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Finding Clarity in Content Marketing

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A research report of 400 marketers' perspectives, priorities and plans for content distribution and content marketing success. Brought to you by 614 Group and OneSpot

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Finding Clarity in Content Marketing

  1. 1. CONTENT CLARITY 400 MARKETERS’ PERSPECTIVES, PRIORITIES AND PLANS FOR CONTENT DISTRIBUTION AND CONTENT MARKETING SUCCESS JULY 2014
  2. 2. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 2 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY FOREWORD WHAT DO MARKETERS WANT AND EXPECT FROM CONTENT MARKETING? HOW ARE MARKETERS APPROACHING CONTENT DISTRIBUTION? HOW ARE MARKETERS BUDGETING AND SPENDING ON CONTENT MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTION? BACKGROUND & METHODOLOGY TABLE OF CONTENTS 3 4 6 13 20 25
  3. 3. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ONTENT MARKETING HAS TAKEN the digital marketing world by storm. With the barriers to content creation and distribution still falling down all around us, marketers have set out on a neverending quest to build their respective publishing and media empires. But they’re not just publishing for the sake of publishing. The point of taking on yet another new discipline in the ever expanding marketing mix is to make marketing work better. This report, based on responses from more than 400 marketing professionals, seeks to understand where we are in the transformational journey to content-centric marketing. Is content marketing performing? What values and approaches have been assigned the highest priority? And specifically, how well are we doing at getting our content in front of the right people to drive business outcomes? Several notable themes emerge from the data, but following are the top takeaways: MARKETERS ARE FAR FROM SATISFIED WITH THEIR CONTENT MARKETING EFFORTS. • More than half (54%) of marketers are not satisfied with their current content marketing efforts. • Marketers identified driving business results as the toughest challenge of content marketing. CONTENT DISTRIBUTION IS HIGH PRIORITY BUT EARLY IN ITS EVOLUTION. • Marketers rank Targeting Precision, Reach and KPI Optimization as the most important attributes of content distribution. • Nearly half (47%) of marketers are not satisfied with their ability to target content distribution to the right audience. • 1 in 5 marketers currently are not making use of any targeting approach for placing their content. WE’RE STILL IN THE EARLY DAYS OF PAID CONTENT DISTRIBUTION, BUT SPENDING IS SET TO INCREASE. • Less than 60% of marketers are currently using paid channels for content distribution. • While Content Creation currently enjoys the greatest share of content marketing budgets (37% on average), it’s Content Distribution that will see the biggest increase in share of budget over the next 12 months • More than two thirds (69%) of marketers feel that native advertising is interesting and valuable as a niche form of advertising, and 22% believe native is where all advertising is heading. The full report follows with all the details that put into perspective the mindset, motivations and stages of maturity in the context of content marketing. C
  4. 4. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 4 FOREWORD HERE IS SIMPLY NO DOUBT THAT CONTENT—and the exponentially increasing quantities that every business produces—will affect the business. As a recent Google white paper called Return On Information concluded, the volume of content and data is growing so fast that it may soon reach the “too much” stage where at actually “interferes with productivity rather than contribute to it”.1 In his 1954 book The Practice Of Management Peter Drucker concludes that: “The purpose of business is to create a customer. The business enterprise has two and only two functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results. All the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.” Somewhere along the digital road we find ourselves on, that idea seems to have been lost. In so many cases, Marketing is simply a service function within the business. Its sole job to produce ever more voluminous amounts of content that describes the value of our brand, or our product or service so that sales can sell more efficiently, customer support can service more effectively and all manner of customer interfaces are simply cleverly designed.Today, it’s time for marketing reclaim its ability to create value. Marketing can be the unique, distinguishing function of the business—but only if its goal is to create the value that continually evolves customers from aware, to interested, to engaged to sold and then onward to loyal and evangelistic. Content and experiences—and the business’ ability to create, manage and promote them—will be the single most important key to this evolution. And promotion may be one of the most important elements of all. As this study you’re about to read found—content marketers are both simultaneously frustrated by the results they’re getting, while recognizing that traditional paid promotion can help drive consumption of the content itself. The marketer’s willingness, freedom and expertise to promote the value they are creating will be a critical part of the success of content marketing. In short: developing valuable content products may be as, or in some cases more, valuable than the products and Robert Rose Chief Strategist Content Marketing Institute The Marketer’s New Job Is To Create Value T B Y R O B E R T R O S E , C H I E F S T R A T E G I S T , C O N T E N T M A R K E T I N G I N S T I T U T E (Continued)
  5. 5. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 5 FOREWORD services they are supporting. Promoting them with considered investment and care will be important. It’s simple: content in marketing isn’t new. Content Marketing is. Content can be managed as a strategic asset that it has (or can) become for enterprises—or it can be an expensive byproduct that ultimately weighs down a company as it tries to navigate the broader disruptions taking place. As you’ll see in this extraordinarily interesting study—marketers are hungry for the change working hard to find the “results” in the early going of content marketing. Promoting the value we create will be one critical factor in finding those results. 1 Return On Information: Improving your ROI with Google Enterprise Search http://services.google.com/fh/files/misc/gsa-google-returnoninformation.pdf
  6. 6. WHAT DO MARKETERS WANT AND EXPECT FROM CONTENT MARKETING?
