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CONTENT MARKETING
2020
Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America
SPONSORED BY
2
SPONSORED BY
m WELCOME.......................................................................................................... 3
m B2B CONTENT MARKETING TOP PERFORMERS AT-A-GLANCE........................... 4
m KEY FINDINGS.................................................................................................... 6
m SUCCESS & MATURITY....................................................................................... 8
m STRATEGY, OPINIONS & TECHNOLOGY............................................................ 11
m TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING............................................................... 15
m CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION............................................................ 20
m METRICS & GOALS........................................................................................... 29
m BUDGETS & SPENDING.................................................................................... 34
m CONTENT MARKETING PRIORITIES................................................................. 39
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: B2B North America content marketers, all of
whom indicated their organization has used content marketing
for at least one year (see Methodology for more details).
Most and Least Successful: The “most successful” (aka “top
performers”) are those who characterize their organization’s overall
content marketing approach as extremely or very successful (Top 2).
The “least successful” characterize their organization’s approach as
minimally or not at all successful (Bottom 2). See page 9.
Some charts in this report compare Most Successful vs. All
Respondents vs. Least Successful. In many instances, charts reflect
the findings based on All Respondents. Some charts show notable
differences we observed based on things like company size or
annual content marketing budget.
Company Size: Small (1-99 employees), medium (100-999
employees), and large/enterprise (1,000+).
NOTE
Use caution if making comparisons 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 our annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks,
Budgets, and Trends—North America report. We’re excited to
present you with the findings from our latest content marketing survey.
Content marketing has changed a lot since we launched this research
nearly a decade ago. We marketers are still focused on content creation,
but our thinking about the audiences for whom we create that content
has evolved. So, too, have the ways we distribute, measure, and
improve upon our content marketing. Technology has played a big role,
along with the knowledge we’ve gained through our content marketing
experiences.
As you’ll see in this report, some organizations are more developed
than others with their content marketing. But you’ll also recognize
your own practices reflected in many of the findings. Where does your
company stand? What do you need to get to where you want to be? If
you need help, let us know!
WELCOME
Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs
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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Most Successful All Respondents Least Successful
Organization’s content marketing is sophisticated/mature 87% 42% 8%
Has a documented content marketing strategy 69% 41% 16%
Has a centralized content marketing group working throughout the organization 44% 25% 14%
Uses metrics to measure content performance 95% 80% 62%
Has KPIs to measure content initiatives 83% 65% 30%
Measures content marketing ROI 67% 43% 23%
Rates ability to demonstrate ROI as excellent/very good 84% 59% 25%
Uses content marketing successfully to:
Build loyalty with customers 84% 63% 39%
Nurture subscribers/audiences/leads 83% 68% 51%
Generate sales/revenue	 75% 53% 29%
Build a subscribed audience 68% 45% 30%
This Year’s B2B Content Marketing Top Performers At-A-Glance
TOP PERFORMERS
5
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Most Successful All Respondents Least Successful
Always/frequently:
Prioritizes audience’s informational needs over organization’s
sales/promotional message
88% 66% 50%
Crafts content based on specific stages of the customer journey 74% 48% 26%
Strongly/somewhat agrees:
Organization prioritizes delivering relevant content when and where a person is
most likely to see it	
93% 71% 37%
Organization provides customers with optimal experiences
across their engagement journey
83% 52% 23%
This Year’s B2B Content Marketing Top Performers At-A-Glance (continued)
*Chart term definitions: A top performer (aka “most successful”) is a respondent who characterizes their organization’s overall content marketing approach as extremely or very successful. The “least successful” characterize their organization’s
approach as minimally or not at all successful.
Base: B2B content marketers.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
TOP PERFORMERS
6
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Goals for content
marketing are largely
focused on the top of
the funnel
Most B2B marketers
use content marketing
successfully to achieve
top-of-funnel goals.
Fewer report they use it
successfully on activities
that deepen relationships.
There have, however, been
notable year-over-year (YOY)
increases in those who use
it to nurture, build loyalty,
and generate sales/revenue.
See page 33.
It’s rare to find internal
teams of more than 5 full-
time employees dedicated
solely to content
marketing. Even large
companies are most likely
to have teams in the 2 to 5
range. See page 17.
84% of those who outsource
cite content creation, with
content distribution a
distant second (31%).
See pages 18 and 19.
Small teams are
the norm
Half outsource at least
one content marketing
activity, with content
creation being the
most likely
Blog posts/short articles are
the highest performing for
building brand awareness,
while email newsletters are
highest for nurturing leads.
See page 25.
Among the content
types used, in-person
events are the highest
performing for securing
and converting leads
KEY FINDINGS
7
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KEY FINDINGS
Effectively targeted
content distribution
may be an issue for
about one-third of all
surveyed
71% agree their
organization prioritizes
delivering relevant content
when and where a person
is most likely to see it. The
remaining 29% neither
agree nor disagree (15%)—
or disagree (14%). Top
performers do a better job
in this area. See page 13.
Paid social is the top paid
channel B2B marketers
use for content marketing.
LinkedIn is both the top
organic and paid social
media platform they use,
and the one they say
generates the best content
marketing results for their
organization. See page 27.
Key performance indicators
(KPIs) are more common
among the top performers
than all respondents
(83% vs. 65%). Among all
respondents who measure
return on investment
(ROI), 59% say they do an
excellent or very good job
at it (that number jumps to
84% for the top performers).
See page 30.
83% of top performers agree
their organization provides
optimal experiences across
all phases of the customer
journey compared with
just half (52%) of all
respondents. See page 13.
84% use paid
distribution channels
for content marketing
purposes
Most use metrics to
measure content
performance, but fewer
have KPIs or measure
content marketing ROI
Top performers are
more likely than all
surveyed to provide
optimal experiences
across the customer
journey
8
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SUCCESS & MATURITY
9
SPONSORED BY
Overall success with content marketing is similar to that reported for the last 3 years,
with the largest percentage saying their organization is moderately successful.
How B2B Marketers Rate Their Organization’s
Overall Level of Content Marketing Success
5%1%
58%
15%
21%
■ Extremely Successful
■ Very Successful
■ Moderately Successful
■ Minimally Successful
■ Not At All Successful
How B2B Marketers Rate Their Organization’s
Content Marketing Success Compared
With One Year Ago
2% 0%
51%
29%
18% ■ Much More Successful
■ Somewhat More Successful
■ About the Same
■ Somewhat Less Successful
■ Much Less Successful
Base: B2B content marketers; aided list.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: 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,” and the Bottom 2
(minimally/not at all) as “least successful.”
Base: B2B content marketers; aided list.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SUCCESS & MATURITY
10
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42% of B2B marketers say their organization is in the sophisticated/mature phase of
content marketing maturity. The percentages shown here are similar to last year.
