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Content Marketing

Facebook's move into publishing is 'dangerous, but interesting' says News UK commercial content director

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By Gillian West, Social media manager

July 23, 2015 | 4 min read

In March of this year the New York Times revealed that Facebook was in talks with a dozen or so publishers including Buzzfeed and National Geographic to host their content directly on the platform, a move that Tiffanie Darke, commercial content director at News UK has deemed “dangerous, but interesting.”

Speaking to The Drum, Darke, who is serving as a judge at this year’s The Drum Content Awards, hailed the partnership as the biggest milestone in the world of content of the last 12 months.

The idea behind the move is that publishers’ content would load quicker – particularly on mobile – inside Facebook’s platform. However, a lack of control has been cited by many publishers as a sticking point, not least by Darke’s own colleague, News UK chief marketing officer, Chris Duncan who previously told The Drum publishers handing their content to sites like Facebook to distribute freely was an act of ‘vanity’.

As the lines between content creator and publisher blur Darke said the future of content lies in not only being engaging but also “useful, provocative or entertaining”.

“The future of content in in curation,” she explained. “How do you tailor the content you want to see, and how do you allow yourself the serendipity to discover content you might want to see. Equally, how do you screen out the noise?”

With fellow judge Will Barnett, executive creative director at Adjust Your Set, admitting the term content is still very much a catchall, strong branded content can still be very hard to come by with Darke throwing shade at “practically every banking website in the world” for producing some of the worst content marketing and branded entertainment.

“They just don’t speak their customers’ language,” she offered by way of explanation, adding that brands that take the quick fix and run to vloggers, though good for sales, are left with content that is “rarely anything to should about.”

On the flipside, The Lego Movie “has to be the best example of branded content” with Darke revealing a penchant for “digital companies who diversify into print when then need a bit of a luxury boost.”

“Airbnb’s Pineapple magazine is one example,” said Darke. “Net-A-Porter’s Porter is another.

“I also like what Paddy Power does on social because it is so aligned to its core values – witty, reactive and daring.”

As a judge at The Content Awards Darke revealed “imagination” will be top of her list on judging day with “work that puts the reader/consumer/audience first, before the brand, and before the publisher” likely to be a winner in her eyes.

Of the worst faux pas entrants could make she joked “don’t leave your name off the entry.”

The Drum Content Awards are open for entry until Friday 7 August with the winners to be announced on Wednesday 18 November 2015 at the Emirates Stadium, London. For more information on the awards, judges and how to enter visit The Drum Content Awards website.

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