Starbucks is on a roll. The company, which has over 21,000 stores in 65 different countries, reported record net revenue of $16.4 billion for fiscal year 2014 (an increase of 11% from the previous year). The company that provides you with delicious (if pricey) coffee, as well as free Wi-Fi, is trying to provide you with something else -- a personal relationship. So far, the company seems to be succeeding.
Following a presentation at a recent global customer experience summit I was glad to discuss drivers and enablers of content effectiveness around the world once again. Quality and consistency came up naturally as topics of interest to many attendees and speakers. As I mentioned that I was considering consistency and coherence as major factors in globalization in general and localization in particular, it triggered a couple of immediate questions.
By Bruno Herrmann
Posted Jul 22, 2015
I have to admit that much of my early SEO success could be attributed to dumb luck. When I started writing for the web, Danny Sullivan had just started his Search Engine Watch website, Google didn't exist, and SEO hadn't even been given a name. It turned out the websites I created were optimized for search because the content was optimized for our readers. In the early years, this wasn't the result of a strategic plan on my part. It was just a result of editorial instinct--years of magazine editing, ad writing, and PR. Without knowing it, I was practicing content marketing in the broadest sense of the word.
By Donald L. Dunnington
Posted Jun 24, 2015
A few weeks ago a peer told me a story highlighting the value of localization for training activities and deliverables. In short, materials were designed and sessions were set up by various leaders in his company to train a number of teams around the world, led by instructors virtually or face-to-face and based on e-learning modules. When the time came to capture and measure the overall effectiveness of training sessions it appeared targets were missed in some markets. Following a thorough investigation and review the root cause was found in a poor local experience generated by English-only materials and--equally important--in the format of remote sessions.
By Bruno Herrmann
Posted Jun 10, 2015
If you have ever doubted the importance of content marketing before, now is the time to put your mind at ease. The phrase "Content is King" is by no means a myth, and now it is more important than ever. However, if by content you're thinking, "I'll have to get more articles out". Stop right there, as contrary to what you may think, a block of text does not sit well with the average user. Many brands have yet to experiment with anything other than written content, but there are alternatives to this that can help companies increase the heat on their content marketing game and fan the flames of consumer engagement.
By Kathryn Kearns
Posted May 29, 2015
Much focus has to be put on processes--such as content authoring, asset management, internationalization, localization, or SEO--to deliver on digital content effectiveness and customer experience globally. It is equally important to think about the organizational framework where these processes become most valuable, and best practices across the board. For leaders in large and multinational organizations it often means moving toward a cross-functional evolution rather than spurring a revolution by forcing their way into silos.
By Bruno Herrmann
Posted Apr 29, 2015
Disastrous CMS implementations are a dime a dozen: budget overruns, content that gets lost or doesn't migrate accurately, or worse, a system that simply doesn't work after a significant commitment of time and other resources. But here's the good news: This doesn't have to be you. These disasters happen to people who don't plan, develop a good strategy, and get help from experienced partners who can guide them through the necessary steps.
By Chris Sulham
Posted Apr 17, 2015
In the digital age marketing and communications leaders cannot escape challenges put out by customers who are more diverse and demanding than ever. While they are aware digital is global in nature they also know that ensuring a global footprint is not an achievement anymore. Global excellence is. This is translated into efficiency and effectiveness across geographies from a strategic perspective. There is good news for global and local players as they can leverage digital globalization to enable and boost their own efforts as well, whether they have to initiate or accelerate digital evolution. These considerations are equally important to help them avoid being insulated when dealing with tactics on global scale. Let's have a look at some of these common imperatives and how to increase value for the sake of the whole business. These focal points are articulated around simplicity, innovation and growth as components of the foundation shared by all digital strategies.
By Bruno Herrmann
Posted Mar 18, 2015
You hay have heard that Apple turned its homepage into a showcase for photography this week--a brilliant content marketing move. In the World Gallery Apple featured photos taken with the iPhone 6 across the globe. Not only did the company reward its notoriously loyal users, it took a swipe at competitors (like the Galaxy S6 which launched on the same day) that claim to have better cameras, and drew in photography buffs who may or may not care about iPhone cameras.
