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Content Marketing News & Analysis

Is There a Future in Content Marketing?

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“Things looked bleak for the Angels when they trailed by two runs in the ninth inning, but Los Angeles recovered thanks to a key single from Vladimir Guerrero to pull out a 7-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sunday.”

Nice bit of reporting, right? You'd be forgiven for thinking it was the lede of a beat writer's game recap in the Los Angeles Times.

It wasn't.

A computer wrote it. 

The paragraph appeared in a New York Times’ Opinion piece titled “If an Algorithm Wrote This, How Would You Even Know?” In the piece, Shelley Podolny, director of e-discovery company H5, explored the emergence of robo-writers, computer software that not only analyzes data, but creates human-sounding commentary.

The sophistication of robo-writers is impressive. Could you have guessed that the quote was written by a computer? 

Stepping Back to See the Big MarTech Picture

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The after-effects of the recent MarTech conference in San Francisco linger on. Between the strong speakers, fireside chats and diverse set of attendees, the event has already provided a point of departure for many a conversation on the state of marketing technology.

And beyond that -- as witnessed from colleagues, peers and personal experience -- it's sparked some needed soul-searching within the industry.

Marketing Technology is vast, diverse and rapidly evolving. Scott Brinker's Marketing Technology Landscape Infographic serves as a regular reminder of just how quickly martech has evolved. 

In such a fast-paced industry, there isn't always time to take in the big picture. With this event, Brinker offered that opportunity: two days to take a step back, take a deep breath and look at where we are with marketing technology.

Don't Let Your Personas Get Stuck

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If case you haven’t noticed, personas are a pretty big deal these days. Marketers plant relevant, engaging content throughout digital experiences on multiple channels to try and move the business forward. And that content must be relevant and individualized.

But marketers face a growing challenge. Yes, yet another one.

Still Sticking With Those Tried-But-True Marketing Tactics?

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It wasn't too long ago that being a marketer consisted of balancing multiple communication channels to reach, understand and attract customers. And by "not too long ago," we're talking fifteen years ago.

In the meantime, the Web and mobile drastically changed not only the marketer's job, but what it takes to be a marketing asset.

These changes don't mean you need to be a data scientist or a developer. But you will need to understand these concepts in order to make smart decisions.

The CMO's Roadmap for Content Marketing Success

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Almost every marketing leader will tell you that content is essential to sparking meaningful engagement with prospects and customers. But content marketing as a practice is still evolving -- marketing teams don’t have a clear blueprint for how much investment to make or how to determine the ROI.

Success takes exploration, dedication and continuous testing. Content marketing is challenging. It takes time to grow your program into a steady and predictable growth engine.

The CMO plays a critical role in content marketing. We need to guide our teams to adopt an analytical approach and help them determine which topics, types, formats and delivery methods will be most effective. We can help content producers and program managers turn ideas into powerful audience-building campaigns.

Here’s how you can lead your team to success.

Build Audiences, Not Visitors

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One statistic that gets thrown around too easily these days is how much of a buyer’s journey is completed before the first sales contact. Some analysts claim that it’s 60 percent. Some say it’s as much as 74 percent.

Regardless of which number is right, it comes down to this: buyers turn to external and brand-produced content more and more to reach a buying decision.

Want Google Love? Then Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

No one has to tell you that mobile is one of the most important concepts in the digital landscape. Americans now spend 60 percent of their digital media time on mobile, according to comScore, an Internet analytics company.

If that's not enough of an incentive to persuade you to create a mobile-friendly website, consider this: Starting April 21, Google will again update its search engine algorithm.

This time, it plans to give higher preference to websites with mobile-friendly site elements than those sites that don't. 

Netbiscuits Claims Update Addresses Your Content Marketing Challenges

Netbiscuits, a provider of analytics tools for the mobile web, has added a tool to its web analytics platform that "goes beyond traditional analytics."

Netbiscuits CEO Daniel Weisbeck told CMSWire the update offers insight about website visitor behavior — information marketers can use to hone their content marketing programs. 

Called Visitor Flow for Customer Journey Mapping, it looks at engagement from referral points such as social media, digital advertising, press and search marketing. It breaks it down by device type and visitor attributes, including location, connection speed and time on site.

