How to Create Unified Content That Works in Diverse Global Markets [Examples]

By Marcia Riefer Johnston


If you work as a marketer in a global company, this conundrum is all too familiar. On the one hand, your content must be unified: Everywhere in the world, the messaging must be consistent, and people must recognize the brand. On the other hand, rigid consistency across cultures can backfire or undercut your business goals.

When it comes to global content, one size does not fit all.

When it comes to global #content, one size does not fit all, says @marciarjohnston.
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Rebecca Lieb gets it. She works as a strategic advisor and research analyst on digital marketing for many of the world’s leading brands. In her Content Marketing World talk, Global Content Marketing Strategy – Creating Content for Diverse Global Markets, she emphasized the need to approach global content from two directions at once: top-down and bottom-up.

While Rebecca’s top-down-bottom-up metaphor fits perfectly with the hierarchical nature of most org charts, we get more insight from her other bidirectional metaphor: a global content process as the body’s circulatory system:

  • Marketing headquarters pumps content, messaging, and brand guidelines to local offices the way the heart pumps blood.
  • The system works only when the heart uses what the extremities deliver back to inform new phases of content and new initiatives.

Global #content processes are a circulatory system, says @lieblink.
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How does your global enterprise create a healthy content circulatory system?

Evangelize your content everywhere

To foster the kind of two-way communication required by a global content circulatory system, you need a content evangelist.

The evangelist may not have a title comparable to chief content officer. That person might be head of digital, head of marketing, or head of social media. What matters is that someone plays an evangelizing role, which includes two parts: conveying the importance of the centrally developed content and …read more

Source:: content marketing

Dataviz: A Critical Skill for Modern Marketers

By Clare McDermott

dataviz-critical-skill-modern-marketers (1)

A decade ago a friend bought me a copy of Edward Tufte’s iconic book Beautiful Evidence.

The professor emeritus of political science, statistics, and computer science at Yale University has spent his career teaching others how to turn information and data into elegantly crafted drawings and graphics – and even more, doing so in a way that illuminates in interesting and unexpected ways.

Inspired by him, I set out to learn more about visualizing data, and how to use it in everyday life. The subject area is massive and at times overwhelming, but data visualization (sometimes called “dataviz”) is among the most critical skills for marketers to understand at least at the basic level, if not to study in more depth. Let’s walk through the what, how, and why of data visualization for marketing.

What’s data visualization?

Put simply, dataviz is the art and science of displaying information (data) in visual form. While bar charts are a form of dataviz, the term is more often used to describe the translation of complex or nuanced data into summarizing, artful images. One of the most highly rated sessions at Content Marketing World was from Scott Berinato, senior editor at the Harvard Business Review and author of Good Charts: The HBR Guide to Making Smarter, More Persuasive Data Visualizations. In an interview with CCO magazine, Scott explains that in today’s data-abundant world, finding ways to extract human insights from data is a key challenge (and critical skill):

Finding ways to extract human insights from data is a critical skill, says @scottberinato. #dataviz
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“The amount of information coming at us is insane. It’s overwhelming. So visualization serves two purposes. First, it serves a prosaic purpose. It gets people’s …read more

Source:: content marketing

An Alternative Approach to Developing Content Marketing Personas

By Robert Rose


Audiences are not just buyers.

Let me explain.

As we’ve outlined, one of the key elements of the approach of content marketing is that it cannot simply be a replacement for our direct marketing efforts. If we are ever to truly succeed with a content marketing strategy, we must provide for the capability to drive multiple lines of value for the business. Audiences enable this capability. Thus, the content platforms we create have one distinct goal: They must build an ever-growing, addressable, trusted audience.

Yes, some members of our audience will become customers – traversing the traditional funnel, acquiring the attribute of “lead,” then “opportunity,” then “buyer.” Others will never buy from us but may provide more long-term value than a customer. They may acquire the attribute of “engaged,” helping us organically connect with four new customers that we may have never otherwise reached with paid media. Other audiences may be “influencers,” helping us amplify our reach, thus creating a more efficient paid media effort. And, finally, some audiences may be “trusted,” and enable us to drive direct revenue from content – thus providing a marketing platform that pays for itself.

