A new BBC report has urged advertisers to focus more on the emotional impact of the content that they publish, as a strong response from consumers can result in a boost in purchase intention and brand affinity. It claims that marketers should move away from viewing hard data such as click-through rates as the most important means to measuring the effectiveness of content.
The BBC’s Science of Engagement report surveyed more than 9,000 consumers in leading markets including Australia, Germany and the US to see whether there is a link between campaign metrics and emotions. As part of the study, participants watched nine video campaigns created by big brands such as HSBC, Mazda and Huawei.
CrowdEmotion partnered with the BBC’s StoryWorks unit for the study, and the former monitored the facial muscles of participants viewing the selection of visual content while also asking further questions about traditional brand metrics. It found that serious emotions, including fear and sadness, can lead to a deeper relationship between viewers and advertisers on a “subconscious” level.
For example, a Huawei campaign centred on the work of blind artist John Bramblitt resulted in a substantial uptick in positivity towards the Chinese mobile giant. Meanwhile, a downbeat campaign from HSBC about the struggles of sustaining long-distance relationships led to a 217 per cent rise in brand awareness.
Richard Pattinson, the head of BBC StoryWorks and the Senior Vice President of Content at BBC Advertising, stated: “This is a really important message to get across in terms of the effectiveness of content marketing.” He added: “It is a relatively new phenomenon for the advertising industry. [We want to] get brands and agencies to think about the importance of measuring the content itself. Actually, with content, you need a richer understanding than just click-through and even dwell time — what is the impact of a shorter piece compared to one that will take longer to consume?”
Comedic and other light-hearted material works too, as Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific saw a notable increase in brand consideration and image from its upbeat video about in-flight dining. The study also noted that specific emotions, including happiness and puzzlement, had a positive impact on users sharing the content across social sites such as Facebook and Twitter.