Why your brand should do brand publishing as a content marketing strategy

Stefani Forster

Stefani Forster

Stefani is a multimedia content strategist with experience at some of Canada's top agencies and publications. She worked at Touché! Media and PHD Canada on various national brand campaigns before moving to the content side, serving as an editor and content manager at The Huffington Post Canada, Hello! Canada magazine and Corus Entertainment, writing articles, producing videos, and spearheading social growth.

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I’ve been shouting the benefits of brand publishing from the proverbial rooftops for years, yet many brands still hesitate to even consider brand publishing  as part of their marketing strategy. Why?

Short-term thinking, misinformation and a plain old fear of the unknown are a few reasons. Much like financial investing, many people tend to be put off by brand publishing, because they’re uninformed (can I afford to?) or overwhelmed (where do I even begin?).

Of course, Brand Publishing isn’t for everyone. It isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, but rather a consistent, sustainable way to grow your brand. But if you’re serious about upping your content game for 2021, brand publishing is a great way to go about it. Here are a few reasons why you should consider venturing into brand publishing. 

What is brand publishing? 

Put simply, brand publishing is changing your mindset to put content – not promotion – at the front of your marketing. Brand publishers treat their content like a digital newspaper or magazine, and they usually involve an editorial team, a roster of strong writers, and point of view or vision for your content. 

Great brand publishers will take the best of both worlds, marketing and publishing. They combine the audience insights, emotion, and personality of great brands, with the community engagement and intelligence of great publishers. 

John Deere’s magazine The Furrow made rural living (and green tractors) cool. Digital publications like Adobe’s CMO.com, Nokia’s Futurithmic are fantastic examples of brand publishing efforts online. Meanwhile, branded YouTube series, like those by Redbull, and branded podcasts like Verizon’s Networked: The 5G Future, use different mediums (video, podcasts); but the idea of creating relevant, audience-focused content (with the brand staying steadfastly in the background) remains the same. 

Brand publishing vs. content marketing: what’s the difference? 

Technically, “content” refers to anything you create and publish online for an audience’s consumption — that includes newsletters, videos, webinars, and posting on social media. Brand publishing falls under the content marketing umbrella, and has a very specific purpose. 

Unlike content marketing in general, brand publishing goes a lot farther than simply publishing a blog or putting out a few newsletters. With brand publishing, brands build editorial teams and processes that allow their marketing department to operate more like a newsroom.

Like a media company, these teams work to create digital brand publications, record podcasts, or shoot YouTube video series. No matter the medium, what these teams have in common is adding long-term value in the form of high-quality, consistent content for their targeted audience. 

Benefits of brand publishing

So – should you consider brand publishing? Here are a few of the benefits. If you want any of the below for YOUR brand, brand publishing may just be where it’s at…

Brand publishing is great for SEO. Search engines love rich content. Yes, you can improve your SEO on many static pages – homepage, product pages, your about page, testimonials – but publishing long-form, high-quality and newsworthy blogs or articles will get you ranking higher on Google much, much faster. 

Brand publishing builds relationships. More than 70% of consumers say they prefer to learn about a product or service through content rather than traditional advertising. 

Brand publishing can help generate more leads. According to Yahoo Business, small businesses who publish regular blog content get 126% more lead growth than small businesses without blogs.

Brand publishing is great for social promotion and visibility. Sharing articles that you’ve written or created yourself make for a much stronger social presence than simply retweeting or resharing what other people or brands think and say. 

Brand publishing establishes you or your business as a leader in your industry. Well researched, well-thought-out articles will establish your brand as an expert in your industry – so long as your articles are genuinely unique and useful to your audience.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving! Content is one of the few forms of marketing with compounding returns. Imagine your marketing budget is slashed in a year (not too hard to imagine, given today’s climate). The moment you stop spending on ads, your returns go away, and all of your activity stops. But with brand publishing, all of your existing content doesn’t just disappear. It will still drive organic traffic and engagement. 

The fact is, “content marketing” was soooo last year. Want to stop people from scrolling past your content? Think. Like. A. Publisher. 

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