This Week in Content Marketing: Marketers, Not Publishers, Will Win With Long-Form Content

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 how to know when it’s time to end a good thing. In the news this week, Apple hits record earnings, Google launches a new Snapchat-like ad format, and AI bots begin to create their own language. We offer a detailed analysis on the marketing opportunity behind long-form content, and discuss why Hasbro’s deal with Lions Gate went south. Our rants and raves include Stranger Things and the Facebook/Google duopoly; then we close with an example of the week on TheStreet and Jim Cramer.

Download this week’s PNR: This Old Marketing podcast

Content love from our sponsor: Smartling (41:51)

Translation: A reliable recipe for business growth – According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 95% of the world’s consumers live outside the United States. And any company pursuing them with English-only content is likely limiting its revenue potential. According to Common Sense Advisory, more than 70% of consumers are more likely to buy a product with information listed in their native language than a comparable product without. These realities haven’t been lost on the world’s leading brands.

Digital innovation may have flattened the world, but human language is still the key to forming authentic connections. As a result, any company limiting the conversation to a single language is also severely limiting its own growth potential. To be successful on a global scale, brands need to consider localization strategies that suit their audience and elevate their brand presence. And whether your company is big or small, the road to …read more

Source:: content marketing

Video-Phobic Marketers: It’s Time to Get Over Your Fear of Producing Video

By Clare McDermott


Jeff Julian got his start in video at the ripe old age of 12. Video was a creative outlet for him during a challenging time … middle school.

“When I was in middle school, I went from an average size kid to a big kid,” Jeff explains. “I got picked on quite a bit. Playing with computers and electronics was a way for me to fit in and be creative. I began producing funny skits with my best friend. We impersonated ESPN, Saturday Night Live, and even Robin Leach from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Our videos became popular at school. No one else was doing it so those videos came to define me when I was a kid.”

After college, Jeff became a full-time software developer, but in his spare time he was blogging and recording video about technology – even before “blog” was a common word. Ultimately, he built what became the biggest technology blog community at the time: Geeks With Blogs. (Robert Scoble was an early influencer of the blog.) “I wasn’t a marketer,” says Jeff. “I was a software developer who created this community – and I had to learn how to sell advertising to keep it going.” Over time, Jeff migrated to marketing, ultimately founding a marketing-focused video blog called Enterprise Marketer.

Jeff says marketers fear two primary aspects of video marketing. First, there’s tremendous anxiety about getting in front of the camera. He explains, “The fear of being judged scares people away from all video and audio media, even if they themselves aren’t the ones who will be in front of the camera.”

Fear of being judged scares marketers away from #video and audio media, says @JJulian.
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Also, Jeff says, marketers feel inadequate when it comes to transforming raw video assets into …read more

Source:: content marketing

How and Why (or Why Not) to Build a Chatbot

By Marcia Riefer Johnston

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Let’s say your organization has the best content in your industry. Prospective customers go to your site, enter their questions in your search box, navigate through a few clicks, and – voilà – they get instant answers to their questions.

Excellent. For today. But are you ready for tomorrow, when your competitors lure those customers away with a superior Q-and-A experience? They won’t do it by hiring thousands of people to take phone calls. In 2011, Gartner predicted “by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human.”

Customers will manage 85% of business relationships w/o humans by 2020, says @Gartner_Inc.
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How will your competitors lure those curious customers away from your superior content if not with human beings?

With chatbots. Friendly, helpful chatbots.

Unless you beat them to it.

So says Cruce Saunders, founder and principal content engineer at [A], in his Intelligent Content Conference talk Engineering Content for Chatbots, AI, and Marketing Automation. In this article, I sum up some of Cruce’s advice. Unless noted, all images and quotations in this post come from his talk.


Chances are, you’ve interacted with a chatbot, even if you didn’t know it. A chatbot (also called a bot, a virtual assistant, or an intelligent personal assistant) is “software that automates the task of talking with people, especially over the internet,” says Kristina Podnar in this article from which I borrowed the animated example below. This example shows Taco Bell’s chatbot – “tacobot” – sounding downright personable (“Sounds good,” and so on.)


Some chatbots use artificial intelligence (AI) and some don’t. A simple, scripted chatbot, like tacobot, uses programmed-response technology based on rules or decision trees. “Its paths are limited, and users select from defined options,” according to …read more

Source:: content marketing

How Financial Services Companies Build Relationships Through Content

By Dawn Papandrea


When it comes to innovative content marketing and customer service, let’s just say the financial services industry hasn’t taken a leading position. Yet as customer relationships evolve from in-person transactions to omnichannel engagement, consumer-facing banks and insurance companies have realized it’s time to step up their game.

Why the lag?

