Why is content so important? Beginning with the science, studies show that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. This highlights that information is best communicated in the form of an image or video. This was shown in a recent AKA campaign for the Science Museums Cravings Exhibition, where the use of interactive banners elicited interaction rates 30-40 times higher than click through rates resulting from static banners.

It’s a crowded market out there, with more and more communication channels and voices adding to the noise every day. To create stand out it’s essential to provide something that a prospective audience member will actively engage with on the channels that they use. Content can be communicated through videos, blog posts, how-to-guides, images, photography, or info graphics and should be one or ideally all of three things: entertaining, interesting or useful. Studies show that if people watch a trailer they are twice as likely to purchase a ticket, and tell a friend. AKA’s Content team used this approach to develop a cinema advertising spot for Matilda The Musical, the spot was designed to position the production as a blockbuster experience, and to inspire the cinema audience to want to see more.

The objective with content is also to encourage people to share it. Word of mouth is the most trusted, persuasive form of advertising and consumers share things that are entertaining or useful all the time – we are fortunate in the entertainment industry to have a product that is engaging and a wealth of content to communicate about. Content is about giving consumers something to share with their friends, making a connection between brands and users. This then drives them back to the origin of the content to find out more and they tend to spend longer browsing and engaging with the information. With the right driving forces and calls to action, this increased traffic can be converted to increased sales. Google weights how long a user is on a page as a contributing factor as to the importance of the website. By having engaging content, users spend more time on the site, signalling to Google that the page is important and boosting the search rankings which helps to drive sales.

So what is the ultimate benefit of engaging audiences through content and storytelling? The key is subtle persuasion, using content is effective in marketing because it offers audiences a chance to feel a personal connection to the message, to learn more and ultimately to be motivated to want to experience it for themselves.