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: B2B content marketers; aided list.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
How B2B Marketers Rate Their Organization’s
Content Marketing Maturity Level
9%
1%
4%
31%
22%
33%
■ Sophisticated
■ Mature
■ Adolescent
■ Young
■ First Steps
■ Unsure
SUCCESS & MATURITY
11
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STRATEGY, OPINIONS
& TECHNOLOGY
12
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The percentage of content marketers who document their content marketing strategy has
inched up slowly year over year. Our annual research consistently shows that a documented
strategy is often a key indicator of content marketing success.
*As reported in the 2019 and 2018 versions of this report.
Base: B2B content marketers; aided list.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
STRATEGY, OPINIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Percentage of B2B Marketers
With a Documented Content Marketing Strategy
2020 2019* 2018*
■ Most Successful ■ All Respondents ■ Least Successful
69%
62%
65%
14%
16%
41%
37%
39%
16%
13
SPONSORED BY
52% of B2B marketers agree their organization provides customers with optimal experiences
across the engagement journey.
B2B Marketers’ Opinions About Content Marketing in Their Organization
(Strongly/Somewhat Agree)
95%
86%
72%
71%
37%
23%
93%
83%
52%
65%
92%
78%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Our audience views our organization as
a credible and trusted resource
Our organization prioritizes delivering relevant content
when and where a person is most likely to see it
Our organization values creativity and craft in
content creation and production
Our organization provides customers with optimal
experiences across their engagement journey
■ Most Successful ■ All Respondents ■ Least Successful
Base: B2B content marketers who answered each statement.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
STRATEGY, OPINIONS & TECHNOLOGY
14
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The top 2 technologies B2B organizations use to assist with content marketing are analytics tools
(86%) and email marketing software (85%).
Other technologies used:
Content Distribution
Platform (33%); Content
Optimization (24%);
Content Performance/
Recommendation Analytics
(22%); Digital Asset
Management (DAM) System
(20%); and Integrated
Content Marketing Platform
(10%). 2% said none of
the above.
Technologies B2B Organizations Use to Assist
With Content Marketing
(Top 7)
86%
85%
80%
48%
44%
65%
51%
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 Management System (CMS)
Email Marketing Software
Content Creation/Collaboration/Workflow
STRATEGY, OPINIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Base: B2B content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
15
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TEAM STRUCTURE
& OUTSOURCING
16
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TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
All Respondents
Small
(1-99 Employees)
Medium
(100-999 Employees)
Large
(1,000+ Employees)
We have a centralized content marketing group that works with
multiple brands/products/departments throughout the organization
25% 19% 32% 28%
Eachbrand/product/departmenthasitsowncontentmarketingteam 6% 1% 4% 21%
Both—We have a centralized group and individual teams
throughout the organization
15% 8% 11% 36%
We have a small (or one-person) marketing/content marketing
team serving the entire organization
52% 70% 52% 12%
Other 2% 2% 1% 3%
52% of B2B 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 (see page 4).
B2B Organizations’ Content Marketing Team Structure
Base: B2B content marketers; aided list.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
17
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TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
All Respondents
Small
(1-99 Employees)
Medium
(100-999 Employees)
Large
(1,000+ Employees)
11+ 4% 0% 3% 12%
6-10 5% 2% 4% 14%
2-5 35% 25% 40% 49%
1 24% 29% 27% 13%
0 (no one is full-time,
dedicated)
32% 44% 26% 12%
35% of B2B marketers say their organization has 2 to 5 internal team members who are full-
time/dedicated to content marketing; another 32% have no full-time person.
Teams grow with company size, but even large companies are most likely to have teams of 2 to 5 (49%).
B2B Organizations’ Content Marketing Team Size
(Full-Time/Dedicated to Content Marketing)
Base: B2B content marketers.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
18
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TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
Half of B2B marketers outsource at least one content marketing activity.
Large companies are the most likely to outsource. Overall content marketing success has little bearing on whether a
company outsources.
Does Your B2B Organization Outsource Any Content Marketing Activities?
All Respondents
Small
(1-99 Employees)
Medium
(100-999 Employees)
Large
(1,000+ Employees)
Yes 50% 37% 56% 71%
No 50% 63% 44% 29%
Base: B2B content marketers.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
19
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TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING
Content creation is the activity B2B marketers are most likely to outsource, regardless of
company size, content marketing budget, or overall content marketing success.
Base: B2B content marketers whose organization outsources at least one content marketing activity. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Content Marketing Activities B2B Organizations Outsource
84%
31%
22%
13%
13%
12%
18%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Content Creation
Content Technology
Measurement
Editorial Planning
Other
Content Distribution
Content Strategy
20
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CONTENT CREATION
& DISTRIBUTION
21
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These findings are similar to last year’s with one notable exception: There is a slight decrease in those
prioritizing their audience’s informational needs over their company’s sales/promotional message.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Note: Slight decrease is defined here as a decrease of 2 to 7 percentage points.
Base: B2B content marketers who answered each concept.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Concepts B2B Marketers Always/Frequently Take Into Account While
Creating Content for Their Organization
95%
92%
81%
66%
50%
88%
26%
74%
48%
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
■ Most Successful ■ All Respondents ■ Least Successful
22
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
The average number of audiences B2B marketers create content for is 4. The average is higher in
large companies (5) and lower in small companies (3).
Number of Different Audiences
B2B Marketers Create Content For
50%
22%
5%
23%
■ 6+
■ 4-5
■ 2-3
■ 1
Base: B2B content marketers; aided list.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
23
SPONSORED BY
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Regardless of their organization’s size, B2B marketers say half the content they produce is created
for audiences in the early stages of the customer journey.
Base: B2B content marketers who answered the question. Percentages were required to equal 100%.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Percentage of Total Content
B2B Marketers Created for Content Marketing
Purposes in Last 12 Months
14%
22%
3%
50%
11% ■ Top-of-the-funnel
(generating awareness/interest)
■ Mid-funnel (consideration/intent)
■ Late-stage (evaluation/purchase)
■ Post-sale (loyalty/brand advocacy)
■ Other areas
24
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
The top 3 types of content B2B marketers use are social media content (95%), blog posts/short
articles (89%), and email newsletters (81%).
Other content types used in
last 12 months: Long-Form
Text (e.g., articles 3,000+ words)
(38%); Research Reports (34%);
Print Magazines (24%); Podcasts
(21%); Livestreaming Content
(10%); Print Books (9%); and
Other (12%).
Base: B2B content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Content Types B2B Marketers Used in Last 12 Months
(Top 10)
95%
89%
81%
73%
71%
69%
67%
57%
55%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Social Media Content (e.g., tweets, stories)
Email Newsletters
Videos (excluding livestreaming)
Webinars/Online Events
White Papers
51%Ebooks/Guides
Case Studies
Infographics/Charts/Photos/Data Viz
Blog Posts/Short Articles
In-Person Events
25
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 3
responses in each category are shown here.
