Content Marketing and the Skeptics

Content marketing has recently been one of the dominating topics in today’s marketing landscape. A recent study by Contently, a company that facilitates the content marketing project with software licensing, showed that this years marketing budgets did not match up with all the hype. The survey had a sample of 601 marketers and tries to draw conclusions on the reason why companies are not putting more money into content marketing.So why are companies not investing in this new craze? Are they late adopters or just non believers? The study shows 34% of marketers cite lack of budget as the main reason. 22% attributed the lack of funding to not being able to accurately measure business results, while 11% said they simply lacked the time. However, 69% of respondents said they preferred original content as opposed to licensed content. Licensed content runs the risk of outside influences adjusting or “repurposing” the image.

But what is content marketing? The author describes it as “articles, videos, graphics and more from brands, designed to attract and engage audiences in the same manner that a media company does.” Frankly, I find that definition ambiguous and there is a very fine line between content marketing and advertising. I believe this is perhaps why not all marketers are so keen to be spending their millions, on something they already pay millions for.

We have all heard the criticisms of content marketing, especially native advertising which falls under the umbrella of content marketing. Perhaps people still have a lack of trust in the actual results of content marketing. Contently describes good content marketing as “is hard and devoid of shortcuts. Even the most successful content marketers face obstacles–what to create, how to create it, how to reach and retain an audience, and many more.” The standard for content marketing is being raised constantly. It raises the question, how long before it just blends in with the rest of the mix, until we don’t even see it anymore. This is a question many will skeptical marketers will be asking in the coming fiscal year.

Many people still believe that content marketing will grow. The article cites a statistic showing that  “marketers will spend $4.3 billion on native advertising in 2015, a 34% increase from this year.” Many companies are flourishing with this new type of delivery vehicle to consumers. Contently has tripled its staff in the year 2014 alone. There is a lot of promise in content marketing, however its foot hold is still slippery and it will take many more than a few surveys to convince the skeptics.

-Isaac Amerling


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