Features

Predicting exactly how waves will break upon the shore is nearly impossible. But forecasting waves that travel along social media streams is more than doable-it's already happening, according to a collection of studies recently published in Internet Research. Consider that virtually every move we make on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media channels is being recorded in some form as documentable data. That data, apparently, can be prescient when collected on a large scale and carefully examined by social and computer scientists who are skilled at examining online behavior. These experts now have the ability, based on identifiable trends, to foresee likely outcomes such as election results, book sales, and movie box office success.
By - Posted Nov 13, 2013
Group SJR's "Unfiltered" report took an in-depth look at a variety of digital media platforms and how consumers respond. The SJR Insights team asked 903 individuals of all ages about their current digital behaviors and gleaned results from their responses. Probably the most relevant results in the report are regarding how Millennials respond to news media through social media channels.
By - November 2013 Issue, Posted Nov 11, 2013
Hometown newspapers may be on the decline, but we all have an inherent desire (and legitimate need) to know what's going on in our local communities-whether it is the latest goings on at town hall or to see if we recognize any of the names in the police log-and plenty of content providers have taken note. The recent focus on hyperlocal news-from companies large and small-has yet to produce a single highly successful blueprint for success (or business model). Some hyperlocal publications are surviving on funding from donors, sponsors, and grants. Others focus on advertising to make revenue and, as a result, have struggled (think AOL's Patch).
By - November 2013 Issue, Posted Nov 04, 2013
Traditionally, publishers were limited in pursuing two time-tested avenues to revenue: selling subscriptions and/or advertising. But lately, content commerce strategies like in-text advertising and sponsored content have come of age, providing the potential to change the digital content dynamic and excite publishers that are struggling to remain relevant to readers and users.
By - Posted Oct 30, 2013
Creating a business video has never been easier. Vine and Instagram let business owners become mini-James Camerons by shooting 6-second and 15-second videos with a smartphone. And longer form videos (30 seconds to 60 seconds) need not break the bank, as video creation services such as Animoto.com enable content creators to make unlimited videos for less than the price of an iPad mini, a small fraction of the $5,000 that a professionally produced video would cost. Yet challenges remain for small and medium business owners who want reasonably priced, quality video on their websites. Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are wary of video, afraid that it will cost too much and not turn out the way they expected it to.
By - October 2013 Issue, Posted Oct 28, 2013
Social media stops for no man, but what if resources are suddenly scarce due to an unforeseen crisis? Here are four things you can do to keep digital communities humming along even if the "front office" is temporarily closed.
By - Posted Oct 23, 2013
In August of 1981, a fledgling cable TV channel launched that forever changed music, television, advertising, marketing, and pop culture. The format was pretty simple: play popular videos around the clock that are introduced and commented on by live hosts and fill around the edges with original programming. Now, 32 years after MTV's arrival, the focus is on social, not music videos, and another revolution is underway that may completely redefine how we think about, consume, and interact with live and prerecorded visual content-courtesy of HuffPost Live (HPL).
By - October 2013 Issue, Posted Oct 21, 2013
Content marketing is becoming an increasingly important part of the marketing strategy for companies across a wide variety of industries. Establishing yourself as a source of authoritative content is more important than ever on the web, but each industry has its own challenges, concerns, and potential benefits when it comes to content marketing. Jessica Davis of Godot Media has addressed these issues in an ongoing series of posts on econtentmag.com. In this article, we have highlighted some of Davis' best advice for four of the most prominent industries in content marketing, but no matter your industry, many of these tips will help make you a better marketer.
By - Posted Oct 18, 2013
As the migration of consumers from desktop to mobile devices continues with little indication of abating, it remains as much of a concern as ever for companies to represent their products, services, and brands in a mobile environment. The Search Agency, a global online marketing firm founded in 2002 and based in Los Angeles, delivered a progress report on the country's biggest companies' mobile presence-in the interest of providing a rubric of best practices and mistakes to companies of all sizes-with its "Mobile Experience Scorecard: Fortune 100 Companies" report.
