Why brands need to become publishers

By in Content Marketing & Demand Generation, Older posts

Thursday 3rd November marked the launch of Mindshare UK’s first HUDDLE unconference. Idio were invited to run two sessions on ‘Why Brands need to become Publishers’ – detailing the shifts in the media landscape and the benefits of content marketing, ultimately with the intention of encouraging brands to develop their own media properties with original editorial and curated content.

Why Brands need to become Publishers

The session started with a quick overview of the change in the marketing ecosystem and why brands could – and should – set up their own online publishing models. In brief:

  • Media is disaggregating – Historically, brands could rely on guaranteed exposure and consumer attention by being present on several limited media outlets. Now with the advent of ‘new media’, there are young personalities and communities developing their own media models that are disrupting the traditional outlets. As such, there is a completely legitimate opening for brands to follow suit. (To read more on our view on The Future of Publishing go here)
  • Content is increasingly ‘spreadable’ – Never before has content been so fluid or shareable. Content can come to us through search engines, recommendation or percolate through our social networks. Rather than having to be repurposed or painstakingly edited – branded content can very easily have a multi-channel presence on Pay-Per-Click, social media sites, mobile, email etc
  • From Campaigns to Continuous Relationship – Campaigns may raise awareness for a short period and but these peaks of ‘chatter’ drop off as soon as the campaign finishes, ultimately destined to not pick up again until the next campaign is launched. If brands were to regularly publishrelevant, useful and informative or entertaining content in a niche that they could legitimately speak into e.g. Slimfast provides content around healthy living, fitness and weight loss, then they can develop a long-term relationships with their target audience predicated  upon trust and utility.
  • From Push to Pull –  We are no longer in the historic marketing paradigm of ‘interruption marketing’ – where brand sensitisation is enforced by ‘pushing’ repetitive messages – the public has become increasingly adept at tuning-out the noise. However, consumers are more than willing to ‘pulled’ towards a brand if they perceive the brand to be providing something of value or interest which fulfills an informational need or an entertainment need.

“Where brands once had to go through media, and pay, or rent customer attention, they now can deliver information directly to consumers, and are themselves, media organisations” – Andrew Davies, Idio

How brands can become publishers

After going through the fundamentals of the new marketing landscape, the next step was to get the audience thinking about how to apply what they had learnt about content marketing to some popular brands…

The groups were asked two questions:

Where does the brand currently advertise?

The idea here was to look at the traditional print properties brands could be found advertising through, and encouraging them to create their own media properties around these areas.

If your brand was at a party what would they be like?

This was to ascertain the ‘brand persona’, i.e. what is a brand like when it is talking with the customer and not at the customer.

Example content propositions created over the ideation sessions recently include: for BT (a parenting focused, informational hub – content for keeping children safe online and cataloguing local activities for children), Canon (a travel magazine in the same vein as National Geographic) and L’Oreal (the girl-next-door door providing beauty and fashion tips, as well as commentary on mainstream water-cooler shows).

If you want to make your content marketing measurable and start showing demonstrable ROI, start using Content Intelligence.

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