BuzzFeed's president says company blogs are so yesterday. If BuzzFeed is the future of content marketing, is owned media the past?
First Google tried to kill the press release. Now BuzzFeed's president says company blogs are so yesterday.
In a recent interview, BuzzFeed President Jon Steinberg said:
...Three years ago brands wanted to post things on their own microsites. No one really believes that anymore. Everybody now has the view that you fish where the fish are…I go to where the platform is right to put the content. It doesn't really make sense for me to post content on my own blog anymore.
Tagging itself as a media company for the social age, BuzzFeed is one of today's hottest social news platforms; making a name for itself by spinning real-time editorial and branded advertorial content designed to go viral.
BuzzFeed's rising popularity is creating its own buzz among content marketers who are wondering if the BuzzFeed platform is replacing company-owned blogs as one recent headline asked.
"BuzzFeed serves a need like supermarket tabloids serve a need for information and entertainment. Just because BuzzFeed is successful at packaging information doesn't mean it's a content marketing model that would work for any company," Odden says. "Sensational headlines and weird compilations of related stories can drive page views but most companies succeed by attracting, engaging and converting readers to buyers."
No doubt about it, content marketing has a stamp of approval from both marketers and consumers bankrolled with a cushy budget!
Content marketing has made a name for itself as today's most valuable and trusted form of marketing. But is it also one of the most overused and abused words you might hear from online marketers?
Did the social media news industry and elites invent something new called social content marketing that is the replacement for blogs as we know it?
A pay to play version of content marketing that's paved the way to 100 percent of BuzzFeed's revenue really isn't that new according to marketing experts; it's the socially smart and savvy reinvention of the advertorial: paying for editorial disguised and styled content to be mixed in with authentic editorial news content.
It looks looks, smells, sounds, and acts like editorial. But it's paid. Boom!
"The future of content marketing is here already. I think what Contently, BuzzFeed, Mashable, and others are doing in the space - having articles/posts/videos created that meet stringent editorial criteria while serving a purpose for the brand - is still very early in the game," says Amy Vernon, veteran journalist, blogger, and consultant who focuses on content and digital strategy.
Content marketing, a.k.a.:
"I've heard all those euphemisms and more. It's the next stage of the advertorial - those ads or "special advertising sections" that appeared in newspapers or magazines and looked like the rest of the content, but were paid advertisements," Vernon notes. "This isn't new at all. The BuzzFeeds and Mashables just reinvented it to work on the web. And that's fine. Banner ads weren't cutting it, obviously."
So if the content marketing trend is headed in the direction that paid media and earned media are starting to blur together, what does this mean for owned media, like the trusted company blog that companies have ownership and content control, but maybe not as many eyeballs?
Let's check out the recent blog stats:
"Blogs are not dead," Vernon says. "Anyone who lets all their content live somewhere other than their own home (domain) is doing it wrong. It is absolutely vital to have a home base for your brand's content, no matter who you are."
"Yes, you do need to go where the people are, but to rely on someone else's platform entirely is, simply put, short-sighted," Vernon adds. "That's like having a house, but putting all your money into repairs to hotel rooms you're staying in."
"Blogs are very much alive," says Dan Cristo, SES San Francisco speaker, Founder of @Triberr and Director of SEO Innovation at Catalyst Online. Blogs have certain perks. After all, on social networks:
According to Odden, the future of content marketing is:
It doesn't look like we are planning any funerals for the company blog, just like the press release. The blog will continue to be reincarnated and refreshed as content marketing sparks fly and fire up in paid, owned and earned media.
Check out my session at SES San Francisco (#SESSF) – Social Publicity and Publishing: How to Earn it, Grow it, Brand it, or one of these to learn more: Paid Organic Social Content Distribution Unravelled; Badass Blogging: Best Practices to Enhance Your Customer Reach; The Marriage of Social & PR: Making It Work for Your Brand; and Social Publicity and Publishing: How to Earn it, Grow it, Brand it.
This article was originally published on Search Engine Watch.
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