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“Brands are becoming publishers”, according to 73% of digital marketers surveyed in Econsultancy’s Content Marketing Survey in late 2012 (which surveyed over 1300 digital marketers). Which got me thinking: what kind of content should we expect from anodyne and/ or ubiquitous products and services? What kind of publishing content should I look forward to from Persil, Umbro or Pringle? As Google seeks to organise the world’s information with further content-focussed updates such as Hummingbird, marketers are firmly agreed that they need to be doing more in content marketing to improve their SEO. See the substantial increase of importance allocated to content marketing from 2012 to 2013 below: Increased Content Marketing But how will this manifest itself? What does Persil have to offer me other than a product that will clean my clothes effectively? Why does it need to do anything other than allocate all of its resources to delivering the best detergent on the market? Does the brand really have to be a publisher and come up with new, regular, exciting content in order that its product achieves a high SERP? Of course the answer has to be ‘yes’. As a consumer I assume that the likes of Persil and Arial are better than the other products on the market. But that’s simply because it’s reinforced by TV advertising. Who knows what’s in their product compared with others on the market? They could all be the same. Indeed I remember seeing a blind taste test for fish fingers on This Morning many years ago and Birdseye‘s fishfingers came out bottom by miles with in-store brands performing much better. Indeed, I imagine there’s a well-worn correlation between the degree to which a product is ubiquitous and the increasing amount of money you need to spend to establish and maintain a brand in that area (experienced marketers will no doubt be able to answer this one). Cue Coke vs Pepsi, etc. So the simple answer is that it doesn’t matter what your product is, you need to be a publisher. All of which is somewhat ironic given that so many big-name publishers that have previously been dependent upon advertising revenues no longer wish to be called publishers (it’s the nondescript ‘media company’ these days). So bring on campaigns from HB’s pencils, Netgear’s routers or Burton’s Wagon Wheels that can match one of the classics from Levis:  

Post Author: Ewan McKay

Ewan runs a recruitment business specialising in sales jobs and marketing jobs for media companies.

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