The Explosive Growth of Content Marketing: How Enterprises are Managing the Massive Content Sprawl

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

With the growth of content marketing, managing all that content has become a complex issue for enterprises. So what's the solution?

Interest in content marketing has been steadily growing since 2011.

Content marketing, of course, isn’t really a new concept. It’s actually been around for decades prior to 2011, but that year marks the point at which widespread interest in the coined term began to take a firm hold on everyone and everything.

Contently points out that according to Google Trends data, interest in content marketing jumped 20 percent in the last quarter of 2015, “Growing as much in two months as it did over the past two years.”

Shane Snow, CCO of Contently who authored this article on the company’s State of Content Marketing 2016 report, says that the data indicates that content marketing has reached a tipping point.

“Our research and pipelines both tell us that the late 2015 spike is an indicator of what’s to come in 2016: more investment in content marketing and more mature content strategies,” says Snow.

Denis Wilson, in a post for Publishing Executive, predicted in 2015 that the content marketing boom opens opportunities for revenue growth for publishers.

Wilson points to a joint study by The Content Council and AdAge that predicts that by 2017, content marketing will account for one-third of marketing budgets overall.

But what does all this explosive growth mean for enterprises?

Related Article: Increasing Content Marketing ROI: 14 Innovative Strategies

Content Marketing Represents a Key Challenge for Enterprises

These days, every brand is a publisher. It’s pretty much a pre-requisite that to be a successful company, you must embrace the power of publishing to create innovative, immersive experiences for your target audience to attract leads, nurture relationships with both prospects and existing customers, and convert leads to buyers.

But that means producing, managing, distributing, and measuring ever-increasing volumes of content to provide targeted experiences for a multitude of buyer personas across many marketing and sales channels, each with a variety of touch points.

In other words, managing content for an enterprise is one of the most complex, comprehensive undertakings any executive could face.

It takes a visionary with exceptional organizational and leadership skills to build the right team, oversee ideation and production, and work across departments to ensure that the content their teams produce is in line with both marketing and sales goals.

According to Contently’s report, 77 percent of B2C marketers and 76 percent of B2B marketers said they planned to increase their content marketing efforts in 2016.

But amid this rapid growth in content marketing is a growing awareness of the need for effective tools and solutions to help enterprises manage the production, distribution, and measurement of content.

Related Article: In a Content Marketing Rut? Tailor Your Content to Your Customers’ Interests

Turning to Enterprise Content Management Tools

There are plenty of tools to facilitate the many aspects of the content marketing process, just check out Curata’s massive list of content marketing tools for a peek at the hundreds of tools you can use to streamline every facet of your company’s content marketing strategy.

Many of these tools are fantastic, offering a variety of features and solutions to coordinate workflows, streamline collaboration across teams and departments, provide in-platform feedback mechanisms and measurement tools for monitoring progress and identifying key areas for improvement, and more.

Curata lists content marketing tools in an astonishing 35 categories, with several categories including well over a dozen tools.

Categories encompass everything from social media analytics to funnel analytics, email marketing tools, sales enablement tools, social media management, content audit tools, content collaboration tools, content curation tools, and more.

Enterprises, typically armed with healthy marketing and technology budgets, are in a better position to test and evaluate various tools, ultimately selecting the set of tools and solutions that can be successfully integrated for a complete, end-to-end content marketing management strategy.

Still, even the best integrations can leave content assets siloed in various content repositories. This can lead to poor marketing-sales collaboration, with sales reps spending valuable hours searching for and re-creating content assets that already exist within the enterprise.

Searchable, Discoverable Content Bridges the Gap in Enterprise Content Marketing Tools

The ideal, for many years, was believed to be a single content repository that served as the one and only repository enterprise-wide.

Ask any enterprise marketer or executive how much success they’ve had in trying to convert employees from preferred file storage and sharing platforms to a central repository that adds another step to their workflows, and you’ll realize quickly why this approach has been an epic failure for most enterprises.

The reality is it’s not likely that enterprises can successfully convert to the use of a single, central content repository.

The solution, then, becomes not one of finding the ultimate content marketing tool that can handle every content marketing process from end-to-end, or forcing employees to adapt to a new workflow to incorporate a single content repository, but one of making the content that’s spread throughout the enterprise among a variety of repositories more easily searchable and discoverable by marketing, sales, and any other team member requiring quick access to approved content assets.

Related Article: Create Better Content With These Content Marketing Rules to Live By

Content sprawl isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon, but technology is finally catching up.

While enterprises will continue to rely on a suite of tools that integrate to create a seamless workflow across the content marketing process, tools that make enterprise content searchable, discoverable, and measurable will bridge the gaps to enable companies to fully leverage every content asset that exists within the enterprise.

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