Aggressive Marketing Spending on Branded Content

According to a new survey, “The Spending Study: A Look at How Corporate America Invests in Branded Content for 2012,” by the Custom Content Council and ContentWise, brand content is getting a bigger slice of the marketing pie: a 13% increase, or $1,640,107 in spending for the last two years.

79% of marketers are now reporting that their companies are shifting into branded content either at a moderate or aggressive pace. 52% of companies reported that they outsourced some portion of at least one type of branded content creation in 2012.

Lori Rosen, Executive Director, Custom Content Council, reports that “... stability of brand content spend... proves the staying power and efficacy of content marketing... motivating brands to outsource at record levels...”

Record high outsourcing dollars are being spent on external agencies such as custom publishers, PR/social media firms, design firms, ad agencies, and interactive agencies handling aspects of branded content. 56% of brands now outsource, and of those, the average annual spend is $987,417, an increase of 46.6%.

About three-quarters of brands build content for print and repurpose that content for social media and the brand’s parent website, underscoring the integrated nature of content marketing today, where content ideation requires a multi-channel consideration. The multi-channel nature of content marketing is driving an average brand investment of $1,725,736, representing a 5.1% increase.

Personnel continued to be the primary use of budget funds: print form spent 44% on personnel, while electronic form spent 57% on personnel. 66% to 74% of content created for print, electronic and other marketing ends up being used in social media efforts. 

The average total branded content outsourcing spending was a record $371,364.  Looking exclusively at the companies that outsourced, the average spend was even higher at $987,417.

The total spent on branded content per company rose to a total of $1,725,736 (up from $1,640,107), with electronic and other forms of content marketing reaching new highs. The overall marketing spent from 2012 of $4,424,964 is in line with historical averages, says the report, with spikes seen in the last two years appearing as an outlier.

Branded Content Spending (% Share of Form)


% of Spending













Source: CustomContentCouncil/ContentWise, November 2012

Respondents’ reported that the primary reasons for using branded content were educating customers, brand loyalty, up-selling, and customer retention.

38% of respondents felt their branded content budgets would increase in the coming year, and the number of respondents expecting a budget decrease was at the lowest level of the decades says the report.

 For additional information from the Custom Content Council, please visit here.


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