Last week during London Tech Week, Hackney House hosted a panel on brands as publishers with WP Engine’s Mary Ellen Dugan, Forbes’ Paul Mikhailoff, and Virgin Media’s Scott Wilkinson, moderated by the Digital Agenda’s Julian Blake. Here are some prominent takeaways from the insightful panel.

Brands Need A Unique Perspective

Brands today need to be involved in publishing because audiences are much more connected than ever before, according to Mikhailoff. The audience is ready to engage, and brands must be prepared to be part of that conversation. With that, they need a point of view and a unique perspective, Dugan emphasized.

In addition, brands need their own content to have a voice and engage with their audience, and it needs to be consistent and continuous to build customer loyalty.

Create content for your audience

Brands constantly need to grapple with the perception that their content has an agenda and deliver content in an organic and genuine way. Audiences are (rightfully) skeptical of content that comes from brands. Mikhailoff urges brands to move away from ‘salesly’ content, and instead start publishing content for their audiences by building up their employees as thought leaders. Mikhailoff notes this as some of the best content he’s seen.

WordPress empowers brands

The challenge many brands face is the complexity in creating content all the time.
WordPress makes it incredibly easy to create amazing content and get it published right away, Dugan said. There is a wide scope of how people use WordPress. It’s the CMO of tomorrow who is using WordPress. It allows them to put the content at the core of their company, with everything else moving around that point.

Marketers need to take an Omnichannel approach

The platforms from which content is consumed are changing. Brands need to take an omnichannel approach when marketing content. Wilkinson emphasized the potential opened up by mobile, noting that if your content is decent, then in theory you have double the opportunity to share it.

“It’s another location where media is consumed [and] it’s consumed all day. You’re never not doing anything,“ Wilkinson said.

Mobile has really challenged us in how clear, innovative, and concise we can be, Dugan said. “As marketers, your starting point has to be mobile,” she said. Wilkinson talked about the importance of understanding the headspace of your audience.

This means you have to think about which type of content you’re publishing and sharing at which time of day.

In summary, as brands, content needs to be at the center of your strategy to have a voice, a perspective and a place to engage in conversation with your audience.