TO BUILD BRAND
AWARENESS
Blog Posts/Short Articles
(31%)
Social Media Content
(e.g., tweets, stories) (25%)
In-Person Events (8%)
TO NURTURE
LEADS
Email Newsletters (31%)
Blog Posts/Short Articles
(13%)
In-Person Events &
Case Studies (tied at 9%)
TO SECURE
LEADS
In-Person Events (19%)
Webinars/Online Events
(16%)
Ebooks/Guides (13%)
TO CONVERT
LEADS
In-Person Events (25%)
Case Studies (23%)
Webinars/Online Events
(11%)
Base: B2B content marketers whose organization used more than one content type for content marketing purposes in the last 12 months.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
26
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
The top 3 organic (free) content distribution channels B2B marketers use are social media (91%),
their organization’s website/blog (89%), and email (87%). The top performers are more likely to take
advantage of additional opportunities such as speaking, guest articles, and media/influencer relations.
Organic Content Distribution Channels B2B Marketers
Used in Last 12 Months
91%
89%
87%
63%
48%
34%
15%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Social Media
Email
Guest Posts/Articles in
Third-Party Publications
Media/Influencer Relations
Other
Their Organization’s Website/Blog
Speaking/Events
Notable Differences Between Top Performers and All Respondents
(B2B Use of Organic Content Distribution Channels)
70%
63%
48%
63%
46%
34%
0 20 40 60 80
Speaking/Events
Guest Posts/Articles in Third-Party Publications
Media/Influencer Relations
■ Top Performers ■ All RespondentsBase: B2B content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
27
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
84% of B2B marketers use paid distribution channels for content marketing purposes; of that group,
72% use paid social media/promoted posts.
Note: 16% of respondents indicated their organization did not use paid distribution channels in the last 12 months.
Base: B2B content marketers whose organization used at least one paid distribution channel in the last 12 months.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Paid Content Distribution Channels B2B Marketers
Used in Last 12 Months
72%
66%
61%
31%
14%
46%
32%
0 20 40 60 80
Social Media Advertising/Promoted Posts
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)/Pay-Per-Click
Other
Banner Ads Promoting Your Content (e.g., ebook, webinar)
Partner Emails Promoting Your Content (e.g., ebook, webinar)
Sponsorships (e.g., booths, workshops, branding)
Native Advertising/Sponsored Content
(not including social media platforms)
28
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Nearly all B2B marketers use LinkedIn for organic content marketing. LinkedIn is also the top
choice among those who use paid social media platforms.
Respondents also selected LinkedIn as both the organic and paid social media platform that generates the best content
marketing results for their organization.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
TOP RATED
LinkedIn
YouTube Instagram
Twitter Facebook
95%
53% 46%
86% 83%
LinkedIn
TOP RATED
Instagram YouTube
Facebook Twitter
76%
17% 11%
66% 29%
Organic Social Media Platforms
B2B Content Marketers Used in Last 12 Months
Paid Social Media Platforms
B2B Content Marketers Used in Last 12 Months
Other organic
social used in last
12 months: Medium
(11%); Pinterest
(10%); Quora
(5%); Reddit (5%);
Snapchat (3%); and
Other (7%).
Other paid social
used in last 12
months: Pinterest
(2%); Snapchat (2%);
Medium (2%); Reddit
(1%); Quora (1%);
and Other (5%).
Base: B2B content marketers whose organization used
organic social to distribute content in the last 12 months.
Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Base: B2B content marketers whose organization used paid
social to distribute content in the last 12 months. Aided list;
multiple responses permitted.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
29
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METRICS & GOALS
30
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METRICS & GOALS
80% of B2B marketers use metrics to measure content performance, 65% have established
KPIs, and 43% measure content marketing ROI.
Does Your B2B Organization
Use Metrics to Measure
Content Performance?
14%
6%
80%
■ Yes
■ No
■ Unsure
Did Your B2B
Organization Establish KPIs
to Measure Content Marketing
Initiatives in the Last 12 Months?
27%
8%
65%
■ Yes
■ No
■ Unsure
Does Your B2B Organization
Measure Content Marketing ROI?
44%
13%
43%
■ Yes
■ No
■ Unsure
Base: B2B content marketers.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America:
Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Base: B2B content marketers whose organization uses
metrics to measure content performance.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America:
Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Base: B2B content marketers whose organization uses
metrics to measure content performance.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America:
Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
31
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METRICS & GOALS
The top 5 metrics B2B marketers track to measure content performance are email engagement
(90%), website traffic (88%), website engagement (86%), social media analytics (83%), and
conversions (78%).
Metrics B2B Marketers Tracked to
Measure Content Performance in Last 12 Months
(Top 8)
90%
88%
86%
64%
51%
49%
83%
78%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Email Engagement
(e.g., opens, clicks, downloads)
Search Rankings
Marketing Qualified Lead Metrics
(e.g., MQLs, SQLs)
Social Media Analytics (e.g., shares,
followers, views, likes)
Conversions (e.g., traffic to
subscribers, leads to sales)
Website Traffic
(e.g., page views, backlinks)
Website Engagement (e.g., time spent,
bounce rate, form completions)
Email Subscriber Numbers
(e.g., growth, unsubscribes)
Other metrics tracked in last
12 months: Cost of a Lead,
Subscribers, and/or Customer/
Customer Acquisition Cost
(CAC) (41%); PR Mentions/
Media Coverage (39%); Mobile
Analytics (e.g., traffic, time
spent, conversions) (32%); Sales
Effectiveness (e.g., sales cycle
time, sales team performance)
(24%); Customer Retention
Rates (19%); Customer
Satisfaction Metrics (18%);
Lifetime Customer Value (12%);
and Other (2%).
Base: B2B content marketers whose organization uses metrics to measure content performance. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
32
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METRICS & GOALS
59% of the B2B marketers who measure content marketing ROI (43%) 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
B2B Marketers’ Ability to Demonstrate ROI
for Content Marketing Initiatives
36%
2%
0%
3%
14%
45%
■ Excellent
■ Very Good
■ Average
■ Below Average
■ Poor
■ Too Soon to Tell
Base: B2B content marketers whose organization uses metrics and whose team measured ROI of overall content marketing
initiatives in the last 12 months. Aided list.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
33
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All Respondents
As Reported One
Year Ago*
Create brand awareness 86% 81%
Educate audience(s) 79% 73%
Build credibility/trust 75% 68%
Generate demand/leads 70% 68%
Nurture subscribers/audiences/leads 68% 58%
Build loyalty with existing clients/customers 63% 54%
Drive attendance to one or more in-person events 52% 49%
Generate sales/revenue 53% 45%
Build a subscribed audience 45% 43%
Support the launch of a new product 45% 40%
None of the above 0% 1%
Most respondents are focused on top-of-funnel goals; however, there are notable year-over-year differences
among those using content marketing successfully to nurture, build loyalty, and generate sales/revenue.
