Brands as Publishers: What Can They Learn From Digital Magazines?

With LinkedIn, content marketing, and other opportunities for audience development, brands as publishers are in a position to flourish

Brands as publishers, publishers as brands … given the digital media evolution and the state of the industry, does the nomenclature even matter anymore? We tend to think not, but the fact remains that publishers have been doing this publishing thing for a lot longer than brands have, and, well, brands have been doing the branding thing.

But the gap is closing, as technology and social media allow just about anyone to become a publisher, particularly companies with the resources to hire and dedicate staff to creating publications like digital magazines.

Forbes has had some interesting recent pieces on brands as publishers, and they provide an appropriate forum for it, given their history as a platform. Let’s start there this week!

Brands as Publishers Is the New Normal, but How Can They Improve?

Whether you’re niche B2B or a big corporation, you can’t just throw some content up on a site and expect to build audience and loyalty, although that doesn’t stop many brands from trying. On the contrary, brands as publishers have a learning curve, and can learn plenty from digital magazines about attracting, retaining, and converting traffic, as a Forbes post last week demonstrates.

“Brands who have made the investment into audience development are already finding that their content is reaching more readers, which is tougher than it sounds given how much content is on the Internet. While you may find it unnecessary to hire a person just for audience development, making sure your content marketers understand digital marketing is very necessary,” Sachin Kamdar writes.

“One of the revelations that came from The New York Times Innovation Report was the idea of repurposing and repackaging content. For example, the paper’s vast archive holds a treasure trove of content that its audience development team now re-publishes when appropriate, to great effect. … Content marketers can learn from this. Evergreen content – content that has longer shelf life than, say, a breaking news story – can be relevant to readers well after it publishes. Your company can reap the benefits of it for years to come.”

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Is this starting to sound familiar to any Mequoda Members? Kamdar continues:

“Furthermore, it can be repackaged to suit a more current need. For example, write a piece of long-form copy such as an e-book or whitepaper, then break it down into smaller blog posts. Each blog post can lead readers to the long-form piece of content, and the long-form content will hopefully entice the reader to view your product offerings and make a purchase.”

Publishing on LinkedIn: Best Practices for Thought Leadership and PR

LinkedIn has emerged as quite the platform for publishers and brands as publishers. Cheryl Conner has a great post on Forbes about long-form publishing on LinkedIn, which includes advice on voice, length, and group-sharing strategy.

Content Marketing Strategy as 2016 Approaches

Another excellent piece, this one from John Hall, about how to maximize your content marketing budget.

“With 88 percent of B2B companies using content marketing, buyers are aware that information is available that can help them make better decisions. Additionally, Google is moving to optimize this with its launch of micro-moments to harness and improve consumer intent on the web,” John Hall writes.

“So how can marketers use their content efforts to harness this knowledge? By following the paths their customers follow and seeding educational and engaging content in those areas. Brands will continue to act as publications to win the race among competitors to inform their customers and become trusted sources.”

What do you think of the brands as publishers phenomenon? Let us know in the comments!

To read more about brands as publishers in the news, visit Forbes.


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