Blog Post

Marketers Still Struggle with the Value of a Content Marketing Strategy


Content marketing is on the minds (or it should be) of many people, especially marketers. In a recent study that was conducted by the Business Management Association, the Forrester Research and Online Marketing Institute, there were some fascinating results, revealing that many marketers are struggling to tie the value of their content marketing strategy efforts specifically to their business. Watch today’s Daily Brown Bag to learn more about this study’s findings, the value of creating quality content, and content marketing strategy tips and tactics.

Also available on YouTube.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hello, and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today we're going to be talking about a recent study where marketers are having a hard time determining the value of their content marketing. I'm Chad Hill, and I'm joined by Adam Stetzer.

Good afternoon, Chad. In this Daily Brown Bag, we're talking about a content marketing strategy, and we're specifically covering this new study from the Business Management Association, the Forrester Research and Online Marketing Institute.

Chad, these stats are interesting and also a little confusing, so let's wade into this and see if we can set the stage. Now what they're finding, what they're indicating, is that marketers are really having trouble determining the value of their content marketing strategy efforts, and I feel like we've had this conversation in many different channels.

You've had it in relation to social, I think sometimes even in SEO, and here are some stats here. 83% of marketers said that they can't tie the value of their content marketing efforts specifically to their business. Now, the study has also showing that marketers said they know, or I guess believe, that there is value in a content marketing strategy. But sometimes they're having difficulty creating a quality content marketing strategy and engaging content even though they know there's a huge value when they can pull it off, but they're having trouble measuring the overall value of their content marketing strategy. So, you know, conclusion here, and this is a little bit confusing, is that it seems to be an issue of execution, maybe not of will or belief.

A few more stats for you: 51% of respondents said their content marketing is somewhat effective, 27% said the impact was neutral, 6% said their efforts were somewhat ineffective, and only 1% said not at all effective. So, there seems to be a bias here among the people who are doing it, and at least half think that content marketing is somewhat effective for their business. Then again, they have this conviction. They know it's important. Yet, they can't seem to put a number on it and directly link to it.

So Chad, what can we do to help our SEO reseller community and kind of set the record straight on this?

Well, we have a list of things that we recommend doing. As you said, Adam, this is one of those familiar topics whether it's been social or SEO, but it really starts always with research. So, the first thing is you really need to know your audience. You need to know what they're looking for, and how you can engage them.

I think the number two thing is that there isn't one recipe that works for every business. Some businesses are inherently more visual. Some businesses want statistical research and information, so don't approach this as there's only one way to go about it. Understand how that works.

The third one is then, of course, investing in quality staff and writers. So, if you're trying to engage your audience, it goes without saying you need a good writer. I think writers, in general, are probably undervalued in a lot of marketing today because a content marketing strategy is so important, but so you're able to get good high quality journalistic type of writers and content producers to help produce the content for you.

Number five here is you definitely want to promote and cross promote. So this is something, again, that we've talked a lot about that the content marketing strategy becomes the kernel of your marketing efforts, and content isn't ever done for just one marketing tactic. It can be something that goes on to your website. It can be something that’s used in e-mail, utilizing a content marketing strategy. It can be blasted out, or it can be tweeted out. It can be posted on Facebook.

So, you really want to think about taking that content and then leveraging it across as many different marketing tactics as you possibly can. Even a press release with a content marketing strategy might make sense. So, in doing that, you should always think about things like the SEO value. So, if you're writing a piece of great content, don't put it on your website without thinking about a title tag with a content marketing strategy that might attract a search engine and get you in the search results for a particularly important keyword. So, you definitely consider the SEO value of it.

And then our final recommendation is, of course, monitor, measure, and track. Because if you don't track it, you won't see what's working and what's not, and you can't you improve on the things aren't working and repeat the things that are so that you get more mileage out of your future endeavors.

I think that really ties back to the fact that it is difficult to measure a content marketing strategy because there really are a lot of different things you need to measure or monitor in putting those together, is a little bit tricky at this point. I'm sure metrics will evolve, but that's where we are today.

Yeah, and it's kind of like all of marketing. It's a bit of a beast sometimes, because there are some things you can measure and other things that you just have to believe in, but I think that these are helpful, Chad.

It's a bias toward execution. I particularly like the monitor, measure, and track because you've got to see some progress there to keep your motivation high, but I think it would just add to this, iterate quickly. These steps don't need to take a year. Move through them quickly. Then measure and of course correct and keep cycling through. I think you'll be very pleased with the results.

So, that's our Daily Brown Bag for today. Thanks for joining us. We hope you'll subscribe. We love to hear your comments. We'll see you back here tomorrow.