New research from the US suggests that companies are getting better at content marketing. In their annual survey of business-to-consumer marketers, the Content Marketing Institute found that 63% of respondents considered their organisation’s overall approach to be much more or somewhat more successful than one year ago.
77% of B2C marketers reported that they’re doing a better job with content creation, while 71% said they had developed a better strategy.
But more interesting for me is what we can learn from those firms that reported having no more success than 12 months ago. The top two reasons cited were issues with strategy (49%) and not enough time being devoted to content marketing (48%).
Both of these are critically important. Not having the right strategy and, in some cases, not having a strategy at all, are perhaps the biggest reasons why firms don’t get the results they were hoping for.
But failing to allocate enough time is also inviting failure. To quote CMI’s founder Joe Pulizzi:
“One of the disconnects we observed in the research is that while 71% of B2C respondents agree that their organisation is focused more on building long-term relationships than on getting quick (campaign-like) results from their content marketing, only 52% agree that their leadership team gives them ample time to produce content marketing results.
“How can you build long-term relationships without time? Too often, marketers expect quick results from content marketing, but it simply doesn’t work that way.”
A useful analogy to use (and particularly helpful for me as I work predominantly in the investing industry) is saving for retirement. Those people who don't understand how investing works expect overnight results. The important thing is to keep putting money away in sound investments. Stick with it, and over time, as the effects of compounding kick in, you’ll really start to see the benefits.
Content marketing works in a very similar way. Of course, you and your colleagues may not have the time you need to devote to it. That’s why you may need to look into outsourcing all or part of your content marketing efforts.
But either way, patience is key, and so too is commitment. This is what Joe Pulizzi says:
“Time and commitment also go hand in hand. Your organisation must be committed to content marketing — in it for the long haul — if you’re going to see results and eventually be able to demonstrate ROI. As I have said, patience is often a missing, yet crucial ingredient if you want to be successful. Time and again, we see that it takes 12 to 24 months to get results — which is why commitment is so important. It’s a critical piece in building your subscriber base.”
So, don’t sell your company short. Have a strategy and commit to it, and allow time for it to work. After all, Rome wasn’t in a day.
Rome: apparently built in 1,009,491 days, or 276 years. Don't believe us? Here's the maths.
Read the CMI report here: