Axonn’s 2013 Content Marketing Trends Report
93% of marketers are familiar with the concept of custom content. Let that fact sink in for a minute – it’s pretty mind-blowing, to be honest. While brand storytelling is really nothing new, how long has branded web content really been a trend? No more than a few years, which is why it’s so amazing just how quickly it’s taken the world of business by storm. Following the runaway success of our semi-recent blog, 55 Shareable Stats on Content Marketing Trends and Tactics, Axonn Research was kind enough to reach out with a copy of their recent report.
We couldn’t wait to hear what this leading research firm had found about Content Marketing Trends in 2013 by surveying 424 business leaders, and we’re pleased to report that the research was every bit as insightful as we imagined. Join us as we count down Axonn’s findings on how marketers and brands interface with custom content for lead generation:
1. 93% of marketers are aware of content marketing. Tweet
2. 86% of marketers are using content marketing to attract or engage customers. Tweet
3. 78% believe custom branded content will become more important in the next year.Tweet
4. 73.7% believe custom content marketing played a key role in traffic increases. Tweet
Image credit: Axonn Research
5. 31% of people expect brands to publish custom content assets. Tweet
6. 28% of companies are creating custom infographics.Tweet
7. 55% of companies are creating video content for marketing.Tweet
8. Only 13% of brands have no content marketing strategy in place.Tweet
9. 65% of marketers believe that a lack of time is the biggest barrier to effectively executing content marketing. Tweet
10. 32% of brands are decreasing spending on outbound marketing to spend more on content marketing.Tweet
11. 38% of brands use sales to gauge the efficacy of their content marketing efforts.Tweet
12. 62% of brands use search engine rankings to determine the performance of content marketing.Tweet
13. 52% of marketers are cutting back spending on PPC and Adwords campaigns.Tweet
14. 50% of marketers use lead generation to determine how effective their content is.Tweet
15. Marketers are decreasing spend on print, television, radio, banner ads and telemarketing to focus on content.Tweet
16. 29% of marketers use whitepapers as a content marketing technique.Tweet
There is a widespread awareness of content marketing.
How many marketers have heard of delightion, closed-loop analytics or BOFU content? We’re pretty sure it’s nowhere near as many as are familiar with content marketing. While it’s certainly positive and inspiring to see the growth of the field over the past few years, one thing is definitely clear. Everything the experts have been saying about our era of “information obesity” could be coming true.
Brands who continue to see incredible success from content marketing are going to be those who work very hard to differentiate, and create materials which are remarkable enough to stand out from the noise. Success in business has always been about delivering something better than your competition, whether that’s customer service, pricing, or quality. Strive for a monopoly of attention in your industry by creating content that’s just too good to look away from.
The majority of companies have yet to adopt a clear strategy.
Unsure of how you’ll improve the quality of your content? I have a strong feeling the experts at Axonn have let us into a great, big secret of how to stand out. Stop creating what Ann Handley calls random acts of content, and start creating a unified brand narrative. Define your values, your voice, and your channels, and ensure every piece of content you create (including engagement Tweets) fit into your bigger picture.
There is a diverse spread of content being produced.
Visual content is so hot right now – and focusing on delivering text-heavy blogs day in and day out probably won’t endear you to the visual learners among your prospects. You don’t need to commit to producing custom infographics, videos, and memes, but you should create sufficient variety and quality of visuals to stand out.
Content is uniformly being identified as an effective tactic.
If I had to choose which key finding makes me the most excited, this would be it. Axonn Research didn’t find that content marketers are using uniform KPIs to determine the efficacy of their content, but they did find that no matter how you slice it, content marketing really works. Whether you are striving for more traffic, lead generation, or improved SEO, the answer is definitely content.
Adwords, print, television, and radio advertising are being cut to make way for content.
Really, is anyone shocked that Adwords is the first to go? You shouldn’t be. In fact, you’re more likely to finish Navy SEAL training than click a banner ad. Consumers just really aren’t into disruptive advertising anymore, and paid search engine ads seem to be considered a push tactic based on their proven results. And if there’s anything I can get behind, its small business owners achieving remarkable results through custom content.
Which of these stats or key findings were most surprising, inspiring, or shocking to you? We would love to hear your unique input!