A recent report says content marketing budgets have not caught up to the hype. In a survey conducted in summer of 2013, 65% of brand managers said they planned to increase or significantly increase their content marketing budgets in the next 12 months. But most content marketers say just 25% of their 2015 budgets are allocated to consumer-facing content. Exceptions exist: Dell, for example, has ten employees dedicated to producing 20 pieces of original content per week.

Part of the aversion to investing in content is that (22% of) marketing managers feel as if results cannot be measured. And as cited in L2’s Content & Commerce study, managers are starting to expect more tangible results than brand awareness. Fifty-one percent want their content to drive conversion and 62% want an increase in website traffic.

text-organizational-goals (1)Those are not unreasonable expectations. Branded content has proven to be the most effective type of content for lifting purchase intent for goods priced between $50 and $399.

text-impact-of-content (1)But most branded content is not positioned to drive to commerce. For example, just 14% of user-generated content featured on brand home pages lead to a product page.

text-pathwaysA more direct path to purchase will not only increase the likelihood of purchases, it will make measuring conversions easier.

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