While many marketers say they believe they are creating strong web content, campaign results aren’t meeting established goals and objectives, according to a new survey from OneSpot and 614 Group. The failure to fulfill these business goals is forcing B2B and B2C marketers to decide whether the blame lies with content quality or the strategy behind digital campaigns.
The report, entitled “Content Clarity,” identifies a number of content marketing trends among B2B and B2C marketers.
Two-thirds of survey respondents reported that their companies were not meeting performance goals on the business side of campaigns. One related problem might be the lack of reliable metrics to gauge campaign performance: 56 percent said they feel that their organizations are not adequately measuring performance.
According to Marketing Charts, “only 1 in 7 B2B marketing leaders believe that their content marketing efforts have very effectively delivered business value during the past 12 months, with…51 percent feeling instead that their efforts have only been somewhat effective.”
Almost 70 percent of survey respondents cite a belief that their organizations are creating quality content, despite, “generally under-performing in driving business results.” A majority of respondents also feel confident that their content sharing and distribution efforts are performing well, even though 25 percent of marketers consider content creation the most challenging part of content marketing.
If the results of the survey are any indication, targeting within distribution channels may be contributing to struggling business performance results. Fifty-nine percent of respondents cited targeting precision as the most important variable in distribution success, but only a slight majority felt satisfied with their abilities to reach a target audience through current channels of distribution. Distribution can be very expensive for marketers, taking up 30 percent of the average content marketing budget. Content creation was only slightly more expensive, accounting for approximately 37 percent of the average allowance.
Distribution costs were also double the average marketing spend on measurement and optimization efforts. Even so, almost 60 percent of marketers surveyed expect to increase distribution and promotion spending.
Paid-content distribution is becoming a more critical spending category now that Facebook and other social networks are ramping up paid-advertising efforts. As Facebook weans businesses off of organic reach, brands will have to spend more to continue reaching audiences—and their abilities to target the right consumers will become even more critical. “Content Clarity” notes that while paid-content distribution is still in its infancy, “spending is set to increase.”
One key detail of the report is that the statistics do not differentiate between B2B and B2C marketers. Regardless, the content marketing trends among those professionals are very different on the business side of campaigns: B2B marketers are primarily focused on lead generation and thought leadership, while B2C professionals emphasize brand engagement.
Despite their different business goals, the challenges appear to be the same: budget constraints continue to limit marketing departments, even as costs increase. But smarter campaigns built around optimization and coupled with improved data feedback could open the doors to a stronger return on investment (ROI) from campaigns that meet their business objectives.