Content, partnerships & publisher power
By Matt Haslum, Consumer Marketing Director, Faber & Faber
Before working at Faber & Faber as Consumer Marketing Director, I was at an award winning digital creative agency. My clients were well known brands across a wide range of sectors – from high street to finance and beauty to online betting. Over the years, the work we did for these brands evolved from developing and deploying standout creative campaigns aimed at simple brand awareness with ‘light’ consumer interaction; to creating digital strategies to help add ‘substance’ and stickiness to the brand, thus increasing exposure time above and beyond the core product offering.
In essence, this was Content Marketing, which has become the cornerstone of the consumer engagement revolution which dominates marketing strategies in our social, interaction-fuelled world.
The challenge those brands face for adding value to a consumer experience in a digital age is that they aren’t publishers. They are not seen as trusted, ‘authentic’ sources of quality content. They may have great products, slick branding, sophisticated CRM models and appealing calls to action – but creating content that is useful, relevant, shareable and credible to engage an audience is a whole new challenge.
This is where we come in.
(Publishers I mean)
We have great, authentic, relevant valuable content that we can use to develop entirely new partnerships with non-retail brands, opening up avenues for our publishing to new audiences in new environments. It’s not about your ‘brand’ strength. It’s about your wonderful, rich content being re-adjusted and reappraised and served to a whole new audience via a partner brand within the framework of an existing trusted, relationship – and trust is a key factor to the recommendation and purchase process online.
There is an issue around the perceived worth of additional content around books. There’s a lack recognition of the intrinsic value – and power – that this subsidiary content gives us in leveraging both consumer and partner opportunities for consumers to enjoy deeper engagement with an author, series or publisher. The value of our content isn’t just locked in our books – it’s in the thought pieces, interviews, video, audio, infographic, lists and more that we are already generating to support the title. Value is not only manifested in sales – it’s also in deeper author/reader engagement, rewarding consumers for interacting with you and giving them reasons to come back and buy again. The trick is to start looking at your core and additional content with fresh eyes.
What can be recycled? What can be commissioned? How can it be segmented differently? What are new audiences after online?
By understanding the value of your content you will be able to gauge what you expect in return – this is after all a partnership. This might be as basic as product, but should extend to on and offline communications.
For content marketing and partnerships to be successful, the entire process needs to stop being thought of as peripheral. It’s a deeper way of thinking that needs to permeate all parts of the business. It also needs to be positively communicated to authors and estates to show that as publishers, we are proactively looking to grow exciting new audiences – and eventually sales.
So when you’re working with an author on a project, alongside traditional publicity and marketing activity, develop a content plan (audio, video, short form, articles etc) that can divided across your communication channels and website (great for SEO, consumer interest and depth of experience) as well as exclusively to partners – ensuring that your content is featured prominently on their digital and social channels.
The web gives us an entirely new way to shape and share our copyrights and as crucially, leverage them to generate new audience opportunities. We can work with partners in any field that relates to the value within our content. We can reimagine form, function and relevance to a new, global audience who are (sometimes) just a click away from discovering, liking, sharing purchasing and downloading brilliant, authentic content from one of your great authors.