The State of Content Marketing Report 2019 by SEMrush

THE STATE OF CONTENT MARKETING 2019 GLOBAL REPORT

Table of Contents

15 Most Expensive Keywords to Bid on in the Content Marketing Industry Overview of the Research Results Key Takeaways 06 Content Marketing Trends 03 About SEMrush About This Report Data Collections Tools and Toolkits

Overview of the Research Results Key Takeaways 19 State of the Industry Blogs

Overview of the Research Results Key Takeaways 52 Top Required Skills for a Content Marketer 57 Methodology

Overview of the Research Results Key Takeaways 27 Anatomy of Performing Content

Overview of the Survey Results Key Takeaways 36 Content Marketing Survey

Overview of the Research Results Key Takeaways

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About SEMrush

SEMrush is an online visibility management and content marketing SaaS platform of choice for more than 4,000,000 marketing professionals around the world. SEMrush let businesses analyze massive amounts of data and gain insights for their campaigns across all marketing channels.

30+ powerful tools and data for 190 countries and regions help SEMrush users break down their competitors’ marketing strategies, spot opportunities for growth, build brand reputation, and create and distribute engaging content without extra effort.

500TB of raw data

4 million users

17 billion keywords

1 billion referring domains

584 million domains 190 regions and countries

84.2 million mobile domains 21.4 trillion backlinks

17.3 billion URLs crawled per day

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About This Report Data-driven strategies, in which any decision is based on thorough data analysis and interpretation, are becoming an increasingly important point of competitive differentiation. In the present report, we’d like to leverage the power of SEMrush data and help content marketers across the globe gain a better understanding of their industry and draw more relevant conclusions for their strategies. To reach our goal, we analyzed 450,000+ tweets , hundreds of thousands of search queries, 700,000+ blog posts , and surveyed 1,200+ marketers across the globe.

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Data Collection Tools and Toolkits

SEMrush offers a wide variety of solutions for keyword research, content marketing, social media automation, market research, competitor analysis, and more. The data for this report was leveraged from the following tools:

Content Marketing Platform — a unique set of tools covering the whole content marketing workflow, from content ideation and management to measurement of its performance.

Traffic Analytics — a quick way to get information about any website’s traffic channels, geographic distribution, visitor behavior, etc.

CPC Map — a tool that lets you identify the most promising regions and keywords for digital advertising based on the analysis of 2 million search queries in 17 verticals.

Discover the platform

Learn more

Take a look

Keyword Magic Tool — an easy-to-use keyword research tool that provides all the data you need to start an effective SEO or PPC campaign.

Social Media Tracker — an advanced solution for social media analytics and competitive research.

Discover the tool

Try it now

Content Marketing Trends

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EN MA

Content Marketing Trends

In the first part of our report, we’ll speak about the content marketing trends of 2019, such as the most popular topics, hashtags, and questions, and most searched keywords. We’ll also show you the top influencers of the content marketing industry on Twitter.

To collect this data, we went over hundreds of thousands of 2019 Google search queries related to content marketing and analyzed more than 450,000 tweets in English that contained the #ContentMarketing hashtag and were posted between January and September 2019.

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Top 20 Hashtags Used with #ContentMarketing

TOP 20 HASHTAGS USED WITH #ContentMarketing

#digitalmarketing 71% #marketing 52% #seo 36% #socialmedia 35% #smm 27% #socialmediamarketing 22% #content 20% #onlinemarketing 18% #business 18% #growthhacking 16% #blogging 15% #startup 12% #bigdata 10% #ai 10% #influencermarketing 10% #emailmarketing 10%

What we did: We looked at how often certain hashtags appear along with #ContentMarketing in the most popular tweets (20+ retweets) that were published between January and September 2019.

OP

#ecommerce 9% #infographic 8% #analytics 7% #machinelearning 7%

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Top 20 Topics Discussed with #ContentMarketing

TOP 20 TOPICS DISCUSSED WITH #ContentMarketing

strategy 29%

social media

11% SEO 10%

What we did: We used a mixture of machine learning and human expetise to analyze the topics (key themes) that were discussed in the most popular tweets (20+ retweets) that were published between January and September 2019 and contained the #ContentMarketing hashtag.

statistics

5%

AI 4%

blogging 4% content ideas 4%

tools 4% visual content 3% trends 3%

startup 2% ecommerce 2% influencer marketing 2%

beauty 1% travel 1% sales 1%

ROI 1% job 1% email marketing 1%

audience research 1%

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The Usage of Links and Visual Content in #ContentMarketing Tweets

THE USAGE OF VISUAL CONTENT IN THE ANALYZED TWEETS

THE USAGE OF LINKS IN THE ANALYZED TWEETS

What we did: We checked the most popular tweets (20+ retweets) that were published between January and September 2019 and contained the #ContentMarketing hashtag for the presence of visual content and links.

