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This Week in Content Marketing: The New York Times Shows That Email Is the Next Best Thing

By Joe Pulizzi

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PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher. If you enjoy our show, we would love it if you would rate it or post a review on iTunes.

In this week’s episode

Robert ponders whether saying “I don’t” is a viable alternative to saying “no.” On the news front, we offer an overview of NerdWallet’s content-first approach, which has taken the company from zero to over $500 million in revenue, and outline how The New York Times is killing it in the email game by opening up new marketing opportunities that focus on retention and loyalty. Rants and raves include net neutrality and YouTube’s ad crisis; then we close the show with an example of the week from Mobil.

Download this week’s PNR: This Old Marketing podcast

Content love from our sponsor: GoToWebinar (42:55)

Why webinars help marketers win – As content marketers, we’re a bit like triathletes. Thankfully, webinars help us as we compete for mind share across content formats. The research is clear: An effective webinar engages customers, builds thought leadership, and sells products. In this e-book, we’ll show you how to attract and engage your audience, create your webinar content, and interact authentically with customers.
Start rocking your lead gen with webinars.

Show details

  • (00:01): An advertising blast from the past: “The Ginsu Knife”
  • (00:50): Robert muses on this week’s theme: Can we say no by saying yes?
  • (05:33): Welcome to Episode 188: Recorded on June 18, 2017 (Running time: 1:06:48)
  • (11:45): A bonus offer from our episode sponsor, VideoBlocks: VideoBlocks is an affordable, subscription-based stock media site that gives you unlimited access to premium stock footage. Its sister site, AudioBlocks, has a 100,000+ library of music tracks, sound effects, and loops to …read more

    Source:: content marketing

Read These Books: Summer Recommendations from Content Marketers

By Clare McDermott

books-summer-recommendations-content-marketers

Need something to snap you out of your slump? Turn to your fellow marketers for advice about books and a few podcasts that are practical, inspirational, and downright fun.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

flow_cover_summer_reading

This book is a fantastic reminder of how to recognize joy in the work we do. If we are in “flow,” we are engaging with all our senses.
Vanessa DiMauro, Leader Networks, @VDiMauro

Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street

John Brooks

summerreading_businessadventures

I downloaded Business Adventures after hearing Bill Gates call it “the best book I ever read.” (Gates read it on the advice of Warren Buffett.) The book covers classic business stories – including Ford’s Edsel, Piggly Wiggly, Xerox and GE – and illustrates how great leaders react to and rise above challenges.
Arnie Kuenn, Vertical Measures, @ArnieK

Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes—But Some Do

Matthew Syed

summerreading_blackbox

Failure is the best teacher. This book highlights why we should embrace our failures and how to put processes in place to improve on them.
Andy Vale, infinity.co, @AndyVale

The Mind in the Cave

David Lewis-Williams

summerreading_themindcave

If you want to understand media, social media, and storytelling, it’s best to begin at the beginning. That’s where Lewis-Williams comes in. He is a South African anthropologist who is the preeminent scholar of rock art and cave art, especially the ancient cave paintings of Western Europe that mark the beginnings of humanity.

Lewis-Williams demonstrates …read more

Source:: content marketing

How to Stop Wasting Time on the Wrong Content

By Andrea Fryrear

how-stop-wasting-time-wrong-content

Have you ever spent weeks or even months crafting a perfect piece of content that generated almost no response from your audience? You expected trumpets and confetti, praise-filled emails, maybe even a raise. Instead, you got crickets.

While you might accept these disheartening flops as the cost of doing content marketing, they represent an enormous waste of time and resources.

Fortunately, Agile practices offer an alternative. Rather than putting all your eggs into one big content basket, you can conduct small experiments by releasing minimum viable content. I’ll define this term in a bit. For now, the main thing to note is that minimum viable content enables you to learn what your audience is interested in and then use what you’ve learned to create big, high-effort pieces that perform well.

Why minimum viable content?

