September/October 2017 Issue


News Features

It seems there's hardly a job a machine can't do. You go to the grocery store, and your cashier has been replaced by a computer. Your travel agent was replaced by Expedia years ago. The car in your driveway was mostly built, not by an assembly line of workers, but by advanced robots. Artificial intelligence (AI) can drive your car and clean your floor. Honestly, what doesn't your smartphone do for you? And if you happen to work in a marketing department, you may be wondering if you're going to come in one morning to find some form of AI sitting at your desk.
- Posted Sep 11, 2017
Content is always changing shapes, morphing into something new. Long before there was the written word, people gathered to tell stories around campfires. Before there was a printing press, there were handwritten books. Then, of course, came ebooks. Now, our content comes to us through a dizzying array of devices and platforms. Smart creators are using the growing number of delivery options to continue to reshape content into new—and sometimes improved—forms.
- Posted Oct 09, 2017

Featured Stories

A quarter-century ago, when SEO was in its infancy, it was as easy as slathering on a heavy layer of keywords and tossing in abundant backlinks to rise in the rankings on search engine results pages. But by 2018, that rudimentary approach will be a distant memory, with Google, Bing, and other search engines' sophisticated algorithms in a state of constant refinement. Those organizations will seek to outwit unscrupulous players determined to manipulate results at the cost of user experience. Meeting the challenge of effective SEO may take on even more importance in the year to come, considering the renewed pressure on search engine providers to help users weed out fake news and other low-quality content.
- Posted Sep 06, 2017
Today, digital advertisers can use various forms of analytics to determine exactly what readers are looking at—and for how long. Enter the concept of time-based advertising metrics, which is the ability to not only know whether an ad has been viewed, but how long viewers spent engaged with it. This represents value for advertisers—and publishers. After all, chances are that advertisers would be willing to pay more to have their content viewed for a longer period of time by their target audiences. The higher the level of engagement (based on time spent), the more advertisers should be willing to spend.
- Posted Oct 02, 2017
Compared to other marketing activities, personalization is unique because it can help you improve both short-term and long-term business goals. For example, it can increase short-term goals such as email open rates and conversion rates, but it can also increase customer loyalty and lifetime value in the long term. Not surprisingly, digital marketers have pursued the holy grail of personalization for many years, but they face many challenges, particularly when trying to scale personalization globally.
- Posted Oct 23, 2017

Columns

It will be no surprise to regular readers of this column that I can be a bit of a skeptic when it comes to new technology. I don't stand in line for the new iPhone. In fact, I'm usually a few generations behind, preferring to wait until the reviews are in on new features. I like to know exactly what I want and need in a device before I buy one—and I keep the gadgets to a minimum. But lately, I've been thinking about bringing a robot into my house.
- Posted Sep 05, 2017
I should cop to my bias at the outset. I have been on the podcasting bandwagon since shortly after Apple added the format to its iTunes player in 2005. Personalization and portability, along with the seamless continuity of media experiences across different contexts, was the magic for me. And it is not surprising that the same recipe is at the heart of the most successful digital media brand of our era: Netflix.
- Posted Sep 12, 2017
One of the few axioms that marketing strategists can agree on involves brand and reputation management. There is an overwhelming consensus that brand reputation matters, impacts revenues, and can cripple organizations.
- Posted Sep 19, 2017
We've seen companies trying—sometimes desperately—to move into the 21st century and transform their businesses. Many waited way too long, let their staff get too small, or lost sight of their mission. But it seems that we could be turning a corner and finally getting to a point where publications can learn how to make money again.
- Posted Sep 26, 2017
By the time you read this column, I will have attended VidCon in Anaheim, Calif., for the fourth time in my career as an online video and digital media writer and content marketer. While the previous years' events each had their own special moments and points of interest for me, I'm particularly excited to see what VidCon 2017 will bring in terms of solutions for the growing, but turbulent, world of online video.
- Posted Oct 03, 2017
Digital has done a tremendous job of elevating the importance of content, but it has equally devalued its longevity. We often equate week-old data sheets or last year's white paper with yesterday's news. After all, today's latest hot take has already rendered all those thoughtful pieces irrelevant, at least in the eyes of a voracious audience. But we might need to reconsider how we think about that content.
- Posted Oct 10, 2017
It's 2017, and everyone is wrestling with fake news. Given the wide-ranging nature of artificial intelligence (AI) use cases, it is only natural to ask whether machine learning can help us combat fake news. It should be fairly simple to build ourselves a fact-checker, right? After all, software is able to flag spam email or pornographic images with a high degree of accuracy. It turns out that machine learning techniques are useful, but they have their limitations—and we are far away from a fully automated fact-checking tool.
- Posted Oct 17, 2017

Faces of EContent

Kristen Meinzer, senior producer with podcast network Panoply, which helps companies produce and monetize podcasts, draws heavily on both communication and technical skills in her job. "I engineer, edit, and produce podcasts, and I also co-host and co-write my own podcast, By the Book," Meinzer says. She also manages a team of podcast producers, but says, "I prefer the word ‘advocate' or ‘go-to person' over ‘manager.'"
- Posted Oct 06, 2017

Case Studies

Racing Post is one of the lucky publications that has its niche cornered. Similar to publications with a strong hold on their audience, it has successfully put online subscriptions to good use since the early 2000s. But not all paywalls are created equal, and Racing Post was working with a homemade solution that was no longer cutting the mustard. It decided to revamp its paid content strategy to better serve its consumers, grow subscriber numbers, and collect greater insight into its audience.
- Posted Sep 25, 2017