At the heart of this valuable audience is, of course, content. And if we are to build successful, trusted platforms, we must change the way we go about developing the personas that will subscribe to them.

To gain subscribers for our #content platforms, we must change how we develop personas, says @Robert_Rose.
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Buyer personas – limited answer for content marketing

Before we begin, let me state that I’m a huge proponent of buyer persona development. I think it is a critical part of helping product- and service-focused marketers get an understanding of how to bring their product into the marketplace. Buyer personas have been defined as:

research-based …read more

Source:: content marketing

Oops! 17 SEO Misfires to Avoid With Website Content Marketing

By Mike Murray


I doubt any marketing team can perfect its SEO and content marketing efforts. Time, degrees of expertise, and changing algorithms always get in the way.

But SEO misfires abound for B2B and B2C websites and they can be avoided or at least minimized.

Let’s dive in.

1. Keyword selection

Keywords are probably the easiest SEO area to mess up. Aim too high for a competitive keyword phrase and you may never rank. Settle for low-hanging fruit and you might fall asleep while waiting for a rare visitor to make his or her way to your website.

Keywords are probably the easiest #SEO area to mess up, says @mikeonlinecoach.
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I tell everyone to focus on relevancy and the sweet spot. What’s a sweet spot with SEO? You can sense it when viewing rankings in Google’s monthly search engine volume.

Try this: Do you tend to rank one to 10 on Google for keywords searched 300 times a month? Maybe 1,000? Get a feel for a variety of your pages. Your sweet spot is the correlation of top 10 rankings and the monthly search volume. Often, your sweet spot is more likely a range, such as 30 to 70, 200 to 500, or 1,200 to 1,500 searches for your one to 10 rankings.

Don’t be dismayed if your site typically ranks well for a keyword phrase that attracts only 50 visits a month. Your products and services may have good price points and margins. In other words, you should be happy with even occasional sales that can more than pay for your SEO investment. And any website page that may rank for multiple keywords can always be working on your behalf.

And the best part? With ongoing SEO, you could pursue more competitive …read more

Source:: content marketing

How to Use Non-Obvious Thinking to Create Better Content

By Kim Moutsos


“We’re in the middle of a believability crisis.”

On the surface, author Rohit Bhargava’s observation in the keynote talk of CMI’s virtual ContentTECH this year doesn’t bode well for content marketing.

After all, to attract and retain an audience, we need people to believe the content we’re creating.

But don’t be discouraged by Rohit’s pronouncement. Instead, get inspired by the deeper meaning uncovered (true to form for the CEO of the Non-Obvious Company) in this crisis and other trends.

Rohit’s done much of the work for you, offering up a “stealable idea” for each trend he shared in the 2018 edition of his best-selling book series Non-Obvious: How to Predict Trends and Win the Future.


Here are three trends (and suggestions for what to do about them) Rohit predicts will have a big impact on content marketing this year and possibly in years to come.

Non-Obvious trend: Manipulated outrage

Media, algorithms, and advertising combine to create a perpetual stream of noise often intended to incite rage and illicit reactionary anger usually shared through social media.

Sometimes outrage is reasonable and justified. Sometimes it’s packaged and sold to generate clicks and views. Cable news, Rohit points out, is having a banner year because it’s selling outrage.

What’s the problem?

“When you think of yourself as a person who is outraged, you don’t give yourself permission not to be outraged because it doesn’t feel like you,” Rohit says.

He shares the example of Steven Crowley, who coped with his baby daughter’s illness by editing her image into a photo series of dangerous situations. When he posted the humorously altered images on social media, he was met by a storm …read more

Source:: content marketing

Chatbots, AI, and Context: Top Takeaways From Intelligent Content Conference

By Marcia Riefer Johnston


“Technology is outpacing our ability to comprehend what we can do with it.”

