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Key Content Marketing 2016 Data from NewsWhip’s Study

We’ve selected the key points from the 46-page report The State of Content Social Strategy 2016 by NewsWhip Content Agency. About the opportunities, difficulties and prospects of promotion through content.

In this article:

  • Social networks become the main source of news for the audience
  • Content effectiveness is now measured more by the engagement than by the views
  • Social networks as a channel for establishing an emotional connection with the customer
  • Key skills for the successful content distribution: analysis, strategy, editing
  • Combining paid and free promotion in content marketing
  • Major content marketing challenges: experts, money, strategy
  • Native advertising: the main difficulties

About Research

Distribution is becoming more and more fragmented, understanding audience interests and sentiment continues to be hard to track, and media creators and storytellers are struggling to find the resources to keep up.

Changing algorithms, especially Facebook’s news feed update, have shaken up the way producers view social channels. Publishers are pushed to the limit to understand changing audiences and gather the data they need to inform editorial decisions. Marketers and PRs struggle to find the most effective distribution channels, influencers and websites to spread their message.

NewsWhip examine the findings from over 250 respondents across news, publishing, PR, and marketing—giving you insight into the strategies and plans for innovation of content marketing.

Most of our respondents identified themselves as within the news and publishing industry (67%), with an average company size of under 100 employees.

Respondent Demographics

Content Marketing in Social Networks

According to the data from our Content Social Strategy survey, over half (52%) of these professionals said social distribution is “absolutely essential to their organizations,” rating it a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 importance.

Social distribution has become the new way for publishers to disseminate information, with many readers going to social platforms first to consume news. Over 40 percent of US adults get their news from Facebook.

KPIs and key metrics are no longer traffic stats or pageviews—they’re Facebook shares, Instagram comments, retweets.

Top Uses of Social Media for Content Production

Social, in this way, creates the opportunity to tap into something emotional with audiences—deeper than surface interest in entertainment and news.

Earlier, in our “Why Do Brands Need Transparency: Studies and Recommendations” article, we described how a brand’s informal communication helped improve the relations with Millennials and Generation Z.

Most Valuable Skills for Content Distribution

Professionals understand that high-level organic content, produced in-line with audience interests and the most important current events, is what’s required in today’s market. According to our survey data, 46 percent of all respondents felt content strategy is of 10 out of 10 importance when it comes to enabling social distribution. Effective social distribution cannot happen without good content strategy.

Most respondents (about 53%) say 75 percent of their time is spent on content planning and production, with the other quarter of their time and resources devoted to distribution tactics.

The biggest segment of survey respondents said that Facebook drives between 20 to 40 percent of their monthly traffic.

Monthly Traffic Driven by Facebook

About Balance between Paid Media and Organic Content

Distributing content for successful ROI requires a balance between paid media and quality organic content.

62 percent of respondents said their organizations invest in paid media, with most organizations (31%) spending between $100 and $10,000 per year on paid media boost.

Amount Teams Spend on Paid Media Per Year

Organic content is what builds the trust and credibility of brands, and guarantees your audience an engaging experience with your content on social platforms. According to survey responses, successful paid strategy is only possible if built on top of a strong foundation of well-strategized organic content.

Different types of content attract different actions from users on social media. For example, NewsWhip data showed that funny, niche content (like that published by the Bleacher Report) attracts more likes, while interactive content and quizzes attract more shares.

Respondents` 5 Biggest Challenges to Social Distribution

Native Content in Content Marketing

It’s clear that publishers who want to stay on top of the social game need to invest heavily in producing native content.

Convincing clients to swallow the high cost of producing native content or proving the ROI of native investment is something companies are struggling to balance.

With limited resources and manpower, finding the balance between cost and quality user experience has never been more difficult.

91 percent of respondents said that native content will become more important to their strategy in the next year, with about 34 percent of them rating it as 10 out of 10, or “absolutely essential” to their organization.

Earlier, we wrote how an online store succeeded in crisis communication with the help native advertising in the media, — “Case Study: How Super.com.ua Overcame Negativity with the Help of Sponsored Publications”.

The four biggest categories of challenges were quality of the content, balancing quality and budget, getting enough ROI, and having enough resources to execute.

Biggest Challenges to Native Content Success

Biggest Target Areas for Growth Learning

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