Skip to content

Like It or Not, Your Content Marketing Is Channel Agnostic

What does agnostic marketing mean?

Alan Maites uses this definition:

“We make marketing decisions impartially, without inherent bias for or against any one kind of communications channel – TV, print, online, direct mail, etc.”

Okay, makes sense right?  Well, how about content marketing agnostic?

I would say the definition runs something like this:

“We make content marketing channel decisions impartially, focusing on the needs of the customer and our marketing goals, not focusing on the channels we are comfortable with or have traditionally used.  In addition, instead of focusing on the channel, we focus first on the story, and how that story should be told differently and most effectively through any and all channels available to maximize impact, engagement and results.”

Recently, I’ve stumbled across three examples of this in corporate and traditional journalism that might be helpful.

The Practice of Content Marketing Cannot Be Siloed

I gave this presentation at the Email Marketing Insider conference a few months back.

My biggest takeaway was this: the majority of email marketers at this conference did NOT have processes set up to integrate between departments when it comes to content marketing.  The email folks had a content person.  The social media folks had a content person.  PR had their own sets of content people.  Unfortunately, these folks relatively talked, and email focused on email, social on social and PR on PR.

What’s happened is we’ve built in components of content creation within the silos that have been constructed over (in some cases) decades within an organization. How can we tell our story when it’s clearly fragmented to the end user and no one is responsible for the strategic vision when it comes to content marketing (see Chief Content Officer)?

The Video Journalist Is Dead

All you video journalists out there may take offense, but this is a true statement.  Calling someone a video journalist is like calling someone a blogging journalist or an email journalist.  A journalist is a journalist, regardless of channel.

This hit home in a tour of the NewsNet5 Studios today in Cleveland.  What hit home on the tour was the fact that anyone working on a story could be working on any channel and any time…blogging, email, video shoots, behind the camera, in-person presentations, etc.  Their journalists are trained in the art of storytelling regardless of channel.  First is understanding what the story is, and then we decide how we can properly tell that story to get the proper outcomes.

The New Editorial Process in Born

New Publishing Model

The above image comes courtesy of Dan McCarthy.

The idea is this.  Corporate or traditional publishers must change their content generation process. Instead of just a content output of a print story, content creators deliver content throughout the process – tweets, photos, podcasts, content packages, etc.  Instead of one output, there may be 10, 20, or even 30 pieces of content. Readers are interested in being more involved in your brand. This opens up the hood, and lets your readers in.

In the past, we focused on the output (i.e., a story in the Wall Street Journal perhaps).  Today, we still focus on the story, but the outputs are many, and the content is generated and engaged in throughout the storytelling process.

What Does this All Mean?

  1. Someone in the organization has to be responsible to move beyond the marketing department silos.
  2. Jay Baer recently made the comparison between social media and the age of typing rooms (ala Mad Men). Remember the days when big organizations needed armies of typing specialists?  Do you see those anymore?  Nope. Jay states that we are at that point with social media.  Right now we need social media specialists.  In the future, we’ll all know how to do this, like we all know how to type today.  This idea of being content marketing agnostic is the same way.  As we become more comfortable with this concept, we’ll start to tell our stories more easily and effectively through all these channels.  Until then, we need TRAINING.
  3. Those that get this, and actively engage in storytelling techniques in this fashion, will have a significant competitive advantage over another organization not storytelling in this way.

It’s interesting what one tour conjures up.  What say you?