The Not-So-Secret Secret of Content Marketing Success?

See the chart above? It’s from a very informative post at the Content Marketing Institute about the state of B2B content marketing.

Doe it mean content marketing is inherently ineffective? Nope. Not in the least. There’s another meaningful stat helping explain why so many organizations aren’t hitting the content marketing mark.

Here’s that big wham-bam from the CMI survey:

55% of business-to-business (B2B) marketers said that it is unclear within their organization what an effective or successful content marketing program looks like.

Uh…what?

Even though content marketing has become absolutely integral to B2B marketing nowadays, most marketers (at least those who responded to this survey) haven’t got vision or alignment yet on what constitutes success. Or even results.
It’s almost like…

CEO: Okay, explain your content marketing ROI to me.

CMO: Uh…what?

From that same survey? Here’s the “secret” to content marketing:

The most-effective marketers are more likely than less-effective marketers to document their content marketing strategy, have a documented editorial mission statement, and hold regular meetings. In fact, 61% of the most-effective B2B marketers meet daily or weekly with their content marketing team either virtually or in person.

There’s no magic bean, no digital juju, no arcane science of success involved.

It’s not even complicated: It’s simply about knowing what content marketing can achieve, then communicating with your marketing team, with internal stakeholders, with your agency, etc., to set goals, calendars and deadlines.

If that excerpt above makes the content marketing process sound more akin to publishing or journalism than to traditional, project-focused marketing. you’ve hit on the difference.

By thinking of content marketing on a project basis, or as a marketing campaign, with a beginning and an end, measured as if it were direct response, some marketers don’t make the commitments necessary, don’t see or understand results, and throw up their hands in frustration.

By thinking like a publisher, by adopting the stimulus of “publish or perish,” by laying out clear and realistic objectives and having constant dialogue – basically, by taking content marketing seriously in the first place – good inbound marketers drive good results.

Maybe there is a secret that’s evading companies who aren’t able to make content marketing work…but it’s not about content marketing.

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