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SPONSORED BY
IDG Communications, Inc.
BENCHMARKS, BUDGETS, AND TRENDS
TECHNOLOGY
CONTENT MARKETING 2020
2
SPONSORED BY
2
m WELCOME............................................................................................ 3
m KEY FINDINGS...................................................................................... 4
m TOP PERFORMERS VS. ALL RESPONDENTS......................................... 5
m SUCCESS & MATURITY......................................................................... 7
m STRATEGY, OPINIONS & TECHNOLOGY.............................................. 10
m TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING................................................. 14
m CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION.............................................. 19
m METRICS & GOALS............................................................................. 28
m BUDGETS & SPENDING...................................................................... 33
m CONTENT MARKETING PRIORITIES & UNIQUE CHALLENGES............ 38
m METHODOLOGY................................................................................. 41
m ABOUT............................................................................................... 42
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.
CHART TERM DEFINITIONS
All Respondents: Technology content marketers, all of whom
indicated their organization has used content marketing for at
least one year (see Methodology for more details).
Top Performers (aka Most Successful): The “most successful”
are those who characterize their organization’s overall content
marketing approach as extremely or very successful (Top 2).
See page 8.
Company Size: Small (1-99 employees) and Large/Enterprise
(1,000+ employees).
Some charts in this report compare all respondents with
top performers. In most instances, charts reflect the findings
based on all respondents. Some charts show notable
differences we observed based on company size or annual
content marketing budget.
NOTE
Use caution if comparing this year’s findings with past years. The
survey methodology changed beginning with our 2019 version of
this report, when we began asking respondents to confirm their
content marketing role and whether their organization has used
content marketing for at least one year.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
3
SPONSORED BY
Welcome to Technology Content Marketing 2020: Benchmarks,
Budgets, and Trends. This report is based on the findings from
our 10th annual content marketing survey.
Technology marketers continue to make progress with content marketing.
Approximately one-third rate their organization’s overall content marketing
as extremely or very successful, and 76% report they are much more or
somewhat more successful compared with one year ago.
What makes them successful? When we look at the top performers,
we see they treat content marketing as a strategic business function,
craft content thoughtfully, experiment with distribution, and
measure their results. They use content marketing not only to create
brand awareness and generate leads, but also to build loyalty and
subscribed audiences.
What will 2020 hold for your content marketing? We hope these
findings help as you fine-tune your efforts for the rest of this year. If
there is anything we can do to assist, let us know!
WELCOME
Stephanie Stahl
General Manager, CMI
Robert Rose
Chief Strategy Advisor, CMI
Kim Moutsos
VP Content, CMI
Cathy McPhillips
VP Marketing, CMI
Lisa Murton Beets
Research Director/Report Author, CMI
Joseph “JK” Kalinowski
Creative Director, CMI
Nancy Reese
Research Consultant
4
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KEY FINDINGS
Technology marketers
report ongoing content
marketing success
76% report their organization is much
more or somewhat more successful with
content marketing compared with one
year ago. See page 8.
Large companies—and those
with bigger budgets—seek
outside help with content
distribution
Technology marketers who outsource
are most likely to outsource content
creation (88%). And while content
distribution is a distant second (35%)
among all respondents, the gap tightens
when we look at large companies and
those with bigger budgets (nearly half
of both those groups outsource content
distribution). See page 18.
Most use content marketing
to create brand awareness
and generate leads—but
many leave opportunities to
build long-term relationships
on the table
More than 70% use content marketing
successfully at the top of the sales
funnel; however, only 44% use it to build
a subscribed audience. See page 32.
The challenge to create
content for multi-level
roles continues
59% of technology content marketers
say creating content that appeals
to multi-level roles within the target
audience(s) is the top challenge they
face. This was their top reported
challenge last year as well. See page 40.
5
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KEY FINDINGS
Differences Between Top-Performing Technology Content Marketers
and All Technology Respondents
*A top performer (aka “most successful”) is a respondent who characterizes their organization’s overall content marketing approach as extremely or very successful.
Base: Technology content marketers.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Top Performers* All Respondents
Organization’s content marketing is sophisticated/mature 84% 45%
Has a documented content marketing strategy 71% 41%
Has a centralized content marketing group working throughout the organization 45% 30%
Uses metrics to measure content performance 96% 83%
Among those who use metrics:
Has KPIs to measure content initiatives 82% 70%
Measures content marketing ROI	 62% 48%
Rates ability to demonstrate ROI as excellent/very good		 75% 52%
Uses content marketing successfully to:
Nurture subscribers/audiences/leads 86% 72%
Build loyalty with existing clients/customers 85% 58%
Generate sales/revenue 84% 60%
Build a subscribed audience 72% 44%
6
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KEY FINDINGS
Differences Between Top-Performing Technology Content Marketers
and All Technology Respondents (continued)
Top Performers* All Respondents
Always/frequently:
Prioritizes audience’s informational needs over organization’s sales/promotional message 82% 64%
Crafts content based on specific stages of the customer journey 79% 55%
Strongly/somewhat agrees:
Organization prioritizes delivering relevant content when and where a person is most likely to see it	 88% 66%
Organization provides customers with optimal experiences across their engagement journey 82% 52%
*A top performer (aka “most successful”) is a respondent who characterizes their organization’s overall content marketing approach as extremely or very successful.
Base: Technology content marketers.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
7
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SUCCESS & MATURITY
8
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Approximately one-third of technology marketers (34%) say their organization is extremely
or very successful with content marketing.
How Technology Marketers Rate
Their Organization’s Overall Level
of Content Marketing Success
0%
52%
14%
27%
7%
■ Extremely Successful
■ Very Successful
■ Moderately Successful
■ Minimally Successful
■ Not At All Successful
How Technology Marketers Rate
Their Organization’s Content Marketing
Success Compared With One Year Ago
3% 0%
50%
21% 26%
■ Much More Successful
■ Somewhat More Successful
■ About the Same
■ Somewhat Less Successful
■ Much Less Successful
Base: Technology content marketers; aided list.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Note: The survey defined success as achieving your organization’s desired/targeted results. This report defines the Top 2 respondents (extremely/very) as “most successful” or “top performers.”
Base: Technology content marketers; aided list.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SUCCESS & MATURITY
9
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45% of technology marketers say 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
Have developed a business case, seeing early success,
becoming more sophisticated with measurement and
scaling
YOUNG
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
Base: Technology content marketers; aided list.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
How Technology Marketers Rate Their
Organization’s Content Marketing Maturity Level
4%
0%
31%
20%
35%
10%
■ Sophisticated
■ Mature
■ Adolescent
■ Young
■ First Steps
■ Unsure
SUCCESS & MATURITY
10
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STRATEGY, OPINIONS
& TECHNOLOGY
11
SPONSORED BY
Base: Technology content marketers.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
STRATEGY, OPINIONS & TECHNOLOGY
74% of technology marketers have a content marketing strategy; among those, 41% have
documented it.
