By Michele Linn published June 17, 2013 Est Read Time: 2 min

34 Essential Research Reports for More Effective Content Marketing

essential research reportsAs a content marketer, you’re likely seeking reputable research reports and white papers to inform several of your processes, such as:

  • Planning your upcoming strategies
  • Validating the directions you’re taking
  • Making the business case for content in your organization

At CMI, we’re pretty passionate about research, too. In fact, we conduct original research every year to help set budgets and benchmarks for your effective content marketing efforts. But, we also like to keep tabs on what others are saying about content marketing, so we can make sure we are keeping up with the latest trends.

As you know, one stat on its own may be valuable, and even tweet-worthy, but seeing multiple stats that validate your point of view is definitely more convincing.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of some of the best content marketing research out there. It’s designed to serve as a go-to resource for the information we think will be most valuable — and we’d love to add your research, as well.

Huge thanks go to Anna Ritchie, who helped us compile this list.

63 items   97 followers   53 votes   42.29k views

Content Marketing Research

Marketers are often looking for research to see how they compare to their peers or justify spend and activities. Here is a list of content marketing research to reference. What else can you add?


Jun 25, 2013 by Karen Webber - - 5689
2013: The Year of Intelligent Content Marketing in the UK [Infographic]

In November, we launched a short online survey to find out more about the state of content marketing in the UK. More than 70 people responded - three-quarters of them marketers of whom nearly two-thirds work client-side - to give us an overview of how businesses in the UK approach content marketing and give us an insight into their plans for 2013.

Dec 24, 2014 by david maxx - - 7001
25 eCommerce Content Marketing Tools for 2015
We, the marketers, get little help from our friends related to content marketing. Content marketing is one of the best processes of developing and sharing content, including images, videos, blogs post to maintain customers.
Oct 17, 2013 by Sara Korolevich - - 6212
2013 State of Global Content Marketing

A recent survey conducted at Content Marketing World polled nearly 500 respondents on their global content marketing and translation strategies. Surprisingly, results show nearly two-thirds of participants whose companies market globally do not have a multilingual content marketing strategy in place. This report highlights content marketing challenges, strategies and solutions for those who market to multilingual audiences.

Jun 11, 2013 - - 5447
B2B Small Business Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budget, and Trends - North America

(CMI, 2013) For B2B marketers of small business (i.e. companies with 10-99 employees), content marketing practices are sometimes strikingly different from their enterprise marketing peers. This report reviews those differences, and their implications to these marketers. Gathers insights form 1,416 B2B marketers from North America.

Feb 18, 2013 - - 7447
2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, North America

(CMI, MarketingProfs, 2013) The third annual B2B benchmark report from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs (sponsored by Brightcove). 1,416 B2B marketers in North America share top priorities for their content marketing programs, key concerns, measurement methods, and more. The report also shares what tactics, and distribution methods, companies are using for content, as well as the overall perceived effectiveness of each by practitioners.

Feb 18, 2013 - - 6986
2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report

(Optify, 2012) An annual report that reviews the performance of the primary sources of traffic to B2B websites. Data is gathered from an analysis of over 62 million visits, and 350,000 leads from 600+ small and medium-sized B2B websites. Use this report as a way to help you evaluate your own marketing activities and performance and understand where certain adjustments may be made to optimize.

Mar 13, 2013 - - 5978
Content Marketing in the UK: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends

(CMI, UK DMA, 2013) In many respects, content marketing has taken a stronger hold in the UK than it has anywhere else. See evidence of this and other trends and comparisons in this premier study, which can provide some useful tips and best practices based on the findings from 190 UK marketing practitioners, as well as comparisons with Australian and North American peers.

Mar 13, 2013 - - 6288
The New Multiscreen World: Understanding Cross-Platform Consumer Behavior

(Google, Sterling, Ipsos, 2012) How are your consumers finding content? Where do they spend the most time? Is your content strategy equipped to respond to a variety of preferences, channels, and search styles? This 2012 research report from Google provides insights into how consumers are behaving with across platforms; providing insights on how content can be optimized to meet different channel needs. The report gathers findings from 1,611 participants.

May 06, 2013 - - 7370
2013 State of Inbound Marketing

(Hubspot, 2013) HubSpot's 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report reviews the inbound marketing industry. See why marketers are continuing to increase their spend on inbound marketing, and how it relates to broader marketing initiatives. Collects insights from 3,339 marketers as well as commentary from industry leaders.

May 06, 2013 - - 7446
B2B Enterprise Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends - North America

(CMI, 2013) This report shares insights from 1,416 B2B enterprise marketers as they explore their similarities and differences in content marketing practices. Key findings include that they use more content marketing tactics, outsource content creation more frequently, and are more challenged with integration across marketing, when compared with their B2B peers overall.

Jun 11, 2013 - - 7139
IBM Global CMO Study

(IBM, 2013) This report gathers insights from over 1,700 CMOs spanning 19 industries and 64 countries. You'll learn what many CMOs state are their biggest challenges, and top priorities in the year ahead. This includes how CMOs are leveraging, but not relying on, the role of technology in their content strategy.

Jun 25, 2013 by Rebecca Lieb - - 7367
The Converged Media Imperative: How Brands Must Combine Paid, Owned & Earned Media

Advertising and media are converging. The results will disrupt how companies must deploy their marketing efforts. Marketers, and their agency partners must conv

Feb 18, 2013 - - 6206
Industry Breakout: 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, North America - Manufacturing Marketers

(CMI, 2013) What is the current state of content marketing in specific key industries? How do these practices differ from other industries? This report breaks down the findings from 88 survey participants who identified themselves as working in the manufacturing industry, and offers insights into how certain practices may differ from the broader group of responders in the 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks study.

