There’s an old joke that goes:
How many publishers does it take to change a lightbulb?
Three. One to screw it in. Two to hold down the author.
I say old because sadly – or not, depending on your point of view – the number of people to whom that joke means anything is dwindling. The wall between those that want to promote their ideas and those that vet them on behalf of the public has been all but broken down by digital media.
That means that, these days, I’m a publisher. You’re a publisher. Some people’s cats are inadvertently publishers.
That also means that with the digital media revolution, marketing and how to market can go one of two ways – you can either buy advertising and do traditional PR, or you can publish.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, efforts in effective content publishing are waning in their efficacy. In 2016, only 30% of B2B marketers said their organisations were effective at content marketing, down from 38% the previous year. With more content comes less of an onus to make it work hard.
So, on the playing field of promotion, publishing is the name of the game. And if everyone is a publisher, then we must compete on what, and how, we publish. I mean, of course, your content, in its various guises. But rather than banging on about how important it is to keep producing good quality stuff, this argument goes a little deeper, as a recent PowerPost webinar sought to extol.
The talk starred Barry Feldman of Feldman Creative, Ann Handley of MarketingProfs and Paul Shirer of PowerPost, and an accompanying eBook featured insights from giants of the marketing industry including Content Marketing Institute founder, Joe Pulizzi.
Brand versus power
You see, brand publishing – which includes content marketing – is a given. If you’re not publishing your content, you’re falling behind the competition. People engage with brand content before speaking to sales. The latest development, however, is the rise of the power publisher.
If everyone is a publisher, then we must compete on what, and how, we publish
Spiderman’s uncle said that with great power comes great responsibility; that wisdom is just as appropriate here.
The average brand publisher creates content for the brand. The power publisher creates content for the audience.
“Having an audience is a privilege. Remember this and you’re less likely to over-automate,” said Ann Handley.
This is all comes back to that customer experience (CX) thing – if you’re not publishing content that puts the customer first, then it serves only yourself.
Assume the publisher role
One big job of the publisher is that they’re a quality control working on the public’s behalf; when you assume the role of both the author and the publisher, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees. Anybody that has produced a piece of content will inevitably be a little bit precious about it; that’s human nature, and it’s OK. But, going back to that joke, one side of you can be a very proud and creative Go to the full article.