By Joe Pulizzi published December 10, 2013

Research: UK Content Marketers Are Confident, Lack Strategy

content marketing in the ukAmong the marketers we’ve surveyed across three continents, those based in the United Kingdom rate themselves highest in terms of content marketing effectiveness.

That’s one of the key findings included in Content Marketing in the UK: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends. This is our second annual UK report, produced in partnership with the UK Direct Marketing Association (DMA). 

Content Marketing in UK 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends

For this report, we compared for-profit — both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) — marketers in the UK with their North American and Australian counterparts. Here are some of the key findings.


UK marketers are confident, but many lack a documented strategy

While UK marketers are, for the most part, confident in their abilities (with 48 percent rating themselves highly in terms of effectiveness, compared with 41 percent in North America and 33 percent in Australia), many lack a documented content marketing strategy (click to tweet); or if they have one, they are unaware of it. At first look, it would appear that fewer UK marketers have a strategy when compared with North American (43 percent) and Australian (52 percent) marketers; however the 10 percent of UK marketers who said they are “unsure” is the highest rate of uncertainty we saw around this question when we looked at the responses across all three continents.

documented strategy-chart

UK marketers use more tactics, more frequently 

UK marketers use an average of 14 content marketing tactics, compared with 13 for North American and Australian marketers. In addition, they use nearly all tactics shown in the chart below more frequently than North American and Australian marketers do. The three tactics UK marketers use most often are social media content (87 percent), blogs (86 percent), and articles on their websites (85 percent) (click to tweet). However, like their North American counterparts, UK marketers rate in-person events as the most effective tactic.

(If you are looking to get some ideas on how to be more effective with the tactics you use, check out CMI’s recently updated Content Marketing Playbook.)

content marketing usage-uk-chart

Twitter is the social media platform they use most often 

UK and North American marketers both use an average of six social media platforms to distribute content, compared with five for Australian marketers. Eighty-nine percent of UK marketers use Twitter most often, whereas 87 percent of North American marketers and 86 percent of Australian marketers use LinkedIn most often. However, like their North American and Australian counterparts, UK marketers rate LinkedIn highest in terms of effectiveness (click to tweet).

social media platforms-uk-chart

UK marketers allocate a higher percentage of their budget to content marketing 

On average, UK marketers allocate 31 percent of their total marketing budget to content marketing, which is more than what North American (29 percent) and Australian (27 percent) marketers allocate (click to tweet). On the other hand, 69 percent of Australian marketers and 58 percent of North American marketers plan to increase content marketing spend over the next 12 months, compared with 56 percent of UK marketers.

content marketing spending-uk-pie chart UK marketers are fairly challenged in terms of producing enough content (46 percent) and producing engaging content (44 percent); however, they are less challenged with producing a variety of content when compared with their North American and Australian counterparts.

View the full report today to learn more about those challenges, as well as:

  • How much content UK marketers are producing now, compared with one year ago
  • What metrics they use to measure content marketing success
  • How they tailor content, and more

What are your thoughts or experiences with content marketing in the UK? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

Other posts by Joe Pulizzi

  • Barbara Mckinney

    Good to know that UK marketers are taking advantage of using different social media platforms in distributing their content. Americans should also take advantage of using social media to its full potential.

  • Sergey Shevtsov

    Nice research, very interesting!
    And…it doesn’t even seem that this “lack” can do something really harmful for uk marketers as they do pretty fine, actually.

  • Gary Hyman

    Joe, what I find interesting is the contradiction of terms – “feel confident about their effectiveness, yet do not have a documented strategy.” Much of previous research you’ve done seems to show “strategy influences success” So what’s all this saying about the UK folks? Thanks for sharing this. Great information, like always.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Here is my take Gary – many UK brands are at the beginning of this process, and they feel good about their content creation…but without a clear strategy, confident or not, it most likely won’t work.

  • Michael Bian

    Great information here. Thanks for the post!

  • Tom Goodwin

    Excellent review of the content marketing landscape going into 2014. Would be interested to hear more from the 2% of companies spending up to 100% of their marketing spend on content.

  • Michael Bian

    the ideas are well presented, so as the facts. i really enjoyed reading it. thank you.

  • Aran Jackson

    We’ve used this information in the attached infographic and given advice that could help marketers overcome the key content challenges they face.