What’s On

When branding matters more

Content marketing is growing at an unprecedented pace for publishers and today, many have realised the potential, building their business and offerings to leverage this ‘new wave’ that has taken over the world by storm.

But while the opportunity gives birth to more digital assets across the World Wide Web, it also presents Publishers with some fundamental challenges and concerns – sustained growth, user retention and increased user engagement. Furthermore, social media, while a great source of traffic, has only made it more difficultas user interest is becoming increasingly content-specific, not website-specific.

And thus, in a cluttered market like in India or even South East Asia, the strategies adopted by Publishers are, unfortunately, outdated.

The focus on quality and relevant content, complimented by technology that enhances user experiences, is great – but just not enough to retain loyal users.

There is a clear need to innovate and established a strong brand presence, that will aid brand recall, and ultimately, establish a true point of differentiation and loyalty base.It is time to change mindsets to think long-term engagement, not short-term gain.

And, to stand out from the crowd.

But the key question is – how?

Know what to stand for, in order to stand out
To begin with, there is a need to develop a distinct brand identity, which clearly articulates its perspective and persona. A distinct identity, will go a long-way in attracting the right kind of audience that will stick, for longer.

What is the publisher’s vision, how is it set out to achieve this? What are its publishing guidelines and content strategy? More importantly, how is the publisher innovating and disrupting the scene? Accordingly, a checklist to ensure that all content and publicity strategies are aligned, will also help in deciding moments.

Singing the same tune, no matter the song-sheet
The ecommerce industry in India soon realized that to achieve mass familiarity of their offerings, they needed to create awareness using mass media such as print and television advertising.

The same goes for publishers – once they have an understanding of what their brand really stands for, they need to convey their messages in a distinct and aligned manner. This may require them to go beyond their comfort zone and typical channels to reach out to their target audience.

Innovate, and again
Users get easily distracted by the ‘new kid on the block’, but Publishers need to ensure that they are continually evolving and innovating to ensure they retain their consumers.

Publishers need to constantly create value to these users on different platforms and remind them about the content they are missing-out on the publisher platform. After all, we all know that brand building is not be only a one-time activity but an ongoing process.

Testing, Testing
The final step is in ensuring that you compliment an advertiser’s measurement metrics. After all, most Publishers are fighting for the same share of advertising revenue and thus, aligned metrics enable a more objective comparison.

Be it the presence of relevant brands or site visitation, a Publisher needs to ensure that it is able to answer every question that an advertiser has about its portal. It is only fair and build credibility.

Sandeep Balani

Sandeep Balani is Director Business Development, India at Outbrain.
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