Eight in 10 content marketers say it strengthens their brand
A majority of Sweden’s advertisers now use some form of content marketing to enhance their brands, according to a November 2013 online survey by Novus for the Association of Swedish Advertisers. Yet there were still many marketers who didn’t have content marketing on their radar. While 69% of those polled said they knew what content marketing was, nearly one-quarter (23%) said they had heard of it but didn’t know about it.
Among marketers who had content strategies, 80% said that form of marketing was at least somewhat effective at strengthening their brand, and a similar number said it nurtured existing customer relationships. More than half said it was effective for finding new customers. It was less good at generating direct sales, according to this sample.
Nearly all the advertisers polled (92%) said they aimed content marketing at their customers, and 54% targeted prospects. Six in 10 also created content designed for journalists or others in the media. The most popular approach—mentioned by 65%— involved placing content on both print and digital platforms, while 43% used only digital channels. Six in 10 content marketers said they used events and seminars to raise the profile of their brand or company.
Facebook was the runaway winner when it came to distributing branded content; 84% of advertisers said they had used it, and a further 11% planned to do so in the future. This is a sound—if obvious—choice; almost two-thirds of Sweden’s internet users will be regular visitors to Facebook in 2014, eMarketer estimates.
But several other content strategies also scored well in the Novus survey. More than three-quarters (78%) of those polled said they had produced newsletters, and 12% intended to do so, while 74% had posted content on properties such as partner websites.
Pinterest was one of the least compelling propositions for these advertisers. Just 8% said they had used it to post content, and 3% planned to do so; 73% said they weren’t even considering it at the moment.
Despite the growing enthusiasm for content marketing, content-related budgets remain rather low, judging by this research. More than two in five respondents (42%) reported that their company spent less than SEK1 million ($147,711) on these initiatives, and 24% spent between SEK1 million and SEK5 million ($738,552). Yet only 6% said they had no funds at all for content marketing. In another vote of confidence for content, 53% of advertisers said their content budgets would increase in 2014.