50% 14% 3% 1% 32%

Image Infographic Video GIFs No visuals

VISUAL CONTENT

Tweets with links Tweets without links

72% 28%

LINKS

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TOP 20 Content Marketing Influencers on Twitter

1. Mike Schiemer @MikeSchiemer 2. Evan Kirstel @evankirstel 3. Jeff Bullas @jeffbullas 4. Larry Kim @larrykim 5. Ben Kamau @BenKamauDigital 6. Michael Brenner @BrennerMichael 7. Rebekah Radice @RebekahRadice 8. Isabella Jones @IsabellajonesCl 9. Jonathan Aufray @JonathanAufray 10. Kirk Borne @KirkDBorne 11. Bryan Kramer @bryankramer 12. The Startup Nerd @Startup_Nerd 13. Nika Stewart @NikaStewart 14. Mike Quindazzi @MikeQuindazzi 15. Antonio Grasso @antgrasso 16. Marsha Collier @MarshaCollier

What we did: We looked at the authors of the most retweeted posts (20+ retweets) that were published between January and September 2019 and contained the #ContentMarketing hashtag. These authors were ranked based on the number of likes, retweets and top-performing tweets they published.

17. Chris Do @theChrisDo 18. Kevin Lim @_kevinlim

19. Franz Russo @franzrusso 20. John Abraham @iamjony94

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Top 20 Google Search Queries Related to Content Marketing

TOP 20 GOOGLE SEARCH QUERIES RELATED TO CONTENT MARKETING

content marketing strategy content marketing institute content marketing agency content marketing examples content marketing definition content marketing plan content marketing world b2b content marketing content marketing manager seo content marketing content marketing services content marketing tools content marketing companies content marketing jobs content marketing platform content marketing blog types of content marketing video content marketing content calendar examples content marketing conference

6600 5400 3600 3600 2900 2900 2400 2400 1900 1900 1600 1600 1300 1300 1300 1300 1300 1300 1000 880

What we did: We calculated the average monthly search volume for the keywords from the Google searches related to “content marketing” made between January and September 2019.

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Top 20 Questions about Content Marketing Asked on Google

1. what is content marketing 2. what is content strategy 3. why is content marketing important 4. why content marketing

5. what is content marketing strategy 6. what is content marketing in seo 7. how to create a content marketing strategy 8. how content marketing drives sales 9. how to do keyword research for content marketing

10. how to write content marketing 11. what is b2b content marketing 12. what does a content marketer do 13. what is visual content marketing 14. what does content marketing mean

What we did: We analyzed the question keywords related to “content marketing” and calculated their average monthly search volume to sort them by popularity.

15. how content marketing is changing the game 16. how to develop content marketing strategy 17. how much do content marketers make 18. how to create content for affiliate marketing 19. what is good content marketing 20. how to write effective email marketing content

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Key Takeaways

Growth hackers, startups, and e-commerce leverage the power of content

Social media is a preferred content distribution channel

Content tools and services are in demand

#SocialMedia, #SMM, and #SocialMediaMarketing hashtags were used along with #ContentMarketing in 35%, 27%, and 22% of the most popular tweets, respectively. Social media also turned out to be the second most discussed topic in these tweets.

Tools were discussed in just 4% of our tweets, but given the size of the data selection, it’s still very popular. “Content marketing agency” scores around 3600 searches a month, and is followed by “content marketing services”, which scores 1600.

The #GrowthHacking hashtag was found in 16% of the tweets we analyzed. This is closely followed by #Startup, which scored 12% and is also seen in 2% of tweets’ topics. E-commerce, with a 9% score, became the most discussed industry in the analyzed tweets paired with #ContentMarketing, followed by beauty and travel.

You can’t do without a strategy

Content strategy was touched upon in 29% of the analyzed tweets; “content marketing strategy” is the second most popular keyword related to Content Marketing on Google (average monthly search volume of 6600).

Advanced technology comes to the content marketing world

Visuals draw engagement

Content marketing is an integral part of digital marketing

Visual content is the ninth most discussed topic in the tweets we looked at. Besides, 68% of content marketing related tweets contained visuals. The keyword “video content marketing” appears in the top 20 of the most popular search queries related to content marketing. “What is visual content marketing?” is also one of the most popular questions asked on Google.

AI was featured in 10% of analyzed tweets as a hashtag and #machinelearning appeared in 7% of these, which demonstrates the interest in these spheres.

#DigitalMarketing turned out to be the most frequent hashtag found in content marketing related tweets; it was used in 71% of them, while #Marketing came up in just 52%.

SEO and content go together

Statistics speak volumes

#SEO and #ContentMarketing hashtags were paired in 36% of the examined tweets. Besides that, SEO took third place among the topics mentioned by those who tweeted about content marketing. “What is content marketing in SEO?” and “How to do keyword research for content marketing?” are among the top 10 most asked questions on Google.

