Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

When Every Company Is A Media Company: Content Marketing's Massive Blunder

Posted by Tom Foremski - March 27, 2014

When I first introduced the concept of every company is a media company in 2005 there were very few people that understood what this meant. Today it's an accepted fact and it's why there's a massive surge in what's called content marketing.

With so few media professionals around to help tell a company's stories it makes sense for companies to try to tell their own stories and get them out online and into the many communities that matter to them. That was the prime reason Intel launched Intel Free Press, to make sure that key stories about Intel would be told and published in a professional manner. 

But it's tough producing high quality media content and expensive. And then companies have the problem of distribution -- they forget about the "marketing" part of content marketing.

Just because you created some media content doesn't mean that people will see it. It flashes into existence and then disappears in a blink of an eye into a dark archive. Then you have to do it again, and again, you have to produce fresh content constantly.

Although companies understand the part about becoming a media company they missed something very important: media companies don't create media about themselves. 

This is why companies have problems with the content they produce, people are immediately skeptical about any media that is about the company that produces it -- no matter how high the quality.

Take a look at the Nielsen study released this week, commissioned by InPowered. It found that branded content ranked extremely low among consumers but content written by journalists -- independent of any brand -- ranked very highly.

Independently produced media is trusted but content produced by brands is not. This is a massive problem at the heart of all content marketing. 

Every company is a media company but media companies don't write about themselves. So how do brands solve this conundrum?

There is an excellent solution and I will tell you about it soon.

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