SYDNEY: Content marketing and native advertising are becoming more popular as “top of the funnel” strategy, but more education is needed to boost the medium, according to print media executives.

“It does a really good job of awareness. It shifts affiliation consideration hugely, more than a lot of classic media placement advertisements can,” said Alice Kimberley, Head of Strategy and Insights at publisher VICE, at the recent Mumbrella Publish event in Sydney.

Advertisers, she believes, can also use content marketing to gain insight into their desired audience. (For more, read WARC’s exclusive report: Content marketing – education before measurement.)

“The joy of working with brands in this space is giving them a window into a world. They can understand how people actually behave and what they care about. Not how their product exists in isolation, but how they can become part of culture,” she said.

But education about the medium will be key to content marketing and native advertising reaching its full potential – although marketers are now becoming more knowledgeable.

“The most valuable thing for us has been clients understanding the power of storytelling first and foremost,” said Gereurd Roberts, CEO of Pacific Magazines.

He noted that content marketing has started to pick up steam in recent months with marketers. Niche trade media in particular may face different challenges than lifestyle outlets, which lend themselves more easily to the medium, but advertising salespeople in particular must be able to make the case.

“Clients now value content. That’s been an incredible shift and something that’s happened incredibly rapidly, particularly over the last 12 months,” Roberts said.

“We put a lot of work into educating [salespeople] – understanding storytelling and understanding how storytelling can create results for advertisers. Storytelling is now the authentic way for brands to have connectivity with audiences,” he added.

Sourced from WARC