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BBC Internet Blog: Responsive Design

BBC Internet Blog: Responsive Design | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it
Hello, I'm Ste Everington and I'm one of the designers leading the TV & iPlayer product. Last month saw the launch of the new television homepages for BBC One, Two, Three and Four.

 

We wanted to design an experience that is consistent across the thousands of different devices available, so that you can begin to ignore the device you're viewing it on and focus more on the content.

 

The idea of having a consistent user experience across any device is something that we often strive to achieve and over the past few years we have evolved the BBC's Global Experience Language (GEL) to accommodate for this.....

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Excerpt From The New Book "The Mobile Frontier" | UX Magazine

Excerpt From The New Book "The Mobile Frontier" | UX Magazine | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it

One of the key challenges of creating touch interfaces is ensuring they are… well, touchable. While touch interfaces enable more intuitive and direct manipulation of information, there are three important design considerations to take into account when creating a mobile touch UI:

- Optimize for generous touch targets.
- Map the screen for touch.
- Lead with the content, not the interface.

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YouTube's Video Views Are Falling -- By Design | Digital - Advertising Age

YouTube's Video Views Are Falling -- By Design | Digital - Advertising Age | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it
YouTube is getting smaller in a metric that used to mean everything: views.

 

Since December, views on YouTube have dropped 28%, and March views are only slightly above what they were a year ago, startling for a site accustomed to breakneck growth.

 

It's an intended consequence of the Google-owned site's shift from a video search engine filled with snack-size content to a full-fledged, couch-potato-optimized entertainment destination. At YouTube, the "view" is out and "engagement" is in.

 

After investing $100 million to create content channels, YouTube's focus has shifted from directing viewers to videos of skateboarding dogs to enticing them into longer, more engaging videos—the kind that are, not incidentally, more appealing to advertisers.

 

On March 15, YouTube altered its recommendation system to make the time spent with a video or channel a stronger indicator than a click in determining which videos to surface to a user.

"Our goal is we want users to watch more and click less," said Cristos Goodrow, a former Google search executive who joined YouTube as director of engineering a year ago. "This is better for users because it takes less clicking to get to the video you want to watch."

 

Like Google, YouTube is an empire built on clicks, and it has used them above all else as a proxy for popularity and -- in a sense -- quality. Over the years the site has gotten very good at using data about which videos were getting clicks, or views, to serve up recommendations and get users to click on another video.

 

Before the change, YouTube would track the length of views up to 30 seconds, primarily to make sure each click led to an actual view. Now it's tracking across longer timeframes to see if viewers watched two or three minutes of content.

 

It appears to be working. While views have dropped of late, the amount of minutes users spend watching YouTube has grown over the past year by 57% to more than 61 billion minutes in March 2012, according to ComScore. The average length of a video view has grown a full minute to four minutes in the past year. That's still a far cry from Hulu, which primarily shows network TV and has an average of 8.5 minutes per view.

 

There's a business reason at play. Longer viewing means more opportunity to show viewers ads, either through strings of videos that play automatically with ads in between or longer videos with TV-like breaks. And engaged viewers are also thought to be in a more receptive mind-set for brand advertising, the biggest tranche of ad dollars untapped by YouTube.

 

Brand advertisers are more concerned with notions such as engagement than they are by traditional web-based direct-response metrics such as clicks, said Eli Goodman, media evangelist at ComScore. "The effectiveness of advertising is enhanced when someone is in an engaged state."

 

YouTube is also experimenting with more technology to decide when to show a user a video ad. Previously, that had been about once every seven minutes. Now, YouTube is using hundreds of variables to determine whether or not a viewer is engaged with a channel and likely to stick with it.

This, too, caused a bit of hand-wringing because it meant some YouTube users deemed not fully engaged wouldn't see any ads at all. "There were some internal struggles; some people were concerned that there were people we were never going to show ads to," said YouTube group product manager Phil Farhi. Google sites, including YouTube, showed an average of 17 video ads to viewers in March, compared with more than 50 shown by Hulu to its users.

 

YouTube also tracks what happens after an ad is shown. Did the viewer click away? If so, YouTube will try a different approach.

 

The move toward more time spent with videos also serves YouTube's migration beyond the PC. YouTube introduced a lean-back interface for more passive viewing nearly two years ago and has been busy trying to get its channel guide standardized on all apps and devices that carry YouTube, such as tablets, smart TVs and set-tops such as TiVo. YouTube is available as an app on 350 million non-PC devices, including iPhones, Xboxes and Samsung smart TVs.

 

The tweaks to Google's algorithms are intended to influence creators as well, some of whom have become very good at getting the next click with racy keywords and deceptive thumbnail images. After all, views used to come with bragging rights in web video. Now the goal is to reward partners that generate engagement through more time spent watching videos.

 

One big YouTube "partner," gaming video-entertainment network Machinima, says the tweaks are helping. "YouTube is trying to deliver a better user experience by implementing a more sophisticated and intelligent recommendation engine, which is rewarding videos that drive better engagement and longer time spent," said Allen DeBevoise, CEO of Machinima. Machinima users watch an average of 69 minutes of content a month, largely of video-game demos, though Machinima is planning a live-action series for the fall, "Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn."

 

"It's not just about a single video," Mr. Rajamaran said. "As a channel partner you are trying to drive engagement; now our system rewards that as well."

Added Mr. Goodrow: "We had to make this change. If we are connecting viewers with the best content, the way we were doing it wasn't going to work out."YouTube's Video Views Are Falling -- By Design

 

 

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Twitter showdown: Ford vs General Motors

Twitter showdown: Ford vs General Motors | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it
As the newest Fortune 500 list came out this morning, we've pulled two of the top 10 to be today's competitors in our Twitter showdown: General Motors (ranking 5th on the list) and Ford (who came in 9th). ...
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Google's New BigQuery Commoditizes Big Data Analytics

Google's New BigQuery Commoditizes Big Data Analytics | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it
Google is moving the goalpost significantly in the market for big data tools, at least for organizations that can work with its canned tools and are willing to trust the search giant with their data.
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The New York Times’ Well blog gets more vertical with a redesign

The New York Times’ Well blog gets more vertical with a redesign | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it
In expanding the healthy living blog, designers wanted to find way to give non-timely stories prominence and get readers to come back more often and for longer stretches.
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How to Create a Great Content Strategy for an Established Website

How to Create a Great Content Strategy for an Established Website | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it

Establishing a comprehensive content strategy for existing pages on your website is a key piece of the search engine optimization (SEO) puzzle, especially considering Google’s ongoing Panda quality updates.

