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Want to Commit to Content Marketing? Prioritize the Right Things [New UK Research]

content-marketing-research-ukEach year during my Content Marketing World keynote talk, I highlight one theme I think is critical for all marketers to understand. This year, that theme is commitment. As I (perhaps boldly) stated, you need to go all in or do nothing.

However, the idea of commitment can feel kind of nebulous. It’s a mindset. So what exactly do you need to do? Asked another way, what are marketers who are committed doing differently – and why is this mindset so critical?

Our latest content marketing research report provides some insight into how commitment translates into action, with highlights in the chart below. You can also download Content Marketing in the UK: 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends, sponsored by Tomorrow People, for full details or read on to understand what the most committed UK marketers are doing differently; these lessons are useful for marketers worldwide.


Note: If you follow our research closely and think you are hearing suggestions repeated, you are correct. Our B2B North America research digs into what top-performing marketers are doing differently, while our recent Australian research looks at what mature/sophisticated marketers are doing. Regardless of what lens we use, certain recommendations continually pop up. And, we think they bear repeating as they are so critical.

Committed marketers are clear on what success looks like

Committed marketers are more likely than the overall sample to understand what an effective or successful content marketing program looks like within their organization. To be frank, I think more than 63% of committed marketers should have this clarity, but the trend is evident. Committed marketers are more likely to understand what success means to their company.

How do you get clarity on what success looks like? It begins with setting goals and ensuring that everyone on your team understands what you’re working toward. While our research asked about many possible goals for content marketing, I like to keep things simple, especially if you’re getting started.

Most content marketing programs will help organizations with one of these three things:

  • Increased sales
  • More subscribers
  • Better customers

If you want a more in-depth process on how to define and set up your content marketing for success, I highly recommend our updated framework from CMI’s Chief Strategy Adviser Robert Rose: 5 Building Blocks for Profitable, Scalable Operations.

Committed marketers are more likely to document their strategy

One finding you’ve probably heard us repeat many times on this blog is that you need to document your content marketing strategy. And, you need to do this before you jump into the tactics. There are plenty of reasons (ahem: excuses) marketers offer for not documenting their strategy, but, honestly, none of them holds muster. One of the first ways to commit is to get your strategy on paper, even if it’s a simple version.

Commit to get your #contentmarketing strategy on paper, even if it’s a simple version, says @JoePulizzi. Click To Tweet

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

Where you spend your money is a big indicator of how committed you are and, on average, marketers who are committed are spending a higher percentage of their total marketing budget on content marketing.

To be clear: While budget is indeed useful, it’s not a deal breaker. Our research that focuses on large brands finds that those with higher budgets are more challenged with every aspect of their content marketing program when compared with smaller companies. Spending more money does not equate to commitment, but prioritizing the budget you have does.

Committed marketers value creativity and craft

Those who are committed are prioritizing the actual craft of creating great content. While checklists are helpful for publication and distribution activities, there are no shortcuts when it comes to sitting down and creating great content.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to sitting down and creating great #content, says @JoePulizzi. Click To Tweet

As you can see in the chart above, committed content marketers are also prioritizing the quality of content over the quantity more often than their peers.

Committed marketers prioritize the right things

My conclusion from these findings is similar to what I mentioned in my post earlier this week: The things that committed marketers prioritize separate them from other marketers. We all have the same number of hours in a day. How are you going to spend yours?

To read all the results from the UK marketing research, download  Content Marketing in the UK: 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends produced by the Content Marketing Institute and sponsored by Tomorrow People.

We are so excited about all of the data coming out of this research as well as our upcoming reports. If you are as well, please sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss a thing.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute