How To Increase Content Marketing Effectiveness [Research]
Before you answer, check Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs’s B2B Content Marketing 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Research. It tracks content marketing’s evolution to provide insights into maximizing your content marketing results.
- Over 90% of B2B marketers use some form of content marketing. Despite this, report authors, Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute and Ann Handley of Marketing Profs, consider content marketing is in the early adopter phase.
- 42% of marketers think that their content marketing is effective, up 6 percentage points from 2013’s 36%. The challenge is that one out of six marketers think that their content isn’t effective.
1. Have a documented content strategy.
This is where the rubber hits the road for content marketing. These results say it all. Without a defined plan, you’re just winging content creation! As a result, your content is at risk of being ineffective. Interestingly, 48% of smaller B2B organizations, those with 10-99 employees have a documented content strategy, compared with 41% of large organizations, those with over 1,000+ employees. This is attributable to their need to maximize resource use.
- 66% of the most effective B2B content marketers have a plan.
- 44% of average B2B content marketers have a plan.
- 11% of the least effective B2B content marketers have a plan.
Actionable content marketing tip: Create a content marketing strategy that’s tailored to your business objectives around your target audience’s needs. Regardless of business size, this is an important element to keep internal since it’s of strategic importance to the future of your business.
2. Have an employee responsible for content marketing.
Without holding a member of your team accountable for content, it’s less likely to get done. Again 78% of small companies have someone overseeing content marketing versus 58% of large corporations.
- 86% of the most effective B2B content marketers have someone overseeing content.
- 73% of average B2B content marketers have someone overseeing content.
- 46% of the least effective B2B content marketers have someone overseeing content.
Actionable content marketing tip: Assign someone responsibility for owning your content marketing. For small businesses, this is often the owner. This doesn’t mean that this person must create and copyedit all of the information. Rather, they’re responsible for keeping your content marketing on track.
3. Use a broader array of content marketing tactics and social media platforms.
This doesn’t mean that you need more tactics and more diverse distribution at the expense of targeted, quality content. Increased diversification of content formats and social media platforms translates to increased reach and effectiveness because your content is more tailored to your audience. But, if your resources are limited, it’s more important to focus your efforts where they’ll yield the best return.
- The most effective B2B content marketers use an average of 15 content marketing tactics and 7 social media platforms.
- The average B2B content marketers use an average of 13 content marketing tactics and 6 social media platforms.
- The least effective B2B content marketers use an average of 10 content marketing tactics and 4 social media platforms.
Actionable content marketing tip: Plan your content reuse in advance and batch content creation for each effort to minimize resource use and maximize ability to create more tailored versions with the same budget. It’s important to re-imagine your content.
4. Spend a larger proportion of the marketing budget on content marketing.
This is no surprise since budget translates to quality and quantity of content created as well as content distribution. It’s interesting to note that the big difference is between the average and least effective marketers.
- Most effective B2B content marketers allocate 39% of their marketing budget to content.
- Average B2B content marketers allocate 30% of their marketing budget to content.
- Least effective B2B content marketers allocate 16% of their marketing budget to content.
Actionable content marketing tip: Use other people’s budgets within your organization. Since budgets are often a zero sum game in organizations, take the time to assess where content is being created within your company because it may be in non-marketing areas. (Here are 14 places where you can find content marketing resources.)
5. Are challenged to produce engaging content.
What marketer doesn’t need additional budget to improve their marketing, regardless of type? Producing enough content is a perennial problem. It’s noteworthy that the best-in-class marketers have the least challenges creating content.
- 35% of the most effective B2B content marketers are challenged with producing enough content.
- 47% of average B2B content marketers are challenged with producing enough content.
- 61% of the least effective B2B content marketers are challenged with producing enough content.
Actionable content marketing tip: Establish content creation processes including marketing persona and an editorial calendar for on-going content. This helps reduce stress on your organization and resources because it streamlines content creation, provides a structure for content creation, and leverages existing assets. As a result, every effort isn’t a tailored one-off exercise.
To maximize your content marketing effectiveness, the most important thing you can do is to develop a content marketing strategy. Once you’ve done this, put a member of your team in charge of managing and executing it.
What is your biggest content marketing challenge? Is it having an impact on your content marketing effectiveness?
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