Today virtually everyone has the means to create and publish content; consumers, brands and employees alike. This rising tide of consumer content generation, and in turn, the expectation of brands to provide value beyond their traditional transactional services is what drives organisations to consider what it means to become a publisher.
When it comes to content, there are three types of organisations; those that:
Do not create content or conversations, simply pushing out advertising messages
Create and distribute content, becoming a content marketer
Shape their business around content and monetise it, becoming a publisher
So what is content marketing?
It’s the process of creating and distributing targeted, relevant and valuable content to a defined audience, driving a positive commercial outcome.
Red Bull is a great best-in-class example of a publisher, with Red Bull Media House, a multi-platform media company separate to its product offering and provides inspiration to other organisations wishing to dip their toes into the content marketing waters.
While content marketing has actually been around for years (in 1900 Michelin created the guides to encourage and advise on travel) most organisations are still aiming to sit comfortably in the second category, just starting to explore its true value.
Adobe’s cmo.com, Net-a-Porter’s ‘Porter’ print magazine and American Express’ Open Forum initiatives are all fantastic examples of organisations creating and distributing valuable content to a defined audience.
However, whilst 76% of B2C marketers report using content marketing, only 37% say their strategy is effective (CMI).
Reaping the Rewards
To reap the rewards of content marketing, as with any other marketing initiative, your strategy is crucial.There are two main aspects you need to consider:
What are you trying to achieve, as an organisation? What are your priorities? Understanding these key factors helps you identify how content can help drive your business forward.
Who are your prospects and customers? Use all data and insights available to you to understand their behaviours; what devices do they use, when and how do they like to engage with your organisation? What are their needs?
These critical inputs will drive the development your content marketing strategy. Maybe that strategy will take you on a journey to becoming a publisher, or maybe it’ll simply enable you to create great content that delivers value for both your businesses and your customers. It’s that simple.