As mobile shoppers search the web, 49 percent of businesses increasing their mobile marketing spend say growing budgets are linked to custom media programs.

As reports reveal that mobile searchers increasingly convert into customers, a study from KingFish Media indicates that branded content is one of the top ways to reach on-the-go audiences. The company's Mobile Marketing 2011 report shows that mobile marketing is becoming more and more competitive, and SEO content is a top area of investment.

While one-third of marketers currently have mobile strategies in place, KingFish Media reports that 62 percent of brands plan to implement mobile outreach within the next 12 months. Nearly three-quarters of marketers (72 percent) cite mobile as somewhat to very important to their overall marketing plans. Businesses are poised to spend 39 percent of their budgets, on average, on mobile outreach.

Half of brands increasing mobile spend in the next twelve months say budget growth is linked to investment in a custom media program. Custom media might translate into custom content for many businesses, as the study found that branded content and social media outreach are among the top initiatives mentioned by mobile marketers.

Mobile websites are a pervasive marketing strategy, used by 64 percent of marketers, and mobile distribution of branded content is a priority for 49 percent of businesses. Another 71 percent of marketers say they focus on social media marketing in the mobile space, which also requires investment in content.

SEO should be a top priority for website- and social-oriented mobile marketers. The study reveals that offering easily discoverable mobile content pays off – 18 percent of businesses say that up to 10 percent of site visitors find their websites via the mobile web. Seventy-eight percent of marketers who track mobile traffic rely on Google Analytics.

KingFish Media's report points to the rising value of mobile marketing, as well as the need for brands to make their branded content accessible to mobile searchers in order to remain competitive. As Brafton has reported, separate studies show that 40 percent of SEO marketers say the rise of the mobile internet has had the largest impact on their search marketing initiatives.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.