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Top 5 content and digital marketing reports 2014/15

We have compiled a list of the top 5 content and digital marketing reports from 2014/15. We hope they offer you further insights into the tactics and thoughts of other businesses and organisations.

If you haven’t already read our 2015 survey, then please download it here: Elite Writers – Content Marketing Insights Survey 2015

Having read more than our fair share of reports and survey related to content marketing and digital marketing we could probably sum up the findings in the following 3 bullet points:

  • ROI is the focus for businesses and marketing professionals. However, only 28% are successfully measuring the return on investment of their content marketing programs. In the B2C sector, just 23% of marketers believe they are successful at measuring the ROI of their content marketing programs, and incredibly almost 21% do not track the ROI of their campaigns at all.
  • Lead generation and nurturing are the top priority, although some reports indicate consumer engagement is beginning to take pole position. This may be due to the concept of content marketing maturing in people’s minds and the realisation that just creating content alone isn’t content marketing. This is confirmed by the Content Marketing Institute who discovered in a recent poll that the number of marketers that use content marketing has dropped from 93% in 2014 to just 86% in 2015. Although people thought they were “content marketing” they now realise that it is a strategy that aligns itself with consumer engagement and not just for winning a few leads.
  • People have to up their game to win online. The quality of content that most companies deliver has been shocking and the days of throwing up content to be used as search engine fodder have long gone. Not only are consumers more savvy and want newspaper quality content, but Google is becoming more advanced and able to spot shoddy work. To gain top positions in the search engines content has to be 2,000 words or more (yes, really) and it has to engane, informa nd entertain your reader otherwise they will click over to your competitors and never come back.
Content Marketing in the UK 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends by CMA and DMA sponsored by Axonn from Content Marketing Institute

Content Marketing in the UK 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends by CMA and DMA sponsored by Axonn from Content Marketing Institute

Content Marketing Institute

Content Marketing in the UK 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends

Engagement and Leads Take Centre Stage

UK marketers have become much more goal-focused over the last year. They also rate themselves as slightly more effective at content marketing when compared with the North American and Australian marketers we reported on earlier this year. Those are just a couple of the key findings we present in CMI’s third annual Trends report, produced in partnership with the UK Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and sponsored by Axonn Media. The report shows how UK for-profit marketers (both B2B and B2C) approach content marketing as compared to last year.




Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night? By Adobe & Advertising Week

Adobe & Advertising Week

Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night?

In conjunction with Advertising Week Adobe released some striking research about how marketers are feeling about the digital world. The study, Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night?, reveals insights about how 1,000 U.S. marketers feel they’re doing – as individuals, in their companies and relative to their industry peers.

For instance, only 40% of marketers think their company’s marketing is effective and 76% of marketers believe measurement is important vs. 29% who believe they are doing it well.


CMOs: Time for digital transformation or risk being left on the sidelines, by Accenture

CMOs: Time for digital transformation or risk being left on the sidelines, by Accenture


CMOs: Time for digital transformationor risk being left on the sidelines

Digital disruption is here and CMOs know it, but it’s time to do more

Based on the Accenture Interactive 2014 CMO Insights Survey, CMOs are selling themselves short. The question isn’t whether CMOs can effectively take advantage of digital channels – they are proving they can – but whether they can be more visible change agents for digital transformation across the organization.

As every business becomes a digital business, C-suite executives will need to collaborate to drive successful digital transformation. No CMO wants to be left on the sidelines.


The State of Content Marketing 2014 Survey Report, by Oracle Eloqua and LookBookHQ

The State of Content Marketing 2014 Survey Report, by Oracle Eloqua and LookBookHQ

Oracle Eloqua and LookBookHQ

The State of Content Marketing 2014 Survey Report

What are modern marketers doing in the way of content marketing in 2014?


How much content are modern marketers producing and for what purposes? What metrics are they recording and how are they measuring content marketing effectiveness? How are they using other people’s content? What trends are influencing their content marketing?

This free report from LookBookHQ and Oracle Eloqua has the answers to these content marketing questions and more. It contains the responses from over 200 modern marketers from across the Eloqua community and is required reading for anyone looking to understand content marketing in 2014.

There is a great infographic for this report here: The State of Content Marketing Infographic


Digital Megatrends 2015 The Role of Technology in the New Normal Market, by Oxford Economics

Digital Megatrends 2015 The Role of Technology in the New Normal Market, by Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics

Digital Megatrends 2015

The Role of Technology in the New Normal Market

Digital Megatrends 2015 examines how key economic and technology megatrends are reshaping market conditions, corporate strategies, and business models around the world and across industries. The programme outlines what the key digital megatrends—mobility, analytics, cloud computing, and social media—will mean for businesses in a range of industries and across the globe.


The secret to how Google earns $100 Million per day Just with search

That’s right, over $100 Million per day just with their search and advertising networks.

Not a bad days work.

And by the looks of it that may have been a bad quarter for them.

The finance industry had the highest cost per click and the travel industry the lowest cost per click.

Staples, Office Depot and Vistaprint are some of the top advertisers in the business sector.

However, what is most surprising is the biggest advertiser with Google is the University of Phoenix, an online school. comes in second place. Amazon, who are probably the biggest threat to Google’s search dominance spends approximately $132,000 per day in advertising with Google.

Google search economy

Click on the thumbnail for a larger view and then click on the image again for it to zoom in.

What is Content Marketing According to You?

