For those brands and advertisers looking to splurge a bit more budget into content marketing, here’s some good news and hot tips from BBC Worldwide.
There’s a lot of hesitancy and uncertainty around content marketing – how to do it properly, what the return on investment is going to be etc – said Alistair McEwan, senior vice president of commercial development at the BBC Worldwide, however a lot of marketers are keen to play more in this space.
So the BBC’s content marketing division, BBC Storyworks, conducted a study called The Science of Engagement looking at best practices for content marketing, which facial expressions brands wanted when people are reading content (unsurprisingly, happiness was a top one), and consumers’ feelings towards the practice.
Below are some top tips from the study on how to actually do it well.
- Be transparent and educate your users
- Match the editorial quality
- Be clear what your content is trying to achieve and how emotional engagement can support that
- Integrating the brand within the narrative will work harder for the brand
- Placing in a premium environment will give your content credibility and allow it to flourish
“In a time when advertisers’ are increasing their spending on content-led marketing, it is important that they also feel confident in its effectiveness, and understand the significant positive impact this kind of content has on their brand,” said Richard Pattinson, senior vice president of content, BBC Advertising and head of BBC StoryWorks.
“We believe that this study will enhance advertisers’ understanding and confidence in these campaigns, and in the value of high quality content-marketing delivered in premium environments.”
Further to the tips, the study found people were generally pretty okay with reading content marketing pieces, provided they were clearly labelled.
Too, content marketing, when done well, enhances brand perceptions among consumers, up 10 per cent in familiarity and up 14 per cent in brand image.
The study was conducted using 5153 digital consumers who spike English across six markets: Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA, Canada and Germany.
Not just wanting to slap some data together, McEwan says they also engaged a panel of media professionals around the world to see whether they achieved similar results to the already-gathered data. They did.
“In effect,” said McEwan, “what it proves is that the media industry know generally what it’s up to and fully understand the different types of content and the emotional responses they’re trying to achieve.”
Brands are starting to shift some dollars towards content marketing, however does this come at a price of another ad medium?
“We’re still in a growth environment with global ad spend around the world, so we need to recognise that,” said McEwan.
“I don’t think there’s any specific channel that’s suffering. However, if you take an individual market like Australia for example, you only need to look at the SMI data from month to month or quarter to quarter to understand which categories of advertising are up and down.”
The latest figures from the SMI (Standard Media Index) from December last year show magazines and newspapers have bared quite the brunt of the ad spend shift in media bookings.