Currently, the vast majority of businesses do not believe they are using their content effectively. The statistics are not good. Looking at B2B, the number is 70% who think the content is not being used efficiently. B2C is not much better with only 37% believing they have used their content effectively. As content marketers, we must do better, both to ensure that our clients feel that content marketing is a vital part of business growth, and to deliver on what we all know that content marketing, at its best, is capable of.
As creators of online content and strategists, we need to address this head on, and luckily for us, Chad Pollitt has a breakdown of why this is happening and what we can do to fix it. Chad Pollitt is the Co-Founder and VP for Audience of Relevance, an agency and events company that is focused on content strategy, marketing and promotion, and also produces a digital magazine. He has been named a top 20 CMO Influencer and is a regular contributor at Huffington Post and the Guardian. In this webinar, hosted by WriterAccess founder and CEO, Byron White, Chad Pollitt runs through the challenges facing the effective use of content marketing and discusses how employing smart native advertising tactics can make all the difference in the world.
Issues Facing Content Marketing Today
For the super busy strategist, here’s a quick breakdown of the takeaway from the webinar. There are five issues that need to be addressed to raise the level of efficiency of content marketing.
- Budgeting: Today there will be 4 billion pieces of content published. This is the amount published every single day. How are content marketers and businesses wisely employing content marketing, supposed to to stand out from this constant deluge? Perhaps in the noble quest to create great content we have forgotten one of the most basic lessons of old school advertising. In 2013 brands spent 15.2% of their content marketing budget on promotion. This means that the remaining 84.8% went into the creation of the actual content. This is a reverse of how television advertisers have always budgeted their campaigns. They spend $5 on promotion and distribution for every dollar spent on the creation of the ad. We who believe in great content above all else do not have to go to this extreme. But what about finding more of a middle ground. Imagine this model instead: For Every Dollar Spent on Content Creation, Spend an Equal Amount of Promoting the Content.
- Content Surpluses: Here’s a simple way to lower your content creation budget without sacrificing quality; follow the old maxim quality over quantity. The fact is, we’re just making too much content. And yes, quality content is always the goal, but even if everything we’re creating is of high quality, it’s value is lessened if we make more it that we actually need and that we can use effectively. Businesses focused on content creation need to conduct an audit on what their producing, decide what is the most effective and that which is not effective, which is not easy to promote, needs to be dropped, and those resources need to be reallocoted to promoting the most useful content.
- Lack of Organic Visibility: In the content marketing storyline that is still held up as conventional wisdom, organic exposure just happens on social media networks once you’ve created great content. But this just isn’t true. If you’ve been living with that lie, here’s a number that’s going to shake you right out of it: 2%. That’s Facebook’s organic reach, acccording to the International Business Times. Oh, and it’s dropping. And if you’re thinking to yourself, no problem, you’ve never depended on social network sites, SEO is your game—well you’re not much better off. Every year seach query growth is declining, and at this point most search engines only offer 10 organic positions per results page. SEO isn’t the skill it used to be, instead it’s the final result of getting everything else right. [Tweet this]
- Strategy: The good news? There is a lot of room for improvement. Here’s how
much: according to CMI, only 32% of B2B content marketers have a documented strategy. This means it’s time to get strategizing. Incorporate some of the solutions to the problems that content marketing is currently facing as detailed right here. And from this jumping off point create a strategy that is tailored to the businesses and markets you are serving.
- Adoption Curve: Over the last decade, so much of content strategy was so new, that by just getting the basic principles right (read: create quality content, post on the right social networks), the rest seemed to fall magically into place. But it wasn’t magic. Those of us who were in the game at that time were able to take advantage of early adopters, hungry to see traditional advertising disrupted. Content marketing is no longer new, and this means that when you’re creating a campaign it is vital to do all of your homework and not skip over the promotion and distribution logistics stages.
In the established world of content marketing, right now native advertising is the surest way to see your content rise to the top. 2013 also saw brands spending just 6.7% of their content marketing budgets on sponsored content. Once again we’re turning back to old school advertising to learn some of the most valuable lessons to apply to content marketing today. David Ogilvy the father of modern advertising, once said,
“It has been found that the less an advertisement looks like an advertisement and the more it looks like an editorial, the more readers stop, look, and read.”
There is hardly a more apt quote for today’s content marketer. It’s what we are all about, but in the rush to apply this maxim to great content, we forgot that at least half of achieving this goal is how we promote the content.
As any great strategist, Chad is a whiz at Twitter. Hit him up @ChadPollitt if you have any questions. He follows back.
5-Star writer Alexandra M is a freelance writer and content strategist for the last eight years, Alexandra is a highly skilled writer, editor, proofreader and researcher. From an educational background based in English literature and poetry, she brings a deep understanding of the artistic use of language at its most basic level.
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