#BigData (10%) and #Analytics (7%) are becoming an integral part of content marketing. “Statistics” is also one of the most popular topics, discussed in 5% of analyzed tweets.

Most Expensive Keywords

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Most Expensive Keywords

In the second part, we tell you about the content marketing related keywords in English that cost most to bid on. These keywords don’t just bring Google its huge advertising revenues, but also show which subjects get the most attention and are in highest demand in the content marketing industry.

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20 Most Expensive Keywords to Bid on in the Content Marketing Industry

LIST OF THE 20 MOST EXPENSIVE KEYWORDS TO BID ON IN THE CONTENT MARKETING INDUSTRY (CPC)

email marketing content writing content marketing management tools content marketing b2b marketing content management software

$37.40 $35.79 $34.50 $34.09 $31.27 $27.26 $26.82 $26.26 $23.91 $22.90 $18.91 $18.40 $17.50 $15.03 $14.83 $14.79 $14.47 $13.33 $13.05 $11.57

email marketing content legal content marketing

b2b content marketing agency content marketing automation content marketing online course content marketing calendar retail content marketing content marketing platforms gartner content marketing for b2b companies content marketing channels content marketing b2b lead generation ecommerce content marketing content marketer content marketing program creating a content marketing strategy content marketing agency

What we did: We found the most expensive keywords to bid on related to the content marketing industry and sorted them by CPC.

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Key Takeaways AK AW There’s a defined interest in content marketing management tools ($35.79) and software ($34.09), which seem to be the most competitive areas of the industry. Another expensive keyword is “email marketing content writing” ($37.4), which lets us suppose that the service is in high demand. Then go b2b related keywords, indicating another highly competitive area in content marketing.

As you can see, content marketing doesn’t look like a very cheap area to advertise in - the highest cost per click is almost $37, which means people are ready to pay a lot to obtain a lead. Most of the words from our top-priced keywords list correlate with the Twitter and Google search trends described above:

CPCs for “content marketing automation” ($26.26), “content marketing online course” ($23.91), and “content marketing calendar” ($22.9) are also relatively high as advertisers expect content professionals to seek to enhance their skills and simplify their routine. The high cost of the “legal content marketing” keyword ($27.26), as well as the CPC of ecommerce related keywords, may show that content marketing services for law firms and online retailers are in demand.

State of the Industry Blogs

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ITM ANS

State of the Industry Blogs

In the third part of our report, we’ll look at 1000+ blogs in English that were getting the most traffic between April and September 2019 in the 10 industries that are among the most expensive for digital advertising.

In the areas where running an advertising campaign is difficult and expensive, content becomes the most valuable source of leads and partnership opportunities. That’s why understanding what traffic sources work best in each industry can help you find the right ways to distribute and promote content.

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Average CPC for Bidding on Keywords in Each Industry

AVERAGE CPC FOR BIDDING ON KEYWORDS IN EACH INDUSTRY

Insurance Online education Marketing Home and garden Automotive dealerships Jewelry Fitness and health Travel Real estate Pharmaceuticals

$17.55 $12.08

$6.45 $2.28 $2.18 $1.90 $1.81 $1.74 $1.40 $1.15

What we did: We looked at the average cost per click for each of the considered industries in the period between April and September 2019.

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Traffic to Industry Blogs by Device

TRAFFIC TO INDUSTRY BLOGS BY DEVICE

FITNESS AND HEALTH

AUTOMOTIVE DEALERSHIPS

PHARMA- CEUTICALS

TRAVEL

JEWELRY

Desktop Mobile

49.65% 50.35%

Desktop Mobile

60.89% 39.11%

Desktop Mobile

62.71% 37.29%

Desktop Mobile

56.57% 43.43%

Desktop Mobile

41.26% 58.74%

What we did: We looked at the devices people use to browse different industry blogs across the globe between April and September 2019 and split their traffic into desktop and mobile.

HOME AND GARDEN

ONLINE EDUCATION

INSURANCE

MARKETING

REAL ESTATE

Desktop Mobile

Desktop Mobile

Desktop Mobile

57.64% 42.36%

83.83% 16.17%

60.27% 39.73%

Desktop Mobile

Desktop Mobile

53.27% 46.73%

79.96% 20.04%

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Traffic to Industry Blogs by Source

TRAFFIC TO INDUSTRY BLOGS BY SOURCE

FITNESS AND HEALTH

PHARMA- CEUTICALS

AUTOMOTIVE DEALERSHIPS

TRAVEL

JEWELRY

17.43% 15.18% 2.47% 0.01% 64.89%

Direct Referral Social Paid Search

15.24% 16.59% 3.97% 1.55% 62.64%

Direct Referral Social Paid Search

16.86% 16.90% 3.93% 1.14% 61.18%

Direct Referral Social Paid Search

18.60% 13.78% 4.83% 0.71% 62.08%

Direct Referral Social Paid Search

22.49% 15.24% 4.73% 0.77% 56.77%

Direct Referral Social Paid Search

What we did: We checked the traffic sources of different industry blogs across the globe between April and September 2019 and split their traffic by sources.

