Content marketing has become the new buzzword for a timeless and tested strategy. At a recent Brand Publishing Summit, Tomas Kellner, Managing Editor of General Electric’s GE Reports, brought this point compellingly home, when he shared the following anecdote. In 1947, GE had an in-house reporter whose assignment was telling the company’s story. That reporter was Kurt Vonnegut. Today Vonnegut would be considered one of GE’s earliest content writers and that idea, promoting a company by telling its story, is an example of what people now refer to as content marketing.
The Fall of the Robots
Branded content (also known as sponsored content and native advertising) emerged after the collapse of the content-farm fad. Content-farms were the quick and cheap go-to solution for voluminous marketing content. But, it was often sourced via multiple third parties, highly distanced from the company’s vision, voice, and culture, and, consequently, it often lacked cohesion, journalistic chops, or credibility. Worst of all, it was often poorly written. In short, this substratum of content rang false with consumers, clients, and stakeholders. And ultimately, it rang false with major search engines, like Google. Branded content, on the other hand, saw the return of high-quality stories commissioned by commercial clients and written by in-house content writers or content marketing teams that worked directly with the client to understand and convey its true story in salient and novel ways.
Web content – blogs, articles, and white papers, form the holy triumvirate of custom-sponsored content that is thriving and bringing viewers deeper into websites and persuasively inviting a second, third, and tenth visit to them. This content brings together storytelling and advertising in humorous and edifying ways that do much more than sell a product. The bar for web content has been raised to near journalistic or academic levels, as a result of the new wave of highly well-written, researched, and socially relevant content that exists in the field.
At KickStart, we work directly with companies to produce exceptional content for their websites, industry, trade, and consumer portals, and social media channels. In a marketing environment that is more congested than ever, our content cuts through the white noise, and enables our clients to powerfully connect with their audience.