Firms are starting to get a grip on their content marketing efforts, research suggests.
At the start of the year, we reported how content engagement had fallen by 17% in 2015 – despite output having increased by 35%.
However, six months down the line, 89% of marketers have reported that the effectiveness of their content marketing programs is increasing, as per Ascend2's ‘2016 State of Content Marketing’ survey report.
Here’s what else the survey of 219 marketers revealed:
1. Blogging is both easy and effective
The respondents were quizzed on what they found to be the most effective content marketing tactics, with blog posts (45%) ranking second on the list, just behind research reports (46%). However, while research reports (62%) were found to be one of the most difficult tactics to execute, blog posts (8%) were at the very bottom of that particular list.
2. Lead generation the ultimate aim
The main reason firms undertake content marketing programs is to increase the number of leads they are generating (58%). This somewhat goes against best practice to avoid overt self-promotion with content, but with improving customer engagement (55%) and increasing brand awareness (55%) next on the list of priorities, marketers are aware, it seems, they have to keep any sales messages subtle.
3. Strategy the obvious area for improvement
We’ve said it since day one: any marketing endeavour is only as good as the strategy driving it. Yet, we weren’t surprised to find that a lack of an effective strategy (48%) was top of the list of the barriers to content marketing success. Creating a successful marketing strategy is no mean feat and requires some serious time and budget – something else marketers don’t have a lot of; lack of content creation resources (48%) and budget constraints (47%) completed the three mains barriers to success.
So, while the survey threw up plenty of good news for firms carrying out content marketing, there is still a good deal of room for improvement – we can live with that.