70% of brands and 77% of agencies have employed branded content marketing for advertising purposes in the past year, and about two-thirds of each group say that branded content marketing has become very or most important to their marketing mix, according to a MailOnline survey of more than 600 online marketing and advertising executives. With branded content now perceived by brands as being among their most effective branding tactics, 72% report having increased their spending on it in the past year, and 69% plan to pour more money into branded content in the coming year.
Agencies similarly report increased spending by their clients: 71% say their clients have spent more on branded content in the past year, and 73% expect more spending in the next year.
Interestingly, while brands indicate that they most often create branded content for their website or email marketing (83%), about 7 in 10 also said they distribute branded content in digital media beyond their own website or emails.
The study notes that branded content marketing ranges “from native advertising to content hubs, from advertorials to branded entertainment and even custom video.” With all these types at their disposal, agencies are most likely to acquire their branded content via partnershipswith the publishers they are buying the media from, with many also acquiring it from the client or a third-party content producer.
- For brands, the preferred method of measuring content marketing program effectiveness is “brand lift,” cited by 30%, while for agencies it’s “sales lift,” indicated by 32%.
- Among buyers who aren’t yet using branded content marketing, 57% of brands plan to test it out over the coming year, as do 84% of agency holdouts.
- 24% of brands and 17% of agencies say nothing is preventing them or their clients from investing more in branded content marketing.
About the Data: The survey was in field for 3 weeks during April. Of the 610 respondents, the majority were media buyers (17% brand site, 47% agency side), with the remaining 36% being publishers.