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Digital publishing is changing the face of advertising. The simple ad is being replaced by branded content and content marketing. Advertisers see real value in branded content and are looking for sources to create it. That’s where you as a publisher can step in to offer advertisers ways to create and use branded content.

According to a survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, 72 percent of marketers think branded content is more effective than magazine advertising, and 62 percent see it as more effective than advertising on television. Respondents also said they outsource about 51 percent of their print content-branding initiatives and 31 percent of their electronic-branded content.

This trend is part of the larger movement toward content marketing:

  • Sixty percent of surveyed business-to-business marketing personnel plan to spend more money on content marketing in 2012.
  • On average, the marketing respondents allocate 26 percent of their total budget to content marketing initiatives.

The reason more and more marketers are embracing branded content is that it doesn’t just tout the advertiser’s company. Instead, the advertiser provides valuable content about and for the industry in general, developing an image as a credible resource and thought leader.

To take advantage of the content marketing trend, publishers of trade, regional and association magazines should be thinking about things they can offer advertisers who want to use branded content:

  • Creating content (e.g., case studies, white papers and multimedia presentations)
  • Including branded content as a value add through Quick Response (QR) codes embedded in the publication
  • Including the content in digital or mobile editions of the publication
  • Helping advertisers with their content branding through blogs and social media networks

Branded content and content marketing are only going to get more important and popular in the foreseeable future. The trend offers publishers great opportunities for increasing revenue and offers advertisers new ways to connect with readers. Will you be able to steer your customers in the right way to take advantage of the opportunities that this trend provides?