We recently launched a content maturity survey to get a read on the biggest challenges and opportunities facing some of the top minds in content marketing. Since then, we’ve collected nearly 500 responses, and it’s time to share some of the results.
1. Content isn’t led by dedicated teams, and that’s a problem
When we asked who is responsible for content marketing within their organizations, we noted that too few companies had dedicated personnel responsible for managing content marketing efforts. Only 22% of respondents reported that they had a group of content marketing specialists or managers that worked within a bigger marketing team and a slight 12% had an actual content marketing team. Compare this against the 34% of respondents that said they had only one or two generalist marketers that had content as only one part of their daily responsibilities, and another 19% that had administration responsibilities – i.e. do no report to marketing at all – who were generally charged with content marketing matters.
These numbers are concerning. Given content maturity is such an enormous part of the marketing equation these days, it needs to be taken seriously, and, as such, it needs dedicated staff. Whether this is a content marketing manager or even a content specialist to begin with, that’s fine. But these matters can’t fall to other specialized staff members if we’re to realize success.
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2. Conversions rank too low
We also asked organizations to speak to the goals of their content marketing efforts. All content marketing efforts need to be tied to clear goals, and these goals ought to relate to the overall performance of the business.
However, a concerning amount of respondents were preoccupied with what we would call “vanity metrics” – numbers that don’t really mean anything in terms of contributing to revenue – instead of focusing on the numbers that matter: conversions.
Nearly 45% of respondents said they ranked “visibility” – namely page views – as their top goal for content efforts and a scant few (only 11%) said that conversions were the primary goal for content marketing. Now, this is a bit of an issue. “Visibility” can be important, but only insofar as it facilitates lead generation. I don’t want to be too emphatic here, but it is all about conversions. Other elements can funnel up into conversions, but conversions need to be the primary goal of all content marketing efforts. Period. That’s where we make our money, and “visibility”, while nice, isn’t enough.
3. You probably haven’t defined your customers’ journey
Of all of our respondents, 60% reported that they had no defined customer journey. We talked about conversions in the last point. The whole idea of converting a potential customer in the first place is putting them on a path that leads to a sale (and, ideally, recurring revenue). If you haven’t determined what that path looks like – i.e., how a lead moves from contact to nurture to sale – then you’re a babe in the woods, leading other babies in the woods. Define your customer journey from a design standpoint in order to guide your content marketing efforts and, ultimately, generate more sales and revenue.
So where are you at? Now’s the opportunity to take five minutes to take our newly launched Content Maturity Assessment survey to benchmark your content marketing standing.