For Brands Creating Engaging Content, The Stakes Have Never Been Higher


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Social Media Week

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Shareen Pathak, Business Editor at Digiday, opened the panel with a provocative question: “Why is content marketing important?”

For Nick Yaeger, Managing Director at POLITICO, “Content marketing is a brand’s ability to tell their story in the most authentic way possible.”

For brands, agencies, and publishers, the shifting environment around content marketing has seen significant overlap and blending of roles between the three parties.

“The old way of trying to connect isn’t working anymore,” said Brian Becker, Executive Director and Head of Newsroom at JPMorgan Chase.

Brands are building deeper teams, and the role of agencies has become increasingly nebulous as content creation becomes more democratized across the industry. What does that mean for the role of agencies moving forward?

“Agencies will become more focused on providing strategic stewardship for the brand,” said Marcus Collins, SVP of Social Engagement at Doner Advertising.

Content marketing can take numerous different forms. Video is a particular piece of content that has gained significant popularity over the past six months, but in the world of content marketing, it seems that the full story is more important than any one part and ‘shares’ matter more than quality itself.

“[Video] is specifically made to resonate and has all the elements of why people share content,” Collins explained.

Email is another important communication tool with consumers. JPMorgan sponsored email content with The Skimm, which consisted of tidbits around financial health and knowledge at the end of the quirky daily newsletter—integrating the brand’s voice with the publisher’s.

“It was a great relationship for us because we got better through the process,” Becker said. “Great content is only great if people are discovering it.”

In interactions with fellow content marketers, Pathak noted, pressure points involved measurement, budget concerns, and the challenge of proving the value of a specific piece of content to a manager.

Measurement, specifically, is a growing challenged faced by all parties. Consumers are able to determine much more information on a given product from multiple channels, hopping around, leaving, coming back, and eventually making a purchase—all of which makes attribution increasingly difficult.

In the end, lines will further blur across roles as we see content marketing continue to evolve and expand.

As Brian Becker put it, content marketing at its core is “the intersection between journalists, marketing, and humanizing our brand.”

 

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Kate Canfield

MBA Student, Columbia Business School

@kjlcanfield

Kate is an MBA student at Columbia Business School focused on technology, entrepreneurship and international business. Before grad school, she directed business development for a New York City startup and managed a team of consultants on revenue-driving strategies for new ventures. She has supervised product-development across multiple projects as a nonfiction editor at St. Martin’s Press and has reported on events and conferences on a range of topics in NYC since 2011. She holds a B.A. cum Laude in economics from Amherst College.



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