According to the latest benchmark research, a majority of B2B marketers look to outside resources for help in developing and distributing their content assets. On average, these companies outsource 68% of their content development (writing and editorial) activities, 64% of their content asset design activities and 51% of their demand generation activities. They also outsource 27% of their content marketing strategy.
The research findings suggest that marketers will continue to outsource a large portion of their content marketing activities over the next 12 months – in some areas, even more than they do currently. In particular, outsourcing is expected to increase slightly in the areas of demand generation (54% plan to outsource) as well as content marketing strategy (35% plan to outsource). Marketers report that their plans to outsource all other content marketing-related functions over the next 12 months will remain at roughly the same level as the previous 12 months.
Interestingly, very large and large companies are nearly as likely to outsource content development and design functions as midsize and small companies that may lack in-house resources (63% compared to 69%). There may be a number of reasons why, including the fact that external writers can often bring a fresh perspective to a topic.
In some cases, marketers outsource content development activities but nonetheless prefer to brand the content assets, whether a white paper, eBook or research report, with their company logo only. The content assets are essentially ghostwritten by outside subject matter experts who may receive no credit other than a paycheck.
In other cases, companies may leverage the value of third-party branding, often to gain added credibility and distribution access. This is common practice in the world of IT solution providers, in particular, where a vendor will often pay a hefty premium to license an analyst report from a well-established market research firm, such as Forrester, Gartner, IDC, Aberdeen Group, Gleanster, Raab Associates or Blue Hill Research, that aligns sufficiently well with their offering in order to be perceived as more objective and less biased in their marketing communications. This helps explain why, according to the benchmark research, third-party research reports are among the top-three types of content assets that create the most value for companies.
Following are a few research stats that speak to the value of co-branding with third-party resources. This includes participating in licensed content assets, such as sponsored benchmark reports and buyer’s guides, that feature the brand along with multiple other underwriters on the cover and are used as the basis for lead generation campaigns.
Are these research stats being highlighted in a slightly self-serving manner? Banish the thought.