Back in the days when we all came to work in horse-drawn carriages, marketing departments would draw up huge marketing plans. These detailed maps spanning dozens of pages (or stone tablets) charted the team’s path for the next year or so. During that time, everyone in marketing would work to release one or two enormous campaigns. All hopes were pinned on the success of these large bets.

If those campaigns failed, all that planning and work was wasted. And someone got fired.

To avoid that type of waste, Agile principles call for us to conduct many small experiments. For content marketers, that means we must test several small, low-risk pieces of content, see which ones perform best, and expand only on the most successful. This approach eliminates wasted effort and increases the chances that each piece of content we deliver will wow our audience.

Those small bets take the form of minimum viable content.

What is minimum viable content?

The concept of minimum viable content comes from the Agile idea of a minimum …read more

Source:: content marketing

2017 Mid-Year Content Marketing Checkup

By Joe Pulizzi

mid-year-content-marketing-checkup

The months of June and July are the perfect time to reflect on your content marketing strategy. What’s working? What isn’t? What needs to change going into the fall season?

As you complete your internal audit, here are some ideas and questions for consideration to help level up your program.

Get rid of the writers

If your internal experts or story contacts aren’t adept at writing, don’t force them to write. Use a professional writer to interview that person. Have the expert check over the information for accuracy, and then let the writer finish the piece. A few innovative companies that work with CMI have taken away all writing assignments from their employees and given them to outside writers. It saves on employee time, editing time, and, in most cases, produces content that is far superior.


If your internal experts aren’t adept at writing, don’t force them to write, says @JoePulizzi.
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Partner up

I find it fascinating that more companies don’t partner with non-competitive businesses on content marketing projects and instead choose to go it alone. By partnering, you can share the cost of the project and double up on distribution. Our website never would have happened in 2010 had it not been for five partners helping to fund and promote the content.

Grow a speaker

IBM has been working on an internal influencer program for years, working to build up its employees into promising speakers and dynamic keynotes. Every company of any size should have a plan to find, nurture, and grow speaking talent. With corporate events on the rise, there are more opportunities to speak at events (and webinars) than ever before, but you should groom your experts in advance to take advantage of these opportunities.


Every company of any …read more

Source:: content marketing

Higher Education: How to Raise Your Content Marketing Game

By Ann Gynn

higher-education-content-marketing-game

Higher education marketers face an interesting dilemma – in many scenarios, the person who writes the check won’t ever use their services.

The buyer’s journey is replaced by the student journey, says Jonah Deaver of Vertical Measures, who has worked with more than 200 universities in the past six years.

That’s why it’s critical to engage with prospective students starting from the awareness stage. “Prospective students are trying to level out emotions that range from fear, doubt, excitement, overwhelmed, motivated, and inspired. They are navigating a lot,” Jonah says. “Marketers should provide them with good information so that along the journey the students will think, ‘That X University is really helpful, I like them, and will listen to them going forward.’ This sets the stage for making a more impactful brand impression at the consideration/decision stages.”


Good content along student journey sets stage for high impact at decision time. @VerticalMeasures #highered
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Jonah’s insight mirrors results of the biannual CASE Educational Communications and Marketing Trends Survey. Prospective students (84%) are cited as the top priority audience by marketers who were asked to pick their top three audiences. Prospects are significantly ahead of alumni (53%), donors (43%), and parents (37%). Further down the priority audience list are current students, faculty and staff, community members, general public and media, governing boards, legislators, and athletic fans.


84% prospective students are cited as top priority audience by marketers asked to pick top 3 via @CASEAdvance
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“Advancing our institutions must start with enrollment, and end with engagement and philanthropy,” as Theresa Flannery, vice president for communication at American University, says in the CASE report.

