Brands

Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness Across the Industry

By Jordan Teicher January 11th, 2016

If 2014 was the year of the “brand blog,” then 2015 was the year of the “brand as media company.”

Red Bull has long been the strongest example of this mentality, developing a nuanced content studio that employs hundreds of people and produces high-quality movies, music, live broadcasts, original photography, and even a respected print magazine. But in 2015, a number of other companies like General Electric, Marriott, and Starbucks joined the club, competing with and, in some cases, outclassing what we expect from traditional media outlets.

(Full disclosure: GE and Marriott are Contently clients.)

It may seem odd at first to liken companies known for energy drinks or dishwashers to legacy media giants like Comcast, Condé Nast, and Viacom. But brands have started to get more sophisticated with their content efforts, building out cohesive strategies that combine creative talent, distribution, and content and marketing technology into a seamless process.

Constantly making those pieces fit together remains a challenge for any company, no matter its size or budget. Nonetheless, in 2015, the content marketing industry truly started to mature. You could say brands today are like angsty teenagers: Everyone desperately wants to be popular, some are comfortable conforming to the latest trends, and the ones with the best reputations aren’t afraid to take risks and stand out.

As we looked ahead to 2016, Contently asked today’s content marketers about their biggest issues, hurdles, and goals. How are they dealing with compliance and workflows to publish content quicker? What paid distribution platforms are most effective? What metrics are most important for measuring success? How does marketing technology influence an organization’s content output?

Here are a few of the key findings.

Key Findings

1. 73 percent of marketers created more content in 2015 than they did in 2014.

2. Lead conversion (32 percent) is the most popular metric for measuring content marketing success, followed by social shares and likes (19 percent) and pageviews (15 percent).

3. 49 percent of marketers rate their content as somewhat or very effective.

4. 67 percent of respondents devoted less than a quarter of their marketing budgets to content, and 63 percent devoted less than one-tenth of their marketing budgets to content marketing technology.

5. 43 percent of companies have at least two full-time employees dedicated to content marketing, and 64 percent of marketers are creating 90 percent or more of their content in-house.

6. Email was selected as the most effective organic distribution channel, while Facebook was the most effective paid distribution channel.

7. 30 percent of respondents still don’t have a tool or platform that provides data on their content.

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