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Search engine marketing usage overtakes paid offline promotions

Recent findings from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) show that promoted posts, social ads and search engine marketing (SEM) have overtaken print and other offline media promotions when it comes to paid distribution methods.


The CMI’s latest B2C Content Marketing Report surveyed B2C content marketers working in a variety of industries across North America. These included content marketing leaders, writers, content creators, designers and web and technology staff.


The report also showed that B2C marketers are realising the importance of content marketing and putting more budget towards it. This year, the average expense allocated to content marketing was 32% of the total marketing budget, versus 25% last year. Those identified as the most effective B2C marketers by the report are allocating even more — around 38% of their total budgets, up from 29% last year.


This increased investment in content marketing is likely a result of growing confidence in its effectivenesss. A staggering 64% of the marketers questioned said that search engine marketing (SEM) is the most effective paid method for promoting/distributing content, whereas the rest leaned in favour of print and offline promotions, claiming them to be more effective.


Chad Harwood-Jones, Managing Director of WooContent says, “More marketers are introducing content marketing into their strategies but it is still a relatively young field for many. In fact, the report shows that 44% of respondents are doing it without a documented strategy and 61% don’t have an editorial statement. Interestingly, when related to the CMI’s comparable B2B study, more B2B marketers use content marketing than B2C marketers, however less B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy.”


Another interesting statistic lies in the way that these marketers are measuring the effectiveness of content marketing. Although many B2C marketers are focused on sales, the most successful among them place other factors on a fairly even keel with returns on investment.


Brand awareness was a significant factor for 91%, followed by customer retention/loyalty (86%). Similarly, 86% said that engagement was also a good indicator of marketing success. Only 82% said that sales were a reasonable way to measure the productivity of search engine marketing.