Every Company Should be in the Publishing Business

July 15, 2011


The eTrade baby taught us we don’t need a stockbroker to trade stocks.  Online Banking has shown us we don’t need a banker to transfer funds.  And internet technology is teaching us you don’t need a publishing medium to spread your word to the world.  In fact, you can create your own quality content using these tips and examples.

In the days of old (which were not too long ago) the circulation of information was a multi-stepped process involving writers, editors, publishers, distributors and vendors.   It was rare for one organization to control all these steps, but rather a company would hire-out parts of the distribution process (were you ever a paper-boy?). 

The New York Times recently published an article about luxury companies, like Richemont and Burberry, publishing their own content and skipping the middle-man.  Traditionally, to distribute quality content, brands had to advertise in magazines and would pray their product received an editorial by impressing the editors.  Now, these companies don’t really need magazines and can effectively create content with the abundant options available on the web.  For example, Burberry live-streamed a Milan fashion show and allowed online viewers to immediately purchase clothing items via their website. Talk about publishing creatively!

Companies have quickly learned they can’t always promulgate content acting as another advertising device or coupon blast.  Consumers are exposed to nearly 3,500 advertisements every day and don’t want to subject themselves to more of it.  For this reason, company blogs need to be entertaining and worth the time of their busy customers. 

A Thousand Words, Kodak’s company blog, does a fantastic job at combining entertainment and branding.  They don’t treat the blog as a news release informing the public about a new camera or printer.  Instead, Kodak blogs about being passionate photographers, a topic intriguing millions of people worldwide.  Kodak engages these customers by writing valuable photography advice that enthusiasts can really relate to.

While a reader of 1000 words might not rush out and buy the most expensive Kodak camera on the market, when it’s time to buy a new camera, Kodak’s name will be in the front of their mind.  This whole idea is the thesis behind inbound marketing, which espouses that it’s best to pull prospects in with a relevant message about something they’re curious about.  It could pay off right then or months down the line.

Here at NMC we blog about industry news, web advice, and other nifty happenings.  We’ve had success and have generated real revenue from blogging about topics that don’t directly relate to our company.

Here’s a few ways to easily publish quality, engaging content:

  1. Social media

    This is almost a no-brainer in today’s times.  Content produced on social networks engages consumers, distributes information with almost no cost, and has the potential to go viral. If you’re not creating content on your social networks, do so as soon as possible.  Having a Facebook page without publishing is like owning a car and never driving it; you go nowhere. 

  2. Infographics


    These graphic devices have recently become extremely popular across the web and are a great way to visually depicte complex data.  Visual.ly is a great community for sharing interesting infographics and a fantastic place begin learning. Try Inkscape for a free vector graphic editor similar to Adobe Illustrator when you’re ready to create your own.

  3. Video Interviews

    Technology is awesome.  Video blogs and customer testimonials can communicate your message more effectively than a block of text.  Today, you can create high quality videos straight from your Smartphone for almost no investment.  Check out this link on how to create a video blog with your iPhone. 

  4. Free eBooks

    If you’ve got a lot to say, an eBook could be the perfect medium in which to do it.  Lulu is commission-based service that allows you to publish, market, and sell your eBook online.

  5. White papers

    White papers are often used by companies to highlight specific services or products.  They are usually used as a sales tool and contain clear, concise arguments to convince clients that your business is right for them.  Click here to read a great post to aid you in writing a white paper.  

With today’s enormous availability of publishing mediums, it’s almost hard not to publish.  Across the internet there is a multitude of free applications and programs to assist you in spreading your message.  All of these tips provide an easy way to draw people in and because it’s published in-house it only costs you time. 

Whatever happens remember, above all else, content must be interesting.  Convince your customer it’s worth the read. Published content doesn’t have to directly pertain to your business, but it should be stimulating to those who potentially could use your business.  When this is done, next time they’re thinking about your industry, your business will pop into their head first.  What are some other ways your business publishes its own content? 


Clay Schossow's avatar
Clay Schossow NMC team member

Great tips! I love "content improvement" or "content optimization" -- much less intimidating to a client when they realize they can tweak their existing copy rather than come up with a new "strategy," which sounds intense and expensive.

Dan Toombs's avatar
Dan Toombs
Great post Nick

Couldn't agree more. We work mostly with law firms around their online marketing strategy and when we talk "content," their perennial question always is, "what, we're lawyers not writers, or videographers." In response, we usually start by looking at the heaps of long tail searches that are turning up their firm and of course, the usually high bounce rate on the corresponding pages. We then talk about "content improvement" as opposed to scaring them with "strategy" which sounds like work. Incremental content improvement and innovation is achievable. Hadn't heard too much about infographics, so, thanks for the heads up


Leave a comment