A new study finds that half of all marketers are operating without a content marketing strategy in place, creating a glass ceiling for branded sales and marketing efforts.
marketing teams need a planned destination for their content strategyAccording to the “2015 State of Digital Marketing Report,”an infographic from Smart Insights in conjunction with TFM&A Insights, only 34 percent of companies have a content approach that is integrated into the company’s overall marketing strategy. Of the remaining 66 percent, 16 says that they do digital marketing but don’t have a defined strategy, while 50 percent say they have no defined strategy at all.
An ignorance of metrics like ROI optimization can set content marketing campaigns up for failure and create a skewed perception of how content is performing online. Not surprisingly, planning came in as the second-most neglected area of investment after ROI maximization (number one, with 53 percent of the vote) ; 46 percent said insufficient planning was a shortfall of their digital marketing activity.
Those numbers speak to a broad misunderstanding of content as a well-designed strategy. Companies seem to recognize that content is important, but they don’t necessarily know how to go about creating a strategy that drives reliable results. A lack of infrastructure in the content creation can cause performance to wildly fluctuate. Since content and the marketing strategy behind it help inform one another, the lack of a clear direction makes marketing that content a riskier process. Brands can resolve this issue by zeroing in on the nuts and bolts of both the content and how it’s marketed.
“A good content marketing strategy can only live up to its fullest potential if there is a strong content strategy foundation holding it up,” writes Greg Secrist in Search Engine Journal. “In other words, your content strategy addresses the ‘How’ of using your content.”
Without using measurement and optimization tools, identifying the best “how” is more or less a crapshoot. The resulting negative effects can spill out across a company’s digital marketing strategy: Content is poorly defined and, thus, poorly deployed, weakening its returns and amounting to repeated lost opportunities.
Defining a content strategy is critical to laying out a company’s marketing approach. The recent trends suggest too many brands are trying to cut corners on planning and measurement, taking a wild gamble and hoping for the best. But a little more time and forethought in building a content strategy can create much more reliable results and establish best practices going forward.