Wikipedia is content marketing
|Most brand pages on Wikipedia are poor in quality and low in priority from the Wikipedia community's perspective, but that doesn't mean they don't want to see them improved.
Ethical Wikipedia engagement is content marketing. It's also digital marketing, branding, reputation management, inbound marketing, product marketing, search engine optimization, investor relations, executive communications, social media marketing, risk management and public relations.
It's the single most powerful tool to inform (as oppose to influence) stakeholders, the public and the world at large about subjects companies have a vested interest in - such as their products, executives, culture and heritage.
However, most companies underperform on Wikipedia compared to other marketing channels, because nobody knows if it's a priority, what objectives they have on Wikipedia and who owns it. As an industry, we haven't invested the intellectual capital in professional-grade, case study-worthy Wikipedia work.
I want to change that - see companies engage with Wikipedia in a way they can be proud of; give Wikipedia the time and attention it deserves as the very definition of the company that tops search results. I want to see us intellectually engaged in excelling at Wikipedia.
Along that vein, EthicalWiki has developed the world's most comprehensive analysis of the Wikipedia community's perspective on brand pages on Wikipedia in a report called "Brands on Wikipedia by the Numbers."
It's focused on our fundamental belief that long-term sustainable value on Wikipedia comes from achieving mutual benefit with Wikipedia. This means understanding Wikipedia's content needs, so we can establish objectives, assign responsibilities, create strategies and develop content that match.
After all, similar analysis has already been done to identify the best media pitch, most viral tweet, effective landing page or compelling blog post. Conducting a similar academic analysis of Wikipedia's content needs enables us to do a better job meeting it.
The report suggests that:
- Objectives like heritage, branding and corporate identity are well-aligned with Wikipedia's content needs for brand pages.(large companies have separate articles on their products not included in the study)
- Research is the most requested asset for improving brand pages. This should shape how companies see their role. Regardless of resource commitment, expertise or priorities, every company should at least share news articles on the Talk page to make it easier for volunteers to improve the page.
- Companies trying to correct bias will get a better response by being reasonable and easy to work with, rather than appealing to Wikipedia's accountability to be fair and accurate.
So who owns Wikipedia? Every company is different, but my hope is the report can help foster high quality discussions with marketing executives and their various departments on their objectives with Wikipedia, priorities and the most effective point-people for ethical Wikipedia engagement.
Of course the report and press release feature a disclaimer that EthicalWiki encourages companies to share content of value with Wikipedia's editorial community, without directly editing their own articles.