The United Kingdom has become a world leader in the field of 'content marketing', with this technique attracting increasing percentages of marketing budgets nationwide, according to a report by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).
The report, entitled 'Content marketing in the UK: 2013', made direct comparisons between the UK, US and Australia and found that, over the next 12 months, marketers based in the UK are planning to increase their content marketing budgets more than their peers in other countries including the US and Australia.
In fact, UK marketers are not only devoting an ever greater slice of their budgets to content marketing, but that they are also deploying a wider range of content marketing tactics than their international counterparts. Marketers in the UK also expressed the belief that they are more effective at content marketing than those operating in other countries.
The report reveals that the majority (94%) of all UK marketers are using content marketing. There is an even higher proportion of UK B2C marketers (97%) using it, while it is also proving hugely popular, if not quite so widespread, among B2B marketers (95%).
This is a reverse of the trends seen in North America and Australia, where content marketing is more likely to be used by B2B marketers than their B2C peers.
Almost two out of every three (64%) UK marketers are increasing their content marketing budgets, the study shows, whereas 54% of marketers in North America and 61% in Australia say the same.
There is a notable gap between B2C and B2B marketers in the UK in terms of plans to expand their content marketing budgets, with significantly more B2B marketers (72%) than B2C marketers (45%) expressing that intention.
The UK's marketers are relatively confident about their content marketing abilities. While 39% of UK marketers rank themselves as "effective" or "very effective" at content marketing, 37% of North American and 29% of Australian marketers put themselves in the same bracket.
The report also reveals some interesting insights into the use of social media by content marketers. Overall, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are the most popular social platforms, although there are slightly varying international preferences.
Internationally, marketers overall tend to use an average of four social media platforms - UK content marketers included - although North American B2B marketers are the exception to that rule as they favour five platforms. LinkedIn proved to be the most popular option for UK B2B marketers, while Facebook is the most commonly used platform among their B2C counterparts.
Quantity and quality are always at the forefront of marketers' minds when it comes to output, and those buzzwords are pertinent to both UK marketers and their international peers. Delivering enough content and producing sufficiently engaging content are the two most notable challenges faced by marketers.
The study shows that 21% of UK marketers say producing enough content is their biggest challenge, although it is more of a concern for B2B marketers than their B2C peers.
"The findings of the CMI's survey reflect many of the challenges we are being asked to address for our own clients," explained Adam Rock, managing director of specialist content marketing agency TAN Media. "This study provides food for thought about where marketers are now, and how they might find even greater success in the future."
The full report has been made available for free download from the CMI's web site - click here (PDF document; no registration needed).