Outsourcing of content marketing set to increase this year, says report

by Brian Oliver

Seventy percent of companies plan to outsource at least part of their content marketing in the next 12 months, according to a new Digital Content Marketing Survey commissioned by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and branding agency Brandpoint.

This follows CMI research earlier this year which revealed that 62% of companies are already using third-party expertise to strengthen their content marketing activities (compared with 55% in 2011).

The 2012 Digital Content Marketing report – based on a Readex Research survey of nearly 400 ‘marketing decision-makers’ – found that 99% of respondents had recently used some form of content marketing.

And what these companies are looking for in a third-party content provider, says the report, is the ability to deliver “engaging and creative storytelling”, “custom content”, and “professional-level writing”.

WELL-WRITTEN CONTENT IS KEY

Industry observers believe the shift toward using external content providers is being fuelled by the growing importance of publishing well-written content on a regular and sustained basis.  Many companies, it seems, are finding they don’t have enough time, expertise and resources to achieve this in-house.

They also recognise that poor quality writing – with bad grammar, spelling mistakes and factual errors – can have a negative impact on their brand’s reputation. Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam Team, recently warned that sites with frequent content errors tend to have lower rankings in search results.

As Contented Marketer recently reported (“Frequent publishing helps to improve ROI”), the ability to publish quality content on a regular basis is a key factor in maximising investment in content marketing campaigns. At the same time, Google is now upgrading the page-rankings of websites that deliver high-quality content that people want to read and share (see “Google updates making quality content dominant factor in SEO”).

CONTENT BEING OUTSOURCED

The new Digital Content Marketing Survey found that video is the type of content that marketers are most likely to outsource, followed by infographics, online articles, digital white papers, e-books and blogging.

Only 18% of the marketers surveyed cited cost as the deciding factor when choosing whether or not to outsource content marketing. Eighty percent stated they were happy to pay a little extra for the added value of well-crafted, customised and professionally-written material.

BEST RESULTS

Social content, blogging, press releases and online articles are the forms of content used most often, says the report, with marketers finding that social content, e-newsletters and blogging provide the best results.

WRITE FOR PEOPLE NOT SEARCH ENGINES

Eighty two percent of respondents said it is more important for their website and blog copy to be written for people rather than search engines – with SEO expertise ranked fifth among the list of 11 qualities marketers want in a content provider.

Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, said: “This survey affirms that marketing pros are embracing the value of online marketing, but they also acknowledge the need to stay true to certain fundamentals. Quality continues to be a key requirement for success across all forms of content marketing.”

He added: “While the Internet continues to revolutionise the way we all do business, the need to tell a clear compelling story through our marketing efforts remains constant.”

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About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications.

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

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