Study Finds Global Content Marketing Exploding At Double-Digit Rate

Global content marketing revenues — monies generated by operators who provide content marketing services — rose 14.4% during the first half of this year following a 13.3% spurt last year, and are expected to more than double over the next five years, according to KPI benchmark data released yesterday by PQ Media in its first annual Global Content Marketing Forecast.

If you add in-house spending into the mix, the content marketing pie expands from $26.47 billion to $144.81 billion in 2014. It is projected to reach $313.42 billion in 2019, with $259.17 billion coming from in-house efforts.

“More companies are hiring in-house content marketing specialist, often within their marketing or corporate communications divisions, particularly to handle social media and digital content,” observes PQ Media president and CEO Patrick Quinn.

Calling content “the world’s hottest marketing’s platform in 2015” — while pointing out that it has been around since the 19th Century — PQ Media found that content marketing overall has grown at double-digit rate for the past five years across eleven channels: 

  • Branded digital and DVD videos;
  • Branded games and content tools;
  • Branded guest postings, articles and case studies;
  • Branded mobile content and apps;
  • Branded print and digital magazines;
  • Branded print and e-mail newsletters;
  • Branded printed books and e-books;
  • Branded research reports, white papers and public documents;
  • Branded social media sites and visual content;
  • Branded webinars and online presentations;
  • Sponsored events and event publications.



Analysts divided the channels into three sectors: hybrid print and digital, digital only, and nontextual.

With the expectations and demands of Gen-X and Millennial consumers changing the rules of the game — particularly women, in the brand marketer's sweet spot of 18-34 — digital-only content marketing channels were the fastest growing last year, with a 27.7% surge.

“Millennial women are downright killing it in this marketplace through efficient and effective use of new technology, large caches of malleable content and the charisma that has fueled the wave of popular female content producers and online video stars via popular social nets like YouTube and Facebook,” according to a release. 

But for all the new channels added into the mix, hybrid print and digital remains the largest of the sectors, thanks largely to tried-and-true print and digital magazines and advertorials, which rang up $8.13 billion in revenue — twice the size of any other channel.

“In 2007, print and digital magazines constituted about 50% of the market,” Quinn says. “Today it’s 33% of the market, with share falling annually. In five years it will still be the largest channel, but with approximately 15% of the market.”

Although non-textual content marketing was the smallest sector, sponsored events and event publications was the second largest category — good news for those all those magicians, comedians, speakers, jugglers, actors, models and musicians make a living off trade shows.

B2B content marketing still holds a narrow lead over B2C — 52.7% to 47.3% — but B2C is expected to continue to grow faster, with a projected 49.5% slice of the pie in 2019.

“Content is, was, and always will be king of the media and entertainment business,” says Quinn. He attributes the momentum, in part, to “the increasing sophistication with which leading brands, mar-com agencies, and forward-looking boutique content marketers are studying and engaging their target users with more testing, research, planning, and leveraging their most effective and efficient content, technology and talent.”

The U.S. is, “by far,” the world’s largest content market of the 15 countries studied, followed by Germany, Japan, the U.K. and France. The fastest growing market from 2013 to 2014 was South Korea; the U.S ranked No. 11 in growth.

“Ultimately, the best content marketing overlays engaging storytelling with a strong content foundation; concise and insightful prose; and the use of creative design aspects,” says Quinn.

Not to mention sagacious repurposing.

Snackable Content
The New York Timesis openinga London branch of its T Brand Studios next month, with four staffers.“We would love to have a nine-figure content marketing business and international will play a key role in that so the first step was opening an office and we’ll grow from there,” Times’ advertising innovations SVP Sebastian Tomich tellsThe Guardian…. Manifest Digital, a digital experience design agency, and McMurry/TMG, the omnichannel content marketing specialist, are combining to form Manifest, MediaPost’s Steve McClellan reports…. West Coast regional grocer Haggen Food and Pharmacy will use Unata to power a customer loyalty program and eCommerce experience. “The implementation will allow for more personalized marketing across Haggen’s channels including online, mobile and in-store,” according to a release…. New York-based Narrative has named Nathan Phillips its chief creative officer.

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