“One of the primary drivers as to why banks are late to the party is the legacy systems they are dealing with,” says Steve Facini, chief marketing officer for ondemandCMO, a New Jersey-based marketing firm. He works with financial clients and worked for Citibank. “Today’s banks grew to the sizes they are through acquisitions, so it’s difficult for them to integrate all of that information into one system. It’s also a heavily regulated industry,” he says.

As a result, being a few beats behind has opened the door for fintech – financial services companies focused on technology and innovation – to swoop in and offer a better user experience than traditional banks can manage, hence the success of brands like Lending Tree, SoFi, and Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans. “They are focusing on specific niches of banking and can do it better and quicker. However, even though fintechs might have a better widget, they have a problem gaining trust, and therefore, it’s tough for them to scale,” says Facini.

#Fintechs have a problem gaining trust so it’s tough for them to scale, says @FaciniSteve.
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In other words, winning the loyalty of today’s customers requires a combination of cutting-edge, customized digital, and mobile engagement, as well as the credibility gained from offering industry-leading expertise during the in-person branch experience.

Winning customer loyalty requires cutting-edge engagement + credibility of industry expertise. @DawnPapandrea
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Why do banks need to master both? Consider this: More customers than ever are using mobile banking (49% of …read more

Source:: content marketing

The Art of the Cart: How Retail Brands Can Cash in on Content Marketing

By Jodi Harris


Do you remember where you were on July 11, 2017 – a seemingly random Tuesday in the middle of summer?

If I were to venture a guess, I would say there’s a good chance you spent at least part of your day taking advantage of retail giant Amazon’s one-day shopping extravaganza, Prime Day. According to Amazon, it was the company’s biggest sales day in its history, with tens of millions of customers making purchases in nearly every retail category imaginable. To put that in perspective, Amazon sold more items on Prime Day than it did on Black Friday and Cyber Monday – combined. That’s a lot of shopping carts to ring up!

As the world’s third-largest retailer, Amazon has grown to the point where its inventory practically sells itself. But the brand also has a range of branded content products and technologies it’s developed to speak (literally) on its behalf such as its Echo digital device, its Prime streaming entertainment service, and its digital Dash buttons.

Though Prime Day represents a major benefit for deal-seeking consumers and Amazon’s retail partners alike, it also serves to highlight some of the big content challenges faced by all retail industry marketers – whether their operations are online, brick-and-mortar stores, or a combination.

Let’s look at a few of those challenges, as well as some top content opportunities marketers in this sector should be exploring to remain competitive in the face of the great Amazonian conqueror.

Marketing cost containment is critical

With the cost of goods constantly rising, profit margins in this industry can be razor-thin, which means retail brands need to be highly strategic when it comes to their marketing budget and content team’s resources.

Complicating the matter is retail’s shorter sales cycles and lower customer lifetime values as compared to high-consideration purchases like automobiles …read more

Source:: content marketing

Convert Your Most Vital (and Most Ignored) Audience Into Brand Ambassadors

By Marcia Riefer Johnston


Hey, marketers! Do you ignore your organization’s most important audience? Probably, says consultant and author Carla Johnson.

Chances are, you and your team put all your brand-building energy into external messages. But who are any company’s biggest brand builders? Who, in fact, turn (or don’t turn) your marketing promises into truth? The people on the inside.

If your co-workers aren’t part of your content marketing strategy, you’re missing an opportunity.

It’s a missed opp if employees aren’t an audience for your #contentmarketing. @CarlaJohnson #employeeadvocacy
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At Content Marketing World, Carla’s talk – My Employee Said What?!?! Creating a Content Strategy for Employees, the Most Vital and Ignored Audience – walked us through a how-to on using inward-focused content to support employees in becoming smarter, stronger brand ambassadors. This post reviews her advice:

  • Make “who we are” clear and simple.
  • Create employee content that inspires.
  • Decide how you want employees to feel about your brand.

All quotations and images in this post come from Carla’s presentation.

How Adidas Creates Moments of Relevance

Make ‘who we are’ clear and simple

Many employees have no sense of their company’s brand identity. Carla cites a 2012 Gallup survey which found that 41% of employees don’t know what their company stands for and don’t know what differentiates their own company from its competitors. How can people represent – or fully support – something they don’t understand?

Many employees have no sense of their company’s brand identity, says @CarlaJohnson. #employeeadvocacy
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“We’re creating a vortex of ignorance” with employees, Carla says.

Businesses need to constantly convey “who we are” – clearly and simply. Vision and mission statements alone don’t cut it. It’s ridiculous to think slogans and posters suffice, Carla says. What employees need is an in-their-bones sense of shared identity.

Kathy Button Bell, chief marketing officer at …read more

Source:: content marketing

Comedy Pro Reveals How to Bring Funny to Content [Video]

By Marcia Riefer Johnston


Make people laugh, and you’ve got their attention. Hit people in the funny bone, and you have a chance to hit them in the heart and gut as well. People learn from humor. They share it. They may even become fans and customers of companies that provide it.

