A new digital marketing alphabet soup noodle has been added to the broth—“CSM”. No, it’s not CMS (Content Management Systems) scrambled, but as we’ll see, CMS and CSM are related. Typically, a CMS platform fulfills the “Pull” side of the marketing funnel and content strategy, establishing a destination hub for your content. On the other hand, CSM (Content Syndication Management) platforms drive the “Push” side of your content marketing initiatives.
Yes, content marketing, one of the hottest marketing buzzwords for 2013, is evolving to be even more relevant in 2014. Content remains king, but there are two key components that can become constraints. First, acquiring content that maps back to your content strategy can be challenging, especially in today’s fast moving marketing environment. Second, even if you are able to stay on top of your content creation, it remains a challenge to establish a broad and effective platform for distribution. Not much has changed with the former, and it is essential to make sure you have identified a stable of energetic and committed thought leaders to generate content. Also, there are new technology tools, like Percolate and Outbrain, which can inform your content strategy by letting you understand audience interests and promote them in the right context. I’d say those tools are incremental innovations for marketers. However, over the past six months, some new players on the scene have cracked an important component of the content distribution side of the equation—Content Syndication Management platforms.
CSMs, like new player DistroScale, provide platforms to broadly syndicate content as—get ready for another new buzzword—native content. For example, DistroScale’s platform allows marketers to syndicate journalistic advertising content to the digital properties of national and regional news organizations. Like a native ad, the article is delineated to distinguish between editorial and advertorial content, but that delineation is subtle. Similar to display media, CSM platforms allow marketers to syndicate and optimize native content campaigns in real time. That’s a transformational innovation!
CSM may be an appropriate initiative for B2C brands, and will probably expand into B2B as well. The venerable New York Times and Atlantic Monthly have even begun to accept native content. The FTC is investigating native ads and content, but I personally doubt they will interfere with long-standing news publications that need to harness new digital ad revenue models to survive. As content marketing continues to evolve, CSM is a tasty alphabet noodle to add to your marketing soup. Mmm, mmm, good!
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