Content marketing is the most important digital-related activity for organisations in 2017, and more than half are planning to increase their investment in news, blogs, videos and other online material during the next 12 months, according to a new Digital Trends report published by E-consultancy and Adobe.
More than 14,000 digital marketing professionals from across the globe were surveyed to highlight the key challenges, opportunities and trends for the year ahead. When these professionals were asked about the three digital-related areas that they will prioritise in 2017, content marketing topped the list with 29 per cent, ahead of social media engagement (28 per cent) and targeting and personalisation (25 per cent)
Content was a constant theme throughout the list of activities, with video content, brand building and mobile optimisation also featuring in the top ten. It is no surprise that 55 per cent of professionals are aiming to increase their content marketing budget plans; this ranked second only to social media marketing investment (56 per cent). Fifty per cent will also increase investment for video advertising and lead generation.
While driving brand engagement and awareness via social and content is a high-level priority for marketers, many seem less interested in surfacing actionable data from analytics, which suggests that the focus is still very much on acquiring customers rather than retaining them in the long term.
Digital endeavours are now critical for marketers, and this is reflected by the fact that 46 per cent now believe that they permeate most of their marketing activities. However, just 11 per cent stated that they are “digital first” enterprises, which is down from 14 per cent in 2015. This indicates that organisations are also bringing traditional and online marketing together by delivering “digitally integrated” end-user experiences.
While digital-only organisations have decreased slightly, there has been a rise in the number of enterprises that describe their outlook as “mobile first.” Just 13 per cent defined themselves using this term back in 2014, but it has since more than doubled to 27 per cent. This ties in with the fact that 71 per cent deem optimising the customer journey across a plethora of platforms and touchpoints as “very important” for the coming years.