New York—There’s no question that brands are placing a greater emphasis on content-led advertising campaigns, asking for custom programs that incorporate subtle editorial integrations, social media and high engagement. A range of speakers are addressing the growing content marketing and native advertising market here today at min’s Content Marketing & Innovation Summit. Stephanie Losee, managing editor at Dell Global Communications, was the opening keynote and offered a provocative look at what brands want from content and why they’re not, actually, competing with publishers.
Losee emphasized throughout her presentation that brands, despite their growing skills in producing their own content, need to continue their partnerships with traditional media companies. Brands, for the most part, do not want to hire a team of writers and editors.
"Brands want traditional media to thrive—brands need traditional media to thrive," she said. "Brands don’t really want to go whole hog into becoming publishers. We don’t want to hire dozens of writers and editors to try to do what publishers do. Brands don’t want to play in the investigative journalism sandbox, but people accuse us of doing that all the time. We want to publish our own content, but we need to rely on publishers to help us do that."
However, Losee noted two key developments: Brands want editorial. Editorial, she said, "is the antidote to advertorial." So as brands go after more robust content campaigns, they’re looking for more subtle integrations in exactly the right context.
Also, brands want new and different ideas, what Losee described as "funky." But recommended structuring pitches according to where publishers think brands lie on the "funky scale," offering a menu of options that range in their customization.
Losee added that Dell’s own site has shifted to a content model that relies on an 80/20 ratio of editorial to promotional content. This, she says, has paid off particularly well in search. "People are well on their way to making a purchase decision when they search, so we want our brand to come up first," she said.