By - Posted Oct 18, 2013
With his recent acquisition of the Washington Post, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos believes he can persuade readers to pony up for a daily bundle of news on a tablet, similar to traditional print bundles. "People will buy a package. They will not pay for a story," Bezos said recently during a meeting with editors and reporters. If his plan works, it could serve as a viable business strategy for other digital publishers going forward-especially if paywalls aren't working and if those news bundles are personalized for readers, say the experts.
By - Posted Oct 16, 2013
Remember the days when the white paper was the go-to (if not only) content marketing tool? Those days are such a distant memory that the term "content marketing" didn't even exist during the white paper's heyday in the 1990s. In its place have emerged a whole array of content channels-blogs, magazines, videos, social networking campaigns, and so on-and a new collective term for them, that delivers dynamic and engaging branded information, the ultimate intention of which is to drive sales.
By - October 2013 Issue, Posted Oct 14, 2013
Your company has a blog that publishes several posts a week? Excellent. You have hundreds of people signed up for RSS subscriptions and frequent comments? Superb. You've got this content marketing thing down? Well, not quite."A lot of times the blog is sort of synonymous with content marketing," says Brendan Cournoyer, content marketing manager for Brainshark. "This rings true with companies that don't have an understanding of it. Even the blog itself is just a tool. The concept behind content marketing is really answering questions and communicating with potential and current customers."
By - October 2013 Issue, Posted Oct 07, 2013
Consumers today seek information at their fingertips from a wide variety of sources including online search and social media. To tap into this thirst for information and connect with their customers and prospects in a meaningful way, modern marketers are going beyond traditional sales and advertising channels by stepping up their content marketing strategies.
By - Posted Oct 02, 2013
They started graduating from college and entering the workforce around 2002, according to most sources, although the precise dates for when the millennial generation (aka GenY or Digital Natives) starts and ends vary quite a bit. Technology has always been part of their world. They have always had multiple sources for information and take the ability to be connected 24/7 for granted. According to the Beloit College's Mindset List, this year's entering college graduation class of 2016 was "born into cyberspace." But, despite the fact that these young adults are certainly comfortable with technology, there is growing evidence to suggest that many are eschewing technology and embracing a growing nostalgia for simpler times.
By - September 2013 Issue, Posted Sep 30, 2013
Mobile advertising is on the rise-who do you know who doesn't have a smart phone these days? In fact, according to the Pew Internet Project's research on mobile technology, 91% of American adults have a cell phone-56% have a smartphone. That level of penetration presents both opportunities and challenges to content providers hoping not only to connect with their audiences, but also to monetize those interactions in some way.
By - Posted Sep 27, 2013
If you're like other publishers, you have a lot of content; a lot of great content. You also have a lot of channels on which you're pushing out that content and an equally diverse group of users to whom you're delivering it. But how do you make the most of that content? By ensuring you can reuse and repurpose it many times across multiple channels and platforms. Through its reuse, companies can get more mileage out of their, often expensive, content. Yes, there's also the cost factor that can't be ignored. "The main reason content is reused is it saves a huge amount of money," says global content strategist Scott Abel.
By - September 2013 Issue, Posted Sep 23, 2013
As content providers, it's critical to find a balance between making your presence known on a myriad of channels and spamming already drowning consumers to the point of annoyance (and possible brand detriment). It's also vital that the quality of the content produced doesn't suffer in the race to make it seen.
By - Posted Sep 20, 2013
To app providers, consumers can appear to be a rather fickle, easily distracted bunch, as evidenced by the latest data. Yes, they're downloading more tablet and smartphone apps than ever before (ABI Research estimates that 70 billion will be downloaded globally in 2013), but they're spending less time per session engaging with apps, according to a new study conducted by Localytics.
By - Posted Sep 18, 2013
Back in May, Social Media Today compiled case studies from several reputable sources regarding the correlation between blogging and sales for businesses. Unanimously, studies show that maintaining an active blog can provide an increase in traffic of up to 210% to a website. Clearly, blogging still remains one of the most commonly produced and read forms of content marketing (in fact, many experts find that blogging is the first thing someone thinks of when mentioning content marketing). And, just like any other form of marketing, the blogosphere is evolving.
