In 2014, Finland’s marketers—like so many in Western Europe—are no strangers to the idea of content marketing, according to a report from creative agency Kubo. The firm surveyed 200 marketing professionals in March 2014 to learn how Finnish companies currently employed content in their marketing, as well as what had worked best for them. Some 38% of respondents belonged to top management, 16% were entrepreneurs, 20% were managers and 26% were industry experts.
Overall, 80% of those polled said they produced content aimed at existing or potential customers—somewhat below the levels recorded by studies in the US (93%) and Great Britain (88%). But that gap looks set to narrow within a year. Over half (54%) of respondents in Finland who didn’t already create content planned to do so during the next 12 months.
For many marketers, content activities weren’t underpinned by a definite program. Less than one-quarter (23%) said they had a documented content strategy. Again this was a lower proportion than in the US (43%) and Great Britain (42%).
The main objectives of content marketing were clear: 72% of respondents said they wanted to grow sales, while 64% were looking to acquire new customers. A similar share aimed to increase brand awareness (63%) or boost the engagement of current customers (61%).
The metrics used to gauge success weren’t always closely aligned with those aims, however. The most commonly used measure, cited by 68% of those polled, was traffic to the company’s own website, while more than half mentioned sharing on social media (55%) and customer feedback (53%). Unambiguous measures of sales, such as cross-selling and direct sales, were cited by just 11% and 8%, respectively.
The content types judged most effective were digital newsletters, videos and blogs, all mentioned by about 80% of the sample. Facebook and YouTube were the favorite sites for distributing content, used by 62% and 59%, respectively.
Facebook remains the default choice for many advertisers in Western Europe posting content to social sites. It’s not hard to see why: The site has a higher penetration among web users than any other. In Finland, for example, an estimated 59.0% of the online population will regularly use Facebook this year, eMarketer estimates, and nearly 90% of those using any social network will be active on the social platform.
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