knowledge. We operate major branded events in Marketing, Global Finance, Life Sciences and Pharma, Construction and Real Estate, and other
specialist markets, and connect communities online year-round.
About MarketingProfs
MarketingProfs is a business-to-business marketing education company—a growing community of more than 550,000+ marketers who aspire
to learn, connect, and lead. Its training and education programs include webcasts, master classes, workshops, and its flagship event, the
MarketingProfs B2B Forum. And its community offers the support and networking modern marketers need—as a department of 1 or 1,000. Learn
more at MarketingProfs.com.
ABOUT

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Enterprise Content Marketing - Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends 2021

  • 2. 2 SURVEY TERM DEFINITIONS Content marketing: 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. Success: Achieving your organization’s desired/targeted results. TABLE OF CONTENTS m INTRODUCTION......................................................................... 3 m ENTERPRISE CONTENT MARKETING TOP PERFORMERS AT A GLANCE.........4 m KEY FINDINGS............................................................................ 5 m MATURITY & STRATEGY.............................................................. 6 m TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING....................................... 11 m CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION.................................... 18 m METRICS, GOALS & OVERALL SUCCESS.................................... 27 m BUDGETS & SPENDING............................................................ 32 m INSIGHTS FOR 2021................................................................. 36 m METHODOLOGY....................................................................... 41 m ABOUT..................................................................................... 42 LISA MURTON BEETS Research Director/ Report Author, CMI STEPHANIE STAHL General Manager, CMI ROBERT ROSE Chief Strategy Advisor, CMI KIM MOUTSOS VP Content, CMI CATHY McPHILLIPS VP Marketing, CMI JOSEPH “JK” KALINOWSKI Creative Director, CMI
  • 3. 3 INTRODUCTION Welcome to our annual Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report. Here we present the findings from enterprise marketers (those who work in organizations with 1,000+ employees) who replied to our 11th Annual Content Marketing Survey. At the time of the survey, content marketers had just made it through the first half of 2020. Most reported that their organization made quick changes when the pandemic hit, most notably by changing their targeting/messaging strategy, adjusting their editorial calendar, and changing their content distribution/promotion strategy. The majority (57%) expected to spend about the same on content marketing during the second half of 2020 as they spent in the first half (17% expected a decrease). Team size hadn’t changed drastically compared with the previous year (48% said it stayed the same); yet, another 35% reported an increase. Overall, one-third of the enterprise respondents reported high levels of content marketing success. These top performers said the top two factors contributing to that success in the last 12 months were “the value our content provides” (79%) and “website changes” (62%). Looking forward, 74% of respondents felt the pandemic would have a major or moderate long- term impact on their organization’s overall content marketing success. It will be interesting to see how enterprise marketers rise to the challenges in 2021. 3
  • 4. 4 All Enterprise Respondents Top Enterprise Performers* Has a documented content marketing strategy 49% 62% Organization’s content marketing is sophisticated/mature 50% 79% Uses an editorial calendar 72% 83% Has established an online community 43% 57% Uses metrics to measure content performance 84% 95% Has a centralized content marketing group that works with multiple brands/products/ departments throughout the organization 29% 44% Has a small (or one-person) marketing/content marketing team serving the entire organization 22% 10% Has six or more full-time employees dedicated to content marketing 32% 48% Size of content marketing team increased in last 12 months 35% 48% Content marketing budget for 2020 was $100K or more (pre-pandemic) 54% 71% Strongly agrees: Organization made quick changes due to the pandemic 52% 64% Organization made effective changes due to the pandemic 37% 58% Uses content marketing successfully to: Build loyalty with existing clients/customers 69% 79% Enterprise Content Marketing Top Performers at a Glance TOP PERFORMERS This chart shows key areas where we observed a gap of at least 10 percentage points between all enterprise respondents and the top performers among them. *Chart term definitions: Top performers are those who characterize their organization’s overall content marketing approach as extremely or very successful. Base: Enterprise content marketers. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