 

From a strictly on-page optimization perspective, it’s important to make sure that you have content dedicated to the primary and secondary keywords with the highest search volume in your space.

Let’s look at one strategy you can use to both Panda-proof and better optimize your site to grab more of the long tail traffic in your space. Who doesn't like that?

 

Eliminate Bloat Pages

Before starting to look at where you need content, critically evaluate your site and see if there are unnecessary pages being indexed. Some common examples of this extra fluff that bloats your Google pages indexed are paginated product pages, indexed internal search result pages, and sort options for product pages.

 

Although solutions for bloat pages are beyond the scope of this post, eliminating these is a must prior to creating a great content strategy. The easiest way find what bloat pages are getting indexed is to run a simple site search (e.g., [site:example.com]) command in Google and explore.

 

Keyword Research Blueprint for Content Optimization & Content Creation

 

Keyword research is the blueprint of any content strategy. Although much of the methodology you will use will be determined by the size of your site, here's one good method for small to mid-sized sites.

Keyword Research for Your Strongest Subpages

Assuming that you've fixed any internal duplicate content issues on your site and removed unneeded pages, it is time to beef up existing pages.

Since you're making an investment in content for your site, you want to make sure that pages are well optimized for both relevant and valuable primary keywords. You also want to make sure that you include important variations and synonymous keywords as part of the content strategy for existing pages.

 

The natural starting point for this kind of research are ranking based keyword tools. Some popular paid tools for this information include SEMRush, SpyFu, and Ahrefs. These tools provide keywords for your site and your competitors, which you can export into a nice spreadsheet. They are great for giving you a good idea of what the valuable keywords for pages across your site are and identifying gaps in your content strategy. You'd be surprised how common it is for pages not to even include the powerful keywords that they rank for in the copy.

 

Once you vet the data a little bit, you can get a good idea of the powerful keywords that are already bringing traffic to your site. If you have some budget constraints and can’t use a paid tool, you can attempt some of this research using analytics and the Google AdWords Keyword Tool.

 

One thing you'll find when you do ranking based keyword research is that there are a lot of pages and keywords missing. This means that it’s time to start your exploratory keyword research, which is how you fill in the blanks in your spreadsheet. Although there are many great paid options, Google AdWords Keyword Tool is a nice free solution for this purpose – just make sure to log in to see the full data!

 

It's a good idea to run at least a couple iterations of your exploratory keyword tool of choice to identify valuable keywords that you don't yet rank for. During this research, not only will you find keywords for existing pages that you may have missed but you will also find whole keyword groups which you'd want brand new pages for.

 

On a side note, by this point it’s a good idea to break out your keyword list into one primary and a bunch secondary phrases for each page. This can be done using simple highlighting or some other method. Your call.

 

Keyword Research For Your Thin Deep Pages

Adding content to your deep pages is a funny thing because if you have a large site, there is definitely a cost associated with it. If adding unique content to a large number of pages falls outside your given budget, consider going back to see what additional pages can be done away with in the index.

Depending on the nature of your products and the amount of SKU's you have, SEO based keyword research strategy will vary dramatically. However, let's assume that a given site has a couple hundred or couple thousand SKU's, there are several things to look at for sites of this scope.

 

First, check that all of the given pages are cached. That may seem like a 'duh!' proposition to some of you, but you'd be surprised how often this is overlooked.

 

Second, check if there are relevant high value phrases that you can pair with your thin non-ranking pages. It is hard to speak generally on this because so much of this level of keyword research ties into your specific space and how people 'talk' about your kind of products online. One general method that can be used is throwing large swaths of product names into a keyword tool and 'sampling' to see what gets search for and deserves deeper inquiry but this method is not ideal.

 

Competitor Based Keyword Research

Once you’ve exhausted keyword research for existing pages and exploratory keyword research, it’s time to go gem hunting on your competitors keywords. Use the tools mentioned above for doing this by running keyword reports for all of your competitors and comparing them against your own list and filling it in with keywords that make sense for your site.

 

Another great thing to look at, if you're not doing PPC already, is what keywords competitors are bidding on that you can consider incorporating into your organic strategy, if you already have not.

Now that you're done with the hard part, you're ready to start actionably using your keyword research for implementing your content strategy and keyword optimization for your pages. In a word, you have your master keyword list for organic search.

 

Tips for Content Creation

Once your site is cleaned up of all unnecessary pages and you have a plan for the rest of the pages on your site, it’s time to get the pages optimized and the content created. Here are some general pointers:

Keep word count varying from page to page: Try not to have the exact same non-linked word count from page to page. This will make your content look more natural.
Make sure that there is a good saturation of synonymous phrases: Google is getting very good at understanding synonymy and they’re working hard to decipher language meaning. Inclusion of secondary phrases is an important part of any keyword strategy.
Add value on your pages: See if there is anything that you can add to your pages to make them more interesting. Consider adding widgets to pages or looking at competitors to see how you can improve the value of individual pages or templates on your site.
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Influential Marketing Blog: 5 Insights From The 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

 

Earlier this morning the team at SocialMediaExaminer.com released their annual report on the state of Social Media Marketing. Based on the responses of over 3800 surveyed marketers, the report offers an interesting look at how businesses are using social media to grow and promote their businesses.

 

As with any surveys of this type, you have to remember that the people who responded are already a self selected audience of business owners who care about social media. So it's not surprising when the survey reports that "94% of respondents indicated they are employing social media for marketing purposes."

 

Still in reading over the report, there were several conclusions that I took from reading between the lines that I found interesting for anyone who is grappling with the challenge of how to effectively integrate social media into their marketing.

 

1. Marketers are overly focused on measurement and not concerned enough with strategy.

In perhaps the most telling section of the report, marketers were asked about the "top 10 social media questions they want answered." Coming in at #1 was all about measurement. All the way down at a sad #6 was strategy. In a nutshell, this is the reason why so many businesses struggle to describe the value they see from social media. If you focus on how to measure what you're doing without having a good strategy for WHY you're doing it - you've already failed.

 

2. The lines between "social" and "non-social" are misunderstood and don't depend on platform.

Late in the report, marketers were also asked about how they will change "non-social marketing" in the future. Search engine optimization, event marketing and webinars were all on the list of "non-social" marketing. One problem with this is that a webinar featuring a live Q&A is inherently more "social" than a Twitter feed used only to blast out messages. The truth is, being "social" with your marketing has little to do with the platform you choose, and more to do with how you choose to use it.

