May 20, 2013

66% of Brands View Content Marketing as 'Very Important' to Their Overall Strategy

No one ever wants to be the first to arrive at the party: the host is questioning why you were so eager to arrive; the spinach and artichoke dip is not even warm; you are not sure if your clothing attire is appropriate; and you play a vital role in setting the tone for the party, whether you want to or not.

Well, content marketing is the complete opposite. Not only do you want to be the first to arrive at the party but oftentimes you want to be the host. This is because 91 percent of B2B marketers are already employing content marketing strategies—meaning that if you are in the other nine percent, you can be sure there will be no dip left and little chance for you to make your lasting impression at the party when you arrive.

According to a survey released today, the content marketing party just got a whole lot more crowded—making it that much more imperative that you figure out a way to stand out among your competitors. In fact, 66 percent of brands and 65 percent of agencies identified that branded content marketing has become “very important” or “most important” to their marketing strategy, as revealed in a recent MailOnline survey.

"There are many 'flavors' of branded content marketing from native advertising to content hubs, from advertorials to branded entertainment and even custom video, but given the on-set of social media, there has been an evolution of this marketing approach and a new emphasis placed on it by both clients and their agencies," says Sean O'Neal, Global Chief Marketing Officer for MailOnline. "It is now a top tactic for driving brand lift and sales lift online."

After surveying more than 600 online advertising and marketing executives, here are some of the chief findings:

  • 70 percent of brands and 77 percent of agencies employed content marketing strategies for advertising purposes in 2012
  • 30 percent of agencies measure content marketing success off of “brand lifts”
  • 32 percent of brands measure content marketing success off of “sales lifts”
  • 71 percent of agencies acquire their branded content by partnering with publishers that they are buying the media from
  • More than two-thirds of brands are teaming with third-party content providers to address copy creation needs.

The findings from this survey touch upon the growing ubiquity of content marketing, as evidenced by the surge of infographics, blogs, newsfeeds and video segments produced by companies across a variety of different verticals.

And the content marketing “party” is showing no signs of shutting down any time soon. Conversely, the number of marketers deploying this strategy is increasing exponentially. Specifically, B2B marketers are spending 33 percent of their marketing budgets on content marketing in 2013, up from 26 percent last year, according to the Content Marketing Institute. Moreover, 54 percent of B2B marketers have announced that they will increase their content marketing spending for 2013. 

"Content marketing is intended to take advantage of the one key difference between marketing and content which is that consumers are more guarded against marketing messages," adds O'Neal. "For this reason, many brands are becoming adept 'publishers' of information and content, and tapping into the more trusted nature of valuable content vs. advertising."

To learn more about the recent findings from the MailOnline survey, click here.

Edited by Justin Reynolds

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