Make visitors spend more time with you

When interactive online content is placed in a suitable context, the shifts in brand metrics can be measured and help marketers balance their books, according to the latest research.

Ross Cairns

Co-founder of Erasmus and global creative director for energy drink brand Relentless

Irrespective of whether we’re talking about straightforward advertising or content, the element that matters most is relevance.

However, this is so often overlooked.Throwing millions of “consumers” at the wall in the hope that a few stick with you doesn’t feel particularly efficient.

It should be no surprise that those opportunities to participate more fully with an idea and for consumers to experience some benefit from content should have a positive effect on how we regard subsequent communication from any brand that is treating us with respect.

Helping people work out if a brand and what it stands for is relevant to them or not takes time; that’s the critical benefit of content. Focusing on content is about flipping the agenda. No longer is it about repeatedly invading the consciousness of unwilling victims to sell, sell, sell – pushing messages driven primarily by what the brand wants.

Instead, it’s about confidence and respect; the confidence that there is in fact an idea at the heart of your brand that is worth sharing; and secondly, the basic respect for those people you’d wish to engage with.

When relevance is earned, consumer radars are tuned to receive, your brand is noticed more readily and your stories have a chance of connecting, enduring and in the end converting to sales. But to marketers who want instant results, content is much harder to deploy, harder to measure, harder to do well and there’s all that convenient, tempting media to just buy with all those eyeballs that will see or whizz by it.

Making content work for your brand requires a different attitude and no small amount of patience and sensitivity, but it’s also the future, so best get used to it.