By Theresa Cramer
Posted Mar 04, 2015
Global marketing and commercial leaders are under more pressure than ever to make the right balance and choices when it comes to positioning and strengthening brands. What's more is they have to do this across a number of diverse markets and multiple channels for consumers. Shaping budgets and justifying investments in each country and on every screen are challenges in the advertising world where the digital evolution has been fast and strong over the past years. This is an ideal framework to leverage digital globalization and proven localization practices and to make marketers profit from value they can add to their own efforts.
By Bruno Herrmann
Posted Feb 13, 2015
There's an all too familiar pattern many businesses, especially startups, face when they are trying to get their content out there - they spend hours and hours working on high-quality videos, or online advertisements, and yet, the following just isn't coming in the way they want. It doesn't matter how many times you Facebook post or Tweet your new video; the following remains at a frustrating standstill.
By Ivan Serrano
Posted Jan 19, 2015
A small business may not have the time, resources, or the inclination to invest in social media like bigger businesses do. Manta, which services small businesses in the U.S., surveyed a number of them to understand their engagement with social media and found that 50% had increased their efforts on social media while 55% used social media to generate leads.
By Jessica Davis
Posted Jan 12, 2015
Managing localization in a time and cost effective way is critical for the definition and execution of digital globalization plans. It is therefore no surprise that product leaders and content owners need process enhancements while making the most of localization budgets according to clear requirements and indicators. This is where automation comes in to play. However, it may turn out to be a great efficiency enabler as well as a dangerous pitfall if it is not used at the right time and within the right framework.
By Bruno Herrmann
Posted Jan 07, 2015
Ignoring content globalization is no longer an option in international business environments, and questions and comments may come up on how to best define, optimize, and execute against a strategy-and how the expected ROIs and growth can be ensured and measured effectively. Generally speaking, creating and developing awareness around global challenges remains crucial to align and change mindsets-which is the foundation of the organizational and process transformation needed to take up these challenges. Once the stage is set, processes can be defined and implemented in line with global business objectives and enabling technology and resources can be identified.
Ubiquitous connected devices, social networks, and cloud services have empowered consumers, allowing them access to vast amounts of information and shared opinions. Consumers are emboldened by choice. They have developed an appetite for rich and rewarding interactions and rarely hesitate to seek alternatives when disappointed. This poses a major challenge to organizations that depend on these customers to buy their goods and services in order to survive.
I LIKE ORDER. I LIKE PREDICTABILITY AND CONSISTENCY. I like anything neatly, efficiently, and intuitively classified, labeled, stored, and accessed. I like data, metrics, and maps. I like clear connections. I like patterns. I also like to be pleasantly surprised. I like it when helpful information crosses my path right when I need it most. I like when buying is easy. I like to believe in things. I like to trust things. And I especially like falling so hard for a brand that researching loads of other choices in that category becomes completely unnecessary.
IF YOU'RE A SENIOR MARKETER, YOU'RE PROBABLY TIRED OF HEARING about anything related to content strategy—multichannel, omnichannel, or otherwise. Chances are good that you may have even been asked about this by a C-level manager—it's become pervasive. As with other digital marketing tactics that have roared onto the scene during the past decade, the content marketing ecosystem has mushroomed in only a couple of years, and the result is more confusion than clarification, with hundreds of vendors vying for your business. And yet, while multichannel content marketing may be the theme du jour rife with players, a few do's and don'ts will help ensure your marketing organization is getting the job done.
A few days ago I was sitting in the drive-thru line at my local Starbucks impatiently awaiting my turn at the window. I needed a chai tea, and I needed it bad. Then I saw it. A woman reached out of her car, smartphone in hand, and waved it at the barista at the window who was wielding a scanner. This was a momentous occasion for me. It was the first time I'd seen someone actually use a mobile payment solution in person. I assumed this was all thanks to Apple Pay, but now I'm not so sure. Starbucks announced its quarterly earnings on October 30, and as it turns out, its mobile app is a star.
