Welcome to Content24. What makes this different is that it’s a digest of the stories that have made an impact over the past 24 hours and not just a platform for recycled content marketing. Today we’re looking at strategies from the FT and Netflix
FT content marketing strategy changes
The FT is launching FT Squared, a new unit to bolster its content marketing effort. Brands will be offered the opportunity to publish blog posts about current news topics on the site. The main link for the piece will appear in a prominent position on the homepage alongside an image. The words ‘paid post’ will run alongside it.
Speaking about the move Dominic Good, the FT’s global advertising sales director, said: “We’re launching Squared and paid posts to show advertisers we’re serious about content marketing. We’re not racing to predict that it will become 30-plus per cent of our revenues by a certain date, but it’s an important step forward.”
Previously, content marketing options were limited to sponsored posts written and chosen by the FT, or white papers and video.
Some purists might have issues with this as an erosion of editorial values. Yet if the content is well produced, then why not? The key is the FT needs to ensure that brands adhere to its guidelines, and that the post does not turn into body copy for an ad. In short, the brand needs to get journalists to write it.
Netflix right on the button
This is a bit different. Netflix has produced a guide showing how to build a device that switches on your TV, turns off the phone and dims the lights. All so that you can enjoy an uninterrupted binge of Better Call Saul or the soap of your choice. Netflix has called it The Switch, it is literally that: a button to do all of the above in one press. Netflix even claims it will order your food.
Unfortunately – for those too lazy to turn off their mobile – it takes a bit of effort to build. Essentially, you need a RaspberryPi computer, wires, capacitors and a microcontroller, among other things. The instructions look fairly straightforward if you’re used to building Airfix planes or complicated Lego.
Bypassing the middlemen…
We thought we would mention this comment piece by Michael Farmer, chairman and chief executive of Farmer & Company in PR Week. We won’t go into detail – you can click this to do that – but in essence it is about the opportunity for ‘PR content marketing’.
In it he makes this central point, and here’s the quote: “Middlemen – journalists – could be by-passed. PR content marketing created a direct route to consumers.” Further down he admits that PR has not “mastered content marketing”. But once it does it could become the “key tool” in the marketer’s arsenal.
Obviously, this is just an opportunity to reiterate what we’ve been saying all along. Content marketing needs to be accomplished by journalists. If you are not using them for content marketing, then you may find it is you who is being bypassed – by the consumer.
For more on what we think, look here.