We're always pleased to hear good things about the UK's marketing sector, so when we came across the news that the country is officially classed as a world leader in content marketing, it certainly put a smile on our faces.
A study released last month by the Content Marketing Institute revealed that almost all marketers in the UK are employing some form of content marketing, with 97% of B2C marketers and 95% of B2B professionals dipping their toes in this exciting new area.
What's more, according to the "Content Marketing in the UK: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends" report, 64% of marketers in the UK are planning to increase their content marketing budgets this year.
Content marketing vs strategy
As experts in this field, we are thrilled the rest of the UK seems to be waking up to the fact that content marketing is turning into a force to be reckoned with. This isn't to be confused with content strategy or branded content, however – they are all very different things, but all interrelate. Ben Barone-Nugent, a content strategist for R/GA, recently explained the difference for an article in The Guardian; content strategy, he says, is designing the flow of information presented to a user during his or her online experience.
The content strategists' main task is to come up with tools that make it easier for clients to present information to their target audience. One of these key tools is branded content; branded content is instrumental in achieving certain company goals, such as increased acquisition or satisfying a need that has been identified by the target audience. In this respect, the reach of content strategy encompasses all products, whereas branded content and content marketing focus on advertising and subsequent acquisition.
Budget increases for content
Some challenges faced by content marketers in the UK at the moment include producing enough content (a concern for 21% of professionals), and ensuring said content is of a high enough quality for their discerning consumers. Nevertheless, despite these challenges content marketing is due to continue driving higher marketing budgets until the end of the year. Almost half of respondents in the CMI study said they will be increasing their spend on content marketing, with 15% saying they plan to increase it significantly.
So, it looks like UK marketers are firmly on their way to taking advantage of everything content marketing has to offer, regardless of any challenges that may need overcoming. Seeing as it is a relatively new weapon in marketing arsenals, chances are that over time marketers will come up with tools that help them create sufficient amounts of truly engaging and valuable content.