Ascend2‘s March 2015 survey shows 52% WILL NOT increase their content budgets next year. It’s a study of about 300 marketers – with two-thirds of them in manager roles or higher.
Is content marketing’s moment over? Not so fast ….
Data that even remotely suggests content marketing is slowing down is hard to find. The Content Marketing Institute’s latest B2B survey of 1800 marketers finds 55% of marketers will increase – or significantly increase – their content budgets. The Content Council’s 2015 report predicts content budgets will grow 40% in the next three years.
It could be easy to say Ascend2 has some data that isn’t really a representative sample. But before we write this off, let’s think about why these marketers will stop putting money in content in the context of the survey.
Quit content “for content’s sake” & get smart
The same report found 63% say content marketing is only “somewhat effective” toward their most important objectives – which they ranked as:
- 1. engagement
- 2. leads
- 3. brand awareness.
Those are core business areas that target people at very different stages of buying cycles.
Almost half said strategy is their top challenge. So this marketer pool wants diverse results from content, but lacks a plan mapping what’s put in to what they should get out. In this scenario, it’s better to stop throwing money at content and instead spend more time on strategy.
A “same spend, greater return” success story
In fact, you can do more with less content with the right plan. Take one Brafton client success story: This HR firm initially wanted a high volume of content, and we delivered but as we developed the partnership, we advised a strategy to better engage customers across the funnel.
Without changing the monthly budget, we lowered volume in favor of more thoroughly researched pieces, with custom graphics, that targeted nuanced questions in employer’s decision paths. Organic traffic reached new heights, and we measurably improved the average web visitors’ engagement level with the brand.
Too many marketers think the more they put out the more likely something will stick, but it’s not the case. It’s proven in a TrackMaven report that finds as content output increases by 78%, interactions per post actually fall – in some cases by up to 60%!
Don’t spend more, spend smarter on content marketing
Brafton has an eBook series to help marketers map content to their specific goals – and monitor the return on their strategies. Check it out in the resource center of Brafton.com.