Lauren Kaye

Marketers continue to spend more on custom content, according to a recently released study from the Custom Content Council. On average, companies allocate 39 percent of their marketing, advertising and communications budgets toward content creation.

While spending on all types of marketing rose 9.2 percent between 201 2 and 2013, there is an increasing push toward digital content marketing. Between 40 and 44 percent of survey respondents expect to increase their spending on SEO, web updates and social content.

Custom content gets faster, more social and visual

Marketers are striving to keep their online presences fresh, and are diversifying their custom content strategies, according to the study. Companies’ websites are now updated on average more than three times per week. However, they aren’t just winning their audiences over with blog posts and news stories – they are complementing their established web content with active social media participation and video.

“Funds that were previously earmarked for print are being shifted to social and video content,” said Lori Rosen Executive Director of the Custom Content Council.

Marketers are now using content crafted exclusively for social networks more often than other formats. Developing robust presences on social networks helps brands engage their customers, drive traffic back to their websites and educate prospective buyers to qualify sales leads, according to eMarketer. Data shows that user reviews on social sites have a growing influence on customers who are making car-purchasing decisions.

Regular social media participation is just one way marketers are entertaining and reaching their target audiences. Video has also emerged as one of the leading content marketing mediums.

 62 percent of respondents now report using video in their content marketing.

“In this survey, 62 percent of respondents now report using video in their content marketing. Branded video is closing in on web and print as one of content marketing’s most common form,” Rosen added.

Brafton recently reported that video content is also being consumed more rapidly by American consumers. ComScore’s Video Metrix data found that people watched 39.3 billion videos in March 2013.

Brands must recognize that content marketing is evolving. In order to reach target audiences, marketers may need to diversify their campaigns and interact with new and existing customers where they’re most active online.