While lots of sites publish a range of often fairly meaningless content marketing statistics, these are the stats that really matter and should make you sit up and take notice.

For example, I’ll show you how, when you extrapolate a couple of these statistics together (from the same research), they show that content marketing can potentially increase your sales ten-fold.

You’ll find the most relevant statistics on how content marketing relates to:

  • Advertising (and how content marketing wins out)…
  • Leads and list building…
  • Sales…

… and on the growth of content marketing within businesses and as an industry as a whole.

If you’re at all unsure about the value of content marketing for your business, these stats should put you on the right path, and quickly.

Get the cheatsheet with these top content marketing stats.


Businesses are 3 times as likely to see a higher ROI with content marketing than with more traditional advertising. (Source: State of Inbound)

What This Means For Your Business

Content marketing is far more effective than advertising. If you’re solely relying on advertising for traffic and sales, you’re highly likely to see greater returns by shifting to content marketing.

Part of the reason for this, as other statistics below show, is that leads derived from content are higher quality and are more responsive to sales messages. Content gives prospects a sense of connection and relationship with a business that is often missing from traditional advertising approaches.

Importantly, content marketing doesn’t preclude advertising. In fact, content is often used in conjunction with it, and can be made more effective through it.

For example, you can achieve scale and increase your reach to targeted audiences through sponsored content on social networks and platforms like Outbrain.

Use Outbrain to amplify your content


Content marketing achieves 3 times the ROI of paid ads. (Source: Kapost)

What This Means For Your Business

This is another piece of research showing you achieve greater returns with content marketing than with more traditional forms of advertising.

A large proportion of businesses struggle to achieve a positive ROI from various types of advertising. It takes a lot of work, and usually a significant level of investment. After all, a positive ROI allows you to scale up and grow.

The ability to get three times the return from their marketing materials would be transformative.

This is effectively what content marketing is delivering.


Ad blocking grew worldwide by over 40% in 2015 alone. (Source: Relevance)

What This Means For Your Business

If you’re reliant upon advertising such as banner ads and PPC search ads, an increasing proportion of your marketplace simply won’t see your ads.

Perhaps more importantly is what this indicates – resistance to ads in general is increasing.

It’s not just confined to the online world. The trend is further indicated for example by the success of TiVo, allowing TV viewers to block commercials.


Infographic from signal.co – click image to view full infographic

Consumers no longer have to accept ads. So they are choosing not to.

Even for those who do see them and perhaps click through, you may experience increasing resistance to your sales message. Especially as other businesses will be reaching them more effectively and building relationships through content.

…a few words of advice for marketers trying to reach Millennials: You’re not going to get them with traditional ads.
Michelle Castillo, Maker Studios

The Rise of the Millennials

Are you aware of the impact Millennials are having on your business right now and how your marketing must adjust in order to reach them effectively?

Get all the answers you need in this essential guide, Special Report: The Rise of the Millennials.

Good content is welcomed and accessible, and allows you to reach them more effectively by building a relationship before making the sale.

Note that the 40% statistic shared here is worldwide. For developed economies, the growth in ad blocking is even higher…

AsteriskAd blocking grew by 48% in the US, 82% in the UK in 2015. (Source: Adobe/PageFair)

What This Means For Your Business

It’s worse than you thought. It’s a clear trend towards zero-tolerance towards ads.

This is one driver behind the explosive growth of content marketing, which reaches your audience more effectively, efficiently and with minimal if any built-in resistance to your message.

See Content Marketing Growth statistics below.


Growth of ad blocking users, 2009 to 2015 (source: Adobe/PageFair)


Per dollar, content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing. (Source: DemandMetric)

What This Means For Your Business

If you’re looking to build your list – as every successful online business will – content marketing is a clear route of choice.

Content means you attract a laser-targeted audience to you.

Through the value your content provides – whether information, entertainment, or something else – you begin the relationship with people in your marketplace.

A proportion will want to take advantage of further value you provide and continue that relationship. Content upgrades are one such mechanism, and can be used both on your site and other content platforms. There are at least nine other ways to convert your traffic into leads.

They are on your list before you ever tried to sell them anything or push something to them. You continue the relationship with content until the sale becomes simply a natural progression of your relationship with them.

Click to view full infographic (Demand Metric)

Click image to view full infographic (Demand Metric)


Leads originating from content listed in the search engine results can be nearly 9 times easier to convert to a sale than leads from outbound methods such as ads. (Source: Search Engine Journal)

What This Means For Your Business

This statistic indicates content delivers better quality (in other words, more profitable) leads than those acquired through other means.

Advertising engenders resistance to your sales message. Content presells the lead and engenders a sense of relationship.

