We’re officially half way through 2019 – so what better time to sit back and take stock of your content marketing efforts and attitudes thus far?

The 2019 B2C Content marketing benchmark, budgets and trends report is carried out annually by the Content Marketing Institute. Its 2019 report provides a great yardstick to measure your own progress and processes against as we head into the second half of the year.

Do you have a content marketing plan?

Believe it or not, just one in three marketers surveyed by the Content Marketing Institute has a documented content marketing strategy. Chances are, you could well be part of that number. The report says 41% of B2C marketers have a strategy but it isn’t documented, 22% don’t have a strategy but plan to develop one within the next 12 months. Just 33% have a documented strategy document.

If your organisation is one of the many without a documented strategy, this mid-way point is a good time to get one down. Put it off and you’re missing out on a number of benefits – including aligning your team around your goals, keeping yourself and your team focused on priorities, knowing which type of content formats you should be working on and allocating resources in a matter that optimises your chances of success.

Has your budget increased?

It seems impossible to overstate the importance of content to search marketing in the modern era so it should come as no surprise that over half of B2C markers expect budget allocated to content to increase. 29% say they expect a 9% rise or more.  If your budget didn’t scale up at the start of the year, it’s not too late to make a push for more funds for Q3 and Q4.

If you are successful in allocating more cash to your content marketing, expect the extra funds to go towards content creation. According to the 2019 report, 56% of content marketers increasing their content budget in the last 12 months dedicated it to content creation.

Are you using content to drive greater customer loyalty?

Loyalty is an ever-pressing concern for B2C marketers. The 2019 B2C Content marketing benchmark, budgets and trends report says 81% want to create content that builds loyalty amongst existing clients. Of that 81%, 52% say it is top of mind.

If you don’t consider nurturing customer loyalty a key function of your content it could mean that you’re losing out to competitors who do. Engineering loyalty is a long term undertaking but, simply swapping in more useful and informative content is a good place to start.

Are you using enough technology in your content marketing campaigns?

Not every business has enough resources to warrant a huge technological investment but, the majority of B2C marketers have at least one or two key pieces of technology dedicated to their content marketing efforts. Interestingly, most marketers would class their proficiency level as intermediate – meaning they are becoming more consistent with the use of content marketing technology and seeing some early results but still have a way to go.

Social media scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, email marketing software like Mailchimp and analytics are the top three technologies used in content marketing campaigns currently.

While it’s almost certain you’ll have access to one or more of those tools, it could be you aren’t leveraging them fully when it comes to aiding your content marketing efforts. For most B2C marketers, social media scheduling, email and analytics are a source of intelligence with 68% saying they help to better understand how content is performing. 63% say these tools help them better understand audience preferences and behaviours.

Content marketing is a vast field and one that can feel overwhelming for marketers with multiple other channels to master. If you’re ready to take your content to another level and see out 2019 strong, contact us today.