Though the battle to convince the rest of the C-suite about content's value has been won, you still have a long way to go to make sure your content efforts are successful. In fact, there's increasing anxiety within the industry that competition for eyeballs is making content marketing tougher.

This competition comes from various places—more content to sift through, more distractions as mobile device use increases, shortened attention spans—but its impact is now obvious. In a single year, the percentage of B2B marketers who say their content marketing is effective dropped from 38% to 30%. And only 37% were extremely or very satisfied with the content being produced, according to a recent survey by Visually. Nearly 19% were not very or extremely unsatisfied.

So as you head into 2016, here are four investments to stay ahead of the competition by scaling your content efforts, optimizing them, and measuring your success.

1. Invest in personalization

You've already got marketing automation tools in place. They may help you feel like everything is scaling nicely. However, it's worth asking whether the tools really are.

Automating around a persona is nice, but if you're able to have a one-on-one conversation with customers and prospects, you'll be able to do so much more. Creating a personalized experience will give you better access to prospects, will help you offer the right solutions, and will make your brand a lot stronger.

If there's any doubt personalization works, take a look at the rise of account-based marketing. Defined loosely as coordinating personalized marketing and sales efforts to drive engagement within a narrowly targeted set of accounts, ABM uses direct outreach and personalized nurturing to develop real relationships with prospects. And it's totally blowing up.

Should you go full ABM and revamp the structure of your sales and marketing teams? Not necessarily, but you can try to define narrower segments and do the extra work to cater to them. You can invest in events, meetups, and other outreach that puts you face to face with key customers. And you can look into predictive analytics or personalization tools that make it easier to know when the personal touch is likely to make an impact (or at least to help you do a better job of faking it).

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image of Matt Cooper

Matt Cooper is CEO of, a content creation platform that enables businesses to engage audiences through premium visual content created by vetted freelance creative professionals.

LinkedIn: Matt Cooper