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10 ways (I still think) content marketing is like publishing (part 1)

10 ways (I still think) content marketing is like publishing (part 1)

There is a great deal of to and fro on this topic but I still believe that writers and publishers make the best content marketers. Perhaps I’m biased as the 3 Degrees team have worked in publishing before but the best publishers like Tyler Brûlé of Wallpaper and Monocle are wildly successful when they get it right. I freely admit that there are many publishers who don’t get it, who would publish a 10,000-word print supplement about the importance of the interwebs, but this post is not about them.

There are fundamentals in publishing that will serve you well when you’re trying to get your head around producing content versus push marketing.  You’re not trying to be The Oatmeal or Huffpo, you just want to be smarter in engaging your prospects.

Here’s my take:

 No. 10 – Understand your target audience 
The magazine, Monocle, that I mentioned earlier is a perfect example. It was launched as a print magazine with no regional editions, only in English and priced at a premium at a time when everyone was going digital.

It was successful because it understood its target audience – the well-travelled citizen of the world who wants original stories ranging from the the IDEX arms fair in Abu Dhabi to the architecture of foreign embassies.

No 9 – Develop a content strategy and define your content themes. Tell your story over time.
The top challenge many marketers face is silos. It is hard trying to pull information from product development, crunch it so that sales will like to use it and pass the muster of legal.

One way to unite messages coming out from different divisions is to develop an overall content strategy and define the main themes of your content – something that everyone can agree on.

I’ve seen often enough that companies pluck at whatever’s available or fancy at the moment in a schizophrenic manner. The few that have done well, define their themes earlier on. What do you stand for – wealth preservation? Or perhaps you excel in emerging markets beyond BRIC?

Use that theme to tie your messages together and reinforce it over time with different angles on the same theme. For example, wealth preservation when you are in your 30s vs, 60s, preserving your wealth when the kids are getting married or pros and cons for different wealth preservation vehicles – there are many ways to skin that cat.

No. 8 – Keep it consistent. Develop your editorial style guide.
Each publication follows an editorial style guide, most do a mix of in-house and one external reference for everything else.

As marketing departments usually outsource their content work to several parties, it is important that marketers do the same to ensure that you have a consistent message. Your content ‘rulebook’ should include not only your brand guidelines but also your target audience profile, content themes, what you will cover, what won’t you cover, how you will cover competitors or not, etc.

It is really just a base guide not the Bible/Koran/Torah (you get the drift). Think of it as more of the Kama Sutra. You know what’s possible and you make modifications along the way.

I’ll continue with the list tomorrow, watch this space!

Tags: B2B Marketing, B2C Marketing, Content Generation

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