So, if user-generated content is really just a lot of consumer masturbation, what is happening on the brand side of the equation? Are marketers getting their collective arms around the challenge of “branded content” ?
That challenge comes with four main hurdles:
- Having something valuable to say
- Having the resources to write it
- Getting customers to find it/read it
- Getting the entire company to agree on its value
You will find the above list nowhere else, even though a billion “Five Tips On Branded Content” posts have been published…this week.
It’s incidental, in any case, since 50% of marketers haven’t cracked the code on point #1, and 90% of the remaining 50% won’t rightfully address point #2.
So, there really is nothing to do with this topic but sit back and chuckle at research like the following:
In mid-December, an outfit called “The Custom Content Council” attempted to estimate what marketers spend churning out…er, custom content…coming up with an average of $1.9 million per company. Sorry, carry it out to another decimal place = $1.91 million.
On an absolute basis, that data point fails hurdle #1 above. But there were a couple of “relative” nuggets of value in the council’s research. To wit:
- Around 25% of content spending was said to be in digital formats. Seems low, given the focus on email and website content, and implies there are still a lot of hardcopy newsletters, journals and such keeping the USPS barely afloat.
- Around 25% of companies claim that custom content efforts consume 25% of their total marketing budgets. As the kids would say…ROTFLMAO.
Vis-à-vis the hurdles above, here is where we really are:
- Talk about our products
- Assign the writing to an unqualified, low-paid team member
- Fling it in the customers’ general direction
- Hope no one in the C-suite asks for an accounting