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Content Marketing, a US $44 billion Industry


The Custom Content Council (CCC) just published a survey that quantifies the volume of the Content Marketing Industry in the U.S. According to the research piece, Custom content spending on production and distribution rose to US $43.9 billion.

Latin Content Marketing ForumThe very important and expanding role of Content Marketing in the Hispanic and Latin American marketing and media sectors is going to be thoroughly analyzed at Portada’s Latin Content Marketing Forum in Miami on June 4th. Make sure to take advantage of the early bird (expires this Friday April 16!).

According to the CCC survey, all forms of print, electronic and other—experienced growth in 2012; a 9.2% rise over 2011 US $40.2 billion Interestingly, the CCC study notes that  print still claims the lion’s share of dollars spent in content marketing. Of the average overall marketing, advertising and communications budget, 39% of the funds were dedicated to content marketing.

The “Characteristics Study: A Look at the Volume and Type of Content Marketing in America for 2013,” is the 13th annual industry report by the Custom Content Council and ContentWise, comparing usage of content marketing among different formats from 1999-2012, including print, web, email, video, virtual events, white papers, podcasts and e-Zines.

New results on “social content” and “SEO content” formats shows 81% of respondents are creating content explicitly for use in social media. Not surprisingly, social content is immediately registering as the most frequently used form of content marketing. Web updates, social content and SEO content is remarkably consistent, with 40-44% for respondents expecting to increase their output.

“All of these metrics show a solid commitment to custom, no matter what the form of distribution.  Funds that were previously earmarked for print are being shifted to social and video content.” said Lori Rosen, Executive Director, Custom Content Council.  “Video has been the fastest and most consistently growing medium for content marketing—in this survey 62% of respondents now report using video in their content marketing. Branded video is closing in on web and print as one of content marketing’s most common form.”

The appetite for video reins with 57% of respondents expecting to use more—higher than last year’s 54%.The average marketers update their website over three times per week and utilizes social content four times per week.

Other key findings of the Characteristics study include:

  • Frequency:  The average annual frequency rose slightly to 6.1 times per year—or roughly speaking, a bi-monthly frequency. The average page count per issue rose to 30.2 pages, the largest in the history of the survey.
  • Circulation Per Issue:  The average for printed custom publication rose slightly to 50,943 per issue. The trend toward higher circulation, first seen four years ago, remains steady.
  • Primary Audience:  For the tenth year running, titles targeting external audience exceeded those targeting internal audiences. This trend is most likely a result of the effectiveness of printed custom publications as external marketing vehicles, and effectiveness of electronic solutions—namely intranets—as internal marketing vehicles.
  • Annual Circulation Per Title:  Since the outset of the survey, annual circulation per title has grown more than 150%, although growth has leveled off in recent years.  For 2012, the average annual circulation per title was 310,752 copies.
  • External Audience:73% of printed custom publications are targeting external audiences, of either B2B or B2C. Out of those two audiences, the majority are (63%) B2C versus B2B.
  • Distribution Method: US Postal Service still dominant with gains from ‘other paid delivery’ options and internal distribution methods. This may mark as the very beginning of a shift away from the USPS.
  • Unique Titles Per Company: The number of unique printed custom publication titles per company has dropped to an all-time low of 1.3—a general trend over the last five years toward fewer titles per company.
  • Presence of ads: Ads seeing an 8% increase since last year, and doubled from the last decade, in 2012.
  • Titles in the Market: The number of unique printed custom publication titles decreased to 85,586, an all-time low. The decline corresponds to the reduced number of titles produced by organization.
  •  Circulation in the Market: The total number of printed custom publication copies distributed dipped by 2.5 %, to 26.6 billion units.


    The research was conducted via an emailed survey targeting a random sample of companies across all industries.  Eight thousand survey invitations were emailed and approximately 339 were completed and returned, producing a +/-6% degree of accuracy at a 90% confidence level.


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