Content Marketing: New Opportunities for Building Strong Brands Online
Summary, in English
Date of the Seminar: 2nd June 2014
Course: BUSN39 Degree project in Global Marketing, Master Thesis
Authors: Atina Georgieva and Alexandra Djoukanova
Supervisor: Veronika Tarnovskaya
Keywords: Digital content, content marketing, online branding, brand equity online
Thesis purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to illustrate the opportunities that digital content creates for companies to strengthen their online brands. The present research takes a managerial perspective on the content marketing process and explores how digital content can be used to build brand equity online.
Methodology: A social constructionist ontological position and an interpretivist epistemological stance of the authors of this thesis guided the adoption of a qualitative strategy and abductive approach. This research is based on an exploratory single-case study research design.
Theoretical perspective: The thesis used and built upon existing theories in the fields of content marketing, online branding and brand equity online. The Simmons’ (2007) ‘Four Pillars of i-Branding’ framework served as a basis for empirical data collection and analysis, hence aided in answering the research question.
Empirical data: Two data collection methods have been applied within the research design. First, five semi-structured interviews with three representatives from the selected company were conducted. Second, virtual observation of the digital content on the company website and social media was performed.
Findings: Three phases of the content marketing process were identified, namely planning, creation and distribution. The strategic decisions and activities in each phase of the process revealed how digital content can be used as a tool to build brand equity. First, the brand equity building process is triggered in the content distribution phase when different distribution tactics cause branding effects, such as increased brand visibility online, favorable user experience, greater personalization, leadership associations, increased user interaction and enhanced brand message. In turn, these effects can increase brand awareness and create positive brand associations. Second, the ongoing segmentation based on the users’ needs and the continuous delivery of relevant and valuable content favor a genuine relationship between the brand and its audience. This creates opportunities to establish brand trust and brand loyalty, hence leveraging brand equity in the long run.
- Business and Economics
- Digital content
- content marketing
- online branding
- brand equity online
- Veronika Tarnovskaya (Dr)