"This gives marketers instant insight into which digital content is driving the highest traffic and time spent on site," Weisbeck said.

The 50-employee Kaiserslautern, Germany-based company launched its analytics platform last April.

Secrets to Success in the Attention Economy

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Tasks crowd our working days. And as the pace of work accelerates, managers' expectations grow year after year. It's no wonder that people joke that the ultimate business technology would be a time machine.

While time travel would be neat and maybe even a little scary (as any science fiction fan would tell you), we’ve had time machines for years. They come in the form of the technologies that make us more productive and thus add time we can spend doing other things.

A Closer Look at Native Advertising

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Native advertising hit its stride last year. “Paid posts,” which gained popularity on new media platforms like Buzzfeed and Business Insider, started popping up in venerable publishers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. And big brands have jumped on these sponsored content opportunities, including Dell and Shell, who have both invested in the creation of native advertising units within The New York Times.

How Technology Can Fuel Your Content Marketing #ContentTECH

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Marketers interested in learning about how technology can help with their content marketing efforts got a little help this week from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and ContentTECH 2015.

Hosted by CMI, ContentTECH is a one-day virtual conference, complete with live online sessions, a virtual exhibit hall, live chats, networking opportunities and even conference prizes.

Sessions and live chats covered topics such as developing unified strategies between marketing and technology, the role of content in delivering the customer experience and making sense of technology and humanity.

You Can't Run a Company on 'Tips & Tricks'

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An ever-growing number of customers have the potential to engage with your company on digital channels in real time. You have only seconds to attract and engage these buyers. Most companies can’t ignore the need for top notch digital marketing -- and marketers must quickly gain proficiency for interacting with customers on digital channels.

Digital marketing isn’t that new. A whole lot of people have been publishing all kinds of useful content to help you understand, implement and measure digital marketing -- as well as how to strategize, connect to customers and support customer journeys through to purchases.

But many of you aren’t getting it -- why?

Or is it that you get it -- but the company that you work for doesn't provide a culture or infrastructure that supports marketing as a strategic function?

Discussion Point: Should Digital Marketers Rethink Print?

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In the midst of the current digital marketing age continues a debate that seems as old as Gutenberg’s press: Is print dead?

While those who agree with this statement cite the benefits of digital, such as lower distribution costs, longer reach and convenience, among others, the pro-print camp seems to be getting more support these days.

According to CMI’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends - North America, 37 percent of B2B marketers still use print magazines to distribute content, and 52 percent used print or another offline method for paid advertising.

Print has also made marketing prediction listings, including Altura Solution’s What’s in Store for B2B Digital Marketing in 2015?

“Print, especially trade publications, will regain their importance because they have a targeted audience: your end-customers,” reads the article.

And — get ready for it — J.C. Penney has brought back its “Big Book” catalog.

To get the real scoop on the death of print, or find out if it really ever died in the first place, we consulted the experts.

Your Awesome, Creative, Stunning Content Isn't Good Enough

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You could have Ernest Hemingway author a blog post for your organization, and it could still stink.

Not that the content would be the issue. It's how you structure and deliver it.

Ann Rockley's been championing the idea of "intelligent content" and has run a conference in its name. 

Rockley, the president of The Rockley Group, author and online content delivery expert, told CMSWire marketers simply spend too much with content -- in the wrong places, and in the wrong ways.

"Marketers create good content," Rockley said, "but they spend an inordinate amount of time manually crafting different pieces of content for different channels and different audiences. They craft it for the Web, they craft it for mobile, they craft it for Facebook, they craft it for Twitter. They craft it for one vertical industry, they craft it for another. The content is all good but they spend way too much time hand-crafting it."

How to Staff a Content Marketing Team

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Behind every great piece of content marketing is a great content team.

That should be obvious, but for all the emphasis brands are placing on content marketing, surprisingly little is said about the teams that make it work. Surprising because while marketers are shifting more dollars toward content marketing, the sector is suffering from a huge staffing problem. Nearly half of all B2C marketers have dedicated content teams within their organizations, according to the latest annual trend report from the Content Marketing Institute (pdf). Yet the same report found that a third of the 5,000-plus marketers surveyed said they had trouble finding trained content marketing professionals.

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