By Michele Linn published May 10, 2012

Do Brands and Agencies Use Content Marketing Differently? [Research]

A couple of weeks ago, we shared results from the 2012 Digital Content Marketing Survey research report from Brandpoint and CMI.

Brody Dorland asked for a breakdown of how agencies and brands differ when it comes to outsourcing. To address this great question, we broke down the survey questions and compared the responses from agencies to those from brands. Here’s what we found.

Agencies are using a greater variety of tactics

Agencies have a higher rate of adoption for almost all content marketing tactics (except eNewsletters and press releases). Some notable differences:

  • 97% of agencies use social content compared to 88% of brands.
  • 87% of agencies use blogging compared to 69% of brands.
  • 79% of agencies use video compared to 68% of brands.
  • 58% of agencies use images/infographics compared to 48% of brands.
  • 53% of agencies use digital white papers/eBooks compared to 42% of brands.

Both groups rate content marketing effectiveness similarly

For the most part, agencies and brands agree on how effective content marketing tactics are. Two differences:

  • 62% of agencies see good results from blogging vs. 48% of brands.
  • 41% of brands see good results from eNewsletters vs. 29% of agencies.

Agencies are planning to increase their rate of outsourcing

Currently, brands are more likely to outsource all content types except for mobile and advertorials.

However, the gap between the rate at which agencies and brands outsource is closing. Whereas 64% of agencies and 71% of brands are currently outsourcing at least one content type, 70% of agencies and 71% of brands are planning to outsource at least one content type in the next 12 months.

Agencies and brands value similar attributes of content providers

For the most part, brands and agencies favor the same attributes when evaluating the services of a content provider. Yet, brands consider professional-level writing to be a more important attribute than agencies do (52% vs 44%). Brands also place greater value on hiring someone whose personality fits within the organization’s culture (28% vs. 15%).

Which of these results do you find most interesting?

Author: Michele Linn

Michele Linn is the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Mantis Research, a consultancy focused on helping brands create and amplify original research they can use in their marketing. Before starting Mantis, Michele was head of editorial at Content Marketing Institute, where she led the company's strategic editorial direction, co-developed its annual research studies, wrote hundreds of articles, spoke at industry events and was instrumental in building the platform to 200,000 subscribers. In 2015, she was named one of Folio's Top Women in Media (Corporate Visionary). You can follow her on Twitter at @michelelinn.

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  • Scott Frangos

    Thanks for a great survey, Michelle.  I wonder if most agencies think their primary focus is “Content Marketing”, or call it something different?

    • Michele Linn

      Hi Scott,

      That’s a good question. Because of the the way the questions were worded, I’m not sure if it matters if agencies refer to what they do as content marketing. Instead, the questions looked at what type of content both agencies and brands use as part of their marketing.