By - Posted Sep 11, 2013
You can never be too rich or too thin, or so the saying goes. But you can have too much data, according to the results of a survey of marketers. Digital marketers need to take control of their marketing data or the unrelenting flow of Big Data will overwhelm them, the survey says. Despite the grim prognosis, there is hope, said a marketing analyst familiar with the report.
By - September 2013 Issue, Posted Sep 09, 2013
As companies large and small have developed active Twitter and Facebook profiles, their ability to interact directly with their client base has reached an unprecedented level. Given how frequently people are on social media-according to Statistic Brain, there are approximately 9,100 tweets sent per second-it may be tempting to reach out to this clientele as often as possible. But an ill-timed or misguided use of social media can lead to angry customers, potentially lost sales, and embarrassing headlines.
By - September 2013 Issue, Posted Sep 04, 2013
Apple has sold about 140 million iPads worldwide since the tablet's launch about 3 years ago. The wildly successful device has disrupted many industries, creating headaches for some (think personal computers and Microsoft) and opportunities for others, including content owners who can take advantage of the device's capabilities.
By - July/August 2013 Issue, Posted Aug 26, 2013
Digital editions, paywalls, and consolidation aren't the only life rafts that can help keep newspapers afloat today. The fate of many valued dailies and weeklies may also rest in the hands of big boys with big bucks aiming for private but powerful ownership. Jeff Bezos' recent purchase of the Washington Post certainly isn't a one-off anomaly. Earlier this year, Boston Red Sox owner John W. Henry snatched up The Boston Globe, Wellesley businessman Aaron Kushner bought the Orange County Register and six other dailies last year, and in 2011 the San Diego Union-Tribune was sold to hotelier Doug Manchester. Additionally, Warren Buffett acquired dozens of local papers, the newest of which are the Roanoke Times and Press of Atlantic City (although his investment firm recently dumped shares of Gannett).
By - Posted Aug 23, 2013
Publishers aren't alone in their quest to determine what resonates with their audiences as they attempt to use various social media tools to connect with and engage them. For instance, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that it is in the market for a digital tool to help monitor how effectively it's reaching its audience with its messages and whether their response to these messages are positive or negative. And when you aren't pushing content views as your primary goal, it can be hard to know exactly what your social media metrics are and what they mean.
By - Posted Aug 21, 2013
Last year's mobile data traffic was nearly 12 times the size of the entire internet in 2000, according to Cisco. Global mobile data traffic in 2012 was 885 petabytes per month, compared to internet traffic of 75 petabytes per month in 2000. That's a lot of bytes-and traffic continues to grow.Given this exponential growth, and related opportunity, organizations of all kinds are eagerly looking for creative ways to connect and compel consumers to engage with their content, and their advertising, via mobile devices. As they do this, they're looking for effective ways to monetize those apps to drive revenue to the bottom line in ways that range from paid content to advertising, and more.
By - July/August 2013 Issue, Posted Aug 19, 2013
Purveyors of traditional electronic content often rely on content management systems (CMS) to maintain and update text, visuals, and other media on websites. But companies that offer consumer packaged goods (CPG) face more complex challenges when they want to deliver high quality e-content to consumers who trust that the information listed for a product in a brick-and-mortar or online store is accurate. Hence, they typically turn to product content management (PCM) systems and software.
By - Posted Aug 16, 2013
Anyone who has a blog with an open comment option has encountered malicious online bots. Log in to your Wordpress dashboard, and you'll find hundreds of new comments. Deceptively, they're not often people excited about your eloquently penned prose, but rather systematic bot programs plugging their own products to your regular human readers.
By - Posted Aug 05, 2013
Mobile apps bring content straight to your pocket. The convenience is unparalleled, but there may be one part of the app chain you haven't thought about much: the buying process. Chances are you just go to the Apple App Store or Amazon App Marketplace and never think about it, but if you're a content provider, some experts think you should be putting a little more thought into distribution.
