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Best practice for brand publishers

4 min read - by Stuart Constable - Head of Copy and Content

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be aware that third-party cookies are in the firing line.

Many browsers have already disabled these cookies, but the true death knell will be when Google Chrome removes these cookies. That’s now planned to happen at the end of 2023 and will mean that at least 87% of browser users will not allow third-party cookies.

We’ve recently written a blog that discusses the implications of this move, and how brands must find new ways to gain access to data. One such strategy will be to increase access to first-party data, and becoming a brand publisher could be one of the best ways to ensure that marketers have the information they need to work most effectively.

“61% of high-growth companies are shifting to a first-party data strategy, while only 40% of negative-growth companies say the same.”

(‘2022 Global Marketing Trends’, Deloitte)

Clearly it’s a pressing issue, but there’s more to being a brand publisher than simply flooding the market with your content. There’s a need for knowledgeable and authoritative commentary on industry issues to fill the gap that’s been left by the trade publications of old. Brand publishers have the opportunity to become the go-to experts on their customers’ pressing issues.

So how can brands start getting this right now, before it’s too late?

Five tips for better brand publishers:

  • Let readers follow their own journeys

By letting a reader choose their own journey, you’re allowing them to reveal more information about their interests, rather than maintaining a limited customer view that’s based on preconceptions. In order for this strategy to be effective, of course, you’ll need to create a broad range of content that allows a reader to browse. Just make sure that it always aligns with your brand values.

  •  Make your content scannable

As much as you want readers to choose their own journey, make it easy for them by making it quick to consume. Break content into smaller chunks and lists. We know that most people’s reading behaviour online is non-linear, their attention will jump around – if you manage to hold their attention at all – so be sure to account for this!Brand publishers should never underestimate the importance of UX for not only keeping customers engaged, but also nudging them further along the sales funnel.

  • Optimize for mobile touch screens

Globally, more than 50% of web traffic is generated by mobile devices. So your content design must be mobile-first. The majority of websites are now created with responsive design, so they will be optimized for the screen size, but also consider how you can make use of the interactivity that a touchscreen allows.

  • Make content fresh, relevant and valuable

Brands must develop content strategies and control their own news-cycle to ensure that there’s always something new and exciting to keep the audience engaged. The more you learn about an individual user, based on either the first-party data they provide or what you can glean from traffic analytics, the more relevant and valuable your content can be.“Only 41% of downloaded work-related content has provided value to buyers in the past 12 months” (IDG Customer Engagement Reports, 2018-2021)Although you should allow them to choose their own journeys, a well-placed suggestion for how to solve a problem, or a personalised offer, can improve the customer experience, building loyalty and increasing revenue opportunities.

  • Reuse and repurpose content in multiple channels and formats

The trick here may be to invest resources in developing a widely applicable, and valuable body of knowledge that can be trimmed down to be appropriate for individual users. It’s about getting maximum economy from the resource that’s invested, so choose something you know will be relevant for your audience, and squeeze out all the value you can.

Of course, content syndication also has a role to play, and tailoring your content for specific channels will ensure you reach as broad an audience as possible.

What does this mean for the future of marketing?

Investing in your brand publisher status can be seen as a new take on the traditional sales funnel. The basic model of AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) could be reconceived as a FARM model.

  • F – Find your audience with smart media placement across multiple channels.
  • A – Attract people to engage with your brand by publishing content that’s valuable to them.
  • R – Remind them of your brand, using marketing nurture programs and the power of martech solutions.
  • M – Move them from their current solution provider to your own. A small minority of people that see your content will actually be “looking to buy” in that moment, so your brand must be always-on and always ready to capitalise on opportunity.

Currently, brand publishing is not something that many brands are doing well, but already the potential benefits are significant. Once third-party cookies are no longer available, we could expect to see a large number of businesses scrambling to get a foothold in the new market landscape. There is a danger that the market becomes saturated, so developing a reputation for creating valuable and insightful content now could pay dividends in a few years’ time.

Interested in hearing more about marketing trends for 2022?

Take a look at our report: ‘The future of tech marketing and revenue performance: what’s impacting growth for 2022 and beyond’.

We talk with leading CMOs about the importance of efficient demand generation, brand and CX as levers for success in the modern era of marketing. Read our full report here.

[1] McKinsey & Co., (2021),


[3] The B2B Effectiveness Code, B2B Institute (2021)