The state of content marketing, 2013
It’s time for a State of the Nation address. Earlier this year the people at CopyPress (located, improbably, in Tampa, Florida) created a survey and unleashed it on a group of marketing professionals. They received 329 responses, which—if you have ever administered a survey to marketers—you will know is pretty good, no matter how many of the things you send out.
Results show that 34.8% of respondents are planning to focus on Content Marketing in 2013, beating Social Media (24.7%) by over 10%. It’s a huge jump over 2012, and while it might possibly be off-target for marketers in Canada, it certainly indicates a trend.
What is content marketing?
Our definition of content marketing is anything written or visual that is designed to educate your audience about what you do (and sometimes about other stuff, too). It can be sales copy, but if it’s not then the sell is very soft. It’s essentially didactic material, which creates both knowledge and preference for the brand that does the educating.
CopyPress draws a distinction between email marketing and content marketing, which for many (including us) is a fuzzy one. The only reason I can see for separating the two is that email marketing is so darn big that it eclipses the other kinds of content marketing…or used to.
Their ROI chart clearly shows where the returns are, and also how they define content. Oddly enough, blogging isn’t on the list and that’s certainly an excellent, informal and potentially fun way to get valuable content to your key audiences.
Articles on the rise
I’m totally with them on feature articles. One series of thought leadership articles that ¡Outwrite! has been writing for Nordic ID is in its third year and we’ve upped the frequency. How else can you get the equivalent of multiple pages of advertising space, at many times its effectiveness, for the cost of writing an article?
Some interesting survey findings:
• Featured Articles still yield the best ROI across industries
• Videos are an ROI-rich media format, but marketers are having issues finding them, and within budget
• Authorship is a big focus for marketers this year, but overall they aren’t willing to pay more for a premier author to create a piece of content
The authorship piece is an interesting one. Our strategy is typically to position a senior clientside exec as a thought leader, getting him/her to ‘write’ (read: sign her name to), quote or otherwise opine vis-à-vis articles, white papers and the like.
And that’s a snapshot of the state of content marketing in 2013!