The global pandemic changed our behavior dramatically—for marketers, one notable shift was that digital content consumption increased drastically.
Recently, Lucidpress took an in-depth look at those shifts in its 2021 Content Effectiveness Report, which surveyed 452 professionals from leading industries to gauge the state of current content.
They found that most effective content is personalized, relevant, timely, and informative, while making an impact across the customer journey.
Let’s dive into a few key takeaways:
Demand for content is on the rise, but it isn’t always being met
A staggering 85 percent of marketers surveyed by Lucidpress have seen an increased demand for content within the last year.
Content marketers are also seeing an increased demand for personalized content. In the study, 87 percent of respondents said their customers expected content to be personalized. However, just 32 percent of marketers say the majority of their content is tailor-made for a specific audience group.
A staggering 85 percent of respondents to the Lucidpress research have seen an increased demand for content within the last year.
Most are making some kind of effort — 81 percent of marketers personalize at least 10 percent of their content — but the research shows a demonstrable gap between what the audience wants and what marketers are providing.
Brand consistency remains a struggle
The report underlines the importance of brand consistency. Sixty-eight percent of marketers reported a 10-20 percent increase in revenue when brand content remains consistent—although we’d caution to take these figures with a grain of salt, as its unclear how marketers would actually measure the relationship between brand consistency and increased revenue.
On the flip side, marketers are struggling to create or enforce brand guidelines; 77 percent of respondents saw off-brand content created, while 15 percent reported having no brand guidelines at all. Only 31 percent said their brand bible was enforced consistently.
Confidence is mixed
Marketers’ confidence in their content in this study was a mixed bag—most marketers believe their content impacts purchase decision, but only 36 percent thought it impacted more than half of conversions.
Conversely, 68 percent of marketers believe their content is relevant to customers. So while brands believe their content is largely helpful and useful to customers, many worry it doesn’t have a significant influence over their behavior.
This is likely due to a bigger issue. As Contently detailed in its Content Measurement Maturity Model, most marketers aren’t measuring revenue KPIs when it comes to content.
Not surprisingly, 83 percent of respondents found that content is most effective during the awareness and consideration stages of the buyer’s journey, when users are researching products and weighing their options.
Content is still being left unused
A lot of content is going unused by stakeholders, according to the report. Only 14 percent of respondents said more than 75 percent of content was actually put to use regularly. Almost half of those surveyed reported 50 percent or less of their content was used, while 23 percent said they didn’t know, suggesting they weren’t tracking content usage at all.
On the topic of measurement (or lack of it), only 27 percent of marketers could confidently say they measure the ROI of their content.
The Lucidpress study displays some alarming gaps in the supply side of content, but also shows how marketers can take advantage of the pandemic-led growth in demand. Personalization, consistency, and accurate and honest measurement are all key to taking advantage of a daunting yet potentially defining era for content marketing.