Content marketing can take on many forms. In terms of informative content this can include blogs, whitepapers, newsletters, websites and emails to get whatever message a brand would like to get across. However, these mechanisms are often one-sided and push-related, with the exception of blogs or emails that can allow comments and/or dialogue due to their digital nature. Content marketing initiatives can support the brand obviously or subtly, both are relevant given the situation. The main goal of a whitepaper for example is to educate, share knowledge or data that has been scientifically validated in its research method. Therefore, it is possible for the brand to subtly stand by the data or analysis they helped create, which brands them as a knowledge expert in their particular industry.
Advertising in both print or online form however, is often an obvious content branding initiative. It has to be in order to get any sort of ROI due to the cost and limited space. Whether or not that is intrusive to the end consumer depends on how the message is delivered and their particular perception of branding or advertising. Advertising can be either educational or entertaining but there is very little you can do with text and a static image. However, online video is this convergence of information and entertainment that can be either subtle or obvious and captivates the audience in a way text or graphics simply cannot. According to The Motion Effect Theory, human beings have an inherent preference for moving objects (Sundar and Kalyanaraman 2004) which is one reason why TV has been so popular for so long.
Not every company has the budget required for TV advertising, which makes online video such a popular form of content marketing, and the numbers are beginning to show. Last year 52% of North American companies used video in their content marketing initiatives, compared to 2009 data when that number was only 37% (Source: ReelSEO, 2012). Online video not only engages the audience, but it also encourages them to share which brings us back to traditional word of mouth initiatives, done in a digital age via social networks.
Social media is one of the many ways in which to deliver content marketing messages and initiatives that creates a dialogue and interaction with the audience which is often better than any one-way push mechanism. However, only 49% of marketers have social media fully integrated into their marketing strategies (Source: mashable.com, 2012). The message to traditionalists by those digital marketers successfully using this new form of content marketing, is to embrace the interactivity and not shy away from the engagement of the audience. Something not only social media channels, but online video has the capability to do through branded content initiatives. For more information, check out this interview and this example. For inspiration, click on the image above.
About Preview Networks
Preview Networks is a content marketing platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.
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