B2B marketers will increase their investment in content marketing in 2012, as the channel represents opportunity to boost brand visibility and niche leadership.

Sixty percent of B2B marketers plan to increase investment in content marketing campaigns compared to 51 percent in 2011, a report from MarketingProfs suggests. The company polled more than 1,000 B2B marketers and found that social media marketing adoption will likely grow across every major platform.

As businesses look to boost their creation of original, diverse content, they will also change the way they dedicate their resources with 62 percent saying they will outsource the process to agencies with experienced content writers. This figure is up from the 55 percent predicted in the same study conducted by MarketingProfs ahead of 2011.

Investments in content marketing will also grow next year, with 26 percent of budgets dedicated to the creation of content. Some have been hesitant to use the channel, as they struggle to prove the exact benefits. However, Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi said that businesses are moving forward without clearly defined expectations.

“While uncertainty still exists, marketers are becoming increasingly more confident in the content marketing tactics they are using,” Pulizzi said in a release. “This increase is especially notable with blogs, case studies, videos and webinars/webcasts.”

News content marketing is also a substantial part of businesses’ plans for the new year with 79 percent saying they will create original articles. Using social media marketing to expand the appeal and visibility of their content is part of the plan as well, as 74 percent will rely on social to increase website visibility and engagement.

B2B and B2C companies alike have been spending money on the creation of content for years, without necessarily using the term. Brafton reported recently that the average company spends $1.9 million on content marketing, including the creation of original articles and other marketing materials.

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.