Two-fifths of all content marketing done in Australia is done by a small team — often by an individual — within an organisation.
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 Budgets, Benchmarks and Trends Report for Australia, 42 per cent of content marketing is conducted under those conditions.
Little wonder then that the survey also found 59 per cent of Australian content marketers are outsourcing at least one of their content marketing activities.
This is as it should be: no one marketer can be an expert at all things. You might be a great writer, but that doesn’t mean you can film a video or produce a podcast. If your content marketing strategy contains a diversity of channels and media, no single content marketer can truly be a one-stop shop. Where you lack the skills, it’s far better to employ an expert — like a video production house, a copywriting service, a social media manager or a content marketing strategist.
Here’s what those 59 per cent of Australian content marketers are outsourcing:
- 55 per cent of respondents outsourced content creation
- 28 per cent outsourced content promotion and distribution
- 17 per cent outsourced measurement
- 12 per cent outsourced their content marketing strategy.
But that leaves 41 per cent of content marketers in Australia who aren’t outsourcing anything at all. The CMI’s report doesn’t detail why these companies aren’t outsourcing, but it isn’t hard to imagine the reason is that six-letter word that we all come up against regularly: budget.
Where are Australian content marketers finding success?
If there’s anything Australian content marketers can take out of this year’s CMI report that would be helpful in securing more budget, it might be the factors those surveyed said had contributed to the increased success of their content marketing program over the past year.
- 75 per cent said creating content that was of a higher quality, more efficiently
- 72 per cent said developing or adjusting their strategy
- 55 per cent said it was the increased focus the company had put on content marketing itself
- 54 per cent said improved content distribution (including better targeting of audiences and identifying what works)
- 48 per cent said organisational changes, like staffing and additional content marketing roles.
In each case, it appears, some kind of investment or improvement has paid dividends for the brand involved.
What kinds of content are Australian content marketers using?
So, what kinds of content are Australian content marketers using?
- Social media posts — 90 per cent
- Video — 75 per cent
- Illustrations and photos — 67 per cent
- Case studies — 66 per cent
- Infographics — 64 per cent
- ebooks and white papers — 49 per cent.
It’s also worth noting some content marketers are playing with the fun stuff:
- Podcasts — 14 per cent
- Live streaming — 11 per cent
- Film and TV — 11 per cent
- Virtual reality and augmented reality — 10 per cent.
The most effective forms of content marketing in Australia
And what kinds of content are more effective?
- 56 per cent — social media posts
- 46 per cent — case studies
- 43 per cent — videos (pre-produced, not live stream).
And what’s the most effective way to distribute that content?
- 73 per cent — email
- 58 per cent — social media platforms, like Twitter and LinkedIn
- 49 per cent — blogs.
Email might seem like an old-fashioned way to reach an audience but here’s the crucial point: you can reach your audience by email at any time — you own your subscriber base. You don’t own Twitter, LinkedIn or any other third-party platform. If Twitter shut up shop tomorrow, you don’t have access to that audience anymore.
This is something many in content marketing are now recognising. It was a key part of Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi’s keynote address at Content Marketing World in September this year. (You can listen to Joe talk about this on the Brand Newsroom podcast here.) The take-out? Build your own audience.
And we are.
One of the most striking findings in this year’s CMI Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report was the increased percentage of Australian content marketers who have become more focused on building an audience (85 per cent), compared with last year’s survey results (69 per cent). The finding is not unique to Australia; the Content Marketing Institute team observed it among all groups of content marketers studied.
Now here’s the bad news
More than 40 per cent of Australian content marketers aren’t measuring the return on their investment. How on earth do they know if they’re successful at it if they’re not measuring it? Another 17 per cent said they weren’t sure if they were measuring their ROI.
Some 46 per cent said they weren’t measuring their ROI because they needed an easier way to do it, 32 per cent said they didn’t know how, 27 per cent said they hadn’t been asked to justify the spending by showing ROI, and 15 per cent said it was simply too time-consuming.
Flabbergasted doesn’t even begin to describe my feeling.
On average, respondents’ companies were spending 23 per cent of their marketing budget on content marketing, yet almost half of them aren’t measuring whether that is money well spent.
Tips for improving your content marketing effectiveness
So, here are the big take-outs, for me, from this year’s CMI Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report for Australia:
- Build your subscriber base now and build it on real estate you own (your own database)
- Invest in higher-quality content and outsource where necessary to achieve that quality, but spend efficiently
- Work out how to measure the success or failure of your content marketing activity — and then measure it!
Do those three things and this time next year, your brand’s content marketing activity — and Australian content marketing generally — will be in much better shape.
If you’re looking to outsource your video, audio or editorial production, amplification and distribution, or if you need a content marketing strategy, get in touch with the team at Lush – The Content Agency.
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