Forrester: Brands should embrace third parties for content marketing

Dive Brief:

  • U.S. marketers will spend 8% of their marketing budget on content this year, with one out of every two brands increasing investment by 20% or more from a year ago, according to report on marketing content spending provided to Marketing Dive by Forrester Research. 
  • While marketers are aiming to increase their content efficiency by building in-house teams, Forrester expects many to realize that third parties provide better outcomes for the price, with outside agencies also being better judges of content marketing performance. The pivot is supported by research showing only 9% of business-to-consumer marketers plan to bring content development in-house. 
  • Digital agencies, social agencies and user-generated content are all expect to win bigger budgets in 2017, as marketers look for outside help with content development. 

Dive Insight:

Marketers are doubling down on content as they increasingly recognize that compelling storytelling can facilitate purchase journeys, customer service and customer relationships. Digital content is also an important way for marketers to engage consumers who are increasingly frustrated with ads, including some of whom have adopted ad blocking software.

Marriott and others are building in-house teams to support their growing content needs, insisting that this is the most efficient and effective way to create stories that represent their brand. In fact, Forrester's research found that there is an average of 47 full-time employees working with content marketing in enterprise class business-to-consumer brands, and an average of 77 inside business-to-business marketing teams. These teams currently produce more than double the amount of content than any external source.

While marketers believe themselves to be adept at content marketing, Forrester's research found that agencies and media buyers disagree about the quality of content created in-house. The fact that just 9% of marketers plan to bring content creation in-house suggests they may be beginning to realize they are not best suited for creating content that is valuable to customers.

Ad agencies still account for the creation of most of brands' content. However, this is changing. Surveyed brands said digital agencies grew the most in importance over the past 12 months for content creation, followed closely by social agencies. With this in mind, 41% of digital agencies anticipate adding staff for content development. 

Filed Under: Social Media Trends Video Mobile