Percentage of Technology Marketers
With a Content Marketing Strategy
7%
33%
19%
41%
■ Yes, and it is documented
■ Yes, but it is not documented
■ No, but plan to within 12 months
■ No, with no plans
12
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52% of technology marketers agree their organization provides customers with optimal
experiences across the engagement journey.
Technology Marketers’ Opinions About Content Marketing in Their Organization
(Strongly/Somewhat Agree)
83%
75%
52%
66%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Our audience views our organization
as a credible and trusted resource
Our organization values creativity and
craft in content creation and production
Our organization prioritizes delivering relevant content
when and where a person is most likely to see it
Our organization provides customers with
optimal experiences across their engagement journey
Base: Technology content marketers who answered each statement.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
STRATEGY, OPINIONS & TECHNOLOGY
13
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Technology marketers report the top three technologies they use to assist with
content marketing are analytics tools (87%), social media publishing/analytics (83%),
and email marketing software (80%).
Other technologies
used: Content Distribution
Platform (33%); Content
Optimization (25%);
Content Performance/
Recommendation Analytics
(23%); Digital Asset
Management (DAM) System
(22%); and Integrated
Content Marketing Platform
(11%). 1% said none of the
above.
Technology Marketers’ Use of Technologies
to Assist With Content Marketing
(Top 7)
87%
83%
80%
50%
54%
69%
56%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Analytics Tools (e.g., web analytics, dashboards)
Social Media Publishing/Analytics
Marketing Automation System (MAS)
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
Content Creation/Collaboration/Workflow
Email Marketing Software
Content Management System (CMS)
STRATEGY, OPINIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Base: Technology content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
14
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TEAM STRUCTURE
& OUTSOURCING
15
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TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
Base: Technology content marketers; aided list.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
All Respondents
Small
(1-99 Employees)
Large
(1,000+ Employees)
We have a centralized content marketing group that works with
multiple brands/products/departments
30% 24% 32%
Eachbrand/product/departmenthasitsowncontent
marketingteam
6% 1% 16%
Both—We have a centralized group and individual teams
throughout the organization
16% 5% 38%
We have a small (or one-person) marketing/content marketing
team serving the entire organization
46% 67% 14%
Other 2% 2% 0%
46% of technology marketers report their organization has a small (or one-person) marketing/
content marketing team serving the entire organization.
The second most common reported way of organizing is the centralized group structure, although this varies by company size.
In addition, the centralized structure is the most common reported method among the top performers (45%) (see page 5).
Technology Organizations’ Content Marketing Team Structure
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TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
All Respondents
Small
(1-99 Employees)
Large
(1,000+ Employees)
11+ 3% 0% 10%
6-10 6% 2% 13%
2-5 47% 37% 52%
1 25% 33% 17%
0 (no one is full-time,
dedicated)
19% 27% 8%
47% of technology marketers say their organization has 2 to 5 internal team members who
are full-time/dedicated to content marketing.
Teams grow with company size, but even large companies are most likely to have teams of 2 to 5 (52%).
Technology Organizations’ Content Marketing Team Size
(Full-Time/Dedicated to Content Marketing)
Base: Technology content marketers.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
17
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TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
55% of technology marketers outsource at least one content marketing activity.
Large companies are the most likely to outsource (75%).
All Respondents
Small
(1-99 Employees)
Large
(1,000+ Employees)
Yes 55% 40% 75%
No 45% 60% 25%
Does Your Technology Organization Outsource Any Content Marketing Activities?
Base: Technology content marketers.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
18
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TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
Among those who outsource, content creation is the activity they are most likely to
outsource, no matter the company size or content marketing budget.
There were two notable differences, however, with content distribution, the second most frequently outsourced activity:
48% of large technology companies (1,000+ employees) and those with content marketing budgets of $100,000 or more
say they outsource content distribution, compared with 35% of all respondents.
Base: Technology content marketers whose organization outsources at least one content marketing activity. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
11%Measurement
7%Editorial Planning
19%Other
10%Content Strategy
Content Marketing Activities Technology Organizations Outsource
88%
35%
25%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Content Creation
Content Technology
Content Distribution
19
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CONTENT CREATION
& DISTRIBUTION
20
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64% of technology marketers always/frequently prioritize the audience’s informational needs over
their sales/promotional message.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Base: Technology content marketers who answered each concept.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Concepts Technology Marketers Always/Frequently Take Into Account
While Creating Content for Their Organization
92%
64%
55%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Fact check our content to ensure accuracy
Prioritize the audience’s informational needs
over our sales/promotional message
Craft content based on specific stages
of the customer journey
21
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
The average number of audiences technology marketers create content for is 3.8. The average is
higher in large companies (4.1) and lower in small companies (3.4).
Number of Different Audiences
Technology Marketers Create Content For
42%
24%
6%
28%
■ 6+
■ 4-5
■ 2-3
■ 1
Base: Technology content marketers; aided list.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
22
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Regardless of their organization’s size, technology marketers say half the content they produce
is created for audiences in the early stages of the customer journey.
Base: Technology content marketers who answered the question. Percentages were required to equal 100%.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Percentage of Total Content
Technology Marketers Created for
Content Marketing Purposes in Last 12 Months
16%
21%
4%
47%
12% ■ Top-of-the-funnel
(generating awareness/interest)
■ Mid-funnel (consideration/intent)
■ Late-stage (evaluation/purchase)
■ Post-sale (loyalty/brand advocacy)
■ Other areas
23
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
The top three types of content technology marketers use are social media content (96%),
blog posts/short articles (93%), and in-person events (83%).
Other content types used in
last 12 months: Long-Form
Text (e.g., articles 3,000+ words)
(43%); Research Reports (43%);
Podcasts (23%); Livestreaming
Content (13%); Print Magazines
(10%); Print Books (10%); and
Other (13%).
Base: Technology content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Content Types Technology Marketers Used in Last 12 Months
(Top 10)
96%
93%
83%
82%
82%
80%
74%
71%
62%
61%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Social Media Content (e.g., tweets, stories)
Blog Posts/Short Articles
In-Person Events
Case Studies
Email Newsletters
Videos (excluding livestreaming)
Webinars/Online Events
Infographics/Charts/Photos/Data Viz
White Papers
Ebooks/Guides
24
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
We asked respondents which content types are the highest performing for their organization for
building brand awareness, securing leads, nurturing leads, and converting leads. Their top three
responses in each category are shown here.