Obstacles and solutions

Simon A. Thalmann administers the Michigan-based Kellogg Community College’s primary social media channels, blog, and website content. He says the challenge is great in marketing to students …read more

Source:: content marketing

9 Blogging Tools That Will Make Your Job Easier

By Ann Smarty

blogging-tools-make-job-easier

Managing a blog is a tough task, especially if it’s a multi-author outlet. It involves a lot of editing, relationship building, and task management.

You don’t need to be an expert in everything, but you do need to keep a lot of things in check – search engine optimization, content interlinking, article performance in search and social media, and overall content marketing impact on the brand awareness.

The following tools will help you to do more, know more, and understand more to boost your blog performance without spending hours learning new things normally outside of the routine.

Before-publishing tools

1. Add Google Custom Search Engine to your site

Google Custom Search Engine allows your site to host its own search engine, which searches any sites or pages you point it to. It’s a handy tool to combine all brand-sensitive content inside one searchable database. When you’re looking to link to your company’s older content in your new articles, you can run a custom search to find posts published on your site or others you’ve identified. (For example, if you guest post on other sites, you can include that in your search.)

To create a custom search engine, list your brand’s domains and name your search engine, and you are done.

Add pages in bulk: You can do this in the editing phase (not when you create the search engine). Click “Edit,” then “Add,” and finally “Include sites in bulk”:

google-custom-search-engine-bulk-pages

Add individual pages from third-party sites: Select “Include just the specific pages I have entered” option. It lets you paste in the page links of your brand’s guest posts, reviews, podcasts, interviews, etc.

TIP: Add multiple managers to the search engine so third-party URLs can be added …read more

Source:: content marketing

How The Weather Channel Does Social Media

By Clare McDermott

weather-channel-social-media

Jennifer Watson began her career as an on-camera meteorologist in Mississippi and Alabama, where she also helped manage both stations’ social media channels and weather blogs. Taking a job as a social media specialist with Atlanta-based The Weather Channel was a natural transition for her. “The Weather Channel is a dream job for a weather nerd like me,” says Watson.

CCO: How do you manage the amount and variety of information you curate every day?

Watson: At The Weather Channel, our main goal is to provide weather information to help our fans plan their day and stay safe during severe weather. One of the most critical responsibilities of my job is during severe weather outbreaks; we use Twitter to break down storm information to our followers, making sure people have the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe. We have meteorologists on the social media team to ensure that we’re always posting accurate information.


.@weatherchannel has meteorologists on #socialmedia team to ensure accuracy, says @JWatson_Wx.
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In addition to breaking weather information, we also post about a lot of other weather verticals, such as wildfires or drought. Weather impacts every part of your life, whether you realize it or not. It even affects the economy and what you purchase. A lot of our meteorologists are big space geeks, so we also post information about satellite launches, different astronomical events, etc. We are excited and looking forward to this year’s total solar eclipse.

CCO: There must be risks related to reporting breaking weather news via social media.

Watson: We want to make sure people have a way to get real-time information if they can’t see it on TV. Social media is a great vehicle to disseminate …read more

Source:: content marketing

This Week in Content Marketing: Is Google’s Ad-Blocking Plan Good or Evil?

By Joe Pulizzi

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PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher. If you enjoy our show, we would love it if you would rate it or post a review on iTunes.

In this week’s episode

Robert ponders finding meaning in the absurdities of our lives. On the news front, we debate whether Google’s new ad-blocking plan is a heaven-sent digital experience or a play that’s hell-bent on keeping the company’s monopoly in place? We also discuss the craft brewing industry’s fury over Anheuser-Busch’s purchase of an indie community forum. Our rants and raves include authenticity and licensing revenue; then we close the show with an example of the week from McKinsey Quarterly.

Download this week’s PNR: This Old Marketing podcast

Content love from our sponsor: GoToWebinar (35:39)

Why webinars help marketers win – As content marketers, we’re a bit like triathletes. Thankfully, webinars help us as we compete for mind share across content formats. The research is clear: An effective webinar engages customers, builds thought leadership, and sells products. In this e-book, we’ll show you how to attract and engage your audience, create your webinar content, and interact authentically with customers.
Start rocking your lead gen with webinars.

