Nearly 80% of marketers worldwide say they expect to use more content-driven campaigns in 2020-2021, according to a recent survey from World Media Group (WMG).
Only 2% of respondents said there would be a decline.
WMG’s research found 90% of respondents planned to use audio/podcasts, followed by newer technologies like augmented reality (AR) (89%), increased personalization (88%), events (85%), and virtual reality (VR) at 84%. Respondents also expected to use more live video and 360°video.
And, marketers identified the ability to track engagement as critical to success.
Brand engagement fueled by content-driven campaigns
More than one-third of respondents cited brand engagement as the key benefit of a content-driven campaign, followed by changing perceptions (20%) and the ability to help align a brand with a trend, issue or topic (18%).
“The clear trend towards brand activism revealed in the WMG content survey indicates just how important it is for marketers to acknowledge and respond to the zeitgeist,” said Alex Delamain, President of the World Media Group and SVP, Head of Client Sales and Services at The Economist. “Consumers are no longer brand loyal, which means advertisers must work harder to stay relevant. Content campaigns provide a vehicle for brands to demonstrate their commitment to the social and environmental issues that people care about with authenticity and understanding.”
An earlier survey last year from Borrell Associates found about half of US local advertisers said they planned to increase ad spend in content marketing, though a larger majority indicated they would increase ad spending on traditional venues like digital video, social media and search.
WMG’s survey, meanwhile, found 71% of respondents said they adapt a campaign’s global story for local markets. Nearly two-thirds create content in a combination of local language and English (compared to 23% creating all in English and 16% using only local language). A whopping 80% of those surveyed use an international network agency rather than multiple local agencies to help them implement a think global, act local approach.
The bottom line
Content marketing is helping brands evolve away from simple lead-generation as they use elements of video, audio and print to help strategically engage with customers.
An August 2019 report from The CMO Club, found 86% of US CMOs surveyed said content marketing is the most important area to invest marketing dollars.
Just as any competent sales executive works to achieve a position of “trusted advisor,” brands need to consistently move in the same direction.
And that means helping consumers cut through the deafening noise of the marketplace, allowing them to focus on your message, and helping you engage with them for the long term.
Jim O’Neill is Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn