Where Is Content Marketing Going in 2017?
Now that content marketing is essentially everywhere (used by 89% of B2B marketers), the industry’s practitioners are becoming more strategic in the way that they view the goals of their content marketing efforts.
According to new research from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, organizations are beginning to focus more on long-term success, rather than one-off wins.
In fact, 72% of B2B marketers surveyed said they’re more focused on building long-term relationships vs. quick (campaign-like) outcomes.
By shifting the emphasis from high-volume content production to thoughtful and impactful content that can be redistributed and repurposed into other formats, marketers are seeing better results — based on the 62% of respondents who said their content marketing efforts are much more or somewhat more successful than the previous year.
This is excellent news for both marketing teams and their potential customers. One of the most common challenges for content marketers is a lack of bandwidth to create and distribute content. By focusing less on the rapid output of content, they’re able to put more strategic consideration into each published asset.
From the prospect’s perspective, content shock has grown to be a serious issue as well. For business buyers, there’s an overwhelming amount of information available about any particular topic, from countless vendors and industry sites. It can be frustrating and difficult to find useful resources when the market is so oversaturated with information.
Looking ahead, content marketers say they plan to focus on lead generation, with 80% of participants citing lead gen as their top organizational goal in the next 12 months (down from 85% last year).
More interesting, however, is the decrease in sales as a named content marketing objective. Last year, 84% of marketers reported that sales were an organizational goal for the coming 12 months, but this year that number is down significantly to 62%.
On the other hand, it’s interesting to note that brand awareness as a goal increased from 77% in 2016 to 79% in 2017. This shows that content marketing is being viewed as less strictly as a sales generating tool, but is evolving into a tactic to boost brand recognition as well — a key objective in today’s crowded buying process.
This is particularly exciting for content consumers. It indicates that content is becoming less outwardly company-focused and more educational, which will ultimately benefit both buyers and businesses.
These are just some of the highlights from this year’s comprehensive report. Explore the complete findings below.