The idea behind content marketing is to answer to an existing demand from the customer other than creating it, shifting the focus to the consumer needs. In fact, 90 percent of B2B marketers believe that content needed to be audience-relevant in order to be effective. For American consumers though, marketing content needs to hold their attention in order to be relevant – about 80 percent of them stated this was the leading factor influencing personal viewing experience. About 56 percent American consumers stated that branded content needs to be based on their interests. Consumers prefer when companies are relatable and use humor, or are authentic.
Organizations can have different goals when using content marketing. B2C marketers, for example, use content marketing to create brand awareness, whereas lead generation is one of the most important goals for B2B marketers. Other common goals include lead nurturing, engagement, customer retention, sales, and cost saving, to name a few. Content marketing can take a variety of forms, some with better return on investment than others. The most popular marketing content type, used by more 80 percent of marketers, is blog posts. Other popular content marketing types include whitepapers, presentations, webinars, and videos. Social media content is the preferred content marketing tactics amongst B2B business in North America. B2C marketers in North America, on the other hand, stated a preference for e-newsletters and in-person events.
A large share of the companies in the U.S. still produces content in-house – via content team, the department or an in-house agency for instance. About 43 percent of the companies said they didn't hire any outside companies to produce content for them, whereas 46 percent of them said they outsourced content production to one to three companies. In the U.S., nearly 90 percent of the marketers believe a meeting is an efficient way to generate ideas for marketing content, and 76 percent prefer a brainstorming session.