It’s no secret that businesses’ use of content marketing is growing. In fact, global content marketing revenues grew 14% in 2016 to $28.1 billion -- and the sector is poised for 14% growth again this year, based on pacing data for the first half of 2017.
That’s according to PQ Media’s annual Global Content Marketing Forecast 2017, a report that tracks and benchmarks content marketing trends.
PQ Media defines content marketing as “branded entertainment, print advertorials or native advertising.... an alternative marketing platform that targets specific audiences with content related to the target’s interests, beliefs and needs.”
Content marketing messages are also “exclusively sponsored by brands in a stand-alone product, whereas product placement is embedded into existing content, such as TV programs that would be produced regardless of any paid placements.”
Among the report’s key takeaways:
--The U.S. is the world’s largest market for content marketing, exceeding $12 billion in 2016 (44% global share), but it ranked only 16th in overall growth, trailing world leader South Korea’s 22% surge by eight points.
--Branded print and digital magazine content is the largest of the 13 content marketing channels, generating $8.4 billion, while branded mobile content and apps posted the fastest growth, increasing 48% in 2016.
--Content marketing revenues are projected to grow at a 14.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2017 to 2021, outpacing the 13.5% CAGR posted during the 2012 to 2016 period.
--Digital-only content marketing will replace hybrid print and digital content marketing as the largest platform in 2021, reaching $24 billion. Digital-only content marketing will remain the fastest-growing content marketing platform, increasing at a 22% CAGR from 2016 to 2021.
--Video, especially live video, is popular and considered critical. Longer pieces released less frequently vs. shorter pieces released daily have more impact.
--More campaigns are targeting influencers who will share stories with their communities.
--Mobile apps, particularly Snapchat, are “go-to” platforms for social media posts.
--E-mail and newsletters are gaining a larger share of budgets, especially among B2B brands.
--Brand marketers are demanding ROI analytics for content marketing -- but arriving at those metrics remains a challenge.
“While not necessarily surprising, our latest research does confirm that content marketing – print, digital and other forms – has become a major focus in omnichannel marketing campaigns worldwide,” Patrick Quinn, president and CEO, PQ Media, told Native Insider.
“Brand marketers are investing more resources in strategic planning and specific tactical implementation of content marketing to use the most effective means of brand activation based on research and analytics. For example, research indicates that fewer, quality digital posts attract higher engagement than relying on a large quantity of shorter posts.”
Quinn noted that content marketing has posted several consecutive years of accelerated growth through 2016. He said the research shows a surprising resurgence in several channels, including print custom magazines and e-mail campaigns, although their growth rates are among the lower ones in the content marketing channels he explored.