A group of companies is on a mission to change the face of content creation and modify how brands connect with their target audience online. They are trying to make an alteration to the online news industry in such a way that can be useful to businesses seeking to promote their products and services and that too without negotiating on integrity of involved publications. Organizations like Brand.com, Newscred and Percolate are providing tools not only to create the original and interesting content but also get it distributed in meaningful ways.
Such kind of services grabs the attention of the potential investors. Percolate recently raised $24 million. Earlier this year, Newscred also raised $25 million funding (the year before it raised $15 million). Few months ago, it launched new partnerships with Visually, Getty Images and others. According to Mike Zammuto- the President of Brand.com, these types of platform companies are bringing a revolution in the online news media.
Brand.com connects news makers with publications and journalists looking for remarkable stories. It enables the news outlets to directly get into touch with the news source while maintaining the editorial content which maintains the credibility of the content. Brand.com’s platform enable the brands to describe how they want to look online and contact reporters and writers to tell their story in a more advanced way (unlike the old fashioned “press releases”. Its distribution partners include some prominent media partners like Forbes, MSNBC, CNN, The Huffington Post, Reuters, Fox News etc. To maintain the credibility, they filter the advertorial and self promotional copy which ensures that the stories are really newsworthy and valuable.
Zammuto explains, “Content creation, whether its news content of marketing content has not benefited enormously with the rise of Internet technology. The platform companies provide an opportunity for reporters to make appropriate use of the components of internet that are utmost beneficial for creating new. It creates an ecosystem that connects the reporters and publishers with news makers. In the past, news creation was limited to one on one communication. Platforms can immensely improve the efficiency and scalability.”
Native advertising is also trending immensely. This leaves some businesses perplexed whether they should skip this kind of content creation or simply follow the native ad route. Zammuto is quite clear about this topic: “Native advertising and PR – both are ineffective. Native advertising simply adds PR into the news content. That strategy doesn’t benefit the readers, reporters or editors. We want that the ultimate control should remain in the hands of reporters and editors rather than the PR middlemen cooking promotional stories. Newsmakers always want to contact the reporters and editors directly and vice versa. A platform can link them without relying on any intermediate point that dilutes the actual news.”
“We see signs of success every day. When a publisher tells us that they can access the news source directly, we add it into our basket of success. Our platform’s analytics indicate us the insights of the content- who is reading what and which is a major success for any band working with us. This was unpredictable and inefficient with conventional PR industry. The upcoming SaaS model will provide end to end analysis of news, from creation to publication to analysis of the demographics.”