Content marketing, or branded content, is distributed as native editorial. It's not new; think of the original soap operas. Branded content is often found in-feed and is a type of native advertising. The implications for brands are significant, but how do marketers best strategize and create content?
In the UK, content and native marketing accounted for about a quarter of online display ad spend in 2015, according to the IAB.
Content can go further than other forms of marketing. The potential for engaging consumers in real time, like Burberry does on Snapchat, is enormous and virtual reality content is poised to take off in 2016. But content marketing is different from broadcast; it's low reach, it's targeted, and it's in-depth.
To develop a solid content strategy, marketers need to identify the objective: to enhance brand perception, or to reach a new audience? In the era of ad blocking and crude targeting on traditional media, is content marketing the Holy Grail – a millennial-focused communication strategy?
To be successful, content marketing needs to offer something tangible. Brands that offer captivating stories will attract an audience, but the content must be appropriate for the brand. To be authentic and credible on a publisher platform, it's best for the advertiser brand to fall into the same format as the platform.
Content marketing is highly appealing and strongly drives consideration. In 2016, marketers will continue to build a future where brands engage with customers most heavily through content, but they will need to measure its return on investment.
#gettingmediaright: aim to inspire with tangible, rewarding branded content via trustworthy publisher contexts to ensure it delivers ROI despite reaching fewer people
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