Publishing means making information available to the public via certain channels or mediums… mostly magazines, newspapers, websites, books, and apps.
Apart from ensuring value for money, the challenge is to choose publication channels that support a company’s status and provenance, plus ensuring that the publication reaches the right audience.
Publishing includes the following stages of development: content acquisition, copy editing, art direction, production, printing (and its electronic equivalents), marketing, and distribution.
Custom publishing has been the traditional term for what is now known as content marketing.
The definition, of custom publishing:
“… marries the marketing ambitions of a company with the information needs of its target audience. This occurs through the delivery of editorial content – via print, Internet, and other media – so intrinsically valuable that it moves the recipient’s behavior in a desired direction.”
The Move to Content Marketing
In the mid-2000s, more and more organizations started replacing the term custom publishing with the more modern term of content marketing. Why?
Simply put, many marketers were getting confused with the term “publishing” as solely print focused (not online or event driven) or even as a custom book-industry term.
Even more than that, content became a recognized marketing requirement to effectively sell goods and services. This was enabled by technology (social media, lead generation processes, search engine optimization and more).
In the past, the barriers to entry to create and distribute content were high. It was expensive to produce and distribute content (databases, as well as the print/mail process, were cost-prohibitive for most companies). Today, as we know, everyone can be a content marketer in less than five minutes. Quality of content is more important than ever.
And so, content marketing was born…
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating/curating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
Content marketing is now leveraged by nine out of 10 companies. Where in the past, content marketing was seen as nice to have, today it is essential (Advertising is a luxury, content is survival).
Other Variations of Content Marketing
There are a number of other terms that are used as replacements for content marketing. Here are a few and some information on each.
- Branded Content – very popular in the business-to-consumer side. The problem with this phrase is that is gets confused with pure product placement.
- Custom Media – very popular in the business-to-business side. Many business publishers with content marketing divisions call their units “custom media” units. So, if a media company has a content division, odds are it will be called XYC custom media.
- Customer Media – popular term for content marketing in Holland/The Netherlands.
- Brand Journalism – also popular.
- Customer Publishing – popular term for content marketing
Other names include:
- Custom Content
- Inbound Marketing
- Member Media (popular with associations)
To bring it all on one page…
The goal is to bring marketers together under the same terminology – whether it’s custom publishing or content marketing is not important, as long as brands start to do more of it and embrace content marketing within their organisations.
Content marketing, done effectively, is a competitive advantage.
RD advises on how to publish custom content in your target market.