By Joe Pulizzi published December 10, 2014

Content Marketing in the United Kingdom: Engagement and Leads Take Center Stage [Research]

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UK marketers have become much more goal-focused over the last year. They also rate themselves as slightly more effective at content marketing when compared with the North American and Australian marketers we reported on earlier this year. Those are just a couple of the key findings we present in CMI’s third annual Trends report, produced in partnership with the UK Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and sponsored by Axonn Media. The report shows how UK for-profit marketers (both B2B and B2C) approach content marketing as compared to last year.

Goals have evolved

Not only has the percentage of UK marketers citing each of the goals shown on the following chart risen over the last year, but marketers’ priorities have also shifted. Engagement has moved up to replace brand awareness as the most often-cited goal at 91%. The number of marketers who cited lead nurturing has nearly tripled. Lead generation and sales have seen big increases as well.

OrgGoals

Even though their effectiveness rating is higher than those we’ve seen in North America and Australia, UK marketers rated themselves less effective at content marketing versus last year (48% vs. this year’s 42%). Though the difference is small, it could explain the revived focus on goal-setting as more and more marketers are looking to drive efficiency by setting concrete objectives.

UK marketers 3x more focused on lead nurturing as a #contentmarketing goal this year than in previous years. Click To Tweet

Tracking ROI is a challenge; having a documented strategy helps

As is the case with their North American and Australian peers, UK marketers struggle to track the ROI of their content marketing programs. Only 28% say they are successful at this; however having a documented strategy helps: 46% of UK marketers who have a documented content marketing strategy say they are successful at tracking ROI.

RELATED: You can learn how to create a documented content marketing strategy with this 36-question guide.

TrackROI

Click to tweet:  28% of UK marketers say they’re successful at tracking ROI of #contentmarketing; having a documented strategy helps. http://ctt.ec/Ybca7+

Twitter ‘wins’ as the top-rated social media platform for content marketing

Eighty-nine percent of UK marketers use Twitter to distribute content; 75% say it is an effective platform for their content marketing efforts – the highest rating for a social media platform that we’ve ever seen. While Twitter also has high usage rates among for-profit marketers in North America (87%) and Australia (79%), UK marketers appear to be getting better results with it (only 54% of North American marketers and 53% of Australian marketers say it’s effective).

SocialEffective

Click to tweet: Twitter “wins” as the most effective social media platform for UK marketers. #contentmarketing http://ctt.ec/q331H+

Many are focused on creating visual content and more engaging content

In an addition to our annual content marketing survey, marketers were asked what initiatives they’re working on now, and which ones they plan to begin working on within 12 months. UK marketers said they’re working on an average of 14 initiatives now, and plan to begin work on eight more over the next year. The highest-ranking initiative for now was creating visual content (70%), followed closely by creating more engaging content (69%). The highest rated for the next 12 months was developing a better mobile strategy (39%).

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Click to tweet: 70% of UK marketers say creating visual content is a priority #contentmarketing http://ctt.ec/tHba1+

The most effective have lessons to share

In addition to gleaning the earlier insights, we also looked at how UK marketers who rated their organizations highly in terms of content marketing effectiveness set themselves apart. Here are some interesting stats about these “best-in-class” marketers:

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Read the entire report to learn more, including:

  • How many audiences do UK marketers target?
  • What content marketing tactics, social media platforms, and paid methods of content promotion do they use?
  • How do they measure success?
  • What are their most pressing challenges?

What do you think of this year’s findings? Were you surprised with any of the changes we observed with UK marketers over the last year? What was your biggest takeaway?

See all of our annual research thus far and subscribe to our email to be notified of new research and understand the “whys” and the “what’s next” from the research.

Image courtesy of Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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.

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