December 05, 2013

Content Marketing Has Reached 'Perfect Storm' According to Annual Report

Corporate spending on branded content continues to climb higher. According to the Custom Content Council (CCC)’s annual content marketing report, “Spending Study: A Look at How Corporate America Invests in Branded Content for 2013,” marketing budgets rose 13.7 percent from last year to over $5 million, with branded content claiming 37 percent of this total. All in all, branded content represented an average corporate spending of $1.86 million this year – up from $1.73 million in 2012.

The report’s findings also showed that 80 percent of marketers in 2013 predict a “moderate or aggressive” shift in content marketing spending as the industry continues to strengthen. “Content marketing has reached a perfect storm. All channels – including print, digital and social are growing,” said Lori Rosen, executive director at Custom Content Council. “Every major brand has embraced content media leading to higher quality, higher impact and higher ROI.”


To this end, spending on branded content for print publications rose 32 percent – totaling to over $1 million – compared to the total $775,000 spent last year. Spending levels for print haven’t been this high since the years 2006-2007, the CCC noted. Electronic content budgets also climbed this year, representing a 13.8 percent increase while “other” forms of content marketing plummeted by 41 percent.

While the popularity of content marketing and its competitive advantages are widely known, these findings bring about one very important point: the raging battle between print vs. digital.

The Resurrection of Print  

It has been widely speculated – and in some cases, affirmed – that print is dead. Even the survey’s findings prove that the last time print budgets were this high was six to seven years ago. To put this into perspective, this was right around the time Twitter was founded and only a year or two after Facebook and YouTube were introduced. Needless to say, although it was less than a decade ago, this time represents a drastically different era for content marketers – and one that many thought print couldn’t bounce back from.

While traditional print publications including magazines, newspapers and more are slowly but surely making the digital transition, the fact that branded content for print increased by an impressive 32 percent this year signals the lasting effect that good old paper has on consumers. However, electronic budgets are likely to grow more and more over the years as C-level executives elevate their awareness and understanding of the digital content marketing landscape as well as grasp that electronic mediums are no longer just a fad. 

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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