Marketers Around the Globe Weigh In: What Is Effective Content Marketing?

 In Content Marketing, Uncategorized

Is your company accomplishing its overall objectives when it comes to content marketing? The Content Marketing Institute asked this question in its United Kingdom and North America 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends reports. CMI surveyed successful businesses across the US and UK to examine the current state of content marketing.

So what does it take to be a content marketing superpower in 2016? Here’s what CMI found:

While over 88% of US and UK organizations used content marketing in 2015 and over 75% say they will use even more in the coming year, only 44% of US and 54% of UK organizations say they have clarity on what a successful content marketing program looks like. Furthermore, even fewer US (30%) and UK (34%) organizations felt that they were effective at content marketing.

Here are the 6 things that you must be doing in order to have a successful 2016 – no matter your KPIs.

Make a documented content marketing strategy

When asked whether an organization had a documented content marketing strategy, only 32% of US and 37% of UK organizations said yes. A remaining 42% (US) and 48% (UK) answered that they had an undocumented strategy and 18% had no strategy at all.

Yet UK marketers who had a documented strategy reported higher levels of effectiveness with content marketing tactics, social media platforms and paid content promotion and distribution. Considering that 53% of the most effective marketers in the US had a documented strategy, while 40% of the least effective US marketers had no strategy at all this is a key component to help you stay on track and purposefully manage your bandwidth and output.

Create a documented editorial mission statement

Even fewer UK (32%) and US (28%) organizations had a documented editorial mission statement. Not having this is a missed opportunity. Whereas almost half (49%) of the most effective UK (49%) and US (48%) marketers worked with a documented editorial mission statement in 2015. A defined editorial mission statement will help you clearly define your objectives both with your team and throughout the business.

Hold more frequent content marketing team meetings

Less than half of UK (41%) and US (44%) organizations meet daily or weekly to discuss their content marketing program. But of the most effective marketers, 56% in the UK and 61% in the US meet daily or weekly either in person or virtually to discuss the progress and results of their content marketing programs.

Of the most effective UK content marketers, 78% say their meetings are valuable, and US data shows that marketers who meet daily or weekly are more likely to consider the meetings valuable (70%) than those who meet bi-weekly or monthly (49%).

Want to revamp your meeting schedule? Check out RESULTS.com’s CEO’s seminar on how to make your work days more productive with better meetings.

Measure sales lead quality

Regardless of how effective content marketers are, the top three most-used metrics by US content marketers are sales lead quality, sales and higher conversion rates, with sales lead quality cited as the most important.

In contrast, UK content marketers’ most-used metrics are website traffic, higher conversion rates, sales and sales lead quality, with sales and sales lead quality tied for the most important. The UK tends to place more weight on the social media sharing metric in measuring the effectiveness or success of their organization’s content marketing program. Are you leveraging the biggest trends for B2B lead generation success?

Increase your content marketing budget

UK and US organizations spent an average of 28% and 29%, respectively, of their total marketing budget (not including staff) on content marketing in 2015. CMI reports there is a correlation between effectiveness and the amount of budget allocated. The most effective US marketers allocated an average of 42% for content marketing, whereas the least effective US marketers allocated 15%. The most effective UK marketers spent 33% on average.

Not surprisingly, 51% of US marketers and 66% of UK marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months.

At our recent CMO Roundtables, marketers from Amplifinity, Bluewater, Compuware, and Llamasoft discussed how CMOs can get budget for new projects.

Understand what content is effective

When examining all organizations surveyed, both the US and UK listed creating more engaging content as the most important priority for 2016.

But in looking at the pool of the UK’s most effective marketers, the top priority for 2016 was developing a better understanding of what content is effective, followed by creating visual content and finding better ways to repurpose content. Creating more engaging content came fourth on their list. The most effective UK marketers also put more importance on becoming better storytellers than on developing a better understanding of the audience.

These are some of the top ways to refine your content marketing team and plan for the upcoming year. To stay atop of this year’s marketing trends, check out BrightTALK’s marketing community where industry experts weigh in on the best practices and trends to help you succeed in your global career.

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