March 24, 2015

89% of Companies Say Content Marketing Works: Is It Time to Hop Onboard?

Take a quick look around your competitors’ websites—or take a casual stroll down your Twitter newsfeed—and it’s hard to ignore the sheer number of companies crafting custom content and participating in content marketing.

We see mega retailers like Marc Jacobs using the Twitter hashtag #castmemarc to scout new models; we salute behemoth marketing beasts like Coca-Cola and Budweiser for killing it with their Super Bowl marketing messages; and we lose count of the numerous blogging platforms popping up on company websites by the minute.

And it’s because brands across all verticals are picking up on the notion that content marketing works.

In fact, Ascend2 recently completed a content marketing study that found that 89 percent of companies that use content marketing find it either “very successful” or “somewhat successful.” Only 11 percent feel it is “somewhat unsuccessful” or “very unsuccessful.”

The study also found that:

  • The most challenging obstacle to content marketing success is that companies have a lack of content creation resources (53 percent). In addition, 42 percent feel they lack an effective strategy; 33 percent are unable to measure effectiveness; and 25 percent feel their employees lack the talent to reach content marketing success.
  • The number one reason companies use content marketing is to improve customer engagement (52 percent) and increase lead generation (52 percent).
  • 48 percent of companies are increasing their content marketing spend this year.

The study reveals a number of things about the importance of custom content and developing a comprehensive content marketing strategy. For starters, it evidences the fact that since a majority of companies are leveraging content marketing, the marketing landscape has become increasingly competitive and, as such, standing out has become challenging.

Take a look at the blogging stratosphere as an example of just how saturated the landscape has become. A few years ago companies that blogged once a month still had a huge leg up on their competitors that were laden with static websites. But today, companies are blogging daily—even multiple times a day. In fact, companies that blog 15 or more times per month (or about three times a week, if not more) realize five times more traffic than companies that don't blog at all, according to data from HubSpot. Perhaps more importantly, companies that increase blogging from three to five times a month to six to eight times a month almost double their leads.

So what does this mean for your brand? Not only are you tasked with having to blog frequently to keep up with your competitors that are blogging daily, but you also have to ensure that your entries are of the highest quality so they can cut through the content clutter.

For example, let’s say you’re a realtor looking to launch a blogging platform. Your topic has to be a whole lot more interesting than “Three Reasons You Need a Realtor.” This topic has been covered exhaustively. Instead, you need to get creative. Consider interviewing past tenants you’ve placed for a compelling case study series, creating a first-time homeowner buyers’ guide or discussing the benefits of the first-time homebuyers’ credit.   

In addition to speaking about the importance of content marketing differentiation, the survey also reveals that a number of brands struggle to succeed in this marketing age simply because they lack the talent and resources to do so. Today’s marketers are drowning in a myriad of tasks from having to create email marketing drip campaigns to drive event attendance to having to conceptualize witty logos and slogans. Slap content marketing onto the list and a marketer’s job can seem all but impossible.

Fortunately, today’s brands can outsource portions—or all—of their marketing needs to reputable third-party providers. These content marketing strategy vendors can assume the responsibility of custom content creation, strategy and distribution.

For more on content marketing co-sourcing, click here to check out our white paper titled, “The Virtues of Choosing a Content Strategy Vendor.”


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