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Brand Publishing vs. Content Marketing

Brand Publishing vs. Content Marketing

'Brand Publishing' and 'Content Marketing' are terms that many of us are familiar with in todays content driven world. But what is the actual difference between them? And what is the best solution for your business? The answer is simple - it's all about intent.

When it comes the the right content strategy for your business there are two clear and distinct intentions at play:

1. Content for Selling

Whether you call it content marketing, inbound marketing, sales collateral or education - any content you create that is designed to generate a lead or close a sale is content designed for selling. That is the ultimate intent. It doesn't matter what medium you use; blog articles, white papers, webinars, videos, you name it - these are designed and delivered with the intention of optimising your sales funnel. 

And there is nothing wrong with this! Good content does sell, and an investment in the right kind of content can help optimise your sales funnel for years to come. However content created for selling is not a destination for an audience.

2. Content for an Audience

This is all about crafting content that your particular audience wants to read. This is also where the strategy of 'brand publishing' comes in to play. In order for this content strategy to work you need a deep understanding of your audience and what they truly care about. You also need to be willing to invest in content that your audience wants to read, and engage with - irrespective of whether it will have any impact on your sales funnel. This strategy is not about selling.

Once you remove selling from the equation and focus on the quality, voice and subject matter of the content you provide - you achieve a higher level of authenticity and trust with your audience. In turn that audience trust results in increased loyalty, brand awareness and personal referrals - which can all result in increased sales.

So why all the confusion?

It's pretty simple really - for many years businesses have used either one or both of the above content strategies but have simply called it all 'content marketing'. New terms have been introduced over time to try and clear up this confusion, such as 'inbound marketing' for sales focused content, and 'brand publishing' for audience focused content. The key for your business is to think about intent, and be clear about which strategy is going to work best for your brand.

With so much content now available online it is getting increasingly difficult for sales focused content to stand out and generate leads. The average value of a piece of content on Twitter is only 3 hours, on Facebook the first 5 hours will give you 75% of your views. If your like most business using sales focused content, 60-70% of it simply goes unused. This is why so many brands are now turning to brand publishing - creating a brand destination website driven by audience focused content. The sales focused content is simply kept in the wings to be used to close prospective leads. 

Being succesful with Brand Publishing

The keys to success with brand publishing is that you need to think like a publisher, rather than a marketer. Step back from your marketing plan and focus on your audience. Take the time to really identify the key topics and subject matters that your brand is going to focus on, and work out what type of voice your brand is going to communicate through this publishing venture. Then start building your brand publishing site and editorial team.

If this isn't your area of expertise there are plenty of fantastic content focused agencies out there that are more than willing to help your design a winning brand publishing strategy, or if you're based in Sydney or Melbourne we love helping you nut out brand publishing strategies too. 

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