According to the Creating Connections report, based on a survey of more than 300 businesses, most have maintained or increased budgets in all major areas of marketing and communications except physical events. This has led to more competition in fewer channels.
Notably, content marketing has gained importance in the eyes of businesses, with 62% saying that COVID-19 has made it more vital to their commercial strategy. In pursuit of their business objectives, most businesses are leveraging content marketing to develop trust and credibility (58%), drive brand awareness (52%), educate customers and drive sales (both 44%).
While companies were already driving towards these content marketing goals well before the pandemic, the changing external environment has given them new meaning. Indeed, changing audience needs was cited as the top challenge for content marketers, and the ways in which businesses instil trust, educate customers and influence purchasing decisions continue to change.
Amid that change, six in 10 businesses are seeking to lift their investment in content marketing over the next 12 months to communicate with their customers in more engaging and relevant ways. However, the research found that only 10% believe their content marketing is highly effective, with room for improvement in a range of areas.
With more businesses prioritising content marketing than any other marketing activity, our next article will focus on what sets that top 10% apart from the rest. We will look at the leaders’ activity in-market and the formats and methods they are using to get traction. This includes their use of market research to develop more relevant content and early adoption of new and emerging technologies.