Media has for quite some time been at a turning point. Advertising is shifting to digital channels in accordance with people's use of time. Differences between paid and earned media space online have been blurred because of social media.
Why is the border between paid advertising and content marketing unclear?
In traditional media, we are paying the same price for media space, regardless of what effect the print or TV ad has. It can delight or enrage people, or not cause any reaction at all. Today, however, an increasing amount of content is in digital form. Banners are paid for, but in social media there is visibility that is paid for and visibility that is earned, as well as a combination of both. For example, on Facebook you can buy media space in the traditional way, but how cost-effectively the paid content is displayed varies according to audience reactions. We can immediately see if our content delivers the right or wrong things. The community likes, comments and shares the message if it is something of interest. The more the content interests them, the more cost-effective the advertising. This is the future on a wider scale.
In the future, advertising is way more effective than today
In the future, the most effective way to use the media budget will be to allocate it to the content to which people respond the best. This means that if you are going to produce a massive discount campaign, it has to be good according to the receiver as well, if you want the most cost-effective visibility. This has always been true, but now we have the opportunity to do this effectively in a digital and social environment. This means that the annual campaigns, which in the past consisted of 50 000 euros worth of bought media space, are now divided into 20 mini-campaigns and budgets throughout the year. More media budget is allocated only to content and themes, which on average receive more positive feedback.
Even today, if any content works better than usual, we respond online by advertising that content so that it will reach a higher paid and organic visibility. A marketer should monitor reactions to the content and react consistently.
I predict, however, that in the near future, our content and our advertising will automatically meet more effectively through different systems (this is already happening at larger companies quite effectively). Thus we will be able to allocate each and every euro to content that really works and makes people feel that they are getting added value. The future of advertising will serve advertisers, as well as the consumers of media better.