Swiss companies engage in increasingly professional content marketing

A good two-thirds of all Swiss companies rely on content marketing as part of their marketing communications. This is shown by the current Content Marketing Study 2023 of the ZHAW. However, the increased competition in this area also means that content must be produced ever more professionally in order to reach the target audience, which presents companies with challenges.

"The results of the study clearly show the uninterrupted triumph of content marketing," study author Adis Merdzanovic of the Institute of Marketing Management at the ZHAW School of Management and Law was quoted as saying in a statement.

Two years ago, just over half of all companies stated that they were using content marketing as part of their marketing activities; in the current study, this figure has risen to 66 percent of all companies surveyed. Even those companies that do not currently use content marketing want to introduce it in the near future.

A look at the budget shows how important content marketing is for companies. Already today, an average of 42 percent of the total marketing budget goes to content marketing.

(Source of all graphics: ZHAW)

Use of content marketing in Switzerland 

63 percent of the companies surveyed rate content marketing as effective. It is interesting to note that companies that have been using content marketing for more than three years consider it to be particularly effective. Other companies, on the other hand, which have only recently entered content marketing, rate its effectiveness more cautiously. "This shows that content marketing is a strategic rather than a purely operational approach," says Merdzanovic. "The successes only materialize in the medium term."

In general, the study shows a clear increase in the professionalism of companies in content marketing. According to the study authors, this is not surprising, especially since the increased distribution increases the competitive pressure and the content produced must be distributed not only qualitatively better, but also more efficiently. Most companies today have clear content marketing strategies with defined target groups and clearly identified key topics. Responsibilities are defined in writing, processes are sensibly defined, and content management tools are used for planning and distributing content.

Often there is a lack of competencies

Challenges arise in particular in the area of content creation, because the relevant competencies have not yet been built up in the companies. Almost all of the companies surveyed have a clear need to catch up in this respect, which some of them are remedying by buying in external services.

"Certain companies struggle to reach the target audience with relevant and high-quality content," says Adis Merdzanovic. In this regard, data can help, as it allows conclusions to be drawn about the actions, interests and preferences of the clientele. In fact, most companies use their data with the aim of achieving a better understanding of their clientele. In addition, data is used to critically review created content and thus find out which content formats or topics resonate with the target audience and how. "Here, however, companies are only at the beginning, because the potential that lies in the various data has not yet been fully exploited," concludes Adis Merdzanovic.

Content marketing formats

In terms of content formats, it is clear that companies are using the full range of options: From simple articles on the company's own website to social media posts to printed or digitally delivered magazines. It is interesting to note that while many companies use generic or easy-to-produce formats, those formats that require more effort or have a clearly definable target group are rated as much more efficient.

The Content Marketing Study 2023 by the Institute of Marketing Management at the ZHAW School of Management and Law examines the spread and use of content marketing in Switzerland for the third time. To obtain the data, around 680 Swiss companies of various sizes were surveyed in December 2022. The study was financed by Watson and AZ Konzept. 

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