Survey: 43% of marketers say 75% of their content isn’t being consumed

A new survey from BrightEdge on the future of content and search marketing exposes some interesting contradictions between what enterprise marketers think and what they do. Conducted earlier this year, the survey received 252 responses from “digital marketers at Fortune 500 brands that represent a split of B2B and B2C.”

The survey initially asked marketers, “What is your most important marketing initiative this year?” The two top answers were “organic” — it’s not clear how that was defined — and “content.” Search was next, followed by “paid,” “social” and “mobile.”

Source: BrightEdge Future of Content Marketing Survey (n=252 enterprise digital marketers)

Despite this answer, the latter three all saw response rates below 15 percent, which is surprising, given that most marketers are very far from mastering mobile. Strangely, “mobile optimization” was also identified by 27 percent as one of the three “next big things” in search marketing. The other two were “voice search” (31 percent) and “AI/machine learning” (31 percent).

Again, despite the high ranking, most of survey respondents said they were “not likely” to integrate voice search (62 percent) or machine learning (57 percent) into their content marketing efforts this year. A meaningful minority did say, in each case, that they were “somewhat likely” to do so, which is essentially a “maybe.”

From a content marketing perspective, the top categories these marketers were focused on were:

  1. Blogging — 69 percent
  2. Social media — 62 percent
  3. Video — 45 percent
  4. Infographics — 30 percent

The metrics being used to determine the success of content marketing efforts were:

  1. Conversion
  2. Engagement
  3. Traffic

Another interesting finding is that roughly 70 percent of respondents said that 50 percent or less of their content was being used or consumed by the intended audience. And 43 percent said that 75 percent of their content was NOT being consumed.

The overall picture that emerges from the survey is one of inefficiency and misalignment between where enterprise marketers think the audiences are going and what they’re doing to reach them. Furthermore, they’re pouring resources into content that they believe is not being seen or read by its intended audience.

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