Content marketing delivers a tangible increase in sales for retailers and supermarkets, new research from the Content Marketing Association shows.
Of the 1,826 people interviewed for the report, 61 per cent read magazines that were published by these types of organisation.
Those who classed themselves as regular readers of the publications were found to spend £85.10 per week with the retailers, compared to £75.30 for those who didn't, a difference of 13 per cent. Regular readers also visited ten per cent more times per week than non-readers.
While magazines continued to be the most-read form of content marketing from retailers and supermarkets, consumption of digital content is growing.
The four main titles were found to have a print readership of 93 per cent, compared to a digital readership of 16 per cent. Although the latter figure may initially seem low, the research shows a crossover, with some customers reading both digital and print titles, while readership of content on websites and apps is growing.
Crucially, the research revealed the strong positive sentiment of those customers who consume content published by brands.
"The content is valued by the readership, which therefore increases brand favourability and ultimately makes consumers more likely to return to the store and to continue to extend and deepen their relationships with their favourite retailers," the study concluded.
Businesses are investing increasing amounts into content marketing as understanding of how content underpins SEO, social media and email marketing campaigns grows.
Econsultancy CEO Ashley Friedlein said at its heart, content is about "creating outstanding customer experiences" and this comes in many forms.
However, stepping up investment in content marketing does not come without its challenges; in particular Friedlein predicts brands will struggle to find the talent they need to create high-quality content.