"Content marketing is providing relevant and valuable content to your prospects and customers that does not pitch a company's own products or services. Brand publishing is content marketing on steroids in which a company produces content like a professional publication does. It puts the audience first and has staff, processes and professionally written and edited content." - Meryl Evans, Content Maven of meryl.net
Content strategy then: "Tell them about your brand but don't talk about your brand too much."
Content strategy now: "Make sure they see your name a billion times!"
In the recent years, we saw a rise in content consumption in the global market. With social media marketing, content marketing, affiliated content marketing, the brands have made great efforts to reach out to an audience with the insatiable hunger for information.
Companies have used these content tools to share relevant information with their consumers, without really directly promoting the brand and its products and services. But, there was a need to revolutionize this trend for the companies to be able to talk to their end audience more directly and to be able to share further nuanced information about their services.
That's when Brand Publishing entered the scene.
Brand Publishing became an ideal route for both B2C and B2B companies to produce, manage and optimize content on a larger scale. Today, when the customers are trusting their knowledge rather than relying on salespeople, a competent brand publishing strategy becomes essential to empower the consumer with the requisite details, thereby gaining their trust - increasing your sale potential.
So, what's all the hubbub about?
With brand publishing, brands take a journalistic approach to content. They may share what went behind building a service or products, addressing all the related questions that anyone may have. And as far as we are talking about the style of communication, there are a million pearls in the ocean to choose from, pick a style that best suits your brand's personality.
Write. Publish. Repeat
The key here is to crack what you are going to write, how you're going to write and above all for whom will you write. Understand your TG first, research their trends, what are they looking for and build your content strategy around it. Just remember, it's vital to stay true to your brand's voice, the voice that your audience recognize. Let that tone reflect in your content.
The Early Birds Who Caught The Worms
Some of the brands who savoured the fruits of brand publishing early are BMW, Equinox, and Red Bull. These B2C brands chose to turn their websites into online lifestyle magazines. BMW with its Buzzfeed/GQesque style brand publishing is tapping into the aspirations of its audiences. Equinox is catering to the adventure freaks, blogging about the various adventures one can take, clubbing their brand by talking about respective fitness levels needed for each adventure. They also review fitness gears regularly on their portal - Furthermore. On the other hand, Red Bull went ahead to become a full-blown media house - TV shows, magazines, movies, books, music and their content could be found everywhere from newsstands, to theatres, TV, YouTube, mobile apps and, the web. See, the opportunities are endless.
What's More In The Treasure Chest?
This also extends an opportunity to create more brand advocates. When a person is well informed about a brand, and you have empowered him/her with this knowledge, they won't shy away from sharing what they know with their circle, increasing your pool of potential business. When done right, brand publishing can help nurture your brand's growth plan. "CMOs that do not make the transition from marketing to publishing (content, curation, and community) put their growth strategies - and careers - at risk," says Brad McLane, Managing Director, RSR Partners.
And the best for the last - it's super cost effective. If you look at average lead gen campaigns and promotion campaigns - they can cost a bomb, based on your market and requirements. Whereas, with brand publishing - there's a nominal first investment (again varying according to one's requirement but way cheaper than your traditional campaigns). After that, you just need to populate your portal with strategic, optimized content. Also, while your average jumper campaign will yield returns for a limited amount of time, brand publishing will keep building your returns prospects. Now, who wouldn't want that?
What I have put together is just the tip of the iceberg. If you wish to know more about creating an effective marketing strategy for your business, you can sign up for our customised Marketing Management Program.