A global approach and an enhanced network of media outlets mark a milestone for our custom content and distribution service. An AP director explains our strategy for this service and the trends she’s seeing in content marketing across the publishing and advertising industries.
We’ve enhanced our custom content and distribution service.
To learn more about our content marketing capabilities, I asked Elisabeth Sugy, the director of AP Content Services, about the strategy behind the service and the trends she’s seeing in the industry.
Content marketing isn’t really a new topic anymore, but that’s not to say that anyone has found the perfect solution. What changes have you seen in how brands are using it?
The public is bombarded with content and consumers are savvier now about what warrants their attention. To capture the minds of their audiences, companies are becoming more creative in identifying opportunities to revamp content on their own web properties, as well as creating content that can be published on other sites to increase brand awareness.
If brands are going to invest in creating content, they might as well create something for a specific purpose that will resonate with their target audience. There’s no reason to randomly create stories in a vacuum anymore.
What is AP Content Services?
This is the latest evolution in our content marketing efforts, building upon the success of the photo and video assignments we’ve executed for years. Now, we’re a full-service agency within AP, offering 360-degree capabilities, including strategy, distribution, project management and measurement, plus the creation of text, video, photo and graphic content.
Also, we now have a growing publisher distribution network with premier digital properties across the U.S. that can easily display the content we’re creating through native advertising on their sites.
Coupled with distribution on our own channels, which are valuable in their own right, we’re able to provide clients with significantly increased viewership of their content. If you’re investing in creating the content, you should invest in ensuring it’s seen, too.
What’s a recent example you’d like to highlight?
Even though we operate independently from AP’s newsroom, we’ve very much in tune with the types of stories being created by the newsroom and the interesting angles they’re pursuing. We have a network of freelance writers, photographers, videographers and graphic designers around the world who have a deep knowledge of the thematic and geographical areas they cover.
Our team in Japan, for example, recently consulted with a former AP video journalist who started his own company in the country to develop a storyboard for the Mie Prefecture Tourism Board. With the goal of promoting tourism to the area to a savvy, well-traveled American audience, we created a series of videos for the Board and promoted traveling to Japan across our channels.
We wanted to convey the diversity of the country’s culture that’s unknown to most. We developed an interesting piece on the Ama divers — these women pearl divers — and the preparations they have to take. I had never heard of them…
What are your upcoming plans?
Starting this month and continuing into the fall, we’ll be working with a major health insurance company to produce content on five topics around Medicare, including one on how big data is saving health care and people’s lives. It’s a timely topic, given the election, and we’re excited that the content we create for our client will appear on their platforms, ours, and those of our member publishers and broadcasters.
We know the companies we work with already produce quality content, but what appealed to them about AP was our credibility and expertise as the world’s largest news organization — and our ability to provide an educated point of view that’s different from their own.
Jake is the text and multimedia product manager at The Associated Press and the former editor of Insights. He previously covered college sports as a reporter for AP and helped design its multi-year strategic plan.