September 05, 2012

Outbrain, in partnership with Econsultancy,released an in-depth study on content marketing that looks in detail at the strategies, objectives and challenges involved in the fast-growing field.

With more than 90% of respondents predicting that content marketing will increase in importance over the next 12 months, the findings overwhelmingly point to the discipline's mounting importance.

Despite this, the majority of companies do not have a content strategy, dedicated budget or dedicated individual in place.

The study, conducted in July and August of 2012, is based on a global survey of more than 1,300 digital marketing professionals working for brands, publishers and agencies.

Key findings from the report include:

While content marketing is growing in importance and is increasingly seen as its own discipline, the majority of companies do not have a defined content strategy:

-) More than 90% of respondents believe that content marketing will become more important over the next 12 months.

-) Two-thirds of in-house marketers (64%) agree that content marketing is becoming its own discipline.

-) Less than half of companies have dedicated budgets (34%) or dedicated individuals (46%) for content marketing, though 55% of in-house and 58% of agency respondents are planning content marketing strategies in the future.

-) Less than half of all companies spend more than 20% of their marketing budget on content, despite the fact that only 12% disagree with the statement that "content marketing is more effective that advertising in driving sales"

Content marketing and social media are inextricably linked

-) 83% of in-house marketers use social posts and updates for marketing, more than any other type of content

-) Social network engagement is the most popular tactic used to drive traffic, with 78% of in-house respondents stating that their company used this.

-) Social posts and updates are the second most effective type of content for in-house marketers after email, with 46% stating that this is one of their three most effective types of content.

Resources, budget and politics are major barriers to effective content marketing.

The barriers preventing effective content marketing which were listed most frequently by in-house marketers were:

-)Lack of human resources (42%)
-)Lack of budget (35%)
-)Company politics (30%)

Agency respondents were more likely to cite:

-)Lack of understanding / training as a main barrier (46%)
-)Content marketing skills (39%)
-)Lack of ROI / no business case (35%)

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