By - Posted Aug 02, 2013
It's a question that's been posed since the dawn of the commercial web: Is the internet, long a stronghold for direct marketing, any good for brand advertising?"The question has always been whether brand advertising really works online and whether that money has ever really migrated online," observes Steve Smith, columnist and digital media editor for Media Industry Newsletter (min), and a consultant to web publishers and interactive ad agencies.
By - July/August 2013 Issue, Posted Jul 31, 2013
As social media continues on its quest to dominate the way we interact with the web, users benefit from inventive new tools, resources, and capabilities as well as greater specialization and focus. But it's not just the Facebooks and Twitters of the world that offer value and innovation. Often, it's the smaller players that infuse creativity and practical ingenuity into the social space, especially for niche audiences.In particular, three relatively new social platforms merit a closer look based on their distinctive features, approaches and functionality-and for garnering increased attention from social media experts.
By - Posted Jul 29, 2013
EContent recently introduced The Content Marketing 50: The Top 50 Content Marketing Resources on Twitter. In sorting through your nominations we realized just how many women are influencing content marketing, one of the hottest topics in digital marketing. Not everyone could make the final list of 50 influencers, but we thought it was worthwhile to bring all of the female nominees to your attention.
Posted Jul 26, 2013
Suppose you've had an active Twitter account since 2008 and you've been posting, on average, about three tweets a day, five days, a week, 50 weeks a year at about 140 characters/tweet-that's about 115,500 words, or the equivalent of about three books' worth of content. But, if you haven't been collecting, aggregating and effectively using that content, it is literally "lost in cyberspace."
By - Posted Jul 24, 2013
The introduction of social media was revolutionary. It connected people in unprecedented ways, and allowed companies to bypass mad men and their agencies and go straight to the customer. But as easy as it may seem to use social media as a branding tool, it's more complicated than it may seem.
Posted Jul 22, 2013
For some time, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have been the "big three" of social media, but a new and very powerful player -- Google+ -- has changed the social media landscape, especially for B2B marketers. Already overwhelmed with the multiple options and rapidly expanding time and resource commitment required to remain relevant across multiple communication channels, B2B marketers find themselves faced with a big decision-stick with LinkedIn or become engaged with Google+? Or both?
By - Posted Jul 17, 2013
Pay per click (PPC) marketers everywhere undoubtedly have July 22, 2013 circled on their calendar. That's the date when Google will automatically upgrade all AdWords accounts from legacy to enhanced campaigns that haven't already made the switch. And those who aren't prepared for the transition are in for quite a change, say the experts.
By - Posted Jul 15, 2013
Mobile marketing is easily one of the hottest topics in the digital content world, but some say it isn't growing as quickly as it could. It almost seems counter-intuitive, but because the web analytics tools of today aren't quite cutting it in the mobile arena marketers aren't getting the same amount of insight into their users. According to research from Medio, the average American owns 1.57 mobile devices, and if marketers want to know more about what people are doing with these devices, mobile analytics are going to have to become a priority.
By - Posted Jul 10, 2013
In June, EContent announced it was accepting votes for a new list recognizing the best and brightest in the content marketing industry. We asked for your nominations, and you obliged. With just under a week left in the nominating process, we had received 123 submissions and 53 nominees via Twitter. By the time the nomination process finally closed we had received several more names. Now, your votes have been counted, sorted through, and double-checked.
Posted Jul 03, 2013
If you use Gmail or Chrome, you probably have a Google+ account, whether you know it or not. But Facebook still dominates the social networking landscape...for now. According to Searchmetrics sharing on Google+ is poised to surpass sharing on Facebook by 2016. Yes, in just three shorts years, you and everyone you know will have made the switch to Google+ -- or at least that is where they'll be sharing the majority of content.
Posted Jul 01, 2013
Physical books, movies, albums, and video games can easily be swapped and resold between different owners without fear of reprisal from the original publishers/copyright holders. So why can't the same be true of digital versions of these and other media? That's the question more consumers are asking, according to results of a recent WorldPay study titled the "Digital Generation Report."
