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The Content Council

2013 Spending Study Reveals Branded Content Spend at New High

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Content Marketing Viewed as More Effective than Traditional Methods
Content Spending Back to Pre-recession Levels: Long Live Print!

New York, NY (December 2, 2013) – The Dow is not the only metric reaching new highs in 2013. The annual content marketing survey from the Custom Content Council, in partnership with ContentWise, reveals new highs for branded content in both spending and value. The“Spending Study: A Look at How Corporate America Invests in Branded Content for 2013” compares 14 years of studies, showing a strong growth and affinity for content marketing across the board.

The 2013 survey found an overall increase in marketing budgets of 13.7% from last year to over $5,000,000 per company, with branded content spending claiming 37% of that total, or $1,860,788 per company. Although the percentage of overall market share dropped slightly from 39% in 2012, 80% of marketers in 2013 anticipate a moderate or aggressive shift in spending toward content marketing as the industry continues to thrive.

Comparing branded content to traditional advertising, respondents showed a definite preference to content over magazine advertising, TV commercials, direct mail and public relations. In addition, spending on print publications has returned to levels not seen since before the 2008 recession, while electronic budgets saw a 13.8% rise.  

 “Content marketing has reached a perfect storm. All channels – including print, digital and social are growing,” said Lori Rosen, Executive Director at Custom Content Council. “Every major brand has embraced content media leading to higher quality, higher impact and higher ROI.”

Spending Survey Highlights:

  • How Money is Spent: Personnel remains the largest component of content marketing spending at 52% of total budget, a figure that’s been remarkably consistent the past several years. Production (which since 2012 includes electronic programming as well), accounted for 32% of content marketing budgets, while distribution comprised 18%.
  • Reasons for Using Branded Content:  Customer education was once again cited as the biggest factor in the decision to employ content marketing, with 49% of respondents naming this their primary reason and 29% naming it secondary. Customer retention and brand loyalty follow in popularity.
  • Repurposing of Content: Repurposing is once again a very common practice, with social media channels being the most utilized secondary channels, underscoring the multi-channel nature of content marketing. Corporate websites also receive a healthy share of the branded content by marketers.


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 210 were completed and returned, producing a +/- degree of accuracy of 6 percentage points at a 90% confidence level. Among the responding companies were Allstate, ValueOptions, Graybar, TCF Bank, BB&T and Honda.

About the Custom Content Council

The Custom Content Council (CCC) is the leading professional organization representing custom publishers in North America and is focused on promoting the growth and vitality of this dynamic marketing discipline. We define custom content as marrying the marketing ambitions of a company with the information needs of its target audience. This occurs through the delivery of editorial content – via print, Internet, and other media – so intrinsically valuable that it moves the recipient’s behavior in a desired direction. Marketers across the country, the media and other interested constituencies rely on the Custom Content Council as the authoritative source of industry news, data and trends, information on the effectiveness of custom publishing, and referrals to the top custom publishers in North America.

The study can be found at, available to members only.

For more information on the CCC, please visit, call 646.695.7049 or email