But there have been surprising upsides. While big brands have pulled large scale budgets, for big-ticket ad campaigns, TV and media buy, one area of marketing that has been quietly thriving is content. And to be clear about the much-bandied term ‘content’, I mean the communications a brand creates about themselves- typically anything from website content to articles, blog posts, video and social content through to things like events.
I’ve come across at least a dozen brands this year who are growing rapidly - they’ve hired marketers to grow their content, expanded their content budgets or invested in it for the first time. So is there a correlation between the effects of a pandemic on traditional ad spend and the rise in content? We think it's there, and here’s why.
The beauty of content is that it’s about your owned channels. Your website, your socials, every communication that comes from your brand. It’s all about your purpose and point of difference. Every brand needs regular, consistent communications to engage its customers, using content that builds long term sustainable relationships. So, content is a bit like a stealth marketer, quietly seeding good, helpful, useful content on your channels for your customers to find you whenever they need it.
Like any marketing expense, content can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.
In fact, content created for your owned channels can be your most cost-effective. You don’t need sophisticated design or complex conversation, but you do need to be clear on your purpose and your positioning, and your content does need to be consistently created.
Most importantly, it needs to be good quality, and match your purpose and proposition.
When you focus on filling your owned channels with consistently good and useful content for your customers, you’re growing your own brand like a garden. It takes time, and you need to give it quality care, but with time and effort, you will create a brand that thrives, with a deeply and sustainably engaged audience, aligned to your brand purpose.