30 Dec 2008

Content, Social Media Spends Rise For 2009

We’re in a recession. Budgets are being cut across the board. People are getting laid off. Puppies are finding themselves without food or shelter. It’s a scary, messy place out there. Well, unless you’re in search marketing.

If you’re in SEO, you seem to be doing okay (er, you’re not employed by Yahoo, right? No? Okay, then you’re cool.). And if you’re in the content creation space, well then you’re really doing okay.  Hell, the content creation folk are rockin’ the heck out of this recession.

[dances smugly]

Don’t believe me?

According to a new study from Junta42, 56 percent of marketing and publishing decision-makers will increase their content marketing spending next year. Hear that, writer friends? We can eat!

This news excites me not only because I just moved across the country for a content job (thanks, Jim!), but because it’s a sign that companies are paying attention. They’re getting it. Here are some of the stats we were privy to with the new report:

  • In 2009, 31 percent of marketers will significantly increase content spend.
  • 68 percent of marketers will up their social media spend.
  • 56 percent will invest in blogs.

Those are stats that make me happy.

Clients are getting smarter.  They see their competitors showing up in new areas in the SERPs and they want to be there too. They’re more educated. They’re reading things. They’re looking for ways to diversify their ranking portfolio (sorry, our 401k guy was here this morning€¦) to give users more ways to find them and to lessen their dependence on the almighty Google.  They’re paying more attention to their brand and realizing that, whether they like it or not, people are talking about them and maybe that means something. Maybe they should be tracking it and analyzing it and figuring out what it means to them.

Looking internally, I can see that our clients are following suit with these trends. Demand for content is through the roof.  They want blogs and they want them yesterday. They’re hiring us for online reputation management services and to help them monitor the conversation around them. They’re buying customized reports that pick apart their sites, identify marketing holes, and that highlight areas where their dollars are best spent.  Sure, they’re investing in SEO training and consulting, but they want a comprehensive Internet marketing strategy for 2009. That means SEO, plus all the other stuff. They want the tactics that are going to help them rank long term and that make them a more interesting company.

Mark Evans asks if next year will be the year of reputation management.  I think it’s the year mainstream companies wake up to the online conversation, in far larger numbers than they have previously.  And that means paying attention to their online reputation and creating content in all the different areas that are available to them today. The stats offered up by Junta42 make sense. The market in which we’re all competing is growing at a phenomenal rate. And you need to create content to compete across the board.   In 2009, when budgets are getting tighter, these are the areas where you should be focusing your energy and your investment.

Our clients are. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed by Junta42 are. Are you?

If not, where’s your budget going?