Fa­cial cod­ing can help crack con­tent mar­ket­ing – Study

Nairobi Law Monthly - - Analysis Business & Law -

63pc of re­spon­dents said con­tent-led mar­ket­ing is an in­no­va­tive way for ad­ver­tis­ers to reach au­di­ences, brand en­gage­ment and per­cep­tion height­ened by trans­parency, in­te­gra­tion and a pre­mium en­vi­ron­ment

BBC Sto­ryworks, the con­tent mar­ket­ing arm of BBC Ad­ver­tis­ing, is pi­o­neer­ing new ways of un­der­stand­ing the emo­tional im­pact of con­tent-led mar­ket­ing by mea­sur­ing con­sumers’ sub­con­scious re­ac­tion to cam­paigns on Bbc.com. In a study ti­tled “The Sci­ence of En­gage­ment”, its in-house in­sight team, in part­ner­ship with fa­cial cod­ing ex­perts Crowde­mo­tion, com­bined tra­di­tional re­search met­rics with fa­cial cod­ing to un­der­stand how brands can use con­tent-led mar­ket­ing to ef­fec­tively en­gage with con­sumers. BBC Ad­ver­tis­ing plans to of­fer this in­sight to pre­mium clients as part of its cam­paign re­port­ing to en­sure they un­der­stand the full im­pact con­tent-led mar­ket­ing can have on con­sumers and the value of it to their brands.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­search – the first of its kind by a pub­lisher – well ex­e­cuted and clearly la­belled con­tent-led mar­ket­ing is con­sid­ered trusted and per­sua­sive in qual­ity en­vi­ron­ments, and has a pow­er­ful emo­tional im­pact for the brands in­volved. Ex­po­sure to con­tent-led mar­ket­ing can sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove con­sumers’ pos­i­tiv­ity to­wards the ad­ver­tis­ing brands (with a +77pc in­crease in ex­plicit pos­i­tiv­ity be­tween pre and post ex­po­sure). In ad­di­tion, the study mea­sured the sec­ondby-se­cond fa­cial move­ments of peo­ple as they ex­pe­ri­enced the con­tent to mea­sure true en­gage­ment and the re­spon­dents’ im­plicit re­ac­tion. The re­sults showed that ex­po­sure can also lead to a 14pc in­crease in sub­con­scious pos­i­tiv­ity.

Richard Pat­tin­son, SVP Con­tent, BBC Ad­ver­tis­ing and Head of BBC Sto­ryworks, said: “In a time when ad­ver­tis­ers’ are in­creas­ing their spend­ing on con­tent-led mar­ket­ing, it is im­por­tant that they also feel con­fi­dent in its ef­fec­tive­ness, and un­der­stand the sig­nif­i­cant pos­i­tive im­pact this kind of con­tent has on their brand. We be­lieve that this study will en­hance ad­ver­tis­ers’ un­der­stand­ing and con­fi­dence in th­ese cam­paigns, and in the value of high qual­ity con­tent-mar­ket­ing de­liv­ered in pre­mium en­vi­ron­ments.”

Other find­ings

Trans­parency and qual­ity were re­vealed to be the most im­por­tant fac­tors in en­gag­ing the au­di­ence. 64pc were happy to read con­tent-led mar­ket­ing so long as it is clear which brand it is pre­sented by and 64pc were happy to read as long as it is clearly la­belled. Among those who al­ready have a high aware­ness of the medium, this in­creases to 82pc and 83pc re­spec­tively. From that group, 80pc agreed they would share it and 80pc think it plays a com­ple­men­tary role to edi­to­rial con­tent.

In the fa­cial cod­ing study, re­jec­tion for fully la­belled brand-pre­sented con­tent was 7pc below the av­er­age bench­mark, while re­jec­tion for non-la­belled con­tent was 18pc above the av­er­age. 63pc of re­spon­dents were happy to see the con­tent as long as it mir­rored the qual­ity of the provider’s edi­to­rial con­tent. In ad­di­tion, 59pc found the con­tent in­for­ma­tive, 55pc found it in­ter­est­ing and 57pc said they would share it.

Con­sumers are 30pc more likely to be­lieve con­tent-led mar­ket­ing on pre­mium news providers will be more in­for­ma­tive and ac­cu­rate than on non-pre­mium news providers. Con­tent-led mar­ket­ing en­hances brand per­cep­tions, with a +10pc up­lift for fa­mil­iar­ity and a +14pc up­lift in av­er­age brand im­age be­tween test and con­trol. It also drives brand am­pli­fi­ca­tion, with a +14pc in­crease in rec­om­men­da­tion and a +16pc lift in con­sid­er­a­tion. In­te­grat­ing the brand drives a greater emo­tional re­sponse and ref­er­enc­ing the brand

within the con­tent nar­ra­tive works harder for the ad­ver­tiser. In­te­grated con­tent drives a +109pc in­crease in ex­plicit and a +32pc up­lift in im­plicit brand pos­i­tiv­ity. In­te­grated con­tent also in­creases key call to ac­tion mea­sures of rec­om­men­da­tion (+21pc) and con­sid­er­a­tion (+20pc).

The month-long study was con­ducted in Oc­to­ber 2015, fol­low­ing the in­sight that while tra­di­tional per­for­mance met­rics of­fered a par­tial story of cam­paign suc­cess, com­bin­ing them with the mea­sure­ment of both con­scious and sub­con­scious con­sumer re­ac­tion to branded con­tent of­fered a more rounded view of the ef­fec­tive­ness of con­tent-led mar­ket­ing cam­paigns.

On the de­ci­sion to ex­plore emo­tional recog­ni­tion tech­niques, Pat­tin­son com­mented: “BBC Sto­ryworks has used the in­no­va­tive fa­cial cod­ing meth­ods to prove that when made trans­par­ent and prop­erly ex­e­cuted, brands can use con­tent-mar­ket­ing to heighten emo­tional en­gage­ment and en­hance brand per­cep­tions.”

The key find­ings from the BBC Sto­ryworks study have shown five gen­eral prin­ci­ples when it comes to con­tent mar­ket­ing: Be trans­par­ent and ed­u­cate your users; match the edi­to­rial qual­ity; be clear what your con­tent is try­ing to achieve and how emo­tional en­gage­ment can sup­port that; in­te­grat­ing the brand within the nar­ra­tive will work harder for the brand; and that plac­ing in a pre­mium en­vi­ron­ment will give your con­tent cred­i­bil­ity and al­low it to flour­ish.

To un­der­stand why they were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing those emo­tions, a panel of 20 me­dia ex­perts from ex­ec­u­tives from me­dia agen­cies, key global ad­ver­tis­ers and academia from around the world helped pro­vide con­text to the fa­cial cod­ing re­sults. The ex­perts viewed the con­tent tested in the re­search and rated them for the pres­ence of a num­ber of key fac­tors – such as fun and easy go­ing, thought pro­vok­ing, cere­bral etc. Re­sults were merged with the emo­tional re­sponse to help un­der­stand why con­sumers re­sponded in a cer­tain way.^

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