Over the past few years we frequently reported on (the state of) content marketing based on surveys from across the globe. However, often the scope and/or researched market are just too broad (such as Europe or more advanced markets such as the UK). The House of Marketing released findings on the use of content marketing in Belgium.
The findings are part of the respected and neutral “Yearly Marketing Survey” the organization conducts since many years with a proven methodology. It is conducted in partnership with the UBA (Union of Belgian Advertisers, a leading industry body).
Away with short-terminism
Let’s start with some findings that show the Belgian market is ready for content marketing. As Nicole Berx, Director of The House of Marketing, writes in her foreword, “marketers seem ready to break out of the cycle of short-terminism and again take more risks in order to drive sustainable and meaningful growth“.
This goes hand in hand with the survey’s finding that there is again ‘cautious optimism’ about the future among Belgian marketers. But that’s certainly not the only explanation. Other contributing factors are the increasing attention for analytics, agility, a more customer-centric view and cross-functionality. This is not a typical Belgian evolution but it’s good to see these shifts are happening everywhere.
Now, why is all this important for content marketing? Simple: content marketing is not about one-off projects nor just campaigns. It’s about a consistent, cross-channel, touchpoint-based and customer-centric use of content across the customer lifecycle and with a focus on relevance or usefulness.
Content marketing is here to stay
In that regard it’s good to see that, even if many marketers are still in an exploratory mode when it comes to content marketing, as the report found, responding marketers realize that content marketing is more about quality than about quantity and that no company can grow without an elaborated (let me repeat: elaborated) content marketing strategy (let me repeat that too: strategy – read more about content marketing strategy).
It might strike you as being obvious but you can’t imagine the daily flood of comments, opinion pieces and blogs about quality, quantity, strategy, etc.
For the record: The House of Marketing used the content marketing definition of the Content Marketing Institute: “the technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined target audience in order to drive profitable customer action”.
As we know the definition of content marketing is fairly broad and used for many business/marketing goals, customer-serving objectives and tactics. Yet, for Belgian marketers it’s clear: content marketing is not a hype nor will it become less important in the next five years. That’s at least what 87% of respondents say.
Tackling the challenges
The market is clearly there, even if there is still work to do and some tasks, ranging from measurement to actual content production, are found to be difficult. That’s good news for our conference of course where we’ll cover these topics but it’s also good news for the potential of content marketing in Belgium. In a follow-up post a deeper dive into the main objectives of Belgian marketers regarding content marketing, Big Data (and, yes, both are related as well) and the evolution of marketing tactics and media.
For now, check out some of the opinions of Belgian marketers in the infographic from the report below and if you want to know more, download it (registration required).