The fight for audience attention is reaching new competitive heights - as we witness the rapid transformation of content consumption driven by the growth in mobile, and the way social media has become a ‘gateway’ for news.
So what next? And how is 3 Monkeys’ content marketing team helping clients rethink the role PROs can play in having their message heard by the right audience, at the right time AND in the right place?
The current wave of change is in full force and it’s big businesses leading the pack by cutting out the middle man. The rise of brands as publishers, offering news direct from source via ever increasing content channels - and with a quality level any traditional media outlet would be jealous of - is forcing everyone to compete ever harder.
Brands now have bigger budgets than your average publisher, and they’re recruiting journalists to power content engines while successfully growing niche networks and communities loyal to the content they can deliver. Look at the likes of The Network, Cisco’s content hub, or storytelling daddy Coca-Cola who recently redesigned its homepage to become ‘The Journey’ - not merely a publishing arm but the new front page of Coca-ColaCompany.com. The Coke brand is making publishing part of its identity - and the battle is on for media to work even harder.
This month, Reuters’ 2015 Digital News report revealed that a staggering 75% of Brits would never consider paying for online news (has anyone told Rupert Murdoch?). And in some countries, up to 48% of people access news content via Facebook, Twitter and other services instead of going direct to news sites.
Reuters is calling on publishers to be ‘more inventive’ to arrest declines in traditional revenue sources, especially as the public also expressed frustration with so-called ‘sponsored content’ being disguised as news - a tactic used by sites as a way of clawing back declining ad revenue.
Meanwhile Apple is hiring journalists to run its Apple News service as part of a broader push to personalise the content it selects and delivers to customers - coming after the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn announced they’re hiring journalists to produce their own content and help broker relationships between media groups and distribution platforms.
These announcements highlight the continued opportunity for brands to act as publishers and gatekeepers of high quality content. The key focus must be the importance of how content is creatively curated, to drive wider earned media impact and overall advocacy with target audiences and stakeholders. And be honest, that’s always been PR’s job.
It will be interesting to see how traditional publishers evolve to ensure they’re staying competitive in the face of industry disruption while maintaining the credibility and authority they’ve built with audiences over the years. We’re all fighting to remain relevant in the fast changing digital universe - success isn’t about going big, it’s about adapting your mindset. And check out how we’ve helped Trend Micro get its content marketing mojo going.