70% of Content Marketing is Ineffective: 3 Areas to Reconsider

By Melissa Baratta | On March 4, 2016

A recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute found that only 30% of B2B companies in North America feel their organizations are effective at content marketing. That number is astounding considering over 80% of B2B marketers and 50% of B2B companies have a content marketing strategy – and it’s safe to say that most of the rest of them are putting out some kind of content, albeit absent some kind of strategy.

If you’re among that 70% of companies not seeing ROI from your content marketing efforts, the good news is you’re not alone. The bad news is you’re likely putting a lot of time, effort and budget behind developing content that either doesn’t get used (i.e., never sent out by the sales & marketing team), doesn’t get consumed (i.e., sits on the website where no one sees it), or doesn’t provide enough value for PR (i.e., reporters decline to cover it).

So how do you fix that? Here are three basic areas to consider so you can make sure every piece of content you develop counts:

  1. Quality > Quantity

More isn’t always better. Putting out a high volume of content can support SEO efforts, but unless the content is relevant and useful, it’s not going to further your marketing goals and lead gen. Whether it’s a report, guidebook, byline, infographic or anything else, look to develop high quality, useful content that:

  • Stands out from the competition – is different from what everyone else is providing
  • Has a strong point of view and says something interesting and unique
  • Includes tangible insights for your target audience, such as data, tips, recommendations, or calls to action
  1. Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose

If you have a good, solid piece of content, it can be carved up in a bunch of ways to really maximize ROI on the work that went into it. Instead of building a content pipeline with tons of new collateral every month, think about the few major pieces of content you want to develop, and then plan for how you can repurpose and reuse them. For example:

  • Report = Press release, byline series, blog posts, stat sheets, quotes for Story Hijacking and Trend Intervention pitching
  • White paper = How-to tip sheets, bylines, blog posts, email tip series
  • Infographic = Social memes, data points for media pitches

Good content can be relevant for several months, so really try to get as much mileage as you can out of it.

  1. Promote It!

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many pieces of content are developed and then merely posted on the website, only to receive the random click here or there. If you take the time to develop a piece of content, make sure you promote it far and wide. In addition to pitching it to the media, consider:

  • Putting some Google and/or social media advertising budget behind it
  • Syndicating it through platforms like Outbrain or Zemanta
  • Posting it on blogging platforms like LinkedIn Pulse and Medium
  • Promoting via social media platforms
  • Sending via email blasts to customers, prospects and potentially rented email lists
  • Including links to the content in company email signatures and newsletters

Content marketing programs can be highly successful for B2B brands, but they’re only as good as the strategy behind them. Following the steps above will help make sure your content is utilized and providing value, getting you out of that 70% category as soon as possible.

Melissa Baratta

Melissa is a Senior Vice President at Affect, where she uses her extensive background working with technology and healthcare companies to raise her clients’ brand profiles and position them as thought leaders in their respective industries. As an expert in stakeholder communications, she is adept at helping clients develop creative ways to communicate thoughtfully with their key audiences. Prior to joining Affect, Melissa served as Managing Director for Ricochet Public Relations.