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Report: Engagement Benchmarks for Downloadable Content

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With Contently's Document Analytics technology, marketers are now able to track crucial marketing collateral that doesn't live on web pages, like e-books, white papers, sales sheets, case studies, PDFs, and slideshows.

This report pulls Document Analytics data to show how over 100,000 decision-makers have engaged with downloadable marketing assets.

Key findings include:
—Though the average length of a downloadable document is 13.4 pages, readers only spend 2:03 engaging with downloadable content.
—35 percent of readers spend less than 30 seconds engaging with downloadable content.
—Nearly 95 percent of readers don’t print the PDFs they download.
—Average desktop view time (2:12) is 30 percent longer than average mobile view time (1:27).

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Report: Engagement Benchmarks for Downloadable Content

  1. 1. Copyright © 2016 Contently. All rights reserved. contently.com Report: The First Engagement Benchmarks for Case Studies, White Papers, and Other Downloadable Documents by Steve Peck
  2. 2. 2 Report: The First Engagement Benchmarks for Case Studies, White Papers, and Other Downloadable Documents Marketers can track almost everything that lives on the web. However, some of the most valuable digital marketing collateral doesn’t live on web pages. Resource- intensive assets like e-books, white papers, sales sheets, case studies, PDFs, and slideshows are crucial for generating leads and nurturing prospects, but marketers have had no real way to track how they perform. At Contently, that’s a problem we’ve solved through our new technology: Contently Document Analytics. In this report, you’ll discover how people have engaged with marketing documents: 6,250 hours of engagement by 106,687 B2B decision-makers accounting for 18,256view sessions from 1,776resources. Let’s dive in. Contently Document Analytics
  3. 3. 3 Report: The First Engagement Benchmarks for Case Studies, White Papers, and Other Downloadable Documents Engagement Benchmarks by Industry Quick Takeaway Longer assets don’t necessarily equate to more time spent. In fact, readers spend more time per page on shorter resources. Industry Average View Time ( Average Document Length Median Document Length Median View Time (seconds) Median Per Page View Time Average % Complete Median % Complete Average Form Conversion All Industries 2.03 13.4 7 51 12 57% 50% 27% Professional Services 2.27 10.3 7.5 25 13 53% 44% 24% Software and Internet 2.1 13.5 11 46 12 52% 33% 26% Publishing 1.96 11.6 8 77 12 63% 75% 31% Marketing Agencies 1.95 13.2 12 50 11 50% 41% 32% Healthcare 1.8 6.5 5 43 17 68% 83% 28% Financial Services 1.35 7 7 48 18 42% 28% 22%
  4. 4. 4 Report: The First Engagement Benchmarks for Case Studies, White Papers, and Other Downloadable Documents ToFu Content: Half the Documents, 9x the Views Top-of-funnel (ToFu) content like white papers, guides, e-books, and reports represent 53 percent of all resources included in this study. The remaining 47 percent consists of bottom-of-funnel (BoFu) content. These BoFu resources include more product-focused content such as case studies, product overviews, presentations, and data sheets. ToFu content accounted for over 90 percent of the 182,000 content views included in this study. 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Whitepaper eBook Guide Report Case Study Overview Brochure Presentation Data Sheet Webinar Follow-up % of Total Documents % of Total Views TOFU BOFU
  5. 5. 5 Report: The First Engagement Benchmarks for Case Studies, White Papers, and Other Downloadable Documents Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Marketing “Detecting patterns in how readers consume content should help guide your content marketing strategy. For example, if the vast majority of your audience consumes content on a mobile device, then your content should be skimmable and, of course, optimized for mobile.” Matt Heinz, President, Heinz Marketing “Content is king, but only if the empire is listening. If you don’t speak to your constituents, you may lose that kingdom fast. For example, C-level targets aren’t going to read 20-page white papers. They will skim through SlideShare decks, watch short videos, and scan bulleted written content. Using podcasts won’t work for older audiences, but millennials who listen to something on their commute to and from work are great targets for that format. If you don’t align with audience preferences, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to increase engagement, response, and conversion.” Ardath Albee, CEO and B2B Marketing Strategist, Marketing Interactions “Make sure the topic, tone, and style are relevant to your audience and their context within the buying process. Become a ruthless editor. Longform content can be successful. The problem is that a lot of longform content isn’t compelling all the way through. That’s why people stop reading.” Alex Schirtzinger, Director of Content Marketing, Salesforce “Campaign goals should drive all other considerations when it comes to creating content. Your objectives should include target segment, persona, and industry— and the type of content produced should reflect those priorities.” The Experts Weigh In: What Type of Content Should I Create?
  6. 6. 6 Report: The First Engagement Benchmarks for Case Studies, White Papers, and Other Downloadable Documents Though the average length of the documents we analyzed was 13.4 pages, readers only spent an average of 2 minutes and 3 seconds engaging with them. B2B marketers have a very limited amount of time to make an impression with their content, so it’s best to make your point quickly. Make Your Point in 2 Minutes or Less AVERAGE VIEW TIME 2:03 AVERAGE PAGE LENGTH 13.4 MEDIAN VIEW TIME 0:51 MEDIAN PAGE LENGTH 7