Yet many content teams steer clear of amusing content. They consider humor inappropriate for their brand or they don’t see themselves as funny.

In his Content Marketing World talk, Tim Washer, social media manager for Cisco Systems’ service provider marketing group, invites marketers to rethink their objections to amusing content and start exercising their comedic content chops.

Tim supports his position with a sobering statistic:


.@TimWasher shared this sobering statistic at #CMWorld: 100% of people like to laugh.
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Why should we trust what this man says about humor and corporations? For starters, he has written for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, has served as executive producer of The Colbert Report, has written for Late Night with Conan O’Brien, has studied improv under Amy Poehler and written for her on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, and has worked as a “corporate humorist” for clients like Google, IBM, FedEx, and Pepsi.

Tim may be the best person on the planet to take seriously when he urges corporations not to take themselves too seriously.

Often in the corporate world, people get nervous about comedy and say it doesn’t belong here. But if it might help you get a point across efficiently and economically, why wouldn’t you try it and see if you can make it work?”

How do you train yourself to lighten up? Among other things, Tim recommends building your creativity muscles on your own time by …read more

Source:: content marketing

This Week in Content Marketing: Brands & Billionaires Continue to Buy Up Media

By Joe Pulizzi


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 how to invest in personal reflection. In our new-look episode, we cover Laurene Jobs and her purchase of The Atlantic, Facebook’s earnings release, and what P&G did with $140 million dollars in marketing. We also do a deep dive on how Hearst is experimenting with e-commerce and why BuzzFeed is selling skillets. Our rants and raves include media buying and a content marketing swindle; then we wrap up with an old-school example of the week from General Electric.

Download this week’s PNR: This Old Marketing podcast

Content love from our sponsor: Smartling (40:05)

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Download this e-book to discover why delivering a localized mobile experience matters to your business.

In this e-book, you’ll learn:

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Show details

  • (00:01): An advertising blast from the past: “Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock”
  • (00:56): Robert muses on this week’s theme: Are you taking the time you need to reflect?
  • (06:12): Welcome to Episode 194: Recorded live on July 31, 2017 (Running time: …read more

    Source:: content marketing

How to Find Out Why Google Hates Your Content (And Steps to Fix It)

By Matt Press


You’ve written an article. It’s good, but it’s not delivering any results.

Despite targeting a seemingly easy keyword, the content is nowhere near page one in Google search results.

I was in the same spot a little bit ago after writing a lengthy article on “trade marketing,” a broad subject area with lots of searches. I created the content to fill a gap I observed in my research – nothing existed that was all encompassing on the topic.

Every content marketing box was clicked – research a topic, source a valuable keyword, write an informative article, optimize for search, and promote the piece.

My site – and the content – refused to budge in the search rankings.

Every #contentmarketing box was clicked, but the content refused to budge in search rankings. @SplashCopy #SEO
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Three months later, it was time to do some investigating. I followed a three-step process, and discovered that searchers didn’t want an ultimate guide. The evidence indicated that they wanted something else – so that’s what I gave them.

If you are having the same trouble – good content without great search results – take these three steps and see what happens.

Pre-step: Access Google Search Console and add your website domain to connect.

Step 1: Find your search analytics

When you open Search Console, go to Search Traffic, then select Search Analytics from the drop-down menu:


Now you can see the data around how often your site appears in Google search results. Make sure all the check boxes – clicks, impressions, CTR, and position – are ticked at the top of …read more

Source:: content marketing

Want Content That’s More Usable & Reusable? Chunk It

By Marcia Riefer Johnston


As a marketer, you want to provide the most usable – and most reusable – content possible, saving your team time as you increase the value your audience gets from your assets. But how do you do that?

Here’s one way: Chunk it. In other words, create your content in chunks – think of them as components or modules – according to the types of information you want to convey.

“Chunk” is an abstract word by necessity. A chunk is simply a discrete unit of content. It may be as small as a bullet point or as big as a book. It may be a paragraph, a section, a chart, a table, or an entire deliverable. An infographic, for example, is a content chunk itself even as it may be part of a bigger chunk (a blog post, say) and even as it contains chunks (like tweetable graphics) that you could lift out and reuse out of context.

The point is to constantly ask, “What types of information do we want to convey here, and what’s the best way to keep those types of information separate?”

This article was inspired by a talk given by content strategist Noz Urbina at the Intelligent Content Conference: How to Create Topical and Evergreen Content From the Same Content Assets.

Case for chunking your content

If you don’t think about information types, you’re likely to mix them up or smoosh them together – the opposite of chunking. As a result, your audiences may find your content difficult to use and your content teams may find it difficult to reuse.

If you don’t think about info types, your content may be difficult to use & reuse. @nozurbina #intelcontent
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Here, with slight modification, is an example from Noz. He picked an esoteric example on purpose. You …read more

Source:: content marketing