Goals B2B Marketers Have Achieved by Using Content Marketing Successfully in Last 12 Months
METRICS & GOALS
*See 2019 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends--North America
Base: B2B content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
34
SPONSORED BY
BUDGETS & SPENDING
35
SPONSORED BY
BUDGETS & SPENDING
36% of B2B marketers reported a 2019 annual content marketing budget of less than
$100,000. The average reported annual budget (all respondents) was $185,000.
2019 Annual Budget for
B2B Content Marketing (Average)
(All Respondents)
19%
18%
18%
4%
2%
3%
36%
■ 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 B2B Content Marketing (Average)
(By Content Marketing Success Level)
3%
0 $50,000 $100,000 $150,000 $200,000 $250,000 $300,000
Most Successful
All Respondents
Least Successful
2019 Annual Budget for B2B Content Marketing (Average)
(By Company Size)
3%
0 $100,000 $200,000 $300,000 $400,000 $500,000
Large
(1,000+ Employees)
Medium
(100-999 Employees)
Small
(1-99 Employees)
$272,000
$185,000
$405,000
$213,000
$81,500
$109,000
2019 Annual Budget for B2B Content Marketing (Average)
(By Content Marketing Success Level)
3%
0 $50,000 $100,000 $150,000 $200,000 $250,000 $300,000
Most Successful
All Respondents
Least Successful
2019 Annual Budget for B2B Content Marketing (Average)
(By Company Size)
3%
0 $100,000 $200,000 $300,000 $400,000 $500,000
Large
(1,000+ Employees)
Medium
(100-999 Employees)
Small
(1-99 Employees)
$272,000
$185,000
$405,000
$213,000
$81,500
$109,000
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: B2B content marketers. Aided list.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
36
SPONSORED BY
BUDGETS & SPENDING
Nearly half of B2B marketers expect their content marketing budget to increase in 2020.
These figures are similar among organizations of all sizes regardless of their overall content marketing success.
They’re also similar to the percentages reported last year.
B2B Marketers’ Expected Change in
2020 Content Marketing Budget
Compared With 2019
12%
15%
4%
35%
34%
■ Increase 1% to 9%
■ Increase More than 9%
■ Stay the Same
■ Decrease
■ Unsure
Base: B2B content marketers who reported having an annual budget for content marketing in 2019.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
37
SPONSORED BY
BUDGETS & SPENDING
Organization size and available budget impact whether a company uses paid advertising
in addition to content marketing.
Does Your B2B Organization Use Traditional
Paid Advertising in Addition to Content Marketing?
(All Respondents)
65%
35% ■ Yes
■ No
Percentage of B2B Marketers Who Use Traditional
Paid Advertising in Addition to Content Marketing
(By Company Size)
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Large
(1,000+ Employees)
Medium
(100-999 Employees)
Small
(1-99 Employees)
54%
41%
23%
Percentage of B2B Marketers Who Use Traditional
Paid Advertising in Addition to Content Marketing
(By Annual Content Marketing Budget)
Yes No
Over $100,000 49% 51%
Under$100,000 28% 72%
Base: B2B content marketers.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
38
SPONSORED BY
BUDGETS & SPENDING
Of those who use paid advertising, 38% say they’ve shifted paid advertising dollars to content
marketing in the last 12 months. There were no notable differences by company size or
amount of the annual content marketing budget.
Did Your B2B Organization Shift Paid Advertising
Dollars to Content Marketing in the Last 12 Months?
40%
22%
38%
■ Yes
■ No
■ Unsure
Base: B2B content marketers whose organization uses traditional paid advertising in addition to content marketing.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
39
SPONSORED BY
CONTENT MARKETING
PRIORITIES
40
SPONSORED BY
CONTENT MARKETING PRIORITIES
Nearly half of B2B marketers think their organization might prioritize improving the quality/
conversion of audiences in 2020.
Top 3 Content Marketing Activities B2B Marketers
Think Their Organization Might Prioritize in 2020
48%
46%
46%
32%
31%
4%
44%
34%
0 20 40 60
Improve quality/conversion of audience(s)
Improve on content distribution/promotion
Focus on content quality/quantity
Improve on content marketing measurement
Increase the size of our audience(s)
Know our audience(s) better
Segment/capture better data from 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: B2B content marketers. Aided list; maximum of 3 responses permitted.
2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
41
SPONSORED BY
B2B Content Marketing 2020: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America was produced by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs and
sponsored by Sitecore.
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.
This report presents the findings from the 679 respondents who indicated:
 Their organization is a for-profit company in North America, primarily selling products/services to businesses (B2B)
 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
Find our archive of past reports at contentmarketinginstitute.com/research.
B2B Industry
Classification
Size of B2B Company
(by Employees)
B2B Content Marketing
Job Title/Function
■ Small (10-99 Employees)
■ Micro(Fewerthan10Employees)
■ Medium (100-999 Employees)
■ Large (1,000+ Employees)
■ Marketing Management
■ Content Creation/Management
■ Corporate/Executive Management
■ Marketing Operations
■ Advertising/PR/Comm Management
■ Consulting
■ Other
14%
■ Technology/IT/Software/Hardware
■ Agency (Content Marketing,
Advertising, Digital, PR)
■ Manufacturing
■ Consulting
■ Professional Services
■ Healthcare/Medical/Pharma/Life Sciences
■ Financial Services
■ Publishing/Media
■ Other
27%
19%
31%28%
22%
19%
11%
8%
9%
4%
4%
4%
14%
34%
29%
14%
7%
6%
2% 8%
METHODOLOGY
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 (CMI) 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 Tech. To
learn more: ContentMarketingInstitute.com.
About MarketingProfs
MarketingProfs is a training and education company dedicated to helping large organizations, small teams, and individuals execute
marketing campaigns that drive real results. MarketingProfs produces training programs, online events, conferences, including the
MarketingProfs B2B Forum. More than 600,000 marketers globally trust MarketingProfs as their top marketing resource.
About Sitecore
Sitecore is the global leader in experience management software that combines content management, commerce, and customer
insights. The Sitecore Experience Cloud™ empowers marketers to deliver personalized content in real time and at scale across
every channel—before, during, and after a sale. More than 5,200 brands—including American Express, Carnival Cruise Lines, Dow
Chemical, and L’Oréal—have trusted Sitecore to deliver the personalized interactions that delight audiences, build loyalty, and
drive revenue.
