Content marketing and the eclipse of banners

Here at Content24 we’ve been talking about the effect of adblockers on content marketing for some time. Whatever you think about them, they could be a force for good when it comes to increasing content marketing budgets.

At least it would be nice to think so. So encouraging news then that this piece of research – titled The Eclipse of Online Ads – has just been put out. It looks at consumer attitudes to content marketing, its relationship to online advertising and how content is the future. And since it is research, it must be right. Right?

Consumers switching to content

The report was put together with the help of brands such as Marriott, Visa and Johnson & Johnson. It goes on to examine correlations between the growth in content marketing and falling interaction with ad banners. Obviously, the downloading of adblockers comes into play here, but the conclusions are undoubtedly positive backed up by graphics for added authenticity.

Conflicting interest

Now for the disclaimer: the study was conducted on behalf of ScribbleLive, which is a company that produces content marketing software.

It is difficult for any company to put out its own research and expect it to be taken seriously – especially when it concludes by advising readers to buy more of what it produces. Sadly, this is a case in point.

Firstly, the brands involved are some of the biggest users of content marketing. Marriott especially is one of the trailblazers when it comes to video.

Secondly, a lot of the graphics and numbers come from groups that are similarly invested in content marketing. Sources include the Content Marketing Association’s annual report.

Are banner ads toast?

So has the research title got it right? It would be nice to think so, but then I’m also biased. Most marketers would say there is a place for both. The only relationship between banner ads and content marketing is who pays for the privilege.

There will always be a role for banner advertising and there are plenty of places where it coexists with content marketing. Yes, adblocking is an issue but there are already signs that it is failing to cut through on mobile. And don’t write off the ability of the ad industry to move the banner ad on… it is definitely overdue a revamp.

Until research proves otherwise, that is the line we’ll stick to.

Content marketing and the eclipse of banners is part of Content24, the online magazine by London content marketing agency FirstWord.