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.
By Jill Finger Gibson
Posted Dec 22, 2014
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.
By Anne Casson
Posted Dec 15, 2014
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.
By TIM BOURGEOIS
Posted Dec 08, 2014
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
Join content experts Val Swisher, Scott Abel, and Jose Castillo to talk about global content strategy, iPad Air, and whether or not news bundles are worth paying for.
The Hummingbird is known not only for its hum-like chirp but also for its love of sweet nectar. But thanks to Google, it may also now be known in the digital world for its love of high-quality content. Earlier this month, Google unfurled the biggest change to its search engine since the company launched 15 years ago.The Hummingbird update brings about major changes to the way Google ranks search results. Hummingbird makes it more important than ever before for brands to hone their content marketing to draw users (and the Hummingbird) into deeper brand engagement.
By Bob Goodman
Posted Oct 25, 2013
Join Jose Castillo, Robert Rose, and Michelle Manafy to discuss native advertising, how newspapers are like horses, and the value of online reviews.
Did you miss our latest EContent Live Hangout? You can still join Jose Castillo, Ron Miller, and Brad Batt to discuss the ins-and-outs of content management, Kindle MatchBook, and privacy (or the lack thereof) on the web. Be sure to follow @econtentmag on Twitter, or EContent on Google+ to be kept up-to-date on upcoming EContent Live events.
By Jose Castillo
, Ron Miller
Posted Sep 06, 2013
The marketing landscape has changed dramatically over the last five years, due largely to a change in the way consumers demand to interact with brands. Long gone are the days when serving up an ad was enough to ignite a spark of interest in a consumer. Today's customers don't want to be bombarded with advertising. Instead, they want to interact with brands in a way that's meaningful and makes them feel connected and part of a community. In other words, this isn't your grandmother's marketing.
By Lauren Fairbanks
Posted Aug 30, 2013
Digital Media has forever changed the way we manage and measure PR and marketing campaigns. I live and breathe social media and advocate leveraging easy to use platforms to engage, publish, and provide access between organizations and their key stakeholders, but at some point we need stop and think about the effectiveness of the content we push out. How does one know if their campaign is truly enhancing interactions or reaching key stakeholders? The key is to measure.
By Jessica Payne
Posted Aug 28, 2013
If you weren't able to tune into the first ever EContent Live Google Hangout, you can still watch. Listen to EContent columnists, and content experts Jose Castillo, Scott Abel, and Drew Bedard discuss whether or not Facebook makes you sad, if Gmail is killing e-mail marketing, the importance of context, and the truth about responsive design.
Yet another tween is declaring Facebook "like so over", this time on Mashable. Thirteen year old Ruby Karp says that when she was 10, all she wanted was a Facebook account, and now - at the ripe old age of 13 - she's totally over it and so are her friends. Facebook is now the domain of their parents. Apparently all the cool kids are using Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat. According to Pew, however, "The typical (median) teen Facebook user has 300 friends" -- which hardly sounds like the statistic of a dying social network.
By Theresa Cramer
Posted Aug 14, 2013
Top colleges and universities are always competing for the best students and faculty. It is true that the education sector is (mostly) not a profit seeking one, but it still needs to market itself to attract the right kind of talent. This is why one of the most effective marketing techniques for other industries--content marketing--is a boon for the education sector too.
By Jessica Davis
Posted Aug 07, 2013
Gmail users probably noticed a change in their inbox this week, which was-at least in my opinion-for the better. Google introduced tabs to my inbox: Primary, Social, and Promotions. (You can also add Updates and Forums to your tabs but I haven't. And you can turn them all off if you'd prefer.) This represents a win for those of us trying to take our lives back from the monster task that is dealing with email, but a huge blow to email marketers...maybe.
By Theresa Cramer
Posted Jul 19, 2013
More than any other industry, content marketing is absolutely essential for companies in the online marketing or advertising industry. After all, content marketing is the latest, and probably one of the most effective, forms of marketing out there. How can they provide excellent marketing services to their clients when they themselves are not using one of the best marketing and advertising tools online?
By Jessica Davis
Posted Jul 03, 2013
Content marketing is not only about maintaining a blog and sharing posts on social media platforms. Content marketing is about providing additional value to a customer and providing all the necessary information required for a customer to make an informed decision. The global e-commerce industry is growing by leaps and bounds as people are switching from brick and mortar stores to online retailers.
By Jessica Davis
Posted Jun 14, 2013
As businesses try to make sense of big data, I'm reminded of how contradictory forces can bring balance to a situation in order to move it forward. In my opinion, there is an over-emphasis on the technology side of big data, and not enough focus on the business side.
By John Mancini
Posted May 22, 2013
The financial sector has received plenty of criticism over the past few years for alleged unethical and wasteful practices. Its reputation has sustained a lot of damage. Financial companies, though late adopters of content marketing, have much to gain from it. Content marketing can prove to be a very effective channel to rebuild reputations and regain trust in the consumers' minds. With such a powerful proposition, it's a shame that most banking companies don't even have active blogs and social media accounts-forget about smart and direct content strategy.
By Jessica Davis
Posted May 08, 2013