How brands can work with publishers for content marketing

July 6, 2015

By David Palmer
Marketing Director | Wiley

The marketing industry insists that with the rise of content marketing, brands must become publishers—but is this in fact the case? What if there was already well-put-together, well-edited content at busy marketers’ disposal? In fact, there is.

Publishers have been creating enormous repositories of high-quality content for years. Much of that content is often stuck in books, but it can serve as a resource for marketers, if they’re willing look at publishing as an industry full of valuable resources, rather than a marketing trend.  

Although historically associated with physical books, publishers now produce content in a variety of types including e-books, white papers and even more videos and podcasts. Because publishers are content aggregators, we’re able to write the content, put it together and make it available to the public—whereas brands wouldn’t necessarily have access to that kind of expertise and experience otherwise, or the time to create the content on their own. 

Brands + Publishers

Although brands aren’t naturally publishers, that doesn’t mean that they are without expertise. In fact, collaborations between brands and publishers can lead to fruitful results for both parties—high-quality, ready-made content for brands and new revenue streams for publishers.

Brands and publishers who work together can leverage the strengths of one another while downplaying aspects of each that could be considered weaknesses. When it comes to brand-publisher relationships, brands bring their knowledge of their industries and products. They also bring knowledge of their customers, what those individuals find valuable and even ideas about how to reach them.

Publishers, on the other hand, bring both a storehouse of content and knowledge about publishing as an industry. They can also deliver impartial information about a topic and are known for doing so. Unlike brands, which customers expect to be biased and sales focused, publishers also tend to appear to consumers as an objective party.

When a publisher is known for delivering impartial information on a broad range of subjects, partnering with a publisher can help provide brands with the kind of endorsement of a brand looking to provide value, versus just trying to sell a product or service. 

How to Get Started

For brands looking to create or leverage partnerships with publishers, the starting point may feel surprisingly simple. Understanding what types of content you’d like to implement and where your expertise lies is a good first step. However, as with any true partner, publishers should be open to assisting brands in determining what kind of content best suits their goals and the appropriate direction of that content.

Content marketing and the trend of brands as publishers isn’t going away any time soon, however it does not need to be a scary time for brands or marketers. By creating strategic partnerships, publishers and brands can leverage the strengths of one another, and take advantage of this trend in a way that’s beneficial to brands, publishers and even customers. © David Palmer 2015

David Palmer is a marketing director at Wiley where he oversees Dummies B2B and the For Dummies, Business and Education product lines for Wiley’s Professional Development division. He has been with Wiley for nearly a decade in the UK and the US. Before moving into marketing, Palmer served as a publisher for the For Dummies group.

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