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What’s the Idea? is soon fielding a piece of research to better understand the state of the state of content marketing. The survey should go live this week. It is partly the result of some consulting I’ve been doing this summer in the digital space on content strategy. Our feeling is that there is a lot of content marketing talk but very little codified strategy. I understand it’s a fairly new, pop marketing pursuit and as such heavily in tactics mode – a la, during World War II, build tanks furiously, we’ll figure out how to use them – but when it comes to marketing, too much emphasis on tactics sans strategy can dilute brand meaning. So our poll will quantify the use of content strategy on websites and social settings, especially in mid-sized companies.
Today I came across a new-ish title in the press: Chief Content Officer. I suspect it’s an outgrowth of this content marketing frenzy. Anyone tasked with herding the content cats with a chief title is okay by me. But is it a real chief title or just a director level title? And does the chief content officer have the same power as the chief marketing officer? I would hope not.
As a brand planner and someone familiar with the executive suite, it is obvious to me that the CMO should set direction for the chief content officer. A company with dueling chiefs in this area (healthy though the ultimate outcome may be), seems way dysfunctional. I love the function of a chief content officer, don’t get me wrong, but it feels a little affected and nouveau. I’ll do a little more studying and keep you posted. Peace.
Tags: chief content office, content marketing, content marketing research, content marketing strategy, content strategy, content strategy research, heading content cats, hilary topper, hjmt public relations, pop marketing, whats the idea, whatstheidea
There isn’t any. There is very little art in keyword infested content. Writers who pepper their digital work with keywords so the algo can find it, aren’t writing they are data processing. Recruiters will tell you to make sure you have a list of keyword skills in your resume so the algo, at first pass (Who can read 200 resumes?) finds you. Similarly, web developers and SEO jockeys want lots of keywords on the homepage and primary layers to make sure your site rises to the top on Google. And content marketing writers, as grammatically correct as they are, know they’re being paid by the search not the word. So, where’s the art? Where’s the poetry? Where is that heart-felt, emotive story? In many cases it’s not even copy anymore, it’s search palaver.
Great writing, persuasive writing is an art. Look at all the best columnists, bloggers and vloggers — they didn’t rise to the top because of keywords. Their content was the marketing. What’s next, musical notes the tones of which are searchable? I loves me some G minor.
Tags: algo, content marketing, copywriting, digital copywriting, keyword marketing, keywords, search palaver, searchable music tones, seo, seo jockeys, the art of keywords, whats the idea, whatstheidea
I’m not a pinner or user of Pinterest (yet), but recently visited the site in an effort to help out a friend with a woodworking business; my intent was to get him to display his amazing work. Pinterst recognized the fact that I was not an active user and so popped up a quickie tour of new features. The pop up made it sound as if they were sharing new enhancements, but it could easily have just been their way of reorienting and activating me.
Nice finesse Pinterest. This is how the web should work. In my world, where a website should represent the brand plan (one claim, three proof planks), pop-ups or interstitial pages that vary based upon your visiting behavior are refreshing. A return visitor that always heads straight to contacts or about should be offered a quick link there. A first time or lapsed user should be treated with special gloves. A repeat purchaser should get the special treatment — perhaps a surprise every now and again, and other delights.
But this doesn’t happen very often.
We have really kind of forgotten the website these past few years as we go all head down on shiny new social media and moble. And now “content marketing” is the haps. Often unbridled content marketing. Off-piste content marketing. (That’s why it’s smart to use thought leaders in the practice – see Kyle Monson and www.Knock2x.com for instance.)
Fred Wilson and John Battelle in a recent video chafed at the notion of giving traffic to other’s websites. I agree. Social and content are kind of like chumming and fishing, but once the fish is on the line it needs to come into the boat.
Websites are the biggest most important development in commerce since the telephone. Let’s get back to optimizing them. Steve Rubel, you with me on this? Peace.
Tags: brand plan, brand planks, content marketing, fred Wilson, john battelle, knock twice, knock2x, kyle monston, mobile, Pinterest, Steve Rubel, whats the idea, whatstheidea
Content marketing starts with being seen. Following is a story and insight. And a Twitch Point crumb trail.
This morning I was reading a New York Times article (a daily anchor read) describing a new ConAgra Slim Jim campaign. I twitched over to Twitter and followed an author by the name of David Vinjamuri, quoted in the article, writer of a book called Accidental Branding. I have heard of the book but now, thanks to the media surround, will consider buying it.) On Mr. Vinjamuri’s Twitter feed, I read and how his Amazon reviews rock, according to Mars Dorian. I might consider following Mr. Dorain but didn’t have time. His name will go into the gray mush database and should it come up again, he’s in.
