Nielsen – McCann PR study on agencies’ and clients’ views over content marketing in Romania

Marketing, PR, Studies

Nielsen and McCann PR Romania released recently an info-graphic including the findings of a study related to what content marketing means for Romanian clients and agencies. As content marketing has another work definition for each player within the industry, the study found out that clients implement integrated and continuous content activities all over the year, with specific content generated for each campaign. The average duration of a campaign ran by a client is, according to the study, of six months.

While Romanian agencies’ representatives consider that PR activities are among the most important in the area of content marketing, very close to the social media and digital campaign, without a big difference between their scores, clients believe that the most important are digital and social media campaigns. For clients, PR activities are 4th in their hierarchy, with a significantly lower score compared to the other types of campaigns.

Most clients consider the creative department very important in brands’ communication strategy, while PR is evaluated by them as the least important. Moreover, PR activities continue to be associated with crisis management, bloggers relations, press releases and events planning, and the general perception is PR lacks strategic thinking and resources to create and implement a continuous campaign.

When agencies are proposing to their clients a content campaign, the main obstacles they face are client’s mistrust in its efficiency and the lack of a previous experience. When it comes of selling a content idea, the agencies exemplify with visual materials (65%), explain the idea in detail (65%), guarantee the viralization of the content (35%), make sure the idea considers competitors’ actions (32%).

The study showed that both agencies and clients consider relevance for consumer as the most important feature of a quality content. The opinions are different when it comes of other relevant elements of influence for content: agencies identify a good idea as the engine of a high quality content, while clients are focused on relaying brand’s attributes as they believe that content generation must first and foremost answer to the business objectives.

Nor agencies or clients value too much content’s distribution when it comes of its efficiency. Although agencies believe that content’s distribution is responsible for a fifth of a campaign’s result (18%), clients don’t even mention this aspect.  When it comes of viralizing the content, the agencies consider the relevance of the idea for the consumer (62%), content’s distribution (18%), the level of humor, ads, quality of the execution and bloggers support. When it comes of clients, they only consider the relevance for consumer (88%) and the level of humor (12%)

According to the study, the general consensus between agencies and clients, which is that more should be invested in creating content in brands’ strategy, with 84% from total respondents agreeing totally or partially with this. Also, over 80% of respondents consider that today’s content budgets are too small and that setting up a content platform involved a lengthy process.

When it comes of clients’ corporate communication budget, the biggest part of it is directed towards PR activities. On the other hand, digital agencies have a bigger role in managing clients’ accounts in social media than PR agencies, as both agencies and clients stated during the study, and as digital and advertising agencies are perceived as specialists in content and brand strategy.

The challenges related to content campaigns, from the proposal to the implementation stage, significantly differ for clients compared to the agencies. For agencies, the main challenges are a too big importance given to brand’s presence and client’s excessive control over the creative process, while clients are facing the impossibility of proving an immediate commercial result.

The social interaction and insights from social networks are most often used by agencies’ representatives to evaluate the impact of the content marketing actions, while clients are also using market research studies.

The most implemented types of content are Facebook Apps, interviews and blogger relations for agencies and press releases, websites and posters for clients. When investing in social media, clients put their money mainly on branded content (53%), SEO (24%), social ads (18%) and building personal relations with bloggers (6%). At their turn, when spending social media budgets, agencies invest the most in social ads (26%), branded content (24%), Facebook page’s maintainance (18%), but also in building personal relations with bloggers, building a corporate blog, sponsored content, exploring social media conversations and turning them in insights and SEO (each with 6%).

When sending a brief for an integrated campaign, the client directs it mostly towards the agency (44%), which redistributes it internally, than towards the creative department (31%), PR (19%) or to the digital department (6%)