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Marketing mini-series Part 4: Driving content marketing success

Latest research found that while 81% of Australian marketers are using a content marketing strategy, only 30% described their content marketing as sophisticated or mature.

It’s clear the practice is evolving at a rapid pace as organisations experiment with channels, messages and content.

But this Content Marketing Institute research also suggests that while organisations were increasingly adopting content marketing, its efficacy is compromised by two key factors.

The first is the absence of a clear and documented strategy. In fact, only 46% of those using a content marketing strategy said they had a documented strategy. The second factor is a lack of resources to implement the strategy, including staff and established communication channels / assets.

It seems many organisations are excitedly diving into content marketing, but, just like a kid in a candy store, their eyes are bigger than their stomach (or in this case, their vision is bigger than their resources and time allow).

Part of the problem is there are so many channels or tactics your content marketing strategy can deploy – from blogs and podcasts, to infographics and thought leadership pieces. Research suggests the top five tactics being used by Australian marketers are: social media content (other than blogs), articles on your website, illustrations/photos, eNewsletters and videos. And all up, organisations use an average of 13 tactics in their content marketing strategy.

However, when asked to rate the effectiveness of their content marketing activities, the top five most effective tactics are: in-person events, social media content (other than blogs), videos, blogs and eNewsletters.

As you can see, there is disconnect between what people are doing and what they find the most effective.

Crucial to your content marketing strategy’s success will be your ability to create content tailored to what your audience wants to know, delivered in a simple format your audience naturally consumes.

This not only involves identifying how your organisation can proactively address the problems or issues your customers have, but understanding their existing channel consumption habits.

Finally, measuring and evaluating your strategy at regular intervals is the only true way to determine if you’re heading in the right direction. Look to measure your content message, content format, distribution channel, and how these have supported other marketing activities and your organisation’s overall business goals.