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Irish Marketers commit 22% of budget to Content Marketing, and plan to spend more

Posted By Naoimi Young, 03 September 2015
Updated: 09 February 2016
MII Content Survey 660 x 330

Irish Marketers commit 22% of budget to content marketing and plan to spend more, but trail their international peers in how effective they feel their content marketing efforts are.

That’s according to the results of Ireland’s first content marketing survey conducted by the Marketing Institute of Ireland, in association with 256 Media.

About the Survey

Between February and June 2015, the Marketing Institute asked members to participate in the online survey that asked detailed questions about how Irish marketers are using content marketing. We also framed many of those questions so that we could compare Irish responses with those from other international studies conducted in the UK, USA and Australia under the auspices of the global Content Marketing Institute.

Survey Highlights

Investment

  • Irish marketers are spending 22% of their marketing budget on content marketing. This compares to an equivalent figure of 26% in the UK;
  • 75% of respondents are producing more content than in the same period of last year;
  • 56% intend to increase or significantly increase their spending on content in the next 12 months. B2C companies are particularly likely to significantly increase this investment.

Strategy

  • 67% of respondents (versus 87% of UK marketers) report having a content marketing strategy in place. 26% have no strategy, 6% aren’t sure;
  • 48% have not documented their content marketing strategy, while 48% have;
  • The number one strategic objective for content marketing was customer engagement, followed by sales/lead generation and website traffic.

Tactics

  • The most used content tactic is social media (utilised by 92% of respondents), followed by articles, then video;
  • Blogs are used by just 51%, which is significantly lower than international norms (85% of UK marketers use blogs).

Effectiveness

  • Irish marketers rated the effectiveness of their use of content marketing at 3.05 on a 5-point scale where 1 represented ‘not at all’ and 5 represented ‘extremely’ effective;
  • Only 26% of Irish marketers rate their content marketing efforts as ‘successful’ or ‘extremely successful’. This compares to 42% in the UK;
  • The most effective content tactics aren’t necessarily the ones that marketers are using;
  • Twitter is rated the most effective social media channel.

Production

  • 53% have a dedicated person (or team) in-house who is responsible for content marketing strategy;
  • 43% are producing content internally only;
  • Only 14% use content marketing management software (such as Hubspot or Marketo);
  • 80% are outsourcing design, 34% writing.

Challenges

The biggest challenge is ‘not enough time’, cited by 72% of respondents, followed by ‘producing engaging content, cited by 56%.

Measurement

  • 48% measure their return on investment on content marketing;
  • 44% find it a challenge to measure their return;

Best practice

Those with a documented content marketing strategy are more likely to consider their efforts effective and to:

  • use personas;
  • produce more content;
  • increase their content spend;
  • use external resources;
  • have a dedicated team member responsible;
  • use content management software;
  • know what they are spending;
  • measure their efforts.

What we think

Commenting on the survey, Tom Trainor, Chief Executive of The Marketing Institute of Ireland, said “We are delighted to have this first insight into the state of content marketing in Ireland. It establishes the strategic objectives being pursued, the levels of activity involved and the degree of effectiveness being achieved in this growing space. It also allows us to benchmark ourselves versus other markets where content marketing is more established and points to opportunities for Irish marketers to enhance their return on investment in this area. This is important as only 26% of Irish marketers rated their content marketing efforts as effective compared to 42% of their UK peers.”

Karen Hesse, Managing Director of 256 Media, said “This survey suggests that Irish marketers are enthusiastic about content marketing, but still getting to grips with the discipline. Compared to our international peers there is considerable opportunity for improvement in how we are approaching our content strategy, implementation, use of technology and measurement of return on investment in order to drive better returns from our increasing spend. This is evident from the fact that only 42% use Buyer Personas, a staple of content marketing, to inform their efforts.”

To download the 24 page ebook ‘What’s the Story?’ with the detailed results of the survey, click here.

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