Murdoch-owned news publisher News Corp Australia has taken to a virtual event to spruik branded content, a rival to other forms of advertising in which it has an increasing role.
At its event dubbed ‘The purchase funnel is dead: How brands killed it with content’, the company detailed the ways in which magalogues and sophisticated advertorial have evolved into what it likes to call “premium content”.
Better known in print as the publisher of The Australian and metro dailies the Daily Telegraph, Herald-Sun and Courier Mail, News is active in branded content though its shareholdings in companies such as Medium Rare, which produces high-circulation magazines including those of Qantas (pictured), David Jones, Bunnings and Coles, and Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Company Director. Its NewsLifeMedia division also produces brand-rival magazine Woolworths Fresh, one of the country’s highest-circulation magazines.
At its virtual event, News presented results from a survey by consultancy firm Crowd DNA, which said 43 per cent of Australians surveyed engaged with brand content “at least daily” and three-quarters did so weekly.
However it claimed brands needed to lift their game, with only a third of those surveyed satisfied that brands met their content needs.
Three quarters of those surveyed favoured a brand that provided them with valuable content.
The report puts branded content at the centre of a “new purchase cycle”, able to consistently connect a consumer to a brand.
News Corp Australia’s managing director for commercial content Mike Connaghan said the research explained content marketing’s growth, and suggested that the Australian government had “under-utilised the medium.
Its rise represented an opportunity for brands to “turn their customers into fans”.
Consumers were marketing savvy, seeing “the two way exchange of utility content as a win-win” with advertising as the sell, content as the tell.
Connaghan said there was “no bigger consumer group than what the government has”. Delivering its message “through fantastic utility content is a wonderful opportunity for governments and a really powerful avenue” for them.