Enterprise Companies Continue to Invest in Content Marketing, Despite Challenges

Measuring ROI, Producing and Integrating Content Are Top Challenges for B-to-B Marketers

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Despite challenges such as producing engaging content, measuring ROI and integrating content across the organization, enterprise companies are continuing to invest in content marketing this year, according to a new report from the Content Marketing Institute.

Lisa Murton Beets, Content Marketing Institute
Lisa Murton Beets, Content Marketing Institute

The report found that 47% of enterprise marketers plan to increase their budgets for content marketing over the next 12 months, and content marketing now makes up 25% of total marketing budgets -- up from 23% last year. The report, "B2B Enterprise Content Marketing 2016," was based on an online survey of 335 enterprise marketers in North America.

However, b-to-b marketers are still finding many challenges with content marketing. Only 22% of enterprise marketers said their organizations are effective at content marketing, down from 28% last year.

"Organizations or marketing teams may be looking at content marketing as a project or a nice-to-have, but they may not have the commitment required to reach long-term goals for content marketing," said Lisa Murton Beets, research director at the Content Marketing Institute.

"Content marketing requires a commitment -- it is not a campaign, quick-hit mentality," she said.

Enterprise marketers said their top five challenges with content marketing are producing engaging content (63%); measuring content effectiveness (60%); measuring the ROI of content marketing programs (59%); producing content consistently (46%); and lack of integration across marketing (41%).

"You don't necessarily need more budget for content marketing," Ms. Beets said. "If you can focus on a few key areas and find those areas where you are making the most critical impact with your audience -- rather than trying to do too many things at once -- you should be able to work with the budget you have."

She said the research found that companies with a documented content strategy are getting better results with content marketing.

Of the 22% of marketers who reported being effective at content marketing, 75% had a documented content marketing strategy. By comparison, of those marketers who reported being least effective at content marketing, only 11% had a documented content marketing strategy in place.

Other important keys to effective content marketing are clarity and communications, Ms. Beets said.

"In your organization, is it clear what an effective content marketing program looks like? In many, it is not," she said, pointing to the finding that only 29% of enterprise marketers reported having clarity on content marketing success.

"It is also important to get on the same page," Ms. Beets said. "You have to have some sort of vision, make sure everyone on the team knows what it is, and set goals. Communicate with your team, and have frequent meetings."

On average, 34% of enterprise marketers said they meet with their teams daily or weekly to discuss the progress and results of their content marketing programs, while 58% of those who are most effective at content marketing meet daily or weekly with their teams.

The most effective content marketing tactics for enterprise marketers are in-person events (76%), research reports, videos and webcasts (all tied at 65%), case studies (64%), infographics (63%) and white papers (61%), according to the report.

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