A study of almost 23,000 brands into the state of content marketing for brands by TrackMaven indicates that ‘peak content’ was reached in 2015.
The extensive research project looked at the content marketing activity of those brands over Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and blogs and included 50 million pieces of content.
The final report makes for heavy reading but here are the key takeaways:
- Despite the fact that engagement continues to fall, brands are hell-bent on content and publishing.
From its highest to lowest points, the output of content per brand increased 35% per channel across 2015 but content engagement decreased by 17%.
This graph highlights just how difficult it can be to be seen and heard above the noise. When content output spiked in October 2015, the engagement levels took a sharp downturn. This certainly indicates there is a limit to how much content can be consumed and the increase in brand competition for engagement can dilute effectiveness.
- Content output per brand increased the most on Facebook and Twitter (60% and 31% YOY respectively)
Engagement dropped across all major social networks, but plummetted most on Pinterest. Twitter was the notable exception with engagement rising slightly across 2015.
- Two major trends: Monetisation of social networks and rise in mobile consumption
The social media “free lunch” is over and brands should expect to pay to play in these markets as the social ad platforms muscle in on feeds.
Ad revenue for Facebook and Twitter increased dramatically over the last two years. Interestingly the engagement ratio from brands on Facebook is about three times higher than that on Twitter. In 2011, the average adult spent less than an hour a day on mobile devices. By 2015 this had risen to 5.6 hours per day on internet connected devices and over half of that on mobile. On top of that, 88% of that time was spent “In App” meaning brands need to deliver content that is consumable on the go and at first touch.
- Blogging should still be treated as a core competency for brands
While marketers have been cranking out social content they appear to have been neglecting their bread and butter content duties on blogs. The graph below shows the average number of social shares (in red) and number of blog posts per month per brand (blue) across 2015.While the average number of blog posts per brand decreased by 16% over the course of the year, engagement with those posts held steady and peaked at 190.7 social shares per post in July 2015. This makes for a timely reminder that you shouldn’t neglect the basic fundamentals of content marketing in pursuit of the golden goose of a shiny ‘fun’ social network.
Why should you care?
Content marketing is still incredibly powerful, however…Not all social networks are created equal and woe to those who neglect their blogs.
A well-executed blog provides the fuel for your distribution strategy. Use social networks as a real-time feedback loop to identify topics your audience actually cares about.
Paid content promotion should become part of your ‘always on’ strategy. Use engagement analytics to make sure you spend effectively on content to which your audience will relate.
Test, measure, test again, rinse and repeat.
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