However as companies create more and more content in order to appeal to an ever-expanding range of customers and clients, the more internal and external obstacles they are faced with.

Although some companies have the budget to create their own content or outsource its production, the majority feel they don’t have the right organisation or internal structure to utilise the content properly. Retrieving the right content, promoting the content sufficiently and measuring its effectiveness are all major problems that companies are facing right now.

It doesn’t help that channels where content marketing has previously worked before, Facebook’s news feed for instance, are being tweaked to make it tougher for branded content to appear in front of a company’s own audience.

MSLGROUP has recently published a survey entitled Curing the Content Headache in which 100 communications professionals from complex global organisations were asked in April 2014 about the current state of their content marketing strategies.

These are some of the results of that survey.


The majority of companies surveyed are producing original content specifically for digital channels rather than repurposing existing content made for TV, print or other media.

Although this can prove a much costlier exercise, especially if resources are tight, tailoring content to specific channels will help improve engagement. 

Then again, as more and more content is needed for multiple audiences and as those audiences are using digital channels more than they are traditional media, it makes economic sense to have in place a system where previously created content can be retrieved and stripped to its component parts in order to be refreshed for a new client, customer or audience.


When asked which digital channels are they using to distribute and share content, 93% use their own website for corporate communications and 73% for consumer communications.

In terms of social channels such as Facebook and Pinterest, the balance between corporate and consumer communication is tipped towards the consumer side, as these channels are far more effective for B2C engagement, and the less corporate the tone, the better. 

YouTube is showing an almost even split which is a testament to the fact that video, whether it’s produced for corporate or consumer edification, works incredibly well. In fact YouTube has recently made its content playbook for brands available and it explicitly states how your company can create successful content for the channel.


As I mentioned in the headline, 91% of companies are distributing more digital content now than they were one year ago. In one year’s time, 88% of companies surveyed believe they will be producing more than they are currently and 10% believe they’ll be producing the same. This leaves only 2% of companies believing they’ll be producing less content next year.

Here’s how the marketing budgets were divided for digital content creation and distribution in 2013.

This is the expectation for 2014.

Investment looks set to increase. Nearly all the companies that are devoting between 6% to 50%+ of their budgets to content will increase around 4% this year. Companies not spending any money on content in 2013, will apparently be non-existent this year.


Looking ahead to next year, these are the four biggest challenges facing companies in content production and distribution.

  • 51% claim that having a big enough team internally to cope with the demands of content marketing is the number one challenge.
  • 49% believe that there’s a lot of great content being produced by their company but it’s difficult to retrieve, therefore ‘harvesting’ content is the next biggest challenge.
  • 35% say obtaining the budget to achieve what they need to accomplish is their biggest challenge.
  • 33% state that proving the business value of investing in content creation and management is the hardest part.

For more help and guidance on content marketing, check out our tool: The Periodic Table of Content Marketing.