In an environment in which consumers’ attention is increasingly fragmented, the idea of using content to capture interest and engagement is catching on among marketers.
Compelling content can help marketers tell a story, but it can also be cumbersome—and expensive—to create. So which content strategies are generating attractive return on investment (ROI) for marketers? The most cost-effective content types are articles, video and white papers, according to a January 2013 study of marketing decision-makers worldwide conducted by CopyPress, a software company specializing in content marketing tools.
In particular, marketers were most widely satisfied by the ROI from featured articles, with 62.2% saying they provided some of the best content ROI.
Video was also a content strategy cited by 51.9% of marketers for having among the best ROI. But the study highlighted some of the challenges marketers have faced working with it. Video was the content type the highest percentage of marketers (49.8%) described as “difficult to create.” (Other media types that challenged marketers included interactive media, infographics and motion graphics.) And despite the fact that many marketers are having success with video content, half believed that video was “overpriced.”
Publishing articles and white papers may seem like a less complex and less labor-intensive content solution, but these media bring challenges of their own. One question many marketers are asking is what role should authorship play in marketing content creation. Should articles come from specific individuals, or should the focus be on the brand as a whole?
The CopyPress study found that approximately two-thirds of respondents considered authorship to play an important role in their content marketing strategy, while one-third did not. Authorship generally refers to whether articles are bylined, and whether those bylines are from high-profile individuals.
CopyPress also found further evidence of a shift in attention toward content marketing. When asked to name their “leading focus” in 2012, 18.9% of marketers cited content marketing, ranking it behind both email and social media, and tied with SEO. For the coming year, the number of marketers listing content marketing as their top priority nearly doubled, to 34.8%, making it the top focus for the highest percentage of respondents in 2013.