Last week the Content Marketing Institute released new research on the state of content marketing in Australia. The report highlighted a couple of areas where Australian content marketers could improve the effectiveness of their content marketing programs. Some of it was obvious – and some of it wasn’t. Here are my recommendations for anyone investing time or money into a content initiative.
Get a strategy
Only 37% of Australian businesses have a documented content strategy program. An additional 46% say they have a strategy but it’s not documented. Only 12% admitted to not having a strategy and 5% said they were unsure.
Why a content marketing strategy is important
We’re suffering from a crisis of ineffectiveness. The majority of companies in Australia using content marketing say their efforts are not effective. Just 29% say they are. According to the report, “The 37% who have documented their strategy are more effective in nearly all aspects of content marketing when compared with those who have not.”
Follow your content marketing strategy
If you’ve spent time defining and documenting a strategy, make sure you follow it closely, tweaking and refining as your content marketing projects mature. Here’s why; 65% of the most effective content marketers in Australia follow their strategy very closely. This supports the old sales adage of ‘plan your work and work your plan’.
Measure the right things
Website traffic is the most widely used metric in Australia with 60% using it to determine whether content marketing is working. I believe this demonstrates an immaturity in how we’re implementing strategies. Website traffic doesn’t prove much. It’s easy to get website traffic and you can easily go out and buy it using Google Adwords.
What you should be measuring
Your strategy should be based on business objectives. Why would you base it on anything else? This means you should be identifying conversion points in the customer’s path to purchase and motivating them to move along your sales funnel. It will vary from company to company but viable analytics include:
Increased sales leads
Getting more names on your subscriber list
Increased time on website
Increased number of pages viewed on website
Quit dabbling and start planning
Nearly 75% of all respondents say they plan on creating more content in the next 12 months. This is an astonishing figure considering the high percentage admitting to ineffectiveness.
Get your tactics right
The most popular tactic for Australian content marketers is social media devoid of blogs. While 86% of respondents identify it as a tactic, it’s far down the list of effective ways to market your business. In-person events are the most effective tactic but that’s an expensive and infrequent activity. Newsletters, blogs, white papers and case studies all perform better than social media.
Ditch ineffective social media channels
LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are the most popular channels for social media activity in Australia. Less than half the people responding to the survey, however, consider Facebook effective. It’s important to continually refine your strategy to ensure your results are in line with the investment you’re making. As the different properties change their algorithms, what made sense last year might be nothing more than a money suck this year.
Publish more often
The most successful content marketers publish often and they do it on a consistent basis. 72% of the most effective Australian content marketers publish new content daily or several times a week compared to only 19% of the least effective.
Creating an effective content marketing culture in any organisation requires long-term effort and consistent execution. Successful content marketers realise they are building content assets over time. It’s a slow-burn method of marketing but it is effective when these tips are followed.
If you’d like help creating an effective strategy or developing content your audience wants to consume, give us a call. We’ve been doing it for years and have loads of experience in guiding brands in the right direction.