Last month, Curata’s Curation Adoption Survey revealed that most marketers are curating content whether they know it or not. Now Curata has surveyed more than 450 marketing professionals about B2B marketing trends and the changing role of content marketing and the results, while not revolutionary, do present an interesting picture about content marketing and the role it plays in overall marketing strategy.
Content Marketing is Here (Get Used to It)
There’s no denying that content marketing is a top marketing strategy. According to the survey, not only did a 82 percent of respondents rank it as the most important objective for their organization, but a majority of marketers indicated that content marketing strategies have been implemented to help drive leads and sales, as well as to establish thought leadership and boost brand awareness.
Is content marketing helping? It depends on how you look at it. Since more marketers have begun to adopt content marketing strategies, their use of traditional marketing tactics, such as print, TV and radio advertising continues to decline, so it’s not as if content marketing is evenly matched against traditional methods.
However, as a result of increasing their investment in content marketing strategies, marketers have begun to shift their priorities accordingly. For example, 56 percent of respondents identified thought leadership as a more prominent objective of content marketing for organizations.
Additionally, most marketers still don’t know exactly how to measure content marketing effectively. The survey showed that 43 percent of respondents do not measure the outcome of their content marketing programs. However, of those that are, 29 percent of marketers saw up to 25 percent increase in inbound leads due to content marketing.
What Does the Future of Content Marketing Mean for Marketers?
Yes, content marketing strategies are here, with more and more marketers investing time and effort in them. However, most marketers were quick to note that the two biggest challenges they face are limited budget and limited staff. If marketers want to get serious about content marketing, they will need to invest in an effective infrastructure that can support their efforts. As well, to help them build a solid argument for the added support, they’ll need to figure out how to effectively measure content marketing’s success.
The survey noted that in the meantime, marketers are employing content curation tools and best practices to help streamline the process for busy marketers. Content curation is helping B2B marketers drive their content marketing strategy.
However, as was pointed out in previous surveys, Curata found that although content curation has been adopted by most, it is still in its early stages and will evolve over the next several months and years. This is not surprising considering that 34 percent of marketers have been curating for less than six months (compared with 32 percent of curators who have been curating successful programs for more than 2 years).
Marketers are between a rock and hard place when it comes to content marketing. Shifting priorities and increased focus don't seem to be enough to prepare them for the inevitable changes that come with having to provide the right resources and methods for tracking and managing its impact online.
The future of content marketing, it seems, is less about content, and more about investing in the tools to support the strategies.