Content Marketing: Does It Really Work? InboundWriter Study

As we all know, many companies are making a significant investment in content marketing… But is it working? How much of the content that’s published is actually bringing in readers? leads? repeat visitors?

InboundWriter recently conducted research to find out just how well content marketing programs perform. Based on established Google Analytics data, reviewing a sample of 110,000 web pages with 32 million page views across 10 sites, InboundWriter found that, on average:

  • Online content has a 10-20 percent chance of being successful at driving traffic. (We found this to be consistent across a range of sites spanning industries, sizes and types.)
  • Only 20 percent of companies’ online content drives 90 percent of their web traffic.
  • Only half of a percent of companies’ online content drives more than 50 percent of their web traffic.
  • In some cases, the figures were even more extreme, where 20 percent of online content drove a whopping 98 percent of web traffic.

This means that for every 10 content marketing pieces developed for a website, typically, only one or two will actually drive meaningful traffic!

Does Content Marketing Really Work b

So, there’s a lot of room for content improvement when it comes to “quality” writing for the web. By “quality,” we don’t just mean style and grammar or even general SEO best practices — we mean writing in a way that takes into account how your content can compete in a sea of similar web content. After all, fighting for an audience on the web is a zero-sum game.

Just imagine how much a company’s content marketing program could be positively impacted if the ratio of their “quality” content was upped from say 15 percent to 30? or even 40 percent of their overall content? We think a lot.  In fact, InboundWriter’s latest platform can identify just how well specific content can perform on a specific website, benchmarked against competitive content.  You can read about the new platform release here.


Content marketing can be extremely powerful when done right, but, as our research shows, the subjective, ‘hit or miss’ approach is a ‘miss’ 80 to 90 percent of the time! So, be strategic, measure results and know where your content can compete.

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