Article

Liz Johnstone
Liz Johnstone 11 December 2014
Categories Content

Are UK Marketers Becoming Less Effective At Content Marketing?

New research by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) released this week suggests that UK marketers believe their content marketing efforts have fallen short over the last year.

New research by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) released today suggests that UK marketers believe their content marketing efforts have fallen short over the last year.

Read more on Digital Doughnut

The research was released in the ‘Content Marketing in the UK: 2015 Budgets, Benchmarks and Trends’ Annual Report, sponsored by UK Content Marketing Agency Axonn Media, earlier today and points to a worrying decline of confidence among content marketers.

Only 42 per cent of marketers questioned said they are effective or very effective at content marketing, down from 48 per cent a year ago

A Documented Strategy For Content Marketing Is Key To Success
This Annual Report has long been used to identify and define trends in the UK content marketing industry and this year the research shows that many marketers are still not working to a documented strategy.


Just 36 per cent of marketers have a strategy written down, compared to 42 per cent last year, and one in ten don’t have any form of strategy at all.

The importance of a strategy was underlined by the research which found those with a documented strategy are 36 per cent more effective in all areas of content marketing. What’s more, seven in ten marketers with a written-down strategy said they were effective at content marketing.


Commenting on the report, Axonn Media marketing director Karen Webber said:

“In order to be effective at content marketing, marketers need to get the three pillars of content marketing right: creation, technology and strategy.

A documented strategy allows them to be effective and accurately measure their success, especially when they are targeting several audiences using numerous tactics at any one time. Also, without a documented strategy and recorded results, it’s much more difficult for marketers to get budget and buy-in.”

This is excellent advice from someone who knows what they are doing. I’d also emphasis the importance of having agreed objectives in mind (or better still, on paper) for any content you produce.

Content Marketers Are Kept Busy
The report found UK marketers target on average four different audiences and use an average of eight different tactics to reach these audiences. Unsurprisingly, the most popular tactics among the majority of marketers were social media channels (89 per cent), eNewsletters (88 per cent), blogs (85 per cent) and website articles (82 per cent).

Only 41 per cent of marketers use webinars to target audiences, 33 per cent use digital magazines, 32 per cent use mobile apps, 23 per cent use virtual conferences and 22 per cent use podcasts.

Shift In Focus From Brand Awareness To Sales

As technology continues to evolve and platforms become more sophisticated as measuring results, so do marketers’ expectations. This year’s results show a shift in focus in content marketing, with an emphasis on the goals of sales, lead generation, lead nurturing and engagement.

Lead nurturing was cited by only 30 per cent of marketers as a key goal in 2014, but in 2015 it will be a focus for 85 per cent of those surveyed.

Businesses are less interested in brand awareness and customer loyalty in 2015, and aiming to use content marketing more for ROI and sales.

However, one in ten marketers don’t track ROI in any way and only seven per cent think their methods of measurement are very successful. The most popular metrics for measuring content marketing success are website traffic (used by 61 per cent of marketers), higher conversion rates (47 per cent), sales (44 per cent), sales lead quality (41 per cent) and SEO ranking (40 per cent).

Joe Pulizzi, founder of CMI, commented:

“There are two critical factors that differentiate effective content marketers over the rest of the pack – having a documented content marketing strategy and following it very closely. Those two things make all the difference.”


“It’s fascinating to see how UK marketers have shifted their goals for content marketing over the last year to focus more on engagement, leads, and sales. There’s been this big increased emphasis on lead nurturing in particular, with the percentage who cite it as a goal nearly tripling. This tells me that a lot of marketers have taken a closer look at what they want to achieve with content marketing, and I suspect the next step for many will be to fine-tune their strategy around those goals.”

You can find more information about the report and the infographic on the Axonn Media website.

This post was first published here.

Read more on Digital Doughnut

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
12 Online Editing and Proofreading Tools Content Writers Should Know About

12 Online Editing and Proofreading Tools Content Writers Should Know About

If you've got great ideas to share, but your content is riddled with errors, you could lose the trust of your readers and your credibility. Get through this editing process quickly and painlessly, by enlisting the help of some online editing and proofreading tools, so you can get your error-free content out there and read.

Gloria Kopp
Gloria Kopp 22 March 2017
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
[Infographic] Why Email Is At The Heart Of Marketing Automation

[Infographic] Why Email Is At The Heart Of Marketing Automation

This infographic, based on Part 1 of our new report, looks at the role of email at the heart of marketing automation.

Natasha Farrell
Natasha Farrell 21 March 2017
Read more
E-Commerce Email Marketing 101: 11 Must-Have Emails

E-Commerce Email Marketing 101: 11 Must-Have Emails

Send the right emails at the right time to the right prospects and you won’t just have lifelong customers… …you’ll have evangelists for your business. In this article, I’ll show you eleven e-commerce marketing campaigns you need to send to increase engagement, improve your bottom line, and more importantly, reduce churn.

Sam Thomas Davies
Sam Thomas Davies 28 March 2017
Read more