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Nearly half of companies (46%) now have formal content marketing strategies, and 37% are considering such strategies, according to a recent survey of 217 marketing professionals by Unisphere Research and Skyword.

An overwhelming majority (87%) of the organizations surveyed say they create their own original content; 24% use content written or produced by outside vendors; and only 17% are curating content as part of their marketing initiatives, the research found.

Among the types of digital content created by respondents' organizations, the following are the top 3, according to the study:

  1. Articles: 76% of organizations
  2. Videos: 60%
  3. Blogs: 58%

Below, additional key findings from the report.

Objectives

  • 68% of respondents say their primary goal for content marketing initiatives is to engage customers and prospects.
  • 44% want to increase brand awareness.
  • 38% are primarily looking to acquire leads.

Social Media

  • 71% of respondents report they are employing social media to distribute content.
  • 84% of use Facebook to promote their content.
  • 79% use Twitter, and 64% use LinkedIn.
  • Branded blogs are seen as the most useful social media initiative (64% of respondents rated them as "extremely valuable" or "valuable").

Measurement

  • Only 25% of respondents indicate they are measuring the results of their social media content marketing programs down to the level of individual pieces of content.

  • Most respondents measure social media performance using platform-specific metrics, such as levels of engagement (67% count comments or shares), website traffic (62%), and "likes" on Facebook or endorsements on LinkedIn (47%).
  • Only 42% tie social media content success directly to business gains, via direct responses or downloads.
  • An even smaller number (31%) make a connection to sales and revenue.

Frequency

  • A majority (53%) of respondents say they produce 10 or fewer content marketing assets a month for posting across social media.
  • 44% would like to increase their content production to the range of 11 to 50 assets per month.
  • 14% would like to increase their volume to more than 50 assets a month—currently, only 4% have achieved this level.
  • To fill the current gap, 78% report that they repurpose or repost content.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 217 marketing professionals (24% executive managers, 17% marketing managers/directors, 15% project managers, and the rest a mix of other titles). A range of company sizes were represented (41% with 1 to 100 employees, 17% with 101 to 500 employees, and 42% with 500+).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji