Branded content saw an increase in investment in 2011.
This year, US companies spent an average of $1.91 million on branded content creation. The number has shuffled back and forth over the last few years, but last year, as overall marketing dollars increased, branded content seems to have seen a slight resurgence.
The findings are highlighted in a recent article from eMarketer.
39% of companies expect spending on electronic branded content to rise
US companies are expecting spending to increase. These companies appear to be focused on how their brand is discovered and perceived online. Business leaders are looking for the best way to capture online attention and turn it into profit.
And you may be a bit surprised to hear the reason companies are increasing their investment in branded content.
The primary motivation for creating branded content among a plurality of companies (49%) is to educate customers, followed by customer retention (26%). Asked for their second reason for using branded content, customer retention led (35%), with the objectives of customer education and upselling tied for second (27%).
Now, we all realize the real reason companies do anything is to increase profit. These findings simply highlight ways companies are tracking the ways their companies generate profit.
One realization, it appears, is that an educated customer is likely a good, profitable customer for the long-term. That is the main reason companies are increasing their focus on branded content.
Discovery and education go back to the idea of the sales funnel. As customers interact with a business at various points in their purchasing decision, it’s important for companies to always have content targeted at specific points in the sales process.
In some cases, this could mean a company sponsors a blog post about a general news article with simple hints of brand affiliation. In other cases, branded content is more directed towards the person that is researching a product or service. Even further along in the stage is the idea of creating content that has a call to action for a customer to make a purchase. Another point in the process is to have brande content that reaffirms the person’s purchase.
Branded content has a place in modern marketing. Folks are investing more in it once again. Focus on the entire process of the sales cycle and invest in all areas to ensure long term success with your branded content strategy in 2012.