  7. 7. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 7 Brand engagement and lead generation are marketers’ top content marketing objectives, but B2C and B2B marketers have vastly different agendas. CONTENT MARKETING OBJECTIVES Marketers want and expect many outcomes from their content marketing efforts, but Lead Generation tops the list, cited by 23% of respondents as the most important objective. Brand and Product Engagement (20%) and Thought Leadership (16%) follow closely behind. TOP CONTENT MARKETING OBJECTIVES LEAD GENERATION BRAND ENGAGEMENT THOUGHT LEADERSHIP BRAND POSITIONING GENERATING TRAFFIC CUSTOMER SERVICE DIRECT SALES SOMETHING ELSE 1% 9% 10% 11% 11% 16% 20% 23%
  8. 8. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 8 THE B2B VS B2C DIVIDE IN CONTENT MARKETING OBJECTIVES As you might expect the objectives B2C marketers are focused on differ greatly from those of B2B marketers. While 28% of B2C marketers name Brand and Product Engagement as their top content marketing priority, only 9% of B2B marketers put that same objective at the top of their list. Conversely, 38% of B2B marketers say Lead Generation is the top objective, while only 11% of B2C marketers name lead gen as most important. Top content marketing objectives of consumer brands are very different from those of B2B brands. B2C B2B TOP CONTENT MARKETING OBJECTIVES: B2C VS B2B MARKETERS BRAND ENGAGEMENT GENERATING TRAFFIC LEAD GENERATION CUSTOMER SERVICE DIRECT SALES BRAND POSITIONING THOUGHT LEADERSHIP 9% 28% 14% 13% 13% 11% 11% 10% 5% 10% 3% 38% 7% 27%
  9. 9. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 9 Marketers are performing well in some areas of content marketing, but not so well in others. As a result, more than half of marketers are not satisfied with their current efforts. CONTENT’S DISCONTENT 54% of marketers feel that their organizations are falling either a little short (38%) or well short (15%) of their most important objectives. 34% 5% 8% 15% 38% FALLING A LITTLE SHORT FALLING WELL SHORT EXCEEDING BY A LITTLE MEETING THE OBJECTIVE FAR EXCEEDING MARKETERS MEETING CONTENT MARKETING OBJECTIVES TYPES OF CONTENT MOST COMMONLY PUBLISHED BY MARKETERS 1 2 3 4 5 6 BLOGS VIDEOS SOCIAL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED ARTICLES INFOGRAPHICS
  10. 10. MORE THAN HALF OF MARKETERS ARE NOT SATISFIED WITH THEIR CURRENT CONTENT MARKETING EFFORTS. 1/2
  11. 11. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 11 PERFORMANCE ACROSS CONTENT MARKETING DISCIPLINES Marketers feel their organizations are performing well in creating (68% performing well or very well) and sharing (60%) content, but generally underperforming in driving business results (66% underperforming or not performing at all) and measurement (56%). I have a client that is very successful with social distribution, house email lists and earned PR. This success means they don’t go as far as they could with paid, targeted content distribution.” Marketers are doing very well in some areas of content marketing but struggling to drive business results. “ IN THEIR WORDS — S U R V E Y R E S P O N D E N T NOT PERFORMING WELL AT ALL PERFORMING VERY WELL PERFORMING WELL UNDERPERFORMING BUSINESS RESULTS MEASUREMENT TARGETING CURATING DISTRIBUTING SHARING CREATING 4% 10%30% 56% 8% 14%36% 42% 10% 6%42% 41% 8% 7%47% 38% 12% 3 3 48% 37% 18% 50% 29% ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE IN CONTENT MARKETING DISCIPLINES 12% 445% 40%
  12. 12. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 12 “ — S U R V E Y R E S P O N D E N T Marketers see driving business results as the most challenging aspect of content marketing. MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF CONTENT MARKETING CONTENT MARKETING CHALLENGES At 29%, driving business outcomes tops the list of most challenging aspects of content marketing, while creating content (25%) and measuring content’s performance (15%) follow closely behind. Content distribution and promotion has been a challenge. We actually removed the blog portion of our website because having little content or wrong content seemed worse than not offering it.” IN THEIR WORDS BUSINESS RESULTS CREATION MEASUREMENT TARGETING DISTRIBUTION CURATION SHARING 29% 25% 15% 12% 10% 6% 2%
  13. 13. HOW ARE MARKETERS APPROACHING CONTENT DISTRIBUTION?
