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Can content marketing rescue publishers?

With the decline of traditional advertising and subscriptions, publishers have been looking for new ways to bring in revenue to stay afloat. Brands, on the other hand, have realized that they can no longer wait around in hopes a journalist will have time to read their press release — let alone write about them. Can publishers and corporations use content marketing and sponsored content to create a mutually beneficial relationship?

Photo by joaoism

Photo by joaoism

Sponsored content is the main focus of Edelman’s Steve Rubel, especially in the months since being appointed Chief Content Strategist for the agency. “There is no longer a scarcity of information. Content is available from different places and everyone is a content creator,” says Rubel. “Information is available and free, people are not paying for content. The rise of programmatic media buying is driving down the cost of advertising but the cost of doing business is increasing. This is not good for publishers.”

Rubel believes there are three economic trends that demonstrate how the media landscape is changing:

  1. The Internet thrives on abundance, while the media loves scarcity. There is little mass-reach media anymore, Rubel says. Even Oprah struggles to “aggregate a lot of eyeballs” at the same time in one place. Consumers are in a state of constant partial attention.
  2. Media companies can’t monetize Internet subscriptions. The cost of online ads has also dropped, making it difficult for the media to generate revenue via digital content.
  3. Brands and corporations now feel confident that they can tell their own story their own way. Organizations are more confident in their social channels, and believe they can bypass traditional outlets to communicate their message directly to the public through a converged media model.

Earl J. Wilkinson, Executive Director and CEO of the International News Media Association (INMA), acknowledges that content marketing is spreading like wildfire in the marketing community worldwide, and news publishers should fish out of this pond if they are serious about filling the print advertising hole.

Brands that work with publishers to create and recommend relevant and useful content for readers can help to engage audiences and increase loyalty to both the publisher and the company sponsoring the content. It seems like a win/win to me. What’s your take on sponsored content?

Are you offering sponsored content opportunities on your blog or online publication? If so, please contact me at laurie dot mahoney at Cision.com to be included in our database of opportunities for brands.

To learn more about content marketing, join us at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, Oct. 17, for a free webinar, Content Marketing for the PR Professional.

About Laurie Mahoney

Laurie Mahoney is the Director of Product Marketing at Cision. She is a regular contributor to Cision Blog mainly focusing on topics like content marketing, social media and SEO. Laurie is a Chicagoan now, but spent her earlier days in the South where she attended the University of Georgia. She has a weakness for good TV, sushi and anything that mentions “salted caramel” in the name. You can find her on Twitter @channermahoney.

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