B2C Content Marketers Focusing On Their Audience

According to a recent report from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, as presented by Marketing Charts, the most popular way to learn about target audiences is through keywords research (59%). A majority also use social listening and website analysis with customer feedback/panels, and competitive analysis rounding out the top 5 techniques.

Techniques Used By B2C Marketers To Learn About Their Audiences


% of Respondents

Keyword research


Social listening


Website analysis


Customer feedback/panels


Competitive analysis


A/B testing


Employee feedback


Database analysis


Quantitative primary research


Qualitative primary research


Auditing buyer data


Data Source: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, October 2016

Based on a survey of 480 North American marketers who primarily sell to consumers (B2C), or to both consumers and businesses (B2C and B2B), the report indicates that 7 in 10 B2C content marketers agree that they frequently consider how their content impacts the overall experience a person has with their organization (71%), and that they focus on creating content for their audience versus their brand (69%).

With almost three-quarters of B2C marketers planning to create more content this year, says the report, respondents are using 7 content marketing tactics. The most commonly used marketing tactics are social media content (85%), blogs (75%) and email newsletters (75%).

According to the report, B2C marketers were most apt to say that social media content (58%), blogs (51%) and email newsletters (43%) would be critical to their content marketing success next year. Email (89%) and Facebook (89%) are the most common distribution channels used, with Twitter (73%), LinkedIn (66%) and YouTube (65%) also popular.

Interestingly, while email is easily rated the most important channel to distribute content (with 91% considering it important), print is also rated highly. While it’s on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of usage (31%), some 62% of those marketers rate it as important to their overall content marketing success, making it more valued by its users than YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Most Important B2C Content Distribution Channels (4 or 5 on 5-point Scale; 4/5=Extremely/Very Important; % of Respondents)

Distribution Channel

% Of Respondents



















Data Source: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, October 2016

As for paid content promotion, social promotion (89%) is the most widely adopted method, with search engine marketing (76%) and print or other offline promotion (68%) next. These are the same top paid methods used by B2B marketers, too, although unlike their B2B counterparts, B2C marketers slightly favor social promotion over search engine marketing in terms of these paid methods’ effectiveness.

While last year sales was the top organizational goal for content marketing, this year’s survey finds sales way back in the 5th spot. Instead, brand awareness (74%) and engagement (71%) are in the top spots, followed by lead generation (63%), says the report.

The report says that maybe these goals are a function of what B2C content marketers are able to demonstrate. While almost 8 in 10 agree that they can demonstrate how content marketing has increased engagement, only 63% can point to content’s impact on sales.

Finally, other results from the report show that:

  • 86% of respondents say they use content marketing, with 51% of the remaining marketers planning to launch such an effort in the coming year
  • 40% have clarity on content marketing success
  • Seven in 10 feel that they are at least moderately successful in their approach to content marketing
  • 63% are at least somewhat more successful than last year, with higher quality, more efficient content (73%) and strategy development or adjustment (71%) the leading factors for increased success
  • 40% have a documented content marketing strategy, up slightly from 37% last year
  • B2C marketers spend an average of 26% of their marketing budgets on content marketing, down from 32% last year
  • 42% plan to increase their content marketing spending over the next year, down from 50% planning to do so last year.

B2C Content Marketing: 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends- North America was produced by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs and sponsored by Hightail. Please visit the Content Marketing Institute here.




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