Stat Watch: Content Shock & Spend
~ Mark Schaefer, BusinessGrow.com
As countless companies develop content to persuade audiences and gain favor with the search engines, “content shock” as described above has become a pervasive issue (a term coined by Schaefer a few years ago). Despite the echo many companies “hear” when publishing and distributing content – competing against other content producers and traditional media outlets for impressions and engagement – there are multiple reasons to believe that they are still on the right, albeit crowded, digital path.
Recent data from HubSpot indicates that a company’s content goes just as far as a media article or an analyst report. When asked “What sources of information do you rely on when making a purchase decision for business?” an equal amount of respondents responded media articles and vendor-authored materials (39 percent), with analyst reports trailing at 33 percent. To earn that level of trust, vendors must empower their “editorial” teams to remain helpful, not promotional and avoid rushing authors to publication when more insightful material can be developed.
Many companies are already taking this advice, moving toward in-depth and thoughtful content versus shorter blogs or “listacles.”
In 2016, for example, twice as many bloggers spent six-plus hours on developing an average post than in the year prior (Orbit Media). Similarly, more bloggers are working with an editor (less than half edit their own work) and the average blog post is getting longer (up 19 percent to 1,050 words). Finally, the percentage of 2,000-plus word posts has doubled.
While there is more content than can be consumed, the investment in authoring content is paying off when approached in a way that minimizes content shock and maximizes trust building.
Content marketing is currently the number one marketing priority increasing from 44 percent in 2016 to 49 percent in 2017, according to a survey of global marketers.
In most (55 percent) B2B organizations, a small or one-person marketing/content marketing team serves the entire organization.
(Content Marketing Institute, 2017)
Seventy-five percent of marketers and 62 percent of freelance writers said they pay/charge a flat rate per article. Marketers’ per-article rates vary greatly by content type, ranging from as low as $25 per blog post up to $2,500 for lengthy whitepapers. The sweet spot for a 400-600 word blog post was between $50 and $250.
In 2016, the average blog post took 3 hours and 16 minutes to write, which was a 26 percent increase from the previous year.
(Orbit Media, 2016)
Most marketers (75 percent) are increasing investment in content marketing.