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How big is the content marketing industry?

This rise in demand for content marketing has got us thinking, why is content marketing growing so quickly, and is it really worth investing in?

If you’re looking to start leveraging content marketing to grow your business, take a look at this article as we ask how big is the content marketing industry really, and explore the value you can get from it…

Table of contents

  1. What is content marketing?
  2. How big is the content marketing industry?
  3. Why is the content marketing industry becoming so big?
    1. We now understand how content marketing works
    2. Businesses understand the value of content marketing
    3. Content marketing matches the needs and preferences of modern buyers
  4. Why is the content marketing industry so profitable?
    1. High ROI
    2. Inexpensive
    3. Limitless potential
  5. What is the future of content marketing?

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a digital marketing practice that involves the creation and distribution of content online.

Unlike more traditional advertising channels, content marketing doesn’t explicitly promote a product or service; however, it should promote interest in the product or service in the consumer.

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On the surface, content marketing seems like a simple marketing practice and because of this, it’s hard to believe that it would have as big an impact on the marketing industry as it has.

After all, as an inbound marketing method, content marketing is simply about creating good content that’s supposed to provoke interest in the consumer. It doesn’t necessarily go out of its way to sell.

However, content marketing has seen a huge spike in growth over recent years and this growth is set to continue.

How big is the content marketing industry really?

The content marketing industry wasn’t as always popular as it now is.

However, in the period of 2021-2025, it’s expected that the industry will see $417.85 billion in growth. This is an impressive 16% growth rate.

With the industry expected to grow so rapidly, this begs the question, why is the content marketing industry becoming so big?

Why is the content marketing industry becoming so big?

The answer to this question can be boiled down to the following:

1. We now understand how content marketing works

Content marketing has been around for a while, but the digital format as we know it today initially started in the mid to late 00s. It was during this time that the first big social media channels like Twitter and Facebook started to come into their own, but most businesses didn’t yet understand that they could leverage these channels to grow their business.

For those businesses that were early pioneers of content marketing, everything was still an experiment.

That meant that they didn’t quite understand how everything worked, thus not all campaigns delivered on results.

Fast forward to 2021, and content marketing is a multimillion-dollar industry and businesses are reaping the rewards of content marketing, thanks to those that laid the foundations of it.

2. Businesses understand the value of content marketing

The Content Marketing Institute says that content marketing is now one of the most effective ways to promote a business.

Research proves this, with marketers reporting a 72% increase in engagement and 72% of marketers experiencing an increase of leads.

If done well, content marketing can have a significant impact on engagement and an increased number of leads.

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Businesses now understand the value of content marketing, and this means that they are investing in quality content.

With statistics like this in mind, it’s not hard to see why businesses are now wanting to invest in content marketing.

For businesses to grow they need to generate quality leads, and content marketing not only allows them to do that – they can also create materials that nurture leads and turns them into customers.

3. Content marketing matches the needs and preferences of modern buyers

People have turned to the internet to get everything from news and information to shopping.

Businesses now understand that modern buyers are actively looking for content online and as a result, they have shifted most of their marketing efforts to the online space.

The biggest challenge for businesses adopting content marketing into their marketing strategy is the competition.

Everyone is competing for the attention of internet users, and whilst marketers are getting more creative with their online messaging, buyers are becoming savvier.

This means that buyer journeys are becoming more complicated and because of this, businesses might lose out on sales if they haven’t carefully thought this out.

Luckily, content marketing can support the buyer’s journey, and successful content marketers will plan content for the awareness, consideration, and decision stage.

Content marketing also builds trust in users as through content, you can show authority through a series of well-written, fact-checked pieces of content.

Read more about how content marketing is changing the game.

Why is the content marketing industry so profitable?

There are many reasons why the content marketing industry is so profitable, but the primary reasons why it’s seen such an acceleration in revenue are:

1. High ROI

Content marketing has a higher ROI than any other digital marketing channel, and it costs less than traditional forms of advertising. Additionally, it generates three times as many leads as traditional advertising.

The value gained from content marketing alone is worth the upfront investment.

2. It’s inexpensive (compared to other digital marketing channels)

Content marketing is different from other digital marketing channels like PPC in the sense that once you’ve made the upfront investment, there’s no need to consistently throw money at it.

For instance, you can craft a content marketing campaign for 3 months and once the hard work is done and the money is spent, the campaign can run on autopilot.

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You may have to repeat this cycle every couple of months, but the hard work will pay off in the form of increased traffic, engagement and conversions.

Not only that, but the tactics you use to create content, such as SEO, are free to use. Of course, you can invest in more expensive tools but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.

3. Content can have limitless search potential

Not all content will last, especially if it’s reactive to news and events;, however, evergreen content is timeless. You can reuse this content as many times as you like and it will still get traffic because no matter what happens, people will still be searching for keywords used in this type of content.

What is the future of content marketing?

So far, content marketing has been about providing users with value, whether that be through entertainment or through education-based content.

As the buyer journey becomes more complex, however, it’s clear that content marketing will become even more personal.

Businesses need to be able to talk directly to customers and use their content as a way to try and overcome any obstacles the buyer might encounter throughout the buyer journey.

✏️  Read more about how content marketing builds trust and how to get started with a content marketing strategy.


Header image: Marga Santoso

Embedded images: Leon, Myriam Jessier, Fabian Blank

Megan Taylor

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