The Do’s and Don’ts of Brand Publishing

Create compelling, engaging, viral content. Understanding the goal is easy. Reaching it is harder. By Melissa Kitson.

While few doubt the value of good content, there are scarce guidelines on how to actually create interesting, shareable content.

To provide some guidance, Newsmodo has put together a few dos and don’ts of brand publishing.

DON’T talk about yourself (too much)

Brand publishing is an opportunity to engage your audience and build a reputation as a credible source of news and information. Readers are savvy. If they sense a sales agenda, they will switch off. Remember: Good content does not need a slogan.

DO create exclusive content

The most successful examples of brand journalism are from brands who don’t just report the news – they are the news. Take for instance Red Bull’s Felix Baumgartner stunt. Red Bull Media House carefully documented the journey of the skydiver as he attempted the longest free fall in history by jumping from outer space. His final descent was the watched in real time by 9 million people across the world. Even legacy media covered the event.

DON’T think about the pieces. Think about the whole.

Brand publishing requires commitment. Developing a content strategy across the editorial calendar will provide greater traction and build a stronger readership. Consider ANZ’s BlueNotes. Instead of creating discrete content, the ANZ bank developed an entirely new platform, hosting regularly updated pieces on the economy, finance and business.

DO show your expertise

Knowledge is an asset. While a reader may switch off if you try to sell them a car, they might be interested in the history of the automotive vehicle (in one colourful infogram?), how changes to engine efficiency are making cars faster or what the future holds for automotive technology (and why it will change driving forever).

DON’T be afraid to use emotion

Emotion, particularly emotive headlines give context to content. They say: Read this because it will make you feel sad/inspired/angry. There is no reason why ‘serious’ companies can’t use emotive language. The trick is in finding the right tone – one that is in keeping with a brand’s image that still has an emotional pull.

DO use professional editors and journalists

Brand publishing can be daunting. Collaborating with a professional editorial team can help a brand find a happy balance between what readers want and what they want to say. Don’t underestimate the value of an eagle-eyed editor!

Follow Melissa Kitson on Twitter @mnkitson