Most tech marketers are using content to strengthen ties and build loyalty with existing clients and customers, but their general efforts are being hamstrung by the industry’s more complex audience journey that usually involves more channels and people.
Those are two of the takeaways from Content Marketing Institute’s new report, titled Technology Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends. The study shows that content now plays a pivotal role in informing consumers and driving sales but that the process continues to be incredibly challenging due to a range of factors.
The primary concern is creating content that appeals to multiple roles, as tech brands say there are several people across the business who have a direct influence on a purchase. It is perhaps no surprise that “top performers” are doing better in this area and are usually more committed and have a “mature” or “sophisticated” approach to content marketing.
Content can be used to support a myriad of goals and objectives, but creating white papers, articles, videos and blogs for existing customers appears to be a near-universal aim, as 82% of those surveyed agree that their enterprise focuses on the use of creative content to build loyalty with current customers rather than targeting new ones.
However, most marketers are successful at achieving goals, as 84% said they had managed to “create brand awareness” during the last 12 months, while 80% have been able to generate demand and leads during the same period. More than two-thirds also have educated audiences (74%), built credibility and trust (69%) and nurtured existing subscribers or leads (66%).
Moving back to “top performers”, this select group of high achievers are way ahead of the rest and serve as inspiration for laggards who are struggling to make the most of their content efforts. For example, 58% of top performers are extremely committed to content marketing but this figure slumps to just 28% of all respondents. The takeaway here is that is best to go all in on content to achieve a better return on investment and results.
“Tech content marketers definitely feel the challenge of the complex decision-making process they face with clients,” Content Marketing Institute VP of Editorial, Kim Moutsos said. “We found this among content marketers who consider themselves very/extremely successful as well as the group as a whole. Despite this, a full 75% say their organization’s content marketing is more successful compared with one year ago, which is exciting to see.”
The study also found that the ever-changing SEO landscape is causing headaches for tech marketers, as 62% are concerned about the state of flux in search algorithms, making it the top-reported concern ahead of content being a steady revenue centre (48%). However, many appear to have got to grips with audience research, as more than two-thirds are using keyword analysis, website analytics and sales team feedback to support their creative efforts and make better decisions.