Entertain Before You Jump to Sales


The article was originally published in the Hungarian content marketing chapter of the CANnual Report 2017

by András Viniczai, Partner and Innovation Director, Café Communications (Hungary) and Editor-in-chief of the CANnual Report 2017, Gábor Varga, Digital Business Director, Café Communications (Hungary) and Mariann Forgács, Founder and Managing Director, Be Social (Café Communications, Hungary)

Content marketing is far from being a new concept in advertising. Its tools have been part of everyday life in Hungary as well, but the significance of content-based solutions in brand communications have increased considerably during the last couple of years. The fundamental notion – that is, giving valuable information to consumers – is still the same, but the goal, the tools and the format have changed significantly. Content abandoned its role as a mere supporting actor that enhances the brand message and has stepped into the spotlight. It might as well soon become the most important link between brands and consumers.

In recent years, a growing number of people support the idea that the time of traditional communications and advertising is coming to an end. Less and less consumers like being the target of advertising, regardless of age. Instead, they prefer real dialogue with brands. It is fair to say that new consumers – that is, self-conscious costumers with stronglyheld, individual opinions –, are more responsive to tailor-made, useful and entertaining communication. They are a lot more responsive to this approach than to conventional methods and tools that just increase the noise level around them.

This is an essential trend in most parts of the world and fortunately it is becoming a trend in Hungary, too. Obviously, it does not mean that Hungarian consumers do not come across classic advertisements in the streets anymore and that content-based solutions dominate in television. However, brands began to realize (or agencies are getting more efficient in convincing their clients) that it is less likely to find loyal customers with traditional advertising.

Obviously, there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” solution. However, there is an increasing number of clients who realize that it is worth trying, and even risking small failures. At times, this is the price one has to pay for finding models that work, can be implemented on a larger scale and that yield great success in the end. The comprehensive toolbox of content marketing is the right place to look for the ingredients of brilliantly effective campaigns that can be mixed easily and quickly.

The Trend Is Undiminished

As last year’s CANnual Report revealed, content consumption has started to be redirected from television to social media platforms. It is especially true when it comes to the young generation below 30. With that in mind, it is not surprising at all that social platforms which primarily function is content sharing, now offer an increasingly varied mixture of content and advertising solutions. More than that, by getting rid of former patterns, they demand a cool, casual, vivid communication style with strong viral content to enhance the hype around content, instead of promoting brands and services directly.

A number of small agencies specialized in content marketing appeared on the market and as happens usually, they gave a boost to this branch of the industry. The local socialeconomic structure ended up being a fertile soil too, because there are only 4.4 million breadwinners for the 9.8 million people who constitute the total population of Hungary. There are 1.2 million individual entrepreneurs and an additional 0.5 million partnerships, and only 20% of them are actually active. For this small group, consisting of some 100,000 entrepreneurs hungry for customers, yet managing tight budgets, social media, cheap and precisely targetable communications as well as the possibility of a direct relationship with the customers were like heaven. However, disappointment was inevitable for those who had great hopes in sales, but had no original and exciting content.

The response to their needs, originating from the lack of expertise, was immediate. Dozens of content marketing and social media agencies operating with a handful of colleagues – journalists, PR and marketing experts – appeared out of thin air from one day to another. However, it is difficult to grow big and fast when you manage a tiny budget, so most of them did not succeed. Only a few could become a proper agency that, besides creating high-quality and optimized website texts, SEM/SEO solutions and professional Facebook posts, can also deliver entire campaigns based on an elaborated concept, presenting a story, matching the context, supported by good design and occasionally including traditional media solutions.

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