 

3. Great writing and video production skills are still undervalued.

For all the buzz about content marketing, many businesses still undervalue the importance of actually being good at content creation. Not everyone can write or produce compelling video. Today more than ever, there should be a premium for marketers who are gifted writers and producers. The ones who can craft an engaging message in as little as 140 characters. Or do an in depth blog post that will be relevant for more than just a few hours. Simply committing to produce more crap video or hastily written blog posts will no longer be enough. When content is a commodity, quality content is king.

 

4. "Social" businesses don't do daily deals (or at least they don't admit to it).

Daily deals did not fare well in the survey, as "more than 72% of marketers have no plans to use daily deals." Also reported in the survey was the dismally low number of only 12% of marketers planning increase their use of sites like Groupon or LivingSocial. Marketers who responded to this survey on SocialMediaExaminer.com are typically social media savvy. More than any other result, I think this distaste of daily deals is definitely overstated as plenty of less social media savvy businesses are still actively using these sites to drive sales and exposure.

 

5. Platforms still drive interest, but integration should be the ultimate goal.

The survey overall offered a lot of insights into the platforms that marketers were interested in using. For the second year in a row, YouTube/video was the "top area where marketers plan on increasing their efforts." In addition, Google+ and Pinterest were both hot platforms that marketers wanted to learn more about. Almost nowhere in the entire survey did any marketers highlight the challenge or importance of integration across all of these disparate platforms. That is already a huge challenge and one that I believe will continue to grow this year.

 

The full report was just published this morning and is now available for FREE download until April 19th at http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-marketing-industry-report-2012/

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New B2B content marketing 'destination' from SAP

Announcing the Launch of Business Innovation From SAP
By Michael Brenner, Published on March 27, 2012


To meet the needs of today’s buyers, SAP must deliver information in a way that matches how people buy, and not necessarily the way we want to sell.

 

With this in mind, today we are launching a new content destination called Business Innovation from SAP. To support the development of Pull Marketing, the site is focused on meeting the information and educational needs of our audience from the earliest buying stages onward – even before someone would typically visit a software provider’s Website or look for information about a specific solution.

 

Aligned to SAP.com, this site will help businesses and people understand how to achieve growth and competitive advantage through innovations such as cloud computing, mobile solutions, in-memory technology, analytics and more. The design offers a subtle but aligned branded experience and call-to-action for visitors to follow the SAP Social accounts, join the SAP Community Network, or explore our solutions on SAP.com on their own terms.

 

Providing some of the best content in the marketplace, in the way people want to consume it, we aim to keep readers coming back again and again to learn how these areas of innovation can shape the future of their business.

 

We invite you to explore the site, share the content and sign-up to contribute (see below for more details).

 

A New Approach to Delivering Dynamic Content

We will deliver daily updates of feature-length content, along with blogs curated from analysts, customers, partners, as well as from SAP employees.
Coming soon, we will syndicate news articles from recognized sources such as Forbes, Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, Fast Company and many more.
Visitors can sign up for updates, comment on the articles, and share the content with their friends and followers.
The site will also serve as the destination landing page for the new “Run Like Never Before” advertising campaign focusing on the importance of innovation in helping organizations to Run Better.

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Senior Execs Prefer Reading Periodicals in Print

Senior Execs Prefer Reading Periodicals in Print | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it

Senior executives are more likely to prefer reading a range of publications in their printed formats rather than digitally, per survey results from Doremus and the Financial Times released in March 2012.

 

51% say they read newspapers mostly in print, compared to 14% who read them mostly online and 7% who do so mostly on a mobile or tablet. A majority also prefer reading industry trade journals (56%), general business magazines (56%), and leisure publications (60%) in their printed form.

 

The Doremus study also found that senior executives aged under 45 were less likely than their counterparts aged over 55 to prefer print readership of newspapers (44% vs. 61%), and more likely to read mostly online. This trend extended to consumption of general business magazines and trade publications, and is mirrored by results from the Fall 2011 wave of Affinity’s American Magazine Study, which found that digital magazines readers are on average slightly younger than print readers (41 vs. 47).

 

Online Sources Concern Some
Senior executives’ preference for print may be tied to a lack of trust in journalistic integrity online. Just 5% say they are not concerned that online sources do not share traditional journalistic standards and fact checking practices. 17% say they are concerned and therefore generally rely on print media.

 

Even so, one-third think standards vary by source rather than medium, and look for individual sources they can trust regardless of medium, while an additional 44% say they are concerned and consult multiple sources and media as a solution.

 

Digital Activities Used for Work Purposes
These executives may still be mostly accessing periodicals in print, but they are also heavily involved in digital and social activities, for both work and personal purposes. 86% say they either frequently or sometimes watch online video for leisure purposes, while 76% do so for work. Webcasts (71%), professional networking sites (65%), blogs (63%), and podcasts (51%) are also popular for work purposes, although social networking is far more entrenched for leisure than work purposes (58% vs. 27%).

 

Mobile Devices Mostly Used for News
Meanwhile, senior executives appear to be using their mobile devices mostly to check news (58%) and visit websites (52%). Among tablet owners, checking news (82%) and visiting websites (79%) are also the most popular activities, closely followed by searching, downloading applications (both at 76%), and using apps (74%). Tablet owners are far more likely than mobile owners to use their device to shop online (64% vs. 25%), manage their bank accounts (39% vs. 26%), and manage their investments accounts (26% vs. 11%), though only 9% of both groups report using QR codes.

 

Other Findings:
Roughly two-thirds of senior executives say they to not turn off their work mobile device when on holiday, and 63% do not turn it off at night or on the weekends. 26% say they have separate mobile devices for business and leisure.
Executives are partial to online sources that are tied to traditional media (86%), while only 2% say they prefer digital sources. A list of the top 10 print media websites by market share of visits can be found here.
Only 19% of respondents seek out websites that share their political views, compared to 25% who access websites that offer a variety of viewpoints, and 55% who visit a mix.

 

About the Data: The Doremus and Financial Times results are based on a global online survey of senior executives from a mix of industries and company sizes. The survey was fielded in October 2011 and received 628 responses.

 

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Selling the C-Level: 7 Content Marketing Myths Debunked

Selling the C-Level: 7 Content Marketing Myths Debunked | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it
Joe Pulizzi discusses seven content marketing myths that stand in the way of us selling our content marketing projects to the C-Level.

 

During Jay Baer’s and my SXSW presentation, we had a number of questions about selling content marketing into the organization and to senior executives. Most of the questions revolved around myths that senior marketing managers believe, but that are actually not true at all.

