Marketers think they are content marketing masters, but a study finds there are still lessons they could stand to learn.

Would you consider yourself proficient at content marketing? Over half of marketers surveyed by Forrester for the Online Marketing Institute said they had mature content creation practices in place at their businesses. But the whole survey told a different story. It turns out a lot of marketers who think they have this whole content marketing thing under their belts are really just scratching the surface – distributing content for content’s sake, if you will.

There’s always room for improvement

For starters, 87 percent said they find it a ‘major challenge’ to develop engaging content. It’s hard to believe that if you’re proficient in content creation, you struggle to produce interesting articles or attention-grabbing stories. There’s always room for improvement – Great writers and successful marketers are alike in that they will also chew on words until they sound just right, or sweat over sentence structure to make sure the precise meaning is being conveyed. However, refinement is different from challenges that permeate the process from the start.

Only 12 percent of marketers produce assets to educate their prospects about products and services

As further evidence that marketers still have some room to mature in the content realm, 47 percent said the primary focus of the strategy is to have resources to distribute across channels. Meanwhile, only 12 percent produce assets to educate their prospects about products and services or share their unique perspective on the industry.

Content is great for increasing a brand’s search presence and establishing a voice in social conversations, but it’s more than a tool to get people into the marketing funnel.

Content marketing’s more than click bait and website traffic

improve content marketingWhen you create more sophisticated content that educates readers about your insights and even presents the opinions of other industry experts, you’re also building thought leadership and trust. These intangibles are important, especially if organic search traffic is trending down, and companies can’t count on getting as much traffic from the same old efforts.

It’s great that most marketers are creating original content for their websites, but the act of producing the materials themselves is a first step. True content marketing masters continue to adapt, improve and refine their content strategies until it reaches leads across the funnel and offers every visitor value.

What do you think? How would you rate your content marketing efforts?

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.