As part of its strategic insights related to the marketing industry, Getty Images recently released an article by Catherine Toole, the chairman of Sticky Content, that discusses how the increasing popularity of content marketing is making brands look more like publishers.
Toole kicks off her discussion by pointing out that content marketing adopts the same basic mechanisms as other forms of advertising – such as infomercials and advertorials – in the sense that it aims to engage prospects and consumers with informative and entertaining content. But this, she says, doesn't mean that content marketing is any less commercial than other forms of marketing; it's simply a case of marketers adjusting their strategies in order to appeal to contemporary consumers.
According to Toole, brands have become the new publishers, and this means that that what they publish needs to be shareable and searchable.
But do videos and images have a role to play in this content-driven marketing landscape?
In answering this question, Toole refers to the successful way in which Red Bull has used videos to market its brand.
"In orchestrating Felix Baumgartner’s Stratos jump from the edge of space, the brand created around 15 videos a day in the period leading up to and during the jump, earning over 360million YouTube views," she says.
By developing its brand in this way, Red Bull as redefined itself as "a publishing empire that also happens to sell a beverage."
Toole then goes on to say that Red Bull has an expansive catalogue of over 5,000 videos and 50,000 images that all contribute to selling the adrenaline experience that its brand has become associated with.
But brands don't automatically have access to imagery that can be incorporated into a piece on content marketing. Videos and images have to be sourced from online content marketing catalogues or created from scratch.
And when doing so, argues Toole, brands need to be careful not to publish low-quality content that simply adds to the "steaming heap of content landfill." To avoid this from happening, Toole recommends that business owners follow set of five guidelines to ensure that their content is searchable, shareable, supportive, specialist and sustainable.