Content marketing is becoming standard for success on the web, but a study suggests companies get hung up on basic principles.

Content marketing and SEO are being embraced by companies across industries, as evidenced by the results of the 2013 Content Marketing Survey Report by IMN. Approximately 82 percent of companies either have a content creation strategy in place or there’s one in the pipeline for the next year. This is because it’s been proven that consumers are going online and checking social media updates, browsing ecommerce pages and reading company blogs.

Despite the need for high-quality branded content for website conversions, marketers continue to struggle with some basic editorial principles.

  • 66 percent of respondents don’t use an editorial calendar to plan content creation and distribution
  • 48 percent have run into problems with content curation
  • 15 failed to get permission to borrow copyrighted content
  • 13 percent have used trademarked words or names
  • 13 didn’t secure necessary permission to post pictures from Google Images
  • 7 percent have incorrectly referenced industry work

The internet may be a new medium for marketing collateral, but there are rules that govern fair use and best practices just like in the print world. IMN points out that two-thirds of companies engaged in content marketing will not maximize their ROI potential because they lack organization.

 With foresight, marketers can ensure collateral is varied enough to keep prospects engaged and nurture leads.

“Marketers are “winging it,”[by] developing content as they go without a formal plan in place. Editorial calendars are critical for topical planning and resource allocation for content creation,” the report states. With foresight, marketers can ensure distributed collateral is varied enough to keep prospects engaged and nurture leads.

Perhaps more importantly, failure to comply with copyright laws or secure permission for fair use of repurposed content can have serious consequences. Around 57 percent of marketers outsource at least some or all of their content practices to professional writers as a way to circumvent issues that arise from a lack of understanding about these regulations.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.