Although there is some debate about just how many freelancers there are in the U.S., everyone agrees that the number is rising. Writers, graphic designers, photographers, videographers, and other professionals are choosing to work for themselves even as the demand for creative content increases. Meanwhile, brands, non-profits, and small businesses need content for online platforms and other communication channels. The "freelance economy" is creating a new problem: How do organizations that need content find the professionals to create it?
Posted Aug 20, 2014
Many marketing professionals operate under the assumption that their business-to-business (B2B) content marketing practices are up to snuff. But a closer look reveals that these pros often suffer from tunnel vision in that their practices are too narrowly focused on early-stage buyer acquisition and fail to create content that engages buyers over the long term.
Posted Aug 13, 2014
In the creation of content, storytelling is a valuable and necessary skill. For those who consume content, a good story makes consuming the content that much easier. It is often assumed that simply having good content or having a good idea will translate into good stories, though this is often far from the truth. Indeed, the ability to tell a good story can be an extremely useful tool.
Posted Aug 11, 2014
A survey of 400 marketers, conducted by OneSpot and The 614 Group, found that targeting precision is the top attribute that marketers value (65%) when it comes to distribution of the content marketing campaign but 47% of respondents said that they are not satisfied with their ability to target content distribution to the right audience. When scrutinizing the reasons behind this dissatisfaction, the study reveals that the number one (87%) method of distribution for content marketing programs is a company's own website.
Posted Jul 31, 2014
A recent survey by HubShout, an online marketing firm based in Virginia, suggests that content marketers have some great opportunities to leverage links to boost awareness and drive traffic to their sites. In fact, 33.6% of those responding indicated that the type of native advertising most likely to generate response is links incorporated at the end of articles. These links outrank any other type of native advertising.
Posted Jul 30, 2014
Since the 1950s, advertorials and product placements emerged, and, as the internet and online commerce took hold, Amazon blazed trails by serving up book recommendations to users based on their previous purchases and online behaviors. Today, these sorts of activities-designed to deliver advertising content, online or via mobile devices, to consumers who have demonstrated their potential interest in the product or service-are known as native advertising. The practice lives on a continuum between "annoying" and "useful," depending on the perspective of the consumer. The goal for marketers is to land somewhere closer to the useful end of the spectrum.
Posted Jul 28, 2014
According to the "Online Personal Experience" study by Janrain, more than half (57%) of people are just fine with providing personal information to a website and as long as they benefit and the information is used responsibly. Janrain also found that 77% would be more trusting of companies collecting private data if the businesses were transparent about how the information would be used. But that's where the trouble lies. Many content providers are still struggling to use the information they collect in a way that truly improves the customer experience.
Posted Jul 21, 2014
At Lattice, which offers predictive application solutions for marketing and sales professionals to uncover buyer insights, Amanda Maksymiw creates content to educate and engage customers. Maksymiw says, "To help build our thought-leadership role and provide compelling content, I create blog posts, videos, infographics, and longer form ebooks and white papers." To generate ideas for those content assets, Maksymiw collaborates with many departments within Lattice and with outside influencers in the field of sales and marketing.
Posted Jul 11, 2014
ADAM Software, a Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Product Content Management (PCM) software provider, announced that it has entered into a strategic sales and technology partnership with Sitecore, the global leader in customer experience management.
Posted Jun 26, 2014
Content Marketing Institute (CMI) announced the acquisition of Intelligent Content Conference (ICC), founded by The Rockley Group and co-produced with The Content Wrangler. The Intelligent Content Conference focuses on helping organizations deliver the right content, to the right audience, anywhere, anytime, on any device.
Posted Jun 26, 2014
AddThis announced an online marketplace featuring tools that enable online publishers to serve more targeted and relevant content to website visitors. The company has also expanded its offerings of recommended content and enhanced its analytics dashboard.
Posted Jun 19, 2014
A new platform, BlogMeetsBrand.com, allows marketers to build custom social campaigns that channel the value of bloggers and other social drivers. Blog Meets Brand features a self-serve campaign planning module that gives marketers, PR Firms, Ad Agencies, and small businesses a structured approach for creating and developing influencer marketing programs.
Posted Jun 13, 2014
Twitter has been around since March 16, 2006 and, Ashton Kutcher and Ellen Degeneres aren't the only ones to have leveraged this tool to gain massive exposure. In the digital content world there are a number of authorities that were early adopters and have built significant networks on Twitter - and other platforms. Earlier this year, Twitter unveiled a tool that would allow audiences to find the first tweets of, well, anyone. But a lot has been learned since those first tweets, and we decided to ask some industry influencers what they've learned.
