Over the past year the discussions about what content marketing is and isn’t as well as the role of content within marketing and PR functions of a business have been interesting to watch. Especially the discussions around whether brand journalism and native advertising fits in the content marketing mix. Here’s my take on it.
Content Marketing is all about customers and providing them the information they need to inspire action. The themes that align buyer interests and brand goals as part of a content marketing strategy can inspire the focus of any content or media whether it’s part of a brand journalism effort, native advertising or content marketing program – just in different ways.
Storytelling is content-type agnostic. To me as a marketer, brand journalism and native advertising within content marketing can work because storytelling is relevant for both brand and consumer focused messaging. Understanding how your buyers discover and consume information will often reveal the value of multiple touch points that can be satisfied with a mix of owned, earned and paid media. These efforts can run concurrently and integrate.
Native ads and brand journalism are pieces of the content marketing puzzle. It’s expected that a brand will communicate about itself and particular expertise. When 3rd party media (earned or sponsored) run stories that support that expertise, they provide additional support to the brand narrative as the best answer solution. Brand journalism can accentuate the “back story” of why the company has particular expertise.