Content marketing may be gaining popularity with marketers, but many find judging its effectiveness challenging, according to Digiday research.

A large part of the problem for marketers is figuring out what they should be tracking. Over half, 53 percent, of the marketers surveyed agreed that the biggest challenge with content marketing is establishing key performance indicators.

When asked what metrics they do track, the overwhelming majority of marketers said they use softer, brand-focused metrics such as page views, impressions, and audience reach, rather than direct-response metrics such as conversions or sales to determine the effectiveness of their content marketing campaigns.

The least common challenge facing content marketers was working with agencies and publisher partners, despite the fact client-agency relationships have come under increasing scrutiny in the past year or two as clients conduct more marketing in-house.

Content marketing has bucked the in-housing trend for now, but clients are doing more of the campaign strategy and ideation themselves which could be reducing the friction points between clients and agencies or publishers. One attendee at the event noted a benefit of working with agencies rather than in-house talent, “If I have talent in-house, and they run dry, I have to fire someone and re-hire. That’s turnover non-agency businesses aren’t built to do well.”

Other frustrations included production time and costs, and creating content that consumers might actually find interesting. But respondents said they were relatively happy with their ability to reach their desired audiences with their content.

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