Advertising, marketing and PR have long engaged in a three-way tug-of-war over the ownership of content marketing. In a move that may further complicate the internal corporate battles, IPG Mediabrands has launched a publishing group to automate the content creation process, Tanzina Vega announced in New Unit to Turn Brands into Publishers.
More publishing divisions will eliminate the need for advertising companies to outsource the “creative” duties of content marketing, establishing a new one-stop agency model.
The message for PR and marketing: If agencies are restructuring themselves to improve content for their audience, it means all communications departments must give special focus to their inbound marketing efforts.
How can PR and marketing narrow their focus on content marketing? Using three recent articles and studies, we’ve identified a three-step plan:
1. Set aside more room for content marketing in the budget
Bulldog Reporter summarizes a recent survey by IMN that reveals a gap between the importance marketers place on content marketing and the resources they allocate for it. According to the survey, 90% of respondents listed content marketing as medium- to high-priority, but content marketing represents less than 10% of the marketing budget for nearly half of the respondents.
2. Stay in tune with the latest industry and marketing trends
Industry blogs and publications remain the most-read sources among brand marketers and agencies. In The Insider’s Guide to Keeping Up with Marketing Trends, Josh Dreller dissects the different types of resources available, including white papers, conferences, and webinars, and offers his advice on what to expect and take away from each.
His caveat for blogs and trade publications: no matter how much the author tries to keep content objective, there will always be a slant or selling attempt. Read the author’s bio first to better understand his or her background, knowledge and objectives before trying to make a placement.
3. Write well and create interesting content
Adam de Jong advises that content creators think like publishers in 10 Journalism Rules That Can Teach You Everything You Need to Know about Content Marketing.
Though usually at opposite ends of the spectrum, journalism and content marketing are related in their writing approach, de Jong explains. As journalists adopt the inverted pyramid to style their articles, content creators should use a similar perspective and present their readers with a big picture idea that follows with explanations, sources and examples. Always include references or expert sources for credibility, he adds. Additionally, effective articles have a strong lede, a nut graf, and avoid unnecessary “fluff” — so, as de Jong instructs, “Cut the fat and keep it focused.”