Content marketing has burst onto the scene in the last decade, establishing itself as an important way for brands to promote their products and services in the digital age.
But, has it now developed a crisis of confidence? Well, one striking statistic released recently suggests that this might be the case.
As part of its State of Content Marketing 2017 survey, Zazzle Media found that just 6% of decision makers were ‘definitely clear’ on how to run their campaigns. On top of that, the survey also found that 62% were unsure of how to measure the ROI of content-led campaigns.
Taken together, those statistics are pretty alarming. It suggests that a large number of people involved in content marketing aren’t totally clear about what they are doing, and don’t know how to measure the results either. The latter is certainly a challenge if agencies and in-house teams want to expand their resources.
Yet, there are plenty of positives for content marketing too, showing that these challenges can be overcome.
The study revealed that 79% of decision makers thought that content marketing was ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’, and 70% are planning on increasing the budget for content marketing in 2017. In fact, not one of the people asked said that their budget was due to fall this year.
The fact that content marketing works – and that the amount being spent on it is on the rise – shows that there is a confidence that content marketing can deliver the results. People are just having trouble articulating how and why.
Zazzle MD Simon Penson said: “It is staggering that – even when speaking to expert marketers – only 6% feel they are ‘definitely clear’ on best content marketing practice. It highlights a clear need for education, together with more robust measurement strategies that will give marketers the confidence to invest in the content space.
“As content marketing experts, it’s important we continue to share performance measurement tools, educational guides and best practice with marketers so that they have the tools to bridge the gap in knowledge and confidence we have seen in our survey”.
Content marketing has come a long way, but the survey shows that people working in this field cannot afford to be complacent. There is a lot of work still to be done in establishing and spreading best practice – and this needs to happen fast if it isn’t to slow content marketing’s progress in 2017 and beyond.