Companies are spending an average of 12 percent of their budgets on content marketing, according to an Ad Age study conducted in late 2012 among 600 companies. One in five respondents said they were dedicating 19% or more of their budgets to content marketing, but another similar percentage was less than 2%. This result contrasts with a recent study by Econsultancy and Adobe that claimed content marketing as one of the digital priorities of companies for this year.

One of the reasons companies are reluctant to devote more budget is uncertainty about the results. Only 8% of the respondents said they were “very satisfied” with how they understood the effectiveness of content marketing, and 48% said they were “somewhat satisfied”. Nevertheless, 55% of companies expect to increase their spending this year on content marketing.

Asked what types of content marketing they are using, most responses to the Ad Age study targeted social networks (80%) and the print media (77%).

Relatively popular, but used by fewer companies, are blogs and digital articles (52%), live events (43%), and microsites (41%). Only one fourth use white books (24%) and webinars or virtual events (23%).

The results of a study by MasrketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute, released late last year, also identified social media as the most widely used content marketing tactic in both B2C and B2B companies.

While only 30% of the respondents mentioned spending the budget for content creation using internal resources of the companies, another 30% acknowledged that the creation of content had left it in the hands of third parties.