One growing trend in online advertising, born directly out of the successes and failures realized over the last two decades, is content marketing. Content marketing as a discipline can involve a variety of tactics, but it largely concerns the creation, aggregation and distribution of content designed to attract a specific target audience while providing them with a non-interruptive “soft” experience that engenders brand loyalty (see a more thorough definition at Junta42). Content marketers often produce custom content that is entertaining or informational to target consumers, or leverage earned media (most commonly through PR efforts) and distribute it to those same likely consumers.
A great example of content marketing from the offline world is soap opera television shows. Everyone knows they were designed to sell “soap” and home care products to stay-at-home mums in the 1960s, but few people realize that many of the shows were completely created and produced by the very advertisers (like Procter & Gamble) whose ads dominated the 30 second intervals between storylines. And now, there is a rising focus on revitalizing this discipline for the digital world (see an in depth snapshot of what’s on the mind of major advertising agencies in this great interview with Starcom’s CEO Laura Desmond).
So why is there a renaissance of content marketing in digital form now? Visit iMedia Connection to see the reasons.
David Sasson is COO of Outbrain.
Follow him on Twitter at @davidsasson.