 

In a recent Altimeter Content Marketing study, they found that if an organization is interested in developing an integrated content marketing strategy, they must take four fundamental steps. Altimeter said:

 

* They must understand that content marketing is not free. Effective content initiatives require a significant investment in internal staff, as well as production and distribution resources.


* They must be willing to educate and train staff in new digital skill sets across an organization, not just within a marketing department.


* They must integrate content marketing with advertising so that the two strategies can fully express a brand’s story.


* They must balance the desire to try new techniques, such as video, with the use of fundamentals such as email newsletters and blogs.

Making the business case for content marketing is key, but still a number of myths stand in our way. So…let’s debunk them.

 

Myth #1: My clients don’t consume online content

We hear this all the time. Some senior marketers say that they target CEOs, who don’t use search engines or social media. Recent Google research tells us that the average consumer engages in over 10 sources of information before making a buying decision. Also, according to research from Doremus and the Financial Times, over 60 percent of senior executives read blogs, watch online video, view webcasts, and use professional networking sites like LinkedIn.

 

Myth #2: We don’t have time to create content

Online content marketing is the ultimate informational annuity. For example, during the SXSW presentation, Jay shared his statistics on just one post on social media strategy he created almost three years ago. The post still attracts an average of 300 people per day (to just that one post) and has led to multiple pieces of business for Jay. Our content marketing templates post gets about 400 visitors a day. Really amazing stuff.

This is also the reason why you have to step out of the campaign mentality that most brands have. The ROI on content marketing needs a longer-term view than we are used to.

 

Myth #3: We can just do social media, we don’t need content

Jay’s Content Marketing Necessity Scale says it all. If people are already talking about you online in the right places, you don’t need as much original content as those that aren’t yet invited to the party. Frankly, if you want to be shared and talked about in social media, you need some amazing content to make your social media go. As Jay says, “Content is fire. Social media is gasoline.”

 

Myth #4: We can just do a blog

Today, a blog is just a ticket to the ball game. Sixty-five percent of B2B companies have blogs today. In order to be the leading expert for your industry, you need to take story ideas and adapt them to channels, like blowing a dandelion in the wind. For example, with the Content Marketing Playbook, although the eBook was the main content product, we produced a SlideShare version, multiple podcasts, multiple blog posts, a news release, an enewsletter version, snippets in our print magazine, Chief Content Officer, guest blogs, promotions on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and more. The SlideShare version alone has had over 13,000 downloads and was essentially free to distribute.

 

Myth #5: We’ll give away all our secret sauce

Contrary to what some people believe, a prospect doesn’t read one blog post and buys on the spot. Even back in the day when I sold print advertising, we always talked about how a business buyer would need to see your ad at least seven times for it to make any impact on the brand’s goals.

Through our content, we develop attention, then interest, then action. So you’ve got to work it by solving the pain points of your customers. Yes, you may give away your secrets, but having a grocery list doesn’t make you a chef. Those customers that want to take your advice and do it themselves?… fine. Those are not the kind of customers you want. What you need to do is show your expertise and insight, and have smart executives recognize your talent.

 

Myth #6: We shouldn’t talk about price in our content

Jay and I call this the Marcus Sheridan effect. Marcus is owner of River Pools and Spas and is now a prominent marketing speaker and consultant. Marcus was able to sell more fiberglass swimming pools than anyone in the country by sharing everything, including specifics on price. Just type in anything around pricing and fiberglass pools into Google… Marcus always comes up and dominates the search rankings. This same philosophy has also worked in his marketing practice. If you can’t talk specific pricing, at least talk about the dynamics that go into pricing. This is your competitive advantage waiting to happen.

 

Myth #7: Content marketing is separate from other areas of marketing

This is a major problem right now in large enterprises. Content initiatives are being separated throughout an organization. Some are in social media, some in search, some in mobile, others in public relations, some are with the agency and more. I attended a conference on email recently where an email content director in one of the largest travel companies in the world had never talked to the person who runs content for their social media programs. Yikes!

This is exactly why we are seeing the rise of the Chief Content Officer role…the person who can help coordinate the storytelling throughout an organization where traditional silos have existed for decades.

 

Now there’s seven myths…which ones did I miss?

 

 

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Content: Marketing's Best Hope, or More Hype? | Digital - Advertising Age

Content marketing, an idea kicking around since companies started firing up Movable Type blogs, is in the full flush of its industrial revolution.

 

Content: Marketing's Best Hope, or More Hype?
Done Right, It Can Work Wonders. But Too Many Confuse 'Content Marketing' With PR or Advertising

 

By: Matt Creamer Published: February 28, 2012


What does it mean that Indium Corp., which makes soldering supplies, publishes 73 blogs on its website? Or that Red Bull, producer of late nights, operates a site where you can pay for the rights to its photos and videos? Or that American Express, L'Oréal, General Electric and other blue chips either directly or indirectly employ hundreds of journalists whose Pulitzer dreams have been transformed into groping for brand engagement and return on investment?


Corporations are pushing out news stories, infographics and documentary-style videos as if they were run by a Frankenstein combo of Henrys Ford and Luce. Forget press releases and ads. What matters is straightforward, practical, even nonpromotional information that plays well on social networks.

 

Whether content marketing can emerge from the current noise as a central part of the marketing mix is a matter for debate. By all rights, this should be a breeze. Online advertising isn't exactly winning hearts and minds, even though it might show up occasionally at the right time with the right offer.

Overall, good, propaganda-free information is too easily available on the internet for controlled messages to triumph. And the traditional informational middlemen, the news media, are hurting. What's left is a free-for-all where the best (and best-placed) content will win.

The marketing business is responding to that reality.

 

Dedicated content roles are popping up at agencies and in marketing organizations. A startup scene is blooming. Spending has increased, anecdotally. Even if it's hard to tell by how much, survey after survey shows marketers' rising interest in content programs. But the era of Big Content has yielded big questions -- about effectiveness, about clutter and, perhaps most dreaded, about bubbles.

 

"I do think we're in the early stages of a "content bubble,' which is being inflated by the idea that brands should be publishers," said Kyle Monson, content-strategy director at JWT, New York. "It's a good idea, but now we've got a rush of people calling themselves "content strategists,' though they may not have any idea how to create compelling, strategic content."

 

Mr. Monson identified two things that almost everyone agrees must be present for content marketing to gain clout: quality and accountability.

"There are a few really great content campaigns out there, and loads of terrible ones," he said. "The balance is such that, eventually, CMOs might not want to hear about clever content campaigns anymore, because they've traveled that road before and didn't see the ROI. That's how bubbles pop."

