Executive Summary 3
How is the report structured? 5
Which technique will give me the most ‘bang’ for my ‘buck’ in 2016? 8
How do my content marketing capabilities compare? 9
Should I be producing more content? 10
How should I be resourcing my content marketing? 11
Do I need a content marketing strategy? 12
Where should I invest my budget? 14
Which planning techniques should I use? 15
Which content formats are most effective? 17
How should I promote my content? 18
What is the value of my content marketing? 21
What metrics should I measure? 22
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Welcome to the the European Content Marketing Report - 2016 Edition.
Every year, HubSpot and Smart Insights work together with European
businesses to establish the current state of content marketing in Europe to
help marketers benchmark their efforts and identify areas for improvement.
As marketers, we’re very much aware of the essential role that content plays in our
marketing strategy. Yet with the soaring popularity of content marketing, as seen in our
2015 report (71% of marketers were creating more content than in 2014), it’s getting
more difficult to stand out from the noise. ‘Content Shock’ will be a theme throughout the
report as marketers try to increase the volume of their content output without decreasing
its perceived value to their target audience.
In order to compete with content marketing it is becoming ever more important to
question your approach, tweak and optimise your strategy, and grab the attention of your
In our latest report, we summarise the experiences of over 700 marketers across
Europe that you can benchmark your own efforts against. The main findings and
recommendations from the report are:
Content marketing is still widely used and effective for businesses.
● Content marketing was rated the top digital marketing technique based on biggest
commercial impact on incremental leads and sales by 21% of marketers.
● Over two-thirds of businesses (67%) are planning to create more content in 2016
than they did in the previous year.
● In our 2015 report, 71% were planning on creating more content than 2014 -- does
this mean marketers are already adapting, aware of the potential for ‘Content
Marketers are ‘resourcing up’ to improve their content production.
● Although it’s the top rated technique, many businesses have not yet cracked
content marketing: Around three quarters of businesses (72%) rated their content
marketing as limited, basic or inconsistent.
● In an effort to upskill, more is being invested to create and distribute content, both
via new hires (33%) and increased agency resource (29%).
A strategic approach to content marketing is often lacking.
● 60% rated content strategy as their biggest content marketing challenge. This was
the top challenge across all marketers.
● Almost half (46%) of marketers don’t have a defined strategy or plan.
● Although many are using core planning techniques such as buyer personas,
journey mapping, and editorial calendars, over three quarters (76%) rate their
capabilities for these techniques as basic or medium.
As with last year, blogging remains the most effective content
marketing technique (75%).
● Followed by e-newsletters (66%), infographics (60%) and long-form content (50%)
Google Organic SEO is still the most popu