Can content marketing help balance the revenue struggles of the news media industry?




For decades, media publishers have sat on a two-legged stool: advertising and subscriptions.

“No one really wants to sit on a two-legged stool,” Shafqat Islam, NewsCred CEO, said.

There are numerous viable options to create alternative revenue streams and become the third leg of the revenue stool. Islam discussed one such option at the INMA 2013 World Congress on Tuesday: content marketing.

Islam defined content marketing as creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract and engage a target audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Advertising was once reliant on publishers to disseminate their marketing ideas, but this is no longer the case. Advertisers can go straight to their consumers, whether through videos, the Web, or both.

Islam explained how publishers can take advantage of the popular trend. Brands have a unique problem that publishers can’t solve: They want content but aren’t experts at creating it.

“If you have relationships with advertisers, which most of you do because of advertising on your site, why not think about repurposing and repackaging content for them?” he asked.

Publishers can repurpose already created pieces of content and sell that content to a relevant brand.

It is beneficial for publishers to build their own personal brand. Smaller companies can sell their content to advertisers with little extra effort to help expand their audience and reach.

This is exactly what Islam’s company, NewsCred, does. Through licensing agreements with more than 2,500 publishers, Newscred takes stories and sells them to relevant brands.

Islam used Pepsi as an example. The Pepsi Web site hosts a variety of entertainment and pop culture stories, sold to them by NewsCred, that fit into the particular image Pepsi wishes to convey.

There is no reason that marketers in individual newsrooms can’t take their stories to big time advertisers, Islam said. Distributing content is just as important as the content itself.

In the end, Islam said it is still all about great content and storytelling: “Ultimately, the only thing that matters when it comes to content marketing is that you have to tell a story that matters.” 

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