TO BUILD BRAND
AWARENESS
Blog Posts/Short Articles (36%)
Social Media Content
(e.g., tweets, stories) (18%)
In-Person Events (12%)
TO NURTURE
LEADS
Email Newsletters (27%)
BlogPosts/ShortArticles(12%)
Case Studies (12%)
TO SECURE
LEADS
In-Person Events (21%)
Webinars/Online Events (19%)
Ebooks/Guides (15%)
TO CONVERT
LEADS
Case Studies (29%)
In-Person Events (22%)
Webinars/Online Events (12%)
Base: Technology content marketers whose organization used more than one content type for content marketing purposes in the last 12 months.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
25
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
The top three organic content distribution channels technology marketers use are their organization’s
website/blog (94%), social media (92%), and email (87%).
Organic Content Distribution Channels Technology Marketers
Used in Last 12 Months
94%
92%
87%
68%
59%
39%
18%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Their Organization’s Website/Blog
Social Media
Email
Speaking/Events
Guest Posts/Articles in Third-Party Publications
Media/Influencer Relations
Other
Base: Technology content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
26
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
92% of technology marketers use paid distribution channels for content marketing purposes; of that
group, 77% use paid social media advertising/promoted posts.
Base: Technology content marketers whose organization used at least one paid distribution channel in the last 12 months.
Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Base: Technology content marketers.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks,
North America: Content Marketing Institute/
MarketingProfs
Paid Content Distribution Channels
Technology Marketers Used in Last 12 Months
77%
72%
71%
38%
21%
56%
40%
0 20 40 60 80
Social Media Advertising/Promoted Posts
Sponsorships (e.g., booths, workshops, branding)
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)/Pay-Per-Click
Banner Ads Promoting Your Content (e.g., ebook, webinar)
Partner Emails Promoting Your Content (e.g., ebook, webinar)
Native Advertising/Sponsored Content (not including social media platforms)
Other
Did Your Technology Organization
Use Paid Content Distribution Channels
in the Last 12 Months?
8%
92%
■ Yes
■ No
27
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Nearly all technology marketers use LinkedIn for organic content marketing. LinkedIn also is
the top choice among those who use paid social media platforms.
Beyond use, we also asked technology marketers which social media platform generates the best content marketing results for their organization.
LinkedIn is the clear winner for organic (61%), with Facebook trailing a distant second (13%). LinkedIn also wins as best paid platform (53%),
followed by Facebook (30%).
TOP RATED
LinkedIn
YouTube Instagram
Twitter Facebook
97%
59% 46%
93% 87%
LinkedIn
TOP RATED
Instagram YouTube
Facebook Twitter
84%
15% 13%
63% 35%
Organic Social Media Platforms Technology
Content Marketers Used in Last 12 Months
Paid Social Media Platforms Technology
Content Marketers Used in Last 12 Months
Other organic
social used in
last 12 months:
Medium (12%);
Reddit (10%); Quora
(9%); Pinterest (8%);
Snapchat (2%); and
Other (9%).
Other paid
social used in
last 12 months:
Reddit (2%);
Medium (1%);
Pinterest (1%);
Quora (1%);
Snapchat (0%); and
Other (7%).
Base: Technology content marketers whose organization
used organic social to distribute content in the last 12
months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North
America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Base: Technology content marketers whose organization
used paid social to distribute content in the last 12 months.
Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North
America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
28
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METRICS & GOALS
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METRICS & GOALS
83% of technology marketers use metrics to measure content performance. Of those, 70%
have established KPIs and 48% measure content marketing ROI.
Does Your Technology
Organization Use Metrics to Track
Content Performance?
10%
7%
83%
■ Yes
■ No
■ Unsure
Did Your Technology Organization
Establish KPIs to Measure
Content Marketing Initiatives
in the Last 12 Months?
23%
7%
70%
■ Yes
■ No
■ Unsure
Does Your Technology
Organization Measure
Content Marketing ROI?
■ Yes
■ No
■ Unsure38%
48%
14%
Base: Technology content marketers.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Base: Technology content marketers whose organization
uses metrics to measure content performance.
Base: Technology content marketers whose organization
uses metrics to measure content performance.
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METRICS & GOALS
The top five metrics technology marketers track to measure content performance are website
traffic (90%), email engagement (89%), social media analytics (85%), website engagement (85%),
and conversions (81%).
Metrics Technology Marketers Tracked to
Measure Content Performance in Last 12 Months
(Top 8)
90%
89%
85%
85%
81%
64%
62%
60%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Website Traffic
(e.g., page views, backlinks)
Email Engagement
(e.g., opens, clicks, downloads)
Social Media Analytics
(e.g., shares, followers, views, likes)
Website Engagement (e.g., time spent,
bounce rate, form completions)
Conversions (e.g., traffic to subscribers,
leads to sales)
Marketing Qualified Lead Metrics
(e.g., MQLs, SQLs)
Email Subscriber Numbers
(e.g., growth, unsubscribes)
Search Rankings
Other metrics tracked in
last 12 months:
PR Mentions/Media Coverage
(54%); Cost of a Lead, Subscribers,
and/or Customer Acquisition Cost
(CAC) (47%); Sales Effectiveness
(e.g., sales cycle time, sales team
performance) (30%); Customer
Mobile Analytics (e.g., traffic,
time spent, conversions) (25%);
Retention Rates (23%); Customer
Satisfaction Metrics (22%);
Lifetime Customer Value (13%);
and Other (3%).
Base: Technology content marketers whose organization uses metrics to measure content performance. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
31
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METRICS & GOALS
Among the technology marketers who measure content marketing ROI, 52% rate their ability to
demonstrate ROI as excellent or very good.
EXCELLENT
We have measurement data showing ROI on overall
content marketing approach
VERY GOOD
We have measurement data showing ROI on at least one
content marketing initiative with well-informed insights in
other areas
AVERAGE
We have well-informed insights, but lack measurement
data showing ROI
BELOW AVERAGE
We only have speculative insights at this point
POOR
We have little insight into what works and what doesn’t
Technology Marketers’ Ability to Demonstrate
ROI for Content Marketing Initiatives
38%
1% 1%0%
11%8%
41%
■ Excellent
■ Very Good
■ Average
■ Below Average
■ Poor
■ Too Soon to Tell
■ Unsure
Base: Technology content marketers whose organization uses metrics and whose team measured ROI on overall content
marketing initiatives in the last 12 months. Aided list.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
32
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METRICS & GOALS
89% of technology marketers have used content marketing successfully to create brand awareness in
the last 12 months; however, fewer than half (44%) have used it to build a subscribed audience.
