By now the term “content marketing” has been burned into the brain of PR executives with a keen eye on the future of business communications. But, in terms of the ability to monetize content marketing, the trend is just getting started.
Content marketing, or “branded journalism,” is an entirely different animal than knocking out a press release, launching a PR campaign or organizing a satellite media tour. It requires a sustained effort—driven by PR and/or marketing execs—to create editorial-based content designed to educate, inform and entertain customers, prospects and other stakeholders.
While still early days, the track record among brands trying to develop content marketing programs has been decidedly dicey. Verizon Wireless, for example, in December shut down content site SugarString.
It’s a matter of trial and error. As traditional PR channels evolve or fade away, content marketing seems to be commanding more and more of the bandwidth when it comes to getting the message out and boosting awareness.
In a year or two, it may be called something else, but the point is not to treat content marketing as an extended PR campaign, but with a few more bells and whistles.