How Should Brands Tackle The Consumer Literacy Gap In Their Content Marketing Strategy

A key trait of good content marketing is the ability to educate and inform the reader about how our products and services can impact their lives. Yet how much should we also be educating audiences about the marketing landscape itself?

For all the work we do as marketers to home in on ever more specific trends and opportunities, we tend to skip over the more fundamental considerations of our audiences’ ability to critically evaluate media and marketing messages.

How often do you stop to consider consumer literacy in crafting your content marketing strategy?

The Consumer Literacy Gap in Media and Marketing Is Widening

As both a journalist and a content creator, I like to think I’m fairly savvy when it comes to critically evaluating the content I consume. But there are plenty of sobering instances where I’ve been caught off guard, which has left me more skeptical than ever before as I try to cautiously yet efficiently navigate the immense digital content world.

What I know of media literacy these days is self-taught, a matter of chance encounters and realizations. How much am I missing?

MindEdge conducted a study this year that found that 59 percent of respondents were “very confident” in their own critical thinking skills. However, “[w]hen confronted with a nine-question quiz designed to gauge their ability to detect fake news, a majority receive a failing grade.”

One of the biggest challenges to media literacy is the speed at which our digital technologies and media platforms evolve. It’s hard to keep up, and it’s hard to take the time to thoroughly understand a new platform and assess the validity of its content.

Then there’s the growing convergence of traditional journalism and content marketing that can make it difficult to tell if news is coming from a brand or traditional publisher—not to mention the proliferation of fake news. Even as marketing leaders, we can have trouble distinguishing different types of content sometimes. And if we have trouble, we can be sure that our audiences have trouble.

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How Should Brands Tackle the Consumer Literacy Gap in Their Content Marketing Strategy?
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