SOURCE: Skyword


September 24, 2013 09:00 ET

Skyword and Unisphere Announce New Content and Social Marketing Benchmark Study

New Study Reveals Growing Importance of Content Marketing and Social Media Strategies for Customer Engagement

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Sep 24, 2013) - Skyword, all you need for producing quality, original content that succeeds in search and on the social web, and Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc., today announced the results of their survey on how companies are employing inbound and content marketing best practices to reach and engage audiences.

Download the "Content Marketing Gets Social" report now.

The study addresses two sides of companies' content marketing efforts. Along with looking at overall content creation activities, the report dives deep into the social media aspect of content amplification and how it is shaping the content marketing landscape.

"Today's enterprises are ramping up their content marketing strategies to capture buyers' attention through social channels and provide prospects with informative content to improve thought leadership," said Joe McKendrick, research analyst at Unisphere Research. "There is a need for a richer variety of content, delivered at greater frequency, and more closely measured. However, at this time, marketing executives are struggling with ways to create more content, deliver it with greater frequency, and streamline its delivery."

"The survey results reflect what we are hearing from our customers," said Tom Gerace, CEO and founder of Skyword. "Both B2B and B2C companies understand the power of quality, original content to reach and engage customers, but most companies do not have the internal resources to create, promote and measure it. In today's era, customers must be engaged with a regular, constant stream of content. The Internet and social media worlds are active on a 24x7 basis, and the winners of the digital marketing race will be the ones that keep pace."

The survey uncovered the following key findings:

  • Comprehensive content marketing strategies are gaining traction in enterprises: Close to half of enterprises in the survey report they have formal content marketing strategies, and 37% are considering such strategies. While a growing number of companies have employed content strategies, more measurement is needed. Only 25% actually measure the results of the individual pieces of content they produce and distribute. 

  • More than two-thirds of respondents indicate the primary objective of their content marketing program is to engage customers and prospects. These results reflect the growing awareness among B2B and B2C marketers that content is a critical vehicle for developing and maintaining lasting customer relationships and establishing a trusted brand.

  • Social media is an increasingly important element of companies' content discovery and amplification strategies. Seven out of ten executives report they are employing social media to distribute content. Facebook and Twitter are now the leading platforms for content marketing and customer engagement. However, most companies are still only in the very early stages of measuring return from social media marketing activities and are not fully aware of the returns they are getting. Most measurements tend to be more directly tied to specific platform engagement, versus broader business value.

  • Close to nine-tenths of marketers say they create their own original content. Marketers value information-rich delivery vehicles such as articles and videos, and are expanding the scope of their content beyond product marketing. While product-oriented content is still the rule, the majority of marketing managers are just as likely to develop thought leadership and other forms of value-added content. Articles are by far the most common type of digital content created as part of enterprise marketing efforts, followed by videos and blogs.

  • Marketers feel that content volume and frequency are too low for today's always-on economy. Executives report their organizations currently produce 10 or fewer items a month, but would like to see production reach 50 pieces a month in the near future. Ten items published a month equates to one fresh item every three days. To fill the gaps, 78% report they repurpose their existing content.

  • Two-thirds of executives say their greatest challenge is to produce more targeted, relevant content to engage audiences. Another 53% say they can't produce enough content to keep audiences coming back on a regular basis. Lean staffing resources may be part of the challenge -- about half of respondents indicated they have people or teams dedicated to content marketing; however, for the most part, these teams tend to be small. Enterprises with dedicated content marketing managers or teams, post more content more frequently, and report greater measured benefits from their content marketing. 

The 217 respondents to the survey are among the readership base of CRM Magazine and EContent Magazine and represent a range of organization types and sizes. A total of 24% are in executive-level management, while another 17% are marketing managers or directors. Project managers and business unit managers are also heavily represented. About 15% of respondents come from very large organizations with more than 5,000 employees, but there is also a significant contingent of small-to-medium-size businesses represented in this survey. In terms of industry groups, the largest segment seen in this survey consists of organizations involved in business or consumer services, identified by 15% of respondents, with another 12% in the information technology business sector. The survey polled readers from the United States and Canada in August 2013.

About Unisphere Research
Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc., is a turnkey provider of custom market research focused on new technologies and services for information management, content management, customer relationship management, and digital media. Unisphere has authored hundreds of studies for leading companies in the B2B marketplace and is covered by major publications worldwide. Unisphere management and analysts are available for private consultation for interested parties. For more information, contact us here.

About Skyword
Skyword delivers all that organizations need to reach and engage their audiences with quality, original content designed to succeed in search and social media. Quality content is essential for reaching and engaging consumers today, but the creation process is messy, inconsistent and immeasurable. The Skyword Platform makes it easy to produce, optimize and promote content at any scale to create meaningful, lasting relationships with customers. Skyword also provides access to a community of thousands of professional writers, and its content strategy and editorial teams can help ensure the ongoing success of clients' content programs. Skyword is a privately held, privately funded company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Investors include Allen & Company, Progress Ventures, Cox Media Group and American Public Media Group.

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Contact Information

  • Press contact:
    Ted Karczweski
    Skyword Inc.
    Tel: 617.720.4000x1060