  7. 7. 7 Report: The First Engagement Benchmarks for Case Studies, White Papers, and Other Downloadable Documents As the first graph demonstrates, there was a positive correlation between length and overall time spent with a content asset. However, it’s not all good news for longer assets. As the number of pages increases, both the average time spent on each page and the percentage of a document consumed decreases. More Pages = More Time Spent, but Less Engagement 250 100 200 80 150 60 100 40 50 20 0 0 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 Avg. View Time vs. Per Page Time Against Number of Pages Avg. % Complete by Content Length Average Total View Time Average Per Page View Time # of Pages in Document# of Pages in Document Average%Complete ViewTime(Seconds)
  8. 8. 8 Report: The First Engagement Benchmarks for Case Studies, White Papers, and Other Downloadable Documents Thirty-five percent of readers will spend less than 30 seconds engaging with your content, and the median time spent was just 51 seconds. These numbers underscore the importance of identifying genuinely engaged readers in the long-tail and nurturing them accordingly. These folks will likely be interested in what you have to say. Most Readers Spend Less Than a Minute With Your Content 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Time Spent (Minutes) #ofViews Total Time Spent Related to # of Views 0:51 median 2:03 average 10–20s peak Above-Average Engaged Readers
  9. 9. 9 Report: The First Engagement Benchmarks for Case Studies, White Papers, and Other Downloadable Documents Even though average time spent is low, prospects still cover a lot of ground when looking at a downloadable asset, suggesting that most readers just skim. (Almost) Everyone Skims 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 # of Pages in Document 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 10 20 0 Average%Complete On average, readers view 58% of pages.
  10. 10. 10 Report: The First Engagement Benchmarks for Case Studies, White Papers, and Other Downloadable Documents Don’t be disillusioned—79 percent of readers won’t return to check out your content a second time. Most readers won’t view a content asset twice, and 85 percent of them will never look at another asset of yours again. Smart marketers with quality content and tailored nurturing campaigns can flip this stat. The key is ensuring that your downloadable content actually delivers on the promises that your landing page makes. Deception is one of the fastest ways to lose a reader. Most Readers Won’t Come Back Most Readers Will Only Read One Content Asset % OF TIME READERS RETURN FOR A SECOND VIEW 21% READERS WHO ONLY CONSUME ONE CONTENT OFFER 85%
  11. 11. 11 Report: The First Engagement Benchmarks for Case Studies, White Papers, and Other Downloadable Documents In addition to downloadable assets, many of today’s B2B marketers leverage video as an important part of their content strategy. This got us thinking about benchmarks for branded video content, so we asked the experts at Wistia to weigh in. They provided engagement information pulled from their large database of marketing-driven video content. You can see that data, along with third-party data on blog-post engagement, in the table above. According to these benchmarks, video may be the most effective medium for engaging readers, with the highest average length, median length, average view time, and median view time by a significant margin. Documents Trump Blog Posts, but Not Video Content Type Average Length Median Length Average Comparison Average % Complete Median View Time Average View Time Video Document Blog Post 9 min 40 sec 13.4 pages 2,416 words 3 min 4 sec 7 pages 1,600 words 3 min 34 sec 2 min 3 sec 15 seconds 1 min 48 sec 51 seconds 15 seconds 59% 56% 20-28% 11% 27% 7%
  12. 12. 12 Report: The First Engagement Benchmarks for Case Studies, White Papers, and Other Downloadable Documents Nearly 95 Percent of Readers Won’t Print a Document Only about 5 percent of readers in our study elected to print a document. There’s a negative correlation between document length and a reader’s likelihood to print. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 # of Pages %ofReadersWhoPrint 14% 12% 10% 8% 6% 2% 4% 0% Probability of Print
  13. 13. 13 Report: The First Engagement Benchmarks for Case Studies, White Papers, and Other Downloadable Documents Most Documents Are Read on Desktop Ninety percent of total view time of longform content took place on a desktop, while only 10 percent occurred on a mobile device. By comparison, 65 percent of media is now consumed on mobile, according to comScore. Average desktop view time (2:12) was 30 percent longer than average mobile view time (1:27). DESKTOP VS. MOBILE VIEW TIME TIME 90% occurred on desktop
  14. 14. 14 Report: The First Engagement Benchmarks for Case Studies, White Papers, and Other Downloadable Documents Distribution channels heavily impact whether a reader views downloadable content from a desktop or a mobile device. Desktop users are much more likely to access content directly through a company’s website, while mobile users are much more likely to access content sideways through social channels. If you’re promoting your content heavily through paid social ads, make sure your design and lead forms are optimized for mobile visitors. Most Mobile Readers Come From Social Facebook LinkedIn Twitter B2B Digital Publishers 80% 48% 42% 18% 20% 52% 58% 82% Sponsored Content Channel % Mobile % Desktop
  15. 15. Introduction 15 Report: The First Engagement Benchmarks for Case Studies, White Papers, and Other Downloadable Documents Want more insights into the state of content marketing? For more tips, trends, and timely analysis, subscribe to The Content Strategist. And if you’d like to talk to someone about Contently’s services, please reach out to us at sales@contently.com or visit contently.com. Thank you.

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