Investing in content is the same as investing in list (and from there, traffic and sales) growth.

AsteriskClick-through rates on emails sent to leads are 89% higher for businesses using content marketing. (Source: Aberdeen Group)

What This Means For Your Business

With business profits often driven through email marketing, higher click-through rates of course have a significant impact on the bottom line.

This research shows businesses employing content marketing enjoy an average click-through rate of 3.4%. In contrast, the click-through rate for businesses who do not use content marketing is nearly half that, at 1.8%.

In other words, businesses using content marketing benefit from a 89% higher click-through rate.

The higher click-through rate could be because:

  • Leads attracted through content marketing are higher quality, and thus more engaged.
  • Content, and the distribution of it through different channels, builds strong relationships with leads, helping to educate them on the value offered.

Or probably a combination of both factors.

It gets even better…

Check out the statistic below, also from Aberdeen Group, that shows website conversion rates also increase by nearly six times.

Either way, if you’re looking for a strong reason to either begin, or ramp up, your content marketing activities, this is it.

Get the cheatsheet with these top content marketing stats.


61% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase because of custom content. (Source: Dragon Search)

What This Means For Your Business

If you’re not creating custom content, you’re losing out to businesses that have already made the shift.

In other words, you risk losing market share. It might be subtle at first, but by the time you do start to notice, it may already be too late.

Building up your presence with content marketing, including growing your social audiences, takes time and commitment. It’s far easier doing it out in front than playing catch up further down the line.

Consumers and businesses are always going to spend money and purchase what they need somewhere. Through content marketing, you can help ensure it’s your business that’s front of mind for them.


Average website conversion rates increase 6x for businesses using content marketing. (Source: Aberdeen Group)

What This Means For Your Business

This research shows that the average website conversion rate for businesses who have not adopted content marketing practices is just 0.5%, clearly way below the 1% level that a lot of businesses aim for.

In contrast, businesses using content marketing enjoy a 6-fold improvement, with a conversion rate of 2.9%. That’s a 480% increase.

This is just another reason why content marketing is growing so strongly (see Content Marketing Growth statistics below).

When you couple this statistic with the one above on click-through rates, also from Aberdeen Group, it gets even more interesting.

As a quick recap, here are the statistics:

  • Leads are 89% more likely to click through from an email marketing campaign.
  • When they reach the website, they are 480% more likely to purchase.

Now let’s put these stats into practice, with an imaginary business that has a list of 10,000 leads and sells a $100 product.

They send out an email promoting the product. Let’s see what happens based on the stats shared here.

For the business that does not do content marketing:

  • 180 people click through (1.8% CTR).
  • Of these, 1 person buys (0.5% conversion rate), bringing in $100 of revenue.

Enjoy 10 times the revenue when using content marketingNow let’s contrast this with the business employing content marketing:

  • 340 people click-through (3.4% CTR).
  • Of these, 10 people buy (2.9% conversion rate), bringing in $1000 of revenue.

In other words, content marketing explodes sales, increasing revenue ten times!

Still wondering if content marketing is worth spending time on?!


Expenditure on content marketing is experiencing double-digit rate growth and forecast to exceed US$300 billion by 2019. (Source: PQ Media)

What This Means For Your Business

When you consider all the content marketing stats here that clearly indicate just how powerful content marketing is, this statistic is perhaps not too surprising.

Content marketing is the only marketing that’s left.
Seth Godin


PQ Media’s ‘Global Content Marketing Forecast 2015-2019’ predicts revenue generated by businesses providing content marketing services will grow significantly in the years up to 2019, creating a US$300 billion industry.


75% of businesses are prioritizing content marketing. (Source: State of Inbound)

What This Means For Your Business

The majority of businesses recognize the importance of content marketing for their future success.

They’re prioritizing it for a reason. Because, as the content marketing stats shared here show, it works.

That doesn’t mean they’re using it perfectly or have it fully integrated within the business. But they are at least prioritizing it and moving in the right direction to help future-proof their business.

It’s never too late to start. The sooner businesses do so, the sooner they are able to reap the rewards.


In Conclusion

Too many businesses are still stuck using marketing techniques and strategies that might have worked five years or so ago, but are now increasingly ineffective. Even worse, some marketing advisors still teach them.

Instead, these content marketing stats (get the cheatsheet) show what’s working now. They illustrate just how effective content marketing is when truly committed to and applied.

The results don’t come overnight. But it’s clear that businesses that commit to a basic content marketing strategy of investing in quality content, and repurposing, sharing and otherwise distributing it across the web, stand to reap all the rewards over the next five to ten years. The remainder risk declining market share and potential irrelevance.