Marketers continue to be in love with their own content. Spending on branded content is set to reach $1.8 million this year, or 37 percent of marketers’ ad budgets, up from $1.7 million in 2012, per a Custom Content Council survey.
The lion’s share of that is going into print. Spending on publications rose the most of three measured categories in 2013, to just over $1 million from $775,000 in 2012. Spending on electronic content was up 13.8 percent to $574,490 and spending on other content shrank to $264,423.
That would seem to bode ill for magazines. Seventy-three percent of respondents said branded content is better than magazine ads, a sizable increase over 2012, when 66 percent said so. Sixty-three percent said branded content was superior to TV advertising, 62 percent favored branded content to direct mail, and 59 percent said it trumps public relations.
One big question for marketers is whether to outsource their content creation or generate it in-house. Forty percent of respondents said they're doing some outsourcing, down from 56 percent in 2012. But those who are only outsourcing are doing bigger projects, spending an average of more than $1 million this year, up 5.5 percent.
Those marketers are increasingly bypassing traditional ad agencies for other types of firms to handle their content creation. Magazine publishers who may be losing ad dollars to branded content seem to be making it up on the custom content side. The biggest recipient of outsourcing is publishing firms, which got 36 percent of that spending, up from 32 percent last year. Design firms and ad agencies saw their shares shrink. PR/marketing firms’ share rose slightly, and interactive firms’ share was flat.