4 Trends in Content Marketing

New study says content marketing is the future.

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We know that content marketing is not really about content itself, that it’s becoming more powerful thanks to social networking, and that it can effectively serve to fill “gaps in ‘conversation’ when media coverage is slow.

We now know that content marketing is the future…which shouldn’t be TOO surprising given the fact that 89 percent of content marketers say it works.

The Content Council, described as “the leading organization for content marketers globally,” just released a survey conducted with AdAge that should please everyone involved

First, we have a definition of the practice:

“The discipline of creating content, on behalf of a brand, designed with specific strategy of influencing consumer behavior in order to drive quantifiable and profitable results.”

Well, yes. Other key takeaways:

1. The money will increase

Estimated budgets are growing very quickly: two years ago, content accounted for 12.4 percent of total marketing spend, but that number is now 23.3 percent — and respondents believe it will reach 33.1 percent in two years.

2. Influence is just as important as sales

When asked to describe their content marketing goals, survey participants were just as likely to say “relevance/influence” as “customer acquisition/retention,” aka sales.

We don’t need to tell you why this is good news for PR.

3. The value of measurement will grow

A majority of participants believe that content marketing is truly measureable (58 percent overall). Members of the media are particularly optimistic on this point, at 65 percent think they can measure content.

Here’s the key, though: 66 percent of respondents say they are more likely to invest in measurement tools now than they were five years ago.

This is, of course, great news for your measurement software clients.

4. Agencies specializing in content will win the day

Finally, more and more CMOs plan to “outsource” some or all of their content work to appropriate parties.

Two years ago, marketers outsourced 23.1 percent of their content budgets; the number is currently 29.1 percent, and it’s expected to rise to 33.7 percent two years from now.

In short, agencies that specialize in content marketing will be best suited to compete in the market of the future.

People who don’t happen to be members of the Council will have to shell out $800 when it goes live on Monday, but you get the point.