For an excellent, in-depth analysis of why content marketing works and an examination of the industry’s future direction, check out this piece by Lewis D’Vorkin, Chief Product Officer at Forbes Media. In it, he niftily defines content marketing as “brands using the tools of digital media and social sharing to behave like original-content publishers” and rightly claims that “the idea that a company — as a brand and marketer — can be an expert content creator and reach an audience by disintermediating reporters is confusing, threatening and scary to an entire profession that had its way for a century.”
D’Vorkin also uses the piece to plug AdVoice, Forbes’ tool that enables brands to publish content on Forbes digital and print properties. Brands like SAP, Microsoft, Dell, Netapp and Merrill Lynch have used the digital platform; Toyota, Northwestern Mutual and United Airlines have used the print platform.
For brands, AdVoice and platforms such as the ones created by Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, The Atlantic and Gawker have become incredibly valuable because they enable companies to “produce content at will in an effort to be heard,” he writes. Just like journalists, consumers and the social community can, he added.
“Content is content, and transparency makes it possible for many different credible sources to provide useful information,” D’Vorkin writes.
Here at Outbrain, we couldn’t agree more. Since our inception in 2006, we’ve encouraged brands to focus more on quality content than on SEO rankings, direct sales and social shares. Our belief has always been that powerful content is the single biggest driving force behind consumer loyalty, and that one powerful piece of useful, entertaining or informative writing or video content can propel companies ahead of the competition.
What media companies like Forbes and HuffPo have been able to do is provide trusted names to a nascent industry. Branded content stamped with the Forbes seal of approval will have longer legs than content floating unsupported throughout the digital ecosystem. At Outbrain, our algorithmic understanding of consumption patterns provides a similar service. Audiences consuming written and video content on digital properties are looking for a trusted name to recommend valuable branded content. By predetermining what the reader will find interesting and recommending that story or video at the exact point when the consumer is ready to read or watch a new piece of content, we are able to maximize the likelihood that powerful branded content gets discovered.
Outbrain CEO Yaron Galai will moderate a discussion between Lewis D’Vorkin, Chief Product Officer at Forbes Media and Annalisa Camarillo, Senior Manager of Executive Initiatives at NetApp on Sept. 19th. Click here to RSVP.