Content services – publishers’ opportunity

October 1, 2012 7:11 am

What do you tell online publishers about content marketing opportunities? I had that dilemma at a presentation to the Association of Online Publishers (@ukaop) event last week. The biggest thing you can say is that it has to be an opportunity.

Publishers for years have been making money from non-independent content for the types of companies who are also advertisers. This often appears in their own magazines and websites (‘advertorial’, ‘advertising feature’ and plenty more names flag such content) or in spaces such as microsites.

But so much content these days can appear on brands’ own media – or ‘owned media’, if you prefer, in the purest form. It isn’t hard for them to run websites, sometimes with staffed newsdesks full of trained ex-journalists.

I was trying to communicate this shift in power last week. These brands can do it by themselves. Or publishers can help.

There has been talk in the past about publishers offering marketing services. And they do. But what I’d propose is very specifically content services.

A member from the audience that day said it is hard for publishers to compete for tech talent with others, especially leading internet companies. My answer to that is to ask Who holds the aces when it comes to the best creation of content?

Bottom line: Publishers need to embrace broader categories of content and offer services away from their own brands. It will make the bean counters happy.

Later this week I’ll be talking about how companies with large, costly IT departments started to make this type of cost-to-profit-centre transition themselves a couple of decades back, with impressive results.

*Cavemen drawing photo – photo credit: sarahstierch via photo pin cc

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