Mature B2C content marketing teams are more capable of using articles, blogs and videos to keep customers engaged through an entire cycle or journey, according to a new comprehensive study on marketing practices published by Content Marketing Institute (CMI).
The ‘B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends’ report for 2020 found that marketing teams are enjoying greater success with their campaigns but that the majority of efforts are still focused at the top of the funnel.
CMI believes that brands must attempt to find more of a balance to really transform results next year.
When asked about the most important marketing goals for the previous 12 months, 84% of respondents said ‘creating brand awareness’, making it the most popular overall ahead of ‘educating audiences’ (75%) and ‘building credibility and trust’ (65%).
In contrast, the lower part of the funnel gets short shrift, with just a third of respondents saying that they are using content to support deeper journeys with the aim of building a solid base of subscribers.
A similar number are currently trying to nurture audiences for the longer term.
B2C marketers would be served well by a pivot to more balanced strategies, as CMI found that goals such as building subscribers are often the key to moving performance from merely good to excellent.
Forging deeper relationships can really pay off, and content is a conduit for helping that lofty objective to be achieved.
Despite the lop-sided nature of content output, 75% of B2C marketers believe that their organisations are currently either ‘moderately’, ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ successful, which is encouraging as content continues to play a greater role in the marketing mix.
Perhaps most importantly, campaigns are improving: the majority of respondents said that they are delivering better returns and are ‘somewhat’ or ‘much’ more successful compared to the same time last year.
CMI’s Chief Strategy Advisor Robert Rose said that the findings are “exciting” and show that particularly in B2C environments, content marketing “is alive and well” and will be a force for good as the new decade rolls in.
He did add a word of caution though: “However, when we look at B2C companies that are in the sophisticated/mature phase of content marketing, one of the biggest reasons they are successful is because their organization provides customers with optimal experiences across the entire engagement journey.”
Heading into 2020, agencies are in a position to take advantage of the content boom as the majority of B2C marketing teams are now outsourcing a single activity or more as they look to expert outside assistance to support different aspects of campaigns.
Creating written and visual content is an ongoing challenge, and 80% of those outsourcing are handing over content creation to agencies.
The desire to outsource is closely linked to B2C marketers’ list of goals for 2020.
Half of respondents said that a focus on content quality and quantity will be a top priority in the new year, which is something that third parties are particularly adept at supporting over time.
The same number have also set their sights on improving the quality and conversion of audiences.