Content marketing has become so mainstream in the UK that 30% of companies employ content professionals in-house, according to our new survey of the UK’s culture of content. But these content teams are facing cultural challenges, with a lack of strategic direction and too much interference from senior stakeholders.
One third of the nearly 300 marketing professionals we surveyed said senior management had a negative impact on content quality. And staggeringly, nearly half of all written content never gets published in 15% of organisations.
No clear direction for content
More than two-thirds of senior marketers responding to the survey said the biggest challenge to producing good content was a lack of clear direction, as evidenced in an absence of content strategy, guidelines, workflows or understanding about target audiences.
The majority (53.36%) also cited time spent on feedback as the biggest challenge to getting content live. Close behind, nearly 46% blamed briefs which change after content has already been created.
Our 2015 results show some improvement in content culture at UK organisations over the last couple of years, as awareness of the importance of content grows. Over 30% of organisations now say they regard content as business critical, for instance, and have people whose full-time responsibilities are content planning, creation, delivery and governance.
Key findings from the survey results
- Nearly 40% believe their organisation values content as important but do not have a team to manage it – the team responsible tends to be marketing.
- Newspapers and magazines still score the highest for quality of written content with 52% marking them as the best, while nearly 40% said the quality of customer service emails is ‘woeful’.
- Over 60% said the biggest challenge to content creation is no clear strategy or direction, while 30% said getting content out of their business was the main challenge.
- Top 3 ways to measure the impact and effectiveness of content are: social media engagement and statistics (71%), website stats (63%), and sales statistics (26%)
Opportunities for marketers who approach content strategically
Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, comments on the results: ‘Although more and more businesses are leveraging content marketing, most are still experimenting with it, and don't position it as a strategic asset to grow the organisation. The research speaks directly to that.
‘What is the good news? Lots of opportunity for those more mature in the discipline to grow a loyal audience that positively affects the business.’