Majority consider it a tool for education

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Marketers are recognizing the value of magnetic content over traditional disruptive forms of advertising, according to research from the Custom Content Council in partnership with branded-content newsletter ContentWise.

Overall, 68% of companies said they were shifting from traditional forms of marketing to more emphasis on branded content, including 61% who reported a moderate shift and 7% who said their shift was “aggressive.”

On average, spending on branded content represented 29% of respondents’ total marketing, advertising and communications budgets in 2010. That was down slightly from 32% last year. The report noted that 2010 had the fourth-highest total marketing spend recorded but the second-highest branded content spend, suggesting that branded content will continue to increase in importance among marketers.

Branded Content Spending Share of Total Marketing Spending for US Companies, 2000-2010 (millions)

About 35% of total spending on branded content went toward electronic forms this year, according to the survey.

Branded Content Spending for US Companies, by Media, 2000-2010 (thousands)

Respondents’ top reason for using branded content was to educate consumers, cited by 54%.

“The 2010 numbers illustrate a spending level that is nearly 100% above 2008,” said Keith Sedlak, chair of the Custom Content Council and CMO at Meredith Integrated Marketing, in a statement. “Add to that the fact that 68% of companies surveyed continue to shift their ad dollars to branded content. And lastly, there was a 20% increase in companies surveyed this year vs. last year that plan to grow their branded content budgets.”

Social media marketing is one factor contributing to the importance of branded content. According to the “2010 Social Media Usage, Attitudes and Measurability” study from King Fish Media, HubSpot and Junta42, 73% of US companies with a social media strategy were using branded content they created in their campaigns. Such original content was considered the most important part of a successful social campaign, with nearly half of respondents calling it “extremely important.”

SOURCE eMarketer

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