A report from Econsultancy makes it clear that marketers should focus on content marketing.

Content marketing – the whole realm of it – from social media marketing to SEO content to blogs, continues to grow, according to the “Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefings: Digital Trends for 2013” survey, conducted by Econsultancy. In today’s digital environment, brands can’t afford to be slow on the uptake, which causes marketers to develop content marketing strategies quickly for 2013.

Content marketing, the top priority

Marketers are adjusting their focus to make content marketing and conversion rate optimization a priority in the coming year. In fact, it emerged as the dominating priority for marketers in Econsultancy’s survey. Moving forward, marketers must work tirelessly to generate custom content, develop SEO strategies and position themselves as thought leaders on social media sites.

Econsultancy polled global marketers to discover their strategies for the coming year, and found that content marketing’s importance as a discipline grew to lofty proportions in the minds of many business owners. In the 2012 report, 29 percent said content marketing would be a top priority in its own rite. In 2013, 39 percent reported the same.

Not only are brands looking to jump start content creation efforts, they’re also working to hire experts to man their initiatives. Econsultancy reported that hiring those with content marketing expertise is a priority – 21 percent said it was a top concern a year ago, compared to 38 percent in 2013.

“The single most significant trend is the continued emergence of content marketing as a standalone discipline. Content, in all its shapes and forms, is core to everything we do as marketers.” -Econsultancy, Digital Trends for 2013.

Brands should develop their strategies

Econsultancy’s survey shows a need for brands to develop their content marketing strategies, not only for recognition in SERPs and brand awareness on the web, but also to maintain a competitive edge. Brafton recently reported that writing custom content must fit into all facets of an internet marketing. If companies are making content creation a priority, brands should join in, catching up before they’re left behind.

Emma Siemasko is a former member of Brafton's editorial team. Emma has experience with blogging, travel writing, industry news, SEO and content marketing. She used to live in South Korea, where she mastered the art of using metal chopsticks.