Base: Technology content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Goals Technology Marketers Have Achieved by Using
Content Marketing Successfully in Last 12 Months
89%
80%
79%
73%
72%
63%
60%
58%
57%
44%
0%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Create brand awareness
Educate audience(s)
Generate demand/leads
Build credibility/trust
Nurture subscribers/audiences/leads
Drive attendance to one or more in-person events
Generate sales/revenue
Build loyalty with existing clients/customers
Support the launch of a new product
Build a subscribed audience
None of the above
33
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BUDGETS & SPENDING
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BUDGETS & SPENDING
33% of technology marketers reported a 2019 annual content marketing budget of $100,000
or more. The average annual budget among all respondents was $229,000.
2019 Annual Budget for
Technology Content Marketing (Average)
(All Respondents)
21%
14%
21%
4%
4%
4%
32%
■ 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
■ Unsure
■ There is no content
marketing budget
2019 Annual Budget for Technology Content Marketing (Average)
(By Content Marketing Success Level)
0 $50,000 $100,000 $150,000 $200,000 $250,000 $300,000
Most Successful
All Respondents
2019 Annual Budget for Technology Content Marketing (Average)
(By Company Size)
0 $100,000 $200,000 $300,000 $400,000 $500,000
Large
(1,000+ Employees)
Small
(1-99 Employees)
$265,000
$229,000
$408,000
$118,000
Note: Marketers who reported their organization has no content marketing budget were not asked to specify if the expenditures come from a general marketing or other fund. The survey did not specify whether to include
content marketing salaries, nor did it ask respondents to break out areas of content marketing spend.
Base: Technology content marketers. Aided list.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
35
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BUDGETS & SPENDING
Half of technology marketers (51%) expected their 2020 content marketing budget to be
higher than it was in 2019.
Technology Marketers’ Expected
Change in 2020 Content Marketing
Budget Compared With 2019
13%
15%
4%
30%
38%
■ Increase More than 9%
■ Increase 1% to 9%
■ Stay the Same
■ Decrease
■ Unsure
Base: Technology content marketers who reported having an annual budget for content marketing in 2019.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
36
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Organization size and available budget impact whether technology companies use paid
advertising in addition to content marketing.
Does Your Technology Organization
Use Traditional Paid Advertising
in Addition to Content Marketing?
(All Respondents)
61%
39% ■ Yes
■ No
Percentage of Technology Marketers Who Use
Traditional Paid Advertising in Addition to Content Marketing
(By Company Size)
0 10 20 30 40 50
Large
(1,000+ Employees)
Small
(1-99 Employees)
46%
31%
Percentage of Technology Marketers Who Use
Traditional Paid Advertising in Addition to Content Marketing
(By Annual Content Marketing Budget)
Yes No
Over $100,000 47% 53%
Under$100,000 38% 63%
Base: Technology content marketers.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
BUDGETS & SPENDING
37
SPONSORED BY
BUDGETS & SPENDING
Of those who use paid advertising, 35% say they’ve shifted paid advertising dollars to content
marketing in the last 12 months.
Did Your Technology Organization Shift Paid Advertising
Dollars to Content Marketing in the Last 12 Months?
38%
27%
35%
■ Yes
■ No
■ Unsure
Base: Technology content marketers whose organization uses traditional paid advertising in addition to content marketing.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
38
SPONSORED BY
CONTENT MARKETING
PRIORITIES & UNIQUE CHALLENGES
39
SPONSORED BY
PRIORITIES & UNIQUE CHALLENGES
Improving the quality/conversion of audiences, content marketing measurement, and content
quality/quantity are expected to be top content marketing priorities in 2020.
Top 3 Content Marketing Priorities Technology Marketers
Anticipate for Their Organization in 2020
54%
47%
46%
34%
30%
1%
38%
36%
0 20 40 60
Improve quality/conversion of audience(s)
Improve content marketing measurement
Focus on content quality/quantity
Focus on content distribution/promotion
Know our audience(s) better
Segment/capture better data from audience(s)
Increase the size of our audience(s)
None of the above
Note: The survey did not ask respondents to rate their organization’s current success with any of the activities shown on the aided list. Therefore,
use caution if making assumptions about current challenges organizations may be facing in any of the areas listed.
Base: Technology content marketers; aided list. Up to three responses permitted.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
40
SPONSORED BY
PRIORITIES & UNIQUE CHALLENGES
Technology marketers say their top content marketing challenge is creating content that appeals to
multi-level roles within the target audience(s).
Note: 4% said technology organizations face the same content marketing challenges as any other organization.
Base: Technology content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Unique Challenges Technology Content Marketers Face
59%
52%
49%
49%
43%
42%
33%
33%
31%
27%
0 20 40 60
Creating content that appeals to multi-level roles within
the target audience(s)
Accommodating for a long decision-making process
Communicating complex content
Making it through multiple levels of purchasing decision-makers
Differentiating products/services from the competition
Creating valuable content instead of sales-oriented content
Capturing audience’s attention with typical proven techniques
doesn’t always work
Difficulty in reaching target audience(s)
Accessing subject matter experts in order to create specialized content
Extensively educating the target audience(s)
41
SPONSORED BY
Technology Content Marketing 2020: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends was produced by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and sponsored by
IDG Communications, Inc.
The CMI/MarketingProfs 10th annual content marketing survey, from which the results of this report were generated, was emailed to a sample of marketers
using lists from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. Online survey hosting, data collection, and tabulation was provided by Readex Research.
A total of 1,798 recipients from around the globe—representing a full range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes—replied to the survey during
June/July 2019. 303 respondents indicated their organization is a for-profit, technology company. This report presents the findings from the 256 who indicated a) their
organization has used content marketing for at least one year and b) they are a content marketer, involved with the content marketing function, and/or someone to
whom content marketing reports. Most technology respondents are based in North America (81%), followed by Europe (11%), Asia (5%), and Other (3%).
Find our archive of past reports at contentmarketinginstitute.com/research. Special thanks to MarketingProfs for their assistance with the annual survey and
the B2B and B2C content marketing reports.
METHODOLOGY
Nature of
Technology Organization
Size of Technology
Organization (by Employees)
Technology Content Marketing
Job Title/Function
■ Content Creation/Management
■ Marketing Management
■ Corporate/Executive Management
■ Marketing Operations
■ Other
14%
■ B2B
■ B2C
■ Both B2B and B2C
■ Small (1-99 Employees)
■ Medium (100-999 Employees)
■ Large (1,000+ Employees)
88%
37%
38%
25%
3% 9%
38%
36%
7%
6%
13%
42
SPONSORED BY
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. Watch this video to learn more about CMI. Content Marketing Institute is
organized by Informa Connect.
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 &
Real Estate, and in a number of other specialist markets and connect communities online year-round.
About IDG Communications, Inc.
