With so much social media, multi-channel, multi-platform marketing and with the pressure on results and return on investment, even the best, most strategic marketer can find content management a challenge. The top question we get asked by delegates when we are delivering marketing masterclasses on business growth is how much content generating activity should they deploy? There is the inherent fear that with limited resources and once undertaken, how are activities sustained and how do they know it works?
We help our clients and delegates understand the importance of content management and how to make it an effective kit in their quest for business growth and success. A recent survey of ‘for-profit’ B2B and B2C marketers, saw that content marketing is on the increase in 2016, but that confidence has fallen:
- 66% say content marketing budget is expected to increase in the next 12 months.
- 88% plan to produce more content in 2016 than they did in 2015.
- Use of the top social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Google Plus has increased.
- 34% think their organisations are effective at content marketing, compared to 42% last year.
Source: Content Marketing Institute 2015 & 2016
With the fall in confidence from the final point in mind, it begs the questions are we doing too much or should we take a step back? How much effort should be expended on content marketing activity?
The key questions businesses may want to ask themselves:
What is our goal?
Where is our content marketing plan?
Who have we collaborated and shared the plan with?
How much evaluation takes place to monitor what is actually working and what isn’t?
We make no apologies for listing the obvious. When was the last time you actually interrogated your priorities and reviewed your processes? Are we just creating content for content sake or is there an end game in generating content that is relevant to our target audience, consistent and shared across your organisation, cross channels and cross platforms?
The survey also showed that only 37% have a documented content marketing strategy and 32% have a documented editorial mission statement.
When asked, what does an effective or successful content marketing program look like in your organisation? The top answers included:
- Audience building
- Leads generation
- Secure sales
- Consistent content publication
- Enhance brand perception
So, what does content marketing success look like in your organisation? We share 5 steps towards content marketing success:
1. Document your content strategy.
2. Have someone or a group of key people be responsible for content marketing and be accountable for its success.
3. Publish quality content consistently on each category of content and topic you cover.
4. Map content to buyer/consumer journey. The proportion of people in the early stages of the buyer journey is greater than those who are ready to buy. Therefore, understanding how people shift from “what is” or “why is it important”, to “who can deliver” and “how much will it cost” is critical in the customer/buyer journey and enable you to balance content creation accordingly.
5. Track ROI on content marketing. Measuring content effectiveness is the biggest challenge marketers cite, more so than creating engaging content. Businesses that develop baselines at the outset are likely to have a greater clarity on what’s working and, to assess what not to do.
Getting the foundations right and in making a few adjustments, you could be taking your content marketing to the next level in 2016. Meanwhile, let us know what your greatest challenges are, or share successes you’ve had on content marketing with us.
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