The other perspective is that this is just the beginning of solid investment that can drive business. As experimentation gives way to systematization, the metrics -- soft now -- will firm up.

 

Toby Murdock, CEO of Kapost, a startup that supplies a publishing platform for brands including Nokia and Verizon Communications, calls it the shift to "real content marketing."

It's "a transformation in which brands truly become publishers," Mr. Murdock said. "They produce substantial volumes of content -- a minimum of five pieces a week -- that are not about their own products but about the interests of their customers. Only such substantial operations can produce real results."

 

The "not about their own products" part is key to content marketing success.

 

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PayPal redesigns site, eliminates pages

PayPal redesigns site, eliminates pages | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it
PayPal is one of the web's most recognizable brands, and it's no spring chicken. But that doesn't mean that there isn't room for a makeover.

 

Yesterday, the online payments giant announced a website redesign that will be rolling out to PayPal users in the United States in the coming weeks.

 

According to PayPal's Vikas Bhatia, the company conducted a review of its old website and "found there were literally thousands of pages that were simply not useful to our consumers any longer." So as part of its redesign, PayPal has "dramatically cut" the number of pages on its site in an effort to provide the information users are looking for more efficiently.

 

The most notable changes are changes to the navigation and login process, as well as the addition of page-specific reference tools, but PayPal has also simplifying other areas on the site to better focus in on the solutions it offers that its users are most interested in. "

 

We want our customers to feel like they can interact with us whenever they need us most and wherever they may be," Bhatia explained.

 

Obviously, given its status one of the world's most prominent digital payment solutions providers, PayPal probably could have gotten away with its old website. But as the company looks to branch out and extend its payment solutions to new markets, customer experience is only going to grow in importance.

 

Redesigning its website in an effort to make sure users have easy access to the information and tools they need is an important step in making sure the experience the company offers doesn't drive users to more innovative and user-friendly

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Easel.ly Makes Infographics Easy... But Should It?

Easel.ly Makes Infographics Easy... But Should It? | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it
Infographics are still a thing with a lot of companies, if my inbox is any indication. Easel.ly, a service that recently debuted in beta, is making it easy to create infographics online. Whether it should is another question.
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Infographic: Managing the Big Flood of Big Data in Digital Marketing – Analyzing Media

Infographic: Managing the Big Flood of Big Data in Digital Marketing – Analyzing Media | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it
Today’s flood of big data represents immense opportunity for smart marketers. But to fully leverage the potential that exists within these massive streams of structured and unstructured data, organizations must ...
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Social Media Case Study: Walmart's Fight Hunger Contest | social media case studies | Social Media Consulting - Convince & Convert

Social Media Case Study: Walmart's Fight Hunger Contest | social media case studies | Social Media Consulting - Convince & Convert | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it
Social media case study: The Walmart Fight Hunger Contest is a great example of social media for social good, and exemplary in its marketing integration.
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Marketing Needs to Empower Sales to Do Thought Leadership Selling | IT Services Marketing Association

Marketers understand that thought leadership has become critical to the buying process and have begun to generate demand and nurture leads with thought leadership. Marketing is educating, but sales is still promoting.
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Why Marketers Should Invest in Visual Content Creation

Why Marketers Should Invest in Visual Content Creation | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it
Learn why visual content is a critical part of your content creation strategy.
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Story Time: The Rise Of Content Marketing | CMO.com

Five Ways To Tell A Story
With the emerging trend toward content marketing, there are several ways to start thinking and acting like a storyteller to make the most of this powerful new marketing force.


1. Publish original, fresh content that resonates with audiences.
Research what your competitors are writing. Find the right topics. Then curate the content to make it more compelling, search-optimized, relevant, and open-minded. In this type of marketing, know that your first line of competitors probably is not the product or service providers you may consider your day-to-day rivals in the sales arena, but instead the publishers generating blogs, tweeting, publishing surveys, and so on, all producing original content on your target topic.


2. Educate your organization and the C-suite that this is not a typical demand-creation activity.
Content marketing works best at the widest part of the sales funnel, during the awareness phase. The results may not be apparent for some time. Be sure to measure as you go—clicks, downloads, views, likes, and so on—to determine which content garners the most response and resonates with existing and potential customers. In content marketing, data is your friend. With it, you can know more about how customers are reacting. Leverage insights provided by data and use it as the soil in which to grow your corporation’s ideas.


3. Cultivate the required skills within your organization.
Brands need to become more nimble and agile, aligning their skill sets to the new content marketing trend, so bring in the right talent. With the right team, content marketing often can be deployed faster than the traditional, single-channel campaign approach.


4. Look toward a new marketing model and choose agencies that can serve you.
Many agencies produce stunning creative, yet they have not honed the art of storytelling. Content marketing agencies are a growing resource, and they specialize in telling stories across multiple channels, including the Web and social media. These agencies are helping to span the resource gap between campaign-based thinking and long-form storytelling and content creation.


5. Think and act like a newsroom.
Content marketing does not fit neatly within one department. Your job as a chief marketer is to bridge and leverage content marketing across traditional marketing silos. Stories are everywhere, and they must be told across mediums and channels. Keep in mind that when you have a good story, it is vital to do your best to tell it across print, social, Web, mobile, earned media, and other channels—even if the content or the creative is not as perfectly fine-tuned as it might be for an advertising campaign. When dispersing content across multiple channels, be sure to create a unified, yet multifaceted, brand experience.


For many marketers, content marketing can be a new a challenge, but those experienced in the practice say it comes with many rewards. The content marketing phenomenon, while not new, has the potential to move marketers from insight to provocation and customer action.

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Booz & Co. Thought Leadership Efforts Have a Clear Business Objective - Content Curation Marketing

12 Apr 2012

 

Barry Jaruzelski from Booz & Co shares his insights on their thought leadership program

 

The Economist called the Global Innovation 1000 “the most comprehensive assessment of the relationship between R&D investment and corporate performance,” and Tom Peters praised it as a “provocative, research-based article that is
sure to get you thinking.”

 

I have long been an admirer of Booz&Co’s thought leadership work around their Innovation 1000 project. For two years they were voted as generating the best thought leadership across all professional services firms according to Source for Consulting.

 

So I took the liberty of approaching Barry Jaruzelski who heads up the program to ask him a few questions about it. This is what he had to say:

 

1. First off could you give a brief overview of Booz & Company’s Innovation thought leadership campaign?

Every year since 2005, Booz & Company has conducted the Global Innovation 1000 study, which investigates the relationship between how much companies invest in R&D and their overall financial performance — and every year, we reinforce the core conclusion that there is no statistically significant correlation between the two.

