Marketers predicted that they will use more content-driven campaigns and audio and emerging formats in 2020, according to new research from World Media Group.
About 80% of marketing professionals worldwide surveyed in October 2019 said they expect content-led campaigns to grow over the next two years, with 19% saying they expect they would stabilize. Only 2% of respondents said there would be a decline.
Nine in 10 respondents said they planned to use audio/podcasts in 2020, and a similar percentage said they would use emerging technology like augmented reality and voice. This indicates that marketers are experimenting with formats beyond traditional social media posts and editorial-style content.
As content marketing becomes increasingly nuanced and evolves away from merely being a lead-generation tool, a holistic content strategy becomes key to brands engaging with their audiences. A holistic content strategy includes not only content creation—which can include white papers, podcasts, webinars—but also mapping of dissemination, which shows how content gets distributed through the various channels, reaching people at various stages of the customer journey.
Brands are looking to establish themselves as trusted experts and give customers a reason to come back to their websites. That allows them to convert more visitors into leads down the line. A robust content-led marketing strategy encompasses both content creation and a plan for multichannel dissemination.
And many executives agree that it’s an important strategy to invest in: According to an August 2019 report from The CMO Club, 86% of US CMOs surveyed said that content marketing is the most important area to invest marketing dollars.
On a more local scale, roughly half of US local advertisers surveyed by Borrell Associates between April and July 2019 said they planned to increase ad spend in content marketing, though a larger majority indicated they would increase ad spending on traditional venues like digital video, social media and search.
“Content, when produced strategically and with regularity, can be the backbone of a marketing and advertising plan,” said Jillian Ryan, principal analyst at eMarketer. "It should be created for a specific audience and shared in the most relevant channel to reach the intended audience. Brands are starting to realize that content-led strategies can inform and provide fuel for most of their other marketing and advertising initiatives.”