Almost half of marketers believe their content marketing output is “hit or miss” and many are still struggling to determine whether it is truly impactful or relevant for customers and clients according to a new study released last week by the CMO Council.
CMO found that excellent content can really make a difference when it “hits the market” with positive benefits including driving the sales cycle forward at a faster rate and influencing how products and services are sold and delivered.
However, the problem comes when content fails to live up to the standards expected as it can waste money and undermine marketing efforts as a whole and make it more difficult to attract and retain the attention of customers.
195 marketing leaders from some of the world’s most recognisable brands including ABC, IBM and Guinness World Records took part in the latest study titled ‘Turning a Creative Eye on Content ROI’.
The key decision makers were unanimous in their praise of content marketing and how it can effectively communicate what a brand represents and why customers should buy into it and make it a part of their lives.
Robert Schefferine, ABC Entertainment Marketing Studios vp of production, went further by stating that a company’s “most important” asset is now content.
While content is king for big corps, 43% rate their output as patchy at best and many believe they lack any real consistency. Less than a third believe their content is “exceptional” or very good.
CMO Council noted that demands and expectations from prospects, partners and customers have increased as they now expect “contextually relevant” content served across the right channels at just the right time.
Following through on this customer-led objective is proving to be challenging though and a lack of resources is only exacerbating the issue.
When asked about the factors that direct and shape content strategy and campaigns, 49% of respondents said budget, 44% said time and 32% said executive request.
Rock Content CEO believes these factors can make it difficult to understand the intent of buyers, which is a crucial foundation for producing compelling and targeting content. A failure to do this compromises even the best marketing and demand gen efforts.
He added: “Today, there is an array of content types, such as user-generated content, video and podcasts and distribution channels available to marketers that can lead them astray.
“The challenge is keeping up with content marketing’s rapid evolution, while never losing focus on content’s impact on its audience.”
Guinness World Record exec, Samantha Fay revealed that its content strategy had evolved significantly compared to a decade ago when merely telling stories when a book came out was enough.
She added that the 24/7 era of rolling news means records need to be reported on via articles, blogs and social media posts as and when they happen, which puts more pressure on content teams to get it right on a daily basis.
Finally, at the top of wish lists for the year ahead is better data analytics and metric tracking as marketers attempt to determine whether content actually engages audiences.