IDG Communications connects the world of tech buyers with insights, intent and engagement. Our premium brands, including CIO®,
Computerworld®, PCWorld® and Macworld®, engage the most powerful audience of technology buyers by providing essential guidance with quality
content that provides the context needed to help inform technology purchase decisions. We execute complex campaigns using premium 1st party
data that fulfill marketers’ global ambitions seamlessly with consistency that delivers results and wins awards. For complementary research on the
content consumption habits of enterprise tech buyers throughout the IT purchase process, including how that content is consumed, discussed, and
shared, and insights on lead nurture/sales follow-up strategies specific to tech marketing, visit www.idg.com/tools-for-marketers.
ABOUT

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Technology Content Marketing 2020: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends

  • 1. SPONSORED BY IDG Communications, Inc. BENCHMARKS, BUDGETS, AND TRENDS TECHNOLOGY CONTENT MARKETING 2020
  • 2. 2 SPONSORED BY 2 m WELCOME............................................................................................ 3 m KEY FINDINGS...................................................................................... 4 m TOP PERFORMERS VS. ALL RESPONDENTS......................................... 5 m SUCCESS & MATURITY......................................................................... 7 m STRATEGY, OPINIONS & TECHNOLOGY.............................................. 10 m TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING................................................. 14 m CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION.............................................. 19 m METRICS & GOALS............................................................................. 28 m BUDGETS & SPENDING...................................................................... 33 m CONTENT MARKETING PRIORITIES & UNIQUE CHALLENGES............ 38 m METHODOLOGY................................................................................. 41 m ABOUT............................................................................................... 42 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. CHART TERM DEFINITIONS All Respondents: Technology content marketers, all of whom indicated their organization has used content marketing for at least one year (see Methodology for more details). Top Performers (aka Most Successful): The “most successful” are those who characterize their organization’s overall content marketing approach as extremely or very successful (Top 2). See page 8. Company Size: Small (1-99 employees) and Large/Enterprise (1,000+ employees). Some charts in this report compare all respondents with top performers. In most instances, charts reflect the findings based on all respondents. Some charts show notable differences we observed based on company size or annual content marketing budget. NOTE Use caution if comparing this year’s findings with past years. The survey methodology changed beginning with our 2019 version of this report, when we began asking respondents to confirm their content marketing role and whether their organization has used content marketing for at least one year. TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • 3. 3 SPONSORED BY Welcome to Technology Content Marketing 2020: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends. This report is based on the findings from our 10th annual content marketing survey. Technology marketers continue to make progress with content marketing. Approximately one-third rate their organization’s overall content marketing as extremely or very successful, and 76% report they are much more or somewhat more successful compared with one year ago. What makes them successful? When we look at the top performers, we see they treat content marketing as a strategic business function, craft content thoughtfully, experiment with distribution, and measure their results. They use content marketing not only to create brand awareness and generate leads, but also to build loyalty and subscribed audiences. What will 2020 hold for your content marketing? We hope these findings help as you fine-tune your efforts for the rest of this year. If there is anything we can do to assist, let us know! WELCOME Stephanie Stahl General Manager, CMI Robert Rose Chief Strategy Advisor, CMI Kim Moutsos VP Content, CMI Cathy McPhillips VP Marketing, CMI Lisa Murton Beets Research Director/Report Author, CMI Joseph “JK” Kalinowski Creative Director, CMI Nancy Reese Research Consultant
  • 4. 4 SPONSORED BY KEY FINDINGS Technology marketers report ongoing content marketing success 76% report their organization is much more or somewhat more successful with content marketing compared with one year ago. See page 8. Large companies—and those with bigger budgets—seek outside help with content distribution Technology marketers who outsource are most likely to outsource content creation (88%). And while content distribution is a distant second (35%) among all respondents, the gap tightens when we look at large companies and those with bigger budgets (nearly half of both those groups outsource content distribution). See page 18. Most use content marketing to create brand awareness and generate leads—but many leave opportunities to build long-term relationships on the table More than 70% use content marketing successfully at the top of the sales funnel; however, only 44% use it to build a subscribed audience. See page 32. The challenge to create content for multi-level roles continues 59% of technology content marketers say creating content that appeals to multi-level roles within the target audience(s) is the top challenge they face. This was their top reported challenge last year as well. See page 40.
  • 5. 5 SPONSORED BY KEY FINDINGS Differences Between Top-Performing Technology Content Marketers and All Technology Respondents *A top performer (aka “most successful”) is a respondent who characterizes their organization’s overall content marketing approach as extremely or very successful. Base: Technology content marketers. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Top Performers* All Respondents Organization’s content marketing is sophisticated/mature 84% 45% Has a documented content marketing strategy 71% 41% Has a centralized content marketing group working throughout the organization 45% 30% Uses metrics to measure content performance 96% 83% Among those who use metrics: Has KPIs to measure content initiatives 82% 70% Measures content marketing ROI 62% 48% Rates ability to demonstrate ROI as excellent/very good 75% 52% Uses content marketing successfully to: Nurture subscribers/audiences/leads 86% 72% Build loyalty with existing clients/customers 85% 58% Generate sales/revenue 84% 60% Build a subscribed audience 72% 44%
  • 6. 6 SPONSORED BY KEY FINDINGS Differences Between Top-Performing Technology Content Marketers and All Technology Respondents (continued) Top Performers* All Respondents Always/frequently: Prioritizes audience’s informational needs over organization’s sales/promotional message 82% 64% Crafts content based on specific stages of the customer journey 79% 55% Strongly/somewhat agrees: Organization prioritizes delivering relevant content when and where a person is most likely to see it 88% 66% Organization provides customers with optimal experiences across their engagement journey 82% 52% *A top performer (aka “most successful”) is a respondent who characterizes their organization’s overall content marketing approach as extremely or very successful. Base: Technology content marketers. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 8. 8 SPONSORED BY Approximately one-third of technology marketers (34%) say their organization is extremely or very successful with content marketing. How Technology Marketers Rate Their Organization’s Overall Level of Content Marketing Success 0% 52% 14% 27% 7% ■ Extremely Successful ■ Very Successful ■ Moderately Successful ■ Minimally Successful ■ Not At All Successful How Technology Marketers Rate Their Organization’s Content Marketing Success Compared With One Year Ago 3% 0% 50% 21% 26% ■ Much More Successful ■ Somewhat More Successful ■ About the Same ■ Somewhat Less Successful ■ Much Less Successful Base: Technology content marketers; aided list. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Note: The survey defined success as achieving your organization’s desired/targeted results. This report defines the Top 2 respondents (extremely/very) as “most successful” or “top performers.” Base: Technology content marketers; aided list. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs SUCCESS & MATURITY
