Late last year we learned that Jaguar Land Rover had commissioned a new book by William Boyd in the UK. Meanwhile in the US, bags and cups from the popular fast food chain Chipotle would be graced by exclusive short stories by writers including Jonathan Safran-Foer and Toni Morrison. Both were initiatives that garnered a lot of publicity for the writers and brands themselves when they were announced. But they are also a signal of what the publishing industry has to offer a wider and more important business trend: content marketing.
Content marketing has been a buzz phrase in the marketing industry for several years, but hinges on the assumption that consumers are more likely to like what a brand has to say for itself if it produces interesting content. This (with hindsight) rather obvious point presents interesting opportunities to authors, agents and publishers. After all, they are the people with the expertise in creating, selling and commissioning content that readers want to read. So why shouldn’t they increase their earning power by selling this expertise to the brands who want quality content?
As brands wake up to the fact that creating sticky content involves commissioning it from people who genuinely understand how it works, we can expect to see more books and stories originate from content marketing campaigns.