Late last year, the Content Marketing Institute released their 2017 B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America report. We thought it would be useful to take a look at some of the numbers from the survey to identify the roadblocks that marketers need to tackle to achieve B2C content marketing success in the coming year. Here are 3 somewhat surprising numbers that jumped out at us:
Confusion around the definition of success
Even if everyone agrees that content marketing is effective, success can look very different depending on the business objectives. Are you looking to reduce customer churn or attract new customers? Are you trying to steal market share from your competitors or grow the market of your vertical as a whole? It’s vital to gain alignment on your success metrics before building any B2C marketing campaign — yet it’s not something we do well enough or often enough.
The recipe for success? Excellent strategy with realistic timelines
The biggest factors contributing to the stagnant success of the surveyed marketers’ B2C content marketing efforts were strategy issues and unrealistic timelines. Sound familiar (particularly the latter)? Content without proper strategy results in irrelevant or un-actionable content. Solid strategy without realistic development or campaign timelines leads to failure. Before tackling your B2C content marketing this year, ask yourself: Is the approach up to snuff? Are we addressing a customer need? Are the development and execution timelines realistic?
Contextual relevance and the customer journey – we’re not quite there yet
If you aren’t focusing on creating content based on specific points of the buyer’s journey and you’re not delivering the right content to the right person at the right time, you’re missing out. Yes, this is obvious, yet despite the power of marketing technology platforms we are still struggling with the most basic content fundamentals. If anything, this speaks to having well mapped out customer journeys, and content strategies that are aligned with them.
In short, the aforementioned echo the same key issue – the will for content marketing is there, but the execution is not. Unfortunately, we can’t blame anyone but ourselves as marketers for that. To unlock the real benefits of content marketing, we need to plan better, be more creative and relevant, and execute flawlessly. Simple, right?
Colin Withers is the Brand and Communications Manager at Ariad Communications.
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