Build the highways to your content
As far back as 1996 Bill Gates popularised the phrase “content is king”, and 21 years later this couldn’t be more true as the continued adoption of interactive technologies and evolving media consumption habits has made reaching the consumer in a meaningful manner even harder.
Storytelling has become a game changer as branded communication has become more customer-centric, allowing people to connect and resonate with the brand. However, many marketers focus their content marketing efforts on content creation, and not on content promotion, leading Jonathan Perelman, VP of Agency Strategy at BuzzFeed, to build on Bill Gates’s remark by espousing that “content is king, distribution is queen, and she wears the pants.”
Fortunately marketers have started to shift their strategy to make promoting their content a priority. How? Via advertising. One must admit that this is quite ironic as content marketing arose from the fact that advertising was deemed not to be working, yet the fact that merely publishing content isn’t working has led marketers full circle back to advertising to promote said content.
And this strategy is right on the money. Media as a whole is experiencing a deluge of content, making it even more challenging for marketers to get their content seen. Beckon, a marketing performance data platform, analysed $16 billion in omnichannel marketing spend and found that brands are generating more content than ever before with year-on-year growth of 300%. However, total customer engagement with this content has stagnated as more content does not equal greater consumption. In fact, engagement was found to be concentrated among only a few pieces of content as just 5% of content garnered 90% of total consumer engagements, leaving the other 95% to fight for the remaining 10% share.
As earned channels lack the scale and predictability required to move the needle, content marketers need to partner with media owners to amplify their efforts. Not only do they have a reach that outstrips any brand audience but content marketers require these audiences to convey their communication further than their owned channels in order to speak to those consumers who are unaware or have not considered their brand.
Media owners don’t just provide access to these audiences, they also have experience in creating content for their audience, allowing them to assist with crafting content that resonates through the provision of insight into what makes them tick. As such, they have built up a rapport with their audience over time, allowing marketers to seamlessly leverage the halo effect as a result of the consumer’s trust in the environment. A study by Nielsen confirms the impact that partnering with a publisher can have on the efficacy of branded content as they found that content distributed in this manner saw a brand lift of over 50% higher when compared to those who published content on their own.
Content marketing does matter, but so does guaranteeing the delivery of this content to audiences that matter. By building highways to your content, in partnership with a reputable media owner, marketers will go a long way in ensuring the success of their content creation efforts.