What's happening (that's important) in the world of content marketing? This is your fortnightly round-up of the best of the best stuff online for marketers who think about content; for the previous "Fortnights", go to the bottom of the post. (And for more information about what the Content Marketing Fortnight is, see my intro from the first one. Get this curated newsletter in your inbox every other week? Send me a mail.)
Stealing content is in fact a crime
Blogger Mark Schaefer caught Verizon brazenly stealing his content (reprinting in full with no attribution, compensation or permission). It’s one of only instances of content theft he’s seen. Go ahead and curate content, but – by all means – attribute the source and don’t plagiarize it.
Content distribution space gets reaffirmation
OneSpot announced a recent $5+ million funding round to fund its mission to help businesses with a real, and common, problem: Getting their content in front of prospective customers. This is just the latest harbinger of a growing market for content distribution. Watch this space.
B2B buyers actually have emotions
Who knew? B2B marketers commonly express how rational their target audiences are. Committees of serious business people making big decisions are not swayed by emotions, they say. But a very interesting piece of research from Google says otherwise…
Content Marketing, as a term, is under fire
B2B copywriter Stephanie Janard is not the first, and will not be the last to want to kill the term “content marketing”. Her biggest beef: It means something different to every person you ask. Percolate CEO and co-founder James Gross starts off with the same tune, but aims to help solve it. His conclusion:
Social is at the center of marketing, mobile is the vehicle and content marketing is the best way into those essential spaces.
That may not be any final definition, but at least it’s progress.
UK’s ASA comes out slugging against unclear promo content
First an excellent piece in The Drum documented how British advertising regulators take a dim view of marketing content that isn’t labeled as such, including a slam against a Nike campaign. Two weeks later, the ASA tells bloggers: Tell readers when it’s paid or face consequences. Blimey.
Don Tapscott: Marketing to millennials? Think differently.
Great pull quote: “Their [millennials] scrutiny extends throughout the entire process of buying something, which is why companies are being held to higher standards. And true value comes to the fore. But it causes a big rethinking of the brand.” The full 2:59 video:
Content jobs don’t fill organization-shaped boxes
Mark Baker makes a pertinent observation of content jobs in one line: “The roles and responsibilities of people in [content] jobs differ from one company to another, and they are much more likely to be asked to do odd jobs, jobs that fill in the gaps”. He said “mortar” where I put “content” but he’s making the point of content jobs – they don’t fit standard job description molds.
Content and e-commerce in bed together
EContent magazine brings us a new category – content commerce strategies. It’s a growing space, where traditional e-commerce retailers use content hooks more and more to drive sales. Or, increasingly, it’s where a publisher incorporates a “buy” button in editorial. The article shares some great examples; I add the Thrillist Media stable, or content/club sites like Trunk Club.
Storytelling, brought to you by the Internet
The New York Times asked a dozen writers to share how the Internet changes storytelling. My favorite quote, from Charles Yu: “Netscape said: ‘Here you go, here’s a door to a brand-new place in the existence of the universe….It’ll keep getting bigger for the rest of your life. Also, you can change stuff in it. You get to make up new rules for everything – thinking, remembering, communicating.”
Video: Not just for watching anymore
Forrester colleague Anthony Mullen recently wrote an excellent report on how brands can incorporate interactive videos in their strategies. One of his key points: Interactive video provides a whole new level for brands to engage an audience. "To really address this new medium, brands must explore innovative interaction design methods blending entertainment, information delivery and gaming techniques."
Pay to amplify content on social channels
Content distribution’s a thing, and it’s only going to get bigger (marketers aren’t going to get any less interested in putting relevant content in front of relevant buyers any time soon). This article describes how one SEO shop saw the results of paying to boost the reach of content that was already performing well on social channels. The idea: Turn winners, into big, big winners.
Content delivers brand lift
Contently’s blog brings a story to warm content marketers’ hearts. Forbes Media commissioned a study from IPG Media Lab of 2,259 people that showed this:
Those who viewed a Forbes.com page that contained a piece of branded content were 41 percent more likely to express an intent to buy the brand’s product than a visitor who viewed a Forbes.com page without branded content.
Those who focus on brand lift (TV advertisers, I mean you) should find this compelling.
CMS is a savior. But it isn’t. But it is.
Some novel media companies – Buzzfeed, Gawker, Medium and Glam, for instance – are turning the good old CMS into a competitive advantage. Media pundit Jeff Jarvis argues that CMSs may be overhyped. But, in the process, he makes a pretty good argument for content marketers to think more concretely about the role of a CMS in delivering the results they seek.
Content marketing of the Fortnight: MIT Center for Civic Media and Lattice Engines
The MIT Center for Civic Media has given us a fantastic tool to explore how different YouTube videos trend around the world (and what that says about online culture). An amazing piece of content marketing for the center, and useful for content marketers, too. And Lattice Engines marketing nerd campaign is an excellent example of content marketing built around a key insight into their prospects, and delivered with humor and warmth.
Past Content Marketing Fortnights