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Online content platform as branding tool

For quite some time, Wisse Kommunikatie has been perceiving a growing interest among companies in setting up an online content platform to support their PR and marketing activities. Changes in the current media landscape have further fragmented consumers and media, making consumers more difficult to reach than before. The multitude of channels and information gives consumers the need and consequently the power to choose the information to which they want to expose themselves. In addition, consumers no longer merely care about the products and services offered by an organization, but also about how this organization contributes to the social welfare. It is crucial to incorporate the above aspects in the branding of a company in order to stand out. An online content platform can play an important role in this respect.

During her internship at Wisse Kommunikatie, Saffira Holtman carried out a research into the role of online content platforms in branding. The research included a literature review as well as interviews with various organizations which are already using an online content platform, such as Rabobank, KLM and the City of Amsterdam. Saffira also spoke with PressPage, an organization that supplies the technology behind online content platforms.

The first part of the research explains how a content platform contributes to the strengthening of brand engagement, brand expertise and brand reputation. The second part of the advisory report explores how an online content platform can be effectively organized. It also provides practical tips on how to create engaging content.

Guidelines for engaging content:

  • Relevant, reliable and credible
  • Easy to process
  • Plays on emotion
  • Attractive layout
  • Correct tone of voice
  • Created with passion

In addition, Saffira’s research report provides practical tips for effective web design and engaging content, supported with good practices. Effective web design, for instance, requires organizations to take into account the consumer's perception, visual complexity, search engine optimization and smartphone navigability of a website.

Conclusion

The most important finding of the research is that an online content platform is a useful tool for strengthening the branding of organizations. An online content platform allows organizations to commit consumers to their brand with valuable content. Such a platform also gives organizations the opportunity to position themselves as branding experts for issues that are important to consumers. This, in turn, creates greater confidence in the brand, an important condition for thought leadership.In addition, organizations who provide valuable content through an online content platform are building both brand reputation and reputation management.

Follow-up

Wisse Kommunikatie is currently working on a follow-up research which further explores the role of online content platforms in corporate PR strategy.Together with internet marketing agency Best4U, we are also elaborating several business cases, leading to a framework for companies to use when creating and organizing their own online content platform.

For more information about Saffira Holtman's research and the possibilities of online content platforms, please contact Peter Drent at peter.drent@wisse-worldcom.nl or by phone at 026-4431523.