REAL ESTATE

ONLINE EDUCATION

HOME AND GARDEN

MARKETING

INSURANCE

16.64% 16.62% 2.57% 0.48% 63.69%

23.60% 15.30% 4.32% 0.77% 56.01%

16.55% 17.70% 5.20% 2.00% 58.55%

19.43% 8.29% 2.89% 0.36% 69.03%

Direct Referral Social Paid Search

Direct Referral Social Paid Search

Direct Referral Social Paid Search

Direct Referral Social Paid Search

22.71% 11.23% 4.14% 0.17% 61.65%

Direct Referral Social Paid Search

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Industry Blogs Top-performing Articles by Length

AVG. LENGTH OF TOP-PERFORMING ARTICLES BY INDUSTRY: NUMBER OF WORDS

Marketing Travel Real Estate Fitness and Health Insurance

5714 4309 4203 4056 3791 3777 3674 3176 2993 2544

What we did: We picked the top 20 traffic-yielding articles from each of the considered blogs and calculated their average length.

Pharmaseuticals Online Education Jewelry Home and Garden Automative dealerships

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Industry Blogs Top-performing Articles by Type

DISTRIBUTION OF TOP-PERFORMING ARTICLES BY TYPE

PHARMA- CEUTICALS

ONLINE EDUCATION

FITNESS AND HEALTH

JEWELRY

TRAVEL

2.40% 5.50% 20.4% 7.50%

5.10% 3.70% 9.30% 20.9%

Guide How to Questions Lists

Guide How to Questions Lists

2.40% 7.50% 14.2% 15.9%

4.30% 9.70% 15.0% 11.5%

Guide How to Questions Lists

Guide How to Questions Lists

3.60% 5.10% 10.8% 13.8%

Guide How to Questions Lists

What we did: We picked the top 20 traffic-yielding articles from each of the considered blogs and determined the most frequent types of content seen there.

AUTOMATIVE DEALERSHIPS

HOME AND GARDEN

INSURANCE

MARKETING

REAL ESTATE

4.10% 9.50% 17.3% 12.8%

Guide How to Questions Lists

5.50% 13.0% 12.9% 23.6%

Guide How to Questions Lists

3.60% 7.40% 24.2% 13.8%

Guide How to Questions Lists

1.20% 13.8% 20.4% 17.4%

Guide How to Questions Lists

4.40% 10.9% 14.2% 11.9%

Guide How to Questions Lists

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Key Takeaways AK AW Desktops still lead. In the era of smartphones, more than half of blogs’ traffic comes from desktop. The only exceptions are in the leisure-related industries — Travel (49.6%) and Jewelry (41.2%). Organic search is king. It’s the prevailing source of traffic for absolutely all considered industries.

No two industries are alike in promoting their blogs, though some general tendencies are clearly seen.

If not organic, then direct. It’s quite surprising that 15%-24% of traffic in all industries is direct, which gives it second place. Social media is underutilized by most industries other than Fitness and Health (4.73%), Home and Garden (5.2%) and Pharmaceuticals (4.83%).

Anatomy of Performing Content

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Key Stats

Anatomy of Performing Content Content performance is determined through a variety of metrics. Some of these, such as traffic, social shares, and backlinks, are common knowledge. But what impacts these on the text’s side — content length, or structure — is the subject of ongoing discussion. In the fourth part, we consider the factors that influenced the visibility and engagement rate of the 700,000+ articles we picked from domains with a blog section that had from 50,000 up to 500,000 sessions per month.

Longreads

Articles with long headlines (14+ words) get x2 more traffic, x2 more shares and x5 more backlinks than articles with short headlines (7-10 words). Long headlines

Longreads of 3000+ words get x3 more traffic, x4 more shares and x3.5 more backlinks than articles of average length (901-1200 words). Short (300-900 words) articles are not shared at all x4.5 more often than longreads of 3000+ words. Lists

Structure

Listicles get the most shares and traffic (up to 2x more than other types of blog posts), followed by guides and “how to” articles.

Well-structured articles with h2 and h3 are more likely to be high- performing ( 36% of articles with h2+h3 have high performance in terms of traffic, shares and backlinks). Articles with 5 lists per 500 words get up to x4 more traffic and up to x2 more shares than articles with no lists.

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Content Length Impact on Performance

CONTENT LENGTH IMPACT ON PERFORMANCE Avg. Monthly Unique Pageviews

CONTENT LENGTH IMPACT ON PERFORMANCE Social Shares

13 12 15 19 28 31 58

300-600 601-900 901-1200 1201-1500 1501-2000 2001-3000 3001+

57 70

300-600 601-900 901-1200 1201-1500 1501-2000 2001-3000 3001+

110 103 179 215 362

What we did: We looked at the length of each article in words and compared it against the average number of unique pageviews, shares and backlinks on Twitter and Facebook.

