Corporations spent on average 37% share of their marketing budgets this year on branded content, finds the latest annual survey from the Custom Content Council in partnership with ContentWise. That 37% share is actually down a couple of points from last year, as spending on branded content failed to keep pace with a 13.7% average hike in overall marketing budgets. That was due to slower growth in spending on print publications, which have rebounded to pre-recession levels, but which could not match the 13.8% growth rate in electronic content budgets.
Next year should see yet another rise in content marketing budgets, as 8 in 10 respondents said they anticipate a moderate or aggressive shift towards content marketing. That might push its share of budgets up to or over the 40% mark. For comparison, recent studies from MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute pegged content marketing’s share of B2B and B2C marketing budgets at 30% and 24%, respectively.
Meanwhile, as with last year, most content marketing spending – 52% share – this year went to personnel, with production accounting for 32% and distribution 18%.
The primary reason for corporations to get involved with content marketing continues to be customer education, cited by 49% of respondents as their biggest factor in deciding to employ content. This year customer retention is the second-biggest reason for employing content marketing – up from the 4th spot last year, while brand loyalty moved down a spot to 3rd.
About the Data: The research was conducted via an emailed survey targeting a random sample of companies across all industries. Eight thousand survey invitations were emailed and approximately 210 were completed and returned, producing a +/- degree of accuracy of 6 percentage points at a 90% confidence level. Among the responding companies were Allstate, ValueOptions, Graybar, TCF Bank, BB&T and Honda.
The Custom Content Council defines custom content as marrying the marketing ambitions of a company with the information needs of its target audience. This occurs through the delivery of editorial content ”“ via print, Internet, and other media ”“ so intrinsically valuable that it moves the recipient’s behavior in a desired direction.