How Businesses Use Content Marketing | GoodFirms Survey

Quality content is no more just a substance in the online marketing domain, it has now turned into a need for any modern business to make itself stand out. No matter how big or small a brand is, the perfect combination of ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘where’ of the content published is the final deciding factor of the impact generation among the target audience. Also, just adopting a different approach to distinguish from rivals is not enough. The nail that needs to be hit harder is the ability to associate or rather connect with the consumers through content.

The research team of GoodFirms conducted a detailed analysis of the content marketing practices with the participation of 50+ digital marketers and entrepreneurs globally. As a result, each participant shared his/her experience with respect to the business they are involved in and talked about their learnings that they have gained from the ups and downs of their content marketing journey. 

Read the overview of this survey below to get the statistical cognizance of the aforementioned facts.

Content Marketing Research Overview

The Detailed Findings

GoodFirms consulted the marketers to gain acumen about the ongoing vogue of content marketing techniques. The constructive inputs received in the process, explained the effectiveness of the content marketing tactics for businesses. It also unveiled the true purpose of utilizing this marketing strategy, the budget allotment as well as challenges faced by the content marketers. The content marketing maestros even shared some unique strategies that worked out affirmatively for their business goals.

Read on to get a brief understanding of the content marketing elements in today’s business world.

1. Is content marketing effective?

There is no such question in the market stating if the content is needed, as it is the foundation for every successful marketing campaign. The content is not above the marketing strategy, it's behind it. Regardless of what the content strategists plan to implement, they require effective substance - be it an SEO optimized web page or a blogging technique or a social media post or a banner and the content likes needed. The common agenda for all content marketers is how to make content marketing more effective for businesses. The below chart shows the response obtained in the survey and pretty much clears the effectiveness of content marketing as a tactic.

Content Marketing Research Effectiveness

Well, the statistics mentioned in the chart pretty much clears the opinions of the global marketers. With 98% of the participants being on the absolute positive side, all it is left is to understand is their strong conviction about the same. Read a couple of opinions supporting the aforementioned stats underneath:

For instance, Alayna Pehrson, Content Marketing Specialist at BestCompany said, "Although we are still new to the content marketing game, we have definitely seen benefits from it already. We are getting more organic traffic to our site and more interaction with the content on our blogs. Content marketing has also amped up our social media interaction and has provided us with brand awareness opportunities. Our site pages' organic rankings on Google have also improved.”

Also, Craig Smith, Founder & CEO of Trinity Insight shared his experience, “We have had an active blog for years, and have always believed in publishing quality content. Whenever we pull back from our efforts, we notice a significant drop in links and leads. This tells us that our content efforts are an effective part of the customer journey.”

Thus, a supreme percentage of digital marketers have given a thumbs-up for the utilization of content marketing as a tactic, as it gains steady leads in the long run especially for both service and product based industries. In fact, the extremely positive verdict for incorporating content marketing demonstrates that is highly important to include it in the digital marketing strategies to sustain a high number of leads congruously. The survey takers even emphasized experiencing a disappointing loss of web-traffic with the decrease in the quality and quantity of content in their editorial calendar.

2. What is the general purpose of content marketing for businesses?

Content creation adopts many divided purposes to gain positive traction with reference to customers’ attention and loyalty towards a brand. May it be improving search engine ranking, increasing web traffic through content variants, creating brand awareness, driving conversions or imparting knowledge to the audience. In fact, the latest research by GoodFirms on SEO trends & tactics shows that 42.7% of SEO experts declared content marketing tactics to be the top inbound marketing priority for businesses.

Some of these purposes of the content strategy may carry higher weight but each one of it is directly proportional to each other and create a ripple effect even if one of them experiences an uplift. Fundamentally, which purpose needs to be fulfilled first, sheerly depends upon the marketing demand of the brand. Setting the priority for purposes determines the sequence of the desired ripple effect in accordance with the brand’s content strategy. The research team of GoodFirms thus interacted with the content marketers to get the gist of the purpose that scores the higher points or rather behaves as the core of the content marketing strategies.

The below figure shows the results of the aforesaid communication in a graphical manner. The percentages obtained with not much difference for all the options should give you an idea that every purpose holds a notable significance for the content marketing professionals.

Content Marketing Research Purpose

Shane, Director at 3 Cats Labs, stated - “Primarily we use content marketing for SEO purposes. Content does have other purposes, such as to drive traffic or raise brand awareness. However, the ability for content to be used as a long-term strategy for SEO purposes remains at the core for most content marketing.”

Sean Dudayev, Business Growth Expert at Frootful Marketing, shared his take, “I use content marketing primarily for SEO, which also has the benefit of educating our customers and earning their business. The approach we take is we research the burning questions that consumers in the industry have, and we spill all the beans. This creates a trust with the audience and turns them into customers.”

The people that see your content don't have to necessarily buy or register or subscribe immediately. They can recommend you to others, simply share some of your posts for others to see, or maybe remember your tool in a few years when they'll need it themselves. The marketers from top SEO companies confessed that the results from content marketing don't always occur instantly but eventually, the hard efforts work out in one or another way fulfilling the original purpose.

3. How much of the marketing budget is spent on content marketing?

Marketing matters and the experienced digital marketing professionals know how important it is to invest in strong content strategies, making sure that your targeted consumers get your message at the right time and from the right platform. Without content advertising, an organization gets practically nothing in terms brand’s valued position in the market, which means the odds of development become pretty much negligible. This is a verifiable truth among advertisers, obvious in the measure of dollars that successful companies allot towards qualitative content production consistently.

