How are business-to-consumer companies using content marketing today, and what content marketing challenges are they facing this year? The Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends study has some insights.
There’s no doubt that content marketing is growing in importance. Some 77 percent of companies in the survey use it, and 69 percent are creating more content than they did one year ago. Still, companies are struggling with several content marketing challenges.
B2C companies are frustrated with their ability to create, measure and distribute their content. Only 34 percent feel their content marketing strategy is effective. Perhaps that’s because more than half (51 percent) say they have trouble measuring how effective it is. Other top challenges include creating content consistently (44 percent) and creating enough variety of content (40 percent).
If you’re having the same content marketing challenges, how can you overcome them? Here are some ideas from the study.
- Try e-newsletters if you aren’t already. Marketers in the survey ranked this as the most effective tactic, and it’s also the most often used.
- Get visual. Photos and illustrations were cited as helping boost content’s effectiveness and engagement. In addition, online videos were ranked as effective by more than half of marketers in the study.
- Don’t be hit-or-miss. Develop a content marketing strategy, and put it in writing. Nearly half of marketers with a written strategy report that their companies are effective at measuring their ROI.
- Use a variety of distribution channels, including offline. Social media is the most popular way to share content, with companies using an average of 7 social media platforms—up from 6 last year. However, paid channels are also important. Respondents say search engine marketing is the most effective paid promotional method to promote content, cited by 57 percent; print and other offline paid promotional methods work for 46 percent.
- Be consistent. The marketers who rated their efforts as most successful were also most likely to publish new content several times a week; 20 percent of them publish daily.
- Invest in content marketing. On average, companies in the survey spent 24 percent of their marketing budget on content marketing; the most successful companies spent an average of 29 percent. In addition, 59 percent of companies plan to spend more on it in the next 12 months.
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Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.