In our last blog, we wrote about branded content, and the opportunities we see in live event streaming for brands. What we didn’t explain, however, is why branded content and content marketing are growing in popularity in the first place. In this blog, we’ll briefly explain why branded content, and content marketing in general, has become a foundation to digital marketing strategy for many brands.
Too Many Wasted Impressions
In the traditional television landscape, we’ve always known that content is king. Without quality content, no amount of marketing, discounts, or convenient delivery will ensure continued consumption. 500 channels and nothing’s on? Good luck selling that. That’s why Rogers, for example, spent $5.232 billion on the rights to broadcast national NHL games for the next 12 years.
Online, the same principle applies, but for advertisers as well. Recently, in the digital marketing world, CTRs (click-through-rates), especially with increased mobile usage, are far from impressive: the average banner has a .1% CTR and the standard 468×60 banner has a .04% CTR. Pre-roll video ads are also increasingly being skipped. With these lacklustre results, where are brands reallocating their online marketing budgets? What is valuable to online users? Content. Blogs, videos, infographics, and even feature films. Here, the idea is to organically pull in audience interest, rather than aggressively push ads to the margins of websites hoping for clicks- hence the inbound vs. outbound marketing distinction.
In Canada, online content’s importance seems to be well established. Research by Rogers Connect found that 78% of marketers believe branded content is the future of marketing, and roughly 8% spend more than 40% of their budget on it – a figure expected to double to 17% over the next two years. David UK, founder of the recently formed Canadian branded entertainment agency Bent Branded Entertainment, believes branded content has moved from something that simply excites marketers, to a significant tool in a brand’s campaign activation tool kit. “I [have] seen the industry move forward and I think it’s at a serious tipping point – both from what I’m seeing in the U.S and internationally, and what I’m beginning to see in Canada.” In other words, content marketing is accepted as a core digital marketing strategy, and budgets are slowly starting to reflect that.
Live Streaming Production Opportunities?
The interest in content marketing is clear, and it fascinates us. As the distinction between content and advertising increasingly blurs, what kind of content will brands and publishers create? So far, we’ve seen some impressive projects, and with our live video production and webcasting capabilities, we are especially excited about continued experimentation in live branded content.
For more information about our live streaming production and webcasting services, based in Toronto, feel free to contact us any time.