The Content Marketing Institute (CMI)’s annual “2017 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends” report is out! This is the closest thing to Christmas morning for content marketers, and this year’s findings are better than ever in terms of content marketing adoption and growth.
Perhaps most interesting this year are the distinct differences between today’s most successful organizations (high performers), overall organizations (average performers) and least successful organizations (low performers) in terms of content marketing success and strategy.
Wherever you fall on the spectrum—sophisticated, adolescent or first steps—here are 10 statistically proven ways to ensure 2017 is a year marked by groundbreaking content marketing success:
- Have a solid understanding of content marketing effectiveness: 81 percent of the most successful organizations are clear on what an effective or successful content marketing program looks like, compared to 41 percent of overall companies.
- Buckle down and really commit: 91 percent of the most successful organizations are “extremely or very” committed to content marketing, compared to 63 percent of overall companies.
- Document your strategy: 61 percent of the most successful organizations have a documented content marketing strategy, compared to 37 percent of overall companies.
- Financially invest (if you can): Today’s most successful organizations allocate an average 39 percent of their total marketing budget to content marketing, compared to 29 percent of overall companies and 22 percent of today’s least successful organizations.
- Don’t have unrealistic expectations: 91 percent of today’s most successful organizations feel they are realistic about what content marketing can achieve, verses 68 percent of overall companies. I can’t stress this enough: content marketing is in many ways a long game. Do not expect immediate results!
- Consistently deliver content: 85 percent of today’s most successful organizations consistently produce content, compared to 58 percent of overall companies and 32 percent of today’s least successful organizations.
- Have a dedicated professional: 55 percent of companies have either a dedicated content marketing professional or team serving the entire organization.
- Create HIGH quality content: It’s not enough to consistently deliver content; 85 percent of B2B companies say that “higher quality, more efficient” content contributed to increased content marketing success over the last year (this was the most effective factor to drive increased success). Additionally, 76 percent of companies prioritize content quality over quantity (thank goodness!)
- Make content marketing an ongoing process: 73 percent of organizations plan to operate content marketing as an ongoing business process, rather than a one-and-done campaign.
- Invest in analytics: Analytics is the majority (79 percent) of B2B organizations’ tool of choice.
Because of these above factors, 83 PERCENT of the most successful organizations say their content marketing strategy is “extremely or very” effective, compared to 34 percent of overall companies and just two percent of today’s least successful organizations.
If these findings tell us anything, it’s this: when you put in the time, work, dedication and budget, you’ll get tangible results with content marketing.