Only 13% of brands devote over half of their marketing budget to content. On the contrary, 64% spend a quarter or less on it, according to Building Thought Leadership With Content, a study by Ascend2.
But 50% of marketers have a content strategy in place, and 23% are planning one. The remaining 27% have neither a strategy nor plans for one.
And among those that are producing content, 65% rate themselves as somewhat successful at it and 26% as very much so, or best-in-class. Only 5% feel they are unsuccessful.
Email is a prime channel for delivering content, according to multiple studies. But it does not seem to create issues for the Ascend2 respondents.
Their most critical content challenges are:
But content does produce benefits. Marketers use it to:
The best content formats? They are:
These findings surely apply to email, which can be used to send case studies and videos, invite people to webinars and link them to blog posts. And email newsletters are totally dependent upon good content.
With that in mind, here are the most important content characteristics, according to the study:
As the study notes, it takes time and thoughtfulness to drive thought leadership with content. Of the companies polled, 35% do everything in-house, 18% outsource everything to specialists and 47% use a commination of outsourced and in-house resources.
Ascend2 and its Research Partners surveyed 265 marketing professionals.