Foremother Eve First to Yield to the Temptation of Content Marketing


The article was originally published in the CANnual Report 2017

by Petr Lastovka, Group Head of Planning, Comtech CAN (Czech Republic)

I would love to believe that marketing communication is in the hands of a bunch of incredibly resourceful inventors, who come up with an innovation every second day that will change the lives of those “out there” for the better. It might be the case, but there is a lack of evidence.

Why do I think so? The current trend of the so-called content marketing suggests so. One would say that it is a hot novelty, but I remember that as a kid, I used to hang on my history teacher’s words as she told us about how people would pass on their experiences and memories by word-of-mouth, long before Mr. Gutenberg introduced his printing press. In addition, there had always been someone in the village who recorded the news into a chronicle. If you were lucky, you met a salesman at the main square of the village, trading silk or candies from far-away lands. They would tell you stories of their silk, of how it had been obtained from a beetle, a caterpillar or whatever. They all had different stories to share, with some extra detail. If this is not content marketing, I’m going to eat my hat.

If we were to go further back in history to see our forefather and foremother, Adam and Eve in Eden, they would perhaps tell us that a treacherous snake tricked them with an apple tree.

We probably all have the feeling that content marketing is not a novelty. However, at the moment, it is the rising star. Nowadays, many new teams and agencies come to life in the Czech Republic. They can smell the money clients are ready to spend on anything content-related. Yes, it is a fashion. However, we work in a business that is all about fashion.

The trendiest trend in the current Czech marketing pond is the frenzy about YouTubers. There are already about two dozen of them who can earn around 1 million CZK (approximately 37,500 Euros) annually. Note that the Czech Republic has a little over 10 million inhabitants, over 76% of the households have Internet connection, and every second citizen is on Facebook. These numbers are slightly above the EU average and they provide a fertile ground for spending money provided that you have a camera on a tripod and a head full of ideas.

Two years ago, you could pass a couple of cosmetics samples to a female YouTuber and Miss Enthusiastic would have praised your brand. Today? No chance, forget it. Contemporary YouTubers ask for more money than top business managers. But we should add that they usually seek long-term co-operations.

As a matter of curiosity, they do not really want to talk about their income. YouTubers are often individuals or freelancers, not subject to any audited accounting. However, they do have to pay VAT, because it is mandatory – in accordance with the Czech tax system – for those who earn over 1 million CZK annually. Nevertheless, not every YouTuber belongs to this category.

So, where does their money come from? If we make a quick calculation, we can come to the following conclusion: YouTubers get something from Google for the ads displayed while their videos are being viewed, and part of their incomes comes from the partner with whom they collaborate. The top YouTubers are so popular that they sell their own merchandising. The most popular Czech one, Jirka Král sells his own baseball cap for 900 CZK (34 Euros) which is not a bargain per se, but can you resist?

Which companies do you associate the classic top YouTuber with? The above-mentioned Jirka Král made videos for, the largest electronics retailer. In addition, he also collaborated with T-Mobile, Milka, Philips and Red Bull. It should be pointed out that his videos are of excellent quality, which partly explains the demand for him.

We do not find anyone from the older generation among Czech YouTubers. Why is that so? Content creation is a fashion among younger people, with the resulting excessive content consumption being basically a form of addiction. The eyes of a schoolkid stuck to the screen, watching videos online 8 hours a day during the week is no longer a rarity.

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