Content Marketing Institute’s annual content marketing trends and benchmarks reports are out.
Provided is important insight into the future of content marketing, in addition to a wealth of information on what’s working and what’s not.
They also show that while marketers may know what works best for building audiences and driving conversions, they don’t always implement those practices in their own marketing efforts.
Here’s what the reports say about two of the most critical aspects of content marketing – creation and strategy – for B2B marketers and B2C marketers:
Content creation is arguably the cornerstone of any content marketing program; after all, you can’t market content if you don’t have content.
The good news is, the CMI report shows B2B and B2C marketers do understand the importance of high-quality content in achieving their marketing goals.
For B2B marketers, here’s what the CMI survey found:
- 85% say creating higher quality content and being more efficient in content creation has contributed to the success of their marketing programs.
- 49% say challenges in content creation have held their marketing efforts back.
- 76% make quality of content a priority over quantity.
- 70% expect to produce more content in 2017 compared to 2016.
For B2C marketers, the numbers are similar:
- 77% credit higher quality content and more efficient creation with the success of their marketing efforts.
- 37% say content creation challenges caused their marketing efforts to remain stagnant.
- 70% always or frequently prioritize quality of content over quantity.
- 73% say they expect to create more content this year compared to last year.
Content delivery was also a key factor in marketing success:
- 85% of B2B marketers and 87% of B2C marketers in the successful groups said they deliver content consistently and frequently compared to just 32% and 36% in the least successful groups of B2B and B2C marketers, respectively.
Content strategy is where the whole “do as I say, not as I do” schism comes into play. For instance:
- While 72% of B2B companies said they felt content strategy contributed to the success of their marketing efforts, only 37% said they have a content strategy plan in place.
- Nearly half of all respondents (49%) said they felt lack of a content strategy was causing stagnancy in their content marketing success and 40% felt the lack actually caused the success of their marketing efforts to decline.
The numbers are similar for B2C companies:
- 71% felt having a content strategy in place contributed to their marketing success, but only 40% have a strategy in place.
- Like B2B companies, 49% of B2C companies felt not having a content strategy to follow was causing their marketing efforts to flatline. (Very few B2C marketers reported a flat-out decline in their marketing success for 2016.)
So it’s pretty clear marketers understand the importance of having a robust content strategy in place.
But the impact of content strategy is even clearer when you divide the marketers into two groups.
Those who characterized their marketing content efforts and approach as “very successful” and those who said their efforts and approach have been “minimally successful” (or not at all successful).
Fortunately, the CMI report provides information in that area as well:
- 61% of the most successful B2B marketers have a documented strategy in place compared to only 13% in the least successful group.
- 81% in the most successful B2B group said having a strategy in place was extremely or very effective in helping them achieve their targets.
- 85% of B2B content marketers said they deliver content consistently or frequently.
- 63% of the most successful B2C marketers reported having a strategy in place compared to only 20% of those in the least successful group
- 78% of B2C marketers said having a strategy was very or extremely effective in achieving content marketing success for their companies.
By any measure, content marketing is a necessary component of any type of marketing plan.
But for many businesses and marketing agencies, creating enough content to satisfy needs can be daunting – and even overwhelming.
But there’s a solution, and it’s pretty simple: Outsource all or part of your content creation and strategy with WriterAccess.
At WriterAccess, businesses and agencies of all sizes have access to literally thousands of freelance content marketing professionals who know their craft and are just waiting to get to know your company, your audience, and your marketing goals.
To find out more about WriterAccess and how outsourcing content creation can help your business achieve and even exceed its marketing goals, take the tour and then get in touch with a member of our support team today.
Karen Z is a professional freelancer within the WriterAccess platform who is very much a part of our content strategy.