Content marketing is booming! It was one of the big buzz words for 2012 and this has carried forth into 2014 and beyond. Although for all of the hullabaloo, is it really worth the effort? Is it actually working for Aussie businesses? And if not, then what can you do to vamp up your content marketing efforts and take your brand recognition to the next level.
What is content marketing?
In case you’ve been living under a rock these past few years, content marketing is the use of content, i.e. blog posts, infographics, images, webinars, e-newsletters, video and so on to pique the interest of your audience. These are targeted and well timed communications that are generally part of a broader measurable marketing strategy. They are relevant and interesting to the end-user and aren’t merely advertising communications that operate out of a vacuum and talk ‘at’ people. Instead they form a part of a broader two-way conversation and an interchange. This aims to build up brand recognition, brand reputation and to foster long term relationships with customers online. This strong, trusting relationship between the end-user and brand develops ultimately into sales.
The Content Marketing Institute’s Report
A recent report by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and ADMA had some interesting and mixed findings. It seems that a lot of Australian companies and marketers use content marketing (96%). This is much higher than their counterparts in the UK and USA. Although despite the prevalence, only 29% of them consider the content marketing to be effective. So why is this so? Read on to find out the report take-aways and how to select the right content marketer for your business.
1. Aussies Use Content Marketing for Brand Awareness
In fact we can’t get enough of it. In Australia almost every marketer uses content to communicate with consumers. 98% of B2B marketers and 89% of B2C marketers. This compares to 95% in the UK and 91% in the US.
The report indicates that in Australia brand awareness is the most important goal in 75% of B2B cases. Whereas in B2C the most important goal for content marketing is retention and customer loyalty, 80% of the time.
This contrasts markedly with the US and UK, where brands tend to use content marketing to drive traffic to their website.
2. Aussie marketers outsource content
57% of the time, Australian marketers get content created from a freelance outsourced content marketer. This is higher than in the UK (55%) and in the US (45%). Reasons for this could include greater freedom to focus on other business critical tasks and also less risk for the business by using contractors.
Funnily enough, it’s the big companies of 1000+ employees that tend to outsource, whereas the micro businesses of less than 10 people tend to attempt the content marketing themselves rather than outsource it to a specialist.
3. Australian businesses are allocating a higher budget for content marketing
Aussie businesses invest heavily in great content. In terms of the total marketing budget, Australian businesses allocate 25% of all marketing budgets to content, with B2B allocating slightly more compared to B2C companies. The Aussies and British businesses are looking to increase their content marketing budgets (61%) and (64%) respectively. In contrast, the Americans don’t have any plans to increase their content marketing budgets in the next 12 months.
4. The most popular content marketing tactics
Australian businesses use a diverse range of content marketing tactics, although the most popular are blog posts and web articles (88%), social media interaction (83%), eNewsletters (82%). Although despite this, the tactic that ranked the most effective was in-person events and seminars. 76% of Australian marketers agreed that this was the most effective and personable way of communicating with customers. Other popular methods for engagement are research reports (59%) and mobile content (58%).
Falling out of favour by some marketers are games, virtual conferences and podcasts. These are deemed to be ineffective at reaching an audience. The biggest discrepancy between Australia, the UK and US is in how we see webinars and webcasts. These are rated relatively low (47%) compared to the American and British, who rated these tactics at over 60%.
5. The big content challenges
The big obstacles to creating great content are
- Producing engaging content (53%)
- Producing the right volume of content, not too much or too little (51%)
- Not having the right budget (43%)
- Producing the right mix of content (41%)
- Inability to measure content effectiveness (36%)
6. Aussie marketers snub Instagram and Tumblr
Despite their relative popularity in other parts of the world, Instagram and Tumblr aren’t favoured by Australian marketers. They instead prefer Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the most popular social platforms for sending out content marketing. Facebook ranks at 71%, followed by Twitter (67%) and Linked In (67%). This is followed by YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest with 57%, 38% and 21% respectively. Tumblr and Instagram are almost never used in Australia for content marketing, only attracting 10% and 2% of marketers respectively.
7. Tips for optimising content marketing strategy
- Create diverse types of content and use many different tactics
- Allocate a bigger share of your budget to content marketing
- Use more social media platforms to distribute content
- Tailor your content and ensure that it’s relevant to your target audience
This article was written by Athena Dennis for Total Marketing Australia