Thought Leadership
  • Content marketing

Is advertising dead? Consumers want content that's meaningful

Roger Barr
25th March 2015

Dead you say?  People have been talking about the death of advertising for years now.  

Actually advertising spend is growing globally year-on-year but the makeup of that spend is definitely changing.

What consumers want

Well, it’s safe to say consumers don’t want to be advertised at. Not while they’re watching TV, not while their using their mobile devices, travelling around town, watching a movie or pretty much anywhere else advertising pops up.

Consumers want to consume content that is meaningful, interesting and relevant to them. But great content has to find an audience and organic distribution alone can’t always be relied on to generate the levels of interest desired.

Organic reach on Facebook has plummeted, some are saying as low as 1% which means for every 1,000 'likes' a branded page has, only 10 people would see a post, no matter how great the content might be.

As a result, Facebook is reporting that Q4 2014 revenue from advertising was $3.59 billion, a 53% increase from the same quarter in 2013.

Advertising has its place

Sidebar ads and traditional online display advertising have very low click-through rates. Those ads, although digital, are effectively traditional billboards. They are very often unwanted and intrusive, serving only to raise peripheral brand awareness. The social newsfeed however, is specifically designed to encourage interaction.

What I’m getting to is the idea that content marketing and advertising can play nicely together. The social media gravy train has moved on for marketeers but the audience still continues to live and breath social. With paid for newsfeed promotions, brands get the attention levels they desire and consumers get the kind of content they’re happy to consume.

Our insight specialist, Nick Bramer has this to say:

"For our responsive content, we use social listening tools to tap into trends and generate engaging content in a timely manner which is then boosted with paid to relevant target audiences.

For our scheduled content, we pursue a more data-driven trial and error approach to account for the unpredictability of social.

Typically we would boost all of our posts with a small amount of spend to our loyal followers, then use data to gauge which content we can justify further investment in, in order to expand our reach and maximise ROI from an engagement perspective."

Advertising done right

Sport England’s award winning advertising campaign This Girl Can has shown that advertising done right can still have a huge impact. “We want to tell the real story of women who exercise” says Sport England Chief Executive Jennie Price. The underlying objectives of the campaign created by ad agency FCB Inferno are to get more women exercising but a £10 million ad spend alone isn’t enough to achieve this.

It be will be interesting to see how Sport England and many of the UK sporting bodies involved with developing the This Girl Can campaign leverage the huge levels of awareness generated to date. For me, this is where an always on content marketing strategy and campaign, spanning a host of social media platforms, can make a real difference to provide practical advice, support, encouragement and further inspiration to women - keen to take the next to get active.

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