Content marketing and inbound marketing have been making headlines for several years now, and for good reason. Your customers’ behavior has changed dramatically, and it only makes sense that marketing adapt to meet those new challenges.

For instance, we live in an “instant gratification” world. Here at the office, we ordered office supplies from Amazon and received the order later that same morning. You’ve probably crashed on the couch and watched a whole season of your favorite show on Netflix. When you need a phone number, you check the web on your phone. Instant gratification.

Your target audience expects the same from your company. They expect that you’ll have answers to the basic questions on your company website, and expect you’ll have things to consider that may not even have occurred to them. They expect that your website will help them self-diagnose whether working with your company is a good option.

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As a marketing manager, it’s easy to see these trends and know that it’s time to invest more in your digital marketing efforts. But unfortunately, it can be difficult to convince traditional leaders to approach marketing as anything but “business as usual.”

If you’re looking for convincing data that can show your boss that consumer behavior changed and content marketing is the solution, here are five content marketing statistics you need to share in your next pow wow:

81% of People Research Purchases Online Before Buying 

This content marketing statistic from AdWeek is the #1 reason your business needs to have an updated website and an active blog. Essentially, if you’re not sharing information online, you’re not a part of the purchase conversation. Your customers are looking for online content to educate themselves about their options, and it’s critical that your company show up as a possibility, because many of your competitors are (and even companies that you don’t consider competitors).

It’s easy to see why your customers have started doing their own research. Before smartphones and high-speed Internet connections, the best way to make a purchase was to observe a company’s brand, check its price, and perhaps ask a friend or two for their opinion. But now that 84% of people have computers at home and 68% have smartphones, it’s easier than ever to read and generate online reviews of products before making a purchase.

Plus, they hate talking to your pushy sales reps that force Powerpoint decks and demos on them.

Need help with a content marketing plan? Read this guide.

71% of B2B Marketers Use Content Marketing For Lead Generation

It’s not just your customers who are using content marketing. MarketingProfs found that 71% of B2B marketers use content marketing for lead generation, and that this form of marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional, outbound marketing.

Businesses use content marketing because it works. With increased access to computers, tablets, and mobile phones, people have more time and opportunity to perform product/service research. The businesses that carefully craft premium content and blog articles are reaping the rewards.

1.91% of People Click Through Paid Search Ads

Paid search can be a valuable part of a content marketing campaign, but it’s not enough by itself. The average clickthrough rate on ads across all industries in 2016 was only 1.91%, and it was even lower for real estate, employment services, and consumer services.

As your customers spend more time online, particularly millennials, they become fluent in new forms of advertising and tune them out. This is true for paid ads on social media platforms and in search results alike. That’s one more benefit of organic search rankings through content marketing: consumers are more likely to click through when they trust that they’re getting informative, high-quality content.

43% of B2B Companies Have Acquired Customers From Facebook

Facebook is truly a universally attractive social media platform. The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report found that 43% of B2B companies (and 77% of B2C) have acquired customers from Facebook and that 80% of United States social network users prefer to connect to brands through Facebook. In short, if you aren’t engaging your audience on Facebook -- or worse, your boss says, “our customers aren’t on Facebook” -- you are missing out on lead generation opportunities.

B2B activity on Facebook seems like a non-sequitur. However, it’s important to understand that the platform has grown up from its early days as a teen-heavy photo depository. In fact, 62% of the entire adult population uses Facebook, with that high percentage extending to ages 30-49 (79%) and 50-64 (64%). These age groups are highly targeted for B2B services, which makes Facebook a surprisingly productive marketing platform.

Facebook has better targeting options than Google Adwords, too, like the ability to upload your lead list and generate a “look alike” audience, or target people who are members of a trade association your customers belong to.

Companies Save An Average of $20,000 By Investing In Inbound Versus Outbound Marketing

What marketing department isn’t trying to cut costs? Or at least get more from their budgets? So when companies report saving an average of $20,000 per year by investing inbound marketing versus outbound marketing, and that they generate 54% more leads doing so, it’s no surprise so many organizations are increasing their inbound investment.

Why are inbound marketing initiatives so much less expensive than outbound? Because companies own their own assets. When you build a blog on your company’s URL or promote your products and webinars to your own social media following, you don’t have to pay for the publicity. Every expenditure you sink in building relationships, developing new opportunities, and strategically growing your customer base is an investment in your company’s own resources.

Content marketing is a powerful evolution in marketing that matches the needs and behaviors of tech-savvy and research-hungry customers. Use these content marketing statistics to convince your boss that it’s time to invest in the most effective form of marketing available.

If these trends are alarming at all to your boss, let them know about our one-day, customized marketing diagnostic. Our top leaders will come explain today’s digital landscape, how your company can take advantage of a tuned digital strategy and how your sales team can improve close rates. Send them this link:

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