Is Content Marketing the New Brand Advertising?

Marketers turn to content marketing to forge a new kind of customer relationship.


by Staff

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The problem with traditional advertising is that most of what it communicates is irrelevant to our current needs or reaches us at the wrong time. It’s an intrusion in our day-to-day lives that we tolerate as the price we pay for living in this multi-media world.

What we here at Kuration like about content marketing is that it seeks not to interrupt, but to be found – and to be found at precisely the moment when we are looking for it…and ready to receive a brand’s message.

It’s no stretch to say that interest in content marketing is exploding, but the jury is still out on what role it will play in the marketing mix going forward. Industry sectors such as retail and finance that conduct transactions online can readily determine the ROI of their content marketing efforts, but that’s harder to do for packaged goods and other sectors that see most of their sales occur offline.

Most brands are still at the stage of trying to determine what works for them. Few have found their voice as content publishers. And fewer still have reinvented themselves as true content marketers – fully committed to out-competing the mainstream media for consumer attention. Standout examples include Red Bull with its Media House, Coke and its Content 2020 program and American Express with Open Forum. The common thread is that each has a clear content strategy and has made the necessary investments in people and infrastructure.

New developments in mobile are likely to influence some fence-sitting brands to move ahead with content marketing. According to a report from comScore and Jumptap, adults now spend more than half of their online hours surfing smartphones and tablets. With display ads showing lackluster performance on mobile devices, content that is unique and engaging in mobile environments emerges as an important option. At the very least, brands will need to do more content marketing on mobile just to keep pace with the climbing mobile adoption rate.

Building a content publishing empire is hard work, and a lot of brands would prefer to sit this one out. But we believe there’s every reason to believe content marketing will be here for the long haul. As time passes, brands that come late to the game will find it increasingly challenging and costly to catch up.