As we approach the close of 2010, a new study suggests that content marketing strategies are at the forefront of marketers' minds entering 2011. Meltwater Group's Future of Content report reveals a content competency gap between the recognized value of marketing content and the development of content strategies – and it suggests closing this gap will be a priority next year.

According to the report, 78 percent of marketers believe content is key to the success of their organizations. At the same time, less than half (49 percent) say they have formal content strategies in place.

E-newsletters and social media are two of the most popular channels for content marketing. Yet, only about one-third of respondents (37 percent) believe the content on their social sites is engaging and effective, highlighting that improving social content should be a goal for 2011.

Brafton has reported that social content will be key to catching clicks next year, as well as a competitive necessity. Seventy-three percent of companies that have social campaigns already use original branded content on their sites.

Expanding content strategies to include social outreach is especially important, as content on social sites reaches a valuable audience. The Local Search Usage study from comScore and Directional Marketing, relayed by Inc magazine, reveals that social network users are 67 percent more likely to make purchases than traditional searchers.