There is a gaping gulf between the value that firms place on content marketing and their ability to execute.
According to latest research from Aberdeen Group, the ability to produce high quality content is ranked as valuable or very valuable by 92 per cent of companies, while just 52 per cent called their level of execution effective or very effective.
Volume is another concern: publishing sufficient content to meet our needs is cited as valuable by 75% of firms, but only 32% of companies claim effectiveness in execution.
"In many respects companies with effective content marketing practices think like publishers and put the appropriate processes in place to support development of their content assets," says Trip Kucera, author of the Aberdeen Group report: Crossing the Chaos: Managing Content Marketing Transformation.
So, where to begin? Companies should start with a plan that maps content to buyers’ decision journey. In other words, what types of content are needed early in the exploration stages of the journey versus content required later in the consideration and evaluation stages.
Secondly, Kucera recommends you consider underlying processes. "Effective content marketing - particularly content marketing for lead nurturing - requires more than just great content, you need the supporting processes that constitute an integrated demand funnel."
Prepare for success should be another way to start. This means having a way of tracking the impact. "Use a measure of lift to track both the evolutionary impact of content marketing ... and the impact of specific content assets versus the mean," says Kucera.
Finally, the report suggests integrated solutions to support content marketing. Its author writes: "Content marketing is influencing nearly every aspect of modern marketing. Firms should consider how discrete technologies operate as a system of solutions, and also consider emerging content marketing software platforms, an integrated, content-centric solution to manage the development, distribution, measurement, and optimisation of content across channels."