By Joe Pulizzi published March 11, 2013

Content Marketing in the UK: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends [Research]

In many respects, content marketing has taken a stronger hold in the UK than it has anywhere else.UK_Cover

The premier study — Content Marketing in the UK: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — conducted by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and the Direct Marketing Association UK (DMA), shows that marketers in the UK are planning to increase their content marketing budgets more over the next 12 months than their North American and Australian peers are. UK marketers also use more content marketing tactics than their international peers do, and rate themselves as more effective at content marketing.

Content Marketing in UK 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends

Other key highlights from the research report, which includes more comparisons with North America and Australia, include:

Nearly all UK B2C marketers have adopted content marketing

While 94 percent of UK marketers (overall) are using content marketing, 97 percent of UK B2C marketers have adopted it, compared with 95 percent of their B2B peers. Furthermore:

  • More UK B2C marketers use content marketing than their North American (86 percent) and Australian (89 percent) B2C peers do.
  • This trend is opposite of what we see in North America and Australia, where B2B marketers use content marketing more often than their B2C peers do.

Overall, 64 percent of UK marketers are increasing content marketing budgets

On average, 27 percent of marketing budgets in the UK are allocated to content marketing. However, 64 percent say they will increase the amount they allocate to content marketing over the next 12 months (compared with 54 percent in North America and 61 percent in Australia).

  • More UK B2B marketers (72 percent) than UK B2C marketers (45 percent) plan to increase their content marketing budget.
  • Even the UK marketers that rate their efforts as least effective plan to make significant investments in content marketing, with 71 percent saying they will increase spend.

When compared with their international peers, UK marketers rate themselves higher in terms of effectiveness

Thirty-nine percent of UK marketers rank themselves as “effective” or “very effective” at content marketing. By contrast, 37 percent of North American and 29 percent of Australian marketers rate themselves the same way.


Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are the most popular social platforms
Overall, UK content marketers use an average of four social media platforms, the same number that most of their international peers use (the exception is North American B2B marketers, who use five).

UK B2B marketers use LinkedIn (87 percent) the most, while their B2C peers use Facebook (91 percent) the most.

UK marketers face similar challenges as their international peers, most notably producing enough content and producing engaging content

Twenty-one percent of UK marketers say producing enough content is their biggest challenge. And while UK B2C marketers are less challenged with producing enough content than their B2B peers are, they are more challenged in every other area cited below:


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

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

NOTE: Special thanks to the Press Association for their assistance as a survey distribution partner.

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

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

Other posts by Joe Pulizzi

Join Over 200,000 of your Peers!

Get daily articles and news delivered to your email inbox and get CMI’s exclusive e-book Get Inspired: 75 (More) Content Marketing Examples FREE!

  • Jason Ball

    Thanks for the study – yes, it pretty much matches what we’re seeing on the ground.

    One thing: given that almost a third of respondents were marketing/advertising agencies, I wonder how much they may have skewed the results (the drinking the Kool Aid scenario).

    Were they typical of the responses as a whole?

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Hi Jason…thanks for the response. The percentage of agencies is not that different from what we did in our other studies, so the comparisons are sound. We’ll dig into the industries a bit more in the near future.

      Thanks again!

  • Frenky

    BEst ointeresting spot!

  • Kaveh Moravej

    Very interesting research, but no doubt the huge difference in B2B (128) and B2C (34) businesses surveyed will have swayed the results. “UK marketers” here essentially means “mostly B2B UK marketers”.

    It’s also possible that your uneven survey sample might point to a possibility that UK B2B businesses are more interested and active in content marketing than their B2C counterparts.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Hi Kaveh…I would agree that this research is a good start at looking at content marketing trends. On the whole, looking at all the research (NA, UK, APAC), B2B usually outpaces B2C in adoption for most areas.

      • krabil57

        Interesting bit of follow up info to know 😉

  • krabil57

    Lots of great info here. Thanks, Joe

  • James Perrin

    Hi Joe, great insights here, thanks for sharing. It’s interesting to read that B2B budgets are likely to increase much larger than B2C budgets, and from the comments I’ve read it looks as though that whilst the figures may have been skewed slightly, this is indicative of what people are experiencing. I think a lot of clients are finding B2B content far more effective than B2C, but I would live to see more research on this, as well as an industry breakdown, as you have mentioned.

  • Graeme Mackie

    Jo. V useful and well timed. I’m marketing Online Events to the F2F community of agencies and clients alike. My opinion – and hunch – is that online events will fast become a major channel for content marketing. The tech fit is a no brainer in terms of feeding digital content into an online event. The conversation needs to take place at a strategic level rather than at the level of the event manager. An online event, B2B or B2C, properly targetted and structured into interest tracks offers a captive audience (for an hour!) primed to consume similarly selected digital content.

    I’d very much like to hear your take on this, and that of anyone else in this thread.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Hi Graeme…I think all these tactics, including online events, will increase. I do still believe that in-person events are critical, but online events are important for global audiences.

  • ZoriWeLoveTrainingCoursescouk

    It’s not a surprise that more and more marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget. Some of the most effective inbound marketing tactics include content marketing and social media participation. This is a marketing strategy that focuses on getting found by customers.

  • dougkessler

    Excellent research and a service to the market, so thanks CMI.

    It does make me wonder about the definition of content marketing for the 96% who say they are doing it already. We’ve worked with a lot of B2B companies and nowhere near 9 out of 10 are doing what we would call content marketing. More like 3 out of 10 and rising fast.

    The list of tactics explains the high number. Yes, we’re all doing case studies, events, articles and eNewsletters. We’ve all been doing that for decades. It’s content but it’s not necessarily content marketing.

    The UK adoption of content marketing is nothing short of a juggernaut. But a strategic approach to joined-up content marketing is only just beginning.

  • Phil Smith

    An interesting read but I have to agree with Doug Kessler – In B2B markets I would be suprised if more than 2 out of 10 businesses are actually doing what I would define as content marketing. I do agree with the challenges graph overall but the businesses I talk to are at best just getting into content marketing and lack of knowledge training and resources are high on their agenda

  • Juan Ribes Hankins

    Once More Joe,

    thanks for the key Insights shared through really good Content. At the end content is one of the best SEO Strategy 😉

  • Heather Griffiths

    Great to have some UK stats…thanks CMI.

  • michael bian

    Setting strategy is elegant.

  • Laura Bailén

    Content marketing varies enormously from one industry to another. Content usage tactics can’t be the same in the financial sector than in tech companies. Regulations and other factors may have direct impact on the content companies generate