Q

Everyone is talking about ‘brands as publishers’ being the new big thing. What exactly does that mean? How do we decide on what to publsh?


A
Answered by Meeta Malhotra

Your customers are now spending a massive proportion of their time online – Nielsen estimates that close to 50% of US smartphone users visit their social networks every day. This means that brands have an opportunity to engage with them by publishing not just ads, but relevant content.

Oher than display ads and native advertising (think Facebook sponsored posts and Twitter’s promoted tweets), these are the broad options:

Sponsored content
Pick a story that is in sync with your brand positioning on a popular site and sponsor it. Unilever’s Project Sunshine on Upworthy is a recent deal in this area.

Advertising content
Not banners ads but things like Forbes BrandVoice posts and Buzfeeds’s listicles

Brand content
This is storytelling about areas that your brand is associated with. It is really creating entertainment or educational content and this is the hardest of all your options. You must create content that can compete with other entertainment and educational options. That’s why there are so few successes in this field. Notable are the hair-raising stunts on RedBull’s Youtube channel and the American Express forum for small business.

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Q

From zero digital spend we moved to blowing a tidy sum on different digital attempts last year. One was a wealth calculator, one was an online community to plan your children’s education. Nothing has had any impact. What are we doing wrong?

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