The era of content marketing is starting to enter a crisis zone; it strives to overcome the stereotype of purely creating bad and irrelevant content, which unfortunately results in many brands struggling to have their marketing messages heard.
At this years Drum Content Marketing Breakfast I joined Simon Baker (Head of branded content at ITN Productions) and Kaylee King-Balentine (director at The International New York Times T Brand Studio) to discuss the various ways in which brands are publishing and sharing content, how publishers and clients are starting to work more closely together as well as exploring the innovative and engaging ways in which companies are pushing out their content.
You know when a medium has reached maturity, when you have to start paying for it.
Paid media is a vital part of your strategy and key in gaining more control over your content, it is becoming more important for content marketing, especially in the way we share and promote our content. With the consumption of media ever-changing and developing, consumer habits are evolving faster than ever before, people are more the wiser in the way ads are offered to them, being transparent in what you do is vital when it comes to brand building and engagement; branded content will be the method that helps to bridge this gap.
Publishers and Brands
The perspective of the publishers is to understand the audience so in this case brands are gradually working more closely with publishers to create content and target the relevant audiences, creating seamless and effective content campaigns. A great example of this was The New York Times creation of the 'Women Inmates' series to promote Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Kaylee King Balentine, the director of the New York Times' international native content hub T Brand Studio, said that the agency were allowed to devise it's own strategy based on their findings "What we found was that things that they were telling us about being a woman in prison were the very same things that were happening in the show, so it felt very much aligned and it was a real, authentic story."
Perhaps we are moving to a place where the publishers are slowly pushing out the typical agency model and yet again things are getting more niche, especially around the branded content model, who owns the expertise and the key to success? I believe there is space to share the success, if the key stakeholders are willing to collaborate, this would include Media buying agencies, Publishers, Brands, content or creative agencies, getting in a room and working it out.
I loved how Simon Baker (head of branded content at ITN Productions), said that we're 'always on' - as consumers, we consume all the time, yet brands still tend to create big campaigns, with nothing in between, not building that base. Brands need to be more aware and build a base of more regular content as well as be more strategic in the way we deliver content to continue that cycle. This era of 'always on', Baker believes, will flourish in 2016, its time for brands to move into more innovative spaces and benefit from the regularity of content .
As you can see, the future of content is exciting, innovative and fast moving; the options for creating and sharing relevant and effective content are endless. With the development of technologies, the collaboration of publishers and the change in strategies, content marketing can flourish and it's up to us as marketers not to contribute to the noise and harness the power of great content.
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