Matcha released its first annual Content Marketing Benchmark Report last week with the aim of helping smaller enterprises navigate the complexities of creating and publishing content. The report analysed data from hundreds of SMEs and the plethora of articles and ads they posted in 2018.
Several recent studies have espoused the benefits of using long-form content as a central pillar in marketing campaigns, and Matcha’s research found they were again among the most effective for driving positive actions. Editorial output, which is typically longer than 750 words, helped to deliver the best reader engagement, with an average of more than four subheadings and almost six images for consumers.
The use of visual aids and subheadlines to break up large blocks of text is believed to be crucial in guiding the reader’s eye and keeping them interested as they scroll down the page. Mixing high-quality prose and fact-based written content with high-resolution images, infographics and catchy headlines is recommended for small businesses aiming to optimise their marking materials this year.
The study also found that “listicles” are particularly effective at keeping reader’ engaged while ensuring output is efficient and meets the needs of users. In-depth analysis of content presented wholly or partly as a list resulted in an uptick in several key metrics, including scroll depth, rates of engagement, click-through rate (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC). They also perform extremely well on social platforms.
While Facebook has endured a difficult 12 months due to fake news and data privacy scandals, it still leads the way content promotion. The study showed when content is placed alongside ads on the platform, CPC plummets to just $0.19. In contrast, when ads are used on their own, CPC rises to $1.72. Click-through-rates on content ads also see similar remarkable rises.
Matcha also found that licensed content has now caught up with original content in terms of engagement. Licensed content is defined as materials from third parties that brands syndicate from publishers to release across their own channels. It can be distributed by social, email or elsewhere. The study noted that this process is perfect for SMEs, as it enables smaller teams to publish articles with consistent, high quality in a more cost-effective way while taking less time and resources to support.
“This report is invaluable for small businesses, particularly in e-commerce. For the first time, they have a research-backed roadmap to grow their businesses using content marketing,” Matcha CEO, Fynn Glover said. “Great content is a critical ingredient for acquiring and keeping customers. Now, SMBs know exactly what to expect in terms of performance.” Matcha’s full report promises to help small businesses to avoid making the “wrong turns and wasting times” while urging them to use the insights to come with a documented strategy on a robust roadmap for their content marketing efforts. It also outlines why SMEs and e-commerce shops need to embrace content marketing and defines what separates good content from great content.