Content Marketing: 5 Stats you Need to Know, and a Word of Caution

Despite its popularity and the expectation that more budget dollars will flow into it, half of companies surveyed in Ad Age’s recent study, don’t have a documented content marketing strategy. Is your business one of the 49%?

Data released in the 2014 B-to-b Marketing Fact Pack, shows us that top brands are ramping up their budgets this year.  Consider these 5 impactful stats when building your marketing budget.

  1. Due to the positive returns from 2013, 75% of marketers plan to increase their spending on content in 2014.
  2. More than ¾ of marketers plan to spend 10% or more of their marketing budget on solely content.
  3. 63% of marketers track content marketing success by resulting website traffic.
  4. While 93% of companies plan to distribute content on the web, social is catching up with an increase of 12.4% over last year.
  5. Marketing Automation still has plenty of room to grow! 53% of companies currently use an automation platform

content marketing sayitsocial

These not-so-surprising statistics show that companies of all sizes, locations and industries are harnessing a boldly branded voice. Bust out that bullhorn, brands are about to infiltrate our digital spaces like never before!

A Word of Caution: Results Take Time – and Strategy

In a follow up article by Ad Age published last week, Just over half — 51% — of marketers say (over 12 months) their content marketing efforts are only somewhat effective; 27% rated the strategy as “neutral”; 6% said it was somewhat ineffective at delivering value; 1% said it was not effective at all.

“Marketers are still struggling to figure this out,” said Forrester VP Laura Ramos, who wrote the study. “They’re doing a lot of things around content marketing, but they fully admit they don’t think it’s going that well.”

Where is the disconnect? How can you ensure that once you’ve invested in content marketing, will it really work? There are a few reasons why your content strategy may not work right out of the gate. Ask yourself a few questions –

Are you using the right tools?

At what point are you ready to commit to spending money on tools rather than people? There are a dizzying number of content marketing services out there. First, you need to identify your goal, your audience and your strategy. The budget will evolve naturally from here. Some tools can get pricey, and according to Ty Downing, CEO of SayItSocial, “Some organizations we consult with are simply not ready for robust, automated platforms such as HubSpot. ROI matters, and fees add up! When a tool’s ROI is questionable, there are definitely still options.” Sometimes it’s worth more to invest in your team and empower organic, valuable and insightful content creation internally.

If a tool is in fact a good fit, then, according to Andrew Coate (Kapost) “there are three major issues that marketers try to solve by adopting content marketing software – volume, organization and integration.” These are great starting points to help identify the best tool (or person) for your business.  “Some org we onsult with are not simply ready for robust, automated platforms such as HubSpot. ROI matters

Are you speaking the right language?

You have a website, that’s where you tout your service offerings…mostly. The general rule is to only speak of your own services 20% of the time. All other content needs to provide solutions/answers that are relevant to your audience.  Ask yourself, “What will our prospective clients Google today?” and start generating a knowledge base of useful, relevant content.

Who is driving the content topic?

Raise the bar staff-wide. The study also found that within 72% of b-to-b marketing organizations, less than half the staff plays a primary content role. Transparency is attractive – empower your team to generate their own content based on their expertise within your organization.

Final Thoughts: Focus on implementation and be louder than the chatter. Three bits of advice:  

snackable content sayitsocial

  1. Drive Engagement using Snackable contentThis bite-sized ammo conveys meaning, it’s tasteful, has impact, it’s noisy and 
    attention grabbing: it cuts through the tech-drenched world we all live in. Remember the 3 S’s of Successful content: Snackable, Searchable, and Shareable. More on this tasty topic in an upcoming blog post, stay tuned!
  2. Try not to overly-promote yourself: Build your community, awareness and set yourself up as an industry thought leader. The selling will come organically.
  3. Blog! 76% use blogs to drive content marketing and see 2x increase in traffic and a 5x in leads. Blogging is critical for increasing your search engine ranking. Did you know that Google processes 100 billion search queries per month? And 15% of those have never been seen before by Google. By blogging about specific topics that address a very tailored consumer question/problem, your unique blogs will rise to the top.

A digital strategy should be your own, and it takes a clever and innovative team to amplify your brand. 73% of marketers have someone (or a team) overseeing their content strategy.

The fact is; your content is the foundation for a full-circle digital strategy.  If you’re planning to infiltrate the digital market, like 79% of businesses in 2014, content marketing is worth the investment. Digital marketing is a must.

Does Content Marketing make you nervous? What kind of questions do you have? Chime in below and let us help clear up your curiosity!

About Mandy Curtin

With a blend of digital marketing, PR and social media experience, Mandy brings to the table a fresh, creative approach to our clients’ needs. When she’s not brainstorming for digital domination or expanding her social toolbox, you’ll find exploring the outdoors or enjoying live music. Please connect with Mandy Curtin on Google+

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