Everything You Need to Know About Content Marketing in 2021

Published Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

What does content marketing look like in 2021? You’ll find all of the information here. Statista has just released their 2021 Content Marketing Trend Study, providing a wealth of information about how content is being used by businesses all across the world. Topics discussed in the study include: 

  • The current state of content marketing in 2021, 
  • The future of content marketing, 
  • How businesses are measuring their success with content marketing, 
  • How COVID-19 has impacted different industries, 
  • The most popular content marketing strategies, and
  • Trends & technologies that define the future of content marketing. 

Clearly, the study is quite in-depth and digs deep into all aspects of content marketing in 2021. To save you the hard work of sifting through and picking out the most noteworthy points, we’ve gone through and selected the highlights. Here’s all you need to know about content marketing in 2021 and the future, thanks to Statista. 

Most companies allocate less than 30% of their marketing budget towards content marketing

This just goes to show that most departments haven’t yet caught onto the fact that content is king and reigns supreme in the digital age. B2C businesses are more likely to invest a larger portion of their marketing budget towards content marketing, while B2B tend to invest just slightly less. Stats show that around a third of businesses allocate less than 5% of their marketing budget towards content marketing, which is not nearly enough considering its value in this day and age. 

That said, businesses do seem to be catching on – more than 40% of B2C businesses have increased their content marketing budget in some way over the last year. And over 60% of B2B businesses plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2021. Which is just proof that content marketing is on the up and up. 

More than 60% of companies publish content at least once a week

Even though content marketing isn’t being allocated a major budget, most businesses are still putting in effort to put some form of content out there. The majority of companies doing content marketing are publishing content several times a week – around 46% for B2C businesses and 39% for B2B businesses. And just under a quarter (24%) of B2C businesses are publishing content daily. We love to see it. 

Businesses are investing in content marketing to strengthen their brand and acquire customers

These two factors have been identified as the main driving force behind content marketing strategies. It makes sense – publishing content helps to build a world that reflects your brand’s personality, values, identity, interests, and authority. It’s an essential part of any branding strategy, and it shows, with more than 80% of brands producing content to strengthen their image to the outside world. There are so many different ways that content can strengthen a brand’s image and persona, including the tone of voice that’s used, imagery, partnerships with influencers, topics that are written about, and more.

On the other hand, there’s nothing like content marketing to increase a brand’s exposure online and help attract new audiences. This is demonstrated with 77% of B2B and 82% of B2C companies using a content marketing strategy to acquire more customers. This type of content could include free resources, ebooks, valuable blog posts and cornerstone articles, how-tos, and more. 

Most businesses felt that their content marketing was ‘somewhat successful’

Around 68% of companies answered that their content marketing was somewhat successful, while 10% defined it as being very successful. This doesn’t mean that content marketing doesn’t work – in fact, it just goes to show that content marketing is an experimental and dynamic strategy that constantly needs to be refined and updated to reflect the results you see. 

The biggest change companies made in response to the pandemic was accelerating digital transformation

It’s a new age, and we were ushered in quickly and without notice. Businesses that were already investing in a digital marketing strategy had no problem adapting in the pandemic, while those who were mostly offline had to quickly make some changes. More than half of B2B businesses and 41% of B2C businesses said that the biggest change they made in response to coronavirus was accelerating digital transformation. This could mean taking online bookings, holding meetings online, and a whole host of other necessary changes. 

Not far behind, 45% of both B2C and B2B businesses said that they had to adapt their website and customise their approach after the pandemic. This could be something as simple as updating the site to include COVID safety protocols, or to take online sessions and change the way the business operates to allow for more online functionality. 

Social media is the biggest channel used for content marketing. 

Does this surprise anyone? No matter what kind of content you produce, it’s essential that it’s promoted through some form of social media, be it Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Because how else are people going to find out about it?! More than 90% of both B2B and B2C businesses said social media was the front runner in their content marketing strategy, while around half said blogs were their main channel. Just under 90% of businesses responded that their own website was the main channel used for content marketing. 

LinkedIn is the preferred social media channel for B2B companies

Another perhaps unsurprising statistic is that 91% of B2B businesses favoured LinkedIn as their social media channel of preference. Of course, that is what LinkedIn was designed for. On the other hand, 91% of B2C companies still used Facebook as their main content marketing platform and 83% favoured Instagram. For B2B, Facebook was second to LinkedIn with 72% of B2B businesses favouring the social media platform, while 58% looked to YouTube as their prime content marketing channel. 

Text was the most popular form of content for B2B

The written word still reigns supreme for the B2B world, with 78% of businesses using a text-based format for their content marketing. For B2C, video came first with 79% of businesses investing in it, and images came in second at 77%. Text-based content was a close third with 70% of B2C businesses still valuing the power of words. It’s clear – customers are wanting information displayed more visually, be it through videos or images, and B2C businesses are responding. This makes a lot of sense considering how many of them are now marketing on Instagram. 

B2B businesses are also seeing the value of video content, with 71% using it for their content marketing, and images were third up with 65% of businesses preferring them for content marketing. 

Around half of businesses want to use more infographics

If you thought infographics were dead, think again. Around half of both B2C and B2B businesses stated that they’d like to use more infographics for their online marketing in the future. This form of visually representing data and information is extremely successful at creating exposure and can often go viral, leading to big wins for companies. Despite the demand for infographics, video is still coming in hot and is the first preference for both B2C and B2B businesses to use more often in their content marketing. 

Web traffic & social media analytics are the main KPIs measuring content marketing success

Businesses are measuring the success of their content marketing strategies by watching for an increase in website visitors and social media analytics such as new followers, likes, views, or engagements. These two factors were the most important for both B2B and B2C businesses in measuring the success of their content marketing efforts. Beyond that, businesses were also watching their website engagement, email engagement,  conversion rate, and email subscriber growth. 

Content should be personalised and used for community building

Businesses are seeing the value in creating personalised content to nurture leads, as well as to help build a sense of community amongst their followers and customers. This is true for both B2C and B2B businesses, though B2C seems to regard these two points a little more highly. Personalised content & community building efforts are taking precedence over data storytelling, live videos, user-generated content, and influencer marketing. 

Businesses want to invest more in content creation & production this year

Of all the content marketing activities, both B2B and B2C businesses are choosing to invest more of their budget in content creation and production this year. We’d like to think this is because they’re seeing the value it produces in engagement, increasing conversions, building a sense of community, establishing authority, and strengthening a brand’s identity. After content creation, B2B businesses want to invest more in their website, while B2C companies would like to prioritise social media community building. 

Invest in your business’s content marketing

Join the leagues of other B2B and B2C businesses and start investing more heavily in content marketing. You’ll see the payoff in increased conversions, website traffic, community engagement, and more. To get you started, you’ll need someone to produce the content for you. That’s where we come in – with access to a talented pool of writers and content strategists, we can help you craft a powerful content strategy to get you started on your content marketing journey. Get in touch with our team and let’s talk content