ABOUT
ADVERTISEMENT
Sitecore and SoDA research shows that publishing
personalized content faster or more cost effectively
is a priority for over 95% of global marketing leaders.
Your customers expect memorable moments at
every brand touchpoint. It’s a never-ending challenge.
We call it “The Content Crisis.” Fortunately, there’s a
way forward.
Check our guides for advice on how to better plan,
manage, publish, and organize your content in ways
that optimize your ability to deliver high-quality,
personalized content consistently and efficiently.
TRANSFORM YOUR
CONTENT DELIVERY
FIND RESOURCES HERE

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2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends - North America

  • 1. CONTENT MARKETING 2020 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America SPONSORED BY
  • 2. 2 SPONSORED BY m WELCOME.......................................................................................................... 3 m B2B CONTENT MARKETING TOP PERFORMERS AT-A-GLANCE........................... 4 m KEY FINDINGS.................................................................................................... 6 m SUCCESS & MATURITY....................................................................................... 8 m STRATEGY, OPINIONS & TECHNOLOGY............................................................ 11 m TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING............................................................... 15 m CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION............................................................ 20 m METRICS & GOALS........................................................................................... 29 m BUDGETS & SPENDING.................................................................................... 34 m CONTENT MARKETING PRIORITIES................................................................. 39 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: B2B North America content marketers, all of whom indicated their organization has used content marketing for at least one year (see Methodology for more details). Most and Least Successful: The “most successful” (aka “top performers”) are those who characterize their organization’s overall content marketing approach as extremely or very successful (Top 2). The “least successful” characterize their organization’s approach as minimally or not at all successful (Bottom 2). See page 9. Some charts in this report compare Most Successful vs. All Respondents vs. Least Successful. In many instances, charts reflect the findings based on All Respondents. Some charts show notable differences we observed based on things like company size or annual content marketing budget. Company Size: Small (1-99 employees), medium (100-999 employees), and large/enterprise (1,000+). NOTE Use caution if making comparisons 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 our annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report. We’re excited to present you with the findings from our latest content marketing survey. Content marketing has changed a lot since we launched this research nearly a decade ago. We marketers are still focused on content creation, but our thinking about the audiences for whom we create that content has evolved. So, too, have the ways we distribute, measure, and improve upon our content marketing. Technology has played a big role, along with the knowledge we’ve gained through our content marketing experiences. As you’ll see in this report, some organizations are more developed than others with their content marketing. But you’ll also recognize your own practices reflected in many of the findings. Where does your company stand? What do you need to get to where you want to be? If you need help, let us know! WELCOME Ann Handley Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs 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 Most Successful All Respondents Least Successful Organization’s content marketing is sophisticated/mature 87% 42% 8% Has a documented content marketing strategy 69% 41% 16% Has a centralized content marketing group working throughout the organization 44% 25% 14% Uses metrics to measure content performance 95% 80% 62% Has KPIs to measure content initiatives 83% 65% 30% Measures content marketing ROI 67% 43% 23% Rates ability to demonstrate ROI as excellent/very good 84% 59% 25% Uses content marketing successfully to: Build loyalty with customers 84% 63% 39% Nurture subscribers/audiences/leads 83% 68% 51% Generate sales/revenue 75% 53% 29% Build a subscribed audience 68% 45% 30% This Year’s B2B Content Marketing Top Performers At-A-Glance TOP PERFORMERS
  • 5. 5 SPONSORED BY Most Successful All Respondents Least Successful Always/frequently: Prioritizes audience’s informational needs over organization’s sales/promotional message 88% 66% 50% Crafts content based on specific stages of the customer journey 74% 48% 26% Strongly/somewhat agrees: Organization prioritizes delivering relevant content when and where a person is most likely to see it 93% 71% 37% Organization provides customers with optimal experiences across their engagement journey 83% 52% 23% This Year’s B2B Content Marketing Top Performers At-A-Glance (continued) *Chart term definitions: A top performer (aka “most successful”) is a respondent who characterizes their organization’s overall content marketing approach as extremely or very successful. The “least successful” characterize their organization’s approach as minimally or not at all successful. Base: B2B content marketers. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs TOP PERFORMERS
  • 6. 6 SPONSORED BY Goals for content marketing are largely focused on the top of the funnel Most B2B marketers use content marketing successfully to achieve top-of-funnel goals. Fewer report they use it successfully on activities that deepen relationships. There have, however, been notable year-over-year (YOY) increases in those who use it to nurture, build loyalty, and generate sales/revenue. See page 33. It’s rare to find internal teams of more than 5 full- time employees dedicated solely to content marketing. Even large companies are most likely to have teams in the 2 to 5 range. See page 17. 84% of those who outsource cite content creation, with content distribution a distant second (31%). See pages 18 and 19. Small teams are the norm Half outsource at least one content marketing activity, with content creation being the most likely Blog posts/short articles are the highest performing for building brand awareness, while email newsletters are highest for nurturing leads. See page 25. Among the content types used, in-person events are the highest performing for securing and converting leads KEY FINDINGS
  • 7. 7 SPONSORED BY KEY FINDINGS Effectively targeted content distribution may be an issue for about one-third of all surveyed 71% agree their organization prioritizes delivering relevant content when and where a person is most likely to see it. The remaining 29% neither agree nor disagree (15%)— or disagree (14%). Top performers do a better job in this area. See page 13. Paid social is the top paid channel B2B marketers use for content marketing. LinkedIn is both the top organic and paid social media platform they use, and the one they say generates the best content marketing results for their organization. See page 27. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are more common among the top performers than all respondents (83% vs. 65%). Among all respondents who measure return on investment (ROI), 59% say they do an excellent or very good job at it (that number jumps to 84% for the top performers). See page 30. 83% of top performers agree their organization provides optimal experiences across all phases of the customer journey compared with just half (52%) of all respondents. See page 13. 84% use paid distribution channels for content marketing purposes Most use metrics to measure content performance, but fewer have KPIs or measure content marketing ROI Top performers are more likely than all surveyed to provide optimal experiences across the customer journey
