Content Marketing Dimension in the Ukranian Reality

THE ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE UKRAINIAN CONTENT MARKETING CHAPTER OF THE CANNUAL REPORT 2017

Content marketing in Ukraine is still relatively young and shows distinctive features, making this market quite special.

First of all, Ukrainians experienced two politician revolutions in 2004 and 2013. Both of them were organized the by society, mostly thanks to social media. Consequently, online users are at an advanced level in social network behavior: they consume, share and create content on a daily basis. Facebook is a very important social platform, because it has the power to influence important social decisions and has a high coverage potential. Advertisers see that this potential is being realized, hence it is an effective channel to follow through different goals: e.g. reach the audience, receive feedback, build credibility, etc. Being present on social media obviously means that you need a strong content strategy. Social media marketing has been developing since the mid-2000s, with content having an important role in it. Advertisers follow social network trends, producing content in all formats (e.g. GIFs, video, 360 videos, streaming and Stories). At the same time, brands actively seek the best content production and promotion solutions, since social networks decreased the ratio of organic reach in timeline algorithms.

Secondly, Ukrainians are used to watching pirated content. On the Ukrainian Internet, one can find basically any movie and TV show and watch it in HD for free . About 60% of the online audience watch pirated videos on a regular basis. Advertisers place commercials on these sites occasionally, but since it is not ethical, big advertisers cannot follow this practice. The legal inventory of video ads is therefore sold out completely. Advertisers are forced to consider other tools, such as self-owned content marketing, but it is expensive and complicated to produce. At the moment, collaborations with influencers and sponsoring special content campaigns on thematic sites are considered the best options for advertisers. Local content houses are fighting to close down torrent websites. In addition, they have to ponder over the production of exclusive content and how t o make legal video content affordable. The plan is to persuade users to start consuming legal content. Currently each content house and thematic content website is working on building its own strong brand to provide users with relevant content.

Brands are not in a rush to develop their own content platforms due to the high expenses and the complicated process of content creation. Furthermore, content requires promotion to reach the target audience. Instead, brands launch special content-based campaigns with popular media portals, choosing one that is popular among the target audience.

Branded Content Advertising

Native advertising is a relatively new approach in Ukraine to convey the communications goals to the target audience. Not all advertisers see the effectiveness in native advertising, as it is more expensive than direct placements. However, agencies do consider all content options, since using AdBlocker is getting more and more widespread among Ukrainian users. In Ukraine, 13% of Internet users block ads and the share of ad blocking on smartphones is even bigger. Agencies recommend splitting the digital advertising budget between direct placements and native content, such as influencer marketing and content-based campaigns. Native content advertising is more credible, and even though the reach rates are lower, users are paying considerably more attention to it.

Advertisers have recently started to consider branded content as an effective marketing tool. Taxi Uklon is a good example: they created a 2017 calendar on the popular lifestyle website called Bird In Flight. It is important to mention that Bird in Flight is a media platform of the famous content photo bank DepositPhotos, so their content-based campaigns are quite unique and of high quality.

At the same time, advertisers have come to realize the communications potential in branded content. Content marketing strategies aim to include the interests of the target audience, to appear on relevant websites and essential brand communications platforms. To set an example, Sommersby published several city guides under the title “What To Do This Weekend?” for the biggest cities on the website Vgorode.ua. By doing that, they followed through their communications goal of “bonding with friends”. The brand succeeded in all three dimensions of branded content: they used the right platform to reach the right audience and, thus, achieved the communication objective.

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