These words from this year’s Intelligent Content Conference emcee Robert Rose, CMI’s chief strategy advisor, no doubt resonate if you’ve been in marketing for more than a week.

With so much happening so fast in the realm of tools and strategy, what’s a marketer to do?

Marketers learned firsthand at ICC from content professionals who are experimenting with the latest tools and strategies and have lived to tell their tales.

As always, I’m hard-pressed to squish the richness of this conference into a blog-sized summary, but I’ll take a shot by highlighting three main takeaways:

  • Chatbots may be the straw that finally forces marketers to break the copy-paste habit.
  • Artificial intelligence exists today that can automate and enhance many aspects of marketing
  • Context – enabled by a content strategy that transcends departmental silos and funnels – makes the customer experience.

(Thanks go out to the CMI editorial team for the extra eyes, ears, and gray matter between the ears that made it possible to pull together this post.)

Chatbots may break our copy-paste habit

Since ICC emphasizes content technology and strategy for marketers, you won’t find it surprising that speakers and attendees did lots of chatting about chatbots.

What are chatbots?

Chatbots, as noted in this recent post, are “apps within apps” – tools that automate conversations between humans and computers. Chatbots, aka bots, enable scalable one-to-one, natural-language interactions (sometimes text, sometimes voice). Here’s one simple example of a bot from Taco Bell:


As Gavin Austin said in his talk, What the Bot!? How Salesforce Geared Up for Chatbots, “A chatbot is another content channel.”

How to (and not to) prepare content for chatbots

Sharing this view of bots as one of many content …read more

Source:: content marketing

Thinking of Creating Original Research? 8 Things to Consider

By Lisa Murton Beets


If you’re thinking about conducting original research to use the data for your content marketing, there are important questions to ask before you get started.

I’m talking about collecting data to produce various types of content (e.g., blog posts, e-books, webinars, videos) for content marketing purposes. It’s helpful (versus promotional) content. It’s research-informed content that can help position your brand as a thought leader and draw attention to your solutions.

Like any other tactic, original research must fit into your overall content marketing strategy and within your organizational constraints including budget, staff, and expertise. Even though many types of research and survey software are readily available, not just anyone can “do research” successfully.

Conducting high-quality research requires an understanding of:

  • Research methodologies (including selection of the best methodology based on your objectives)
  • Sampling procedures
  • Questionnaire design
  • Project management
  • Data analysis
  • Reporting

You also must factor in the costs and talent necessary to develop content based on the research findings and a distribution strategy (as you know, what’s the use of developing content if no one sees it).

That said, let’s get started.

1. What is your objective?

Begin with your audience in mind. Conducting research, analyzing the findings, producing a report and other content, and distributing the findings for content marketing purposes requires an investment. Your primary goal should be to provide valuable insights for your audience. Your audience will sense if the research was conducted for self-serving purposes, and that could turn people off.

Be clear about what you want to study – and why.

Top goal for original research for #contentmarketing is providing audience w/ valuable insights. @LisaBeets
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For example, the CMI research team is surveying a segment of our audience with unique educational needs around content marketing to identify their biggest pain points. We intend to use the findings in a report as well as in …read more

Source:: content marketing

2 Simple-to-Implement Checklists to Use in Your Influencer Marketing Planning

By Chad Pollitt

checklists-influencer-marketing-planning (1)

Influencer marketing is a well-known, and perhaps, mature channel for many content marketers.

Unfortunately, though, a significant swath of marketers is not leveraging influencers in the marketing mix. This is ill-advised because studies show that every dollar invested in influencer marketing returns $6.50 in value.

Studies show that every dollar invested in #influencermarketing returns $6.50 via @TomosonReviews.
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For many marketers who use influencer marketing there seems to be a gap in understanding of what influencer marketing constitutes. Some believe it is a roundup post featuring industry experts and their insights. Others believe it’s an all-encompassing marketing strategy with a refined goal and many prudent tactics.

Which is it? It can be all of them at the same time. However, which path a marketer chooses can have a significant impact on marketing metrics, and, ultimately, the bottom line.

