A report from HiveFire found that 82 percent of companies are using content marketing, with most doing so to boost lead generation.

Eighty-two percent of respondents to a recent HiveFire survey report using content marketing, making it the most popular marketing strategy addressed in the poll. Additionally, 78 percent of companies using content marketing named lead generation as their primary goal.

Beyond content marketing, 70 percent of respondents are using search marketing, 68 percent hold events to promote products and services and 64 percent employ traditional public relations campaigns.

Content marketing’s versatility is partially responsible for its growth. Businesses can keep their websites fresh and dynamic, while also improving their search-friendliness.

According to the study, content marketing also improves prospect engagement. Comments and calls to action allow readers to respond to content or request further information. Social media marketing integration provides a platform to share headlines with fans and followers, and it provides another avenue for content discovery and engagement.

“The future of marketing is not about selling so much as it is about engaging,” Pawan Deshpande, CEO of Hivefire, said in a release. “This is what resonates with customers and why marketers have embraced content marketing in such large numbers.”

As a result of an increased focus on content marketing, companies have been forced to staff their marketing teams differently. The study found that 23 percent of businesses named staffing as the No. 1 hurdle in content marketing. The largest issue, though, was budgeting with 28 percent saying they did not have enough money to implement content marketing as effectively as they’d like.

Brafton reported last week that more than 70 percent of businesses have plans to adjust their financial structure to hire more creative and editorial professionals in the next year. It seems many marketers are turning to outside content writers and other professionals to boost their search engine optimization efforts; earlier this year, Brafton reported that nearly one in five marketers spend more than 90 percent of their SEO budgets with agencies.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.