Four things Fairfax needs to do to succeed at content marketing

Four things Fairfax needs to do to succeed at content marketing

Could I be presumptuous enough to offer Fairfax a very warm welcome to the Australian content marketing industry.

While there are a few of us who have been around a while, it is reassuring to have a giant walk into the room looking for a seat at the table.

And if you were wondering, yes there is plenty of room and no, you are not too late.

The move by businesses, governments and not for profits to leverage the utility of new technology to create and distribute content directly to the audiences they are seeking to engage is only really just starting to take hold.

I know the advertising industry will tell anyone who cares to listen that they cannot do it, but unfortunately, for them, they are and will continue to do so.

The decision isn’t a surprise. It was only last week when I was chatting to an old mate who works for Fairfax and we were discussing the potential of content marketing to play a part in the company’s salvation.

Independent, quality journalism and a keen understanding of the audience has sustained Fairfax for decades.

However, that’s only part of the content marketing story.

Strategy, personas, scheduling, platforms, amplification and measurement are all part of the mix of successful content marketing. One is not much good without the other and it works a whole lot better when they are rolled into together in a single, measurable, repeatable process.

So what do they need to do to succeed?

First, it will be to get the buy in of the journalists and photographers. That will not be easy.  Fairfax journalists as a rule loathe commercialisation so they will be hard to bring along to the content marketing party. They should not be worried about “selling out” but they will be and this is a major risk. Most of them will want to be writing news and politics so the content creators could end up being the B team.

Second, Fairfax may confuse content with advertorial. Big potential mistake. Successful content works because it is either useful, entertaining and or valuable to an identified audience. If the audience smells a sales line, they will walk.

Third, move quickly. In the world of content marketing, you have to be shaping, creating, distributing and measuring quickly. Fairfax has done a great job in building its online audiences so they would do well to grab a few of the bright young things in their online teams and bring them into the content marketing teams. Real time content is a reality so a ‘radio newsroom’ mentality drives content marketing.

Fourth, video. High quality online video is increasingly important in content marketing. It is what many audiences want because “Johnny doesn’t read anymore”. Fairfax’s efforts so far in video have been miserable. They will have to lift their game to compete.

(Image 1: Wikimedia)


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