- Inc.’s profile of Coinbase co-founder Brian Armstrong is an interesting window into how companies can use publishing to create narratives.
- Salesforce+ is chugging along: Now, Vox Media has signed a deal to put the Pivot podcast on the brand’s publishing platform.
- Carta demonstrates how brands can use data and research to create compelling content with the launch of a new Equity report.
- Agencies are in the business of selling expertise and guidance, but are largely failing to demonstrate it successfully via content and publishing initiatives.
Coinbase’s content approach
Inc. profiled Brian Armstrong, the co-founder of crypto trading platform Coinbase, and has big plans to create an inclusive global financial system. Particularly interesting here is how Coinbase has approached the crypto narrative: “Coinbase’s approach has been predicated on normalizing crypto, in part by embracing regulation. The company boasts of a “culture of compliance,” in effect seeking permission before the fact in contrast to tech’s historic approach of asking for forgiveness if challenged by authorities. The idea is to convince financial institutions and their customers — the mass market — that Coinbase is the most trusted company in the space. The somewhat conflicting message: Trust us–you can go trustless
It’s particularly notable in the context of how Coinbase has approached content. Coinbase this year launched its own publication, FactCheck, in an effort to counterbalance what it perceived as biased press and media coverage against it and crypto, specifically. This profile is a window into how the company perceives the role of content: To create and control the narrative about cryptocurrencies. It’s one prevalent among many companies dabbling in web3 in general, or really any burgeoning or new technology. If certain habits and technologies need to be normalized, content can be a powerful way to get it done.
Salesforce+ makes moves
In August, Salesforce announced a new business video streaming service — the “Netflix of business content” — called Salesforce+. The idea was that it would produce its own content and partner with others to do the same, and build a broad publishing and content platform. It is a large-scale play with a full reporting and editing staff, and a studio.
This week, Salesfore and Vox Media announced that the Kara Swisher-Scott Galloway podcast, Pivot, would now be available on Salesforce+, via video. It’s a move that offers more distribution for Pivot, and creates content for Salesforce+, adding to its slate of business shows and series. (Salesforce is now the presenting sponsor for Pivot, while Vox retains editorial control over the program.) Plus, Dreamforce, the company’s massive conference, is on the road, with a New York show that started Friday and is being covered live on Salesforce+. This is probably the most ambitious brand publishing operation to data, and worth taking notes on.
How Carta uses data to create content
Fintech company Carta held an Equity Summit last week, inviting speakers like Tristan Walker, Gwyneth Paltrow, Harry Stebbings and founders and VCs across key areas like sports, healthcare and climate. It also used the event to unveil the 2021 Carta Equity Report, focusing on the state of equity ownership, its fourth-such research report that analyzes how equity is distributed by gender, race and ethnicity. This year, it said it was able to use its own growth as a way to expand its data set: “For the first time, we have enough data to report on the intersection of gender, race, and ethnicity for certain questions. In a year that’s seen huge social changes—including the Great Resignation and the outsized impact of COVID on women and people of color—intersectionality is a critical focus.”
As we’ve written about before, events can be a powerful way for brand publishers to bring their content to life — particularly when panels and speakers can be leveraged to create more written content as well. It’s also effective when companies use their own data and research chops to create content, as Carta has done with its equity report — another place where brands are poised to have a leg up over “traditional” media.
Agencies are missing out on brand publishing opportunities
Barring a few key exceptions, few ad agencies are investing meaningfully in content and publishing efforts beyond the odd blog post, special report or “year in review.” Many are creating content, but keeping it firmly in the private realm, for client or internal eyes only. As a result, they’re missing a real opportunity to grow their businesses and their stature in the industry, and increasingly run the risk of losing mindshare in a market that demands that partners are true experts, not just hands on keyboards. Read more about why more agencies need to capitalize on brand publishing.