There are some interesting and useful comparisons to be drawn from research carried out by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) into the UK and US tech industries.
The CMI comes out with some good general indicators about the state of the sector. However, much of its work is quite US focused. So a look at the UK, which we would like to think is fairly mature in content marketing terms, was welcome.
For the purposes of benchmarking, it is worth comparing the results against similar questions asked of the tech industry earlier this year. Brands such as Microsoft, HP and Dell have been at the forefront of content marketing innovation.
Do you know what constitutes a successful campaign?
Surprisingly, despite an ever-growing amount of money spent on content, only a minority of marketers know what constitutes a successful campaign.
In the US, 45 per cent of tech brands said they understand this – as opposed to 44 per cent overall.
The UK seems worryingly on trend. Forty-six per cent said they know what a successful campaign looks like. Thirty-eight per cent admitted they don’t know, with the remainder stating they are unsure.
Are you using content marketing?
Ninety-five per cent of US tech companies are using content marketing. In the UK, the number was slightly less, with 87 per cent doing so.
Proof that many UK companies are still finding their way was illustrated by the fact that around 60 per cent described their content marketing as ‘young’ or ‘adolescent’. Only 5 per cent described it as sophisticated.
Do you have a documented content marketing strategy?
We have come up against this one before. Back in 2014, UK marketing data provider Alf found that only 43 per cent of marketers had written down their content marketing strategy.
Putting aside margin for error, the UK appears to have gone backwards. According to the CMI, only 40 per cent of UK marketers have a documented content strategy. Thirty per cent say they have a strategy but that it’s not documented. Although we would argue that’s missing the point.
If the US tech sector is seen as the best proponent of content marketing, then the UK appears to be in good health. That said, it is still a small affair with many companies handing responsibility for content to just one person.
Perhaps the best indicator of future health was over content marketing effectiveness. More than 65 per cent of companies said content marketing was more effective than a year ago.