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It wasn't long ago that the position of "chief content officer" was merely a glimmer in the eye of a few particularly tech- and trend-savvy marketing executives. Some time around the turn of the century, as digital media was beginning to cement its foothold in the worlds of marketing and commerce, and as the social media revolution was in its most nascent stages, the idea that a company should employ a director -- or a team, or even a whole department -- to create custom branded content to compellingly and coherently represent their organization in all of its prospective media channels was born.
Posted Mar 22, 2013
More art than science, content marketing involves a softer, gentler sales approach that aims to inform and entertain prospects with the unstated goal of turning them into customers. Clever videos, e-books, whitepapers and sponsored e-forums are becoming increasingly popular as businesses see that they drive engagement and ultimately sales.
Posted Mar 06, 2013
The Content Marketing Institute reports -- in its 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends -- marketers are now choosing LinkedIn the most for content marketing purposes. In 2011, 71% of B2B marketers posted content to the site formerly associated with nothing more than a virtual resume, but 2012 showed an increase to 83%, with Twitter and Facebook trailing by a nose at 80%.
Posted Mar 01, 2013
Native advertising company Sharethrough announced the launch of Sharethrough Sponsored Stories, a native advertising solution that allows brands to promote articles, posts, reviews, and more across the open web. With Sharethrough Sponsored Stories, marketers can expand their promotion of non-video content beyond Facebook and Twitter to include native placements across Sharethrough's network of digital publishers.
Posted Feb 26, 2013
"Content marketing" has grown from a murkily defined buzzword--or rather, a series of evolving buzzwords including "branded content" and "custom publishing"--into a ubiquitous, and in some high-profile cases demonstrably effective marketing strategy. Whether they knew it or not, millions of American consumers were touched last year by savvy content marketing campaigns from a broad spectrum of brands ranging from Oreo cookies to the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns. With the rise of content marketing has come a proliferation of solutions for companies lacking the resources or the internal know-how to execute their own content marketing strategies from scratch.
Posted Feb 25, 2013
She was at least six inches taller than me but I was in love. Or what passes for love as a 14 year old boy in middle school. Lori was tall, blonde, and a super-smart basketball player with the sweetest southern accent you have ever heard. The eighth grade dance was almost here and I had to work up the nerve to ask her to go with me. My hands were sweaty, my heart rattled like a subwoofer in my chest, and my already cracking voice was hitting Mariah Carey high notes with ease. Was this love? If so, it was the scariest thing I had ever experienced in my life.
Posted Feb 21, 2013
In a world of free content -- from app to university classes from the likes of Princeton and MIT -- the consumer is making out like a bandit, while content producers wring their hands over the prospect of finding a way to make money. Companies are being forced to find new ways to market their services to encourage people to pay. How? Increasingly, it's through customized experiences.
Posted Feb 20, 2013
If you are in the business of digital content-and in this day and age, we all are-you have undoubtedly heard the phrase "content strategy" tossed around lately. You've heard how important strategy is to any content endeavor, but you may still be wondering what that means to you.Content strategy defines how a company is going to use content to meet the needs of a business, guides decisions about content from creation to deletion, and sets benchmarks against which to measure success. Deciding to post a YouTube video is not content strategy, nor are the myriad and growing numbers of features that your CMS offers. A strategy sets a vision for the future. Although it can be revised, it is perennial, not seasonal.
Posted Feb 18, 2013
Right now, the content marketing industry, well over 100 years old, is going through as much change as we have ever seen. The biggest reason for this, outside of the fragmentation of media, is that the barriers to entry have been obliterated. There were three major barriers that used to exist as a gate to corporate publishing. Though they are no longer a concern today, I did discuss them in detail in Get Content Get Customers (published in 2008).
Posted Jan 31, 2013
The creation and distribution of content online is one of the most effective ways of attracting new customers and retaining existing ones, but that doesn't mean it's easy. Unfortunately, most companies get their content marketing efforts wrong. Content creators and marketers must spend valuable time and effort to create and publish quality content on a regular basis to increase the reach of their brand. There is no shortcut.Remember - content marketing is an essential component of any inbound marketing strategy - and it must be done right. If you want to create a scalable, repeatable and networked process of customer acquisition through content marketing then you must avoid these content marketing mistakes like your life depends on it!
Posted Jan 16, 2013
Content marketing has had quite a run. After an interesting battle with terms such as branded content, custom media, brand journalism, and custom publishing, Google searches tell us that content marketing is now the de facto term for nonmedia companies creating relevant content to attract and retain customers.
Posted Dec 10, 2012
Managing a brand and its image has never been easy, but the ever-growing number of retailer and third-party websites, online shopper services, mobile apps, and digital coupons has made a brand owner's job even more challenging. One of our clients told me that he feels like he is constantly chasing his brand across the internet.
Posted Dec 07, 2012
For every brave soul that posts a comment on a website or blog there are likely hundreds of others simply lurking in the background. Content providers crave interaction and want to encourage discussion, yet many find themselves faced with a dearth of comments, save for perhaps those spammy postings that pop up every once in a while. What can they do?
