MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute have released their latest annual report concerning content marketing trends, budgets and benchmarks. The good news for brands and enterprises is that almost two-thirds now believe that their campaigns are either “somewhat more” or “much more” successful than they were 12 months ago.
It’s been nearly a year to the day since the publication of the 2017 study, so marketers will be eager to take in the findings from the latest survey of 870 business-to-business (B2B) respondents from a range of industries and companies. The main takeaway is that content marketing is maturing, and brands are reaping the rewards from more focused and documented strategies.
A quarter of marketers now believe that their approach to content is either “very” or “extremely” successful, while more than half claim that it is “moderately” successful. Just over a third now have a documented strategy for content marketing, but this soars to 62 per cent for those who believe themselves to be top performers.
While content marketing is crucial for driving positive business outcomes, almost a quarter are still only investing between one and nine per cent of their total marketing budgets into the activity. The fact that the most successful marketers are spending an average of 40 per cent of their budgets in this area suggests that brands would benefit from creating more unique news, articles and videos to achieve their objectives.
Marketers now appear to be diverting their attention from metrics such as sales and revenue, as 80 per cent said that building audiences and subscriber bases is their top priority, which is an increase from 62 per cent last year. Also, 92 per cent of the top performers are focused on this goal, so brands should try to cultivate a defined audience and give their content programmes the best chance of being successful.
Other recent studies have highlighted metrics and analytics as a challenge for marketers, and this trend was noted once again in this study, as just 19 per cent of B2B marketers believe that they are “excellent” or “very good” at aligning measurements with content marketing. Three-quarters also agree that creativity in content production is vital, so brands need to focus on both the art and science of content to succeed.