The pandemic caused many local businesses to turn to content marketing in order to share their stories on how they were handling the crisis, and that momentum shows no signs of slowing, according to a new study by the Meta Branded Content Project in collaboration with Borrell Associates.
The Meta Branded Content Project is an initiative from the Local Media Association, Local Media Consortium and Meta Journalism Project.
According to the two parties, 42% of local businesses that participated in the study expect to make content marketing more of a priority this year, following a $20 billion jump in the amount spent on creating and distributing content marketing over the past two years.
The Meta Branded Content Project and Borrell Associates said that as local businesses begin to return to pre-pandemic states of normalcy, content marketing has become a more consistent way of communicating with their client base and attracting new customers.
The study found that the No. 1 reason why local businesses are prioritizing content marketing in 2022 is the medium’s ability to help them connect with customers through meaningful content. In contrast, the top reason cited in 2021 was the new approach demanded by Covid-19.
Other reasons cited by local businesses included staying competitive, growing and focusing more on digital and driving traffic to their websites.
Informative videos, sponsored content/segments and seminars/workshops are expected to see the largest gains in marketing spend this year.
Meta Branded Content Project general manager Julia Campbell said in a statement, “We expected local businesses to decrease their use of content marketing following the Covid crisis, when it was widely used, so we were pleasantly surprised to find that their interest actually increased since 2020. 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.”
Borrell Associates executive vice president of local market intelligence Corey Elliott added, “Content marketing, or storytelling, has evolved at the local level in the past two years. It went from something a local business felt compelled to do during the pandemic to a necessary part of their marketing strategy, which they now admit not only helps them connect with their customers, but helps them stay competitive and grow their business.”
Copyright 2022 Adweek. All rights reserved. From https://adweek.com. By David Cohen.