It’s a truism that content marketing is a long term proposition. Unfortunately, however, this is quite often at odds with the ‘quick results’ mentality so many businesses have.
In the overall scheme of things, content marketing as we know it today is still very much in its infancy (despite conceptually being around since the late 1800s!).
So when you have a relatively new marketing concept coupled with the need to stick at it for some time before you start seeing results, it’s fair to say that despite the isolated success stories we get to hear about, skepticism of the discipline can have room to fester.
REPORT: Content Marketing in Australia
Which is why the newest research report by Content Marketing Institute makes for interesting reading. In short, the report validates the power of content marketing in Australia.
The Content Marketing in Australia: 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report, produced in partnership with the Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising, shows those content marketers who take the discipline seriously are seeing results for their efforts.
According to the report, 82 per cent of marketers surveyed are using content marketing.
However, only 35 per cent regard their organisations as either ‘sophisticated’ or ‘mature’ when it comes to content marketing (see image below), so the industry obviously still has a way to go before it reaches a state of maturation.
Survey respondents were asked: How would you characterise the success of your organisation’s current overall content marketing approach? (The survey defined success as “achieving your organisation’s desired/ targeted results”).
Twenty per cent of marketers described their content marketing efforts as “very successful” while five per cent said “extremely successful”; 51 per cent were “moderately successful” with their content marketing.
Stacking up results year-on-year, 59 per cent of those surveyed rated their content marketing efforts as either “much more” or “somewhat more” successful compared to the previous year.
Respondents were asked what factors did they think attributed to the increase in overall success of their organisation’s content marketing efforts. Here are the top answers:
- 71 percent – Content creation (higher quality, more efficient)
- 62 per cent – Strategy (development or adjustment)
- 59 per cent – Spending more time on content marketing
- 52 per cent – Content distribution (better targeting, identification of what works)
- 52 per cent – Content marketing has become a greater priority for the organisation
And finally, marketers’ conviction for content marketing appears to be strong, with a whopping 90 per cent of respondents agreeing that “content marketing is an important component of our organisation’s marketing program”.
Importantly the research underscores the importance of having a strategy for your content marketing.
Forty-eight per cent of respondents rated their strategy as being “very effective” (38 per cent) or “extremely effective” (10 per cent).
Tellingly, a quarter of respondents said they didn’t have a content marketing strategy (although the majority of those did say they planned to rectify this situation in the next 12 months).
In terms of creating content itself, it’s heartening to see the majority of Australian content marketers focusing on the quality of what they produce, as well as making it about what’s relevant for their audience versus just being about the brand:
That said, according to those figures, that leaves over a quarter of marketers who are not focused on creating content for their audience versus their brand, and not prioritising content quality over quantity, so Australia still has a bit of a way to go in this regard.
And one last statistic that caught my eye:
A massive 68 per cent of respondents said their organisation intended producing more content in 2017 compared to this year, while 27 per cent said they’ll stick with the same output next year.
That’s a lot of content coming from brands in 2017 folks!
Don’t let your organisation be one that simply adds to the noise! Get your strategy in order – produce quality content tailored specifically to your desired target audience communities – stick around for the long haul, and don’t forget to use your social media and content marketing efforts to humanise your organisation.