  • 9. 9 SPONSORED BY 45% of technology marketers say 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 Have developed a business case, seeing early success, becoming more sophisticated with measurement and scaling YOUNG 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 Base: Technology content marketers; aided list. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs How Technology Marketers Rate Their Organization’s Content Marketing Maturity Level 4% 0% 31% 20% 35% 10% ■ Sophisticated ■ Mature ■ Adolescent ■ Young ■ First Steps ■ Unsure SUCCESS & MATURITY
  • 11. 11 SPONSORED BY Base: Technology content marketers. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs STRATEGY, OPINIONS & TECHNOLOGY 74% of technology marketers have a content marketing strategy; among those, 41% have documented it. Percentage of Technology Marketers With a Content Marketing Strategy 7% 33% 19% 41% ■ Yes, and it is documented ■ Yes, but it is not documented ■ No, but plan to within 12 months ■ No, with no plans
  • 12. 12 SPONSORED BY 52% of technology marketers agree their organization provides customers with optimal experiences across the engagement journey. Technology Marketers’ Opinions About Content Marketing in Their Organization (Strongly/Somewhat Agree) 83% 75% 52% 66% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Our audience views our organization as a credible and trusted resource Our organization values creativity and craft in content creation and production Our organization prioritizes delivering relevant content when and where a person is most likely to see it Our organization provides customers with optimal experiences across their engagement journey Base: Technology content marketers who answered each statement. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs STRATEGY, OPINIONS & TECHNOLOGY
  • 13. 13 SPONSORED BY Technology marketers report the top three technologies they use to assist with content marketing are analytics tools (87%), social media publishing/analytics (83%), and email marketing software (80%). Other technologies used: Content Distribution Platform (33%); Content Optimization (25%); Content Performance/ Recommendation Analytics (23%); Digital Asset Management (DAM) System (22%); and Integrated Content Marketing Platform (11%). 1% said none of the above. Technology Marketers’ Use of Technologies to Assist With Content Marketing (Top 7) 87% 83% 80% 50% 54% 69% 56% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Analytics Tools (e.g., web analytics, dashboards) Social Media Publishing/Analytics Marketing Automation System (MAS) Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System Content Creation/Collaboration/Workflow Email Marketing Software Content Management System (CMS) STRATEGY, OPINIONS & TECHNOLOGY Base: Technology content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 15. 15 SPONSORED BY TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING Base: Technology content marketers; aided list. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs All Respondents Small (1-99 Employees) Large (1,000+ Employees) We have a centralized content marketing group that works with multiple brands/products/departments 30% 24% 32% Eachbrand/product/departmenthasitsowncontent marketingteam 6% 1% 16% Both—We have a centralized group and individual teams throughout the organization 16% 5% 38% We have a small (or one-person) marketing/content marketing team serving the entire organization 46% 67% 14% Other 2% 2% 0% 46% of technology marketers report their organization has a small (or one-person) marketing/ content marketing team serving the entire organization. The second most common reported way of organizing is the centralized group structure, although this varies by company size. In addition, the centralized structure is the most common reported method among the top performers (45%) (see page 5). Technology Organizations’ Content Marketing Team Structure
  • 16. 16 SPONSORED BY TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING All Respondents Small (1-99 Employees) Large (1,000+ Employees) 11+ 3% 0% 10% 6-10 6% 2% 13% 2-5 47% 37% 52% 1 25% 33% 17% 0 (no one is full-time, dedicated) 19% 27% 8% 47% of technology marketers say their organization has 2 to 5 internal team members who are full-time/dedicated to content marketing. Teams grow with company size, but even large companies are most likely to have teams of 2 to 5 (52%). Technology Organizations’ Content Marketing Team Size (Full-Time/Dedicated to Content Marketing) Base: Technology content marketers. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 17. 17 SPONSORED BY TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING 55% of technology marketers outsource at least one content marketing activity. Large companies are the most likely to outsource (75%). All Respondents Small (1-99 Employees) Large (1,000+ Employees) Yes 55% 40% 75% No 45% 60% 25% Does Your Technology Organization Outsource Any Content Marketing Activities? Base: Technology content marketers. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 18. 18 SPONSORED BY TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING Among those who outsource, content creation is the activity they are most likely to outsource, no matter the company size or content marketing budget. There were two notable differences, however, with content distribution, the second most frequently outsourced activity: 48% of large technology companies (1,000+ employees) and those with content marketing budgets of $100,000 or more say they outsource content distribution, compared with 35% of all respondents. Base: Technology content marketers whose organization outsources at least one content marketing activity. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs 11%Measurement 7%Editorial Planning 19%Other 10%Content Strategy Content Marketing Activities Technology Organizations Outsource 88% 35% 25% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Content Creation Content Technology Content Distribution
  • 20. 20 SPONSORED BY 64% of technology marketers always/frequently prioritize the audience’s informational needs over their sales/promotional message. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Base: Technology content marketers who answered each concept. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Concepts Technology Marketers Always/Frequently Take Into Account While Creating Content for Their Organization 92% 64% 55% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Fact check our content to ensure accuracy Prioritize the audience’s informational needs over our sales/promotional message Craft content based on specific stages of the customer journey
  • 21. 21 SPONSORED BY CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION The average number of audiences technology marketers create content for is 3.8. The average is higher in large companies (4.1) and lower in small companies (3.4). Number of Different Audiences Technology Marketers Create Content For 42% 24% 6% 28% ■ 6+ ■ 4-5 ■ 2-3 ■ 1 Base: Technology content marketers; aided list. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 22. 22 SPONSORED BY CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Regardless of their organization’s size, technology marketers say half the content they produce is created for audiences in the early stages of the customer journey. Base: Technology content marketers who answered the question. Percentages were required to equal 100%. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Percentage of Total Content Technology Marketers Created for Content Marketing Purposes in Last 12 Months 16% 21% 4% 47% 12% ■ Top-of-the-funnel (generating awareness/interest) ■ Mid-funnel (consideration/intent) ■ Late-stage (evaluation/purchase) ■ Post-sale (loyalty/brand advocacy) ■ Other areas
