2020 has seen broad investment in content. But despite increased enthusiasm in content as a business tactic, many brands still struggle to gather the information they need to optimize their content programs and connect content to business outcomes.

This content marketing statistic comes from a Knotch survey of over 1,650 marketing professionals polled during Knotch’s recent virtual events, The Future of Content and The Content Revolution. 84.1% of survey respondents said they find it either “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult” to prove the value of their content.

content marketing statistics

Let's look at some other content marketing statistics that reveal the challenges facing marketers when it comes to proving the value of their content efforts. We’ll also examine feedback we’ve received on the state of content as a whole.

The Challenges of Proving Content Value

When it comes to proving the value of content, marketers cite a lack of tools and support as the two most common challenges:

  • No content intelligence: When asked “what could make content better in the future,” 39.1% of respondents said “better content intelligence.” An additional 34.8% of respondents said “increased diversity in topics and authors.” 21.7% said “increased buy-in from senior leadership.”
  • Poor team structure: When we asked about team structure, 50% said their content team structure “needs work.” Another 35.7% said it’s “getting close.” Only 5.4% of respondents said their content team is “totally” set up for success in the future.
content marketing statistics
  • Lack of “big picture” thinkers: In terms of personnel, 35.7% of marketers said content strategists are most needed at their company. Another 28.6% said content analysts were most needed. This reflects a need for professions who can interpret data and connect content to business outcomes.
  • Lack of leadership: Only 56.3% of our respondents said they have a content leader role at their company. 21.8% said they are “thinking about” hiring a content leader, while 14.9% said they have “no plan to hire” a content leader. Not having a dedicated content leader on staff can often be the root cause of an organization’s issues related to content, as this role is responsible for ensuring the content team has the people, process and technology they need to succeed.

Despite Internal Challenges, Marketers Are Bullish About the Future of Content

While marketers express concern over not being able to connect content to outcomes, they’re still excited about the future of content, and the potential that great content holds for their brand, according to the content marketing statistics we gathered:

  • Marketers view content as their #1 or #2 priority: Over 78% of marketers surveyed described content as their #1 or #2 business priority compared to other marketing tactics. Only 9.8% said it’s a low priority.
content marketing statistics
  • Most brands are investing more in content today than they have in the past: Roughly 77% of marketers surveyed said their brand invests more in content today than at any other time in the past—despite the severe economic downturn in 2020.
content marketing statistics
  • In 2020 brands have increased their investment in content: Even while marketing budgets are being slashed across the board, 77% of respondents said 2020 had made their content practice stronger. Only 5.7% of respondents said it had weakened their content practice. This reinforces what we’ve been hearing directly from customers: Content has proven to be a valuable tactic for growing brand awareness and inbound leads during a crisis.
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  • Brands are committed to content for the long haul: Nearly every marketing and communications professional we surveyed said content is something they “can’t operate without” in the future. 
content marketing statistics

Additional Content Marketing Statistics

In our surveys we asked content pros a smattering of other questions related to their work, their role within the organization, and their efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Here’s what they had to say:

  • Most content pros are focused on building their company blog: 47.2% of respondents said their content work mainly pertains to creating content that will be featured on the company blog. Some content experts are also focused on creating content for the company newsroom page and resource center.
  • Content teams are recognized by their organizations for their hard work “once in a while”: 62.5% of marketers surveyed said their content team is celebrated by others at their company “once in a while.” Only 25% said they’re celebrated “a good amount.” Meanwhile, nobody said their team gets “constant applause.” While every organization is different, one such explanation for less recognition that we’ve heard from customers is because sometimes it’s unclear to the rest of the organization how the work of the content team helps drive business outcomes.
content marketing statistics
  • Content teams are striving for more DEI in content by seeking to incorporate more diverse voices: Last, we asked content teams some of the ways they’re trying to reflect DEI in their content. 37% said they’re looking for more diverse authors both internally and externally that can better reflect different viewpoints and ideas. 32.6% said they’re asking for more transparency in corporate initiatives, hoping that trickles down to greater investment in DEI across the organization. 
content marketing statistics

Connect Content to Outcomes Using Knotch

If you’re one of many content teams struggling to prove the value of your content efforts, consider utilizing a Content Intelligence Platform (CIP) like Knotch. Using Knotch, brands are able to measure and analyze data related to content, and then draw insights from that data which can be used to optimize their content strategy. 

Knotch uses sentiment analysis to understand how your content is affecting your consumers’ perception of your brand. Furthermore, Knotch’s competitive content analysis capabilities help you develop a high-impact content strategy from the get go, making our CIP critical for planning, measuring, and optimizing your content program.

To see the Knotch Content Intelligence Platform in action, request a demo.