Content Marketing Research: How Does Your Firm Rate?
How does your firm’s content marketing strategy rate compared to the pack? IMN‘s 2013 Content Marketing Survey Report provides new benchmarks to help you evaluate your organization’s content efforts.
Content marketing strategy
About half of respondents have a formal content marketing strategy in place according to IMN’s research. Specifically, 31% of respondents have had a content marketing strategy for over a year and 18% of respondents have put a strategy into place within the past year. Further, just over one out of five respondents has a targeted plan for each channel.
Actionable Content Marketing Tip: Use a tailored strategy for each channel or platform to increase content marketing effectiveness instead of one-size-fits-all content cross-promoted on different platforms regardless of user base and/or content consumption habits. (Note: Here are 13 steps to create a content marketing strategy.)
Content marketing goals
As content marketing evolves as a key marketing strategy, its goals are moving away from generating awareness and engagement to become better aligned with business objectives, specifically generating leads. 44% of respondents cited lead generation as their primary content marketing objective, almost triple last year’s 16%.
Actionable Content Marketing Tip: Ensure that your content marketing strategy is aligned with your business objectives.
Content marketing formats used
The most effective content marketing vehicles as rated by respondents were social media (51%), website (44%), and emailings (42%) while blogs lagged (31%). Directionally, these results are similar to the findings of the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs.
Actionable Content Marketing Tip: Choose the content marketing formats that your target audience seeks and place them on the platforms where they spend their time.
While almost four out of five marketers curate content tailored to their industry and target audience, almost half of respondents had issues with curation because they didn’t understand copyright laws and rules associated or the legal risks. Specifically:
- 15% had issues with borrowing copyrighted content without permissions.
- 13% had issues using photos to accompany content without permission.
- 13% had issues using a trademarked name and/or word.
- 7% incorrectly referenced industry research.
Further, almost a third of respondents, who didn’t have problems with content curation to-date, worried about potential issues.
Actionable Content Marketing Tip: Take time to understand how to curate content effectively. Where appropriate, get input from your Legal department.
Creating quality content that generates leads and establishes brands and companies as thought leaders is a challenge for 44% of respondents with content marketing strategies in place. Their challenge is finding and sourcing relevant quality content. Only 27% of respondents felt that their organization’s content positioned them as a thought leader. Further 13% thought that their content read like MarCom and another 38% thought their content could be improved.
Actionable Content Marketing Tip: Create content that speaks in a human voice and provides useful information prospects’ need. Bear in mind that this requires time, personnel and budget.
Content marketing budget
While content marketing is a high priority for most respondents, it represents less than 10% of the marketing budget for almost half of them.
Most organizations create at least some of their content internally. 46% of respondents use a mix of internal and external resources, 44% of respondents develop content in-house, and 11% of respondents outsource content development.
Further 35% of respondents consider internal resource limitations to be a major challenge to implementing their content marketing strategy.
The survey also found that 67% of marketers don’t use a formal editorial calendar; instead they create it on the fly.
Actionable Content Marketing Tip: Plan your content creation in advance to ensure that you have enough content and related resources.
Content marketing success metrics
Marketers are coordinating their content marketing objectives with their metrics as shown by the fact that about half of respondents track their success by the number of incoming leads and a fifth measure increased revenues.
Actionable Content Marketing Tip: Track your content marketing results back to your content marketing and business goals. Bear in mind that you may have to measure interim steps. (Here are 53 content marketing metrics.)
Content marketing is no longer just a buzzword. Your competition is using it and your customers are consuming it. Therefore you need to develop the best information you can with the resources available.
What other content marketing tips would you add to this list and why?
P.S. Want to find out more about content marketing and get the tools you and your team need? Then join me at Content Marketing World September 9th through 12th in Cleveland, OH where there are over 60 sessions focused on helping you improve your content effectives.
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