Posted Jun 11, 2014
At the advertising agency Arnold Worldwide, John Forrester is a brand journalist and social media community manager for the New Balance (NB) account. "I'm responsible for researching, reporting, and writing long-form editorial content for NewBalance.com and ensuring that each piece makes its way to the client through Arnold's editorial process," Forrester says. On a monthly basis, he assists in the development of content deliverables, from long-form articles on the brand's website to bite-size graphics distributed through social channels. Forrester says, "Beyond editorial production, I also keep an eye on running and sneaker head publications and online communities to see what direction their content is going."
Posted Jun 06, 2014
As content marketing becomes an increasingly important means of propelling our businesses forward, I find that many marketers are still struggling with operational issues. In almost every meeting I attend, I've come to find that a few antiquated ideas are still ringing true.
Posted Jun 03, 2014
As a content strategy consultant, I'm often called upon by brands seeking to find ways to solve complex content challenges. Far too often, they start off their quest for a solution by asking the wrong first question: "What software do we need?"This is the wrong first question for a variety of reasons. The most important reason is that software products are tools, not content solutions, no matter what software company marketing mavens would like you to believe. Tools help content professionals solve content challenges and meet business goals. Tools, by themselves, do not solve content problems.
Posted May 29, 2014
When I became an adult and started working in a field I was truly passionate about (male modeling, of course -- just kidding), marketing, I realized there was one thing all professionals agreed on. To be taken seriously in this (or any) game, you must be constantly honing your craft. Sharpening your saw. In other words, constant education is a must.
Posted May 27, 2014
Great content is integral to digital success, and in order to create great content, you need to be able to tell a great story. Of course, in the age of social media, online video, and apps, storytelling doesn't always look like it used to. So Jose Castillo sat down at The International Storytelling Center with director Kiran Singh Sirah, and Brad Eshbach to talk about the art and power of storytelling -- digital and otherwise.
Posted May 16, 2014
It is one thing to talk about trends affecting the digital content industry, but it's something completely different to be one of the people whose job it is to bring those trends to life. From Big Data to content marketing, EContent talked with three people who exemplify what it means to be working in digital content today. Today we profile a brand journalist: Michelle Manafy, Editorial Director, Online Publishers Association.
Posted May 14, 2014
As a thought leader in the content industry, I'm provided with many opportunities to wax poetic on the virtues of starting a content project with a strategy. From conferences, to webinars, to columns in magazines such as this one, I've spent the past decade evangelizing the methods, standards, and tools required to help organizations efficiently and effectively deliver the right content to the right audience, anywhere, anytime, on any device.
Posted May 13, 2014
Media technology startup Snap Skout announced the release of its newest product. Skout Blocks is a content-driven recommendation engine which displays relevant offers and deals at the bottom of web articles. Snap Skout has partnered with offer providers and advertisers-such as Groupon, LivingSocial, Yelp and Gilt-to deliver targeted deals and offers directly into an online reading experience.
Posted Apr 30, 2014
Guides.co, the guide publishing platform formerly known as Accel.io, announced its new name along with its hosted corporate publishing service. Content living on a company's resource webpage, such as PDFs, white papers, and other traditional static documents, can now be interactive and social allowing authors and readers to form long-term relationships.
Posted Apr 29, 2014
Change is a part of life--people are dynamic by nature. We evolve, for better or worse. The very idea of change often serves as the barometer for how far we've strayed from that high school self we remember, but no longer clearly identify with. No matter how far we stray from that bygone persona, we rarely leave behind many of the natural tendencies that define who we are. The pink hair you sported for your Sweet 16 has given way to a carefully manicured pixie cut, but your laugh hasn't changed. The Camaro IROC-Z may be long gone, but you still reach for your favorite leather jacket. No matter how much we distance or embrace our past, the natural character that defines us rarely departs.
Posted Apr 15, 2014
In March Neil Mody, CEO of nRelate published an open letter on the company's site calling attention to something he sees as a major problem afflicting web content: native advertisement starting down the path to banner blindness. But rather than defend the practice, Mody is admitted to being part of the problem and wants to put nRelate on the path to "Content Cleanup". EContent talked to him about the problem and the solution.
Posted Apr 09, 2014
Content marketing is a hot topic among publishers, marketers, and content providers in general. Despite the buzz, confusion still abounds. From how to define content marketing to how to execute a strategy-and reach your goals-many companies are still struggling with the details of content marketing. But a big influx of cash--and man power--looks as if it is in the future.
Posted Apr 07, 2014