May 13, 2014

As Digital Marketing Budgets Increase, Content Marketing Takes Center Stage

If orange is the new black (according to Netflix) than digital is the new traditional. Forget jaded marketing methods like print advertisements, TV commercials, and radio spots. Web, social media, mobile apps, video, and email are the channels today’s consumers use to access brand information; connect with companies and like-minded peers; and ultimately make purchases. More importantly, it’s where the money is and plans on staying. 

According to Gartner’s “Digital Marketing Spending Survey,” digital marketing budgets will rise by 10 percent this year, following an impressive double-digit increase in 2013. What’s more, the survey found that, companies spent 10.7 percent of their annual 2013 revenue on average on overall marketing activities, with digital marketing spending averaging 3.1 percent of revenue.

"Marketing leaders are securing bigger budgets to define markets, develop offerings, and attract, acquire and retain customers," said Yvonne Genovese, managing vice president at Gartner. "Digital marketing is taking an increasing share of the marketing budget.”

The fact that organizations are allocating a large chuck of their marketing spend to digital marketing—or the promotion of products or services via one or more forms of digital media, such as SMS, mobile apps, and social media, among others—should come as no surprise. This type of marketing is undoubtedly the way of the future. Not only is it cost effective, but it’s the only way to reach today’s hyper-connected consumer across the platforms they most frequent. Think about it, what’s the first thing you do when you have a problem or need to search for a new service? Chances are you “Google it.”

So where exactly are savvy digital marketers putting their money? According to Gartner, content marketing will account for the second-largest share of digital marketing budgets, just behind digital advertising. Content marketing, a form of digital marketing, is the creation and distribution of custom content to attract and acquire customers.

As customers turn to more integrated marketing channels for researching and acquiring products and services, the pressure is on for organizations to create, manage, and distribute custom content. After all, if your business doesn’t have a digital presence, it’s almost guaranteed to fail. Because of this, companies have quickly come to realize the important role content marketing plays in their overall digital marketing strategy and road to success.

Marketers are also wisening up to the fact that “push marketing,” also known as traditional marketing, no longer works. Consumers want to actively engage with brands across multiple channels. Content marketing creates a two-way dialogue with your existing and potential customers and helps support digital channels with high-quality custom content that engages, nurtures, and converts. In fact, regardless of what type of digital marketing tactic you use—whether it’s whitepapers, blogs posts, or email marketing—quality content is the glue that holds it all together.

The numbers say it all; content marketing is no longer a value-add but a must-have for businesses that want to remain competitive and reel in today’s consumers. Fuel your digital marketing program with custom content and watch the rest fall into place.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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