Who’s a publisher these days? I know Oxford University Press are, and I know Pearson are, but they publish books, that’s traditional publishing. I wouldn’t have necessarily put Coca-Cola or Pepsi in the publishing bracket, but it’s more than likely that they publish more information than any traditional publisher does.
There have been so many telling examples where content has allowed a company to elevate itself above their competitors, but my personal favourite has to be AirBnB’s travel guides - you can scrawl through every one of their twenty-one guides and you’ll not come across the word ‘rent’ anywhere. This is pure content marketing - it’s a gentle push in the right direction for the consumer, not a full on assault.
The bar for these newfound publishers is, as it should be, incredibly high - I even saw a quote by Jay Baer where he says published content should be judged by the question -‘Are you more interesting to me than my wife?’
This may have been meant in jest, but content is not a fleeting interest for major companies. It’s more about having the best answer rather than an answer now, as everyone has one of those. In fact, as consumers we’re inundated with answers, we need to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff quickly, which is why being a good publisher is so important for the modern day corporation.
If a company is good at what it does, you can guarantee that they’re publishing content. The line that was once drawn between the consumer and their audience has merged so much throughout the last decade that failing to publish engaging content is tantamount to failure. The consumer has taken to the Information Society like a duck to water - they no longer want content, they demand it. As Lee Odden puts it; ‘content isn’t the king, it’s the kingdom’.