A fifth of small and medium-sized businesses in the US will increase their content marketing budgets in 2017, according to a new study by sales automation software enterprise Infusionsoft. It found that content will be one of the most important marketing channels for driving traffic and brand reach in the year ahead.
Infusionsoft’s 2017 Small Business Marketing Trends Report takes a closer look at SMEs’ strategies for marketing and where they expect to increase spending during the next 12 months. An impressive 19 per cent of respondents said that they will dedicate more resources to blog posts, news services, video production and other forms of content marketing this year.
The vast majority will also use social media to share the content that they create and engage with friends, fans and followers on platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. Presently, Facebook leads the way when it comes to marketing, as almost three-quarters of respondents leverage it to promote and sell products and services. In comparison, 36.5 per cent use Twitter and 33.1 per cent use Instagram.
It is no surprise to see enterprises favour Facebook, as the social media giant revealed on Thursday that mobile advertising on the platform accounted for a staggering 84 per cent of its revenues during the fourth quarter of 2016. More than four million brands are now active on Facebook, and its total advertising revenue soared to $8.63 billion (£6.91 billion).
Social platforms will be a central focus for many content marketers in 2017 due to the growing importance of video and micro influencers. A separate survey by B2B marketing company Pardot found that 59 per cent of consumers believe that the authenticity of a brand’s content is very important and plays a major role in influencing them to follow the brand.
These findings indicate that content marketers will have to concentrate on creating relevant and genuine written pieces and videos to effectively connect and engage with their target audiences as well as retain their interest during 2017. Infusionsoft found in its survey that 32.6 per cent of respondents will increase digital ad spend, and 31.5 per cent will increase search engine optimisation investment, both of which will help in getting these important messages across.