Posted Nov 30, 2012
At almost every event I've attended over the past few months, content marketing sessions are standing-room only. Marketing professionals are hungry for any way that they can continue their content marketing journey and attract and retain customers with compelling content. To help, I've dissected my last few presentations and put together seven critical strategies that I believe all marketers need to consider as they head into next year.
Posted Nov 29, 2012
Percussion has teamed up with DivvyHQ - the spreadsheet-free editorial calendar application - to bring you content planning solution. Percussion CM1 enables content marketers to create and publish more content more rapidly across their web properties than ever before. With DivvyHQ integrated into Percussion CM1's dashboard, you will be able to use Divvy's calendaring interface and collaboration tools to better manage the planning and production of all types of content across their organization.
Posted Nov 28, 2012
"Cyber Monday" may have come and gone, but that doesn't mean America is done with its online holiday shopping. In fact, a recent LivePerson survey found that 63% of shoppers plan to do 50% or more of their holiday shopping online. And this holiday season retailers have relatively new tool at their disposal with sites like the wildly-popular Pinterest.
Posted Nov 28, 2012
Old school marketing drives me nuts. Whenever I encounter it, I delete it, tune it out, turn it down, or fast-forward past it. And, I'm not alone.According to the folks over at GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, 80% of business decision makers prefer to read informative articles about subjects of interest to them. What they don't like are advertisements and thinly veiled marketing disguised as something interesting.
Posted Nov 27, 2012
Pinterest is a relatively new entrant to the social media market. As a virtual pinboard, the mission of the site is to "connect everyone in the world through the ‘things' they find interesting." The site offers some examples under the heading "What Can You Do With Pinterest?" that include: redecorating your home, planning a wedding, finding your style, saving your inspirations and saving your recipes. While these suggested uses are prevalent among the site's participants, other uses are springing up regularly as individuals and businesses find new, and increasingly practical, uses. Content providers are among them-using Pinterest to share information on the environment, events, jobs and more.
Posted Nov 14, 2012
The B2B marketing landscape is shifting, and the use of content marketing is at all-time high; however, a lack of measurement for those programs confirms a need for learning and growth in the industry, according to the second annual B2B Marketing Survey from Curata, Inc. The results, derived from more than 450 marketing professionals found that while 87% of those surveyed are using content marketing to further their overall objectives, 43% of respondents do not measure the outcome of their programs.
Posted Nov 13, 2012
In 2006 I wrote a blog post on thinkjose.com about a small appliance company in Utah doing something dangerous and in turn creating a viral success selling $400 blenders that could turn a rake into sawdust. Several months later I wrote a feature article for Streaming Media entitled "Giant Web 2.0 Lies" highlighting BlendTec and their runaway video success. BlendTec continues to use the Will It Blend? videos to test their devices' power by blending phones, gaming consoles, cars, and even food over the last six years. With over 120 YouTube videos the company has racked up almost half a million subscribers and over 212 million views on their YouTube.com/Blendtec channel.
Posted Nov 08, 2012
So, have you seen Facebook Stories yet? I know you've probably heard about it, but have you actually bothered to look at it? No? Let me tell you all about it.It's a fascinating display of the power of social media on people's lives and, to some extent, on journalism. But it's also sort of a genius marketing tool.
Posted Oct 30, 2012
When most people (or businesses) start a blog they continue posting regularly, sometimes for years, and eventually develop a large body of work. The trouble is that despite their usefulness, very few readers will use the links or buttons at the end of a post to see what came before or after the one they are reading. If a reader does use these buttons he will probably only read one or two more posts before leaving the blog. Even when similar posts are recommended the likelihood that anyone will go on to read any of them is slim.
Posted Oct 26, 2012
Five years ago nobody talked about content marketing - today, everybody does. But lots of conversation doesn't necessarily produce understanding. When it comes to marketing content, many firms gravitate to extremes; between chasing their tails publishing over-optimized but meaningless content, and pursuing the Holy Grail of "quality content," there is a middle ground that these firms completely miss. So let's talk about how a company can go about producing content that serves a genuine business purpose.
Posted Oct 10, 2012
Branded entertainment is back with a vengeance. Companies across multiple consumer verticals have been creating engaging long-form digital video content and harnessing the power of social media on PCs and mobile devices to engage consumers and reach mass audiences. Some examples of the current trend from this past Summer alone include campaigns from Ford ("Random Acts of Fusion") Intel and Toshiba ("The Beauty Inside"), Subway ("The 4 to 9ers" and IKEA ("Easy to Assemble"). Moreover it's becoming clear that these aren't one-time efforts. IKEA, for example, has reported that it currently dedicates 2% to 3% of its global marketing budget on branded entertainment and a former Procter & Gamble executive reported to The Wall Street Journal that the brand-marketing giant is now spending 5% of its marketing budget in this area.
Posted Sep 27, 2012
Kenny Powers is a champion athlete, famous shoe endorser, and thanks to a brilliantly orchestrated hostile takeover, the MFCEO of K-SWISS, Inc. He's bigger than cable television and/or drugs. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, try tuning into the smartest marketing move in the history of mankind.The idea to "hire" Kenny Powers as a spokesman came from Matt Murphy and Glenn Cole of brand agency 72andSunny. I don't know who green-lighted the idea at K-SWISS, but I commend his or her phenomenal cojones.
Posted Sep 25, 2012