Content and commerce collide in brand-funded entertainment
A recent study from Amazon Ads, MBCS (Mediabrands Content Studio) and Magna sheds new light on brand-funded entertainment. As part of the report, Reprise’s Senior Vice President of Global Commerce Solutions, Will Margaritis shared his thoughts on the converging worlds of content and commerce.
Closing the gap between content and commerce is a hot topic in the world of marketing and advertising. Since the earliest days of advertising, ads served to whet the appetite and commerce was there to fulfill the need. The issue? There were a few too many steps between them.
Many brands have sought to close the gap between content and commerce using shoppable social media and live commerce. But brands are starting to get creative with longer-form content like TV and film too.
A new report from Amazon, Mediabrands Content Studio and Magna demonstrates the success of brand-funded TV and movies on streaming sites like Netflix. As part of the report, Will Margaritis contributed some key insights on what content to commerce means today – joining an expert panel industry leaders.
Content to commerce: key to customer FLOW
Content to commerce is all about increasing consumer FLOW. That is, moving customers smoothly down the sales funnel to a conversion and removing friction and obstacles along the way. For Will, content to commerce falls into two categories.
- Path to purchase. Here, a piece of creative content connects the audience directly to an order or fulfillment channel. We see this strategy in new social media formats such as live commerce, shoppable posts, and brand-hosted/funded content. This could include anything from a brand-hosted Twitch channel or in brand-funded entertainment.
- Custom content. Another common tactic is repurposing or echoing creative content on commerce channels. You can see examples of this down the page of an Amazon listing, in A+ content. This is not only an opportunity to entice the audience with great creative. It provides a consistent experience for customers between creative campaigns (whether on TV, social or display), and is a great way to hammer home brand identity.
Brendan Gaul, Global Chief Content Officer of Mediabrands, noted the huge opportunities of content to commerce. For Brendan, the brands that win today’s audiences know that consumer brands need to be media brands too. Great content offers a chance to connect with consumers – if you tie it together with sales channels, it’s a win-win.
Content to commerce connects brands with customers
Content builds an emotional connection. It can help customers understand the unique value of a product – but most importantly, understand the brand behind it. In doing so, brands create familiarity, which makes it easier for people to make purchases.
Will discussed how content can help customers know whether a brand has a serious or playful brand voice, or understand their stance on big issues like the environment. Likewise, content can help brands position their broader product range as anything from luxurious to lo-fi. The longer the content, the more likely audiences are to connect with it.
Brendan pointed out that products in a certain shopping category can be similar – so it’s up to the brand to provide the differentiation. Content is key to making brands stand out and earn the trust of their audience. If brands can take out the friction between this content and the sale, they’re onto a winner.
Authenticity and engagement and is essential
To reach digitally-savvy younger generations, you need an authentic voice. To build one, marketers need to think carefully and understand the limitations of their brand and products – and not oversell or exaggerate.
For Will, the single most important thing a brand can is simply create content that customers want to engage with.
“Engaged consumers will convert. If the content isn’t something the consumer wants to engage with, the content to commerce play will fail.”
Martin Bryan, Senior Vice President and Group Partner of J3 Strategy, noted how brands must balance value, interest and platform capabilities to gain engagement. Authentic content takes into account customer experience and insights. Understanding not just when, but how, to engage an audience will deliver the best experiences.
If you’d like to speak to one of our experts, please get in touch.
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Converging World of Content + Commerce
Amazon Ads, MBCS (Mediabrands Content Studio) and Magna sheds new light on brand-funded entertainment – a new frontier in the converging worlds of content and commerce. But in the competitive world of streaming, will audiences watch content made by advertisers?
Download the whitepaper to find out more.