  • 5. 5 Enterprise marketers made quick changes due to the pandemic. Most enterprise respondents agree that their organization made quick changes when the pandemic struck in early 2020. The top three content marketing changes they made: changed targeting/ messaging strategy (68%), adjusted editorial calendar (66%), and changed content distribution/promotion strategy (60%). See pages 9 and 10. Content teams at top-performing organizations are more likely to be centralized. Forty-four percent of top content marketing performers report they “have a centralized content marketing group that works with multiple brands/ products/departments throughout the organization.” Only 29% of enterprise respondents as a whole report they have a centralized content marketing group. See pages 4 and 14. More enterprise marketers are using virtual events and livestreaming. The use of virtual events/webinars/online courses among enterprise marketers increased to 75% from 67% the previous year. The use of livestreaming increased to 44% from 17%. See page 21. They’re having more success with using content marketing to build loyalty with existing customers, build credibility/trust, and generate demand/leads. The percentage of enterprise marketers reporting success in these three areas increased by 13, 11, and 9 points, respectively, compared with one year ago. See page 29. Many anticipate website changes and investment in content creation for 2021. Enterprise respondents expected website enhancements (67%) and content creation (63%) to be top areas of content marketing investment in their organizations in 2021. See page 38. KEY FINDINGS
  • 7. 7 50% of enterprise marketers report that their organization is in the sophisticated/mature phase of content marketing maturity. SOPHISTICATED Providing accurate measurement to the business, scaling across the organization MATURE Finding success, yet challenged with integration across the organization ADOLESCENT Possessing a business case, seeing early success, becoming more sophisticated with measurement and scaling YOUNG Experiencing growing pains, challenged with creating a cohesive strategy and a measurement plan FIRST STEPS Doing some aspects of content, but have not yet begun to make content marketing a process How Enterprise Marketers Rate Their Organization’s Content Marketing Maturity Level 4% 7% 28% 18% 43% ■ Sophisticated ■ Mature ■ Adolescent ■ Young ■ First Steps Base: Enterprise content marketers. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. MATURITY & STRATEGY
  • 8. 8 MATURITY & STRATEGY 49% of enterprise marketers indicate that their organization has a documented content marketing strategy.  82% made major or moderate adjustments to their content marketing strategy in response to the pandemic.  59% describe the adjustments as both short- and long-term. Percentage of Enterprise Marketers With a Content Marketing Strategy 16% 49% 5% 30% ■ Yes, and it is documented ■ Yes, but it is not documented ■ No, but plan to within 12 months ■ No, with no plans Base: Enterprise content marketers. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Nature of Adjustments Made to Enterprise Content Marketing Strategy as a Result of Pandemic 28% 59% 8% 6% ■ Short-term adjustments ■ Long-term adjustments ■ Both short- and long-term adjustments ■ Unsure Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations adjusted their strategy in response to the pandemic. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Impact of Pandemic on Enterprise Content Marketing Strategy 15% 30% 3% 52% ■ Major ■ Moderate ■ Slight ■ None Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations have a content marketing strategy. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020
  • 9. 9 MATURITY & STRATEGY Most enterprise marketers agree their organization made quick and effective pandemic-related changes and expect the changes to stay in effect for the foreseeable future. Base: Enterprise content marketers who answered each statement. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Our organization made quick changes due to the pandemic. Our organization made effective changes due to the pandemic. We expect some of the changes we made to stay in effect for the foreseeable future. 0 20 40 60 80 100 ■ Strongly agree ■ Somewhat agree ■ Neither agree nor disagree ■ Somewhat disagree ■ Strongly disagree 52% 37% 39% 50% 46% 10% 35% 6% 7% 6% 1% 0% 0% 9% 2% Enterprise Marketers’ Opinions About Changes Their Organization Made to Content Marketing in Response to Pandemic
