James Anderson is Director of Content Marketing at BringMeTheNews.com
Earlier this month Lewis Dvorkin of Forbes Magazine wrote an article titled “Inside Forbes: The birth of Brand Journalism and Why it’s Good for the News Business,” where he highlighted some changes to Forbes’ advertising model — essentially that they offer a content marketing element that they call the “BrandVoice.”
I forwarded the article to a few colleagues, happy to point out that what we do every day for our clients is something a publication as respectable as Forbes Magazine actually makes a point of writing about.
By now most of our readers know the history at BringMeTheNews: Founded by former investigative journalist and TV anchor Rick Kupchella, we scour the headlines and social media day in and day out to filter, contextualize, and share news that is of specific interest to a Minnesota audience. Whether you are on a computer, tablet or mobile phone … or in your car listening to one of our 38 affiliate radio stations … or browsing social media: We find the news, we make sense of the news, we bring the news.
That defines the news side in a nutshell, but how much do our readers really know about the advertising side of our business? We’re very different from other local news outlets in this regard. Here’s a rundown:
We’re big on content marketing, a concept that is quickly picking up steam in the marketing and advertising world. What does it mean? It means that, as a reader, you’ll find content on our site that is produced or shared by one of our sponsors. The key here — as at Forbes — is that you’ll find this sponsored content so useful, informative and engaging, that it will often times appear among the most read stories on our site.
Take for example a recent article by our sponsor Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota:
“Noell’s Story: The danger of one bite” was one of the top stories on our site from when it was first posted on our site on Sept. 29 and re-posted on Oct. 1. The story links to a Children’s Hospitals and Clinic’s company blog post about a girl who suffers from food allergies. The blog post is content that Children’s staff created internally. They already know their message and their audience. We just helped send thousands more clicks their way over the course of four days (two of which were a weekend.)
This story was the second-highest engaged story on our site during this time period.
So as Dvorkin sees at Forbes — and what we have been preaching for years — is that good content drives readers. Period. A deep, thoughtful story — even a blog post — will always win out over a pop-up ad or flashing website banner.
At Forbes, they’ve built what they call “BrandVoice,” the content marketing arm within the magazine’s advertising department. They’re going as far as to calling it the “Brand Newsroom” where trained journalists create and curate content on behalf of select sponsors.
At BringMeTheNews, we’re already doing that. It’s all we do, day in and day out, on behalf of our sponsors. And sponsors like Children’s Hospitals and Clinics are seeing tremendous results.