0

100

200

300

400

0

15

30

45

60

CONTENT LENGTH IMPACT ON PERFORMANCE Backlinks

5 6 7 9

300-600 601-900 901-1200 1201-1500 1501-2000 2001-3000 3001+

12 27 25

0

10

20

30

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Non-Shared Articles by Length

THE PART OF NON-SHARED ARTICLES BY LENGTH

52% 47% 51% 51% 52% 43% 12%

300-600 601-900 901-1200 1201-1500 1501-2000 2001-3000 3001+

What we did: We calculated the % of articles of different length (word count) that had no shares on Twitter and Facebook.

0

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

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Headline Type Impact on Performance

HEADLINE TYPE IMPACT ON PERFORMANCE Avg. Monthly Unique Pageviews

HEADLINE TYPE IMPACT ON PERFORMANCE Social Shares

Questions Guides Lists

22 21 37 28 18

Questions Guides Lists

110 191 203 182 88

How-to Others

How-to Others

30 HEA 0 40 10 20

0

60

120

180

240

What we did: We compared headings with different wording (the ones that offered a question and an answer, guides, top-N lists, How-tos, and more) against the average monthly number of unique pageviews, shares on Twitter and Facebook and backlinks the article had.

HEADLINE TYPE IMPACT ON PERFORMANCE Backlinks

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H1 Length Impact on Performance

H1 LENGTH IMPACT ON PERFORMANCE Avg. Monthly Unique Pageviews

H1 14+ H1 10-13 H1 7-10 H1 <7

222 162

97 47

0

40

80

120

160

200

240

H1 LENGTH IMPACT ON PERFORMANCE Social Shares

What we did: We compared H1 length against the average monthly number of unique pageviews, shares on Twitter and Facebook, and backlinks the article had.

H1 14+ H1 10-13 H1 7-10 H1 <7

41 30 19 8

0

10

20

30

40

50

H1 LENGTH IMPACT ON PERFORMANCE Backlinks

H1 14+ H1 10-13 H1 7-10 H1 <7

15 8 3 2

0

5

10

15

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Distribution of Heading Depth on Performance

DISTRIBUTION OF HEADING DEPTH BY PERFORMANCE Low performance

DISTRIBUTION OF HEADING DEPTH BY PERFORMANCE Medium performance

No h2 h2 only h2 + h3 h2 + h3 + h4

34% 34% 23% 9%

No h2 h2 only h2 + h3 h2 + h3 + h4

29% 31% 30% 10%

HEA

What we did: We looked at the percentage of articles with different structures (presence/absence of H2, H3, H4, etc.) in each of the performance groups assigned based on traffic, social shares, and backlinks: 20% of highly performing, 20% of low performing and 20% of average performing.

DISTRIBUTION OF HEADING DEPTH BY PERFORMANCE High performance

No h2 h2 only h2 + h3 h2 + h3 + h4

24% 29% 36% 11%

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Number of Lists Impact on Performance

NUMBER OF LISTS IMPACT ON PERFORMANCE Avg. Monthly Unique Pageviews

NUMBER OF LISTS IMPACT ON PERFORMANCE Social Shares

5 lists / 500 words 4 lists / 500 words 3 lists / 500 words 2 lists / 500 words 1 list / 500 words no lists

15 9 10

5 lists / 500 words 4 lists / 500 words 3 lists / 500 words 2 lists / 500 words 1 list / 500 words no lists

208 85 76 59 53 53

4 5 7

LIST 12 0 16 4 8

0

60

120

180

240

What we did: We looked at the number of lists per 500 words of the article and compared it against the average monthly number of unique pageviews, social shares, and backlinks it had.

NUMBER OF LISTS IMPACT ON PERFORMANCE Backlinks

5 lists / 500 words 4 lists / 500 words 3 lists / 500 words 2 lists / 500 words 1 list / 500 words no lists

8 10

7 5 4 6

0

3

6

9

12

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Key Takeaways AK AW The longer the better. Articles that have long headlines and contain more than 3000 words perform better in all respects (traffic, backlinks, and social shares). This may be related to the value they deliver compared to bite-sized content. Headlines can improve performance. Really long headlines of 14+ words turned out to be the most effective for driving traffic, social shares, and backlinks. Moreover, 36% of articles of the “high performance group” contained at least H2 and H3 in their structure.

We found no secret technique that will make your content perfect. However, there are definitely some tricks that can increase the amount of traffic and the number of backlinks and social shares you are getting.

Building links requires effort. The number of links an article can get depends on many factors such as article length, H1 length, and H1 type. Answers to questions and How-to articles tended to get slightly more backlinks than articles of other types, but the difference was not significant enough to draw any conclusions. Listicles drive shares and traffic. Articles with lists were found to be the most shared and traffic-yielding content format, followed by guides and “how to” articles. In general, blog posts with a special title (lists, guides, questions) are more likely to have a higher performance in terms of shares and traffic.

