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Why comms pros are losing confidence in content marketing’s effectiveness

by | Mar 26, 2019 | Public Relations

In a classic case of “evolve or perish,” the once red-hot practice of content marketing is starting to get a cold shoulder from some communicators. With less than 10 percent of marketers saying their content marketing is effective, it’s clear that businesses need to rethink their strategies in order to drive engagement and turn insights into action.

That data comes from a new study by Heinz Marketing, sponsored by engagement tech firm ON24. The report uncovers new insights into the different content marketing strategies and their effectiveness—and how marketer’s confidence in certain tactics have faded even in just the past two years.

The results from the study are clear: marketers are having serious doubts about their content marketing, whether it’s delivering relevant material to key audiences, and if its driving revenue results.

What is the most important content engagement metric for your organization?

Why comms pros are losing confidence in content marketing’s effectiveness

“Marketers put too much time, resources, and creativity into their campaigns. It’s vital that they know what content is working, whether it’s reaching its target audience, and if it’s driving bottom line growth for businesses,” says Joe Hyland, CMO of ON24, in a news release.

The study, which featured nearly 150 respondents representing a range of industries, found that:

Content marketing is getting stale

Sixty-three percent of marketers said their content marketing strategy was either not very effective or only somewhat effective, compared to just 35 percent in 2017.

How would you rate your organization’s content marketing strategy?

Why comms pros are losing confidence in content marketing’s effectiveness

More content doesn’t mean more results

Two-thirds of respondents said they were either not confident or only somewhat confident that their content is driving revenue results.

How confident are you that you are creating relevant content for your target audience?

Why comms pros are losing confidence in content marketing’s effectiveness

Conversion is key

Seventy-fivepercent of respondents said that either lead conversion or sales opportunity conversion was the most important content engagement metric.

Spray and pray?

Just 13 percent said they were extremely or very confident that their content was driving desired results.

How confident are you in your ability to measure the impact of your content marketing efforts?

Why comms pros are losing confidence in content marketing’s effectiveness

Of the content provided to sales organizations, case studies were the highest, with 31 percent saying it was provided most often, followed by product and service collateral. One opportunity for marketers to scale the impact of human-to-human interactions is through webinars. According to the marketing technology analyst firm SiriusDecisions, webinars are the highest-rated human touchpoint for buyers. There’s clearly room for marketers to grow in this area, as the Heinz study found only 11 percent of marketers reporting that webinars are the content provided most to sales teams.

“The attributes that drive lead gen—from personalization to always-on content to real-time interaction—are central to ON24’s platform,” says Matt Heinz, CEO of Heinz Marketing, in the release. “There’s a reason why the best marketers turn to ON24’s industry-leading offerings to create authentic digital experiences and personalized engagement at scale.”

Download the full report here.

The results of the study were released at Webinar World 2019 during Heinz’s keynote address. The industry-leading conference featured keynotes and panel discussions from marketing leaders from Marketo, FunnyBizz, Heinz Marketing and more. It was headlined by the distinguished Peabody Award-winning correspondent and host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, Scott Simon.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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