When it comes to shopping, consumers seem to believe that knowledge is power – and brands that offer knowledge in the form of custom content gain a competitive edge. In the summer edition of Content Magazine, the Custom Content Council shares some data demonstrating businesses’ increasing investment in content marketing and shoppers’ growing interest in branded content.

Content is becoming a bigger part of brands’ marketing agenda, reports the source. Since 2006, the share of marketers who say custom content is part of their overall marketing plan has grown 14 percent, and two-thirds say they are shifting their budgets toward content development in the next couple of years.

One thing that seems to hold marketers back from further investment in content marketing is lack of analytics. The majority (83 percent) of marketers say they would boost their use of content marketing if they could more easily measure ROI. Of course, Brafton has reported that marketers also reference lack of time and resources as top barriers to content marketing success.

With this in mind, businesses might consider working with content marketing agencies that offer editorial resources as well as measurable results. The Custom Content Council’s data suggests this investment will pay off.

The institute reports that three-quarters of consumers appreciate it when brands offer valuable content, and even more are fine with the fact that content providers are selling something as long as the information is useful. Plus, nearly 75 percent say they prefer information from companies in the form of articles over ads.

“Consumers are accepting custom content, and marketers are starting to understand its power,” says Mike Winkleman, former president of the Custom Content Council. “It’s all setting the stage for the continued growth and effectiveness of content as a marketing strategy.”

Focus research provides further evidence of content marketing’s growth. As Brafton reported last month, content marketing is a top investment for B2C and B2B brands this year.