The age of branded content is upon us.
The vast majority -- 79% -- of marketers report shifting into branded content either at a moderate or aggressive pace, according to the latest findings from the Custom Content Council in partnership with ContentWise.
“The stability of brand content spend in the face of overall marketing budget decline proves the staying power and efficacy of content marketing,” said Lori Rosen, executive director at the Custom Content Council.
“This notable growth outcome is motivating brands to outsource at record levels,” Rosen added.
In fact, 52% of companies are reporting that they outsourced some portion of at least one type of branded content creation this year. Those dollars are being spent on external agencies, such as custom publishers, PR/social media firms, design firms, ad agencies and interactive agencies.
Some 56% of brands now outsource, and of those, the average annual spend is $987,417 -- an increase of 46% from two years ago, according to the CCC. About three-quarters of brands build content for print and repurpose that content for social media and the brand’s parent Web site.
The multichannel nature of content marketing is driving an average brand investment of $1,725,736 -- representing a 5.1% increase compared to two years ago, the CCC reports.
How is all that money being spent?
First and foremost, personnel continued to be the primary use of budgets. On average, print-based operations spent 44% on personnel; 37% on production and 19% on distribution. Digital-based operations, meanwhile, spent 57% on personnel; 26% on production and 17% on distribution.
Also of note, between 66% to 74% of content created for print, electronic and other marketing ends up being used in social media efforts, the CCC found.
The research was conducted via online and email methods targeting a random sample of companies across all industries. More than 5,000 invitations were distributed and approximately 177 surveys were completed and returned.
Participating organizations included Graybar, Manpower, State Farm Insurance, Towers Watson, Good Will Industries, Sunkist, and ValueOptions.