In the third instalment of our content media marketing roundup, we take a look at the winners and the losers in the native advertising arena, the reason why future-proofing your content is more important than ever and how video used well can engage and excite.
The native advertising debate rumbles on and while some brands are getting it right (see details on Unilever and The Guardian’spartnership in an earlier edition of the roundup), many aren’t. Marketing Weekreports that Outbrain has fallen foul of the Advertising Watchdog after its paid-for recommended links were deemed to be misleading.
Are we on the cusp of a reader revolt? Econsultancy believes so, with the continued blurring of advertising and editorial lines risking a long-term decline in trust – both in the brand behind the advert and the publisher facilitating it.
Facebook has already been severely reprimanded for crossing this line in the ‘emotion contagion’ experiment it conducted on 689,003 unknowing users, reports the Daily Mail. It serves as a lesson for marketers to ensure they do not violate this trust if they want to maintain their credibility in the eyes of their consumers.
Trust once lost is almost impossible to regain, so marketers would do well to stick to acceptable practice. That alone though will not be enough, because a pressing concern about future-proofing content has now also emerged. As the various platforms on which content sits evolve, extra effort must be taken to ensure long-term relevancy. Gone are the days where Google was at the mercy of SEOs suggests The Guardian. The mega-search engine has shifted its key-word lead search in favour of media-rich landing pages or universal search results filled with an array of content formats and information. Rather than just pushing traffic to other sites, search engines are now answering questions right there on the search results page, eliminating the need to click.
To keep up with these ever-shifting paradigms, marketers need to create relevant content in a wide variety of formats and optimise their assets to secure visibility. Among these, video content is fast becoming one of the most powerful online marketing tools, allowing brands to connect with consumers as well as enhance brand personality. Marketing Magazine illustrates how brands such as Contiki are utilising the power of YouTube to generate engaging content and tap into a deeper understanding of the millennial audience. British Airways has also caught on to the trend, enlisting some of the top UK vloggers to help launch their #BestSummerEver campaign.
As the landscape continues to evolve, it’s clear brands that can produce the most relevant content, while adopting an open and transparent approach, will be best able to straddle the moving boundaries of advertising and journalism.
Samantha Duff is PR assistant at Cedar