According to an annual survey of digital professionals, content marketing is the single most significant digital marketing trend of 2013. Although trend reports certainly aren’t the end-all, be-all for business strategy, they can help guide your clients’ or company’s goals and processes. I don’t know any marketer worth his or her salt who’s not laser focused on content as a component of their integrated marketing strategy and this research from Adobe and eConsultancy bears that out.
The two companies surveyed more than 700 digital professionals toward the end of last year to identify the challenges and opportunities that will be prevalent throughout 2013. Companies and agencies agree that content marketing is the top priority, followed by conversion rate optimization, social media engagement, targeting and personalization and mobile optimization.
The report findings were condensed into an infographic—and here are a few facts we found the most intriguing:
Targeting and Personalization
52% of marketers say the ability to target and personalize content is fundamental to their online strategy. We agree. Targeting, segmentation and personalization, especially in email campaigns, is key to success when it comes to the sales funnel.
Marketers Lack Training and Resources
Only 18% of marketers think they have the marketing tech they need to succeed. We see this every day, with both our clients’ staffs and with prospects. There’s so much to know, so much to learn, so much to do and so few resources allocated (across the enterprise as well as with small- to medium-sized businesses) that marketers feel overwhelmed, pretty much on a daily basis.
Content Creation, Data Integration, Measurement Are Key
Survey respondents reported that the top three marketing tasks for 2013 include creating engaging, consistent content on multiple platforms; joining online and offline data; and measuring with greater accuracy and optimizing accordingly.
And for all of our fellow mobile enthusiasts out there, 43% of marketers surveyed said mobile optimization was among the three most exciting digital marketing opportunities for the year.
The findings here? They mirror what we see in our daily operations. And content marketing remains at the top of everyone’s list of key areas of focus,, followed closely by more focus on data and using data to drive marketing.
Here’s where marketers need to be careful. It’s easy to get taken advantage of by the “content marketing machines” that have crawled out of the woodwork, much like the social media snake oil salespeople did in the past couple of years.
Content marketing goes well beyond writing a blog post and hitting “publish.” In the big scheme of things, writing great content is the easy part (which makes my writer friends cringe). But it’s true. Getting anyone to read that content? That’s where skill comes in. And the charlatans, they don’t know how to do that. Content that doesn’t deliver relevant traffic and leads that you can potentially convert to sales, well that’s not doing you any more good than a whole bunch of Twitter or Facebook “friends” who never buy anything from you.
What does your marketing focus look like this year and how does it stack up against the survey findings?