  • 10. 10 MATURITY & STRATEGY 68% of enterprise marketers changed their messaging/targeting strategy in response to the pandemic. Far fewer took actions such as revisiting customer personas (16%) and changing their content marketing metrics (12%). Content Marketing Changes Enterprise Organizations Made in Response to the Pandemic 68% 66% 60% 44% 37% 29% 23% 23% 21% 16% 12% 0 20 40 60 80 Changed targeting/messaging strategy Adjusted editorial calendar Changed content distribution/ promotion strategy Put more resources toward social media/online communities Changed website Reexamined customer journey Adjusted key performance indicators (KPIs) Changed our products/services Increased time spent talking with customers Revisited customer/buyer personas Changed content marketing metrics (e.g., set up new analytics/dashboards) Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations made at least one of the changes shown on the aided list. Multiple responses permitted. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
  • 12. 12 TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING While nearly half of enterprise respondents say the size of their content marketing team stayed the same in the last 12 months, 35% report that it increased. Base: Enterprise content marketers. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Size of Enterprise Content Marketing Team Compared With 12 Months Ago 35% 48% 16% ■ Increased ■ Stayed the same ■ Decreased
  • 13. 13 TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING 32% of enterprise respondents report that their organization has six or more full-time employees dedicated to content marketing. Enterprise Organizations’ Content Marketing Team Size (Full Time/Dedicated to Content Marketing) 10% 18% 14% 17% 41% ■ 11+ ■ 6-10 ■ 2-5 ■ 1 ■ 0 (no one is full time, dedicated) Base: Enterprise content marketers. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
  • 14. 14 TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING Whereas the most common structure among all enterprise respondents is “both a centralized group and individual teams throughout the organization” (38%), the “centralized content marketing group” is the most common among top performers (see page 4). Base: Enterprise content marketers. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Enterprise Organizations’ Content Marketing Team Structure 11% 29% 38% 22% ■ Both — We have a centralized group and individual teams throughout the organization. ■ We have a centralized content marketing group that works with multiple brands/products/departments throughout the organization. ■ We have a small (or one-person) marketing/content marketing team. ■ Each brand/product/department has its own content marketing team.
  • 15. 15 TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING 62% of enterprise marketers report that their organization outsources at least one content marketing activity. Base: Enterprise content marketers. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Does Your Enterprise Organization Outsource Any Content Marketing Activities? 62% 38% ■ Yes ■ No
  • 16. 16 TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING Among those who outsource, content creation is the activity most outsourced by far. Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations outsource at least one content marketing activity. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Content Marketing Activities Enterprise Organizations Outsource 92% 33% 20% 20% 18% 16% 4% Content creation Content distribution Content strategy Measurement Editorial planning Content technology Other 0 20 40 60 80 100
  • 17. 17 TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING Enterprise marketers who outsource at least one content marketing activity say their biggest challenges are finding partners with adequate topic expertise (62%) and budget issues (55%). Top 5 Challenges When Seeking Outsourced Enterprise Content Marketing Help 62% 55% 40% 38% 35% 29% 24% 8% 7% 0 20 40 60 80 Finding partners with adequate topic expertise Budget issues Lack of clear return on investment (ROI) metrics Finding partners who understand/are able to empathize with our audience Lack of integration with our organization’s process/tools Finding partners who can provide adequate strategic advice Lack of comprehensive solutions from one partner Finding partners who consistently deliver on time Other Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations outsource at least one content marketing activity. Aided list; up to five responses permitted. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
  • 19. 19 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION The top three technologies enterprise marketers use to assist with content marketing are analytics tools (90%), social media publishing/analytics (81%), and email marketing software (78%). Technologies Enterprise Organizations Use to Assist With Content Marketing 90% 81% 78% 58% 54% 53% 42% 26% 22% 2% Analytics tools (e.g., web analytics, dashboards) Social media publishing/analytics Email marketing software Content creation/collaboration/workflow Content management system (CMS) Customer relationship management (CRM) system Marketing automation system (MAS) Content distribution platform Content performance/recommendation analytics Other 0 20 40 60 80 100 Base: Enterprise content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
