Late last week, Forbes made headlines when it announced that it was being acquired by Hong Kong-based Integrated Whale Media Investments after nearly a year on the market. Although it will mostly be business as usual for the publication following the acquisition, Lewis DVorkin, Forbes’ chief product officer, recently indicated that several major changes loom on the horizon. In publishing circles, Forbes is a trend-setting brand that many other major business and other publications take inspiration from. When it shifted to a contributor-driven model several years ago, many other outlets followed suit. And when Forbes started limiting contributions over the past year to improve the quality of content, other publications, like GigaOm, have followed that lead. Here are four key takeaways from DVorkin’s commentary on upcoming changes that may have far-reaching implications for the media landscape and PR strategies:
1. Native Advertising
Already a pioneer in native advertising with more than 50 marketers creating content for Forbes.com, native advertising will play an even greater role for the publication moving forward and will be more tightly integrated. This will likely mean an even blurrier line between editorial and paid content in its magazine, site and mobile experience. If other media outlets see the revenues Forbes generates from new native ads without a major backlash from readers, you can bet that we’ll see more publications exploring native advertising as well. Further, brands looking to amplify media coverage and reach an executive audience should consider exploring native advertising opportunities with the outlet.
2. New Verticals
The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D served as a prominent example of a business publication extending into a specific vertical market and Forbes seems poised to follow. The initiative will start with ForbesLife, a luxury technology site that launches in September. More vertical outlets will follow soon after, which will mean more earned media opportunities for your brand.
Forbes is repackaging content written by staffers as eBooks and also allowing contributors to create their own. As Forbes understands the power of creating consumable and sharable content more than almost any other media brand, this is an excellent proof point that eBooks created for marketing purposes are hitting the mainstream. Marketers should take a page out of Forbes playbook to create eBooks as an integral part of their top-of-funnel content strategy.
Business publications are all trying to figure out video in light of the fact that Cisco expects it to top 79 percent of all internet traffic in 2018. To capitalize on this trend, Forbes will begin creating exclusive videos, both as standalone stories and as an extension of print and Web articles. Video is a powerful form of content, and it’s about time that Forbes embraced it. If your brand isn’t already creating video content, now is the time.
Forbes’ evolution shows that even the biggest media behemoths need to change with the times and interact with readers and customers on their own terms. Over the past four years, Forbes has proven that an innovative approach to content creation is the best path to build mindshare and revenues. Read More: The Press Isn’t Picking Up Your Company’s Story? Take Matters into Your Own Hands.
In The Evolution of PR, Content Marketing and Blogging, we cover: – The ongoing changes in the world of PR – The principles of content marketing for tech companies – Important blogging strategies – How to use press releases for more than just brand-building Download