Content Marketing Task Force Created… but is this a good thing?


by Amanda Deichert

On June sixth, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, or IAB, formed two task forces to address an emerging trend in marketing. According to the IAB group page for this task force, “The first order of business will be to prepare a Content Marketing “Primer” to define the various components of the content marketing marketplace as it exists today, with visual examples.” The group hopes to have this project completed by August of this year. Members of this task force represent many top media companies including Amy Hyde from the New York Times Company, Chris Schraft from Time, Inc., and Josh Cobb from Yahoo (for a full list of task force members and member companies visit the Content Marketing Task Force).

The sister group, The Native Advertising task Force has already started meeting and is considering definitions and best practices for companies to reference when they consider using native advertising as part of their marketing plan.

Almost two weeks later, on June 18th Contently launched its new publication, a magazine called The Strategist, dedicated to content marketing. While this is not the first of its kind (see Chief Content Officer, a quarterly magazine published by the Content Marketing Institute or Content Marketing Magazine for iPad) it does help demonstrate not only the rise in popularity of this marketing tool, but also the necessity of reference materials for companies and independent professionals just familiarizing themselves with content marketing.

While content marketing is by no means a new tactic, due to the emergence of new media and new journalism practices, many ex-journalists are finding jobs writing content directly for companies – without the need to disguise it as a well-written third-party editorial. Traditionally trained journalists have to re-learn the "rules" of publishing content, which is where the IAB believes the Content Marketing Task Force comes in handy; a set of guidelines and suggestions content writers of any background can use when facing an assignment. Or, will this set of guidelines hinder creativity in an attempt to create set rules in content marketing? And, is it fair or a conflicting interest to have these top companies decide what is in and what is out? Share your thoughts below or tweet using the #crowncontentmarketing hashtag.