Just 38% of companies have a content marketing strategy - cause for concern or a chance to set your business apart?
It should come as little surprise then that just 38% of businesses have a content marketing strategy in place. But that is exactly what eConsultancy has found in its first Content Marketing Survey Report.
So, what exactly did they find? Well, first of all the report confirms that as people spend more time online, the importance of content marketing is growing. Combine with this the increasing sophistication of search engines like Google and it becomes obvious that a clear, well thought-out content marketing strategy is a must.
More than 90% of survey respondents believe that content marketing will become more important over the next year. In addition, three-quarters of digital marketers agree that brands "are becoming publishers".
James Keady, digital marketing manager at McLaren Automotive, told the report's authors: "Content is the voice of your brand and it is therefore important to allocate the respect, investment and focus it requires.
"Creating great content is difficult and delivering great content consistently through established processes is complex. However this is what is required if you want to take your brand from good to great in today’s communication environment."
He's right about one thing – creating great content is vital. But it is not as hard as businesses are making it out to be.
Despite the growth in content marketing, the majority of both brands and agency clients are yet to create a defined content marketing strategy, according to the report.
Only 38% of in-house marketers and 13% of agencies said this is in place within the companies they work for.
Thomas Messett, global editor in chief, Social Media at Nokia, said: "I find it quite surprising that the vast majority of respondents use content marketing and see it as becoming more important in the next 12 months but only a minority already have a strategy in place for this area."
He suggests companies are either "playing" at content marketing or are still testing the waters. Either way, there is a chance for businesses to set themselves apart from competitors by galvanising their content marketing strategy now.
Good content is everything. It's clear companies are aware of this, but few are acting on their inclinations.
Why is content king?
First of all, without it you have no product. Your website is everything and without high-quality content, it will be ignored by search engines.
But it's more than a matter of simple SEO: good content is what people want to read. If they are prepared to stay on your site to read an article, they are much more likely to hang around to find out what the site is all about.
If people like what they read, they might just share it. Sharing articles, whether by email or social media, helps you to get noticed.
As a content writer, I'm pleased to see businesses are placing so much importance on content marketing. I'm less impressed about the action. It's time to start now.