There’s a guy named Joe Pulizzi who runs something called the Content Marketing Institute. If you want to tell your brand story with content — and not only should you, you have to — Joe’s pretty much the world’s living expert on doing that. He posted on LinkedIn today pointing out that ESPN has just shut down its excellent long-form journalism site, Grantland. Joe asks: why doesn’t Nike or UnderArmour buy and run it?
His point is that those companies — and we’d add others like Garmin or Fitbit or even Samsung — want to attract precisely the audience that Grantland was speaking to. If brands are about stories, and they are, the kinds of stories that Grantland tells will drive eyeballs to the site and hearts to the brand.
The estimates are that Grantland was getting 5 million visitors per month. Pulizzi says that Nike spends $8 million per day on marketing and advertising. The cost of running Grantland would be rounding error, and anyone who owns it will own a reader and a content asset that keeps on giving, as opposed to a 30-second TV spot that’s gone in a blink.
We’re in the content business, so it’s not surprising that we think all companies should be using content to attract audiences. Grantland is a big bite to chew off, so it’s right for the biggest companies only. But those companies are there: UnderArmour, Fitbit, Garmin, and Samsung should all start the week by calling ESPN President John Skipper. He’s in Bristol, Connecticut. But act fast before all the writers find other gigs, which they will because they’re good.
The rest of you who want content around your brand? You should follow this link. Thanks.