Way back in 1993 we saw the birth of content marketing when the very first e-book was released on the web.
Jump forward 22 years later and it's safe to say that content has evolved into the very best way to connect with your audience.
But how much do you know about the state of content marketing in 2015?
We surveyed marketers to find out everything there is to know about this hot topic, and the results may just surprise you!
So let's start with the good news....
#1. 72% of marketers feel that content marketing is essential for their business
Yep that's right, content is essential for business and a whopping 72% of you are in agreement. But if you're not one of these people and you solely rely on ads to drive traffic then just think of the opportunities that you could be missing out on!
With the rise of ad-blocking software across the web, it's clear that consumers no longer want to see spammy ads interrupting their daily browsing...
Your consumers want you to connect with you on a personal level - and that's why content works so well. It's time to get smart, to start creating content that resonates and to bring value to your audience.
#2. 58% of content marketers cite that video is an effective tool
Out of all the various different types of content that there is to create, video has come out on top as an effective content marketing tool.
We've learned recently that visual communication is so powerful, that it can actually increase people viewing your content 94%!
And there is nothing more visual than a video, right? It's the perfect channel to use because it offers so many different benefits.
It will help you:
- Explain what your product or service is
- Effectively tell the story of your brand
- Boost your reach across social
- Increase your leads
- Cut down on enquiries
- Improve your ROI
And the best part? Literally any business can create a video. It doesn't matter whether you're fun, serious, or ridiculously corporate - with video marketing, there are no limits.
#3. Coca Cola, Nike and Google are the favored brands for creating content
We asked marketers to name a brand that is awesome at creating content and you can see the results in the word cloud below...
As you'd expect most of the big players made it to the top and they include Coca Cola, Nike, Google, Virgin and HupSpot.
So why do we put these brands on a content pedestal?
It's because they know who their audience is. They push the boundaries, set the bar high and they market to their audience in real-time.
Take Virgin Trains for example. They helped a guy who was in desperate need of toilet paper on one of their trains - but they did it all via Twitter!
Basically the customer Tweeted Virgin after realising the lack of toilet paper. Virgin instantly jumped into action, found out what train he was on - and got a member of their team who was on the train to help him out in his hour of need!
You can check out the full story here, but be warned, it's not for the easily offended.
#4. 63% of marketers say that content has led to an increase in conversions
Out of all the positive things that content does, increasing your conversions has to be the best one!
If you don't have ROI at the forefront of all that you do then you may as well throw in the towel now.
But I'll talk more about this later on...
So that's the good news, but what about the bad....?
#5. Only 24% of marketers will 'outreach' their content to other blogs
OK, you've created your content and it looks awesome. But what do you do with it now? Are you just going to leave it on your website in the hope that your audience will randomly find it?
Sorry to burst your bubble but the world of content marketing isn't that easy. If you want to get your content in front of your audience then you need to start outreaching the stuff that you've created.
Check out platforms such as BuzzSumo and you'll find tons of bloggers, journalists and influencers who are genuinely interested in your content. What you need to do is ask these people to publish or share your content, so that you can get as much focus as you can on your brand!
#6. Less than half of marketers say they have a defined content strategy
So we know how important content marketing is, but why do so many of us not have a defined strategy? Is it lack of time, resource, or budget?
Going into content marketing blind will only set you up for failure.
But don't lose hope just yet!
There really is a formula to content marketing that actually works and it's called the 'inbound marketing methodology'. As you can see from the graphic below, it's all about targeting your audience with the right content, at the right time.
Gone are the days where creating content on a whim is ok. You need to plan your content so that it attracts, converts, closes the sale, and continues to delight your customers!
And that brings me nicely to the ugly truth. Brace yourself....
#7. Over half of marketers DON'T measure content marketing ROI
The above stat goes hand in hand with this one. If you don't have a defined strategy then it's going to be pretty impossible to measure the results of your campaigns.
The problem isn't that marketers can't be bothered measuring the ROI of content. It's that they don't know how to...
But if you start following the inbound methodology, and begin to track your content from the very first stage, right through to closing the sale, you'll find it a lot clearer to track ROI.
Related reading: How to calculate content marketing ROI
Still not sure?
That's what makes a content marketing agency, like us, so valuable. We can help you create content that will target your audience at the right time - taking them from website visitors, right through to regular customers.
So give us a call today to find out more!