Monday, October 26, 2015

More Evidence on the Need to Improve Content Marketing Efficiency

Earlier this fall, I published a post that focused on the need to make content marketing more efficient. The impetus for that post was a recent research study by Gleanster and Kapost that demonstrated the economic importance of improving the efficiency of content marketing activities and processes. Here are three of the major findings of the Gleanster/Kapost research:

  • Large and mid-size B2B firms in the US collectively spend over $5.2 billion annually on content creation efforts.
  • Poorly managed and/or cumbersome content management processes lead to an estimated $958 million each year in excessive spending on content marketing by large and mid-size B2B companies.
  • $0.25 of every $1.00 spent on content marketing in an average large/mid-size B2B company is wasted on inefficient content marketing operations.
This month, I attended a webinar sponsored by SAVO that provided more confirmation of the importance of content marketing efficiency. The webinar included a presentation by Erin Provey, Service Director of the Strategic Communications Management practice at SiriusDecisions. Ms. Provey's presentation was based on data from the SiriusDecisions 2015 Cost of Content Survey and the SiriusDecisions Cost of Content Benchmark Model.

The SiriusDecisions research and analysis focused on how much B2B companies are spending on content development and on how much of that content is "productive." For this analysis, SiriusDecisions divided B2B companies into three size cohorts. Small companies were defined as those having less than $100 million in annual revenues. Medium-size companies have between $100 million and $1 billion in revenues, and large companies have more than $1 billion in revenues.

SiriusDecisions estimates that small companies invest about $900,000 per year in content development, medium-size companies spend about $10.8 million, and large B2B enterprises spend about $17.5 million. These spending amounts are averages, and they include both external and internal costs.

SiriusDecisions defined productive content as content that is "activated" by internal audiences and consumed by external audiences. Unproductive content is content that isn't used because it cannot be activated "as is" or because it can't be located. Across B2B companies of all sizes, SiriusDecisions estimates that 65% of all the content "owned" by companies goes unused. More specifically, SiriusDecisions says that 28% of content isn't used because it is "unfindable," and 37% is unusable due to low quality or lack of relevance.

Because of unproductive content, SiriusDecisions estimates that between 11% and 19% of the annual investment in content is wasted. In small B2B companies, this annual wasted spending amounts to about $100,000. Medium-size companies waste about $2 million, and large B2B enterprises waste about $2.3 million. As with the total cost figures, these waste amounts are averages.

The SiriusDecisions research provides a sobering dose of reality and more compelling evidence that virtually all B2B companies can realize significant financial benefits by improving the efficiency of their content marketing efforts.

Image courtesy of Carolyn Coles via Flickr CC.

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