The study examines the R&D spending of the 1,000 largest public companies and also explores a particular “deep dive” topic on innovation. The Innovation 1000 study serves as an umbrella for a range of other viewpoints, articles, and conference and university speaking engagements on innovation.

We release the results in October of each year to the public via a press release, targeted media outreach and distribution to our client community. In addition, at launch we conduct a series of webinars for our firm’s alumni, study participants, and clients.

 

2. Please explain the business rationale behind Booz & Company’s focus on a thought leadership platform
and why Innovation was chosen as a topic?

As a firm, we have had a 60 plus year commitment to consulting on innovation, starting with a seminal article in 1950 in the Harvard Business Review which defined the concept of the Product Life Cycle for the first time. We conduct a wide variety of engagements and research on product development process improvement, R&D strategy, engineering effectiveness, and innovation organization for a broad range of clients.

Innovation is one of the eight core functional client service areas that we offer across our full range of industry groups. The Innovation 1000 study is a conversation starter with senior executives and serves as an umbrella for a wide range of intellectual capital on various aspects of innovation.

This study is important because it both builds our profile and builds our knowledge bank.

 

3. What business objectives did you/do you put in place, how do you measure them and how is your thought leadership campaign delivering on these?

In broad terms, we expect this study to achieve the following objectives:

1) Place Booz & Company in top tier business media worldwide as a leader in innovation thinking and research. In order to
evaluate our campaign we track media coverage , social media mentions, traffic to booz.com and strategy-business.com .
The study is cited each year in nearly 200 publications around the globe, spanning 27 countries.

2) Provide an effective vehicle to interest and engage clients and prospective clients. This is more difficult to track and measure, but we try to track the interest, leads and sales we generate that are directly and/or indirectly related to Innovation 1000.

3) Help secure speaking engagements – We track this in comparison to targets and the number of speaking engagements in prior years.

 

4. How do you ensure audience relevance in what you are publishing / researching?

Each year, we begin with a set of “candidate” subject focus areas which are discussed among a diverse set of partners and principals from various practice groups. The subject areas are debated for macro relevance, interest among clients and
overall feasibility. Every year we also discuss potential topics with clients and invite them to participate in the research via interviews on the “deep dive” topic.

 

5. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in your thought leadership over the past few years?

We now spend much more time translating each piece of thought leadership into multiple formats to reach a wider variety of audiences more effectively. This includes translating our ideas into multi-media, social media and media-friendly formats.

There is such a barrage of information that our clients and audiences face that we have to work harder to stand out, attract attention and ensure our “big ideas” get heard. As well, while we still generate an incredibly extensive amount of IC, we are even more strategic about our focus areas and resource allocation. What hasn’t changed is our focus on thought leadership as a critical area of differentiation for our firm. The company White Space actually tracks the intellectual capital efforts of the consulting industry and it has has rated Booz & Company #1 in Thought Leadership for the past two consecutive years. This is an honor we are extremely proud to achieve.

 

6. What have been some of the spinoffs of your focus on innovation? These could be internal (within Booz & Company) or external.

We have received invitations to write bylined or guest articles in other publications and to join advisory boards of clients and innovation-related associations (e.g. PDMA)

 

7. Given your experience, what are some of the tips you can share in terms of arriving at and getting a thought leadership program off the ground?

Build a smart and strong team that is consistently committed to “putting in the work” over a number of years to build name recognition and profile.

Ensure that certain elements of your program are repeatable so you can scale and build success that you can recreate annually. And perhaps most importantly, do not over reach and create a program that collapses under its own weight after just one year because it is too ambitious and demanding to sustain.

Take the long view and build something that is sustainable and focused on quality.

 

8. What have been the top three outcomes of Booz & Company’s thought leadership campaign?

1) Top Tier media coverage globally, client interest and engagements

2) Building a strong brand as a firm with proven expertise in innovation (from ideation to process to execution and everything in between)

3) Being ranked as one of the top firms in innovation consulting

 

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Dell Launches v2 of IdeaStorm

Dell Launches v2 of IdeaStorm | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it

Dell Launches v2 of IdeaStorm
By David Strom / March 26, 2012 3:03 PM / 1 

 

It is hard to believe that Dell's IdeaStorm site is five years old. (It's Feb 2007 launch was covered by us here.) But harder still to realize was that until last week, the venerated ideation site was getting a bit long in the tooth, even though it has had close to 500 different ideas implemented by Dell on various projects and products. Some of the ideas resulted in Dell's first backlit keyboard, wider sales for Dells in electronics stores, rack-mounted blade workstations, and and for Dell to offer Linux pre-installed. This last item has been partially implemented.

 

Last week Dell did a complete makeover of the site, adding features, reworking the UI, and in general sprucing up the place. We spoke with Bill Johnston, Dell's Director of Global Online Communities, to see what is new and what were some of the lessons learned.

 

Johnston is an old social media hand who comes from Autodesk and cNet and knows how to build communities. He told me that the original site was built on top of Salesforce.com's Ideas platform and went through a complete makeover. Plus, the old site had gotten a bit big and convoluted and had lost a bit of its way, partly a victim of its own success. "We had a backlog of ideas building up and didn't know what to do with them," he told me. Ideas were getting lost in the pipeline and Dell wanted to rework things and improve the level of innovation.

 

Dell and Salesforce collaborated on bringing a new version of Ideas to the marketplace. Dell is the first customer of the new and improved platform.

 

So last week saw v2 of IdeaStorm. There is a new UI, much cleaner and meaner. You can find and submit ideas more easily. You can quickly track down a potential duplicate idea, so you don't resubmit one unintentionally.

 

Old ideas that don't get any traction are archived to keep the boards clean and focused. "We learned that ideas don't happen in a vacuum, and there aren't just single points of inspiration but we need to have a culture of innovation that encourages iterations and mashups of ideas," he said. Let's say I post an idea to a particular forum, but then someone comes along and posts a comment that extends my idea or takes it to a new direction. I would like to incorporate that comment into my original idea to make it more potent. That is what can now happen with the new site.

 

Finally, Dell has appointed 16 "idea partners" who are Dell employees responsible for managing, tracking, and implementing specific categories of ideas that match their own corporate divisions. The notion is to move these ideas into the right stakeholders as soon as possible, and not have ideas get lost in the sauce.

 

And you can see that they eat their own dog food, they have a forum where readers can post their comments about the new design, where we took the below screenshot:

"Listening to our customers is a lot like dial tone, it is just part of the corporate communications fabric," he said.

