New Research Explores Opportunities and Obstacles Surrounding Emerging Content Marketing Strategies

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Modern marketers are increasingly targeting their efforts at providing the right information to the right customer at just the right moment. These marketers see the ability to provide relevant content to clients and prospective customers as a way of building their brand awareness and forging lasting relationships.

However, according to a newly available survey of 217 marketing professionals who are among the readership base of CRM magazine and EContent magazine, there are obstacles in the path to achieving the full effect of these efforts.

The study sponsored by Skyword, Inc., and conducted by Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc., focused on how content is originated and disseminated as well as how social media is influencing content marketing efforts.

Reasons for Embarking on Content Marketing Strategies

Organizations have content marketing strategies for a number of reasons, the survey found. These include the goal of engaging customers and prospects, cited by more than two-thirds of respondents, as well as enabling greater brand awareness, cited by more than half of respondents.

While product marketing content is still in the forefront of these efforts, a majority of marketing managers are also placing weight on developing thought leadership and other forms of value-added content. Nearly nine-tenths of respondents say they create their own original content to support these efforts.

Websites and email which have been in use for close to two decades are now considered more traditional channels and represent the leading channels for content distribution at the present time. In addition, social media is emerging a key aspect of content marketing efforts, and seven out of 10 respondents say they are using social media to distribute their content.  A majority of respondents also indicate that they now engage in multi-channel strategies for content distribution in which they leverage the same content across all or marketing channels.

Challenges to Effective Content Marketing Approaches

Despite their embrace of content marketing approaches as a way of becoming closer to customers and prospects, respondents admit that both the content amount and frequency are too low for today’s always-on pace of business. Two-thirds of respondents to this survey say their greatest roadblock is their ability to produce more targeted, relevant content. In addition, 53% say they are unable to product sufficient content to lure audiences to return on a regular basis. Executives report their organizations now produce just 10 or fewer pieces of content a month but would like this to be closer to 50 a month. To compensate for the lack of fresh material, more than two-thirds say they have to resort to reusing previously published content.

In addition, while social media networks are seen as increasingly important vehicles to reach their target customers, most companies are only in the very early stages of measuring return on that investment and admit they are not completely aware of the return they are getting.

The full 39-page research report, titled, “Content Marketing Gets Social: 2013 Survey on Content Marketing Trends,” is available for download.