Acquiring customers is becoming more difficult and expensive. We're being exposed to more content than ever before, and the impact is content marketing is becoming one of the most saturated marketing channels in our arsenal.
Should you stop blogging though? That's the question we set out to answer in epsiode two of the ProfitWell Report, sparked by a question from Brian Balfour, CEO of Reforge.
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Content marketing has never been more in vogue. Off the back of Wordpress, HubSpot, Marketo, WooRank, and countless other companies, the U.S. is about to see nearly 30MM blogs, and the entire world is seeing roughly 5 times that.
To answer Brian's question we looked at over ten thousand different blogs, two orders of magnitude more blog posts, as well as nearly one thousand different subscription companies. Here's what we found.
Overall CAC is up nearly 50% over the past five years
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is up across the board for both B2B and B2C companies has increased by nearly 50% over the past five years. Yet, CAC based on channel tells a different story. While paid CAC is still higher than that of content marketing, CAC for content is actually closing the gap very quickly.
Essentially, we're finally seeing content marketing come into it's own and mature like the paid world did a few years back.
Content quality and output increasing dramatically
Compared to five years ago, we're publishing over 300% more per month, we're writing posts that are nearly 100% longer in word count, and we're paying content marketers and creators nearly 25% more, with a shoutout to HubSpot for making content marketers in our backyard of Boston 40% more expensive.
Content effectiveness dropping compared to the past
Quality is increasing, but content effectiveness is dropping. The average number of shares per post has actually fallen by nearly 90% compared to two years ago.
Plus, the life of an offer - like an ebook - is actually dropping in effectiveness, as measured through lead velocity. An offer's effectiveness used to be roughly 6 months, whereas today that effectiveness has dropped to less than three.
Is content marketing dead?
So, is content marketing dead? Are we going to delete our HubSpot account as soon as we get done with this post? Of course not. Now is the time you need companies like HubSpot more than ever. Think of it this way - if the cost for me to give you a dollar goes from ten cents to twenty five cents, you'd be insane not to still pay me for the dollar. Content is getting mature, but the ROI is still amazing.
47% of buyers still view 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep, companies with blogs still get 67% more leads than those that don't, and inbound close rates are still 8-10x those of outbound efforts.
Plus, CAC Ratio's for content still tends to be roughly 30% better than the paid side, because of the compounding nature of content.
Well, that's all for now. If you want us to dig further into this data or any other data, ship me an email or video to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let's also thank Brian for sparking this research by clicking to tweet in the link right below the video to give him a shoutout. See you next week.