About the power of content and serious challenges that marketers need to face to attract customers with content marketing, tells Clare Hill,  director general for the Content Marketing Association, and head of the International Content Marketing Forum.
“We have state-of-the-art, attractive tools. Now we need to make use of them. That is – to fill them with quality content”

What are the trends in content marketing? Are brands increasing investments on content marketing?
Even though the latest Bellwether report points to a 1% increase in all marketing budgets, which is the second lowest rate in the history of the report, marketing directors are beginning to see brand content as an alternative to traditional marketing tools, such as advertising. The results were also confirmed by Mintel research, which forecasts a double digit increase of content marketing outlay in the next five years.
What is the power of content marketing? Why should we use it in communications?
The market knows well the added value phenomenon, and content marketing is becoming part of this phenomenon, asserting an increase in consumer loyalty and in sales. One fourth of the entire content is now created by companies, and it is a good way to add value to their relations with consumers. No wonder the traditional model of conveying a message is becoming less and less ideal and we see more and more information being popularised via various communication channels. An application, e-magazine, game, Internet website, video, TV show, internal magazine or customer magazine – the fact you give to the consumer something for free results in their looking for this kind of experience on all platforms. Even more importantly, content marketing allows you to travel to the world of a brand, which is crucial in today’s environment stuffed with various brands’ messages.
What is the current situation of brands on the market?
The environment is becoming more varied, because brands need to do more and more in order to survive. Content marketing is currently a recognised marketing tool. It allows brands to engage the consumer in an innovative way, by constantly telling about the company.
What are the biggest challenges for the creators of an engaging and effective brand content?
Just like its predecessor – customer publishing – brand content has the goal of creating an interaction of consumers with their favourite brand via various channels and platforms – television, apps, online games, e-mails, newsletters, printed and digital magazines. The biggest challenge for brands which want to engage their consumers for long is to create one strategy that combines the brand’s messages on all these platforms. Without this, brand content will live its own life, without control.
What are the challenges for marketers?
The strategy of promoting brand content works not only in the case of various communication channels, but it also helps in other marketing activities. The main challenge for widely understood marketing sector is to guarantee the quality of content that is effective, helps the brand achieve its goals and responds to consumer needs. All CMA members are experts in content marketing, and gradually more companies are paying attention to content marketing in order to face new challenges.
How do brands include content marketing in their general marketing mix?
A research by CMA shows that more and more often consumers expect their favourite brands to provide valid content. They want websites with brand content to be updated at least once a day, or even more often on social media platforms such as Facebook. Brands know that.
They know that, but can they use that knowledge effectively?
They are using it gradually better and more efficiently. Let me mention only a few examples: Swarovski activated a new website recently, which is a part of a larger campaign promoting its spring collection. Vue Entertainment created a new video magazine – a free monthly that uses the augmented reality technology, thus standing apart from the competition and attracting people to the site. Taking into account the diversity of the platforms that brands can use, there are plenty possibilities of engaging the consumer.
Since possibilities are so numerous, what do we do now to communicate with customers effectively?
We have new and attractive tools, all we need to do is to use them wisely. This means we need to fill them with quality content, which will be of value for our customers. And they will love us!

Interview by: OLGA FEDOROVA, the text appeared in the magazine Content Marketing Polska 2013