  • 23. 23 SPONSORED BY CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION The top three types of content technology marketers use are social media content (96%), blog posts/short articles (93%), and in-person events (83%). Other content types used in last 12 months: Long-Form Text (e.g., articles 3,000+ words) (43%); Research Reports (43%); Podcasts (23%); Livestreaming Content (13%); Print Magazines (10%); Print Books (10%); and Other (13%). Base: Technology content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Content Types Technology Marketers Used in Last 12 Months (Top 10) 96% 93% 83% 82% 82% 80% 74% 71% 62% 61% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Social Media Content (e.g., tweets, stories) Blog Posts/Short Articles In-Person Events Case Studies Email Newsletters Videos (excluding livestreaming) Webinars/Online Events Infographics/Charts/Photos/Data Viz White Papers Ebooks/Guides
  • 24. 24 SPONSORED BY CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION We asked respondents which content types are the highest performing for their organization for building brand awareness, securing leads, nurturing leads, and converting leads. Their top three responses in each category are shown here. TO BUILD BRAND AWARENESS Blog Posts/Short Articles (36%) Social Media Content (e.g., tweets, stories) (18%) In-Person Events (12%) TO NURTURE LEADS Email Newsletters (27%) BlogPosts/ShortArticles(12%) Case Studies (12%) TO SECURE LEADS In-Person Events (21%) Webinars/Online Events (19%) Ebooks/Guides (15%) TO CONVERT LEADS Case Studies (29%) In-Person Events (22%) Webinars/Online Events (12%) Base: Technology content marketers whose organization used more than one content type for content marketing purposes in the last 12 months. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 25. 25 SPONSORED BY CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION The top three organic content distribution channels technology marketers use are their organization’s website/blog (94%), social media (92%), and email (87%). Organic Content Distribution Channels Technology Marketers Used in Last 12 Months 94% 92% 87% 68% 59% 39% 18% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Their Organization’s Website/Blog Social Media Email Speaking/Events Guest Posts/Articles in Third-Party Publications Media/Influencer Relations Other Base: Technology content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 26. 26 SPONSORED BY CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION 92% of technology marketers use paid distribution channels for content marketing purposes; of that group, 77% use paid social media advertising/promoted posts. Base: Technology content marketers whose organization used at least one paid distribution channel in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Technology content marketers. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/ MarketingProfs Paid Content Distribution Channels Technology Marketers Used in Last 12 Months 77% 72% 71% 38% 21% 56% 40% 0 20 40 60 80 Social Media Advertising/Promoted Posts Sponsorships (e.g., booths, workshops, branding) Search Engine Marketing (SEM)/Pay-Per-Click Banner Ads Promoting Your Content (e.g., ebook, webinar) Partner Emails Promoting Your Content (e.g., ebook, webinar) Native Advertising/Sponsored Content (not including social media platforms) Other Did Your Technology Organization Use Paid Content Distribution Channels in the Last 12 Months? 8% 92% ■ Yes ■ No
  • 27. 27 SPONSORED BY CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Nearly all technology marketers use LinkedIn for organic content marketing. LinkedIn also is the top choice among those who use paid social media platforms. Beyond use, we also asked technology marketers which social media platform generates the best content marketing results for their organization. LinkedIn is the clear winner for organic (61%), with Facebook trailing a distant second (13%). LinkedIn also wins as best paid platform (53%), followed by Facebook (30%). TOP RATED LinkedIn YouTube Instagram Twitter Facebook 97% 59% 46% 93% 87% LinkedIn TOP RATED Instagram YouTube Facebook Twitter 84% 15% 13% 63% 35% Organic Social Media Platforms Technology Content Marketers Used in Last 12 Months Paid Social Media Platforms Technology Content Marketers Used in Last 12 Months Other organic social used in last 12 months: Medium (12%); Reddit (10%); Quora (9%); Pinterest (8%); Snapchat (2%); and Other (9%). Other paid social used in last 12 months: Reddit (2%); Medium (1%); Pinterest (1%); Quora (1%); Snapchat (0%); and Other (7%). Base: Technology content marketers whose organization used organic social to distribute content in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Technology content marketers whose organization used paid social to distribute content in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 29. 29 SPONSORED BY METRICS & GOALS 83% of technology marketers use metrics to measure content performance. Of those, 70% have established KPIs and 48% measure content marketing ROI. Does Your Technology Organization Use Metrics to Track Content Performance? 10% 7% 83% ■ Yes ■ No ■ Unsure Did Your Technology Organization Establish KPIs to Measure Content Marketing Initiatives in the Last 12 Months? 23% 7% 70% ■ Yes ■ No ■ Unsure Does Your Technology Organization Measure Content Marketing ROI? ■ Yes ■ No ■ Unsure38% 48% 14% Base: Technology content marketers. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Technology content marketers whose organization uses metrics to measure content performance. Base: Technology content marketers whose organization uses metrics to measure content performance.
  • 30. 30 SPONSORED BY METRICS & GOALS The top five metrics technology marketers track to measure content performance are website traffic (90%), email engagement (89%), social media analytics (85%), website engagement (85%), and conversions (81%). Metrics Technology Marketers Tracked to Measure Content Performance in Last 12 Months (Top 8) 90% 89% 85% 85% 81% 64% 62% 60% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Website Traffic (e.g., page views, backlinks) Email Engagement (e.g., opens, clicks, downloads) Social Media Analytics (e.g., shares, followers, views, likes) Website Engagement (e.g., time spent, bounce rate, form completions) Conversions (e.g., traffic to subscribers, leads to sales) Marketing Qualified Lead Metrics (e.g., MQLs, SQLs) Email Subscriber Numbers (e.g., growth, unsubscribes) Search Rankings Other metrics tracked in last 12 months: PR Mentions/Media Coverage (54%); Cost of a Lead, Subscribers, and/or Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) (47%); Sales Effectiveness (e.g., sales cycle time, sales team performance) (30%); Customer Mobile Analytics (e.g., traffic, time spent, conversions) (25%); Retention Rates (23%); Customer Satisfaction Metrics (22%); Lifetime Customer Value (13%); and Other (3%). Base: Technology content marketers whose organization uses metrics to measure content performance. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 31. 31 SPONSORED BY METRICS & GOALS Among the technology marketers who measure content marketing ROI, 52% rate their ability to demonstrate ROI as excellent or very good. EXCELLENT We have measurement data showing ROI on overall content marketing approach VERY GOOD We have measurement data showing ROI on at least one content marketing initiative with well-informed insights in other areas AVERAGE We have well-informed insights, but lack measurement data showing ROI BELOW AVERAGE We only have speculative insights at this point POOR We have little insight into what works and what doesn’t Technology Marketers’ Ability to Demonstrate ROI for Content Marketing Initiatives 38% 1% 1%0% 11%8% 41% ■ Excellent ■ Very Good ■ Average ■ Below Average ■ Poor ■ Too Soon to Tell ■ Unsure Base: Technology content marketers whose organization uses metrics and whose team measured ROI on overall content marketing initiatives in the last 12 months. Aided list. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 32. 32 SPONSORED BY METRICS & GOALS 89% of technology marketers have used content marketing successfully to create brand awareness in the last 12 months; however, fewer than half (44%) have used it to build a subscribed audience. Base: Technology content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Goals Technology Marketers Have Achieved by Using Content Marketing Successfully in Last 12 Months 89% 80% 79% 73% 72% 63% 60% 58% 57% 44% 0% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Create brand awareness Educate audience(s) Generate demand/leads Build credibility/trust Nurture subscribers/audiences/leads Drive attendance to one or more in-person events Generate sales/revenue Build loyalty with existing clients/customers Support the launch of a new product Build a subscribed audience None of the above
