While social media and mobile marketing often get the buzz three new studies have pointed to content marketing being the top priority for marketers in 2013. There is now widespread and growing acceptance of the practice of brands creating original content to engage and inspire prospects and customers. In the B2B space, the use of content to bring insight to customers while positioning company as a thought leader has topped enabling sales and generating demand according to one study.
A study from Econsultancy and Adobe shows that content marketing has leapfrogged social media into the top spot – an increase of 10 points over 2012.
A new offering from CopyPress shows over a third of marketers consider content marketing to be their leading focus, up from 19% last year and ahead of social media. The study also shows that among custom content tactics, articles, video and white papers deliver the best bang for the buck for ROI, though videos are still considered expensive to produce.
ITSMA’s latest version of their Services Marketing Budget Allocations and Trends, 2008-2013 states that the top priority for B2B marketer is “Developing thought leadership content that drives business”. A steady climb up the ranks since placing 7th among priorities as recently as 2009. The tracking study also shows that budget is being moved into content marketing and demand generation via digital channels and custom events and away from traditional advertising, sponsorships and trade shows.
These studies show the culmination of a movement that has been happening for several years and now reaching critical mass. Marketers are also realizing after the excitement of social media has worn away those social channels are not very effective without meaningful content to engage. Social gimmicks and other flash in the pans don’t create long lasting customer relationships or loyal advocates. In world where consumers are in control and the buyer’s journey has changed, content has become the preeminent marketing tactic.
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