By - Posted Jun 28, 2013
We are a busy people; bombarded with jobs, kids, soccer games, laundry, mowing the yard, paying the bills... the never ending cycle of everyday life. This isn't news to anyone. Because we are constantly in motion, even our entertainment has to move quickly and be bite-sized. For this reason, content is seeing a transition into the visual realm - as opposed to text-based -- across many platforms.
By - Posted Jun 26, 2013
As the vice president of digital experience at the recently merged McMurry/TMG, LLC, the country's largest independent content marketing provider, Andrew Hanelly spends most of his time working to bring journalistic standards and principles into the world of brand marketing. At a point in time when increasingly savvy consumers have little patience for or interest in the dry, overt pitches that defined content marketing of yesteryear, smart brand managers are learning to adjust their strategies to create content that looks, sounds, and feels more like the kind of content they are used to consuming in social and digital media.
By - June 2013 Issue, Posted Jun 24, 2013
Any international enterprise knows that, in the global market, translation capabilities are integral to continued success. While many businesses have grasped the importance of translating their products and services for non-English markets, they have often ignored the flip-side of that task: translating content produced by their non-English speaking customers.
By - Posted Jun 21, 2013
As organizations and individuals work to build their Twitter followers they eagerly watch for mentions and RTs (retweets). And then they spot something like this: "XYZ E-publication is out today! Top stories by @thisperson @thatperson @YOU!" Your first inclination is to quickly RT the tweet to all of your followers and respond to the poster with a heart-felt "gee, thanks so much for including me!" But, wait a minute, is there any real value in this kind of exposure?
By - Posted Jun 19, 2013
Digital publishing success is no longer just about old media adjusting to the digital future. Big media brands-whether they have a print legacy or a digital-only history-are learning that most readers are not coming through the "front door" anymore, and they must adapt to a social future where aggregators and curators are guarding the door or be left behind.
By - June 2013 Issue, Posted Jun 17, 2013
After years of wondering, "Will they or won't they?" observers of the news publishing industry finally have a definitive answer: Newspapers, large and small, are implementing paid digital content models. Whether from sheer economic necessity, availability of better technology to implement more sophisticated solutions, or simply because publishers have finally integrated their digital strategies into overall business strategies, experimentation around making digital content pay its own way is rampant. Allen Weiner, research vice president at Gartner, says, "It's a period of forced innovation for newspapers. How can you innovate, and how can you do it cheaply?"
By - June 2013 Issue, Posted Jun 10, 2013
When it comes to online advertising, the natives are getting restless-but less so when native ads are used instead of banner ads, apparently. Consumers visually engage more often with native ads than traditional banner ads and in a manner comparable to editorial content, according to the results of a recent study conducted by Sharethrough, in conjuction with IPG Media Lab.
By - Posted Jun 05, 2013
Content marketing. Brand journalism. Custom content. No matter what you call it, it's clear that the place where quality content, and marketing meet is an up and coming hotspot. Content marketing isn't exactly new, but in the digital age, it's taken on a new importance and experts are in high demand. That's why EContent is introducing the Content Marketing 50, a list of the top influencers in content marketing.
Posted Jun 03, 2013
As the internet exploded and more and more sites have constant streams of news and commentary on everything from world politics to which celebrities are dead (dead-celeb.com), the importance placed on content curation was, perhaps, inevitable. Separating the wheat from the chaff is sometimes so important to people, they're willing to pay for it.
By - June 2013 Issue, Posted Jun 03, 2013
They say home is where the heart is. But judging by its lukewarm initial reception from users, that adage may not be so true of Facebook Home, the social media giant's new software suite for certain Android devices that's designed to dominate home and lock screens with social networking capabilities. Yet, despite only being downloaded between 500,000 and 1 million times since it launched in early April and notwithstanding its 2.2 out of five stars average rating from nearly 15,000 users, according to the Google Play Store, experts say Facebook Home may hold promising potential for digital content providers (DCPs) to push their brands and offerings.
By - Posted May 31, 2013
Buyer personas have been a part of marketing strategies for years, but they've recently undergone an evolution, making an impact on the way businesses approach digital marketing, including the content sector. Unfortunately, many companies aren't clear on how to develop or adequately use personas to their advantage.
By - Posted May 29, 2013
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