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An increasing number of brands are transforming into publishers, but there are still many challenges ahead. It's important for brands to think about the steps involved in establishing best practices to navigate the process of embracing and offering content.

According to research analyzing the world’s top 30 brands, 33% of top brands have already created a separate content and media publishing hub for their communications.

Of this sample, 20% have used their publishing hub to replace their primary corporate domain. This is huge — a brand's website is it's digital front door, so for a brand to make this important real estate so publishing-centric shows that they are serious about making publishing a crucial part of their marketing strategy.

Pepsi and Coca-Cola are two prominent examples of brands whose homepages are now heavily content-focused.

Some brands even have multiple publishing hubs for different audiences and topics. Examples include IBM, General Electric, and Intel — a mix of B2B and B2C brands.

What have these brands realized? That the secret to creating compelling content is to connect what consumers want with what the brand wants to say. With this in mind, there are numerous ways to get the most mileage out of content through earned, owned, and paid media.

The old-fashioned approach was to feature content on a brand's website, and to deploy display ads to drive click-through to the site. However, it's now possible to use paid media in a less intrusive and more effective way to maximize your content ROI.

Brands can bring content directly into the paid units themselves, and let customers interact within the ad. 

For example, a user interested in Pepsi could watch a video in an ad, tweet directly from the ad, and fill out a form to enter a sweepstakes in an ad. 

By bringing the content to where users are, brands are able to double or triple the number of people they reach. Creating content that you can be proud of is an investment -- by bringing the content into paid media, brands can better serve customers with entertaining, relevant content, and at the same time, get the most out of their publishing platforms.