  • 20. 20 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION 77% of enterprise marketers use keyword research tools for search engine optimization (SEO) during the content creation process. Editorial Tools Enterprise Marketers Use While Creating Content 77% 72% 60% 51% 43% 31% 23% 6% 0 20 40 60 80 Keyword research for search engine optimization (SEO) Editorial calendar Shared docs to collect/track ideas (e.g., Google Docs, Excel) Personas (e.g., buyer, customer, audience) Ideation/collaboration/project management platforms Writing readability tools (e.g., Grammarly, Hemingway Editor) Fact-checking procedures/tools Other Base: Enterprise content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
  • 21. 21 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION The top two types of content enterprise marketers use are blog posts/short articles (89%) and videos (pre-produced) (81%). Notable differences from last year:  Virtual events/webinars/online courses increased to 75% from 67%.  In-person events decreased to 49% from 77%.  Livestreaming content increased to 44% from 17%.  Print magazines decreased to 18% from 29%. Enterprise marketers who use at least two content types reported that virtual events/webinars/online courses (30%) and blog posts/short articles (17%) produced the best overall content marketing results for their organization in the last 12 months. Other content types used in last 12 months: Research reports (38%), long- form text (e.g., articles 3,000+ words) (35%), podcasts (29%), digital magazines (23%), print magazines (18%), print books (7%), and other (3%). Content Types Enterprise Marketers Used in Last 12 Months 89% 81% 76% 75% 75% 68% 57% 49% 48% 44% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Blog posts/short articles Videos (pre-produced) Email newsletters Infographics/charts/photos Virtual events/webinars/online courses Case studies White papers In-person events E-books/guides Videos (livestreaming content) Base: Enterprise content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
  • 22. 22 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION 43% of enterprise marketers indicate that their organization has established an online community. Among those who have not, 19% say they are likely to within the next 12 months, while another 45% say they are unlikely to. Has Your Enterprise Organization Established an Online Community? 43% 57% ■ Yes ■ No How Likely Is Your Enterprise Organization to Establish an Online Community in the Next 12 Months? 17% 2% 20% 16% 27% 18% ■ Extremely likely ■ Somewhat likely ■ Neither likely nor unlikely ■ Somewhat unlikely ■ Extremely unlikely ■ Unsure Base: Enterprise content marketers. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations have not established an online community. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
  • 23. 23 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION The top three organic content distribution channels enterprise marketers use are social media platforms (86%), email (85%), and their organization’s website/blog (83%). Organic Content Distribution Channels Enterprise Marketers Used in Last 12 Months 86% 85% 83% 53% 44% 39% 33% 24% 19% 16% 2% 0 20 40 60 80 90 Social media platforms Email Their organization’s website/blog Speaking/presenting at virtual events Speaking/presenting at in-person events Guest posts/articles in third-party publications Media/influencer relations Guest spots (e.g., podcasts, live videos) Collaborative social spaces (e.g., Slack, Teams) Listening platforms (e.g., Audible, Spotify, Apple Podcasts) Other Base: Enterprise content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
  • 24. 24 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Enterprise marketers use LinkedIn as their top organic social media platform for content distribution. Enterprise marketers who use at least two organic social media platforms reported that LinkedIn (57%) and Facebook (24%) produced the best overall content marketing results for their organization in the last 12 months. Other organic social media platforms used in last 12 months: Pinterest (8%), Snapchat (5%), Medium (5%), Reddit (4%), TikTok (4%), Quora (3%), and other (3%). Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations used organic social media platforms to distribute content in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Organic Social Media Platforms Enterprise Content Marketers Used in Last 12 Months 92% 83% 79% 74% 54% 0 20 40 60 80 90 100 LinkedIn Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram
  • 25. 25 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION 90% of enterprise marketers used paid channels to distribute content in the last 12 months. The one notable difference from the previous year is that the use of social media advertising/promoted posts increased to 89% from 79%. Base: Enterprise content marketers. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations used paid content distribution channels in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Did Your Enterprise Organization Use Any Paid Distribution Channels for Content Marketing Purposes in the Last 12 Months? 10% 90% ■ Yes ■ No Paid Content Distribution Channels Enterprise Marketers Used in Last 12 Months 89% 72% 65% 61% 46% 37% 5% Social media advertising/ promoted posts Search engine marketing (SEM)/pay-per-click Banner ads promoting content Sponsorships (e.g., events, booths, workshops) Native advertising/sponsored content (not including social media platforms) Partner emails promoting content Other 0 20 40 60 80 100
