September 6th was a coming out party for content marketing. Over 600 marketing professionals came together in Cleveland from 18 different countries for Content Marketing World to learn how to create and grow their own publishing and storytelling platforms.

Yes, you heard that right. Marketers are actively trying to figure out how to do your job…publish valuable, relevant and compelling content to build subscriber bases and ultimately sell more products and services.

Your customers have been publishing content for years. Just look at John Deere. Their magazine, The Furrow, has been published since 1895 and is now distributed to more than 40 countries to 1.5 million subscribers. But now that the barriers to enter the publishing industry are all but gone, marketers are swiftly moving to allocate more resources to communicating directly with their customers and taking out the middleman (uh, you).

The Content Marketing World event shed some light on where the industry is going and ultimately what it means for publishers and media companies.

• Brands of all Sizes Are Operationalizing around Content.
Marketing executives like Pam Didner from Intel and Todd Wheatland from Kelly Services shared in-depth details about how content creation and distribution is becoming the center of their marketing efforts. For Intel, they develop “Topic Marketing Kits” that include content missions for each of their customers, then they distribute those to individual editorial boards all over the world for localization. This is no small endeavor and is taking massive organization and resources, much of which are coming out of traditional programs.

• The Chief Content Officer has Arrived.
More than 20 percent of the marketing titles attending the event are new “content-oriented” titles, including: VP of Content Marketing, Chief Content Officer, Content Strategist, Content Marketing Coordinator, Brand Journalist and more. Who are these people? Many of them are your former chief editors or writers.

• Real-Time Content Marketing is Now.
In multiple sessions from the likes of David Meerman Scott and organizations like Eloqua and Dell, content strategies are being set up to manage real-time content creation. This means that brands are starting to act like news organizations. Who are they hiring to do this? You guessed it…journalists.

• Not Just Outsourcing, but Content Strategy.
There continues to be strong opportunity for publishers to work with brands on helping them execute content strategies. That said, the biggest pain for marketers is not execution, it’s strategy. Publishers that are setting up marketing services arms that understand how to develop a content strategy, including content audits, gap analyses, and total integration of the story within the entire marketing programs are going to win out. While custom publishing used to be a separate effort like a custom magazine or webinar, tomorrow’s content strategies wrap into social media, search, PR. On three separate occasions recently, agency of record (AOR) with some large international brands recently went to content agencies.

Traditional marketing is not going away. But today, marketers need to develop subscribers, just like you do, to position themselves as the industry leaders. For publishers, the opportunity to partner with brands on these initiatives is clear. What will you do? 

Joe Pulizzi is an author, speaker and evangelist for content marketing. He is the founder of Junta42 and the Content Marketing Institute.

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