The annual trends report by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), called Content Marketing in the UK: 2015 Budgets, Benchmarks and Trends, shows a decline in the confidence of content marketing practitioners, with only 42 per cent saying they were effective or very effective, down from 48 per cent last year.
The survey, which is based on the responses of 134 marketers, found that nearly a third of UK marketers did not have a dedicated content marketing group, while nearly a quarter (23 per cent) did not currently have one but were planning one.
One in ten marketers said PR and corporate comms were accountable for content marketing, while 11 per cent said the social team was and over a quarter (26 per cent) said the owner or senior level management.
The report, which is sponsored by Axonn Media, showed that on average marketers used eight different tactics to reach their target audiences. The most popular were online: 89 per cent used social media channels, 88 per cent eNewsletters, 85 per cent blogs and 82 per cent website articles. Webinars, digital magazines, mobile apps and podcasts were less popular.
One of the biggest finds was that only 36 per cent of marketers had a written strategy, compared with 42 per cent last year, and one in ten did not have any form of strategy at all.
Joe Pulizzi, founder of CMI, said: "There are two critical factors that differentiate effective content marketers over the rest of the pack – having a documented content marketing strategy and following it very closely. Those two things make all the difference.
"It’s fascinating to see how UK marketers have shifted their goals for content marketing over the past year to focus more on engagement, leads and sales. There’s been this big increased emphasis on lead nurturing in particular, with the percentage who cite it as a goal nearly tripling. This tells me that a lot of marketers have taken a closer look at what they want to achieve with content marketing, and I suspect the next step for many will be to fine-tune their strategy around those goals."