According to a new report by IMN, covered by eMarketer, the top priority for content marketing strategies is now lead generation. In a change from last year, when it was the fourth most important goal for marketers, this goal was cited by 44 percent of respondents as being most important. Marketing strategy is evolving to place content marketing primarily at the beginning of the sales process, though engagement and awareness were still priorities in its use for 19 percent of respondents.
Tactics for generating new leads with content marketing vary widely. There is plenty of advice available on the subject, and most sources concur in recommending that a company provide informative and entertaining content. The channel on which content is deployed also matters. Of those who responded to the IMN survey, over half said social media was their most effective content marketing medium, followed closely by the company website.
Forty-nine percent of respondents reported their company has a formal content marketing strategy, up from 28 percent last year. The shifting landscape of online marketing appears to have settled on content as an important strategy, and the purpose of such efforts is also solidifying. Businesses that do not have a content marketing plan in place may wish to implement one, as do the 33 percent of respondents who said their company does not yet employ content marketing but is working on doing so.