With 2013 just around the corner, marketers must evaluate their strategies, so they can make the most of the new year. All signs point toward greater content marketing adoption over the next 12 months, but a new study from I Make News shows that few companies truly understand how to develop their own content campaigns.

In IMN’s “How Engaged Are Your Customers?” report, 78 percent of respondents state that content marketing is either a “medium” or a “high” priority in their overall outreach strategies. However, based on the survey results, there’s an obvious and clear disconnect between the importance of the practice and understanding the strategic planning that goes into an effective program.

Fifty-two percent of respondents indicated they don’t have specific strategies for each channel, using the same approach on social as video, and so on. Twenty percent of respondents don’t even know enough about their content strategies to determine whether they have unique plans for different media and channels.

Perhaps most interesting is that 59 percent of marketers said they don’t have editorial calendars in place to manage content direction or distribution. This discovery is quite significant, since MediaPost dug deeper into the raw data and found that the industries with the most effective content strategies – financial services, insurance and software sectors – were also the only industries that had high percentages of brands with editorial calendars.

In 2013, marketers who want their content campaigns to have an impact and drive conversions must develop editorial calendars, as evidenced in the IMN report, these resources can make or break success. As for companies that may not have the resource to craft or execute their own Editorial Calendars, outsourcing to content marketing services remains the most cost-effective solution.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.