Content Activism Can Help Brands Shape A Positive Future

Brands are utilizing content to align themselves with the key issues of our time. Consumers want to know more about the products and businesses they use. Brands, businesses and organizations are intrinsically involved in delivering a positive future. Content marketing is an effective way to talk about their role and why it's important.

As platform boundaries continue to merge and evolve, everyone has the ability, by virtue of partners like Twitter and Facebook, among others, to broadcast their message. Innovation is a requirement for success.

Within the international media industry, what began as native advertising has grown into content marketing or branded solutions.

At its most basic, content marketing is simply a bigger canvas for brands to develop a narrative, but more recently, the narrative has changed from just product or services to include ethics and principles. We’re asking 'how' more than ever. As conversations develop around profit vs. purpose or inclusive capitalism, what they do creates brand value, preference and differentiation.



Successful brands drive economic growth, a requirement to drive substantive change. The relationship between brands and society has never been closer, reflected in the major theme at Davos: "Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World."

With a changed stakeholder relationship, it’s natural that brands want to talk about the critical role they play in diversity and inclusion, a clean energy future, digital disruption, healthcare innovation and responsible investing. The resources and intellectual property that exist within the FTSE, DAX and CAC assure them a voice — one that should be actively embraced and engaged.

Content marketing isn’t a strategy outright, but can be a critical component of any communications.

The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation is an example. Partnering with The Economist Group, it created the Food Sustainability Index, measuring the sustainability of food systems worldwide. The Index provided informative content encouraging dialogue and debate around the coexistence of hunger and obesity, the over-exploitation of natural resources, and food waste.

This was complemented by more "traditional" techniques within a highly credible environment. Barilla delivered value that complemented its objective of becoming an authoritative voice on issues of food sustainability, a topic that impacts everyone.

Providing the right environments for an organization to talk about its values, as well as its products and services is critical.

In a post-truth world, content surfaced within quality editorial environments allows audiences to feel confident that a similar level of diligence and attention has been applied to the facts. Being comfortable with trust isn’t always a given. Labeling is important and transparency is everything.

That said, brands can and should be thought leaders in their own right — the knowledge they have about their industries and sectors is unquestionable. They are also developing AI solutions and applying 5G capability to technologies, breaking ground that will prove transformational. We all want to know how it is being applied for the greater good.  

Newsrooms talk about defining topics every day. Content marketing studios give brands the same opportunity.

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