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Content Marketing News & Analysis

Marketers Beware: Terrifying Pitfalls of the Viral Meme

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Viral content has gone viral.

Several people, including many of my Facebook friends, have referenced or forwarded the King of Clickbait article by Andrew Marantz in the New Yorker. It's taking off like wild fire. Yes, it's gone viral.

Readers here may have noticed I'm obsessed with clickbait and have written about how it is denigrating the value of media and advertising. But people love the story. They read about these young viral geniuses working in their underwear making millions of dollars, and they think, "I want in!"

Be careful. There's a lot of hype, but mostly the people making money off this are the viral hype artists, not the marketers or even the readers. One problem is the disconnect between viral content and real audience engagement. Viral content is low engagement content. The other big problem is whether or not viral content even aligns with your marketing goals. Chances are, if you are a B2B marketer or industry executive, viral content does not apply to you.

5 Non-Negotiable Requirements for a CMS in 2015

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Content marketing and mobile are the digital marketing buzzwords for 2015. Next year, techniques like personalization, targeting and testing will be non-negotiable CMS features — and here's why.

Your customers are empowered like never before. They seek out information about your business on their own terms, on their own time. And they’ve got options: Google search, reviews, forums and social media all combine to shape their image of your company and its offerings.

If they’re interested, they can choose to visit your site or download your app. It’s their call. If you want to engage them, you have to provide appropriate, relevant and entertaining information. And make sure it is accessible on mobile, which has overtaken desktop consumption in the past year.

Merging the Yin-Yang of Content-Commerce

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Since the early days of e-commerce in the mid to late 90's, businesses had a vision to merge content and commerce into a seamless experience. What people discovered pretty quickly in the 90's was that merging content and commerce was really challenging. Little has changed since then, because while people would like to join the two, they really are more yin and yang -- contrary forces, yet complementary.

RIP Google Authorship: What It Means and What's Next

Back in 2012, AuthorRank was a hot topic among the SEO and inbound marketing sect.

Similar to PageRank, which aims to establish authority for domains and pages on those domains, AuthorRank was thought to be the key to measuring individual authority. Although Google never officially referred to it by that name, they patented techniques to use individual reputation as a search ranking suggested as much. Once awareness of the patent went public, the SEO industry quickly began talking about it as individual authority.

Author Authority would have made it much easier to rank people in different areas of expertise. It would reduce spam and scammy behavior, and push reputable content creators up the SERPs. What could possibly be wrong with that end result?

The excitement was nipped in the bud on Aug. 28, 2014 when, in a surprise move, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller announced via Google Plus that the Google Authorship program was coming to an abrupt ending.

Content and Commerce: Where Do We Go From Here?

2014-08-December-Weather-Vane.jpgForrester said it best in the title of a report: "Content and Commerce: The Odd Couple or The Power Couple?" According to the report, companies need cohesive digital customer experiences, but marketing and e-commerce groups often operate in silos with differing objectives, leading to a poorly integrated digital presence that confuses the customer, is difficult to manage and leaves revenue on the table.

Focus Your Content Marketing on the Digital Dialogue

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To stand out and be relevant in the digital world, you need content. Sounds simple, but the reality is very different. According to the Content Management Institute, marketers in businesses both small and large face challenges that range from producing sufficient quantities of engaging content, lack of integration across marketing, budget restraints, insufficient executive buy-in, limited measurement capabilities and skillset shortages.

Digital Community is Key to Your Brand

2014-25-November-GoPro-User.jpgDigital tools and social networks are making communities stronger and more important than ever for brands.

Whether it's your local burrito shop or GoPro, nurturing a community of active users can accelerate the brand development and spread the word over digital channels. Now, this might seem obvious, but is everybody doing it? Businesses that don't focus on building a digital community will have a hard time getting over the hump.

Salesforce Social Studio Targets Organizational Silos

Salesforce unveiled its Social Studio marketing platform inside its ExactTarget Marketing Cloud in May, which brought together $3.4 billion worth of acquisitions in a platform for social content marketing, engagement, publishing and analytics.

The platform gets a boost this month as the San Francisco CRM giant released enhancements to its Social Studio that include the ability to deliver messages to customers across the Salesforce Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud from one platform.

SEO is Killing Content Quality

Search engine optimization (SEO) tips include website design best practices for how to get Google to rank your content higher in search engine results placement or SERP.

In fact, the preceding sentence is a great example of just how cumbersome this practice has made Web-based communications. By ensuring that I used the phrases, “search engine optimization (SEO) tips,” “website design best practices,” “how to get Google to rank your content higher” and “search engine results placement or SERP,” I’m virtually stuffing Google with the search phrases I want it to associate with my content.

But SEO tips aren’t the point of this article. In fact, SEO is the antithesis to my point.

How to Become a Best-In-Class Content Marketer

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B2B marketers with documented content marketing strategies consider their organizations more effective at content marketing, and can better track ROI over those with verbal or no strategies, according to the latest research by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). 

And although an encouraging 83 percent of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy, only 35 percent have it written down, which means that a majority of those surveyed are missing out on the benefits that come with being a Best in Class B2B Content Marketer, the research revealed.

The study, 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America, was sponsored by Brightcove and conducted in conjunction with MarketingProfs.

Getting to the Center of Customer Experience

2014-31-October-Center-of-the-Universe.jpgThink of the last time you had dinner at a four-star restaurant. Was the food well-presented, the wine pairings appropriate and the dessert tray enticing? Did you receive professional and attentive service? Was the ambience elegant, pleasant and soothing? And -- most importantly -- would you go back?

Your customers ask themselves the same sorts of questions after using your website or app, and your CMS -- how you manage and deliver content to your customer -- lays at the heart of their experience. It should be the core of your customer experience management (CXM) strategy. By placing the CMS in the keystone position, you can assemble information from multiple back office and third party sources to deliver compelling customer experiences across devices and platforms. And that's the whole game, right there. 

5 Ways Pitch Perfect Should Inform Your Content Strategy

After nine months spent writing a book about content, content marketing and content strategy, I felt brain dead. My husband lovingly suggested we take our family away to the beach so I could “recover” for a few days.

While buying the usual sunscreen and other beach necessities, I noticed the DVD of the movie Pitch Perfect. I had watched the movie on a girls’ movie night, and thought it was super cute. Having two girls, ages 10 and 7, I thought it would be the perfect movie to while away the time we spent driving to the beach.

Content Targeting: It's the I's and O's, Not the 1's and 0's

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There’s no mistake that personalization and delivering contextual content to consumers across digital content platforms is a hot topic with marketers. As content and delivery of it in an omnichannel universe becomes an imperative that no brand can ignore, the need to target it to a specific audience (or even an individual) is becoming a business must-do.

The challenge, of course, is that consumers have learned about this as well. And their ability to filter out the noise and focus on the signal makes it increasingly hard for marketers to reach them.

Wait Before You Invest in Hubspot

Yes, it's fun to see a technology startup make it to an Initial Public Offering (IPO). The Hubspot team deserves credit for making it to last week's IPO, with its stock now trading under the symbol HUBS on the NYSE. 

But for investors, it's a totally different story. It's time to take a wait and see approach.

Do You Really Want To Do Content Fake Marketing?

The poster children of the latest content marketing craze are Coke and Red Bull. That should be a warning signal in itself.

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