  14. 14. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 14 When it comes to content distribution and promotion, marketers place the most value on targeting precision, scale and KPI optimization. TOP CONTENT DISTRIBUTION FACTORS HOW MARKETERS RANK IMPORTANCE OF CONTENT DISTRIBUTION ATTRIBUTES65% of marketers ranked targeting as one of the top two most important attributes in determining distribution success, with 52% indicating scale or reach and 22% indicating KPI optimization. TARGETING PRECISION SCALE OR REACH KPI OPTIMIZATION ANYALYTICS / REPORTING CONTEXTUAL FIT FORMAT OF PLACEMENTS BRAND SAFETY 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  15. 15. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 15 “ — S U R V E Y R E S P O N D E N T Web properties, social networks and organic search are the most widely used distribution channels with native and content discovery platforms showing the most room for growth and adoption. CONTENT DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS MARKETER USAGE OF DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS87% of marketers are using their own websites as a means to distribute content, while 80% are using social networks and 76% are relying on organic search. In comparison, only 24% are using publisher native offerings, 18% are using content discovery/recommendation platforms and a scant 7% cite using in-feed native platforms. The vast majority of our distribution efforts are all around earned media - media coverage, syndication and by- lined columns on some of the most respected sites in our industry.” IN THEIR WORDS OWN WEBSITE SOCIAL SHARING ORGANIC SEARCH NEWSLETTERS PRESS PAID SEARCH DISPLAY MEDIA CONTRIBUTING MICROSITE VIDEO ADS PUBLISHER NATIVE CONTENT DISCOVERY IN FEED PLATFORMS 87% 80% 72% 59% 59% 51% 48% 44% 28% 26% 24% 18% 7%
  16. 16. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 16 More than half of marketers have embraced basic content targeting approaches, but only a small minority have explored use of more sophisticated content targeting methods. TARGETING CONTENT DISTRIBUTION USE OF TARGETING APPROACHES FOR CONTENT PLACEMENTThe greatest number of marketers (56%) are targeting content distribution based on demographics, firmographics and interests. While only 24% are using behavioral targeting, and only 22% are using third party data sources for content targeting. Additionally more than 20% of marketers indicated not making use of any targeting approach and that generating traffic and clicks was the main goal. DEMOGRAPHICS SITE PLACEMENT KEYWORD MATCHING BEHAVIOR TARGETING 3RD PARTY SOURCES NO TARGETING 56% 49% 42% 24% 22% 20%
  17. 17. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 17 CONTENT TARGETING SATISFACTION SATISFACTION WITH TARGETING CONTENT FOR DISTRIBUTION SOMEWHAT SATISFIED SOMEWHAT DISSATISFIED VERY DISSATISFIED VERY SATISFIED 45%37% 10% 9% As a result of using mostly basic content targeting techniques, nearly half of marketers (47%) are dissatisfied with their ability to distribute content to the right target audience. Marketers report mixed levels of satisfaction with their current ability to target content distribution.