  • 34. 34 SPONSORED BY BUDGETS & SPENDING 33% of technology marketers reported a 2019 annual content marketing budget of $100,000 or more. The average annual budget among all respondents was $229,000. 2019 Annual Budget for Technology Content Marketing (Average) (All Respondents) 21% 14% 21% 4% 4% 4% 32% ■ 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 ■ Unsure ■ There is no content marketing budget 2019 Annual Budget for Technology Content Marketing (Average) (By Content Marketing Success Level) 0 $50,000 $100,000 $150,000 $200,000 $250,000 $300,000 Most Successful All Respondents 2019 Annual Budget for Technology Content Marketing (Average) (By Company Size) 0 $100,000 $200,000 $300,000 $400,000 $500,000 Large (1,000+ Employees) Small (1-99 Employees) $265,000 $229,000 $408,000 $118,000 Note: Marketers who reported their organization has no content marketing budget were not asked to specify if the expenditures come from a general marketing or other fund. The survey did not specify whether to include content marketing salaries, nor did it ask respondents to break out areas of content marketing spend. Base: Technology content marketers. Aided list. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 35. 35 SPONSORED BY BUDGETS & SPENDING Half of technology marketers (51%) expected their 2020 content marketing budget to be higher than it was in 2019. Technology Marketers’ Expected Change in 2020 Content Marketing Budget Compared With 2019 13% 15% 4% 30% 38% ■ Increase More than 9% ■ Increase 1% to 9% ■ Stay the Same ■ Decrease ■ Unsure Base: Technology content marketers who reported having an annual budget for content marketing in 2019. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 36. 36 SPONSORED BY Organization size and available budget impact whether technology companies use paid advertising in addition to content marketing. Does Your Technology Organization Use Traditional Paid Advertising in Addition to Content Marketing? (All Respondents) 61% 39% ■ Yes ■ No Percentage of Technology Marketers Who Use Traditional Paid Advertising in Addition to Content Marketing (By Company Size) 0 10 20 30 40 50 Large (1,000+ Employees) Small (1-99 Employees) 46% 31% Percentage of Technology Marketers Who Use Traditional Paid Advertising in Addition to Content Marketing (By Annual Content Marketing Budget) Yes No Over $100,000 47% 53% Under$100,000 38% 63% Base: Technology content marketers. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs BUDGETS & SPENDING
  • 37. 37 SPONSORED BY BUDGETS & SPENDING Of those who use paid advertising, 35% say they’ve shifted paid advertising dollars to content marketing in the last 12 months. Did Your Technology Organization Shift Paid Advertising Dollars to Content Marketing in the Last 12 Months? 38% 27% 35% ■ Yes ■ No ■ Unsure Base: Technology content marketers whose organization uses traditional paid advertising in addition to content marketing. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 39. 39 SPONSORED BY PRIORITIES & UNIQUE CHALLENGES Improving the quality/conversion of audiences, content marketing measurement, and content quality/quantity are expected to be top content marketing priorities in 2020. Top 3 Content Marketing Priorities Technology Marketers Anticipate for Their Organization in 2020 54% 47% 46% 34% 30% 1% 38% 36% 0 20 40 60 Improve quality/conversion of audience(s) Improve content marketing measurement Focus on content quality/quantity Focus on content distribution/promotion Know our audience(s) better Segment/capture better data from audience(s) Increase the size of our audience(s) None of the above Note: The survey did not ask respondents to rate their organization’s current success with any of the activities shown on the aided list. Therefore, use caution if making assumptions about current challenges organizations may be facing in any of the areas listed. Base: Technology content marketers; aided list. Up to three responses permitted. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 40. 40 SPONSORED BY PRIORITIES & UNIQUE CHALLENGES Technology marketers say their top content marketing challenge is creating content that appeals to multi-level roles within the target audience(s). Note: 4% said technology organizations face the same content marketing challenges as any other organization. Base: Technology content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 Technology Content Marketing Benchmarks: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Unique Challenges Technology Content Marketers Face 59% 52% 49% 49% 43% 42% 33% 33% 31% 27% 0 20 40 60 Creating content that appeals to multi-level roles within the target audience(s) Accommodating for a long decision-making process Communicating complex content Making it through multiple levels of purchasing decision-makers Differentiating products/services from the competition Creating valuable content instead of sales-oriented content Capturing audience’s attention with typical proven techniques doesn’t always work Difficulty in reaching target audience(s) Accessing subject matter experts in order to create specialized content Extensively educating the target audience(s)
  • 41. 41 SPONSORED BY Technology Content Marketing 2020: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends was produced by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and sponsored by IDG Communications, Inc. The CMI/MarketingProfs 10th annual content marketing survey, from which the results of this report were generated, was emailed to a sample of marketers using lists from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. Online survey hosting, data collection, and tabulation was provided by Readex Research. A total of 1,798 recipients from around the globe—representing a full range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes—replied to the survey during June/July 2019. 303 respondents indicated their organization is a for-profit, technology company. This report presents the findings from the 256 who indicated a) their organization has used content marketing for at least one year and b) they are a content marketer, involved with the content marketing function, and/or someone to whom content marketing reports. Most technology respondents are based in North America (81%), followed by Europe (11%), Asia (5%), and Other (3%). Find our archive of past reports at contentmarketinginstitute.com/research. Special thanks to MarketingProfs for their assistance with the annual survey and the B2B and B2C content marketing reports. METHODOLOGY Nature of Technology Organization Size of Technology Organization (by Employees) Technology Content Marketing Job Title/Function ■ Content Creation/Management ■ Marketing Management ■ Corporate/Executive Management ■ Marketing Operations ■ Other 14% ■ B2B ■ B2C ■ Both B2B and B2C ■ Small (1-99 Employees) ■ Medium (100-999 Employees) ■ Large (1,000+ Employees) 88% 37% 38% 25% 3% 9% 38% 36% 7% 6% 13%
  • 42. 42 SPONSORED BY 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. Watch this video to learn more about CMI. Content Marketing Institute is organized by Informa Connect. 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 & Real Estate, and in a number of other specialist markets and connect communities online year-round. About IDG Communications, Inc. IDG Communications connects the world of tech buyers with insights, intent and engagement. Our premium brands, including CIO®, Computerworld®, PCWorld® and Macworld®, engage the most powerful audience of technology buyers by providing essential guidance with quality content that provides the context needed to help inform technology purchase decisions. We execute complex campaigns using premium 1st party data that fulfill marketers’ global ambitions seamlessly with consistency that delivers results and wins awards. For complementary research on the content consumption habits of enterprise tech buyers throughout the IT purchase process, including how that content is consumed, discussed, and shared, and insights on lead nurture/sales follow-up strategies specific to tech marketing, visit www.idg.com/tools-for-marketers. ABOUT