Being able to effectively track content marketing ROI may be getting easier, but very few are managing to do it with clear success.

That’s the key takeaway from the Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI’s) and Direct Marketing Association’s annual ‘Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends’ report, now in its third year, which saw professionals answer a series of questions on bottom-line delivery, content goals and their favourite platforms for sharing media.

Researchers found that gaining content ROI entails middle-of-the-road progress with 34% of the group rating their success as three out of five. Perhaps more alarming is that just 7% rate their ability to gain ROI as “very successful” and 11% make no attempt to track how much they earn from content.

Social media plays a huge part in the promotion of content and CMI was keen to find out which channels are the best for distributing media in its various forms. Twitter is currently at the top of the table with an average effectiveness rating of 75%, while B2B social network LinkedIN places second on 61%.

The list also provided evidence that content marketers are looking to switch up their text-based strategies, as YouTube’s third position (50%) in the platform effectiveness table highlighted.  

Further signs of this were showcased in a separate poll, on content marketing ambitions, which saw 60% of the group claiming to be making an effort to create a greater variety of content. Just 3% said this did not represent a priority.

As for goals, there is a clear emphasis on being able to develop leads and build customer relationships via the ‘soft-sell’ that content provides. Direct selling is still commonplace, though, as content becomes more ROI-driven.