By Theresa Cramer
Posted Nov 07, 2014
Quality is paramount to the success of content marketing; as opposed to older and more traditional forms of marketing, successful content marketing is entirely dependent on good ideas, true originality, and most importantly, giving something of value to your audience. Fantastic content grows organically, gaining exposure and momentum through coverage on blogs, websites, and social media platforms, meaning that companies don't have to spend thousands of dollars to reach huge numbers of potential customers.
By Scott Masson
Posted Oct 31, 2014
Jay Izso, a psychological business consultant known as the Internet Doctor, has a new book on the way called Got Social Mediology? Using Psychology to Master Social Media Without Spending a Dime. Izso says that rather than engaging in paid-for, broadcast-style advertising, companies must understand the importance of understanding the psychology of the user, respecting the cultural nuances of each social media platform, and focusing on creating authentic relationships. EContent interviewed Izso about his approach to social media marketing.
Posted Oct 24, 2014
The organization formerly known as the Online Publishers Association (OPA) recently announced a new name, Digital Content Next, a rebrand that it says signals a renewed focus on defining and confronting critical, big picture issues that its members face when creating digital content experiences for consumers and marketers. Digital Content Next (DCN) is a trade association that exclusively serves the diverse needs of digital content companies that manage direct, trusted relationships with consumers and marketers. The association hired a new CEO in May of this year, Jason Kint, former SVP and GM of CBS Interactive's Sports division, and welcomed six new members to its membership of 55 brands in early September. EContent intereviewed Kint about the future of DCN.
Posted Sep 19, 2014
The reported decline in e-reader sales is being misread as an indication that consumption of the ebook itself is in decline. This false conjecture has given authors and publishers hope that the printed book will return to the economic dominance it enjoyed before the technological innovation of the e-reader device.
By Warren Adler
Posted Sep 12, 2014
Joe Pulizzi is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and the author of Epic Content Marketing. As an outspoken evangelist for content marketing, Pulizzi is one of the key figures in the industry and has made it his mission to train and educate brands about the importance of content to their marketing strategy. EContent interviewed Pulizzi as he prepared for the annual Content Marketing World conference, which takes place Sept. 8-11, 2014, in Cleveland.
Posted Sep 05, 2014
There's been a long-standing rule in content marketing that 90% of your budget should be focused on promoting content and the remaining 10% of your budget should be spent producing the content. This rule came about during a time when there were limited distribution channels, and promotion was expensive.It's time to rethink the ratio. In the traditional media world, advertising was often broadly applied and expensive. Now, as media spends are cheaper, content must become richer and better targeted. It's time for a 60/40 split.
By Deborah Hanamura
Posted Aug 25, 2014
Business today is all about collaboration and technology has been the great enabler. Why? Because a fundamental requirement of collaboration is communication. John Mancini, president of AIIM, the global community of information management professionals, explains.
By John Mancini
Posted Aug 18, 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.
By Tristan Abbott
Posted Aug 11, 2014
An interesting tournament with a passionate digital audience made the games not just a hit on the pitch but also proved to be key for several brands to leverage the enthusiasm and cloak themselves in the football fever. Not just the main sponsors, but also those who were far from the action used the World Cup beautifully to magnify and amplify their engagements and ride on the waves that the event created. So, what were the key five lessons marketers can take from the World Cup 2014? Read here:
By Ritesh Singh
Posted Aug 04, 2014
Things often go wrong on live TV, and the same goes for live internet broadcasts. But the show must go on...and so must the Hangout. Unfortunately, Peggy Anne Salz couldn't make it to the Hangout, but there was still plenty of great mobile advice dispensed from Brant DeBow (@bdebow) of Bite Interactive. Join Jose Castillo in chatting with Brant about the future of mobile -- apps vs. mobile web -- and much more.
