By Joe Pulizzi published November 14, 2012

2013 B2C Content Marketing Research: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends

For the past three years, we have released our annual Content Marketing Benchmarks and Trends Research for Business-to-Business (B2B). This year, we decided to see how business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers are using content marketing, as well. We’re thrilled to release 2013 B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, sponsored by Pace.

Now we can answer these kinds of questions:

  • Do B2B or B2C marketers use content marketing more often?
  • What tactics do B2C marketers use — and which ones do they find to be most effective?
  • What social media channels do B2C marketers use — and how does this differ from what B2B marketers use?
  • What are B2C marketers spending on content marketing?
  • Where are B2C marketers most challenged with content marketing?

B2C marketers use more mobile and print

Eighty-six percent of B2C marketers are using content marketing, compared to 91 percent of B2B marketers, and on average, B2C marketers use 12 tactics to achieve their content goals. The most popular of these tactics include social media (84%), articles on a company’s website (84%), and eNewsletters (78%).

While B2C and B2B marketers use the same mix of tactics, B2C marketers are more likely to use mobile content, mobile apps, print magazines, and print newsletters. Compared with their B2B peers, they use far fewer case studies, white papers, webinars/webcasts, and research reports.

Similar to their B2B peers, B2C marketers are not confident they are using these tactics effectively. However, compared to their to B2B, B2C marketers are more confident in their use of social media and print.

Tweetable stat: B2C marketers use mobile and print more often than B2B >> B2C #contentmarketing research from @cmicontent: http://bit.ly/b2c2013research

Most popular social channel: Facebook

On average, B2C marketers use four social media networks to distribute their content, compared to five for B2B. The channel they use most often, by far, is Facebook (90%). The majority of B2C marketers also use Twitter (69%), YouTube (65%) and LinkedIn (51%). B2C marketers use LinkedIn much less frequently than their B2B peers (83%).

Tweetable stat: 90% B2C marketers use Facebook; LinkedIn most popular with B2B: B2C #contentmarketing research from @cmicontent: http://bit.ly/b2c2013research

B2C marketers are investing in content marketing

On average, B2C marketers are spending 28 percent of their marketing budgets on content marketing, compared to 33 percent of budgets for B2B. Fifty-five percent of B2C marketers are planning to increase their content marketing spend over the next 12 months.

Tweetable stat: B2C marketers spending 28% of marketing budgets on #contentmarketing: Research from @cmicontent: http://bit.ly/b2c2013research

B2C marketers most challenged with lack of budget

The biggest content marketing challenge faced by B2C content marketers is lack of budget. This is an issue for 52 percent of B2C marketers, and it is the biggest single challenge as identified by 23 percent. Other challenges include producing enough content and producing the kind of content that engages.

Tweetable stat: B2C marketers most challenged with lack of budget: B2C #contentmarketing research from @cmicontent: http://bit.ly/b2c2013research

Want to learn more? Download our full report to get answers to more questions:

  • What goals and metrics do B2C marketers use?
  • What percentage of B2C marketers tailor content?
  • Do B2C marketers outsource content creation or keep it in-house?
  • What does the profile of a best-in-class B2C content marketer look like?

What do you think of the findings? Is this consistent with what you are experiencing? Let us know in the comments!

For more insightful research on content marketing trends, visit the Content Marketing Institute Research page. 

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi considers himself the poster boy for content marketing. Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe evangelizes content marketing around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books, Managing Content Marketing and Get Content Get Customers. Joe's latest book is Epic Content Marketing (McGraw-Hill). If you want to get on his good side, send him something orange. For more on Joe, check out his personal site or follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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  • Kristina

    I always browse through benchmark reports (and love the hard work the CMI team puts in), but they have to be taken with a grain of salt. Before I read a benchmark report I already know whats working for me, have my finger on the pulse of what the competition is doing and know which tactics I want to try next.

    This type of information is probably more beneficial to people trying to sell things to content marketers than to actual marketers.

    …Unless you’re trying to start a new content marketing program within your company… then these charts would be phenomenal to use to get buy-in!

    • http://blog.junta42.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Kristina…this is our third year doing these kinds of reports. I agree with you that it’s been used most for buy-in and for getting more budget for content marketing. Overall, just trying to elevate the industry. Hope you find this helpful.

      • http://www.twitter.com/allenkristina Kristina

        Hi Joe, the information is certainly useful and I applaud all of the ridiculously hard work you and your team put in to elevating the industry! Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/RizzoMB Michael Rizzo

    Most interesting to me was most companies are doing content marketing in house. As an agency guy maybe that’s not great news, but if you can build the right internal team, I see the benefits from keeping it in house.

    • http://blog.junta42.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Hi Michael…outsourcing by larger enterprises is still high, and should remain so. That is where we see the biggest opportunity.

  • http://twitter.com/IrinaGheorghe Irina Gheorghe

    Hi, perhaps one of the main challenges that CM face is coming up with an angle that is broad enough to display the brand as an expert/adviser/provider of quality information & steer it away from looking like it’s selling itself.

  • http://www.kronikmedia.co.uk/ K.Singh, London

    Visual content including images, videos and infographics deserve a special mention. They continue to rise in popularity every year and have become integral to any content marketing strategy.

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