Gereurd Roberts at Publish 2017

How publishers can leverage content marketing

Publishers looking to capitalise on the opportunity content marketing presents need to focus on educating their sales teams in order to sell in the approach.

Gereurd Roberts, CEO, Pacific Magazines, told the Publish conference in Sydney: “Storytelling is now the authentic way for brands to have connectivity with audiences but if the guys and girls flogging the advertising and making opportunities from a promotional perspective don’t get it, you’re not going to get anywhere.”

Roberts stressed the importance of having a sales team fully up to speed with the practice adding: “My recommendation is to put your salespeople front and centre because they’re the interface with the client.”

For Pacific Magazines, which offers content marketing across the pillars of fashion, beauty, food, entertainment and lifestyle, the sales teams are so up to speed Roberts noted, “they wouldn’t be able to write content but they understand the output of it and the purpose of it”.

However, creating the content is only one piece of the puzzle. Before this begins, a great deal of work is required which should not be underestimated. “We talk a lot about the content but there is actually so much that happens prior to the actual creation of the content which is even more critical. Being able to understand and interpret the many data sources that we’ve all got in order to develop an insight, which will lead to a strategy and a plan is actually probably where the bulk of the work is done,” he said.

Once this process is complete and the content goes out to audiences, the question of measurement is raised. The key to this is knowing the desired outcome for the publisher and advertiser which Roberts says often coincide.

“A lot of the time, we want to achieve the same thing. Engagement with an audience first and foremost and then conversion of that audience,” said Roberts.

While Roberts says metrics have been “a little bit fuzzy” in the past, this is changing. Still, the greatest change is the value advertisers are placing on content.

“That’s been an incredible shift and something that’s happened incredibly rapidly, particularly over the last 12 months,” he said.