Marketing trends to look out for and be familiar with in 2018.
Susan Thomas, CEO, 10Fold, shares her insights about content marketing trends for the year 2018
Although the phrase “Content is King” was first coined in 1974 in a book titled Magazine Editing and Production, until recently most tech marketing execs didn’t understand just how important that sentiment is and just how critical content has become. For example, content now plays a central role in the sales process, as more buyers prefer to “self-learn” via the Internet – and producing that content has gotten trickier as buyers’ consumption habits have changed from long written formats to short videos and infographics. Content is also playing a crucial role in Share of Voice goals, especially now that advertising has changed to a “performance-based” model and publications are restructuring to include more contributed content. It’s no secret that to attract buyers, partners and even investors you need content that is compelling and that educates . What we need to know is what does that content look like? What format? How often should it be delivered? How does the content change based on the audience consuming the content? To answer those questions and more, 10Fold recently commissioned a survey with Dimensional Research to better understand U.S. tech marketing executives’ plans for content as part of their marketing initiatives for the coming 12 months.
Dimensional Research surveyed 172 marketing executives in technology companies in the U.S. – and all were qualified based on having a budget and approval authority to create and deploy content. People with the titles of Vice President of Marketing, CMO and CEO (for smaller companies) were included in the survey, and the research included companies from the very small ($5 million or less) to the large (revenues exceeding $1 Billion). As part of the research, Dimensional also evaluated the vertical industries they targeted for sales (e.g. healthcare, retail, transportation, government, etc.), along with the region in the U.S. that was home to corporate headquarters.
1: Seventy-six percent expect to TRIPLE content production
We knew the content was in increasing demand, but even we were surprised that these tech marketers were planning an increase of 300%. But how are they going to pay for all that content? Over 40% of respondents claimed they will have at least a $250,000 budget dedicated to content next year.
2: Thirty-two percent will release content DAILY or HOURLY
Content production is now demanded at a feverish pace – with 32% of executives planning to produce content on a daily, or even hourly, basis. It turns out that vertical markets, such as education and pharmaceutical, have unending appetites for new content, and many tech marketing execs are delivering content hourly to reach these buyers.
3: Eighty-nine percent will use third parties for 25+ percent of content development
Most organizations are now crying “uncle” when it comes to the dramatic increases in content and are turning to third-party agencies to create their content . 89% of executives use third parties for at least 25% of their content needs. It turns out the very large and the very small are most likely to outsource 100% of their content development to third parties.
4: Social Media and Video are the most preferred content vehicles
39% of respondents prefer and prioritize social media and 39% of respondents prefer and prioritize video as the content vehicles to reach their audiences . From a budget perspective, respondents suggested that 26-44% of content budgets were reserved for social content and 22-60% of content budgets were reserved for video.
5: Content Efficacy is Determined by Customer Feedback and Basic Web Analytics
Although a high number of respondents reported using sophisticated marketing automation platforms, when asked how they determined if a piece of content was successful, the answers were back to the basics. 56% of respondents said they asked customers and their sales force about the content. The vast majority – 80% – judged the content by basic web analytics. Our final insight is that 89% of our respondents said that the biggest barrier to quality content production was domain knowledge . Let’s face it: technology can be complex and difficult to translate on message, particularly if your content production team doesn’t have much experience .