The vast majority of enterprises and marketers will look for outside help with content creation and development in 2017, according to a new study by Forrester Research. Just nine per cent of marketers said that they are aiming to manage all of their content efforts in-house during the next 12 months.
The main takeaway from the study is that marketers are increasing their focus on content, as they now recognise just how important it can be for pushing consumers along the buying cycle, broadening brand reach and managing customer service and relationships. Forrester found that 50 per cent of brands have increased their investment in content by 20 per cent or more during the last year.
Digital content in the form of social and blog posts, videos and articles is also now seen as an effective alternative to ads. Forrester noted that many consumers are installing ad-blocking software due to frustrations with the format, which means that content is key to engaging customers regularly.
Content is king
As content is critical to a wide range of business objectives, many are also eschewing the process of developing in-house teams, as they believe that it is very difficult to create high-quality content consistently. Digital agencies that create content have grown the most in importance during 2016, and this trend looks set to continue.
While external sources provide the best means to creating relevant content, bigger brands and organisations such as Marriott are also building in-house teams to supplement their endeavours. Enterprise-class business-to-consumers brands now have around 47 full-time employees working on content marketing. Overall, US marketers will invest a sizeable eight per cent of their budgets on content this year.
A separate study by Demand Metric and Vidyard has highlighted a slight dip in video content investment. Of the 289 marketers surveyed, 59 per cent said that they had slightly or significantly increased their investment in digital video this year, which is down from 69 per cent in 2015. This is largely due a failure by marketers to measure the effectiveness of their efforts, though those surveyed did report an increase in return on investment.