In April, a cadre of 200 publishers and advertising specialists gathered in New York’s Bowery Hotel for Contently’s Social Content Summit, which featured insights from nine professionals who have emboldened their brands through unique content and social media.
Contently co-founder Shane Snow sat down with each panelist to discuss the future of content marketing and social media. This is the seventh in a nine-video series sharing some of the day’s learnings.
Mark Howard, senior vice president of digital advertising strategy at Forbes Media, is what you would call a content marketing early adopter. Even before the creation of Forbes’ BrandVoice program, Howard has been perfecting a balance of publication and brand interests for over three years, during which time he has learned that “authenticity is key.”
Forbes maintains the authenticity of their content with three guidelines. First, all content needs to be relevant to the content environment, material that readers actually care about, and that Forbes writers are interested in writing. Second, the content needs to be “about a narrative and not a pitch.” Readers don’t want a pitch; they want information that adds value to their lives. And the third guideline is that transparency is a must. Each piece of brand-sponsored content is surrounded by information describing what it is, where it comes from, and who is sponsoring it.