BrightEdge has released a new survey on the future of content and search marketing that exposes contradictions between what enterprise marketers and what they are actually doing.  The survey, which was conducted earlier this year, received 252 responses from “digital marketers at Fortune 500 brands that represent a split of B2B and B2C.”

The survey initially asked marketers, “What is your most important marketing initiative this year?” The two top answers were “organic” — it’s not clear how that was defined — and “content.” Search was next, followed by “paid,” “social” and “mobile.”

Source: BrightEdge Future of Content Marketing Survey (n=252 enterprise digital marketers)

Even with this answer, the latter three all saw response rates that were below 15 percent, which is surprising, seeings how most marketers are from from mastering mobile.  “Mobile optimization” was identified by 27 percent as one of the three “next big things” in search marketing.  What were the other two “big things”?  They included both AI/machine learning” (31 percent) and “voice search” (31 percent).

Even with the high ranking, a majority of survey respondents said they’d “not likely” integrate voice search (62 percent) or machine learning (57 percent) into their content marketing efforts this year.  But there was a meaningful minority of respondents who said they were “somewhat likely” to do so.

From a content marketing perspective, the top categories these marketers were focused on were:

  1. Blogging — 69 percent
  2. Social media — 62 percent
  3. Video — 45 percent
  4. Infographics — 30 percent

The metrics being used to determine the success of content marketing efforts were:

  1. Conversion
  2. Engagement
  3. Traffic

About 70 percent of respondents said that 50 percent or less of their content was being used or consumed by those who they were aiming their content at.  43 percent said that 75 percent of their content wasn’t being consumed at all.

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