Brands are demonstrating a “palpable enthusiasm” for content and the most successful content strategies embrace humour and scale, according to a new WARC report.

The Effective Content Strategy Report 2018, based on analysis of the entries to the Effective Content Strategy category of this year’s international WARC Awards, identifies four common themes from branded editorial-style content that can demonstrate a business outcome.

These include the use of humour, the need for scale, the creation of a point of difference and the need for content to engage new audiences.

Emotion and humour were the creative strategies of nearly a third – 32% – of shortlisted papers and were exemplified by the Grand Prix winner, Coca-Cola’s Hijacking the African Cup by FP7/CAIRO.

“Creating emotion is what brands have to do today,” said jury member Lennie Stern, Head of Creative and Entertainment Strategies, BETC Paris. “Make them laugh and you’ll encourage them to share new cultural references.”

When WARC asked 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 – indicating the importance of scale if content is to reach its full potential.

“Scaling, and scaling hard behind proven success, is the new business practice,” noted Nick Kendall, Founding Partner, Broken, Electric Glue and The Garage Soho. “Now content is growing up and finding ‘the power of ideas’, so let’s make sure we have ‘the power of media’ to drive them.”

Lucy Aitken, Managing Editor, Case Studies at WARC observed “a palpable enthusiasm for content”, despite the occasional problems faced with new formats. “Content is starting to take a more central role in communications strategies that recognise its strengths and its power to connect,” she added.

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.

Now in their third year, the WARC Awards 2019 will open for entries on 1 November 2018. Free to enter, there is a $40,000 prize fund for the winning papers. View here for more information.

Sourced from WARC