Content Marketing Survey

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ET

Content Marketing Survey

GS

In the fifth part of our report we provide the results of the survey we offered to 1200+ marketers from 39 countries. We asked them to tell us about their approach to content marketing at each stage, from developing a strategy to measuring its efficiency.

These most current facts and statistics can help you identify gaps in your content strategy, pinpoint your own content shortcomings and gather insightful ideas to test.

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Use of Content Marketing

ARE YOU USING CONTENT MARKETING AS AN APPROACH IN YOUR COMPANY?

Yes No

91% 9%

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Content Marketing Strategy

STR

DOES YOUR COMPANY HAVEA CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY?

Yes No

77% 23%

HOW WOULD YOU EVALUATE THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY?

3.5 for a Content Marketing Strategy

Excellent Good Average Fair Poor

9% 43% 38%

average rating

8% 2%

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Content Marketing Tactics and Metrics

WHAT ARE THE MOST EFFICIENT CONTENT MARKETINGTACTICS IMPLEMENTED BY YOUR TEAM IN 2019?

67% 51% 37% 36% 35% 32% 26% 23% 21% 14% 11% 5%

Search engine optimization Updating and repurposing existing content Creating more video / Visual content Publishing more “How to” guides / Educational content Optimizing the customer journey Analyzing competitors content Optimizing content for mobile Diversification / Using new content types Collaborating with other teams (Sales, CS, etc.)

Testing new distribution channels Using UGC (User Generated Content) Other

0

20%

40%

60%

80%

THE MOST COMMON “OTHER” RESPONSES INCLUDE: Creating pillar content; Publishing editorial articles; Guest posting; Audience research; Co-marketing with other brands.

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Content Marketing Tactics and Metrics

WHAT ARE THE KEY METRICS YOU USE TO MEASURE YOUR CONTENT SUCCESS?

76% 62% 60% 47% 39% 37% 31% 25% 22% 19% 6%

Organic traffic Leads Sessions / Pageviews Conversion rate

Time on page Social shares Bounce rate ROI Backlinks Comments Other

0

20%

40%

60%

80%

THE MOST COMMON “OTHER” RESPONSES INCLUDE: Sales/Purchases; Newsletter subscriptions; Reach/Impressions; Keyword rankings; CTR.

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Goals and Budget

Generate more quality leads Attract more traffic to our website Improve brand reputation Improve customer engagement and loyalty WHAT ARE THE PRIORITY GOALS YOU PLAN TO ACHIEVE THROUGH CONTENT MARKETING BY 2020? GOALS Empower new products positioning Increase the number of payments Other 40% 20% 0 60%

75% 71% 56% 45% 19% 17% 2%

80%

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Goals and Budget

46% - $10,000 or less 17% - $10,001 to $25,000 8% - $25,001 to $50,000 5% - $50,001 to $100,000 6% - $100,001 to $500,000

HOW MUCH DID YOUR COMPANY SPENDON CONTENT MARKETING IN 2019?

1% - $500,001 to $1M 1% - $1.01M to $5M 1%> - More than $5M 15% - I don’t know

9% - Significantly increase (more than 25%) 23% - Medially increase (11-25%) 30% - Slowly increase (up to 10%)

HOW DO YOU EXPECT YOUR CONTENT MARKETING BUDGET TO CHANGE IN 2020?

20% - Reamain 2% - Decrease 15% - I don’t know

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Content Marketing Team

HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR CONTENT MARKETING TEAM?

78% - 1-3 specialists 18% - 4-10 specialists 2% - 11-20 specialists 1% - 21-35 specialists <1% - 36-50 specialists <1% - More than 50 specialists

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Content Marketing Team

WHICH SPECIALISTS DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR CONTENT MARKETING TEAM?

52%

Writer/Content Creator

Social Media Manager

36%

SEO Content Manager

34%

Designer

30%

Content (Marketing) Strategist

26%

Content (Marketing) Manager

23%

Email Marketing Specialist

19%

Web Developer

19%

Editor

18%

Head of Content

18%

Project/Campaign Manager

13%

Data Scientist

4%

Other

15%

0

25

50

75

100

THE MOST COMMON “OTHER” RESPONSES INCLUDE: One marketing specialist, doing everything in marketing; (Digital) Marketing Manager; Viеdeo Editor / Video Producer; SEO Specialist; CEO / Founder / Business Owner.

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Technologies and Challenges

WHAT ARE YOUR TEAM’S TOP CONTENT MARKETING CHALLENGES?