Posted Aug 01, 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
Charities and non-profits have always faced a tremendous number of challenges. From fundraising to marketing to organizational difficulties, social work is a constant uphill battle. Yet today, technology seems to be turning the tides. Social media is helping charities reach out to people around the world on a scale that was never possible in the past. Social media marketing has now become an absolute must for organizations of all shapes and sizes, and developing strategies to implement this incredible tool in the most effective manner possible should now be a top priority for every non-profit. Instagram in particular has recently emerged as the best social platform for marketers. So to put this vital tool to work for your non-profit, here's a crash course in Instagram engagement and how to improve your non-profit awareness conversions.
By Jenny Ann Beswick
Posted May 16, 2014
Major brands and enterprises are already on the Twitter bandwagon, but SMBs can still be hesitant to fully embrace social media. Sprout Social developed a guide to help ease the transition for SMBs, and Terra Ickes, customer education manager at Sprout, answered some questions for EContent about the challenges of Twitter for SMBs.
Posted Apr 23, 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
The applications of gamification are growing. Many companies are finding new and interesting ways to apply this trend in their industries, but others struggle with understanding how to get started. EContent interviewed James Davidson, digital marketing leader and social business strategist for 7Summits about how companies can get started applying gamification techniques.
Posted Apr 04, 2014
Surprise! Facebook is about to change the use of its platform for marketers. Ever hear this before? "A source professionally familiar with Facebook's marketing strategy, who requested to remain anonymous, ... [states] that the social network is ‘in the process of slashing organic page reach' down to 1 or 2 percent," according to Valleywag. What could prompt yet another change for Facebook?
By Steve Goldner
Posted Apr 02, 2014
Do you have questions about online video? Are you wondering how to get started? Which platforms to use? What tools you need? More importantly, are you wondering what Steve Garfield thinks about Google Glass? Do you want to see Jeff Cutler's cat? Then watch our most recent ECLive Google Hangout, hosted by Jose Castillo.
By Jose Castillo
Posted Mar 28, 2014
Mobile marketing is tricky business. Location is important, but much of the location data available is inaccurate, making it difficult to push mobile marketing to the right person at the right time--instead of fifteen minutes too late. EContent talked to Eli Portnoy, general manager of Thinknear about the challenges of mobile marketing and the trick to getting location right.
Posted Mar 26, 2014
In February Scott Abel and Rahel Bailie released a book they co-edited, The Language of Content Strategy. Bringing together 52 content experts to define the important terms that content strategists often toss around -- such as content quality assurance, content flow, and transclusion -- and why they are important, Abel and Bailie created a much-needed guide for the industry. As a relative newbie to the field of content strategy this book was a great resource, but this will be valuable to industry veterans as well. Perhaps even more interesting is the story behind the book.
By Misty Simms
Posted Mar 21, 2014
Moguldom Media Group is the brainchild of its CEO and chairman Jamarlin Martin. The company bills itself as the world's largest network of owned and operated digital brands focusing on African Americans, and now Moguldom is taking what it knows about its audience--64% of its readers believe Hollywood does not produce enough documentaries about the African-American experience-- and producing custom video content to fill a niche it calls "docutainment."
Posted Mar 19, 2014
There was a very important birthday this week that you probably forgot. Don't worry, you don't need to run out and get a card to apologize. The World Wide Web doesn't mind that you forgot its 25th birthday. But you should probably feel guilty about letting this milestone pass unnoticed because, according to Pew, the World Wide Web has made your life better.
By Theresa Cramer
Posted Mar 14, 2014
According to HubSpot's 2013 State of Inbound Marketing report, 23% of marketers invested in blogs and social media last year. That number seems shockingly low, and could indicate that some decision-making executives are still wary of social media. EContent talked to Thomas White, co-founder and CEO of the C-Suite Network-a company designed to enable c-suite professionals to maximize the potential of peer networks and social media-to better understand the C-Suite's hesitance to embrace social media.
