“Showing is better than telling to get into consumers’ hands and hearts.” (Daniel Shepherd, digital planning director, PHD UAE)
WARC, the global authority on advertising and media effectiveness, has released its Effective Content Strategy Report 2018, outlining key content marketing themes from the world’s most effective campaigns.
Drawn from the winners of the Effective Content Strategy category of this year’s international WARC Awards, a global search for next-generation marketing effectiveness, the report identifies common themes from branded editorial-style content that can demonstrate a business outcome.
WARC’s Lucy Aitken, Managing Editor, Case Studies, says: “Content is starting to take a more central role in communications strategies that recognise its strengths and its power to connect.”
Four key themes have been identified around Effective Content Strategy:
1. Humour as an effective content strategy
Emotion and humour were the creative strategies of nearly a third (32%) of shortlisted papers in the Effective Content Strategy category at this year’s WARC Awards.
2. Content must scale up to reach its full potential
In a survey by WARC asking entrants into the Effective Content Strategy category whether their clients will be investing in more branded content in the future, 89% agreed that they would. Given that brands are committing more to the benefits of content, budgets need to grow to ensure that it can be consistent over time and deliver on marketing objectives.
3. Content that creates a point of difference
Telcos, particularly those in the MENA region, where countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia boast some of the highest smartphone penetration in the world, are increasingly dependent on content marketing to help differentiate in a highly commoditised sector.
There are lessons here for marketers in sectors such as financial services where differentiation remains one of the biggest challenges.
Daniel Shepherd, Director, Digital Planning, PHD UAE, says: “Showing is better than telling to get into consumers’ hands and hearts. In a sea of sameness, littered by the debris of countless boastful claims, content makes impressive waves and ripples that last.”
4. Content that engages new audiences
Nearly half (44%) of entrants surveyed by WARC cited new customer acquisition as a key objective of their content marketing. And many winning campaigns successfully reached new audiences.
A sample of WARC’s Effective Content Strategy Report 2018 can be downloaded here.
The report in full is available to WARC subscribers and includes chapter analysis with views and opinions from the judges, as well as summaries - objectives, insights, strategies, results and take-outs – of the winning case studies.