Content marketing is a fantastic thing. It allows companies to interact with their consumers on a level that isn't just about selling and it does more than just push people into a funnel where they will eventually convert to a full paying customer. However, there are so many company's doing it wrong that it threatens to derail the entire process.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 88% of B2B content marketers are currently using some kind of content marketing, but only 32% have a documented content strategy in place. This causes an issue as it means that although content is being created, it essentially has no foundation in a strong and coherent strategic aim. Although not always the case, it frequently means that output from companies simply jumps on the latest trend, focussing on how many clicks it can get, rather than the quality of the content.
This unfocussed strategy, combined with the 76% of B2B marketers and 77% of B2C marketers who will increase their content marketing output in the 2016, creates a real headache for those companies who are doing it properly. As those who don't do it properly, a focus on click rates and simply bouncing around the latest trends, they are destroying the work of those who take the time to create the best content.
The unfortunate truth for content marketers and media companies is that most people will have a limited amount of time to read through interesting content and if they need to filter through the chaff to get to yours, they will simply not go there.
It means that content marketing today needs to do more than simply write content and email it out to people, it requires the same deft touch as digital journalists just to get ahead of the rest. Making sure that SEO is effective, that spelling and grammar are correct and that content has a proper narrative. Without these things people will simply lose interest and potentially avoid your content in the future.
Investing in an effective content strategy brings significant rewards, and the most successful B2B marketers allocate 42% of their budget to the practice, whilst the least successful dedicate only 28%. It is clear that the more money you invest in a content programme, the better quality you will get and the better calibre of content creator you can hire. Equally allowing time for research and creating a comprehensive proofing system will mean that work will have high and consistent quality.
Also, investing in search engine marketing helps to set companies apart, especially if they would struggle to get their content to the top of search engines organically. It is why 55% of B2B marketers and 64% of B2C marketers put search engine marketing as their most effective marketing method for content. This obviously requires investment, which is why 50% OF B2C companies plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2016.
With all of this new investment and concentration on the area, the amount being created will only increase in the next few years, lets just hope that the quality rises too.