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More than three-quarters (76%) of organizations say they take a strategic approach to managing content. These organizations are also much more likely to use development aids – such as editorial calendars and formal workflow processes – than those organizations who do not manage content strategically, says a new report from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) sponsored by Vennli.

Taking a strategic approach is important as it helps address some of the challenges that content marketers face. For example, in a 2018 study by the CMI, one of the most important issues cited by B2C content marketers was changes to SEO or search algorithms. With regards to that challenge, more than three-quarters (77%) of this study’s respondents who manage their content strategically report using search SEO/keyword search aids, compared to just over half (52%) of those respondents that do not take a strategic approach.

Organizations that manage their content strategically also use aids such as content calendars (72%) and editorial guidelines (72%) more often than those who do not. One of the biggest gaps between those organizations that work strategically and those who do not relates to the use of formal workflow processes, which are three times more likely to be used by the former (57%) than the latter (18%).

While content marketing is considered one of the most effective online tactics, marketers are still under pressure to prove that their marketing efforts are achieving goals that have been set forth. Only 45% of those respondents who do not work strategically in their content development have content performance analytics in place, compared to nearly two-thirds (64%) of those organizations who do work strategically.

What Are the Benefits of Following a Content Management Strategy?

The study differentiates between an organization that has a ‘strategic approach’ and those that actually have a written strategy in place. Of those respondents involved in strategic content management in their organization, 59% said that their organization has a documented content management strategy. This percentage has increased from four years ago, when few B2B or B2C organizations had a content strategy in place.

Having a strategy in place has several benefits. The majority of respondents involved in strategic content management agreed (38%) or strongly agreed (44%) that their organization viewed content as a business asset, while some 7 in 10 (71%) said they either agreed or strongly agreed that their organization extracts meaningful insights from data and analytics.

Perhaps most importantly, nearly half (49%) were in agreement that their organization delivered the right content to the right person at the right time.

Business goals and objectives are included in essentially all (94%) of those documented strategies. Other elements included in documented content management strategies include defined roles/responsibilities (79%), measurements/KPIs (76%), desired incomes (72%) and defined workflows (71%).

What Is Stopping Organizations From Taking A Strategic Approach?

A separate study, written by Altimeter, showed that the majority (86%) of content marketing executives say that their executive leadership fully supports and invests in using content to achieve business goals.

Data in the report by CMI shows that having the backing of leadership can make a difference. When those respondents whose organizations do not take a strategic approach in managing their content were asked why they didn’t take a strategic approach, 56% reported that leadership hadn’t made it a priority. Some 39% also said that leadership didn’t view content as something that needed to be strategically managed.

About half (49%) of those organizations not managing their content strategically said that they lacked processes, while 47% said organizational culture stood in the way. About two-fifths (41%) cited the lack of financial investments in resources.

Further data, along with the full report, can be accessed here.

About the Data: CMI surveyed 250 respondents from their subscriber database. The majority (60%) of respondents were from B2B organizations with the remainder being from B2B/B2C (23%), B2C (3%) and nonprofit (14%) organizations from 5 regions.

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