  • 26. 26 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Of the enterprise marketers who use paid advertising on social media, the two platforms they use most often are LinkedIn (76%) and Facebook (73%). The one notable difference from the previous year is that the use of paid YouTube increased to 34% from 18%. Other paid social media platforms used in last 12 months: Pinterest (5%), Quora (2%), Reddit (2%), Snapchat (2%), TikTok (2%), and other (5%). Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organization used paid social media platforms to distribute content in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Paid Social Media Platforms Enterprise Content Marketers Used in Last 12 Months 76% 73% 37% 34% 34% LinkedIn Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube 0 20 40 60 80
  • 28. 28 METRICS, GOALS & OVERALL SUCCESS 84% of enterprise marketers report that their organization uses metrics to measure content performance. Website traffic (89%) is the metric they use most often. Does Your Enterprise Organization Use Metrics to Measure Content Performance? 10% 84% 6% ■ Yes ■ No ■ Unsure Base: Enterprise content marketers. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations use metrics to measure content performance. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020 Metrics Enterprise Organizations Tracked to Measure Content Performance in Last 12 Months 89% 87% 87% 81% 80% 56% 55% 49% 49% 42% 2% 0 20 40 60 80 90 Website traffic (e.g., page views, backlinks) Email engagement (e.g., opens, clicks, downloads) Website engagement (e.g., time spent, bounce rate, form completions) Social media analytics (e.g., time spent, views, shares) Conversions (e.g., traffic to subscribers, leads to sales) Search rankings Email subscriber numbers (e.g., growth, unsubscribes) Marketing qualified lead metrics (e.g., MQLs, SQLs) PR mentions/media coverage Cost to acquire a lead, subscriber, and/or customer Other
  • 29. 29 Enterprise marketers continue to report using content marketing successfully to reach numerous goals. Notable differences from last year:  Build credibility/trust increased to 77% from 66%.  Generate demand/leads increased to 73% from 64%.  Build loyalty with existing clients/customers increased to 69% from 56%. All Respondents As Reported One Year Ago* As Reported Two Years Ago** Create brand awareness 84% 83% 79% Build credibility/trust 77% 66% 62% Educate audience(s) 77% 77% 70% Generate demand/leads 73% 64% 63% Build loyalty with existing clients/customers 69% 56% 53% Drive attendance to one or more in-person or virtual events 62% 59% 53% Nurture subscribers/audiences/leads 61% 65% 58% Support the launch of a new product 60% 58% 49% Generate sales/revenue 56% 49% 39% Build a subscribed audience 45% 40% 37% *See Enterprise Content Marketing 2020: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends *See Enterprise Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends Base: Enterprise content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Goals Enterprise Marketers Have Achieved by Using Content Marketing Successfully in Last 12 Months METRICS, GOALS & OVERALL SUCCESS
  • 30. 30 33% of enterprise marketers say their organization was extremely or very successful with content marketing in the last 12 months; another 55% say it was moderately successful. Base: Enterprise content marketers; aided list. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. How Enterprise Marketers Rate Their Organization’s Overall Level of Content Marketing Success in Last 12 Months 28% 55% 10% 5% 2% ■ Extremely successful ■ Very successful ■ Moderately successful ■ Minimally successful ■ Not at all successful METRICS, GOALS & OVERALL SUCCESS
  • 31. 31 Enterprise marketers who report high levels of content marketing success (the top performers), say the top factors contributing to that success are the value their content provides (79%) and website changes (62%). Factors Enterprise Marketers Attribute to Their Organization’s Content Marketing Success in Last 12 Months 79% 62% 43% 40% 33% 22% 16% 3% 0 20 40 60 80 The value our content provides Website changes (e.g., new content) Search rankings Strategy changes Changing buyer/consumer behaviors (e.g., more time on internet) Earned media (e.g., PR mentions, media coverage) Changing our products/services Other Base: Enterprise content marketers whose organizations were extremely/very successful with content marketing in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. METRICS, GOALS & OVERALL SUCCESS
