Content Marketing is Exploding at SXSW
My overwhelming impression of the most important trend at SXSW is the unassailable arrival of content marketing.
It’s been building for the past year, but the notion that the stuff that used to belong to PR and to the communications department has been hijacked by marketing. Put more diplomatically, there is both a new urgency on marketing’s side to develop a story, as opposed to an ad, and an even greater tendency for PR to follow marketing’s lead.
I’ll have more on this later, but I’ll kickstart this theme by relating my talk with Pawan Deshpande yesterday. Pawan founded HiveFire five years ago as curation software, but with a different business model, one based on advertising, but recently rebranded the product as Curata (great name), a SaaS platform that turnkeys a company’s blog curation site. Reasonably priced and simple to use, Curata allows the head of marketing for a company to become a publisher, practically overnight. Using a combination of original posts, generated by the company itself, and feeds which are “found” and published as a stream of the latest content, the site creates an information source that is relevant to the company’s products and services, thereby providing a steady flow of eyeballs interested in the topic back to the company domain, or in some cases, within the company domain already.
Clearly, there is a strong place for “self-” for companies in the growing area of content marketing. According to a recent study from Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, content marketing now represents 26% of all marketing budgets. But as our members may have noted from some of my previous posts, I do have a problem with how a site that is owned and operated by a company is presented. True enough, at GreenDataCenters.org, you can hunt around and in a few clicks be directed to a disclosure statement, which claims, with probably narrow accuracy but some disingenuousness, that the site is “not for profit.” But would Verne publish, for example, a post from a competitor? Would it publish anything critical of green data centers? Or of Verne?
According to Pawan, there are examples of customers who do include posts from competitors. “FemtoForum, for example, includes posts about its major competitor, WiFi, on its site SmallCellHub.com. We include as a best practice that organizations include competition in their sites, because a more comprehensive source of information is only a click away.”
From Kaplan Social Media:
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