  • 9. 9 SPONSORED BY Overall success with content marketing is similar to that reported for the last 3 years, with the largest percentage saying their organization is moderately successful. How B2B Marketers Rate Their Organization’s Overall Level of Content Marketing Success 5%1% 58% 15% 21% ■ Extremely Successful ■ Very Successful ■ Moderately Successful ■ Minimally Successful ■ Not At All Successful How B2B Marketers Rate Their Organization’s Content Marketing Success Compared With One Year Ago 2% 0% 51% 29% 18% ■ Much More Successful ■ Somewhat More Successful ■ About the Same ■ Somewhat Less Successful ■ Much Less Successful Base: B2B content marketers; aided list. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: 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,” and the Bottom 2 (minimally/not at all) as “least successful.” Base: B2B content marketers; aided list. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs SUCCESS & MATURITY
  • 10. 10 SPONSORED BY 42% of B2B marketers say their organization is in the sophisticated/mature phase of content marketing maturity. The percentages shown here are similar to last year. 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: B2B content marketers; aided list. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs How B2B Marketers Rate Their Organization’s Content Marketing Maturity Level 9% 1% 4% 31% 22% 33% ■ Sophisticated ■ Mature ■ Adolescent ■ Young ■ First Steps ■ Unsure SUCCESS & MATURITY
  • 12. 12 SPONSORED BY The percentage of content marketers who document their content marketing strategy has inched up slowly year over year. Our annual research consistently shows that a documented strategy is often a key indicator of content marketing success. *As reported in the 2019 and 2018 versions of this report. Base: B2B content marketers; aided list. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs STRATEGY, OPINIONS & TECHNOLOGY Percentage of B2B Marketers With a Documented Content Marketing Strategy 2020 2019* 2018* ■ Most Successful ■ All Respondents ■ Least Successful 69% 62% 65% 14% 16% 41% 37% 39% 16%
  • 13. 13 SPONSORED BY 52% of B2B marketers agree their organization provides customers with optimal experiences across the engagement journey. B2B Marketers’ Opinions About Content Marketing in Their Organization (Strongly/Somewhat Agree) 95% 86% 72% 71% 37% 23% 93% 83% 52% 65% 92% 78% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Our audience views our organization as a credible and trusted resource Our organization prioritizes delivering relevant content when and where a person is most likely to see it Our organization values creativity and craft in content creation and production Our organization provides customers with optimal experiences across their engagement journey ■ Most Successful ■ All Respondents ■ Least Successful Base: B2B content marketers who answered each statement. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs STRATEGY, OPINIONS & TECHNOLOGY
  • 14. 14 SPONSORED BY The top 2 technologies B2B organizations use to assist with content marketing are analytics tools (86%) and email marketing software (85%). Other technologies used: Content Distribution Platform (33%); Content Optimization (24%); Content Performance/ Recommendation Analytics (22%); Digital Asset Management (DAM) System (20%); and Integrated Content Marketing Platform (10%). 2% said none of the above. Technologies B2B Organizations Use to Assist With Content Marketing (Top 7) 86% 85% 80% 48% 44% 65% 51% 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 Management System (CMS) Email Marketing Software Content Creation/Collaboration/Workflow STRATEGY, OPINIONS & TECHNOLOGY Base: B2B content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 16. 16 SPONSORED BY TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING All Respondents Small (1-99 Employees) Medium (100-999 Employees) Large (1,000+ Employees) We have a centralized content marketing group that works with multiple brands/products/departments throughout the organization 25% 19% 32% 28% Eachbrand/product/departmenthasitsowncontentmarketingteam 6% 1% 4% 21% Both—We have a centralized group and individual teams throughout the organization 15% 8% 11% 36% We have a small (or one-person) marketing/content marketing team serving the entire organization 52% 70% 52% 12% Other 2% 2% 1% 3% 52% of B2B 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 (see page 4). B2B Organizations’ Content Marketing Team Structure Base: B2B content marketers; aided list. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 17. 17 SPONSORED BY TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING All Respondents Small (1-99 Employees) Medium (100-999 Employees) Large (1,000+ Employees) 11+ 4% 0% 3% 12% 6-10 5% 2% 4% 14% 2-5 35% 25% 40% 49% 1 24% 29% 27% 13% 0 (no one is full-time, dedicated) 32% 44% 26% 12% 35% of B2B marketers say their organization has 2 to 5 internal team members who are full- time/dedicated to content marketing; another 32% have no full-time person. Teams grow with company size, but even large companies are most likely to have teams of 2 to 5 (49%). B2B Organizations’ Content Marketing Team Size (Full-Time/Dedicated to Content Marketing) Base: B2B content marketers. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 18. 18 SPONSORED BY TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING Half of B2B marketers outsource at least one content marketing activity. Large companies are the most likely to outsource. Overall content marketing success has little bearing on whether a company outsources. Does Your B2B Organization Outsource Any Content Marketing Activities? All Respondents Small (1-99 Employees) Medium (100-999 Employees) Large (1,000+ Employees) Yes 50% 37% 56% 71% No 50% 63% 44% 29% Base: B2B content marketers. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 19. 19 SPONSORED BY TEAM STRUCTURE & OUTSOURCING Content creation is the activity B2B marketers are most likely to outsource, regardless of company size, content marketing budget, or overall content marketing success. Base: B2B content marketers whose organization outsources at least one content marketing activity. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Content Marketing Activities B2B Organizations Outsource 84% 31% 22% 13% 13% 12% 18% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Content Creation Content Technology Measurement Editorial Planning Other Content Distribution Content Strategy
  • 21. 21 SPONSORED BY These findings are similar to last year’s with one notable exception: There is a slight decrease in those prioritizing their audience’s informational needs over their company’s sales/promotional message. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Note: Slight decrease is defined here as a decrease of 2 to 7 percentage points. Base: B2B content marketers who answered each concept. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Concepts B2B Marketers Always/Frequently Take Into Account While Creating Content for Their Organization 95% 92% 81% 66% 50% 88% 26% 74% 48% 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 ■ Most Successful ■ All Respondents ■ Least Successful
  • 22. 22 SPONSORED BY CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION The average number of audiences B2B marketers create content for is 4. The average is higher in large companies (5) and lower in small companies (3). Number of Different Audiences B2B Marketers Create Content For 50% 22% 5% 23% ■ 6+ ■ 4-5 ■ 2-3 ■ 1 Base: B2B content marketers; aided list. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 23. 23 SPONSORED BY CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Regardless of their organization’s size, B2B marketers say half the content they produce is created for audiences in the early stages of the customer journey. Base: B2B content marketers who answered the question. Percentages were required to equal 100%. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Percentage of Total Content B2B Marketers Created for Content Marketing Purposes in Last 12 Months 14% 22% 3% 50% 11% ■ Top-of-the-funnel (generating awareness/interest) ■ Mid-funnel (consideration/intent) ■ Late-stage (evaluation/purchase) ■ Post-sale (loyalty/brand advocacy) ■ Other areas
