Earlier this year, San Francisco PR agency LaunchSquad doubled down on content marketing — instead of going the traditional route and poaching an editor from Fast Company, they decided to break off their content team into an entirely new content marketing agency, Original9 Media.
Launchsquad tapped its editorial director, Jeff Davis, to lead Original9, hoping that his experience as founder of Business 2.0 magazine and executive editor of BNET would bring big results.
Three months after Original9’s launch, Davis finds himself honing in on the B2B market.
He recently sat down with The Content Strategist to reveal why he’s betting all his chips on content marketing.
So, why’d you decide to start Original9 Media?
More and more clients [at Launchsquad] were depending more and more on blogs and other content programs to complete an overall successful marketing program. So the move to create Original 9 really evolved out of a huge opportunity for companies to become brand publishers.
How do you convince those brands that investing in content marketing is a smart bet?
Content over the long haul can be a much more cost-effective means of reaching and engaging the audience you’re trying to reach. Content marketing means that companies can own [an audience] instead of renting it — you know, when companies are simply writing big checks to sponsor something and have access to an audience temporarily.
In the fast-evolving world of business media, companies have the chance to create, publish, and own content, build and engage their own audiences, and then have much more control over the whole enterprise.
Where do you think the trend of brand as publisher is going to go over the next 5 years?
I think one interesting sort of part of the market, and one where we’re looking, is in the world of B2B [Business To Business]. They’re a little further behind their consumer brands and consumer companies in terms of their ability, and the tools and skills it takes to leverage content strategically, whether that’s a blog or video, or white papers. There’s a huge demand.
In every industry and every vertical, the demand for industry intelligence, industry news, and industry insight is on the rise. At the same time, the traditional vehicle to that content, trade publications and trade magazines, are in a gradual, marked decline.
And so looking down the road in terms of brand publishing and the B2B market, [there’s] tremendous opportunity for smart, ambitious players to sort of step up into that void and become providers of great content that trade publications simply aren’t modeled to provide any longer.