Insights from the biggest wigs in content marketing

Sep 4, 2014

Get the lowdown on the globe’s content marketing giant: what marketers there are doing and how it’s working for them. By Robyn Daly.

The record for the world’s biggest burger has just been smashed. Weighing in at 352 kilogrammes, the gargantuan patty took 14 hours to cook and put the Alameda County Fair in California on the map. In the race for bigger and biggest, America, home of the super-size, has topped the charts many times over. It has the world’s largest public library (in Washington DC), marine reserve (in Hawaii), the largest retailer (Walmart), casino (Oklahoma), vacuum chamber (at the NASA Glenn Research Centre in Ohio) and the most almighty bible is in Abilene Texas.

America also makes the biggest noise about content marketing but, surprisingly, it is not the leading country. That ‘record’ so far belongs to the UK: 94% of marketers have adopted content marketing. This advantage is unlikely to diminish, as research from the Content Marketing Institute (in America!) revealed that an average of 64% of UK marketers planned to increase their content marketing spend this year.

Using the most tactics

British marketers have pipped the Americans to the post in another important aspect as well: on average business-to-consumer marketers are using 14 content marketing tactics – more than their counterparts across the Atlantic.

Digital magazines are seen to be more effective at connecting and engaging with customers than social media.

So, what are the UK guys getting up to? Top three among their content marketing tactics are: articles on company websites, social media and enewsletters. The results differ slightly when looking at what’s most effective: mobile content and apps, digital magazines and enewsletters are right up there.

What this points to, is that customers want their content packaged. Successful content marketing is about consistently delivering great content to your customers. So – and we see this happening time and time again – it’s not enough to invest in a vast library of superb content that’s buried 100 pages deep into your website. Sure, you’ll pop up on Google searches. But the missed opportunity is in consistently serving up a tasty menu of that engaging and useful content. That’s why enewsletters (no, they’re not old hat yet) are still hot connection points: as a customer I get a delicious morsel of content that I’ve opted in for – chosen to receive – plopped into my inbox.

Even more engaging and visually delightful are digital magazines, which are still fairly new but growing rapidly in attraction and traction. Digital magazines are seen to be more effective at connecting and engaging with customers than social media.

Mobile content? Of course, that’s a biggie. Our fingers have melted into our cellphones and our brains are fast following suit!

Why businesses are content marketing

The main reasons UK businesses are content marketing to their customers is to create brand awareness, followed closely by customer acquisition and the need for engagement. Down the line, you see lead generation and sales as motives, though I think as ecommerce digital magazines take off, sales and content will have a much tighter relationship.

Overall UK marketers are pretty bullish about content marketing: when rating the effectiveness of their content marketing efforts, they rank higher than their US and Australian peers. So in spite of all the noise coming out of America, the British are doing content marketing bigger and better than anyone else.

Content marketing statistics courtesy of Content Marketing in the UK: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends by the Content Marketing Institute. Read the full report here.

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