  • 24. 24 SPONSORED BY CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION The top 3 types of content B2B marketers use are social media content (95%), blog posts/short articles (89%), and email newsletters (81%). Other content types used in last 12 months: Long-Form Text (e.g., articles 3,000+ words) (38%); Research Reports (34%); Print Magazines (24%); Podcasts (21%); Livestreaming Content (10%); Print Books (9%); and Other (12%). Base: B2B content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Content Types B2B Marketers Used in Last 12 Months (Top 10) 95% 89% 81% 73% 71% 69% 67% 57% 55% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Social Media Content (e.g., tweets, stories) Email Newsletters Videos (excluding livestreaming) Webinars/Online Events White Papers 51%Ebooks/Guides Case Studies Infographics/Charts/Photos/Data Viz Blog Posts/Short Articles In-Person Events
  • 25. 25 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 3 responses in each category are shown here. TO BUILD BRAND AWARENESS Blog Posts/Short Articles (31%) Social Media Content (e.g., tweets, stories) (25%) In-Person Events (8%) TO NURTURE LEADS Email Newsletters (31%) Blog Posts/Short Articles (13%) In-Person Events & Case Studies (tied at 9%) TO SECURE LEADS In-Person Events (19%) Webinars/Online Events (16%) Ebooks/Guides (13%) TO CONVERT LEADS In-Person Events (25%) Case Studies (23%) Webinars/Online Events (11%) Base: B2B content marketers whose organization used more than one content type for content marketing purposes in the last 12 months. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 26. 26 SPONSORED BY CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION The top 3 organic (free) content distribution channels B2B marketers use are social media (91%), their organization’s website/blog (89%), and email (87%). The top performers are more likely to take advantage of additional opportunities such as speaking, guest articles, and media/influencer relations. Organic Content Distribution Channels B2B Marketers Used in Last 12 Months 91% 89% 87% 63% 48% 34% 15% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Social Media Email Guest Posts/Articles in Third-Party Publications Media/Influencer Relations Other Their Organization’s Website/Blog Speaking/Events Notable Differences Between Top Performers and All Respondents (B2B Use of Organic Content Distribution Channels) 70% 63% 48% 63% 46% 34% 0 20 40 60 80 Speaking/Events Guest Posts/Articles in Third-Party Publications Media/Influencer Relations ■ Top Performers ■ All RespondentsBase: B2B content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 27. 27 SPONSORED BY CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION 84% of B2B marketers use paid distribution channels for content marketing purposes; of that group, 72% use paid social media/promoted posts. Note: 16% of respondents indicated their organization did not use paid distribution channels in the last 12 months. Base: B2B content marketers whose organization used at least one paid distribution channel in the last 12 months. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Paid Content Distribution Channels B2B Marketers Used in Last 12 Months 72% 66% 61% 31% 14% 46% 32% 0 20 40 60 80 Social Media Advertising/Promoted Posts Search Engine Marketing (SEM)/Pay-Per-Click Other Banner Ads Promoting Your Content (e.g., ebook, webinar) Partner Emails Promoting Your Content (e.g., ebook, webinar) Sponsorships (e.g., booths, workshops, branding) Native Advertising/Sponsored Content (not including social media platforms)
  • 28. 28 SPONSORED BY Nearly all B2B marketers use LinkedIn for organic content marketing. LinkedIn is also the top choice among those who use paid social media platforms. Respondents also selected LinkedIn as both the organic and paid social media platform that generates the best content marketing results for their organization. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION TOP RATED LinkedIn YouTube Instagram Twitter Facebook 95% 53% 46% 86% 83% LinkedIn TOP RATED Instagram YouTube Facebook Twitter 76% 17% 11% 66% 29% Organic Social Media Platforms B2B Content Marketers Used in Last 12 Months Paid Social Media Platforms B2B Content Marketers Used in Last 12 Months Other organic social used in last 12 months: Medium (11%); Pinterest (10%); Quora (5%); Reddit (5%); Snapchat (3%); and Other (7%). Other paid social used in last 12 months: Pinterest (2%); Snapchat (2%); Medium (2%); Reddit (1%); Quora (1%); and Other (5%). Base: B2B content marketers whose organization used organic social to distribute content in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Base: B2B content marketers whose organization used paid social to distribute content in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 30. 30 SPONSORED BY METRICS & GOALS 80% of B2B marketers use metrics to measure content performance, 65% have established KPIs, and 43% measure content marketing ROI. Does Your B2B Organization Use Metrics to Measure Content Performance? 14% 6% 80% ■ Yes ■ No ■ Unsure Did Your B2B Organization Establish KPIs to Measure Content Marketing Initiatives in the Last 12 Months? 27% 8% 65% ■ Yes ■ No ■ Unsure Does Your B2B Organization Measure Content Marketing ROI? 44% 13% 43% ■ Yes ■ No ■ Unsure Base: B2B content marketers. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: B2B content marketers whose organization uses metrics to measure content performance. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: B2B content marketers whose organization uses metrics to measure content performance. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 31. 31 SPONSORED BY METRICS & GOALS The top 5 metrics B2B marketers track to measure content performance are email engagement (90%), website traffic (88%), website engagement (86%), social media analytics (83%), and conversions (78%). Metrics B2B Marketers Tracked to Measure Content Performance in Last 12 Months (Top 8) 90% 88% 86% 64% 51% 49% 83% 78% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Email Engagement (e.g., opens, clicks, downloads) Search Rankings Marketing Qualified Lead Metrics (e.g., MQLs, SQLs) Social Media Analytics (e.g., shares, followers, views, likes) Conversions (e.g., traffic to subscribers, leads to sales) Website Traffic (e.g., page views, backlinks) Website Engagement (e.g., time spent, bounce rate, form completions) Email Subscriber Numbers (e.g., growth, unsubscribes) Other metrics tracked in last 12 months: Cost of a Lead, Subscribers, and/or Customer/ Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) (41%); PR Mentions/ Media Coverage (39%); Mobile Analytics (e.g., traffic, time spent, conversions) (32%); Sales Effectiveness (e.g., sales cycle time, sales team performance) (24%); Customer Retention Rates (19%); Customer Satisfaction Metrics (18%); Lifetime Customer Value (12%); and Other (2%). Base: B2B content marketers whose organization uses metrics to measure content performance. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 32. 32 SPONSORED BY METRICS & GOALS 59% of the B2B marketers who measure content marketing ROI (43%) 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 B2B Marketers’ Ability to Demonstrate ROI for Content Marketing Initiatives 36% 2% 0% 3% 14% 45% ■ Excellent ■ Very Good ■ Average ■ Below Average ■ Poor ■ Too Soon to Tell Base: B2B content marketers whose organization uses metrics and whose team measured ROI of overall content marketing initiatives in the last 12 months. Aided list. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 33. 