IMN, a digital marketing company that delivers branded newsletters and content for vertical markets, unveiled the results of its third annual multi-industry content marketing survey. IMN polled marketers to understand the current state of their content marketing programs and how those programs fit into their overarching marketing strategies.
The results revealed that while 76% of marketers classify content marketing as a medium or high priority in their overall marketing plan, nearly 40% are still dedicating less than 10% of the marketing budget to it. As a result of these small budgets, content marketing programs are suffering-46% of respondents feel that their content is OK, but leaves room for improvement to position their company as an industry thought leader.
Marketers are adapting content for use across a variety of channels without having channel-specific strategies in place. Nearly 80% percent of marketers are adapting content for use across a variety of channels, yet almost 60% don't have separate content strategies for each channel. For those with channel-specific strategies, they were most often in place for email (93%), corporate websites (93%), social media (86%) and newsletters (71%).
Approximately one third of content marketers are "winging it." For 30% of respondents, content marketing is an ad-hoc effort with no formal program in place. One third of respondents either don't measure the ROI of their program at all, or don't know whether the return justifies the investment. Additionally, 60% of marketers aren't using an editorial calendar.
Content marketing goals change, but challenges remain the same. This year, respondents cited the primary goal of content marketing to be awareness, whereas in 2013, increased leads was the main objective. Finding and sourcing engaging content was cited in both years as the primary challenge in implementing a content marketing strategy. In addition, newsletters are increasingly cited as one of the most effective content marketing vehicles.