Creating content that generates quality leads

54%

52%

Creating content that attracts more traffic

Developing content that resonates with our target audience

45%

Improving the SEO performance of our content

44%

Finding ideas for creating new content

34%

Proving the ROI of our content

30%

Proving the effectiveness of our content marketing strategy

26%

Identifying the most efficient channels for content distribution

25%

Managing the editorial calendar

21%

Coordinating on the workflow

21%

Organizing and managing content marketing campaigns

18%

Hiring highly qualified specialists

16%

Maintaining a consistent tone of voice through all content marketing channels Finding the right content marketing technologies

14%

13%

Other

4%

0

25

50

75

100

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Technologies and Challenges

WHICH TECHNOLOGIES DOES YOUR TEAM USE TO LEVERAGE YOUR CONTENT MARKETING EFFORTS?

85%

Website Analytics Tools

SEO Tools

73%

Social Media Posting

67%

Email Marketing Software

57%

Content Management System (CMS)

47%

Writing / Editing Tools

42%

Editorial Calendar

37%

Team Collaboration and Work Management

32%

Marketing Automation Platform

30%

Visual Content Creation Tools

25%

Competitive Intelligence

20%

Integrated Content Marketing Platform

9%

AI / Machine Learning

6%

Other

1%

0

25

50

75

100

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Content Creation and Distribution

WHAT TYPES OF CONTENT DO YOU PRODUCE?

86%

Blog Post

Email

67%

Infographic

45%

Case Study

42%

Success Story

36%

Ebook / White Paper

35%

Video Tutorial

28%

Webinar

21%

Print

21%

Original Study

19%

Interview

19%

Quiz / Test

16%

Template

12%

Podcast

11%

Product Manual

10%

Other

5%

0

25

50

75

100

THE MOST COMMON “OTHER” RESPONSES INCLUDE: Sales Content; Social media posts; Landing Page; News; Photo.

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Content Creation and Distribution

WHICH MARKETING CHANNELS ARE YOU USING FOR CONTENT DISTRIBUTION?

INFLUENCER MARKETING 19 %

OTHER 2 %

EMAIL MARKETING 76 %

PPC / PAID ADVERTISING 46 %

SOCIAL MEDIA 94 %

CONTENT SYNDICATION 16 %

EXTERNAL PUBLICATIONS GUEST POSTING 30 %

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Outsourcing Content Creation

DO YOU OUTSOURCE CONTENT CREATION?

40% - Yes 60% - No

WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING CONTENT CREATIONSERVICES ARE YOU OUTSOURCING?

53%

Writing

Graphic Design

34%

Video Design / Animation

32%

Translation

18%

Editing / Proofreading

16%

Other

1%

0

20

40

60

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Key Takeaways AK AW Strategy. 77% of our respondents have one, but only 9% evaluate it as a really good one. Tactics and metrics. Content is mostly measured through organic traffic (76%) and sessions / pageviews (60%), leads (62%), and conversion rate (47%). SEO (67%), updating and repurposing existing content (51%) are the most popular tactics of improving content’s performance. Goals and budget. Content marketing goals can be easily understood from its metrics. These are: generate more quality leads (75%), attract more traffic to our website (71%), improve brand reputation (56%), and improve customer engagement and loyalty (45%). To achieve such significant goals most companies are ready to spend up to $10,000 (46%).

Content marketing is widely used by companies of all sizes, but what are the ingredients of effective content marketing? Here’s first-hand knowledge that can become a good starting point of your own plan.

Team. The vast majority of the companies where our respondents work (78%) have small content marketing teams of 1-3 people, which usually include a writer (52%), a social media manager (36%), and an SEO specialist (34%). Technologies and challenges. The main challenges the content marketing industry is facing correlate with its goals: creating content that attracts more traffic (52%), creating content that generates quality leads (54%), and developing content that resonates with our target audience (45%). To achieve these, 85% of those polled leverage website analytics tools, SEO tools (73%), social media posting (67%), and 57% - email marketing software. Content creation and distribution. Prevailing content formats are blog posts (86%), case studies (42%), and success stories (36%). Social Media (94%) and emails (76%) are considered the most effective distribution channels. 60% of our respondents don’t outsource content creation. If they do, they prefer to outsource writing (53%) or visuals (graphic design - 34%, video design/animation - 32%).

Top Required Skills

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EQ IRE

Top Required Skills

Successful content marketing often requires having a very broad skill base. Depending on the employer’s brand, it can be anything from storytelling or analytics to basic design and even coding.

The SEMrush Academy Team analyzed the requirements stated in 17,000+ content marketing job descriptions posted in different countries to make a list of the skills that are absolutely essential for a strong Content Marketing specialist.

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Top 10 Skills Required In The Content Marketing Industry

29 % Analytics

38 % SEO

50 % Social Media

12 % Adobe

81 % Marketing

What we did: We analyzed the employers’ requirements mentioned in the job offers. The percentage shows the mentions of a particular skill in the total number of Content Marketing job offers.

