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When San Mateo, Calif.-based Altimeter Group interviewed 130 social strategists at companies including Dell, IBM, GE, and Curata, over half of those surveyed said that content marketing was the top go-to-market priority for 2013.
Here are some other key findings from Altimeter’s research:
Content is no longer just words: In the early days of content marketing, companies might have a blog and a Twitter feed. Now they’re creating content that incorporates video, infographics, and more, plus their content must be optimized for a variety of devices including tablets and smartphones. Emerging platforms such as augmented reality and Google Glass may inform content strategy in the near future.
Control of content is fragmented across an organization: Customer service might handle customer care on Facebook and Twitter, while HR manages the Facebook careers channel and PR/corporate communications manages accounts on Tumblr, Instagram, and Google+. Only nine of the brands interviewed have hired staff specifically to handle content (such as an editor or content manager). This fragmentation can create inconsistent messages or overlapping efforts that waste time and money.
To cope with the changing landscape of content, Altimeter recommends that companies organize for content marketing. The report lists several enterprise models that allow companies to create a cohesive content marketing strategy, including:
Setting up an in-house agency or content division to create content
Creating a Content Center for Excellence (CoE), a consortium of experts to lead content efforts
- Hiring a cross-functional content chief with cross-departmental authority.
In all of these potential scenarios, the bottom line is clear: companies need a scalable way to meet the increasing content demands of having a digital presence.
As these findings point out, “feeding the content beast” by producing a steady stream of fresh, relevant content is an ongoing challenge for marketers, who are often limited by time and money. Curated content–that is, finding, sharing, and organizing outside links that position your brand as an industry thought leader–allows brands to keep satisfying the beast while creating their own quality content. Content marketers looking for effective content curation and creation strategies can download the eBook: How to Feed the Content Beast (without getting eaten alive).
Your turn! How is your organization set up to meet the growing content needs of having a digital presence? What content strategies have you found to be most efficient?