May 06, 2013 - - 6363
The Social Habit

(Edison, Arbitron, 2012) This study collects data from 2,020 participates across the U.S. It provides insight on consumer behaviors as they relate to social media, including what types of users are more prevalent on which platforms. These insights can help you as you adapt your content marketing strategies and distribution across networks. It includes information on how active users are within each platform.

Jun 11, 2013 - - 7446
The Converged Media Imperative: How Brands Must Combine Paid, Owned and Earned Media.

(Altimeter, 2012) In order to meet changing “multi-screen” consumer behaviors companies must find a new way to be in the right place at the right time, with the right kinds of media. This report reviewed more than 70 case studies and conducted interviews with industry experts and corporate practitioners to share insights, best practices, data, and inspirations for starting this challenging — yet necessary — initiative.

Jun 11, 2013 - - 6362
Content Marketing Survey Report

(Econsultancy, 2012) This report gathers insights from 1,300 marketers working for brands, agencies and publishers. The survey looks at the amount and type of content marketing carried out by organisations, how many brands have a strategy in place, the tactics and channels they are using for content, ownership of content marketing within organisations, how publishers are using content marketing, and the challenges and barriers to success in this area.

Jun 25, 2013 by Rebecca Lieb - - 7212
Organizing for Content: Models to Incorporate Content Strategy and Content Marketing in the Enterprise

Despite an overwhelming trend toward content marketing and the need to continually feed an ever-increasing portfolio of content channels and formats, most organ

Aug 19, 2013 - - 5971
2013 Content Marketing Survey

(AXONN, 2013) Incorporating feedback from 424 marketing professionals, AXONN's research paper uncovers how companies are turning their content marketing strategies into successful campaigns. From tactics to measurement, AXONN uncovers what companies are focusing on now, and what may shift and change in the near future.

Jan 05, 2015 by david maxx - - 6205

Are you a WordPress based website owner and struggling to get idea about content, how to write and promote it on the web? If yes, you should check-out these 30 highly influential content marketing tools that can help WordPress CMS users and content marketers to write unique and informative content.

Feb 18, 2013 - - 6127
2013 B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, North America

(CMI, MarketingProfs 2013) The first annual B2C benchmark report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs (sponsored by Pace). 354 marketers participated in this study, which reviews how content marketing is being used in the B2C space, as well as the specific challenges, priorities and best practices are for this unique group of marketers.

Feb 18, 2013 - - 6903
B2B Marketing Trends Survey 2012 Report

(Curata, 2012) This research report compiles insights from 465 marketing professionals. It looks at the increase of importance of content marketing for marketing professionals, as well as which practices are being utilized and what common challenges are being faced.

Mar 13, 2013 - - 7599
2013 State of Content Marketing - White Paper

(CopyPressed, 2013) This white paper gathers insights from 329 marketing professionals as they share what their top priorities are for 2013, including: how much is being invested in content marketing, what practices are yielding the best ROI, what types of content and distribution channels are most effective, and more.

Mar 13, 2013 - - 5738
Content Marketing in Australia: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends

(CMI, ADMA, 2013)This research report reveals findings from a recent analysis of content marketing best practices of 216 marketers in Australia and compares how they relate to those in North America.

Mar 13, 2013 - - 7214
Social Media Around the World - 2012

(InSites Consulting, 2012) This research report provides an overview of social media practices across the globe, spanning 19 countries and gathering insights from 7,827 consumers. It reviews where consumers are spending their time, how they are using social media, and insights on how brands can leverage these channels to optimize content through collaboration.

Mar 14, 2013 - - 6361
2013 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

(MarketingSherpa, 2013) This excerpt from MarketingSherpa's 2013 Benchmark Report provides insights from 1,095 marketers and their email marketing practices as they relate to their broader marketing initiatives. The excerpt includes best practices to improve the effectiveness of your email marketing program.

In the research-focused above, you’ll find:

  • B2B and B2C benchmarks, budgets and trends for North America, the U.K. and Australia
  • Research reports broken down by industry
  • Meaningful insights on the current state of digital marketing — and the specific implications for content marketers
  • Discussions on the way social media usage impacts content marketing strategy
  • Ideas for building stronger connections between your content and sales teams 

Sharing your own resources with

We created this list using, which is a simple way to create and share lists on pretty much anything and everything. Here’s how it works:

  • Gather relevant research pieces for your list, adding filters so you can easily sort and browse through the studies to find those most relevant to you.
  • Rank the reports — you can vote each one “up” or “down” in your rankings, as well as add comments wherever you would like.
  • Pick reports to save or share from your list. You can even share or embed the entire list on your website or within your own social networks.

Through the process, we found that really helped us minimize the legwork involved, which made it really quick and easy to find the stats we wanted to highlight and share.

The studies we selected contain dozens and dozens of charts, graphs, stats, and commentary gathered from thousands of marketers just like you. But this list is just the beginning. We’ll be curating this data in various ways to make it even more useful. But in the meantime, we would love your help in making this list a more comprehensive resource. What would you add? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

For more resources and research to help guide your effective content marketing strategies, visit CMI’s Original Research page. 

Cover image via Bigstock

Author: Michele Linn

Michele Linn is the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Mantis Research, a consultancy focused on helping brands create and amplify original research they can use in their marketing. Before starting Mantis, Michele was head of editorial at Content Marketing Institute, where she led the company's strategic editorial direction, co-developed its annual research studies, wrote hundreds of articles, spoke at industry events and was instrumental in building the platform to 200,000 subscribers. In 2015, she was named one of Folio's Top Women in Media (Corporate Visionary). You can follow her on Twitter at @michelelinn.

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