Two-thirds of marketers believe that content marketing is critical for achieving business goals such as audience engagement and customer acquisition, according to a new State of Branding report published by OnBrand. Almost half also said that they would invest in content management systems during 2017.
OnBrand polled the opinions of more than 560 brand managers and CMOs across the globe to determine their goals and priorities for the year. New customer acquisition was the number-one objective for both B2C and B2B marketers, and brand marketing was deemed to be the best activity for reaching and engaging with target audiences.
In total, 65 per cent of those surveyed either “strongly agreed” or “agreed” that the use of written website content, news articles, videos and other forms of content marketing is already playing a major role in acquiring new customers, and they were set to double down on their efforts this year.
Brand marketing has had a positive impact on other areas too, as 46 per cent said that content endeavours have boosted their customer renewal rates, 70 per cent agreed that they have driven audience engagement and two-thirds said that they have been key to increasing their subscriber and community numbers.
The vast majority of enterprises now recognise the importance of brand and content marketing, but only 50 per cent of all the marketing managers surveyed said that they have created a dynamic brand strategy. However, of these respondents, 94 per cent have a clear brand vision and mission, and 87 per cent said that it is focused on storytelling and value proposition.
Other takeaways from the study include the fact that building audiences was deemed more important than direct sales for seven out of ten brand marketers, so it is no surprise to see that enterprises will invest in marketing analytics, social media monitoring and customer experience tools the most in order to identify trends and connect with end users more effectively.
The latest study follows a report by Clutch, which stated that brand awareness was the top goal for half of content marketers, ahead of increasing visibility in search engines and generating leads. OnBrand’s study also noted that marketers generally won’t be investing in artificial intelligence and virtual reality just yet despite recognising the value of new tech.