  18. 18. MARKETERS ARE PURELY FOCUSED ON TRAFFIC & CLICKS AND DON’T HAVE A TARGETING APPROACH FOR PLACING THEIR CONTENT. 1IN 5
  19. 19. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 19 Marketers see unique value in native advertising but aren’t betting the farm just yet. MARKETER ATTITUDES TOWARD NATIVE ADVERTISING MARKETER ATTITUDES TOWARD NATIVE ADVERTISINGAs one method of content distribution most marketers (69%) characterize native advertising as a valuable, niche form of advertising but not necessarily a mainstream ad offering. 22% of marketers feel that native advertising is where all online advertising is headed, and 9% feel that native advertising is a passing fad. A VALUABLE NICHE WHERE ALL ONLINE ADVERTISING IS HEADED A FAD SOON TO BE FORGOTTEN 69% 22% 9%
  20. 20. HOW ARE MARKETERS BUDGETING AND SPENDING ON CONTENT MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTION?
  21. 21. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 21 Content creation currently gets the greatest share of content marketing budgets. CONTENT MARKETING BUDGET ALLOCATION Marketers are spending more on content creation (37% of budget on average) and distribution (30%) but less on curation (19%) and measurement (15%). CREATION CURATION MEASUREMENT/ OPTIMIZATION 37% 30% 19% 15% AVERAGE CONTENT MARKETING BUDGET ALLOCATIONS DISTRIBUTION
  22. 22. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 22 Over the next 12 months, content distribution will be the most common spending growth area within content marketing. Content distrubution is most frequently cited by marketers (58%) as on the rise within their content budgets, with measurement/optimization closely following (52%). CONTENT MARKETING BUDGET CHANGES ANTICIPATED SHIFTS IN CONTENT MARKETING BUDGETS OVER NEXT 12 MONTHS INCREASE SOMEWHAT DECREASE SIGNIFICANTLY DECREASE SOMEWHAT STAY ABOUT THE SAME INCREASE SIGNIFICANTLY DISTRUBUTION/PROMOTION MEASUREMENT/OPTIMIZATION CREATION/PROCUREMENT CURATION 27% 3 5% 58% 10% 48% 39% 46% 36% 30% 16% 43% 12% 40% 1 11 12
  23. 23. OF MARKETERS PLAN TO INCREASE THEIR PAID CONTENT DISTRUBUTION BUDGETS IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS. 58 %
  24. 24. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 24 Use of paid distribution channels for content is significantly less common than use of earned and owned channels. Only 60% of marketers are using paid channels to promote their content, compared with 77% and 87% using earned and owned channels respectively. AVERAGE CONTENT DISTRIBUTION BUDGET ALLOCATION FOR PAID, EARNED AND OWNED PROMOTION CHANNELS USE OF PAID, EARNED AND OWNED CHANNELS FOR DISTRIBUTION USE OF PAID, EARNED AND OWNED CHANNELS FOR CONTENT DISTRIBUTION OWNED CHANNELS EARNED CHANNELS PAID CHANNELS NONE OF THE ABOVE 3% 60% 77% 87% EARNED CHANNELS OWNED CHANNELS PAID CHANNELS 25% 31% 44%
  25. 25. BACKGROUND & METHODOLOGY
  26. 26. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 26 21% BACKGROUND & METHODOLOGY The Content Clarity study was conducted by OneSpot and The 614 Group during May and June 2014. The study is based on online survey responses from 487 U.S. marketing professionals from B2C and B2B brands as well as agencies. Following is a breakdown of respondents by type: MARKETING ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTED LOCATION OF RESPONDENTSAGE OF RESPONDENTS OTHER B2C BRAND B2B BRAND AGENCY 21% 24% 25% 30% 60+ 45–60 18–29 30-44 10% 24% 30% 35% PACIFIC NEW ENGLAND MID ATLANTIC SOUTH ATLANTIC 14% 7% 14% 20%SOUTHWEST SOUTHEAST NORTHEAST CENTRAL NORTHWEST CENTRALMOUNTAIN 10% 5% 16%9% 6%
  27. 27. CONTENT CLARITY JULY 2014 27 ABOUT ONESPOT OneSpot helps brands build audiences and drive business results from content. Offering the only platform that combines content marketing with the scale and data intelligence of the existing online advertising ecosystem, OneSpot helps brands make their content work harder and smarter. For more information visit www.onespot.com ABOUT THE 614 GROUP 614 Group empowers companies to optimize digital marketing efforts and grow revenue by implementing measurable results solutions. 614 Group focuses on four practice areas: content monetization and revenue strategy, brand safety, technology and digital systems integration and corporate strategy. For more information visit www.614group.com

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