Corporate Spending on Branded Content Rises

Total spending on branded content per company in 2012 is up about 5%, and brand content is getting a larger share of marketing budgets. That’s according to an industry survey by the Custom Content Council and ContentWise, the results of which were released November 2012. Interestingly, in both print and electronic form, personnel costs are the main use of budget funds. In print, personnel accounts for 44% of branded content spending, while in electronic form, personnel takes a majority 57% share of budgets.

The rest of the money is distributed between production and distribution. For print form, production accounts for 37% of the budget, and distribution 19%. In electronic form, distribution takes a similar 17% of the funds, while production accounts for 26%.

Respondents reported an 2-year average marketing spend of $4.4 million, with branded content representing 39% of those funds (or $1.7 million). It doesn’t look like those funds will be diminishing anytime soon: 38% of respondents project that their branded content budgets will increase in the coming year, and 79% report that their companies are shifting into branded content at an moderate or aggressive pace. That’s consistent with earlier reports showing an increased focus on content marketing from both B2B and B2C companies.

More Than Half Of Companies Outsource

Further details from the Custom Content Council’s “The Spending Study: A Look at How Corporate America Invests in Branded Content for 2012” reveal that 52% of respondents report having outsourced some portion of branded content creation this year. The average total branded content outsourcing spend was $371,364, but looking just at the companies that outsource, the average spend reached $987,417. These funds commonly go to custom publishers, public relations or social media firms, design firms, ad agencies and interactive agencies.

Asked to name their primary reasons for using branded content, respondents named them (in descending order) as: educating customers; brand loyalty; up-selling; and customer retention. Between two-thirds and three-quarters of content created for print, electronic and other marketing ends up being used in social media marketing, reflecting the increasingly integrated nature of content marketing.

About The Data: Research conducted for the 12th annual survey gathered online and via email methods targeting a random sample of companies across industries. More than 5000 invitations were distributed and approximately 177 surveys were completed and returned. Among the responding organizations were Graybar, Manpower, State Farm Insurance, Towers Watson, Good Will Industries, Sunkist and ValueOptions.