|According to a recent State of Content Marketing 2012 report, content marketing continues to be one of the rising stars of the online marketing world as major brands use it alongside more traditional strategies to reach their target audiences.
Key findings from surveyed senior-level brand marketers and agency executives in conjunction with a program that recognizes the most effective and impactful marketing and advertising communications, includes these marketing responses:
• 100 per cent of brand and agency marketers surveyed utilize content marketing in their overall marketing strategies. For 87 per cent of respondents, video is the most common form of content created
• Social media is the most popular channel marketers use for driving traffic to content with 96 per cent of respondents currently utilising. Usage is up from 88 per cent in 2011
• Marketers employ content marketing efforts to drive brand awareness and target top of purchase funnel consumers rather than for generating direct leads or sales. Social media engagement is the most popular indicator marketers consider when measuring the success of content marketing, followed by views or content downloads
• Social media, video advertising and content marketing are viewed as the most effective tactics used for brand awareness, consideration and affinity.
• 82 per cent of brand and agency marketers expect to increase content marketing efforts in 2012.
One hundred percent of the marketers surveyed utilise content marketing as a part of their overall marketing strategy and are currently creating digital content specifically for informational and/or entertainment value to consumers. 87% of marketers create video content, making it the most popular medium. Written content, such as blog posts and articles, also has a place in content marketing strategies. Other visual mediums such as slideshows and photo galleries are used by 44% of respondents.
Social media continues to grow in importance as a tactic for content marketing. 96 per cent of marketers utilize social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to distribute their brand's digital content, up from 88 per cent in 2011.
Other popular traffic acquisition tactics include paid search marketing, display advertising, and organic search optimisation. Paid search saw the biggest increase in adoption over our 2011 survey with an increase of 9 per cent.
Social media engagement ranked as the most popular factor that marketers use to measure the success of their content marketing efforts, which is unsurprising given that they rely heavily on social media platforms for content distribution. In fact, consideration of social media engagement as a success metric increased drastically from the survey results last year (66 per cent).
The 2012 survey results found increased emphasis on success metrics that focus on brand awareness and target consumers in the top of the purchase funnel such as social media engagement and organic search referrals. There was also a concurrent drop in direct response metrics such as lead generation, which fell from 69 per cent to 53 per cent.
Respondents ranked the effectiveness of popular marketing tactics in creating brand awareness, consideration and affinity online. Social media, video advertising (pre-roll) and content marketing were the highest ranking tactics. Email marketing was collectively viewed as the least effective tactic for creating brand awareness.
From this year's survey results, it's clear that marketers are beginning to rely on content marketing as a trusted tool to reach consumers, concludes the report. And, the industry shows no signs of slowing down, with 82 per cent of respondents planning to increase or greatly increase their efforts in the coming year.