Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Content Marketing

D'Asia Leathers

*And now, a word from our sponsors* Advertising is a vital asset of media because it is essentially how we receive information regarding products, events, programs, etc. However, is the world of advertising evolving? And if so, is the market still remaining ethical? Let’s take a deeper look into content marketing.

What is Content Marketing?

Native advertising is entering the mainstream and causing consumers to pay closer attention to and make greater attempts to understand it. Content marketing (also known as native advertising) is defined by the Content Marketing Institute as “the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience- with the objective of driving profitable consumer action.” However, the definition of content marketing can vary based on who you’re asking.

Is Content Marketing Beneficial for Journalism?

The answer is yes, if executed correctly.  The reason being because journalists push content. And when this happens, it brings in some sort of revenue for all parties involved. Journalists need content and ways to push it, which allows us to convey messages on behalf of our clients and they then get their message out. Therefore, it can be valuable for both parties involved, but you cannot allow other firms to directly publish to your site, being that could cause damage to the contract between consumers and media organizations. Joe McCambley is quoted as saying “It is a very slippery slope and could kill journalism if publishers aren’t careful.” The logic behind this being that publishers could potentially build a revenue ledge and confusion within the organizations could cause the credibility of the publisher to diminish.

Native advertising is spreading vastly as publishers and marketers look to find ways to engage readers with online ads. The banner ads and small pixelated boxes in the corner don’t make the cut any longer. They’re often glanced at, then exited out of. Content marketing will essentially push these brands, and in a new way. However, one thing to remember in journalism is that transparency is key and that because there is a question of trust between publishers and readers, credibility is everything.

Maintaining Ethical Content Marketing

One thing you should always maintain is the notion that the reader always comes first. Just like the customer is always right, right? The American Association of Magazine Editors (AMSE) released guidelines regarding native advertising. Some of these including: do not trade editorial coverage for advertising, differentiate editorial content and advertising and to avoid conflicts of interest.  There is also a suggestion made to utilize the term “sponsored content,” being that it can help separate from native ads, which are usually designed to mimic a site’s editorial content.

The PRSA also provides us with five simple guidelines for us to abide by: disclosure, allow for real reader comments, don’t let it become a substitute for earned media, keep content current and respect the non-porous organizational divide. It is very important that the content you’re pushing reflects those values of that publication. Media is constantly changing, and it is important that we change along with it.  

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