Content marketing is not a right, it is a privilege, and with it comes a great responsibility, first and foremost, to the reader.
7 Rules of Paid Content Marketing
01 : It must be clear to the reader that the content is sponsored.
02 : The content must be truly educational, not promotional.
03 : Marketers, don’t do your own content audit. Of course you think your content is tops. However, most times your content library has a face only its mother could love. Increase your bottom line, let the expert editors do their job.
04 : The media company must be on-board with hosting client content for download to its readers. The managing editor especially. In fact, paid content deals could be a way for writers and editors to establish their value and worth to the publishers who employ them.
05 : There must be a liaison between the editorial staff and content marketer. Someone that can protect the writers letting them do their best work while maintaining client expectations and keeping them happy.
06 : Media should discuss a bank of pre-approved added value options. These are used to close the sale. Ideally, the added value while important and valuable should provide ZERO detriment to the media publisher.
07: The only way to structure a renewable process for your content marketing program is to set up a system to track ROI of the leads you're generating. This is above the status quo, as it should be
Your readers are your publication's lifeblood. They keep your website alive, your editors and writers paid, and the advertisers coming. Imagine if you distributed paid content simply because someone can pay for it. it isn’t educational, its promotional. Sooner than later, you will lose those readers. They will become cynical and turn their trust elsewhere.
What media publishers — specifically its writers and editors — need to know is that if you provide valuable, educational and tactical information inside your content, it doesn’t matter whether it's paid.
The lucky thing about the B2B community is that these are all like-minded professionals who speak the same language have similar needs and obstacles. And most likely there is also an existing budget for that need or at least the company-wide knowledge that you need it and need to find the money for it.
When the marketer and media parter do this well, the awkward sales walls come down and constructive conversations may take place. Brands can have conversations on the same level as its customers by offering educational content that is truly needed. Only then can readers build the trust in their minds and when its time to buy, they think of that marketer first.
Give the reader more credit. Have an honest conversation on topics that matter to them instead of being promotional all the time, discussing your product and why its so great. If you take care of the reader, the client will come forth.
This kind of relationship. This kind of outcome. This is the heart of brand journalism. This is what brand journalism looks like from the editorial/advertorial perspective.
If B2B content is done well then everyone wins. The sponsor receives a valuable lead capture, the reader receives valuable education they may take to internal meetings and new strategies to use with their own clients. And the media publisher receives the marketing investment, quality content for distribution and another valuable partnership that may renew year after year.