In a study titled B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America, we find an interesting set of statistics concerning how common it is to find a content marketer who is actually working with a plan.
Only 35% of content marketers say they work from a documented strategy to guide them in their efforts. Nearly half of them (48%), say that they do have a strategy they follow but that it is not documented.
In other words, about half of content marketers claim to be working from a plan, but not one that they can show you, and only about a third of them actually have anything written down about what they’re doing now and what they plan to do for you. Why should you care about this? It’s all about the numbers and the final results that you get.
Certainly, a documented strategy is not essential to success in content marketing, but it can nevertheless play an enormous role in this area, and statistically, professionals who take this approach are also more successful in other areas of the business.
According to the recent survey, those content marketers who apply a documented strategy are 7 times more successful at tracking ROI, which is vital for purposes of accountability and determining whether or not to spend more on that marketing channel. The documented strategy users also typically publish content more often, being more than twice as likely to post content every day or multiple times per week.
Hiring a content marketer who works from a documented strategy gives you the benefit of working with someone who is presenting himself or herself as more of a professional and who is more likely to do regular work for you. Another aspect of this is the apparent correlation between the use of a documented strategy and higher levels of preparation, administrative skill, and customer service.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is an activity that can take countless forms and which can be as unique as the people who are doing it. There is no one set approach to it, but as the old quote goes, “a bad plan is better than no plan.”
If your content marketer is working from a calendar and a plan of action, however, you can expect that there will be more regular action on your marketing campaign and that the actions that he or she take will be more geared towards achieving success in your market.
There are certainly many content marketers who do a fine job without a plan, but their work will tend to be more on a shot-in-the-dark basis, harder to predict in terms of results, and more trial-and-error.
A marketer who works from a strategy, on the other hand, is most likely using a strategy that has been developed based on extensive observation, refined based on results, and further developed over time based on the continued observation of what works.
The content on your website, blog, social media, etc. is of primary importance in your online marketing campaign, and it is very much worth your time and money to find the right marketer for you.
Ideally, they will take an extensive amount of time with you during the development of your campaign to acquire a solid understanding of who you are, what sets you apart and what your goals are for the long term.
Based on this information, your marketer should spend as much time as it takes getting a firm understanding of what you have to say, and based on this developing an effective strategy for getting your name in front of potential customers. A documented strategy is a sign of a professional, and an indication that you should consider hiring that person or agency.