Turn your brand newsroom into a scalable, real-time content network.
Brand newsrooms are all the rage.
Numerous brands like Coca-Cola, Verizon, Intel, and American Express are investing in large digital operations that look more and more like media companies. As brands make the shift from selling their products and services via paid advertising to engaging and entertaining their customers through content marketing, the question for most brands is not "Should we?" but "How should we?"
In other words, how do you establish and scale the brand newsroom?
Today's Brand Newsrooms
Most big brands are following the old media playbook. Hire a team of experienced writers and editors. Invest in a freelance network of writers - either build your own or hire from a number of third-party providers, like Contently, Skyword, or Crowdsource. Then, just publish content to a blog and social channel.
But there are three key problems with this one-dimensional approach:
Tomorrow's "Real-Time" Brand Newsroom
Brands need to embrace new technologies to accelerate this shift. This now means figuring out how to quickly leverage technology to gauge trends, listen, discover, curate, comment, and publish content. Brands need to set up a content operation that mimics a modern editorial newsroom. Original content is one strategy - but solely focusing on this approach greatly limits both perspective and the ability to truly scale. Instead, the savvy content operator embraces curation as a complementary tactic, as I discussed last month in my piece on content mixology.
The best traditional publishers have always had a freelance network. So, we know it's a good idea to leverage cost-effective resources to scale and provide more specialized expertise. But, realistically, they just author more content, they're not really curating or providing original commentary - two highly effective methods to optimize your content. Ultimately, this is too limiting for a freelance network model to fully scale.
The key is a combination of original content writers, in-house curators who know your brand intimately, and outsourced curation contributors who broaden perspective. Brands can tap in to the vast pools of talent who could become curators because these skills are more easily developed than writing. While many members of a company's trusted network would never write an article or create a video, these valuable resources can easily lend their insight to your unique brand voice because social tools have taught everyone how to share content. This development means there are far more potential curators in your network than writers. That is no slight on the value of original content - it just shows that a mix helps you scale and diversify your output.
Further, however they define it - partners, employees, clients, friends - brands need to leverage their own content intelligence networks. What does this look like? How do brands go about making their own content intelligence network hum and thrive?
Here are five tips to help scale your brand newsroom to move at real-time speed.
Creating a Real-Time Content Network for Your Brand
Brand newsrooms are evolving quickly and I expect brands to continue to invest heavily in content. But smart brands will realize they can tap in to an extensive network of knowledgeable contributors who can curate the best of the web and place the brand at the center of today's fast-moving conversations and communities.
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Matthew has worked in the software and Internet industry for over 18 years and has extensive experience building data, content, and publishing-oriented digital businesses.
Prior to founding PublishThis, Matthew served on the executive management team at Edmunds.com, where as EVP, Media he was responsible for helping grow the Internet's leading automotive site from 2001-2008. While at Edmunds, Matthew oversaw the company’s flagship website, Edmunds.com and led product development for the company's successful web expansion, including its syndication platform that powered the automotive channels for AOL, The New York Times, iVillage, and About.com.
Before that, Matthew helped develop and grow The Studio System, the entertainment industry's premier film and television database. Matthew started his career at Andersen Consulting and received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas in Austin.
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