Here’s a Halloween question for you: What’s the secret to creating something truly terrifying? Is it slowly building the suspense until your audience is literally on the edge of their seat, or shocking them with frightening amounts of gore? Is the key to create horrifying monsters that give them nightmares, or to plant the seeds of doubt that creep into any psychological thriller?

The reality is that the scariest things are usually the ones that are real. We’re talking about the things that we know could actually happen to us, which is exactly what makes them so scary.

That’s why, in honor of Halloween, we’re serving up 13 terrifying content marketing stats that are sure to leave you feeling unsettled. If they apply to you, they’ll make you scream. If they don’t, they’ll be a frightening reminder of just how far most content marketing professionals still need to go to master their craft.

Read on for yourself, if you dare:

  1. 68 percent of B2B companies don’t have a documented content strategy. (Source: CMI and MarketingProfs)
    What makes this scary? Not only is that number up from 65 percent last year, it’s also bad news because having a documented content strategy is one of the keys to content marketing success.
  2. Only 12 percent of marketers say that they create content with specific customers, targets, marketers, or industries in mind. (Source: MarketerGizmo)
    What makes this scary? How about the fact that it means that 88 percent of marketers are creating generic content, throwing it against the wall, and hoping it sticks. Yikes!
  3. 59 percent of marketers say that they either don’t have the technology or the bandwidth/resources to personalize their content. Meanwhile, 53 percent say that they lack the data to do so. (Source: eMarketer)
    What makes this scary? Personalization is critical for making content that’s engaging, that audiences actually want to read, and that gets them to convert. Unfortunately, according to this stat, most marketers aren’t in a position to achieve any of that.
  4. 90 percent of customers expect consistent interactions across channels. (Source: SDL)
    What makes this scary? Consistency is key, and that starts with your content in terms of having a consistent brand voice, style, and tone. Not to mention using words and phrases consistently. But unless you’ve got software helping you to manage all of this, it can be a frightfully difficult thing to do.
  5. 87 percent of B2B marketers say that they struggle to develop compelling content. (Source: Forrester)
    What makes this scary? Content that isn’t compelling doesn’t work!
  6. Only four percent of B2B content marketers are “true masters of content marketing.” The other 96 percent are “doing” content marketing, but not at an advanced level. (Source: Kapost)
    What makes this scary? Content marketing isn’t nearly as sophisticated (yet) as many of us would like to think. That means there’s still a lot of trial and error going on.
  7. 71 percent of leading marketers don’t systematically reuse and repurpose content. (Source: Curata)
    What makes this scary? Repurposing and reusing content is one of the foundational parts of any good content strategy. To not do so is wasteful, and it means that you have to work a lot harder to get results.
  8. 70 percent of marketers don’t think that their organization is effective at content marketing. (CMI and MarketingProfs)
    What makes this scary? There’s a real lack of confidence (and maybe even expertise) among some content marketers.
  9. 62 percent of marketers aren’t publishing content at least once a week. (Source: LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
    What makes this scary? To be effective at content marketing, you have to publish consistently on a regular basis. Ad hoc publishing doesn’t work.
  10. Only 14 percent of bloggers have a formal editing process that they use before publishing their work. (Source: Orbit Media Studios)
    What makes this scary? No formal editing means that it’s easy for errors to slip in, and errors can easily lead to problems. See the next stat.
  11. 59 percent of people say that they wouldn’t use a company if it had bad grammar and spelling mistakes on its website or in its marketing materials. (Source: Global Lingo)
    What makes this scary? Most companies have typos, grammatical mistakes, and other language issues on their websites. We know, we see them all the time. (Want us to point out yours? Click here.)
  12. In Europe, over 66 percent of businesses see significant room for improvement, rating their content marketing as basic or inconsistent. (Source: HubSpot)
    What makes this scary? There’s clearly a lot of work to do, and not just in Europe.
  13. Only 19 percent of companies are producing high-quality, consistent content. (Source: Acrolinx)
    What makes this scary? That’s not a very high percentage, which means that most companies need to be paying more attention to their content day in and day out if they want to use it effectively to drive their business forward.

It’s Time to Conquer Our Fears

Whoa, that’s a lot of heavy (and scary) stats. The good news, though, is that there’s really nothing to be afraid of. If you’re a content professional, as long as you’re continually learning (by, for example, reading great blogs), and as long as you’ve got access to the right tools to help you do your job, all of the content marketing demons we’ve surfaced today are going to shrink away and disappear.

Yes, it’s a scary world out there. But if you’re prepared for it, you can excel in it.