Marketers struggling to engage audiences, despite rising content budgets

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Marketing professionals in the UK are struggling to engage their audiences with innovative and creative content, despite soaring marketing budgets.

That’s according to new research from Turtl, the platform for creating high performance digital documents.

More than half of marketers (56%) report their annual content marketing budget has increased over the last twelve months.

Turtle noted that £277,000 is the average content marketing budget from its research sample group.

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And despite the ongoing economic challenges facing the UK, nearly two thirds (62%) also expect their content marketing budgets to increase in the next twelve months.

Turtle content marketing research

Even with this budgetary increase, nearly three fifths (55%) of today’s marketers report their most significant obstacle is struggling to find innovative and creative ways to engage audiences.

Additionally, only two fifths (42%) of marketers consider their content marketing strategy to be ‘very successful,’ meaning that well over half (58%) of marketers are still not seeing strong ROI from their content marketing.

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The survey of 400 marketers uncovered strong distinctions between how successful and less successful marketers use data in their content marketing, and how these two groups are able to measure the performance of their marketing content.

Marketers who rate their content marketing strategy as ‘very successful’ are more likely to use data and analytics to inform their content marketing strategies compared to less successful marketers (71% vs. 33%), and more commonly employ analytics when personalising their content (37% vs. 23%).

These data-driven marketers employ best practices throughout their content marketing activities significantly more frequently than marketers who do not rate their content marketing strategies as ‘very successful.’

‘Very successful’ marketers personalise their content more regularly (46% vs. 28%), are more likely to measure reader intent as an indicator of marketing content performance (52% vs. 35%) and are more likely to use a content format that provides performance analytics data, like Turtl (36% vs. 23%).

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Nick Mason, CEO & Founder of Turtl, said, “Driving strong engagement is the aim of every piece of marketing content, but if marketers are unable to obtain the necessary analytic data to measure the performance of their marketing materials, then they will struggle to improve and influence business outcomes.

“Measuring the performance of marketing content – and then adapting this content based on performance data – is the new best practice for marketers.

“Our survey found that the ability to use analytics effectively to tailor content to its audience is a key marker of successful marketing, so marketers should take every step possible to bake measurement into their content to be able to obtain the necessary performance data to ensure its long-term effectiveness.’

Turtl’s research revealed that less than a third (29%) of marketers use analytics to more deeply personalise their content, despite an overwhelming majority (94%) acknowledging the importance of data and analytics in their marketing strategy.

The majority of marketers who personalise their content rely on surface-level metrics such as a recipient’s job role (35%), name (33%) or company (32%).

JeeYoung Wenglikowski, Senior Global Marketing Manager at consulting firm KellyOCG, said: ‘For us, measuring the impact of marketing materials is as important as creating good content.

“This access to analytics is precisely why we use Turtl for our marketing materials. Powerful, engaging content marketing is all about personalisation and relevance.

“The ability to figure out through data what is working with the viewers and driving more engagement plays a huge part in ensuring our content marketing strategy delivers a strong return on investment.’