BBC StoryWorks, the content marketing arm of BBC Advertising, is pioneering new ways of understanding the emotional impact of content-led marketing by measuring consumers’ subconscious reaction to campaigns on BBC.com.
In a study titled ‘The Science of Engagement’, its in-house insight team, in partnership with facial coding experts CrowdEmotion, has combined traditional research metrics with facial coding to understand how brands can use content-led marketing to effectively engage with consumers. BBC Advertising plans to offer this insight to premium clients as part of its campaign reporting to ensure they understand the full impact content-led marketing can have on consumers and the value of it to their brands.
According to the research, well executed and clearly labelled content-led marketing is considered trusted and persuasive in quality environments, and has a powerful emotional impact for the brands involved. Exposure to content-led marketing can significantly improve consumers’ positivity towards the advertising brands (with a +77% increase in explicit positivity between pre and post exposure). In addition, the study measured the second-by-second facial movements of people as they experienced the content to measure true engagement and the respondents’ implicit reaction. The results showed that exposure can also lead to a 14% increase in subconscious positivity.
Richard Pattinson, SVP Content, BBC Advertising and Head of BBC StoryWorks said, “In a time when advertisers are increasing their spending on content-led marketing, it is important that they also feel confident in its effectiveness, and understand the significant positive impact this kind of content has on their brand. We believe that this study will enhance advertisers’ understanding and confidence in these campaigns, and in the value of high quality content-marketing delivered in premium environments.”
Key research highlights:
• Transparency and quality were revealed to be the most important factors in engaging the audience.
• 64% were happy to read content-led marketing so long as it is clear which brand it is presented by, and 64% were happy to read as long as it is clearly labelled.
• Consumers are 30% more likely to believe content-led marketing on premium news providers will be more informative and accurate than on non-premium news providers.
The month-long study was conducted in October 2015, following the insight that while traditional performance metrics offered a partial story of campaign success, combining them with the measurement of both conscious and subconscious consumer reaction to branded content offered a more rounded view of the effectiveness of content-led marketing campaigns.
The research included a sample of 5,153 digital consumers of English language international news across six key markets: Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA, Canada and Germany. It focused around three core measurements - an online quantitative survey, facial coding and Implicit Response Testing. For the unconscious measurement, facial movements were recorded on a second by second basis and then coded into six possible emotions: sadness, puzzlement, happiness, fear, rejection, surprise.
To understand why they were experiencing those emotions, a panel of 20 media experts from executives from media agencies, key global advertisers and academia from around the world helped provide context to the facial coding results.
Launched in June 2015, BBC StoryWorks is a global content marketing team within BBC Advertising that brings together the boldness and innovative qualities of a creative studio with the agility, responsiveness and timeliness of the newsroom.
You can watch the video infographic here: