LONDON: Four-fifths (80%) of senior level marketers and brand advertisers intend to increase their use of social media in their content marketing strategies over the next year, a new survey has revealed.

Of these, nearly half (47%) plan to increase their social media usage by up to 50%, according to the Content Marketing Association (CMA), a trade body, which polled 100 senior level marketers and media agencies in the UK.

Furthermore, three-quarters (75%) say they are planning to invest more in owned social media, up significantly from 57% who currently invest in paid social media.

But while marketers see a need to increase their social media budgets, they have reservations about how best to measure its effectiveness.

Just 28% express confidence in their ability to measure its return on investment (ROI) accurately while 42% say they are "unsure" if it is possible.

"This brand new insight demonstrates the importance social media now holds for marketers and the content marketing industry, with most seeing it as a necessary part of their strategy," said Clare Hill, managing director of the CMA.

"The pace at which social media is growing in power and influence is remarkable, and that there are many opportunities for brands to use this to their advantage to make their voices heard," she added.

The survey also revealed that Twitter and Facebook are viewed as the most influential and most economically viable social media platforms for content marketing.

More than half (55%) regard Facebook as the most effective B2C content marketing social platform, although professional social network LinkedIn is seen by two-thirds (67%) as the most effective for B2B content marketing.

Finally, when asked their reasons for using social media, 57% point to amplification as the number one reason with building a fan base coming in second at 21%.

Separate findings from Warc's Seriously Social 2015 report, an analysis of the world's most effective social media campaigns by the pre-eminent marketing consultant Peter Field, clearly recognise that the rise of ‘paid social' and the decline of organic reach, particularly on Facebook, are having an impact on strategy. Consequently, it is becoming harder for low-budget campaigns to break through.

The report also finds that social strategies are most effective when they take a long-term view and focus on customer acquisition, not retention, and emotional appeals are more likely to deliver long-term success.

Data sourced from Content Marketing Association; additional content by Warc staff