Among the panels at COMPLY2016 was “The Perils and Possibilities of Content Marketing,” composed of marketing innovators from NewsCred, Contently, Outbrain, and IMPACT Branding. They discussed how to do content marketing right and how to avoid costly mistakes in native advertising, such as with the recent Lord & Taylor issue.
Here is a closer look at five key trends, insights, and tips that came out of this panel.
1. Long-form content is here to stay: The panelists felt strongly that long-form content—800 to 3,000-plus-word research/data-driven papers and thought leadership pieces—is among the most popular formats for telling a brand’s story. For some brands, however, long-form content may prove more difficult to secure regulatory and legal approvals. Instead, shorter blog posts, videos or webinar with preapproved slides may be more viable options.
2. Real-time content offers possibilities and challenges: The panelists predicted that real-time content shared through apps like Facebook Messenger and Slack will become more pervasive within the next six months. But in regulated industries, real-time content poses challenges, particularly when compliance and legal need time to weigh in.
3. Don’t forget about email and Facebook: Despite the ever-evolving world of content marketing, email is still the No. 1 distribution channel. However, Facebook also provides another important vehicle for content delivery.
4. Content marketing will become a total sensory experience: The panel predicted that content marketing will continue evolving over time, incorporating video content to eventually becoming a sensory experience for the consumer.
5. Solutions are needed for compliance-induced slowdown: Many marketers complain that the need to get compliance approval on content slows their speed to market. Many best practices were offered by the panelists, including:
- Have a planned, quarterly editorial calendar that marketing, legal, and regulatory approve to help streamline the approval and workflow processes.
- Incorporate a “brand governance checklist” throughout ideation, editorial, and publishing approval processes.
- Don’t allow legal to comment or edit content; instead, ask for a “yes” or “no” response only.
- Create a center of excellence or working group with representatives from marketing, editorial, and compliance so that everyone is involved in the review and approval process from the very beginning.
- Use automated technology, such as a content monitoring system, to help identify and check for potential compliance issues.
- License content from other publishers (e.g., The New York Times) and publish on your own website.
The possibilities with content marketing seem endless. But for marketers in regulated industries, determining how to leverage the endless possibilities while remaining compliant is a delicate balance. The good news is that as the world of content marketing continues to grow and evolve, marketers will have more opportunities to figure out what works best for their individual brands.
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Excerpt from “5 Content Marketing Trends That Matter To Heavily Regulated Industries” published on July 1, 2016 in CMO.