We all know branded content and content marketing works. But we also know it is hard to measure their success. These insights will show you that it works.

Every year, there comes a point when planning next year’s budget is on the agenda. And that time usually falls somewhere in the late summer or in the Fall for a lot of organizations.

For marketing executives, this is the time where they need to take great care in creating a good mix of strategies and tactics for the coming year, and one of the line items in there is very often content marketing and branded content.

“How much should I allocate?” “How can I justify the expense?” (because as we know, marketing is rarely seen as an investment, but rather as an expense)

Content marketing works.

Branded content works.

We know this.

But it is hard to measure the true ROI and at some point, we have to know that what we’re doing is investing in the brand, in the relationship with our stakeholders (consumers, future clients, audiences, employees, etc.).

Statistics and insights are always a nice thing to have on-hand when validating our budgets and here are a few that we believe are especially relevant in today’s world. We’ve made sure to include a link to the source of the insight so that you can dive deeper into each if you are inclined to do so.

Here are 5+ key statistics and insights worth using when planning your branded content and content marketing budgets for the coming year:

We are spending 43% more time online than ever before

Spending more time online is a key element that paves the way for content marketing. People are not always shopping or wanting to be pitched your product or service. This is why brands need to focus on also being able to create and bring value to their audiences. Stop pitching so much and start bringing more value.

And this is important when considering that 54% of people are spending more time streaming entertainment, 43% are spending more time on social media, 37% are spending more time listening to music streaming services, and 15% of people are listening to more podcasts. (source, GlobalWeb Statshot)

37% of brands are spending less on ephemeral content

Marketers are putting more and more emphasis on creating content assets and a content library that acts as an investment rather that a fly-by tactic that sees content come and go in a matter of hours.

This is why 44% of marketers are putting more effort behind permanent or evergreen content instead of ephemeral content (that might live only 24hrs thanks to algorithms) because it generates better ROI. 37% actually say they will decrease their investment in ephemeral content.

70% of consumers prefer learning about a brand through high-quality content

The Content Marketing Institute published a report some years ago and one of the insights in it is truer than ever: 70% of consumers would prefer to learn about new products and services through content rather than traditional advertising.

This is not a small insight. As people spend more time online (see above), they want to learn more about the brands they do business with. You must make sure that this content (your brand’s stories, your product’s stories) is available and easily discoverable. This in return generates more trust in your brand, building stronger bonds between your audiences and your organization.

But even though you might be putting content out there, remember to make sure it is of quality, that it brings value to your audience, that it is something THEY (not YOU) have a need for or expect from your brand. It is worth noting that 55% of successful content marketing strategies have a specific focus on improving the quality of content.

Content marketing costs 62% less… for more results

While paid media offers low up-front costs and great returns, content marketing delivers three times the leads and costs 62% less.

But it doesn’t mean not investing in paid media, content has to be discoverable. And sometimes it needs a little push, especially when building audiences and reaching out to prospective stakeholders that might not know you already. This is why 46% of companies that had highly successful content marketing increased their paid content promotional budget in 2021.

72% of companies plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2022

Almost 3 in 4 organizations are planning to increase their content marketing budgets (a mere 2% said they would decrease their budgets). This is not surprising when we learn that the global Content Marketing market size is estimated to be worth 407B$ USD in 2022 and is forecast to reach 878B$ USD by 2028, more than doubling over the period.

You are not alone when increasing your content marketing budgets!

Content marketing is growing, in every vertical, industry and market. The importance of measuring returns remains a key challenge for many brands, but as technology stacks mature, we are more and more able to establish links between the strength of the relationship between a consumer and a brand and their propensity to have consumed content from the brand.

How is your brand planning the coming year or two in terms of branded content and content marketing? If you would like to schedule a consultation with our experts on how you can optimize your content operations and where opportunities are, be sure to contact the experts at Toast!