Survey: Trends in content marketing

Almost 90 percent of companies say they create original content, but only 31 percent can tie content marketing efforts to sales and revenue.

Forty-six percent of companies have formal content marketing strategies, and 37 percent are considering such strategies, a recent survey of 217 marketing professionals by Unisphere Research and Skyword says.

An overwhelming majority (87 percent) of the organizations surveyed say they create original content. Twenty-four percent use content written or produced by outside vendors, and only 17 percent curate content, the research found.

The top three types of digital content the organizations create are:

  1. Articles (76 percent)
  2. Videos (60 percent)
  3. Blogs (58 percent)

Here are some additional key findings from the report:

Objectives

  • Sixty-eight percent of respondents say their primary content marketing goal is to engage customers and prospects.
  • Forty-four percent of respondents want to increase brand awareness.
  • Thirty-eight percent of respondents are primarily looking to acquire leads.

Social media

  • Seventy-one percent of respondents employ social media to distribute content.
  • Eighty-four percent of respondents use Facebook to promote their content.
  • Seventy-nine percent of respondents use Twitter, and 64 percent use LinkedIn.
  • Respondents see branded blogs as the most useful social media initiative—64 percent of respondents rated them as “extremely valuable” or “valuable.”

Measurement

  • Only 25 percent of respondents indicate they measure the results of individual pieces of content.

  • Most respondents measure social media performance with platform-specific metrics such as levels of engagement (67 percent count comments or shares), website traffic (62 percent), and likes on Facebook or endorsements on LinkedIn (47 percent).
  • Only 42 percent tie success directly to business gains via direct responses or downloads.
  • An even smaller number (31 percent) make a connection to sales and revenue.

Frequency

  • A majority of respondents (53 percent) say they produce 10 or fewer content marketing assets per month to post across social media.
  • Forty-four percent would like to increase their content production to 11 to 50 assets per month.
  • Fourteen percent would like to increase their volume to more than 50 assets per month. Currently, only 4 percent have achieved this level.
  • To fill the current gap, 78 percent report they repurpose or repost content.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 217 marketing professionals (24 percent executive managers, 17 percent marketing managers/directors, 15 percent project managers, and the rest a mix of other titles). A range of company sizes were represented (41 percent with 1 to 100 employees, 17 percent with 101 to 500 employees, and 42 percent with more than 500 employees).

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategy and content consultant. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs, where a version of this article originally appeared.

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