The vast majority of marketers believe that their use of content is effective, but just six per cent say that they are definitely sure about how to implement a content campaign, a new infographic published by online marketplace Zazzle shows.
Zazzle polled the opinions of key decision makers across the UK earlier this year in order to identify some of the common knowledge gaps, hurdles and trends in the content marketing space. It found that investment levels are growing, but brands and publishers are still struggling to maximise their return on investment.
Budget allocation is increasing, as enterprises spent between ten to 20 per cent of their resources on content in 2015 but have since increased this spending by an average of 23 per cent, and more than two-thirds expect content investment to increase again this year. Not one single respondent envisages a decline in content spend in 2017.
Content is central to pursuing a whole host of objectives for enterprises, but brand awareness tops the list, with 85 per cent revealing that it is a key goal. Other priorities include engagement (83 per cent), improved visibility in search engines (71 per cent), lead generation (70 per cent) and customer retention (48 per cent). Perhaps surprisingly, sales (46 per cent) is near the bottom of the list.
While it is generally agreed that content marketing plays a central role in marketing strategies, respondents are unsure about their ability to measure the impact of content on a business. This is supported by the fact that 62 per cent are unable to measure the ROI for content campaigns.
Having too few staff was cited as the biggest issues during the last 12 months, which suggests that brands may improve their content strategies by working with a digital agency. Expert help would also overcome the creative shortage noted by respondents and the fact that 65 per cent are finding it hard to produce engaging news, videos and articles.
Content marketing remains a challenging endeavour, but the rewards are significant for those who are able to master it and establish a mature strategy. Marketers must focus on creating audience-centric ideas that entertain, educate and inform while allocating extra resources to improve employee knowledge and maximise returns.