You have probably heard plenty of people extolling the virtues of content marketing; but you may be wondering what the benefits really are. Can changing the way you think about marketing really make a difference to the way your business performs?
The answer is that it can, as long as it is done in the right way. If you look at a definition of content led marketing you will probably see something that talks about the content being relevant, consistent and authoritative. This type of marketing only works if you take the time to make sure the content is of high enough quality and interest for prospective customers to be engaged.
Why content marketing?
For a while now, marketing has been in a state of change; it needed to evolve. The reason behind this was the change in the way the audience reacted to traditional advertising. They had ceased to pay attention to TV advertising and could quite easily skip ads altogether if they recorded programmes. They had also ceased paying attention to ads in magazines. Even online marketing was not working as people became accustomed to ads while they were surfing, and became able to ignore them. The need had arisen to provide the audience with some meaningful information that would engage them with a brand or product. Content led marketing began to come into its own.
How successful is content led marketing?
According to recent research, conducted by BBC StoryWorks, the branch of BBC Advertising that deals with content marketing, 63% of people thought that content marketing was innovative in its approach to getting the message across. This figure was obtained as part of the ‘The Science of Engagement’ study, which took place in October 2015. 5,153 people took part in the study, all of whom were regular digital consumers of international news, provided in the English language. The people lived in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, the US, Canada and Germany.
The comprehensive study involved the use of three different means of measurement; a quantitative survey completed online, ‘implicit response testing’ and the study of facial movements. All of this provided some eye opening results. There was a 77% increase in positivity in people after they had been exposed to the content compared to before exposure. Given the results of this study, it seems that there is an audience out there that is willing to engage with a brand if they do so through the provision of compelling content.
You can see why content marketing can be such a useful tool. This has encouraged collaborations which may at first seem unusual. In 2014, Unilever partnered with The Guardian. They both had a sustainability agenda to promote, and the journalistic credentials of The Guardian helped to increase customer engagement with the Unilever brand. This is the key with content led marketing; if content is reputable and strong then an audience will engage and brands can tap into a type of marketing that can still work effectively.