THE ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE ROMANIAN CONTENT MARKETING CHAPTER OF THE CANNUAL REPORT 2017
“A good haiku is a pebble thrown into the pool of the listener’s mind, evoking association out of the richness of his own memory”, said Alan Watts. Pretty much the same is true to ads and content made by influencers or collaborators to endorse brands. They can hardly create relevant moments for users, but can turn people’s attention to moments in their daily lives and correlate them with brands in a less intrusive manner than ordinary display banners.
Brands benefit from the collaborations with influencers mainly because they are given exposure and feedback from a usually non-responsive target audience and are associated with an “approved” voice of the community. Thanks to them, people might watch half of a branded video without scrolling down, giving a few extra seconds of attention to brands, and it is worth more than an average Facebook ad in this digital environment.
The History of Content as a Business in Romania
We can say that the history of content marketing in Romania started around 2010 when a series of blogs were started as an extension of a personal brand (or vice versa). A couple of good writers, journalists and skilled amateurs started writing, gained readership and then got bigger as time passed.
Cristian Manafu was one of those pioneers. The former journalist has been blogging about media, the Internet, advertising, blogging in general and technology since 2007 and he received a great deal of recognition from bloggers and the online community.
The innovators quickly realized that to evolve in the content marketing business, you need a direction and a vision. Around 2011 or 2012, acknowledged bloggers started to have an editorial approach. They knew the interests of their audience – approximately 3 million Romanians were reading blogs at the time – and how to maintain their interest. They started recording more video content, promoting articles with Google AdWords and specializing in subjects such as fashion, beauty, cooking, travelling, tech, marketing, relationships, fitness and parenting. Chef Adrian Hadean now owns a full platform for cooking, while fashion blogger Vicki Nicola has two content platforms, vickipedia.ro focusing on her own persona and experiences, and petocuri.ro dealing with everything that is cool and funky.
Bloggers focus on quality content and choose their brand collaborations wisely. The more illustrious ones transformed from casual writers into entrepreneurs with huge communities, monthly brand campaigns and trainings. As of February 2017, there were 93,403 blogs in Romania, with 9,869 active blogs, 125,709 posts and 124,282 comments.
The New Generation of Content Creators
Nowadays, there is a strong competition between bloggers and vloggers, the veterans who have their own audience and the newcomers who step into an already established market with video content and younger communities on their side.
There are plenty of talented young people who speak the language of their peers and started vlogging sooner than their predecessors. They started from scratch and managed to transform their passions into a fun job and career. There are a lot of them out there, but not every one of them is visible. There are about 20 big names in the industry, and they have been producing content and working with brands for years. If you dig deeper, you can find 11-12-year-old kids who can easily make a video with 20,000 views and have 10,000 subscribers. Brands have difficulty achieving numbers without a serious media investment. Since the blogosphere is so divided, vloggers and Instragrammers usually choose general topics with a different approach to offer something natural and unique or focus on niched communities to create a different kind of content from a different perspective.
It is worth engaging influencers for target audiences starting from parents and tech geeks to young adults, but one has to keep in mind that millennials and teens respond the best to this type of advertising.