  • 33. 33 BUDGETS & SPENDING Most enterprise respondents went into 2020 with a content marketing budget. As 2020 progressed toward the midpoint, one-third decreased their content marketing spending, but 48% made no change. Base: Enterprise content marketers. Aided list. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Base: Enterprise content marketers. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. 2020 Annual Budget for Enterprise Content Marketing: Pre-Pandemic (Average) 30% 23% 9% 7% 8% 22% ■ Less than $100,000 ■ $100,000 to under $500,000 ■ $500,000 to under $750,000 ■ $750,000 to under $1,000,000 ■ $1,000,000 or more ■ We didn’t have a content marketing budget established for 2020 Note: The question read: “Prior to the pandemic, approximately how much had your organization budgeted for 2020 content marketing (not including salaries), in U.S. dollars?” Change in Enterprise Content Marketing Spending in H1 2020 in Response to Pandemic 48% 33% 19% ■ No change in our spending on content marketing ■ Decreased our spending on content marketing ■ Increased our spending on content marketing
  • 34. 34 BUDGETS & SPENDING The majority of enterprise respondents expected to spend about the same on content marketing during the second half of 2020 as they did during the first half. Enterprise Marketers’ Estimated Change in Content Marketing Spending: H2 2020 vs. H1 2020 57% 17% 26% ■ Increase ■ Stay the same ■ Decrease Base: Enterprise content marketers. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
  • 35. 35 BUDGETS & SPENDING 32% said their enterprise organization had shifted traditional paid advertising dollars to content marketing in the last 12 months. Base: Enterprise content marketers. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Did Your Enterprise Organization Shift Paid Advertising Dollars to Content Marketing in the Last 12 Months? 32% 32% 15% 22% ■ Yes ■ No ■ Unsure ■ We haven’t spent on traditional advertising in the last 12 months
  • 37. 37 INSIGHTS FOR 2021 74% of enterprise respondents felt the pandemic would have a major or moderate long-term impact on their organization’s overall content marketing success. Base: Enterprise content marketers. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020. Long-Term Impact Enterprise Marketers Think Pandemic Will Have on Their Organization’s Content Marketing Success 19% 55% 20% 4% 3% ■ Major ■ Moderate ■ Slight ■ None ■ Unsure
  • 38. 38 INSIGHTS FOR 2021 Enterprise respondents expected website enhancements (67%) and content creation (63%) to be top areas of content marketing investment in their organizations in 2021. Top 5 Areas of Content Marketing Enterprise Marketers Think Their Organization Will Invest in During 2021 67% 63% 49% 37% 36% 35% 35% 34% 31% 24% 16% 1% 0 20 40 60 80 Website enhancements Content creation Events (digital, in-person, hybrid) Social media management/community building Getting to know audiences better (e.g., personas, social listening, research) Content distribution – organic/nonpaid Customer experience Content distribution – paid Earned media (PR/media/influencer relations) Content marketing-related technologies Staffing/human resources Other Base: Enterprise content marketers. Aided list; maximum of five responses permitted. Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Insights for 2021. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2020.
  • 39. 39 INSIGHTS FOR 2021 Stop Waiting For The New Normal—We’re Already In It Welcome to 2021. You know, we spent so much time in 2020 struggling for an answer to “what now,” that it seemed impossible to plan for 2021. And now we’re all wondering if 2021 is simply a replay of last year. What can we do, then? We often mistakenly believe that “what now” means we should take the experiences we had in 2020 and try to predict the new normal future. Will it be summer when we get back to normal? Will the vaccines help? Will the economy improve? We often plan our “what now” road map based on an assumption that our previous experience helps us to see around corners. Spoiler alert: No one really knows what will happen. What we do know is that as enterprise marketers, developing direct relationships with consumers will increasingly depend on great digital experiences. So, we can start planning with a self-assessment of our content marketing plan. Remember that answering “what now” is not trying to plan for “what’s next.” Look at all the things that evolved this past year. What things do you want to keep? What do you want to change? What should you and your team stop doing? Then, with those things in mind, ask yourself how you and your team might change to prepare for whatever comes next. Content Marketing Is Cool—But Content Operations Make It Work As 2021 begins, we’re seeing more enterprise businesses begin to in-source many elements of content creation, production, and management, particularly within large ACTION STEPS FOR MOVING FORWARD By Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Advisor, CMI (continued on next page)
