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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

Claire Brinkley

Published 16 April, 2013 by Claire Brinkley

Claire Brinkley is Econsultancy Australia's news and insight reporter. Follow her on Twitter, Google+ or connect with her on LinkedIn

80 more posts from this author

Comments (5)

Steve Logan

Steve Logan, Online Marketer at World of Books

It's interesting to see the level of disparity in tactics and perception, but perhaps not entirely surprising. We all have our own views on what works and they won't always overlap. Different markets require different marketing techniques.

Sure, social outreach and maintaining a strong business blog may be effective for most companies in all countries, businesses need to find a way to engage with their audience. Case studies help to build authority and demonstrate professionalism, but they can only ever work if someone sees them. That's probably why in-person events rank so highly; you can engage and influence directly, without relying on algorithms or the kindness of strangers to share your work.

As with all things, it's about quantity and quality. Doing the right things for the right market isn't always easy, but it needs investment. Once you have this, then it's all on the strategy and implementation - whether in Australia, US, UK or anywhere else for that matter.

over 3 years ago

Claire Brinkley

Claire Brinkley, Reporter at Econsultancy

I completely agree with you Steve. Each unique industry requires a different marketing technique and just because a tactic works well in one area does not mean the results will translate across into another industry.

over 3 years ago

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Craig Hodges

Nice summation Claire. I think the major challenge facing the segment is the premise that more is better. The smart brands will realise that better is better! The next year will see a focus on quality content not just content and also content that works. Now that brands have hired content marketers or content maketing agencies its now about ensuring that they know what content engages and drives the desired result and produce more of it. This year was the year of the content strategist, next year will be the year of the content analyst!

over 3 years ago

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Meredith Epp

Hi Claire, This article really hit home for me as I am an American digital marketer working in Australia. My experiences in the US were much more focused on PR (events, social good campaigns, media releases) than here where I have found companies prefer more content marketing. Just really interesting to see an article with all the numbers laid out. Thanks for putting this together!

over 3 years ago

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Charles Bosse, Owner at slingshot Business Services

Great blog! The reason why Australian companies excel in the content marketing is that they invested heavily. They used social media to be engage with the niche they belong. In Australia, The written content of any site is always a subjective task, it depends upon many factors – the content needed, the market to be aimed at, the sheer quantity of what needs to be produced and more. You need to find a company that then identifies what the issues are and then attend to them asap, but more importantly, explore the opportunities for your website. I reccomend looking around at different places, perhaps start with my favourites http://internetmarketingexpertsmackay.com.au

6 months ago

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