Have You Told Your Clients the Latest About Content Marketing?


Just when your clients think they have content marketing all figured out, another study comes along to challenge their strategy. The 2018 Digital Content Survey from Altimeter contains surprising insights on what marketers have to say about their content strategies. The survey results are based on answers from marketing professionals in 400 large companies in several industry verticals.

A New Focus for Content Marketing

Until recently, the focus of most content marketing pieces was on establishing businesses as thought leaders. Whether they were selling consulting services or sneakers, businesses were putting out white papers touting their industry knowledge. Once they were positioned as experts, businesses found it easier to lead prospects into the purchase funnel. 

That strategy has some truth behind it, but marketers have been changing the angle of their content marketing lately. Here are the formats that marketers say work best:

  • Product-​focused content that educates consumers about features and operations 29%
  • High-​value, high-​investment content that helps consumers make better personal or professional decision 25%
  • Entertaining and engaging content that also promotes brand awareness and health 18%
  • Content that highlights brand’s employees, practices and culture 17%
  • User-​generated content that serves a niche community 12%

Aligning Content With Business Vertical

Marketers find that specific types of digital content work best in the context of their industry. For example, service sector companies, such as health care providers, say content must help them establish credibility and expertise. When content achieves those goals, health care providers are successful in reaching patients. 

Content can also act as a ‘support’ tool. When retailers and manufacturers develop content that helps audiences use their products to improve their lives, they can form a stronger connection.

Expanded Content Formats

We’ve come a long way from the standard white paper. That style of content remains popular with B2B marketers. These days, B2C companies are using content marketing. When they reach out to consumers, they should use short video. At least 52% of consumers prefer short form (less than two minutes) video. Here are the other forms of content that performed well in the Altimeter survey:

  • Static images 51%
  • Native advertising 42%
  • Long-​form reports, white papers 37%
  • Short-​form blog posts 36%
  • Long-​form video (greater than two minutes) 32%
  • Podcasts 29%

For digital content, marketers gave their highest scores to the website/​company blog (50%) and their activity on Facebook (48%).

Your clients will want to know which kinds of content marketing resonate with their target audiences. You can give them in-​depth answers by checking out the Digital Audit available on AdMall from Salesfuel.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.