The notion of being an Amazon review rockstar is very interesting to me, and plays into my Poster vs. Pasters theory of online magnetism. Mr. Vinjamuri, blogs, writes book, Tweets and no doubt does lots of other posting. His Amazon reviews, however, are placed on a canvas that seen by many and more importantly, seen in context. He has found a place where concerned readers congregate and he is posting there — with things they like. (In doing so, he is creating twitches back to himself.) Had Mr. Vinjamuri doen the review on his own blog he’d have to wait for his Google ranking on the topic to float up. So he used Amazon to fish for acolytes. Genius.
Just as inbound links are the key to Google rankings, commenting and leaving a trail of crumbs on other people’s sites is a key to content marketing. It’s the last mile. The one most people forget about. It’s the map or directions to you and your site. There is way too much Fotchbook focus for marketers today. They create content for Fotchbook (faccia, is Italian for face) and becasue the platform contains so many crumbs, people tend to stay there…giving Mr. Zuckerberg all the traffic. So Posters, you need to troll. You need to troll in rich waters. And you need to create content back at the ranch that will build greater affinity. Sorry for going long today. Peace!
Tags: accidental branding, amazon, amazon review, conagra, content marketing, content marketing crumbs, david vinjamuri, dorian mars, facebook, fotchbook, google rankings, mark zuckerberg, mars dorian, new yrok times, posters vs. pasters, slim jim, twitch point planning, whats the idea, whatstheidea
David Poque, a technology columnist for The New York Times, is a very interesting character. He’s a thoughtful, important and market-moving purveyor of what’s hot and what’s not. Sometimes his columns are a bit like a PC Mag review, but mostly they’re a fun Anthony Bourdain-like travelogue through the tasty streets of technology.
I have seen Mr. Poque on public television and he has a subtle nervousness about him on camera that doesn’t come across in print… so if I were my mother and in an advice-giving mood I suggest he stay in print. Interestingly, Mr. Poque’s public and private personas are a tad different. I posted about one of his columns once with a differing point of view and it really rubbed him. (I advocated not providing in-box instructions with new products to save paper.) His angry and personal comment on my blog surprised — telling me there is a bit more to Mr. Pogue than meets the eye. (A side that might be fun to read outside of the NYT guardrails.)
My prediction: Mr. Poque will either leave The New York Times within the next 3 years and create his own branded site or AOL will make him an offer he can’t refuse. Yahoo could, but they have a lazy eye. Peace.
Tags: Anthony bourdain, AOL, david poque, public television, technology columnist, the new york times, whats the idea, whatstheidea, yahoo
Here’s the difference between the Daily Beast’s content strategy and that of AOL. Daily. AOL has a broad set of content properties with a new video focus and a top-tier Poster mentality, but the Daily Beast is all about today. Combining of the Daily Beast and Newsweek was all about allowing the Beast to learn the journalism craft and investigative reporting and to infuse news gathering DNA into its being. Whether or not the Beast subsumes and devours Newsweek, only time will tell (I suspect it will), but this is the play for the Beast. It has set its sights on the Huff Post, part of the AOL family, and made an interesting move yesterday.
By bringing over the Daily Dish from The Atlantic yesterday (there’s that daily word again) and paying Andrew Sullivan for his column/post/blog, the Daily franchise will grow in stature and readers. The brand is taking form. In the magazine media form, first there were monthlies, then weeklies. Online has allowed for dailies. Of course newspapers are dailies and if anyone should own the daily label it should be them, but for some reason they can’t seem to get out of their own way. It takes a blog.
Go ahead and laugh, but it won’t be long before someone comes along and takes the “hourly” franchise. Peace.
Tags: AOL, Daily Beast, huffington post, newsweek, the atlantic, the daily dish, whats the idea, whatstheidea
Apple has decided that ebook publishers and retailers, whose books make their way onto Apple devices, must allow the books to be purchased via Apple. If you are an iPazzle owner and go to Amazon to buy “The Help” there must also be a link to purchase that book from iTunes/Store as well. Apple will earn 30%. Sony an ebook retailer has already balked at this dictate.
Apple is not saying you have to buy from them, just that they deserve equal access. Seems fair enough. Apple Fanboys and girls may wish to give their hard-earned to their favorite brand, as is their right, but where will this taking a cut of the content stop? Will Apple at some point want a penny for every phone call that lands on an iPhone? And how would you sell that to your custies? “It goes to R&D to help design better products?” Might work.
Apple, already an opt-in monopoly of almost cult-like dimension, is creating a platform (read Steve Lohr’s article in The New York Times) that stretches beyond hardware and software and into that amorphous area of services. They had better be a bit careful though. Opt-in is one thing…dictatorship quite another. Peace!
Tags: amazon, an opt in monopoly, apple, ebook publishers, ipad, ipazzle, itunes, marketing, nyt, platform, sony, Steve Lohr, the help, whats the idea, whatstheidea