If You Build It, They Will Come (Maybe)


If you build it, they will come. Maybe. If they don’t, you’d better figure out the distribution part of content strategy.

Digital content marketing is undergoing a new wave of evolution. Initially, marketers felt all they had to do was build: a blog, a website, whatever. Throw in a little SEO and getting it “out there” was a done deal, more or less.

Social media only sweetened the deal. The ability to share and discover content on social networks far exceeds clunky, old fashioned mechanisms such as email and blog rings. (Anyone still remember blog rings?) Distribution of owned content got better and traveled farther. It was good.

Social distribution is rapidly becoming the next old(er) thing, while at the same time owned marketing content is proliferating exponentially. The distribution question has suddenly become a very real one for organizations investing in content creation.

The most innovative publishers are sitting up, taking notice, and helping content marketers come up with solutions to get brand content “out there.” Of course, they’ve long done this in print channels with advertorial and sponsored sections. Digital adds some new twists and opportunities for marketers and publishers alike.

Take the Huffington Post, for example. The publication recently announced a partnership with Goldman Sachs to launch a new (and upbeat) section on economic opportunity, “What Is Working.” Arianna’s been talking up the model over the past couple of weeks, but aside from that and a bylined column announcing the joint venture, there’s no disclosure — or even mention — of the sponsorship on the section. The initiative is based on Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Women program. This corporate good-works initiative has itself generated a ton of content, all of it hosted on the firm’s own dot-com.

Another digital native publication, Mashable, has begun preaching the content marketing gospel. Founder and CEO Pete Cashmore waxes evangelical on the topic, and his points are valid ones. Content in the news stream is seen (right, Facebook?). Content is shared, while ads aren’t. It’s searchable. Content can be distributed as media. And if advertorial content isn’t visible enough on its own, it can be amplified with ads.

Please read the rest of this post on iMedia, where it originally published.

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