Excellent.org explains why content marketing enjoys a particularly high level of credibility, the picture illustrates various forms of content (such as podcasts, blog posts, etc.)

Content Marketing convinces through credibility

For many people, classical advertising seems too artificial and aims too obviously at marketing a product[1]. Customers do not see any added value and increasingly turn away from advertising, also by adblockers. This is where content marketing comes into play, which aims to offer a clear added value to target groups. In this article we give you a short introduction to the important topic of content marketing. We explain why content marketing enjoys a particularly high degree of credibility and discuss the difference between content marketing and journalism. Finally, we give you valuable tips on how to ensure your own credibility.

What is content marketing?

Content Marketing is a sub-discipline of marketing and is part of the communication strategy of a company. Content is created that is not primarily promotional, but is relevant to the problems and needs of the target group and thus provides clear added value. Through high-quality information, the positioning of the brand is to be improved, brand awareness increased and the trust of customers gained.

The „content“ created can take many different forms, such as blog posts, tutorials, guides, infographics, surveys/studies, white papers, eBooks and much more.

To achieve the goals of content marketing and to increase the image of a company (or a brand or a product), a content marketing strategy is used.

Read also: How to develop a Content Marketing Strategy

Excellent.org addresses the issue of increased credibility in content marketing. The picture shows a meeting in which a content marketing strategy is developed

Content Marketing enjoys special credibility

In a study conducted by a market research and consulting institute in 2017, the perception of different forms of advertising was examined in more detail. A survey of over 1,000 German citizens between 18 and 65 years of age was conducted. The forms of advertising examined were content marketing, influencer marketing, advertising before YouTube videos, pop-up advertising on the Internet and classic print ads.

Content marketing was rated more positively than most other forms of advertising. Only print ads achieved higher acceptance. If the content is optimally tailored to the chosen communication channel and target group, content marketing can create considerable added value. These circumstances lead to this form of advertising being described as likeable, credible and serious, among other things.

Although this study cannot place content marketing fundamentally above other disciplines of marketing, it enjoys much greater acceptance than, for example, advertising in front of YouTube videos. While a full 70 percent are annoyed by YouTube advertising and 83 percent by pop-ups, the share of content marketing is only 30 percent.

The obvious reason for the existing acceptance is probably the added value offered. While other forms of advertising only aim to sell a product, content marketing answers important questions for the target group and thus creates trust. However, the study also states that there is a fundamental desire to label advertising – also in content marketing.

Content Marketing vs. Journalism

Time and again, content marketing is compared with journalism or even equated with it. Some aspects of the two disciplines are indeed identical, but there are equally significant differences. Disregarding these differences leads to the fact that it is no longer recognizable for the user whether it is a journalistic article or advertising. The boundaries become blurred and journalism threatens to lose credibility, which can also cast a bad light on content marketing. In the following, the two disciplines will therefore be compared and the essential difference will be highlighted.

In content marketing as well as in journalistic formats, certain topics are processed with expert knowledge and reproduced on a fact-based basis. On both sides, the focus is on the added value for the reader. In addition, journalistic forms of presentation, such as interviews or reports, can also occur in the context of content marketing.

The main difference lies in the objectives of the disciplines. Journalism wants to bring certain topics to the public and thus enable a discussion of the topic as well as public communication. And although this can also be achieved in content marketing, the actual goal is of an advertising nature. The prepared information should contribute to customer acquisition and customer loyalty.

Excellent.org deals with the credibility of content marketing and the difference between content marketing and journalism, the picture shows different newspapers

How to ensure credibility

If users have the feeling that something is being sold too obviously, they develop a defensive attitude. This is also reflected in the use of adblockers: On desktops, almost 30% used an adblocker in 2019, on smartphones the percentage was just under 11% – and the trend is rising on both types of devices. [2] Content marketing offers you the opportunity to advertise your brand and product through credible and relevant content – without annoying the consumer. Therefore, we would like to conclude by giving you a few tips to help you implement your content marketing in the best possible way.

Use an easy to understand language

Surely you are familiar with typical marketing terms that ensure that a product or service is unique and great. You should refrain from using these in content marketing. Use a language that is clearly understandable for your target group. Communicate as you would with a friend. This has a particularly positive effect on the customer, because it is authentic and familiar.

Keep your products and your company out of the limelight as much as possible. Make sure that you offer the reader a clear added value. Your text should also be understood by people who have no specialist knowledge. Include pictures that underline the statements made.

Use this opportunity to optimize your content also with regard to other aspects.

Provide honest data

Using facts and figures to underline the information provided is a very good start. You show your readers that the topic has been clearly researched and confirm the information provided with something tangible.

However, you should also remain honest in this respect. Avoid the targeted coloring and selection of information to confirm your theses. Present study results as completely as possible and also present criticism. You should be open to a possible dialogue and respond to the concerns of the target group.

Convey practical knowledge

Your content may be of high quality and still not be accepted. If it is only ‚boring‘ theory, a topic is often not tangible for your target group. Give concrete tips and recommendations for action and make the content more vivid through practical relevance. Also use examples and, if appropriate, corresponding visual elements. Especially infographics, sketches or short explanatory videos are often very suitable for understanding.


Certain journalistic working methods can be optimally applied in content marketing. This enables you to provide your target group with relevant information that offers clear added value. In the long run, you can increase your reach, win new customers and build trust with existing customers. Your brand image can also be improved through increased credibility. Focus clearly on your target group and always be honest to be successful with content marketing.


[1] HEUTE UND MORGEN: Was die Verbraucher von Content Marketing halten (2017)

[2] HORIZONT: Jeder dritte deutsche Internetnutzer nutzt Adblocker (2018)