April 4, 2011 By blogging

Social Media Trend: Brands Becoming Media

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We’d like to use the integratePR blog today to discuss an interesting trend developing in the digital world. We’ve seen it both in the news and in conversations with clients; brands are actually becoming media generators themselves, rather than names that leverage media.

So what does that mean? Brands are investing their time and money in editors, producers, social media managers and other functions to develop content that changes the perception and role of their brand. They are becoming lifestyle content creators as both a way to build their brand perception as well as a creative SEO strategy.

By associating company activity solely with the brand, you give your content a better chance of being consumed by target audiences. Active engagement, and the consumption or content can make you more than a brand.

An example of this includes the fashion label Tory Burch hiring InStyle editor Honor Brodie as the editor in chief of their blog. The position was not only newly created within the company, but it also resulted in a shift in the way the label was perceived thanks to the new content-rich blog.

Previously thought of as no more than a brand name for ballet flats, Tory Burch is now a lifestyle brand. As editor in chief, Brodie developed daily content for the blog—which has now become a website all its own—to engage the target audience. This worked wonderfully for a brand like Tory Burch that has the resources to hire a TRUE writer.

One of our consumer ecommerce clients (to remain unnamed in this circumstance) asked us over the weekend if they should follow this same strategy and create a blog, discussing lifestyle topics their audience could relate to and learn from. While this is great strategy for a lifestyle brand, in their situation, we highly advised against this, as they have limited resources and time; at this point they are better equipped to focus on what they know, rather than try to lure in audiences through other lifestyle elements.

With social media, consumers are not forced to think about the brand and the company as separate entities. If Twitter makes an announcement via their company account, target audiences will see the announcement as “Twitter says…”, rather than “the CEO of Twitter…”.

So as you look to social media and blogging think about this: do you want to be thought of as a brand, or as a media? If you want to be thought of as a media outlet, then keep in mind that you need quality content, time and the resources to make this work effectively, and it CAN.