Know what you want from your content marketing

Arguably, the tech sector ranks among the industries that use content marketing to its best effect. Look at Microsoft, HP or Google, for example, who are all producing a huge array of video and articles. This may be down to the type of products these companies produce; complex both intrinsically and in terms of the needs they service.

But is this really the case? The most recent research on the tech sector’s approach to content marketing was produced by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) last month.

In its B2B Technology Content Marketing report, the CMI found 95 per cent of such companies were using content marketing – a 2 per cent rise on the previous 12 months. At the very least this would indicate it has become the norm, in much the same way as direct marketing or sales promotion.

Tech content marketing vs content marketing overall

The survey compared the attitudes of technology marketers to the industry as a whole. In many respects there was not a lot to choose between the two, but there were also several interesting differences.

Asked if they knew what constituted a successful content marketing campaign, 45 per cent of tech brands said they understood, as opposed to 44 per cent overall. Likewise, 36 per cent said they had a documented content marketing strategy compared to 32 per cent.

One notable difference was whether respondents held daily meetings to discuss the subject – 48 per cent of tech firms did so, compared to 44 per cent overall. Another was the percentage of marketing spend, with tech scoring 29 per cent against 28 per cent overall.

Even though the differences are marginal, in the broadest sense it is clear that the tech sector has a greater engagement with content marketing.

Technology content marketing problems

That said, some of the same old issues continue to give concern. ROI, for example. Only 45 per cent of tech brands claimed to understand the criteria for a successful campaign, dragged down by 21 per cent who expressed the extreme opposite view. However, the CMI data suggests that 74 per cent of the most effective content marketers said their company was fully up to speed with what represents success.

tech content marketing chart

What tech content marketers want

But the main challenge is not ROI. It is creating engaging content, according to 70 per cent of tech content marketers. Meanwhile 64 per cent wanted a greater understanding of what constitutes effective content. It appears there is a tricky anomaly here. After all, you generally need to know what engages your audience before you start working on something to accomplish it. Maybe this simply underlines the fact that content marketing is still a relatively new field.

The following priorities were interesting, too. Sixty per cent wanted to repurpose content better and 50 per cent were focused on visual content. The last priority on the list of five – and perhaps most surprising – was that 49 per cent wanted a better understanding of their audience.

Know what you want from content marketing is part of Content24, the blog for London content marketing agency FirstWord.