Show details

  • (00:01): An advertising blast from the past: “Nothing else is Silly Putty”
  • (01:00): Robert muses on this week’s theme: Finding meaning among the absurdities of life
  • (05:50): Welcome to Episode 187: Recorded live on June 11, 2017 (Running time: 59:53)
  • (09:07): A bonus offer from our episode sponsor, VideoBlocks: VideoBlocks is an affordable, subscription-based stock media site that gives you unlimited access to premium stock footage. Its sister site, AudioBlocks, has a 100,000+ library of music tracks, sound effects, and loops to complement your videos.

    VideoBlocks has one of the …read more

    Source:: content marketing

Print’s Very Much Alive: Magazine Examples from 9 Brands

By Clare McDermott

print-alive-magazine-examples-brands

While marketers flood new digital channels and explore the latest amplification strategies, a number of companies continue to invest in the “traditional” media of print to reach their customers.

CMI research reveals that while print is not a particularly popular way to distribute content – approximately one-third of B2B and B2C marketers use print – those who do use print consider it the most important channel after email and LinkedIn (for B2B) and Facebook (for B2C).

Read on for inspiration across industries, marketing goals, and styles.

thinkMoney by TD Ameritrade

Agency/Publisher: T3 Custom

tdameritrade-thinkmoney-magazine

Now in its 10th year, thinkMoney has won many editorial and design awards, and is often spotlighted as a custom magazine done right. Why all the attention? Quality in the details. thinkMoney targets options traders – a very particular niche within the investing world. Its audience is smart, risk-taking and even a bit contrarian … so the magazine must have a look, feel, and voice that appeal to that highly discriminating audience. For example, thinkMoney only hires writers and editors who are themselves active traders. And the design of the magazine is completely original – the magazine’s covers use bold visuals that include subtle humor and a side wink. All this adds up to a beautifully executed publication that educates a tough-to-impress crowd.


.@TDAmeritrade thinkMoney mag has look, feel, & voice of its highly discriminating audience @soloportfolio
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Outcomes Magazine by Eyeview

outcomes-magazine-eyeview

Video marketing company Eyeview launched a print magazine in early 2017. CMO Jeff Fagel explains that the format allows room for studying complex topics in digital media, artificial intelligence, and video marketing. …read more

Source:: content marketing

Why a Good Content Audit Is Your Business’ Best Friend

By Marcia Riefer Johnston

content-audit-business-best-friend

What would you be willing to do to get reliable guidance on what kinds of content to create more of – and less of – to have greater impact on your business? Would you go so far as to *gulp* audit your content?

Don’t click away! Yes, a content audit can seem like an overwhelming task – “something we think is somebody else’s responsibility,” says Cathy McKnight, founding partner of Digital Clarity Group and speaker at the Intelligent Content Conference. “But it is essential to our jobs” as marketers.

This article sums up the main points from Cathy’s ICC talk, Executing a Usable Content Audit That Will Immediately Make an Impact on Your Marketing Content.

What’s a content audit?

A content audit is a review of existing content. It usually takes the form of a spreadsheet that lists your content assets – all types of content, all channels, all distribution formats – and captures information about each asset. The list itself is sometimes referred to as a content inventory; the audit is the process of assessing each item in the inventory.

There’s no universal set of information you should capture during your audit. Consider your project needs and business goals, and assess your content according to what you want to know. Consider both quantitative information (how much, how many) and qualitative information (who, what, when, where, how, why).

For examples of the types of information you might want to collect in your audit, see the section – What data should a content inventory include? – in this article.

Why do a content audit?

A content audit reveals which aspects of our digital assets need attention. Among other things, it may identify:

  • Pages that haven’t performed well
  • Outdated pages
  • Misinformation, obsolete information, and incomplete information
  • Invalid SEO information

A content audit can help you: