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Brand Publishing 101 - #1 Getting it Across the Line

Brand Publishing 101 - #1 Getting it Across the Line

This article is the first in our Brand Publishing 101 series - walking your through the ins and outs of setting up and kicking off a winning brand publishing strategy. So buckle in.

Before kicking off any brand publishing venture the first challenge is getting it across the line (unless you're the decision maker, then feel free to skim read this article). Below are the key pros and cons that your stakeholders will need to work through before making the decision to go forward with brand publishing. 

The hard truth

As covered in our Brand Publishing vs. Content Marketing article, brand publishing is about building an online audience around a particular topic or subject matter that your audience truly cares about. This strategy is about putting your audience and the content they want first, it's not about selling. As terrifying as that concept might be - to build a real and long lasting audience online your content must be delivered in a way that adds real value to your audience, and keeps them engaged. This enables your brand to build an audience based on authenticity and trust, which becomes a strong monetisation opportunity later down the track.

Let's be really frank here - it takes a long time to build a strong brand publishing audience, and it requires continuous investment in time and resources to ensure it's done correctly. However when done well brand publishing can become the greatest asset your brand can own, and the best part is that this strategy creates deep and instrinsic value for your customers - value that your competitors can't take away from you.

On the flipside, if you don't build a winning brand publishing strategy before your competition does - you could end up being on the other side of the fence, and there is a very real risk that you would lose customers to the competitors that win in this space. 

Willingness to adopt the publishing mindset

The core precept behind brand publishing is the ability for a brand to leverage the methods, processes and tools that media and publishers currently use to build strong and loyal audiences online. An audience cannot be created simply through viral videos, a clever facebook campaign or one-off pieces of content. Publishers have known for years that building an audience is about creating a ongoing conversation with the users, from a position of leadership and authority on a specific topic.

Audiences are desperate for useful, empowering, and inspiring content - however the proliferation of one-off, unpurposed and click-bait content has created a deluge of white noise that simply aggravates the situation for users. In a recent study by Moz, for example, it was found that the highest-performing online content, in terms of shares and referring links, was either opinion-based editorial content (evoking emotion) or research-backed content (providing something informative).

While brands have a real market opportunity right now to build a highly engaged audience - success in this area is highly dependant on the brands ability to change the way they currently interact with their customers through content, and a willingness to adopt and embrace publishing methodologies. 

Building a solid strategy

A clear and well crafted brand publishing strategy is the foundation required to win this race.  This is the time to step back and bluntly assess the skill sets of your internal resources in regards to designing a solid brand publishing strategy. Publishing or editorial expertise is not commonly found in most content marketing teams, so if you have it available to you that's fantastic and make sure you use it. If you don't - get it.

That doesn't mean you need to hire an editorial team, but it may mean employing an agency that understands brand publishing and has the requisite skilled resources to work with you to create the right strategy for your business. This great piece from Adage will give you some insight into the type of agency you need to be looking for. As always if you're based in Sydney or Melbourne we love helping you nut out brand publishing strategies too.  

Where to from here?

To help you work through the potential challenges you will face on your journey our Brand Publishing 101 series will walk you through the cornerstone areas involved in building a winning strategy. 

Part 2 - Identifying your audience

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