Content Marketing Trends: Goals, Distribution Channels, and Budgets

August 4, 2014

OneSpot-Top-Content-Marketing-Objectives-B2B-v-B2C-Aug2014Content marketers have fairly clear-cut objectives, but the majority are falling short of meeting them, details a new report [download page] from OneSpot and 614 Group. The survey finds that B2B marketers are largely focused on lead generation, echoing other research on the subject, while brand engagement is the top objective among B2C marketers. For the time being, though, a slight majority feel that they’re not meeting their content marketing objectives, and most feel that they’re underperforming when it comes to the business results of their efforts.


Indeed, two-thirds of respondents indicate that their organizations are either underperforming (56%) or not performing well at all (10%) when it comes to content marketing’s business results. While the study doesn’t break that response down by B2B and B2C respondents, recent research finds B2B content marketers to be having middling results: only 1 in 7 B2B marketing leaders believe that their content marketing efforts have very effectively delivered business value during the past 12 months, with a slight majority 51% feeling instead that their efforts have only been somewhat effective.

The OneSpot and 614 Group study respondents also have difficulty with measurement: 56% feel they’re underperforming or not performing well at all in this area, with separate research again showing this to be a pain point for B2B marketers.

Marketers are more confident in some other areas, though. Almost 7 in 10 feel that they’re performing well at creating content, and a majority share that sentiment when it comes to content sharing (60%) and distribution (57%).

Interestingly, despite being most confident in content creation, marketers ranked it their second-most challenging aspect of content marketing (25% share of respondents), behind only business results (29% share). Surprisingly, only 15% identified measurement as the most challenging aspect.

As regards distribution channels, the vast majority are using their own websites (87%) and social sharing (80%), while few turn to publisher native (24%) and in-feed platforms (7%). Respondents ranked targeting precision as their most important attribute when determining the success of their distribution efforts, with the largest share of respondents targeting based on demographics (59%), site placement (49%) and keyword matching (42%). While targeting approaches are popular – and viewed as important – only a bare majority are satisfied with their ability to distribute content to the right target audience.

Meanwhile, distribution eats up an average 30% share of respondents’ content marketing budget allocations, second only to content creation (37%), and twice the amount that they’re spending on measurement and optimization. Almost 6 in 10 respondents plan to increase their spending on content distribution and promotion, while 52% will increase their budgets for measurement and optimization. Overall, 6 in 10 respondents use paid channels to distribute content, with these comprising 31% share of their content distribution budgets. By comparison, 87% use owned channels, which account for 44% share of budgets.

About the Data: The Content Clarity study was conducted by OneSpot and The 614 Group during May and June 2014. The study is based on online survey responses from 487 U.S. marketing professionals from B2C and B2B brands as well as agencies.

Some 45% of respondents are aged 45 and older. 30% are B2C brands; 24% B2B; 25% agency; and the remainder from other marketing organizations.

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