Whether to allow content marketing to have a particular percent share of the marketing budget is not a subject that needs discussion. But, how much exactly? This is what the digital marketers obsess about! As mentioned earlier, this survey acquired individual responses from 50+ experts belonging to multi-faceted industrial sectors respectively, and each of them shared their own percent share allotted to content from the marketing budget of the business. It turned out that on an average, businesses allot 25% of the marketing budget to the content production and marketing, which is quite satisfactory.

The detailed analysis of the responses obtained stating the percent share of the marketing budget allotted by the respective percent of inbound marketers in shown in the graph below:

Content Marketing Research Budget

4. What is the biggest challenge with content marketing?

Creating content is simple. Creating great content is substantially harder. It comes from the fundamental phenomena that the subject matter for whatever the type of content is being produced should be from the perspective of consumers and not solely revolve around the products or services. That being said, insufficient time or budget allotment to content with the increasing competition in the market, makes it even more difficult for the brands to publish something exceptional at the right place in the right time.

All materials in the cycle of content publication cross over numerous junctions in order to get to the final platform. And well, every junction point fills in a load to be dealt with wisely. These loads behave as challenges that ought to be overcome smartly to gain fruitful results from content marketing.

The pie chart underneath exhibits five different challenges faced by the content marketers along with the affiliated percentages obtained from the survey. Contemplate the chart to understand the charge carried by each challenge, which is evaluated on the basis of the answers received from the content influencers globally.

Content Marketing Research Challenge

It is pretty clear from the above chart that the top three challenges faced by the content marketers are producing engaging content, developing a productive content strategy and systematic measurement of ROI on various levels. Read the precise responses of a few content marketing specialists and get the nuance of how these challenges affect the results of content marketing.

Stan Tan, Digital Marketing Manager at Selby’s, “Brainstorming content ideas that relate to our KPIs. Our business serves a select group of clients in the signage industry. We don’t serve every type of client in the signage industry. Because of that, we stay away from content that is searched or attracts the clients we don’t. For example, we stay away from content topics such as how to choose the cheapest signage provider because we don’t want to attract clients who shop by price.”

Pierre de Braux, the Content Strategist at Spiralytics Inc, “Our biggest challenge, by far, is implementing an effective content strategy with the massive increase in competition across the content marketing landscape. Every brand is jumping on the content marketing bandwagon and that means a lot of content is being produced daily. Now the battle for user engagement is more furious than ever, so we have to be really smart about what we produce and where we distribute/promote it.”

Tom James, CEO – Digital Fox, “Measuring the ROI on content campaigns has gotten harder, mostly because there are so many "dark" social shares. It's not just one or two feeds you can check video views or engagements on now. There's IGTV, stories, posts, live, photos, videos etc and that's just Instagram and your own content published. When you throw in influencer content campaigns it's even harder to track, especially when working with 10-100+ influencers at once, without third-party tracking tools, or your own.”

Apart from the top three content marketing challenges explained above, the others in line are the selection of distribution channels and allotting the right amount of budget for producing content. Aligning distribution channels and budget allotment with content strategy is essential for producing the best ROI. The fact is, all the challenges are like different instruments of the same orchestra. And all these instruments need to be in tune with each other to create a successful symphony for the users.

5. Examples where a content strategy or a tactic implemented gained positive outcomes.

The content strategists rationed out some of the successful enactments of their career in terms of content marketing techniques to succor their respective goals - increasing web traffic, gaining leads, improving conversions, generating backlinks and the likes. The highlighted tests and trials mentioned below, with courtesy of the survey takers, give mindful insights on how to make content marketing tactics work efficiently.

Read the featured experiences beneath to know the unique ways around the brains of the global content influencers:

John Huntinghouse, Director of Digital Marketing at Epic Marketing unveiled one such experience. His agency had a lot of success with RV dealership and hence decided to implement an inbound content marketing strategy that would utilize the white paper to attract RV Dealers that would be interested in doing digital advertising.

He and his team looked at their keyword competition in that space and found a few for which they were confident that they can rank easily. Next, they looked at the pain points of those keywords and created a white paper that solved that very specific pain point that the consumers were experiencing. Even though John and team created that piece of content almost two years ago, it is still their highest source of leads from their content strategy.

Stephanie Fehrmann Co-founder and Head of Content – Redefine Marketing Group communicated her share as well. She created a quiz for one of her clients that served a dual purpose. She aimed for two things with that quiz; social sharing among the users and decreasing the bounce rate. Since the quiz didn't actually start until users clicked through onto page 2, the user simply starting the quiz (even if they dropped off after question 1) effectively improved her client's bounce rate.

Her team worked with a few different micro-influencers in the client's industry as well, and asking them to share the quiz was an effective tactic. Additionally, they created a paid ad on Pinterest which was eye-opening. The very nature of pinning and repinning on Pinterest meant new users were seeing and clicking on the quiz 6+ months after they first promoted the Pin.

Ulysis Cababan Content Strategist at RapidVisa Philippines mentioned that Facebook live stream always gives them a boost in brand awareness and engagement, as it gives the company the perfect chance to interact with their clients wanting immediate answers or needing some enlightenment. Ulysis further added that, whatever content marketing technique a business thinks they will excel in to reach their audience, good product knowledge is necessary so as to build trust.


Diverse strategies work for organizations belonging to different industry verticals. The adequacy of such pointers can be refined for your business by fusing content marketing experts that are skilled to find extraordinary approaches to advertise your service or product. The long haul marketing plans that can deliver steady benefits through the content that gets appreciated by consumers is an outright need for any association. GoodFirms comprehends it flawlessly and thus helps you with a rundown of top content marketing companies, wherein you can be guaranteed of finding the best fit.

Leave comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
February 3, 2019 02:49

Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us. it's really nice and helpful too. Keep up the good work.

June 25, 2020 13:11

Kudos Bobby! Keep reading!