If you’re wondering why and when content marketing doesn’t work, then this episode will be enlightening. Even though marketers are spending more time on content than ever before, there is a problem and it has to do with the way brands use content. In this episode I talk about the problem with branded content and share some examples of what brands should do instead.
Recently I was researching blogs for a client and came across an article on Mumbrella criticising branded content. The article referred to a speech by http://cumminsandpartners.com/ CEO Sean Cummins where he says:
“The whole idea of branded content kind of bothers me because since when has there been a need to disguise advertising.”
Then a few hours later I opened my inbox to the headline “Can We Please Stop Using Branded Content?” by Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi.
Pulizzi says: “Branded content gives content marketing a bad name. It’s a word created by the world of paid media … by advertisers, agencies, and media planners.”
As a content marketing strategist, I’m pretty passionate about the sort of content my clients produce and I felt that Pulizzi nailed it in regards to the difference between branded content and content brands. In this episode, I’m sharing his article with you and adding my 2 cents with a couple of examples of brand content done well.
Today’s Brilliant Content Tip
Today’s brilliant content idea is to stay away from branded content, that is, content that is thinly veiled advertising, and instead create content that is focused on the needs of your ideal customer community.
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Highlights From Today’s Show
- Pulizzi argues that brands should be focusing on content that adds value to a community without focusing on product placement or branding. So, in other words, brands that focus on filling a communication need for it’s community will be more successful at building brand loyalty than brands that thinly disguise advertising as storytelling.
- Pulizzi goes on to say: “Content brands are created for an audience, while branded content is created for a business,” he says. Read Joe’s article here.
- Joe points out one of the long time classic content brands John Deere as a prime example. He says “over 100 years John Deere has mentioned its products and services just a handful of times.” When you look at the website, it has the John Deere branding up the top but other than that, it’s just a resource to help farmers do farming better.
- The 4Blades Magazine and podcast helps people get better use out of their Thermomixes. The focus is solely on helping the audience solve a problem and the magazine has grown astronomically in the past year. I interviewed founder Rebecca Winston on my other podcast, Your Brilliant Un-Career if you’d like to hear her amazing story about the magazine and podcast (out Wednesday October 21, 2015).
- Another example is Baby Centre. Baby Centre was my first port-of-call when I first found out I was pregnant with son no. 1 and it wasn’t until many years later that I found out it was actually a content initiative of Johnson and Johnson. While there were the occasional J and J ads on the forums, I just accepted this as normal advertising on a community driven forum and didn’t think about it further. It didn’t bother me to find this out either because I could see that J and J were really hands off and all about creating a resource for mums-to-be.
- If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for content that is focused on serving the needs of your community it helps to workshop who your ideal clients are so that you can get clear on their needs and look for the content opportunities in the marketplace.
- You can’t tell what the gaps are until you have a really clear understanding of who it is you want to serve.
Over To You
Do you feel like you could be making a bigger impact with your business? If so, let’s connect. What are some of your brilliant content ideas, apps or plugins you’ve used? If you’d to suggest a topic for the show catch me on Twitter @casmccullough and also, don’t forget to check out my other podcast show, Your Brilliant Un-Career.
This show is proudly brought to you by my new private marketing training and mentoring community, Shift Club.
Shift Club is the place to be if you want to create marketing that moves and get daily support from my team and I, plus a community of likeminded peers. The program includes advanced strategic content marketing training, on-demand templates and resources, assistance with editing and influencer research, and feedback on your strategy and content, as you develop it. Early access is available now at a greatly reduced rate until Nov 30, 2015. Click on the button below to see how Shift Club can help you grow your business.
ps: Links to examples are not endorsements, paid or otherwise.