17 % Metrics

42 % Strategy

37 % Research

Email Marketing

25 % Editing

11 %

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Top 3 Soft Skills In The Content Marketing Industry

Leadership - 19%

Respect for deadlines - 16%

Written communication - 8%

What we did: We compared the number of mentions of a particular soft skill against the total number of Content Marketing job offers.

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Key Takeaways AK AW A good content specialist needs a wide range of skills. Marketing (81%), social media (50%), and SEO (38%) are obvious leaders among these, logically followed by research (37%) and editing (25%), which reflects a typical industry workflow.

Among the soft skills essential for a great content marketing specialist, employers mentioned leadership (21%), respect for deadlines (16%) and written communication (8%).

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HOD OLO Methodology

Most Expensive Keywords in the Content Marketing Industry

Content Marketing Trends

We collected more than 450,000 tweets in English posted between January and September 2019 with the #ContentMarketing hashtag. For the final analysis, we picked the tweets retweeted 20+ times and extracted the following data: Most popular hashtags used with #ContentMarketing Most popular topics discussed in the tweets (these were detected by our machine learning algorithm) *To find influencers, we looked at the accounts that published the most retweeted posts (20+ retweets) with the #ContentMarketing hashtag. We also took into account the number of likes and the number of publications ranked as top-performing tweets. For our Google queries analysis, we picked the keywords in English from searches related to content marketing (as a keyword) worldwide between January and September 2019. We then calculated the average monthly search volume for each keyword to make our lists of the top search queries and top questions asked on Google. Presence/absence and types of visual content Top content marketing influencers on Twitter*

We compared the costs of advertising on Google across different countries, states, and regions to find the keywords in English with the highest cost per click. Then we sorted these keywords to find those related to content marketing.

State of the Industry Blogs

We analyzed 1,000+ domains that run a blog from 10 industries that are among the most expensive for digital advertising (based on CPC in the period between April and September 2019). Then we found the URLs of the top 20 articles (from each of the considered blogs) that were getting the most traffic between April and September 2019 and looked at the

following characteristics: Traffic to blogs by device; Traffic to blogs by source; Types of articles that are getting the most traffic; Average article length.

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HOD OLO Methodology

Content Marketing Survey

Anatomy of Performing Content

We asked 1200+ people from 39 countries, working for B2B and B2C companies, digital marketing agencies, non-profit and other types of organizations, to tell us about the role of content marketing in their work. Top Required Skills for a Content Marketer

We collected 700,000 articles URLs from domains with a blog section that had from 50,000 up to 500,000 average monthly unique pageviews calculated for the whole article’s lifecycle. We also discarded the articles published later than June 2019. To evaluate the performance of each article, we considered the traffic (average unique pageviews), engagement on social media (Twitter + Facebook), and backlinks. After that, we tried to establish the reference values for the most common characteristics of the content, specifically: length; title types (how-tos, lists, questions, guides/studies, etc.);

We analyzed 17,000+ Content Marketing positions on Monster and Indeed, two large job search sites. We took into account job offers available on these websites in October 2019. We reviewed job vacancies for such job titles as Content Writers, Content Managers, Content Marketers and Content Specialists.

H1 length; structuring (subtitles depth); lists presence.

For better representation, we split all the articles in the research by word count:

300-600; 1501-2000; 601-900; 2001-3000; 901-1200; 3000+. 1201-1500;

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Content Marketing Survey

JOB TITLE

26%

Marketing Manager

CEO

15%

Content (Marketing) Manager

14%

Content (Marketing) Strategist

7%

Writer/Content Creator

6%

SEO Specialist

6%

Marketing Consultant

5%

CMO / Head of Content

5%

SEO Content Manager

4%

Project Manager

3%

Editor

1%

Other

8%

0

10

20

30

THE MOST COMMON “OTHER” RESPONSES INCLUDE: (Digital) Marketing Specialist; Business Owner; Social Media Manager / Strategist; Head of (Digital) Marketing; Marketing Analyst / Strategist.

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Content Marketing Survey

INDUSTRY

27%

Marketing / Advertising

Information Technology / Software

15%

Education

5%

Ecommerce

5%

Industrial and Manufacturing

4%

Travel and Tourism

4%

Finance

4%

Media and Publishing

3%

Real Estate

3%

Healthcare / Pharmaceuticals

3%

Insurance

2%

Home and Garden

2%

Food

2%

Telecommunications

1%

Nonprofit / Government

1%

Transport

1%

Sports and Recreation

1%

Furniture

1%

Other

15%

0

10

20

30

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Content Marketing Survey

38% - B2B company 27% - B2C company 22% - Agency 5% - Nonprofit organization 9% - Other

СOMPANY TYPE

42% - 1-10 24% - 11-50

СOMPANY SIZE

18% - 51-250 6% - 251-500 4% - 501-1000 6% - 1000+

We love your feedback! Did you enjoy the report? We would love to hear your thoughts about it! If you have any feedback about our report or have suggestions about other aspects of content marketing to analyze next year, mail us at mail@semrush.com

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