 

But the new design isn't static, and Dell has several other plans to enhance things in the works. For example, good ideas that they can't act upon are presented to the community as a sort of "creative commons" approach, whereby anyone can license and use them and act upon. They are also looking to place ideas in progress as reposts to other Dell Web properties to engage the separate communities that may not even be a part of IdeaStorm, to reach the right people and interact with them.

 

IdeaStorm was one of the touchstones of the enterprise social media age, and we're glad to see Dell giving it a makeover and planning for its future.by us here.) But harder still to realize was ...
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P&G’s New Approach to Digital | Digiday

P&G’s New Approach to Digital | Digiday | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it

When Procter & Gamble speaks, the marketing world listens. The world’s biggest advertiser has a new message, and it should rattle many in the digital media world.

 

During its Signal P&G event in Cincinnati, Marc Pritchard, global marketing and brand building officer of P&G, talked about how brand building has changed since the proliferation of Internet technology and about how important it is for brands to keep up. Pritchard put a big emphasis on the influx of mobile devices in the market and the pace at which consumers are adopting mobile technology. He also focused on social media and consumers’ dependence on social to talk with one another and also to talk with brands.

 

Pritchard emphasized the importance of one-to-one relationships in today’s always-connected, always-on digital environment. He said that brands need to be less focused on making money and instead place more emphasis on improving the lives of both existing and potential customers. P&G’s strategy here on in will focus on one-to-one relationships and meeting the needs of technology-dependent consumers.

 

“To address these [technology] forces, our vision is to build our brands through lifelong, one-to-one relationships in real time with every person in the world,” Pritchard said. “The power of everyday people is driving monumental change and people power favors brands like ours. We have trusted brands that are part of everyday life. We genuinely care about serving people with superior benefits and doing good.”

 

Obviously today’s technology-dependent society is making big brands like P&G understand that they need to change the way they operate, advertise and reach people. So what does that mean? It means that the old-school broadcasting spray-and-pray approach that we have seen with some brands’ digital efforts is not going to work. It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. Digital marketing efforts should be focused on building relationships, not driving a one-time sale. If a brand is doing all it can to build relationships with consumers, sales will follow. But, when consumers feel that brands are just trying to sell them products, they feel turned off and may move to a competitor. The best form of marketing is the kind that does not feel like marketing. I’m going to buy from the brands that sell to me the least.

 

On the creative end, agencies too need to rethink the types of experiences they’ll be pitching their brand clients. Stop it already with the “click here to get 15 percent off of your next purchase” ads. They aren’t doing much in terms of building the brand. Marketing efforts need to focus on building communities and giving loyalists cool tips, recipes, tools, whatever it is, just to make them happy. Then, when they are walking down that grocery isle, that’s when they will remember you.

 

“Technology will mean that people will increasingly expect brands to understand their unique needs and deliver,” Pritchard said. “We want P&G to be the first to create this trusted, indispensable relationship because it will create greater loyalty, more purchases across categories, and more sales at lower costs. Achieving this vision requires some fundamental shifts in how we operate.”

 

What does Pritchard mean by “fundamental shifts?” P&G will now focus its efforts on creating integrated brand experiences instead of focusing solely on products. The company will be thinking differently about how it approaches the digital marketing landscape. It will shift away from its everyday static marketing to using digital in ways that actually engage people. Pritchard said this shift will begin with P&G moving away from mass broadcasting as it creates more personal conversations with consumers. The company will also be placing a focus on “anywhere, anytime shopping.”

 

What this all means is that P&G will be placing a greater emphasis on its mobile and social strategies, using these channels as ways of engaging and, most important, interacting with consumers. Right now P&G’s Facebook page has about 71,000 followers. Although this sounds like a hefty number, there are brands out there — Coca Cola, Havaianas, Ford, to name a few — whose numbers are way higher. I’m talking in the millions here. It is obvious that P&G is now playing catch-up, realizing it isn’t where it should be when it comes to social.

 

Although active in the mobile space, P&G is mostly known for its mobile ad campaigns that focus on branding for specific products. None of the campaigns to date have been really engaging or a great example of building loyalty. From Pritchard’s speech, it is obvious that we’ll be seeing a difference in the way that P&G uses mobile to reach consumers. Likely, messaging will be about cultivating loyalists and building loyalty among consumers and less about specific product launches and such. With more than 93 percent mobile penetration worldwide, P&G has set its sights on the right channel. Mobile is growing at unprecedented levels and consumers are more and more comfortable engaging with their favorite brands via their mobile devices.

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The day Bill Gates called me rude — and other lessons in user experience | Jackson Fish Market

The day Bill Gates called me rude — and other lessons in user experience | Jackson Fish Market | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it

There was an almost interminable pause in the conversation, as Bill thought about what I had said. And then he looked up at me after some processing and exclaimed: “That’s just rude.”

 

~ ~ ~

 

In November of 2003 it was my job to get Bill Gates on board with the new designs my team had planned for the Windows user interface. I’d been in countless meetings with Bill, and already knew that I wasn’t great at convincing Bill of much. When it came to discussing the user interface of Windows we generally spoke past each other, which didn’t make sense to me then, but makes a lot of sense to me now.

 

The currency of the software industry, an industry that Bill Gates had a large hand in creating, is the engineer. Software gets built without executives, without marketers, without designers, and without accountants. It even gets built without testers. But it doesn’t ever get built without engineers. Bill is the ultimate engineer. Back in the 1980’s when graphical user interfaces were new and shiny, Bill internalized many of the lessons that made those original GUIs work. Concept reduction, consistency, skill portability, were all core to how to make a great UI. Why have 17 different ways to pop up (or drop down) a menu? Why have 17 different graphical treatments? With “one menu to rule them all,” users could learn how to use the menu once and then apply this knowledge anywhere they saw this affordance. That way, developers don’t have to reinvent the wheel, and users don’t need to relearn the wheel.

 

And this is still a sound fundamental principle of user interface design.

 

But engineers (like everyone) see the world through their lens. Engineers look at code all day. And when they see two pieces of code doing roughly the same thing, they immediately think about ways they could eliminate the wasted effort by combining them into one piece of code that performs both functions. And often, when coders participate in UI design, they make the same observations, and can overdo this principle.

 

Additionally, though it’s uncomfortable for the left-brained among us to discuss, another one of the fundamental aspects of today’s state-of-the art user experience design is to focus on how the software makes the user ‘feel’. You can imagine how popular a fuzzy notion like this is in a company (and industry) where empirically -minded engineers and their fans are running the show.

