December 10, 2020
Updated: January 1, 2021

8 Surprising Stats About the ROI of Marketing Content

A study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and LinkedIn reported that 80% of the content created by marketing teams goes unused by sales. This number could discourage marketers, making them feel like the assets they work on are being created for nothing. 

In addition to 80% of content going unused, more than half of sales and marketing professionals said misalignment between teams was the main factor of poor financial performance. These two statistics alone are a great place to start when your team is in the beginning stages of assessing marketing/sales collaboration. 

So, how can marketing be sure that sales will use the content they create? And how can you enable sales to use this content when talking to buyers? Get both teams aligned and focused on a strong content strategy that encourages continued collaboration and discussions about:

  • The content sales can use to sell more effectively
  • Which content types are working
  • And what content is no longer needed

The value of marketing content

Content creation has a permanent home under the broader marketing umbrella and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. It can be easy for anyone skeptical of it’s impact to dismiss it entirely, claiming it doesn’t have direct ties to company revenue. But these naysayers couldn’t be more wrong.

In this post, we’ll highlight eight statistics that prove the long-term ROI of marketing content, why a strong content strategy is crucial to both sales and marketing and how content drives revenue.

1. 71% of B2B buyers said that they consume blog content before a purchase

Demand Gen’s 2018 report on the preferences of B2B buyers reported that consumers are becoming more selective about the content they choose to consume and usually rely on trustworthy sources. Blogging has never been more important, with 71% of buyers saying that they interact with blog content before making a purchase. 

Let’s say you’re on the marketing team for a company that sells CRM software. If you don’t have a blog already, it’s time to seriously consider it. Providing customers with informative content about your product they can reference before making their buying decision is one of the best ways to create trust between you. Plus, the articles you produce can be used by sales or even repurposed into something else like an ebook or infographic. 

2. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and creates three times as many leads

Traditional marketing efforts like direct mail, TV advertising, print and billboards cost your company a pretty penny and sometimes don’t even provide a decent ROI. Not only this, but it’s much harder, sometimes even impossible, to measure the impact they have on your overall marketing strategy.

This kind of marketing doesn’t provide the kind of targeting that modern marketing can. For example, there’s no way to know what demographic views a billboard you pay for whereas, you can track the demographic that reads your blog or visits your landing page. 

This makes the case for content marketing. Not only does it cost 62% less than traditional marketing, it also drives more than 3x as many leads per dollar spent.

3. Infographics are liked and shared on social media three times more than any other type of content

According to a Serpwatch study, infographics are shared across social media three times more than any other type of marketing content. Infographics are engaging, informational and social media friendly which is probably why so many people share them across platforms. If you want to engage your audience and buyers online, creating infographics with facts about your product or industry could be just the thing you need to get more eyes on your company. 

4. Companies that blog receive 97% more links to their website

If you’re not convinced that blogging is a legit way to drive leads, maybe this next stat will change your mind. Companies that regularly update their blog with relevant content receive 97% more links to their website than companies that don’t. Links hold a lot of power in the world of online marketing. The more times buyers or even other companies link to your website, the more opportunity you have to expand your audience. 

Writing high-quality articles that highlight brand values and how your product/service stands out from the rest can have a massive impact on both lead generation and site traffic. Consistently publishing articles gives you a leg up and puts you in the position to be a thought leader for your industry. Plus, something as simple as including strategic and relevant calls to action in your articles can drive 67% more leads through the funnel.

5. Thought leadership content was the deciding purchasing factor for nearly 50% of business decision makers

According to a report from Edelman, 48% of C-suite executives said that thought leadership content directly led them to giving a company their business. Not only this, 41% stated that they invited the company to work with them on a project, all because the thought leadership content was so compelling. 

Making a name for yourself within the industry and producing consistent, high-quality content can boost overall brand awareness. Plus, this content’s ROI has a high yield and can position you as a reliable source of information when it comes to whatever it is you sell, drawing higher-quality leads through the funnel.

6. Marketers who measure ROI are more than 12 times more likely to generate a greater year-over-year return

If your marketing team isn’t tracking the ROI of your content, you’re doing not only the company, but the marketers who worked hard to make the content a huge disservice. Based on a report by HubSpot, marketers who take the time to measure their content’s ROI are more than 12 times more likely to generate a greater year-over-year return. 

A greater year-over-year return has a direct link and a positive impact on budget. The study reports that “no single factor had a greater impact on budget — positive or negative — than measuring your return on investment.”

7. Adding video content on your website can drive an 80% increase in conversion rates

You’ve heard it for years. “Video is the future of marketing.” The statement has some pretty impressive evidence to back it up. Smart Insights found that adding video content to your website can drive an 80% increase in conversion rates. Humans are visual creatures so it makes sense to create content that appeals to this. If conversions are what you’re after, consider creating a video (or videos) you can use on a campaign’s landing page. This way, you’ll not only have a great asset that can be shared across social media, you’ll increase your chances of converting leads into customers by an impressive 80%. 

8. 51% of companies say updating old content has proven the most efficient tactic implemented

So you’ve been creating great content for years now and are known as a trustworthy thought leader in the industry, but some of your old content isn’t performing like it used to. Enter re-optimizing. 

A SEMrush report discovered 51% of companies state that re-optimizing old content is the most efficient method of staying relevant in the field. Maybe your website traffic has taken a noticeable dip in the past year and you’re searching for a way to bring that back up without having to pump out dozens of new articles. A content audit and refresh is your best bet. Re-optimizing and giving old content a face-lift has been found to increase organic traffic to your site by over 40%.

It’s true, content is king

Your marketing content is the force that breathes life into your company’s brand. There’s plenty of data across the internet to prove the ROI you can achieve when you create impactful marketing content but have you considered enlisting the help of a program that can track your content’s journey?

Showpad’s sales enablement platform can help you define and execute an impactful content strategy. On top of keeping all relevant content centralized, Showpad gives you an in-depth look at your analytics and advanced metrics. With visibility into how content is being used at each opportunity, which assets resonate best with buyers and what ROI is tied to specific pieces of content – marketing teams can create content that is more effective throughout the sales process and allocate resources to content that drives results.

Want to know how others marketers have tackled the content ROI challenge? Read our checklist to learn how product marketing leaders are measuring content performance.