Posted Mar 12, 2014
Over the past year a number of buzzwords have captured the attention of marketers and publishers. Programmatic. RTB. Native advertising. Many of these buzzwords are fleeting in nature or confusing for the layperson. But one industry term perfectly encapsulates the future of digital publishing monetization: multichannel.
By Shir Ross
Posted Feb 28, 2014
Stephanie Moritz, head of PR and social media at ConAgra Foods and an instructor with the Digital Professional Institute (DPI), says that many social media features will evolve to meet the needs of both companies and consumers. In fact, Moritz has seven specific predictions.
Posted Feb 25, 2014
We hope that, as loyal readers of EContent, you already know the difference between content strategy and content marketing. But there are some people out there still laboring under the delusion that these two things are one in the same. We have two of the country's leading experts in the subjects here to tell you that they are very different animals, that often work together to achieve similiar goals. Content Wrangler Scott Abel, and the Content Marketing Institute's Robert Rose are here to discuss the finer points of their individual areas of expertise -- and Jose Castillo from thinkjose.com is refereeing! They also discuss Facebook's Paper app, and the future of TLDs.
Digital marketing business models are in a constant state of flux as technological advances continue to shape and re-shape how customers engage with companies online and off. If you compare current marketing strategies to even just a few years ago, a lot has changed. When considering marketing channels, it is imperative to think broadly. The distinctions between digital channels are increasingly blurred.In most cases, within an organization, digital marketing is performed in silos. Integrated marketing strategies -- you know the ones that incorporate the best of both worlds -- are often dismissed or poorly devised through no real fault of their own. How does a company shift gears in a landscape that is vast and in continuous cycles of change?
For a brand, figuring out how to leverage content as part of a marketing communications plan can be daunting. Just keeping your website fresh and relevant can be a challenge, not to mention all the social platforms you need to maintain. Then, there are also all the types of content to consider. But there are ways to determine how often, where, and what to publish. The key is to think of content marketing as being like dating; you just have to pay attention to what the other person is telling you.
In the most recent Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs study, "B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends-North America," 93% of B2B marketers are using content marketing in some way, shape, or form. A staggering 73% of those marketers are creating more content than the previous 12-month period. But let's be honest ... many of these companies aren't really doing content marketing.
If there is one think failing social media marketing, it is a lack of social. I'll explain what I mean by this in a minute, but let's first examine the reality of today's business operations.More and more companies are moving to automated processing and communication to squeeze out operational costs and add a few more margin percentage points. When you call a service provider today to get a problem resolved, do you actually get a human being answering the call? Or, conversely, do you get an automated system that takes you through four levels of questions that get you nowhere and then leave you waiting 15 minutes or longer to get connected to an actual person to help you?
Keeping up with new startups is almost impossible. While we sleep tonight, there are thousands of caffeine-infused individuals hammering away on keyboards creating the next great thing. With a polished slide deck, a few thousand loyal alpha users, and a code repository secret sauce, anyone can take his or her idea from stealth mode to global success overnight. And while some of the companies mentioned in this article will go on to success, others will fall by the wayside, burning through cash and users similar to a summer camp bonfire. The interesting threads to follow through these few successes and myriad failures are the trends that add value to the end user. And the current crop of products and services being launched offers a great list of features to keep our eyes on.
Check out our most recent EContent Live Hangout, with Jose Castillo, Drew Bedard, and Tom Mullen. The guys talked about Facebook video ads, privacy, and what the emerging role of the "marketing technologist" means to companies.
Posted Dec 20, 2013
Did you miss our latest EContent Live Hangout on Google+? You can still watch it here! Join Jose Castillo, Kipp Bodnar, and David Hobbs to discuss The Financial Times' gift articles; great content marketing from Microsfot and Coca-Cola; and our panelists' upcoming appearances at the Gilbane Conference.
By Jose Castillo
Posted Nov 22, 2013