When it comes to marketing content creation and getting articles published in major trade publications, it would see editors and marketing content creators are on different sides of the fence. However, the reality is they need us as much as we need them.
Whereas publications once had several editors and writers years ago, today many have no writers, just one editor and an assistant running the entire publication’s operation. This means they need marketing content creators to provide quality content to fill their publications and provide quality content for their readers.
When publication readers read credible information in a credible publication, it educates and helps readers in their own business operations. The result: it can have a very influential impact on viewers and these viewers are much more likely to look into the product or service discussed in the article. This is the goal of marketing content creation.
Marketing Content Creation and the Thin Line
However, bear in mind it’s a very thin line both parties must walk. In most cases, the editor does not welcome an article that openly discusses the virtues, benefits, and features of the client’s products. That’s a form of advertising, sometimes called an “advertorial” and more recently referred to as branded articles or “native advertising.” Publications charge for content like this no matter what the form. That’s how they make money.
On the other side of the fence, content creators wants to get his/her client’s article in the publication. This is referred to as “earned media.” They also want to be sure the virtues and benefits of the client’s products are made clear in the article. It sounds like it could be a tough act to put together, but there are both subtle and even direct ways that work for both parties. Among them are the following:
Marketing Content bylined by the Client
Many publications actually prefer this. Then the client becomes the expert, the “thought leader” as they say. Editors like to have thought leaders writing for them; the client likes to be viewed as a thought leader; and in the process one of their products is referenced in a tactful, subtle way.
Quotes from the client
This tactic is not as popular among editors, and some publications will ask to have two or more people quoted in an article; however, it can be an effective way to brand your client as a thought leader.
Quotes from an influencer
Recently I wrote an article for a client in a trade publication and found an independent and respected industry expert – an influncer – discussing and praising the clients key products. There is nothing more powerful than in promoting a product than to have an expert discuss its virtues.
Become the observer
Here, the article is placed under a third person’s name. This third person describes a problem explains how a product, tool, or equipment addressed and corrected the problem. And guess just whose product solved the problem?
Offer a case study
Some publications like case studies. The editor wants the marketing content creator to discuss an operational problem at a school, for instance, bring in as many facts and figures as possible, and then conclude with how the situation was addressed and corrected. Again, it’s the client’s products to the rescue.
Some editors really like articles in a question and answer format. It’s the easiest way to turn a client into an expert and by providing powerful, educational, and credible answers, it helps brand the client, builds loyalty and trust, which we believe will turn into sales.
Editors are always asking for new ideas. They want something new to discuss. Because of this, they are always turning to marketing content creators to come up with something new, a new angle on an old topic,or,, and best of all, something none of their competing publications have ever written about before.
Images have power
This approach can work wonders with a very critical editor. Some editors not only will not allow any mention or reference to a product in articles submitted, and also do not want the article to quote a manufacturer (or client). What they will allow, however, is pictures of the client’s products tackling the issues being discussed in the article. This means marketing content creation can also include images. Interestingly, I have found some clients really like this. Their products are their “babies” and they love seeing them in print or online.