Walk with me for a moment – to about 30 years ago. The setting is the 1980s sitcom Growing Pains and Mike Seaver’s teacher had found – after the conclusion of an exam – that Mike had written out answers to the test on the bottom of his sneaker.
In pleading his case to his parents, Mike claimed while he admittedly planned to cheat on the test, he didn’t have to actually cheat. In other words, during the process of writing out the answers on his sneaker, he had internalized the answers and could recall them from memory. He rattled off a bunch of answers to prove his point.
It was the 5th annual B2B Content Marketing Survey which conjured up that memory – from perhaps a more frightening part of my mind. The study, which is co-produced by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, surveyed 1,820 marketers and had one overarching conclusion:
“Marketers who take the time to document their content marketing strategy are more effective than those who don’t.”
Marketers who put their content marketing strategy to pen and ink, were twice as likely to consider their organization effective – 60% to 32%. In addition, those that write out a strategy tended to actually follow it:
“To take it a step further, 62 percent of the most effective marketers also say they follow the strategy ‘very closely.’”
Rhythm and ROI
It’s not merely that those content marketers with a written strategy feel more successful – they also seem to have a better rhythm to publication – and a better handle on ROI.
In the overall study, just 16% of respondents said they publish content on a daily basis – yet those with a documented strategy were about seven percentage points higher (23%). It’s not necessarily that daily publication is the right content marketing answer but it does suggest rhythm is also characteristic of success. I have found that rhythm tends to lead to higher quality content while also conditioning a community to expect that content.
ROI, or the return on investment for content marketing, followed a similar trend line. About one-fifth of marketers overall reported success at measuring a returned, yet those with a documented strategy had much greater confidence – to the tune of 35%.
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The bottom of a shoe may or may not be the best place to write down a content marketing strategy – but there appears to plenty of evidence to suggest it is worth writing down somewhere. Here’s the study:
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