Content marketing and wirting servicesContent marketing is the buzzword in business and marketing at the moment. I’ve been heavily involved in this industry, if you can call it that, for maybe 7 years now and still wonder what exactly it encompasses.

I thought it would be good to get a selection of the industry expert definitions and ask a few business people what they thought it meant and maybe more importantly what it means to them and how it affects their business.


How a brand creates, delivers and governs original or curated content to attract and retain customers, positioning the brand as a credible expert and, ultimately, motivating a change in behaviour

Content Marketing Institute


“Content marketing encompasses all forms of content that directly or indirectly promote a business, brand, product, or service.”


“Before we get into my predictions for content marketing in 2014, let’s define content marketing. Content marketing is really about providing valuable information or content to current and potential customers for the purpose of building trust, branding, awareness, and positive sentiment. A successful content marketing campaign establishes you as an expert in your field, and that sets the groundwork for a long-term business relationship.

Simply put, its primary focus is on building the relationship, not the hard sell.”



“Content Marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.”



What is your definition of content marketing and what does it involve for you? Please reply to #whatiscm or DM me. I’ll publish the answers here

From Pauper to Prince and Beyond – How Content Writing Became King

history of seoSEO is one of the most important things for a website. It can be responsible for a huge part, if not all, of your monthly visits. It’s a complex process, and one that is constantly evolving. You probably know that good SEO is strongly tied to having great content. But where did SEO and SEO content writing come from?

We take a look at the history of search engines, and the way they have created and shaped the demand for web content.

The first search engine

The first search engine was Archie (named after archive). While the internet was not around when Archie was developed, it was useful for searching the publicly available files on a small network at McGill University, Montreal. Archie kept an index of all the available files, so users could search for relevant information and download the files onto their computer. Because of limited space, Archie could only point you to the relevant file link, and not display its contents as we do today with web pages. While not connected to the internet, Archie for the template for search engines that would follow in the next few years.

The dawn of SEO

The first glimpse of SEO can be traced back to 1994, when Brian Pinkerton invented the first web crawler that could index entire web pages. Originally a desktop application, Webcrawler went live with a database of around 4,000 web pages. Before web crawlers became commonly utilised, search engines were powered by humans – researchers would collect data on websites and catalogue them in a database. Yahoo! combined both approaches to begin with – suggestions from its robot crawlers would only appear if the search term didn’t match anything catalogued in the database by its researchers.

In 1998 Google launched Page Rank, a way of assessing the incoming links on a web page to determine its importance. It was this move than begun the long relationship between SEO and links. In 2000 the company launched a Page Rank toolbar, so SEOs could check how well their website was performing. It helped them to work out which web pages would be best for getting links from. Unfortunately, this also led to the rise of ‘Google Bombing’, whereby webpages use unrelated links to appear in the results of searches irrelevant to them. SearchKing was perhaps the first example of Google penalising a site. It offered to broker deals between webpages for buying or selling text links, which Google didn’t like.

The next big development was the ‘no follow’ tag, which Google introduced to combat blog post spam. Bots were (and still are) used to distribute spam comments containing links across the internet. However, the ‘no follow’ tag became useful to SEOs, who could use it to change the way Google’s ‘link juice’ was distributed among web pages. This practice ended in 2005, with Google announcing that using a ‘no follow’ tag on a web page would no longer give more benefits to other pages on the site. In the same year, they launched Google Analytics, which allowed SEOs to accurately measure performance.

How has content writing changed with SEO?

Rather like the internet itself, content writing has evolved from something ugly and clumsy into a sophisticated and invaluable tool. To begin with content writing was all about providing what the search engine crawlers needed in order to identify your web page as relevant and important. This meant including as many keywords as possible, as many times as possible. Google attempted to put a stop to this popular practise in 2003 with its Florida update. This penalised sites for keyword-stuffing and over-optimising their anchor text.

By the mid noughties, the focus of copywriting had changed somewhat. The practice became more focussed upon giving the reader something of value as well as the search engine. This was still a tricky area, however, and some companies got into trouble for trying to find a way around this. One of these companies, BMW, was banned for using ‘cloaking’. This involved displaying different content to the user than the site did to the search engine – so while the user saw a page of products, the search engine found a spider-friendly page of text, filled with keywords. While a good attempt at satisfying both robot and reader, ‘cloaking’ could be easily manipulated, and so Google had to come down hard.

Hummingbird – Google’s latest update

Google’s latest update, Hummingbird, came into force in 2013, and is the first major update of its kind for the company since 2001. It greatly increases Google’s ability to analyse searches and understand the intent behind the search. Before, Google would analyse each particular word in a search. With the introduction of Hummingbird, the search engine also takes into account the context of the words in relation to the other search terms. It also utilises synonyms – so searching for the ‘advantages’ of product X will also return pages on the ‘benefits’ of product X.

What does Hummingbird mean for copywriting?

With every update, Google is trying to move away from the robotic search methods of the past, to create a more ‘human’ search. Every update has shifted it from focussing on quantity (number of links, density of keywords, etc) to the quality of the content. Pages are becoming ranked based upon their value to the searcher, not the search engine.

Which means it is vital that content is written to educate, entertain or inform its readers. It needs to be crafted with an understanding of what search engines need to see, but without compromising on the quality of information that is delivered to its reader.

Some SEOs are already suggesting that the future of search engines could be to take a step back towards databases of websites indexed by humans, and combine this with the speed and efficiency of a search engine spider. If this truly is the future of SEO, then the need for writing your content for a human reader, rather than a robot, is only going to increase.