Local businesses relied heavily on content marketing during the pandemic, which a new study shows has now sparked a longer-term commitment to the medium.
According to a study by the Meta Branded Content Project, in collaboration with Borrell Associates, there has been a $20 billion spike in the amount of money spent on creating and distributing content marketing over the past two years.
Additionally, the study found that 42% of local businesses expect to make content marketing even more of a priority this year.
The study said that as local businesses return to a new normal and pandemic restrictions ease, content marketing has remained a consistent way to communicate with clients and attract new customers.
In 2021, the No. 1 reason businesses said they chose to prioritize content marketing was because Covid-19 demanded it, the study said.
This year, the top reason is due to content marketing’s ability to help these businesses connect with their customers through meaningful content.
Businesses also said content marketing is required to stay competitive, grow, and focus more on driving traffic to their websites.
According to the study, the types of content marketing expected to see the largest spending increases include:
- Informative videos
- Sponsored content
- Seminars and workshops
Julia Campbell, general manager of Meta Branded Content Project, said in a statement that it was a “pleasant surprise” to find that the interest in content marketing has increased since 2020.
“We expected local businesses to decrease their use of content marketing following the Covid crisis,” Campbell said. “This tells us that businesses really believe in the power and promise of content marketing, even though many of them had not even heard of it a few years ago.”
The study also found that two out of three local businesses use content marketing now, and $80 billion has been spent on it this year.
For local businesses — and especially new businesses — experts say content marketing is one of the most important tools to get a marketing strategy up and running.
According to Forbes, content marketing has starting capital requirements that are close to zero, which is valuable during the early stages of business.
It also is one of the best ways to engage with an audience and get to know their wants, needs, and questions better.
Eventually, businesses may want to enlist the help of a content marketing agency, which can provide both the resources and the direct assistance to get a business’s content marketing strategy off the ground.
However, for businesses that aren’t quite there yet, experts say to consider what value their content will provide for their audience, and how and why it can be helpful to them.
These starting questions can help direct a new business to the types of content their audience needs most.