Need content marketing?
Consider a "brand journalist"
Problem: You want more engaging content to market your cause, but need an assist
A national survey shows “content marketing” is a top priority for organizations in 2012 but in-house employees are struggling to produce enough truly engaging content.
The survey of nearly 2,000 marketers by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs paints a picture of an exciting, fast-changing, but sometimes bewildering landscape called "content marketing" or "brand journalism." It's full of real opportunities but also frustrating rabbit trails that can consume staff time without adding value to the organization's bottom line.
Source for charts: 2012 B2B Content Marketing Report
"The traditional dynamics of marketing are turned on their head," writes Joe Pulizzi, the founder of the content marketing institute and the godfather of content marketing. "Instead of buying media, marketers are becoming the media. Instead of renting an audience, they are earning an audience. This takes time."
What is "content marketing?" Pulizzi cites this definition among many: Content Marketing is owning, as opposed to renting media. It’s a marketing process to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating content in order to change or enhance a consumer behavior.
Examples include articles (the most frequent tactic, according to the survey), social media, blogs, white papers, eNewsletters, videos and testimonials.
Among other things, the survey showed content marketing is perceived as:
ESSENTIAL. Nine out of 10 organizations are using content marketing. On average, eight different content marketing tactics are used to achieve organizational goals.
EXPENSIVE. Marketers, on average, are spending over a quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing and 60% plan to spend more this year than last.
OFTEN OVERWHELMING. The survey shows the greatest reported challenge is “producing the kind of content that engages prospects and customers” (41% of respondents). That’s one reason why 62% percent of B2B marketers use outsourcing for content marketing in 2012, a substantial increase compared to the previous year.
The survey was mailed electronically to members and subscribers of MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute. A total of 1,092 responded worldwide in August 2011, representing a full range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes.
Read more about the study here.
Solution: Turn to a branded content company led by an award-winning journalist
The content marketing revolution is about organizations telling their own story and promoting their own brand by becoming their own media outlet.
Content marketing (sometimes called brand journalism) is also about deftly utilizing a variety of tools to occupy a new sweet spot on the communications spectrum located between public relations and journalism. It requires the bottom-line, business orientation of PR combined with the sustainable creation of journalistic "news" your target audience can use.
For many organizations, this is a difficult high-wire challenge.
Fortunately, help has arrived from Assist Communications, a news and branded content agency launched in May 2012 by a former communications director and award-winning journalist. Assist's basketball-inspired motto: "We pass. You score." Its client-focused mission: To help organizations inform, inspire and influence their target audiences.
"What is brand journalism? It's not about getting noticed by the media. It's about becoming the media. You don't earn coverage. You provide it," said Assist owner Mark O'Keefe, a six-time Pulitzer Prize nominee who has served as a communications director for two leading think tanks and a trade association.
Assist Communications has more than a dozen tools in its brand journalism toolbox, including social media engagement and "white paper" lead generation. One of Assist's most high-powered tools is "NewsAssist (Example here and below, case study here).
This is how it works.
Assist creates a promotional feature story written in a journalistic style that conveys your organization's talking points with quotes from "real people." This approach brings dry facts to life with authentic faces, voices and anecdotes. The story aims for the heart, not just the head.
But we stop there. We tap our nationwide distribution and marketing networks to place the story in 700+ news outlets.
That number is guaranteed. Each news site links to the client's page, boosting search-engine rankings, web traffic, brand awareness and leads.
Assist can recycle and repurpose this journalistic content into news releases, Facebook posts, tweets, YouTube videos, newsletter content and more. Why? "Going green" with your content gives you the biggest bang for your marketing buck.