We recently asked CMOs and Marketing Professionals about the types of content marketing they use and what seems to be the most effective, as well as their roles and budgets. We’ve summarized the results in the following report, analyzing the responses to paint a picture of the state of content marketing in today’s business world.
While content marketing goals seem to be on target for many businesses, they have trouble measuring their efforts’ ROI. Many marketers see their content needs increasing next year as competition amps up.
We hope you find this data useful and remember Wellspring will continue to provide you with timely and relevant information to help you understand today, and tomorrow’s, digital marketing landscape.
If you are feeling lost or feel that you don’t have a clear understanding of what work works and what doesn’t with your digital marketing efforts, take comfort in two facts…
- You are not alone.
- There is a solution.
What is the solution?
- Assemble a team of marketers with experience, whether internal or external or both.
- Implement, configure and optimize the right marketing technology stack based on your efforts and needs.
- Use that team of experts to assess and explain the data and then map it to your business goals.
- Adjust your efforts accordingly.
We hope you find the following survey data and analysis as enlightening and informative as we did. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to share additional anecdotal information with us.
If you would like to download a copy of this, please click here.
Content Marketing Performance
Question 1: Compared to start-of-year projections, is your content marketing performing?
The highest number of respondents at 56.34%, said that their content marketing was on target, while 18.31% responded that their content marketing was performing above target. 25.35% said that their content marketing was performing below target.
This data tells us that there is room for improvement in at least 25% of the surveyed professionals. But with competition increasing year over year, many of the “on target” respondents will need to amp up their content marketing efforts regardless of the effectiveness of their current efforts.
Content Marketing Budgets
Question 2: What percentage of your marketing budget is spent on content creation and distribution?
Only 18.57% of respondents said they spent more than 20% of their marketing budget on content creation and distribution. 42.86% spent 10% – 20% and 38.57% spent less than 10%. These numbers tell us that many companies see good performance in their content marketing regardless of budget.
That said, we fully expect these numbers to increase as content demands continue to increase for most businesses. Google Panda, E-A-T, and the Helpful Content Update all underscore the need for not just more content, but more high-quality and useful content.
Content Marketing Pain Points
Question 3: What is your biggest pain point with content marketing?
A large (36.62%) number of respondents said they had trouble measuring the ROI of their content marketing. The next highest group, at 18.31%, said that the lack of ability to create content in diverse formats was their biggest pain point. Close behind was turnaround time, at 16.90%. The rest of the respondent group weighed in with a lack of exposure (15.49%), gaining stakeholder approval (9.86%), and the smallest group had a lack of content ideas (2.82%).
This shows us that ideas are not the problem, but for those that don’t have trouble measuring ROI, turnaround time, lack of exposure, and lack of ability to create content in diverse formats are problems. That all comes down to the team and talent a company chooses for its content marketing.
Content Marketing Projections
Question 4: In the next 12 months do you see your content needs:
A whopping 76.06% of respondents said they saw their content needs increasing. Only 4.23% plan to decrease their output of content, and 19.72% say their content needs will stay the same.
As the importance of digital marketing, especially content marketing, increases, marketing professionals realize they need to invest more of their marketing budgets into content marketing. And that time must be well spent creating the right content for the right audience.
Content Marketing Formats
Question 5: What content formats are you currently using?
Social media, as usual, was the clear winner, with 97.18% of respondents using this format to market to prospects and nurture customers. Marketing emails and blogs were next, at 77.46% and 74.65%, respectively.
Video slid in at 60.56%, an increase above the last survey we did. Sales materials and leave-behinds were at 52.11%, and that ended the segment of our respondent group that represented half of the total.
The rest of the breakdown was in the 20% to 39.44% range with case studies on the higher end and surveys on the lower end. SMS marketing trailed with only 7.04% of respondents using it, with podcasts, ebooks, influencer marketing, and UGC hovering in the 8% – 19.72% range.
While not all our respondents are working with influencers and seeking out user-generated content, a large number use blogs and social media, along with marketing emails, to reach their digital content marketing goals. This is not surprising but we are still curious to watch the growth of the items lower down the chart as these are all growing in popularity.
As we look toward our future in digital marketing, it is easy to see that content marketing will continue to play a significant role. The main variable that we will be watching is not how much is invested but into what type of content efforts. Perhaps the pandemic is playing a role in safe content marketing choices, or maybe the status quo is simply a result of current content marketing efforts paying off.
Whatever the case may be, we feel that just about any business could benefit from a more critical look into its content marketing efforts. As we saw in our digital marketing survey from last year, we are not surprised at the role content marketing continues to play in most digital marketing efforts. Of course, a strategically targeted and diverse content marketing effort will win over stale retreads every time.
Do you need help with your content marketing, let’s chat!
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Wellspring Digital is a full-service digital marketing firm with locations in Frederick, MD, Austin Metro, TX, and Naples, FL. We specialize in digital marketing strategy, marketing automation, SEO, paid search, social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and website design & development with SailFish, a managed business hosting platform built in the Cloud.