SYDNEY: Content marketing is expected to be one of the beneficiaries of increased marketing budgets in Australia as digital spending stabilises according to a new report.

The 2014 Senior Marketer Monitor, from the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI), surveyed more than 260 senior marketers at the end of 2013 and found that overall marketing budgets were expected to rise 3.4% in 2014.

Most organisation types and most industry sectors were planning to increase their budgets with only larger organisations and retailing reducing them.

"This year confirms a trend where we are seeing large budget variances across all sectors, but organisations with a turnover of under $150m are more likely to be expecting budget increases, and among those expecting increases the average lift is a very healthy 18%," said Mark Crowe, Australian Marketing Institute CEO.

Content marketing was included in the institute's survey for the first time this year and "entered the charts with a bullet" in Crowe's words. Fully 49% of those surveyed said they planned to do more content marketing this year than last.

"We have seen a sharp increase in content marketing – while not surprising it's still quite extraordinary", said Crowe. "Meanwhile, the use of social networking and web 2.0 as a communication channel continues to grow, but spending has stabilised."

Almost two thirds (63%) of those surveyed expected to spend more on social media, down from 77% in 2011, while 52% intended to spend more on online advertising, down from 64% two years ago.

Other areas had seen a similar decline in spending intent. Viral marketing was down to 18% from a high of 43% in 2010, while mobile was on 26% down from 46% in 2011.

While the growth of spend on digital channels was slowing, the report noted that use of traditional media had stabilised after a decreasing trend. Intent to use radio and pay TV more had increased for the first time in a number of years.

Data sourced from Australian Marketing Institute, Ad News; additional content by Warc staff