What Is Brand Publishing?
It’s no secret that the way people buy has fundamentally changed. Gone are the days when a customer’s first interaction with you was to call one of your salespeople. Today, much of a customer’s search happens long before he or she reaches out to your company.
This fundamental change has brought brand publishing into the spotlight. Brand publishing is the consistent creation of media—entertaining and resourceful content – that is related to your industry or audience, but does not actively promote products.
I bet you’re thinking, why would I waste my time and resources on content that’s not working to sell my product or service? While brand publishing may not be working directly to sell your product, it does sell your brand.
As your products and prices are becoming more competitive, brand publishing can help you stand out. It demonstrates to your customers that you can provide something competitors cannot – you can help them do their job better by sharing your knowledge and expertise, answering their questions and appealing to their interests.
By integrating brand publishing into your industrial marketing strategies, you establish trust and thought leadership, strengthening relationships with current customers and attracting ideal prospects. And, in doing so, you create an army of “brand advocates.” When the need arises for your product, your brand is the first to come to mind. Essentially, your brand advocates sell your product for you.
Manufacturers as Brand Publishers
According to Content Marketing Institute’s “2015 B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing Report,” 62% of manufacturers say creating more engaging, higher-quality content is priority, and 89% say brand awareness is the most important goal of their content marketing. More and more manufacturing marketers are moving away from the common practice of approaching their website as a digital brochure showing off the features and benefits of their products, and moving towards creating websites based on a greater consideration of who their audience is and the content that motivates them to buy.
Brand Publishing in Action
Lincoln Electric Co., a Cleveland-based welding equipment maker, recently launched ARC Magazine. A news release posted on lincolnelectric.com states the magazine is meant “to appeal to anyone interested in or connected to welding and metalworking and the lifestyle associated with the trade.”
The magazine contains content for beginner and expert welders alike. Each issue of the free quarterly magazine includes interviews of celebrity welders, feature articles meant to inspire welder’s creatively and professionally, and an assortment of welding tips and tricks. ARC provides new welders with tips that can help them improve their skills faster, and for experienced welders, advanced techniques to help them further develop their craft.
Users can subscribe to either a print or enhanced tablet version, which features video and additional content.
Becoming a Brand Publisher
There are different ways to become a brand publisher, allowing some flexibility when working this method into industrial marketing strategies. You don’t have to create a quarterly magazine. Start with something smaller, such as informational guides, interactive tools, educational blog posts, or white papers.
Brand publishing does not have to be a huge undertaking, but it does require identifying an audience and creating a strategy. These two elements are critical to brand publishing. Don’t just create content for the sake of creating content. Instead, follow the great example Lincoln Electric has set – create resources that entertain your audience, help them engage in their passion, or help them solve their most challenging problems.
Great returns can come from creating a thoughtful connection between your brand and your customers by consistently creating entertaining and resourceful content.
Interested in learning more about integrating brand publishing into your industrial marketing strategies? Fathom’s new manufacturing marketing publication The MFG Standard can help you build a strong and measurable plan.