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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : December 22, 2015

Content marketing strategy increasingly important to marketing, PR professionals

PR and marketing professionals are increasingly using content marketing in communications programs, according to a new survey from news distribution and social communications company Marketwired, and expanding their range of content formats. Meanwhile, the Association of National Advertisers votes 'content marketing' as their word of the year.

by Helen Leggatt

Marketwired's survey of PR and marketing professionals reveals the growing importance of content marketing to drive business and connect with audiences. More than three-quarters (79%) of those surveyed currently have a content marketing strategy in place and 64% plan to increase efforts next year. Just 15% plan to decrease efforts.

Blog posts were the most-used content format, used by more than half (55%) of respondents, followed by photos (29%) and news releases (24%). Other types of content used include newsletters, videos, infographics, ebooks, podcasts, and white papers.

"It's clear that relevant, quality content is increasingly important to telling brand stories, boosting customer affinity and driving qualified leads for the sales team," said Sanjay Kulkarni, Marketwired Vice President, Product & Marketing. "And while building a content strategy isn't quick or simple, our respondents see it as a must-have for 2016. They recognize the opportunities in front of them by having a plan in place."

Social media is also part of professionals' content marketing mix. The most-used platforms are Twitter (75%), Facebook (73%) and LinkedIn (63%). These are also the channels most used for sharing visual content such as photos, infographics and video. In fact, with growing audience demand for visual content, half of the professionals surveyed said they use visuals to support content on a weekly basis, and 30% do so daily.

The Association of National Advertisers has just announced that 'content marketing' is this year's word of the year. The term was chosen from a group of 13 buzzwords, which ad blocking, customer journey, disruption, experiential, fraud, the Internet of Things, mediapalooza, sharing economy, and viewability.

"The selection of content marketing as ANA Word of the Year wasn't surprising, as we've seen lots of interest throughout the year in various ANA discussions and forums on the topic," says Bill Duggan, ANA group EVP. "Members are realizing that 'content' provides the means for engagement and 'marketing' is required to drive awareness of content -- so the resulting combination of 'content marketing' is powerful."

Tags: content marketing, marketing, social media, visual content

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