33 SPONSORED BY All Respondents As Reported One Year Ago* Create brand awareness 86% 81% Educate audience(s) 79% 73% Build credibility/trust 75% 68% Generate demand/leads 70% 68% Nurture subscribers/audiences/leads 68% 58% Build loyalty with existing clients/customers 63% 54% Drive attendance to one or more in-person events 52% 49% Generate sales/revenue 53% 45% Build a subscribed audience 45% 43% Support the launch of a new product 45% 40% None of the above 0% 1% Most respondents are focused on top-of-funnel goals; however, there are notable year-over-year differences among those using content marketing successfully to nurture, build loyalty, and generate sales/revenue. Goals B2B Marketers Have Achieved by Using Content Marketing Successfully in Last 12 Months METRICS & GOALS *See 2019 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends--North America Base: B2B content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 35. 35 SPONSORED BY BUDGETS & SPENDING 36% of B2B marketers reported a 2019 annual content marketing budget of less than $100,000. The average reported annual budget (all respondents) was $185,000. 2019 Annual Budget for B2B Content Marketing (Average) (All Respondents) 19% 18% 18% 4% 2% 3% 36% ■ 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 B2B Content Marketing (Average) (By Content Marketing Success Level) 3% 0 $50,000 $100,000 $150,000 $200,000 $250,000 $300,000 Most Successful All Respondents Least Successful 2019 Annual Budget for B2B Content Marketing (Average) (By Company Size) 3% 0 $100,000 $200,000 $300,000 $400,000 $500,000 Large (1,000+ Employees) Medium (100-999 Employees) Small (1-99 Employees) $272,000 $185,000 $405,000 $213,000 $81,500 $109,000 2019 Annual Budget for B2B Content Marketing (Average) (By Content Marketing Success Level) 3% 0 $50,000 $100,000 $150,000 $200,000 $250,000 $300,000 Most Successful All Respondents Least Successful 2019 Annual Budget for B2B Content Marketing (Average) (By Company Size) 3% 0 $100,000 $200,000 $300,000 $400,000 $500,000 Large (1,000+ Employees) Medium (100-999 Employees) Small (1-99 Employees) $272,000 $185,000 $405,000 $213,000 $81,500 $109,000 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: B2B content marketers. Aided list. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 36. 36 SPONSORED BY BUDGETS & SPENDING Nearly half of B2B marketers expect their content marketing budget to increase in 2020. These figures are similar among organizations of all sizes regardless of their overall content marketing success. They’re also similar to the percentages reported last year. B2B Marketers’ Expected Change in 2020 Content Marketing Budget Compared With 2019 12% 15% 4% 35% 34% ■ Increase 1% to 9% ■ Increase More than 9% ■ Stay the Same ■ Decrease ■ Unsure Base: B2B content marketers who reported having an annual budget for content marketing in 2019. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 37. 37 SPONSORED BY BUDGETS & SPENDING Organization size and available budget impact whether a company uses paid advertising in addition to content marketing. Does Your B2B Organization Use Traditional Paid Advertising in Addition to Content Marketing? (All Respondents) 65% 35% ■ Yes ■ No Percentage of B2B Marketers Who Use Traditional Paid Advertising in Addition to Content Marketing (By Company Size) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Large (1,000+ Employees) Medium (100-999 Employees) Small (1-99 Employees) 54% 41% 23% Percentage of B2B Marketers Who Use Traditional Paid Advertising in Addition to Content Marketing (By Annual Content Marketing Budget) Yes No Over $100,000 49% 51% Under$100,000 28% 72% Base: B2B content marketers. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 38. 38 SPONSORED BY BUDGETS & SPENDING Of those who use paid advertising, 38% say they’ve shifted paid advertising dollars to content marketing in the last 12 months. There were no notable differences by company size or amount of the annual content marketing budget. Did Your B2B Organization Shift Paid Advertising Dollars to Content Marketing in the Last 12 Months? 40% 22% 38% ■ Yes ■ No ■ Unsure Base: B2B content marketers whose organization uses traditional paid advertising in addition to content marketing. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 40. 40 SPONSORED BY CONTENT MARKETING PRIORITIES Nearly half of B2B marketers think their organization might prioritize improving the quality/ conversion of audiences in 2020. Top 3 Content Marketing Activities B2B Marketers Think Their Organization Might Prioritize in 2020 48% 46% 46% 32% 31% 4% 44% 34% 0 20 40 60 Improve quality/conversion of audience(s) Improve on content distribution/promotion Focus on content quality/quantity Improve on content marketing measurement Increase the size of our audience(s) Know our audience(s) better Segment/capture better data from 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: B2B content marketers. Aided list; maximum of 3 responses permitted. 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 41. 41 SPONSORED BY B2B Content Marketing 2020: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America was produced by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs and sponsored by Sitecore. 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. This report presents the findings from the 679 respondents who indicated:  Their organization is a for-profit company in North America, primarily selling products/services to businesses (B2B)  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 Find our archive of past reports at contentmarketinginstitute.com/research. B2B Industry Classification Size of B2B Company (by Employees) B2B Content Marketing Job Title/Function ■ Small (10-99 Employees) ■ Micro(Fewerthan10Employees) ■ Medium (100-999 Employees) ■ Large (1,000+ Employees) ■ Marketing Management ■ Content Creation/Management ■ Corporate/Executive Management ■ Marketing Operations ■ Advertising/PR/Comm Management ■ Consulting ■ Other 14% ■ Technology/IT/Software/Hardware ■ Agency (Content Marketing, Advertising, Digital, PR) ■ Manufacturing ■ Consulting ■ Professional Services ■ Healthcare/Medical/Pharma/Life Sciences ■ Financial Services ■ Publishing/Media ■ Other 27% 19% 31%28% 22% 19% 11% 8% 9% 4% 4% 4% 14% 34% 29% 14% 7% 6% 2% 8% METHODOLOGY
  • 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 (CMI) 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 Tech. To learn more: ContentMarketingInstitute.com. About MarketingProfs MarketingProfs is a training and education company dedicated to helping large organizations, small teams, and individuals execute marketing campaigns that drive real results. MarketingProfs produces training programs, online events, conferences, including the MarketingProfs B2B Forum. More than 600,000 marketers globally trust MarketingProfs as their top marketing resource. About Sitecore Sitecore is the global leader in experience management software that combines content management, commerce, and customer insights. The Sitecore Experience Cloud™ empowers marketers to deliver personalized content in real time and at scale across every channel—before, during, and after a sale. More than 5,200 brands—including American Express, Carnival Cruise Lines, Dow Chemical, and L’Oréal—have trusted Sitecore to deliver the personalized interactions that delight audiences, build loyalty, and drive revenue. ABOUT
  • 43. ADVERTISEMENT Sitecore and SoDA research shows that publishing personalized content faster or more cost effectively is a priority for over 95% of global marketing leaders. Your customers expect memorable moments at every brand touchpoint. It’s a never-ending challenge. We call it “The Content Crisis.” Fortunately, there’s a way forward. Check our guides for advice on how to better plan, manage, publish, and organize your content in ways that optimize your ability to deliver high-quality, personalized content consistently and efficiently. TRANSFORM YOUR CONTENT DELIVERY FIND RESOURCES HERE