US firms spent an average of $1.91 million this year on branded content, according to the study. Of that, about $450,000 went toward electronic forms of branded content. For both electronic and other forms of custom content, personnel costs ate up the greatest share of brands’ budgets.
As spending on branded content fell and bounced back, the reasons companies had for using it remained the same. The primary motivation for creating branded content among a plurality of companies (49%) is to educate customers, followed by customer retention (26%). Asked for their second reason for using branded content, customer retention led (35%), with the objectives of customer education and upselling tied for second (27%).
“Content helps purchasers mitigate risk,” Maria Pergolino, senior director of marketing at demand generation firm Marketo, told eMarketer in a July 2011 interview. “It’s all about getting the person to feel comfortable as they’re getting ready to buy.
“Content also helps build trust and consistency for your brand, she continued. “When your sales team’s messages match your other content—and it’s all useful information—you become a reliable, trusted source of information.”