In this post, I help you make sense of two influencer marketing tactics – the roundup blog post and the influencer-authored blog post. They’re based on my case study of NewPro Containers, which featured influencer marketing as its marketing strategy (not a one-off tactic) and tracked its performance all the way to see a 35% increase in year-over-year revenue in 2017.

#InfluencerMarketing strategy led to 35% increase in annual revenue, according to case study from @ChadPollitt.
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I’ve created simple-to-implement checklists to help in the execution of your owned media side of influencer marketing. They give the steps to use earned and paid media promotion, too. Using earned and paid media to promote influencer content helps influencers feel more confident in the value of their work. This added validation can keep them coming back to contribute more.

These checklists aren’t comprehensive to a full influencer marketing strategy; instead they cover two of the most valuable tactics:

The influencer …read more

Source:: content marketing

News Powerhouse Gives Pointers for Great Content

By Marcia Riefer Johnston


What can marketers learn about content quality from a news outlet? Plenty, if that news outlet is Quartz. If you read my post How to Grow Your Audience From Zero to Millions in Less Than Five Years, you know that Quartz (“a new kind of global business news outlet”) creates content that people “freaking love.”

Yes!! Freaking love it! And immiscible, what a delightful word!!

— Jen Brass Jenkins (@chrliechaz) January 18, 2018

What would you give to have people freaking love your content?

What would you give to have people freaking love your #content, asks @MarciaRJohnston?
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The pointers here come from a talk that Jay Lauf, co-president and publisher of Quartz, gave at Content Marketing World: Deconstructing Quartz ( How One of the Most Popular Mobile Destinations Grows Audience, Extends Reach in Digital, and Creates a Superior Content Experience.

Here are a few things that Jay and his team do that give Quartz readers palpitations:

  • They base their stories on their audience’s obsessions.
  • They surface each story’s “Thing” (kernel of interest).
  • They nail their company’s voice.

Base stories on your audience’s obsessions

Does your content team base its stories on what your company wants to talk about? Or do you dig into topics your audience is obsessed with?

At Quartz, journalists don’t call their topic categories “beats,” as in a traditional newsroom. They use the term “obsessions.” The distinction goes deeper than semantics. From the beginning, this team has been choosing which stories to create based on their answer to this question: “What do we think are the obsessions of our target audience today?”

Quartz hires journalists who have the same obsessions as the readers Quartz wants to reach. “Every single piece of content on Quartz is somebody’s obsession,” Jay says. This approach “gives the content …read more

Source:: content marketing

Conversational Content: How to Market Through Text Messaging and Chatbots

By Chris Frascella


Conversational interactions between content consumers and brands – via SMS text-style messaging and chatbots – are redefining how marketing teams can engage their audiences.

When communication technology provides greater immediacy and convenience to content consumers like this, changes in expectations are likely to follow — many of us who manage brands learned this lesson through the growth and evolution of social media.

And, as those of us who adhere to an inbound methodology know, when there’s an audience that actively wants to hear from you it’s important that you be prepared with the right content for that moment. Learn how to prepare your brand.

Messaging fits content marketing mission

Our raison d’être as content marketers is to craft content experiences that provide value while simultaneously amplifying our brand story to our audiences.

Messaging and chatbots represent the next logical extension of this mission, and you may not think about them as content distribution channels yet, but you need to be.

Messaging and chatbots represent the next logical extension of the #contentmarketing mission, says @cfrascl.
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Marketing automation software provider HubSpot recently released functionality to make it easier to repurpose content for chat or messaging. That means a lot of marketing teams and agencies are going to be fumbling with how to make use of chat and messaging as a content marketing channel.

Other indicators come from the likes of Buffer, Gartner, eMarketer, Dell, Neil Patel, and this awesome resource from TOPBOTS (some of these bots are glorified “repeat past order” buttons, but some represent content delivery mechanisms).

Drive deeper relationships

Last year, Forrester wrote an article on messaging apps published in Forbes, which includes a quote that should resonate with …read more

Source:: content marketing