Chief Marketer has published a 2020 study examining how the pandemic is affecting marketing. Fortunately, they had surveyed Fortune 1000 marketers shortly before the pandemic began. They were able to follow up and see how answers changed. One of their top takeaways: content marketing thrives during the pandemic.
Budgets have decreased significantly for most of the companies. In-person events have been replaced by virtual events.
Content marketing, paid advertising and SEO were the top marketing strategies by asset allocation before the pandemic, and they still are. Social media has increased in importance.
But a quarter of respondents to the new survey reported uncertainty and even “paralysis.” It’s hard to determine goals and plan strategies right now.
Content marketing thrives
Respondents were asked how they would allocate their resources in both surveys. The top item was the same in both surveys: content marketing.
In fact, both surveys showed that content marketing was not only the marketing strategy that got the most spending, but that it was also the top strategy for which marketers were planning to increase spending. Tellingly, it was also the tactic with the highest ROI in both surveys.
If you’re feeling paralyzed in your marketing decision making, this information offers a clear message: go ahead and focus on content marketing.
Content marketing challenges
Even as content marketing thrives in the marketing plans of successful companies, there are challenges.
Decision making can be tough even when you know you want to focus on content marketing. Studies show that content consumption is way up, but specific needs are different from before the pandemic — and vary from industry to industry. With so much uncertainty, the problem of changing requirements and failure to follow through is a common one.
Companies using content marketing also continue to complain that it’s hard to get the work done. For years, we’ve seen that “producing great content” is among the top challenges for companies that want to use content marketing. And yet Chief Marketer’s study found that fewer than 20% of respondents hired a content marketing company.
In one of the most surprising tidbits, Brandfolder and Demand Metric’s “State of Digital Asset Management” report found “that 51% of marketers waste money producing new assets that go unused or recreating assets because people don’t know they exist or can’t find them.” This goes beyond strategy — many companies just don’t have a plan or system in place for content marketing.
If you want to use content marketing as a primary marketing strategy, and most companies do, it makes sense to have a strategy and a team. Contact us to get a good start.