Content marketing is now an
established marketing strategy that puts the customer at the centre of the
conversation. As Irish brands move from brand-led communications and
advertising to customer-centric strategies, content has stepped up to take the
crown.

But how are Irish brands leveraging the
power of great content? How are they handling the creative and technical
aspects of crafting a content marketing strategy? Are they driving
results from their campaigns?

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We discovered the answers to these and many more questions in our Irish Content Marketing: In Search of Strategy report. Here are some of the findings that surprised us the most. 

#1 – Spend increases in the absence of documented strategy

Content marketing is showing up across the board as a trusted
strategy – and companies’ plans to increase spend speaks to this. But we were
surprised at the continued commitment to content marketing despite a lack of
written strategy and in many cases measurement.

In fact, 60 percent of all Irish content marketers plan on increasing their content marketing budget next year, despite the fact that just 43 percent have a documented strategy and just 49 percent measure their ROI from content marketing.

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#2 – 51 percent don’t measure ROI or are unsure if they do

If you don’t know whether a campaign is working, then why
invest in it at all? Yet, 51 percent of Irish companies don’t measure their ROI
on content investment. 

The lack of documented KPIs is perhaps part of the reason
why Irish companies are slow to fully invest in content marketing strategies.
If a business doesn’t know the ROI of any
marketing campaign or strategy, it’s unlikely that they’ll willingly give the
resources to tackle an idea – no matter how amazing it is.

The lack of a content marketing ROI model also makes it very difficult to secure budgets for content programmes. But with the right integration of data, analytics, CRM and sales a robust attribution model can be developed to serve as a dashboard for the business and underscore the marketing spend. It also makes it easier to do more of what’s working and less of what isn’t.

#3 – Irish businesses aren’t using quizzes, podcasts and games

Everyone including your neighbours and their dogs has a
podcast nowadays – except for the companies they work for. (Yes, dogs have jobs.
It isn’t easy being a full-time good boy, but they’re doing the best they can).

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It wasn’t just podcasts that didn't get any love among Irish content marketers; quizzes and games were also few and far between. The three mediums ranked at the bottom of the list of content marketing tactics that B2B, B2C and Enterprise marketers are using nowadays. This is despite the fact that they’ve been on every trending list to hit the internet over the last few years.

Is it because they’re ineffective? Possibly, but not likely. Interactive content like quizzes, diagnostic tools and games has the potential to really engage an audience. But, they do take a lot of time, effort and resources to create, which might be putting the barrier for entry just a little too high at the moment.

#4 – Pinterest isn’t getting any love in Ireland

Content marketers are constantly searching for new channels
to promote their content and Pinterest has been widely lauded as one of the places
to reach emerging audiences. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t get the same love
in Ireland as it does elsewhere in the world.

Only 6 percent of our respondents said that they used Pinterest to promote content and all of our respondents ranked it as the least effective social platform to do so.

It seems as though the social discovery platform has yet to find its corporate niche in the Emerald Isle and it’ll be interesting to see whether or not its usage sees an uptick over the years to come.

#5 – Content calendars are the most common aspect of content marketing
strategies

Everyone has a content marketing “strategy,” but not everyone documents it.

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It sounds crazy, we know - we think everyone should have a documented strategy too. But among all respondents – including those who document their strategies and those who are flying blind – the content calendar is the most popular element of their strategy, with 67 percent of marketers using one.

While content calendars are great and you should definitely have one, it surprised us that they’re a more popular element of the strategy than other aspects like KPIs aligned to the business goal (63 percent), a competitor analysis (50 percent) and a tone of voice (50 percent).

When you look at just those who have their strategy
documented, you notice that the most popular element of their strategies by far
is having the KPIs aligned to the business goal (77 percent). While 69 percent
of them also have content calendars, we saw a big uptick in other critical
elements like competitor analysis (58 percent) and tone of voice (62 percent).

So, while content calendars are the most common aspect of
content marketing strategies, there’s room for further improvement. Giving
credit to our theory is the fact that those who have actually documented
their strategies see having KPIs aligned to the business goal as the most
important element.

Rightfully so – how else can you tell whether your content marketing strategies are valuable for the business?

Keep up to scratch with Irish content marketing

Want to learn more about content marketing in Ireland? Check
out our report on Irish Content Marketing: In Search of Strategy. We
surveyed 100 Irish companies and their marketers to bring you insights on how
Irish content marketing is flourishing – and sometimes not – in our country.

Note: we didn’t survey any dogs (Sorry).

256's Irish Content Marketing: In Search of Strategy report is the most comprehensive study on content marketing ever undertaken in Ireland.

Download our Free Irish Content Marketing Report

Get marketing insights from over 100 Irish companies. 

Irish Content Marketing Report

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