A recent report has found that 96% of Australian marketers use content marketing – which is higher than figures seen in North America and the UK – yet only 29% consider themselves to be “very effective” or “effective” at doing so. 

The first ever content marketing in Australia report, compiled by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and ADMA, has finally been released and it sheds some interesting light on how this particular marketing tool is used in Australia. 

Content marketing in Australia is something of a hot topic and this particular report compares Australian practices to those currently found in North America and the UK.

It also consider elements such as preferred content marketing techniques and how marketers measure the success of their tactics, through to the biggest challenges in the landscape.  

Overall though, there are six key findings:

1. Australian companies love content marketing

Content marketing is essentially just the distribution of relevant and quality content across a variety of channels and social platforms. So this might be email newsletters, infographics, memes, images, blog posts, video, social media, etc – basically anything that engages consumers.  

It is thought that by giving consumers engaging content, then a positive brand association will be created which will strengthen the relationship between consumer and company and ultimately result in sales. 

In Australia, almost all marketers currently use content marketing to communicate with consumers, with 98% of B2B marketers using this technique and 89% of B2C marketers.

This is higher than both the UK (95%) and North America (91%).

Brand awareness was cited as the top content marketing goal for B2B marketers (75%), whereas B2C peers listed customer retention/loyalty as their top goal (80%).

In North America and the UK however, companies list driving more traffic to their website as their primary goal. 

2. Australian marketers are investing heavily in content marketing

Around 25% of marketing budgets in Australia are allocated to content marketing, with B2B marketers allocating a slightly higher percentage than B2C peers.

This year will also see 61% of Australian marketers look to increase their content marketing budgets, as well as 64% of British marketers. 

In contrast, while North American marketers typically allocate a higher percentage of their budget (31%) to content marketing, only 54% of companies plan to increase their budgets in the next twelve months.  

Australian marketers are also more likely to outsource content, 57% versus 45% of North American companies and 55% of British companies, with larger companies using this method more regularly.

Eight in ten companies with 1000+ employees outsource content creation, yet only 36% of micro businesses with less than 10 employees do. 

3. In-person events is the most effective tactic, but not the most popular

Australian marketers use an average of 12 content marketing tactics and of these, the most popular tactics used to engage consumers are having articles on a website (88%), social media interaction (83%) and eNewsletters (82%).

Games, virtual conferences and podcasts were the least popular content marketing tactics, all yielding figures below 18%. 

But when it came to analysing the perceived effectiveness of content marketing tactics, surprisingly in-person events ranked the highest, with 76% of Australian marketers saying they considered this to be the most effective tactic.

Case studies were ranked second in terms of effectiveness (67%), followed by eNewsletters (62%), research reports (59%) and mobile content (58%). 

While British marketers had similar rankings with case studies (68%), research reports (66%), eNewsletters (62%) and in-person events (61%), perhaps the biggest discrepancy was in how Australian, North American and British marketers viewed webinars/webcasts.

Both American and British marketers rated this tactic as over 60% effective but only 47% of Australian marketers thought so. 

4. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the most popular social platforms

Among marketers, Facebook was the preferred social media platform to distribute content, with 71% saying they use this channel.

Twitter and LinkedIn were close behind, both with 67%, followed by YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest with 57%, 38% and 21% respectively. 

Surprisingly, Instagram was one of the least preferred platforms with only 10% of Australian marketers using this channel.

Tumblr had even lower figures, only attracting 2% of marketers. 

5. Producing engaging content is a challenge

When it comes to the biggest challenges for Australian marketers, quality and quantity are problematic, with marketers citing producing engaging content (53%) and producing enough content (51%) being existing issues.

Lack of budget was also a concern (43%), as was producing a variety of content (41%) and the inability to measure content effectiveness (36%). 

6. Best-in-class content marketers share five common traits

It seems that the best content marketers share some common traits, including: 

– Allocating a greater share of their marketing budgets to content marketing

– Using more content marketing tactics

– Using more social media platforms to distribute content

– Tailoring content more often to specific persons

– Are slightly more challenged with producing enough content, but far less challenged with producing engaging content