99% of Surveyed Marketers Use Content Marketing

Social content, blogging, press releases and online articles are the forms of content used most often by marketers according to a survey by Readex Research, sponsored by the Content Marketing Institute and Brandpoint. Marketers see the best results from social content, e-newsletters and blogging. the study found.

The survey of 389 marketers and marketing decision makers found that 99 percent of respondents had used at least one form of content marketing.

Separately, consultants at McKinsey and Company found that 72 percent of respondents to a recent survey report that their companies are deploying at least one content marketing-related channel, and more than 40 percent say that social networking and blogs are now in use.

These technologies are being deployed across sectors, at the high level of 86 percent of the respondents’ companies in high tech and telecommunications, but at 62 percent of companies even in the energy industry. The study of 4200 global executives suggests social technologies that also are forms of content marketing have reached critical scale among global enterprises.

Some 82 percent of Readex respondents said it’s more important that their website and blog copy be “written for people rather than search engines.” That probably is worth discussing. The general rule is that content curation and content marketing boost search engine optimization scores.

But most of us have seen examples where the emphasis on “SEO” is so unbalanced that the actual content is unpleasant to read. A balance of course has to be struck. Content curators aim to be read by other human beings. As part of that effort, content curators have to understand and work “with” search engines to enhance the odds that their good content will be discovered.

But the ultimate consumer of good content is a human being, not an algorithm. In fact, SEO expertise ranked fifth among the list of 11 qualities marketers want in a content provider, the study found.

The survey indicates that marketers consider words more powerful than images. Social content (90 percent), blogs (75 percent), press releases (73 percent) and online articles (73 percent) were used more often than video (71 percent). But keep in mind that text content is easier to produce than good video content, and that a prudent content curator or content marketer almost always will use “text” messaging as a foundation, and video as a value-added approach.

White papers and e-books, infographics and images, as well as mobile content and advertorials were less frequently used.

Respondents tend to believe that their best results are coming from social content, the only channel that garnered at least a 50-percent positive response to a question about “which three forms of online content marketing” respondents deemed to be providing the best results.

Marketers place the highest value on content that is written for people, rather than that which is written for search engines, but this doesn’t diminish the importance of SEO optimization. More than one-third of surveyed marketers prefer a balance of equal parts engaging and optimized.