Everyone is eager to get in on the content marketing craze. Every company has a blog and an array of social media accounts. Marketing agencies worry less about designers and pithy copywriters, and more about hiring journalists to create content for their customers. And publishers are jumping on the bandwagon too. Everyone from The Wall Street Journal to Time Inc. has a content studio.
Earlier this year the New York Times released the results of its research into its T Brand Studio's content. It found some surprises. Not only did the content created by T Brand Studio for clients outperform the content created by the advertisers, it sometimes even outperformed the Times' own editorial content.
Many of the high profile examples of great branded content come from B2C companies like Red Bull or LEGO, but B2B brands are embracing content marketing as well. In fact, the CMI found that 86% of B2B marketers say they use content marketing. But when it comes to content marketing, B2B brands may have three very good reasons to partner with publishers.
- Audience-Building an audience is hard, just ask any publisher. Great content deserves to be seen but if it's hidden away on your rarely seen company blog, it won't do you any good. Consider turning to publishers in your niche to reach a targeted audience. But don't expect something for nothing!
- Talent-The CMI found that 32% of B2B marketers said they had trouble finding trained content marketing professionals. As the industry heats up, so does demand for the best and the brightest. You can turn to freelancers and platforms that help connect you with talent, or you can join forces with a publisher who already has content creators on staff. While publishers create that content you can concentrate on your core business.
- Effectiveness-If the New York Times' success with branded content doesn't have you convinced, maybe you'll listen to fellow B2B marketers. According to the CMI, 36% of those surveyed who pay for native advertising says it is effective--more than print/offline and traditional banner ads. If you're thinking about spending ad dollars with a publisher they may be better spent on native advertising.
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