Why Brands Should Become News Publishers
Companies are so much more than the products or services they deliver — but not every brand is fully leveraging its capacity to connect and influence.
In a global survey of 375,000 people, the media agency Havas found that 84% of respondents expected brands to produce content. However, 60% of respondents in the 2017 study said that the content brands were producing was “poor, irrelevant or fail[ed] to deliver.” Today, as traditional advertising loses its influence and most of us spend even more time on our devices (31% percent of us are “constantly online,” according to Pew Research), the role of brand content has become more important than ever before.
News Builds Engagement & Enhances Brand Credibility
One way that brands can create regular, meaningful content that establishes trust and builds connections with consumers is to step into the role of news underwriters, on their own platforms. We call it News as Content Marketing.
Independent, credible, daily news — published on a company’s website, adjacent to brand content of its own — engages consumers squarely in the moments of greatest impact, when they are seeking information in the brand’s broader space. The approach brings a customizable, every-day relevance to companies seeking to build consumer relationships, relevance that’s not attainable through other marketing and communication approaches.
The Content Marketing Institute found that 96% of content marketers who report great success say their audience views their company as a trusted resource, while 68% of all content marketers surveyed say they had used content marketing to build credibility with their audience in the past year. The challenge? Sixty percent say they find it difficult to produce content consistently. Which is where IEN comes in.
IEN drives the production and distribution of cost-effective, source-agnostic news on behalf of brands. We do this through our sister-company, RKI News Network, which hires trained journalists to research and create the independent news content, often a mix of text, audio and video. The news is distributed across the brands’ owned, paid and earned media channels, and third-party news sites with paid distribution on relevant news and social media platforms. It brings immediate, daily relevance to a brand’s website and provides the perfect surround for its own thought leadership messaging. And it draws in target audiences by delivering the latest news and information on the issues most important to them.
This gets at the heart of what content marketing really is, writes Michael Brenner of the CMI: “With content marketing you are attracting an audience to a brand-owned destination versus interrupting or buying an audience on someone else’s platform.” But the content must be geared toward the audience, not on selling the brand.
News as Content Marketing is greatly rewarded in social algorithms with expanded organic distribution at significantly reduced cost. News content also dramatically increases the search engine footprint for a brand’s site, creating long-tail search value. Companies that have integrated independent news into their business, marketing and communications plans report strong results, including 40x-increase in social referral traffic, near-tripling of mobile traffic and average doubling of time on site. Simply put, news creates sustained engagement that pulls consumers into and through the sales funnel.
Rick Kupchella is CEO and Founder of the Informed Engagement Network. Contact us to find out how you can start creating news content to build your audience, influence and revenue.