For the last few years, marketers have been telling brands that they need to become “publishers”. Rightly so, this is a daunting prospect, especially considering what the word “publisher” implies. When we think of publishers, we think of newspapers and books. There are over 1,000,000 books published in the US alone every year. The Washington Post’s editorial staff produces about 500 stories and videos per day. Buzzfeed publishes about 222 stories and videos per day.
How can brands keep up with that publishing schedule? No one expects them to. Customers certainly don’t expect or even want that much content from a brand. But how much is enough to keep a brand top of mind? As Linda, the president of SOCIALDEVIANT likes to say, “No one ever unfollowed a brand because they didn’t hear from them enough. Usually, they unfollow because they are inundated with irrelevant content.”
That’s not to say that brands should be silent. What if brands only produced content when they actually had something to say? Our hypothesis is that the quality and the impact of the content would increase. Your content strategy should be able to build an entire program around a moment (experiential, digital, and TV in some instances). The content should tap into an existing cultural current. Moments are never a forced fit, but instead are closely aligned with the brand purpose. Consumers are very good at recognizing and turning a blind eye to advertising and inauthentic attempts at engagement. Moments should be “ownable” moments for the brand and should go beyond just one post. Good content is moment-driven and closely aligned to business objectives. And no, we’re not talking about “the lights went out at the Super Bowl” moments. Those opportunities are few and far between. We’re talking about moments of truth, moments of triumph, relatable moments, culturally relevant moments. We’re talking about the moments that matter to your customer.
As the industry has evolved, so has our POV. Don’t be a publisher for the sake of being a publisher. Don’t fret over what you’re going to post on Monday while scrambling to find content, or worse, making something up. Stop the madness! You’re churning and burning through content every week, but why? What was the effect of your content strategy on your bottom line? Can you describe what the purpose of each piece was? With decreasing organic reach, ad blockers, and ad-free paid subscription models, it’s becoming more necessary to make an impact with your content than to make a quota of pieces published. It’s important not to spread your production dollars too thin, but instead to allocate it toward content that will have the most impact.