 

Just as I’d known it before all my previous meetings, I knew that Bill didn’t love my fuzzy notions about what makes for a great user experience. I’ll also confess at this point that I have a personal weakness when it comes to beautiful analogies. I overestimate their power to get people excited about ideas in which I’m invested. They’re certainly effective, but perhaps not to the degree that I imagine.

 

Back to my meeting in the board room with Bill Gates, and the 3 or 4 executives between he and myself in the Microsoft org chart. While the actual specifics of the day’s discussion are lost to history, I do remember clearly that we were debating the merits of my team’s user interface designs for powerful new data management features in the Windows Explorer.

 

From my perspective, Bill’s preferred direction was overly abstract. We had created a compact set of tools to help users manage their files and folders where we felt we’d balanced the “learning curve” that comes with anything new with the way human beings actually think about things. Bill felt that we could reduce the concepts much further, thereby easing each user’s learning curve, and ultimately making them more powerful as they could employ this learning across a wide variety of scenarios. Cue my “beautiful” analogy.

 

At one particularly frustrating moment, I offered the following: “Bill, a shower, a toilet, and a water fountain all have mechanisms to control water flow, places where the water comes out, some sort of porcelain basin to hold the water, and a drain, but we don’t combine them into one thing to reduce their learning curve. We don’t merge them into one object because each of them are in use in fundamentally different ways at different times.”

 

Then the pause.

 

Then Bill’s verdict.

 

Ouch.

 

As I saw my career disintegrate before me, I started to question just how “beautiful” my analogy really was. To his credit, Bill was forgiving, and met with me many times after that, giving me numerous opportunities to get him on board with all manner of ideas coming from my team (with varying degrees of success on my part).

 

Ultimately, I never did succeed in making Bill really comfortable with a more emotional approach to software design. But the real lesson of the day was learned. In the software industry, as long as the engineering-minded run the show, the notion of subtle and textured user experience design that balances the emotional and functional aspects of a software experience will always struggle to take root.

Posted on March 12th, 2012 in Making Things Special

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Eleven Ways Facebook Page Timelines Change Your Content Strategy

Eleven Ways Facebook Page Timelines Change Your Content Strategy | Thought Leadership & Content Marketing | Scoop.it

From John Haydon.com

 

Eleven Ways Facebook Page Timelines Change Your Content Strategy

 

The new Facebook page timeline layout changes the way your organization needs to think about content. Previously, a Facebook Page content strategy was primarily focused on two things:

 

Custom Tabs – The the content strategy for custom tabs (landing tabs) focused on engaging visitors with a clear call to action in mind. For example, custom tabs to encourage users to join and or share a fundraising campaign. Custom welcome tabs were also used as a way to convert Facebook fans.


The News Feed – The the content strategy for the newsfeed focused on engaging Facebook fans in the hopes that greater awareness would be spread through virality. For example, you’d post a photo and a fan would like it, which automatically posts an update on their newsfeed for their friends to see.


The Newsfeed hasn’t changed, and so to some degree your content strategy is still about what’s happening “now”. But Facebook Pages now make it about the past present and future as well!

 

Here are a 11 things to consider in your new Facebook content strategy:

1. Your Second Website - The timeline allows visitors to your page to interact with a story that has a beginning, a middle, and it now. Facebook users can flip through the pages in your story in a variety of ways (as shown below).

Now don’t get me wrong – the NewsFeed is and will be where all the action is. But Facebook users will soon start seeing your Facebook Page in the same way they see your website. They’ll visit to see what’s new, what’s important, and what their friends care about.

 

2. Tell A Story In Your Cover Image – Think of your cover image as taking the place of the default landing tab (more on that below). The purpose of your cover image is to create a powerful first impression that will convert. Beth Kanter has put together an amazing collection of orgs that are using cover images effectively. Rotate Your Cover Image: You can keep fans interested by frequently rotating your cover image, communicating freshness, spontaneity and dynamism around your brand.

 

3. Soft Sell – Facebook says that your cover image should not be used for calls to action like “Donate now” or “Sign our email list”. You also can’t include any contact information like URLs, or reference any features on your Facebook page such as the like button.

 

4. Simplify Your Profile Picture – The new profile picture (AKA avatar) is now 180 pixels square. This means that you can no longer include a call to action (as some organizations did previously).

Because this image will be as small as 30 pixels square, it’s best to use only your logo. You don’t need to include the name of your organization in your main avatar because the name of your Facebook page travels with your avatar everywhere on Facebook.

 

5. Complete Your About Section – The about section has more prominence just below the cover image. This will include your address and contact information if you have a Facebook Place, or just a brief description if you have a Facebook Page (as shown below).

 

6. Create Milestones - Up until now, anything posted on the Facebook page was automatically tagged with the date it was posted. Milestones allow you to select any date in the past.

Picture for Milestones can be up to 843 pixels by 403 pixels.

 

7. Direct Attention with Highlights and Pins – Up until now Facebook admins had little control over how posts were displayed on their Page. and visitors to that page would see updates in either reverse chronological order or in an order determined by Facebook’s Edgerank.

 

Pages now allow you to control feature specific posts on your page through Highlighting or Pinning. Highlighting turns any page story – which normally occupies a single column – into a full-width story (as shown below). This is perfect for large horizontal photos (dimensions for highlighted photos are 846px by 403px.

 

Pinning allows you to give any Page story more attention by moving any page story to the top of your Facebook Page. When you pin something on your page it remains at the top of your timeline for seven days, or until you unpin it, so it’s a good idea to think about what you want to feature at the top of your page each week (shown below).

 

8. Focus on Photos – Again, Facebook Pages are now much more about your visual story told over time, rather than what’s happening now. As much as possible, it’s best to focus on telling that story through images photos and other visual content. Think Pinterest.

 

9. No Default Tabs – You’ve probably heard by now that Facebook pages will no longer have the ability to set a default tab for nonfans. Default tabs in the past were primarily used as a way to increase fan conversion rates on a page. Now you’ll have to do that with your cover image, highlights, and other ways to make that first impression.

 

10. No Hard Sell Messaging – Facebook Pages also have a messaging feature which allows visitors to send you a private message. It may be really tempting to sell them on why they should donate or volunteer, but it’s better to use these opportunities to nurture a relationship on their terms. Keep in mind, they are messaging you – not the other way around. Also, you are limited to two messages for every one they receive.

 

11. Not About You – At first glance you might assume that the story you’re supposed to tell your organization’s story. But this is not an interesting story, nor is it the real story. The story you must tell has to be bigger than you. It has to be about the cause. It has to be about your community.

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