  • 40. 40 INSIGHTS FOR 2021 companies. This move to “in-house” services, however, is fueling a broader evolution in building a more creative and media-fluent service to the overall business. As content marketers, it’s not enough to just understand how to create blogs, infographics, or other media assets. We need to understand how content operations work at scale. That means understanding technology, governance, and how to structure content so that it can be reused, repackaged, and leveraged across silos. It won’t be long before your business starts looking hard at how to make content more efficient—and measurable at scale. Content marketers that have skill sets and knowledge beyond just creating powerful content will be ready to evolve and lead that charge. Get Your Audience Data Plan Together Customer data is going to become an increasingly precious commodity. As we saw from this year’s research, “building credibility and trust” is a huge goal for content marketing now. You’ll need the data in order to know where and how to be trustworthy. But you’ll need to be trustworthy in order to get the data. If that sounds like a Catch-22, it is. But delivering value to audiences before they become customers is the way out of it. If you’re looking for measurability, there will be no other foundational element as important as connecting your content marketing experiences and being able to have a 360-degree view into the audience you are engaging. This includes, of course, the data that customers willingly, trustingly, and emotionally give to you as part of that program. This is what Forrester calls “Zero Party Data.” We just call it building an audience.
  • 41. 41 METHODOLOGY & DEMOGRAPHICS Enterprise Industry Classification Size of Enterprise Company (by Employees) Enterprise Job Function ■ 1,000to4,999employees ■ 5,000to9,999employees ■ 10,000ormoreemployees ■ Content creation/content management ■ Marketing management ■ Marketing operations ■ Senior leadership (e.g., CEO, owner, CMO, VP, GM) ■ Advertising/PR/communications ■ Other 14% 20% 29% 17% 47% 17% 36% 8% 7% 4% 15% 35% 32% 10% 9% 8% 6% ■ Technology/IT/software/hardware ■ Manufacturing ■ Financial services/banking/insurance ■ Healthcare/med/pharma/life sciences ■ Professional services ■ Publishing/media ■ Other This report is based on the results of the Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs 11th Annual Content Marketing Survey. The online survey was emailed to a sample of marketers using lists from CMI and MarketingProfs. A total of 1,707 recipients from around the globe—representing a range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes—replied to the survey in July 2020. This report presents the findings from the 232 respondents who indicated:  Their organization employs 1,000 or more people.  Their organization has used content marketing for at least one year.  They are a content marketer, involved with the content marketing function, and/or someone to whom content marketing reports. Of the 232 primarily B2B (77%) respondents, 82% were from North America. Note: In instances where we observed notable year-over-year differences, this report contains comparisons with findings from last year’s 10th annual survey—reported on in Enterprise Content Marketing 2020: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends. Note that some percentages do not equal 100 due to rounding. Find all our past research at ContentMarketingInstitute.com/research.
  • 42. 42 Thanks to all the survey participants who made this research possible and to everyone who helps disseminate these findings throughout the content marketing industry. About Content Marketing Institute Content Marketing Institute is the leading global content marketing education and training organization, teaching enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multichannel storytelling. CMI’s Content Marketing World event, the largest content marketing-focused event, is held every fall in Cleveland, Ohio, and ContentTECH Summit event is held every spring in San Diego, California. CMI publishes Chief Content Officer for executives and provides strategic consulting and content marketing research for some of the best-known brands in the world. Content Marketing Institute is organized by Informa Connect. Learn more at ContentMarketingInstitute.com. About Informa Connect Informa Connect is a specialist in content-driven events and digital communities that allow professionals to meet, connect, learn, and share knowledge. We operate major branded events in Marketing, Global Finance, Life Sciences and Pharma, Construction and Real Estate, and other specialist markets, and connect communities online year-round. About MarketingProfs MarketingProfs is a business-to-business marketing education company—a growing community of more than 550,000+ marketers who aspire to learn, connect, and lead. Its training and education programs include webcasts, master classes, workshops, and its flagship event, the MarketingProfs B2B Forum. And its community offers the support and networking modern marketers need—as a department of 1 or 1,000. Learn more at MarketingProfs.com. ABOUT