By Joe Pulizzi published March 7, 2015

This Week in Content Marketing: The Media Industry Is Desperately Confused

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PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher.

In this week’s episode (dubbed the “beautiful episode”), Robert and I discuss Uber’s new magazine launch to drivers as well as a thought-provoking article about the negativity surrounding ghostwriting. In addition, we discuss the confusion in the media landscape, how bad native advertising can get, and how Dove’s #SpeakBeautiful Twitter campaign is actually rather ugly. Raves include airline safety that has been transformed into compelling content and headlines that rock. We wrap up the show with a #ThisOldMarketing example from Lands’ End’s Apostrophe e-magazine.

This week’s show

(Recorded live on March  02, 2015; Length: 51:40)

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1. Content Marketing in the News

  • Uber Launches a Magazine to Make Nice With Its Drivers (3:22): Uber has launched a print magazine aimed at its drivers. Dubbed Momentum, it serves not only as an informal employee handbook for this important audience, but also as a marketing tool. Uber needs to convince passengers, as well as drivers, that it’s the best app for getting rides. To do so, it needs to keep drivers happy. Robert and I discuss why it’s important to communicate effectively with this “internal” audience and why a print magazine is the perfect vehicle for the task.
  • An Army of Ghostwriters Behind King Content (10:01): Poorly ghostwritten content is damaging the value of excellent content, warns Aimee Millwood, a former ghostwriter. Her solution? Companies need to adopt a strict no ghostwriting policy. I think this column is much ado about nothing because ghostwriting and freelance writing have been integral parts of marketing for a very long time. Robert’s opinion is that to be successful as a writer, you must build your own brand. He reveals how that builds value with clients.
  • How’s the Media Industry These Days? Confused (17:53): A few years ago, the media industry seemed to be finding its footing on promising digital paths. But that confidence has been replaced by confusion, as purveyors of video, music, and the written word struggle to find viable business models, Walt Mossberg reports. This article got me on my usual rant: Publishers typically only think about advertising and paid content models, while ignoring other ways to make money. It’s time to take off the blinders.
  • Despite What You’ve Heard, Native Advertising CAN Scale (24:24): With the right strategies and technologies, native advertising can scale. So says Rahul Nirula in an AdWeek column – an article that is, ironically, a sponsored piece. But, he doesn’t explain how it can do so and detours to talk about other topics. Robert views this article as a great example of what not to do with native advertising. We’re both surprised that it passed AdWeek’s editorial review.
  • Is Dove’s #SpeakBeautiful Campaign the Ugliest Thing on the Internet? (28:34): Dove’s new #SpeakBeautiful Twitter campaign has crossed the line from positive affirmation to downright creepiness, The Washington Post reports. Dove is sending unsolicited tweets of affirmation to any woman who posts a negative thing about her body, while ignoring the issues that caused them to post these ugly sentiments in the first place. I appreciate the positivity of this campaign, but it doesn’t feel genuine. Robert applauds Unilever for its willingness to take a risk with this controversial campaign.


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2. Sponsor (34:35)

  • This Old Marketing is sponsored by Marketo, which sells marketing automation software solutions. To help you accomplish your content marketing goals, Marketo is offering a workbook called the Content Marketing Tactical Plan. Download it, fill it in to develop your strategies, and start creating a content machine that truly maps to your goals. It includes staffing guidelines, content planning charts, editorial calendar templates, promotion objectives and tactics, and key content metrics. You can learn more at bit.ly/pnr-marketo.

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3. Rants and Raves (36:04)

  • Robert’s Rave: Robert loves this article from Skift.com, which describes how airlines are turning safety requirements into content marketing opportunities. Air New Zealand has had major success with its funny, quirky safety videos, for example. Robert loves how this ties in with the idea that “content is what we are.” Ideally, we should be looking at the myriad of customer touch points in our business and identifying opportunities to provide enhanced customer experiences.
  • Joe’s Rave: I like this video on the JD Supra website in which co-founder Adrian Lürssen explains how to write news headlines that not only capture attention initially, but also long after the articles have been published. His tips are based on analyzing the types of headlines that perform best on the JD Supra website. He also offers a practical tip on how to write headlines that are also fit for social media consumption. Great advice for content marketers!

4. This Old Marketing Example of the Week (44:30)

  • Lands’ End: For retailers, it’s not enough to offer consumers an online catalog. Consumers are looking for content that provides advice and compelling experiences. Lands’ End produces a quarterly online magazine, Apostrophe, which does a wonderful job of layering editorial over the top of its e-commerce catalog. Articles include recommended foods to serve at holiday meals, what men should be wearing today, and fashion tips. The content is well-written and artfully presented, and is tightly integrated with the Lands’ End catalog. In other words, if you click on a product image in an article, you can immediately order the item. Even though Apostrophe is only a few years old, it has grown into a wonderful publication and an excellent example for This Old Marketing.

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For a full list of PNR archives, go to the main This Old Marketing page.

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Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi considers himself the poster boy for content marketing. Founder of the Content Marketing Institute , Joe evangelizes content marketing around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books, including best-selling Epic Content Marketing (McGraw-Hill) and the new book, Content Inc. Check out Joe's two podcasts. If you want to get on his good side, send him something orange. For more on Joe, check out his personal site or follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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  • http://andynathan.net Andy Nathan

    Joe,

    I have driven for Lyft late at night when I wanted some extra cash, and it is shocking how often Dunkin Donuts is the only one available.

    That being said, it could fail spectacularly. Drivers do not always want a print magazine. I surely do not want something on print.

    Additionally, for your second story. I am a blogger and ghost writer. I write somewhere around 40-50K words per month. It is a huge task, but at the same time I do what most company execs cannot do by themselves at a higher level.

    That is what good entrepreneurs and business leaders: they outsource things they do not do well.

    In regards to the byline, some companies want me to put a byline and others do not. However, because of this I have written content on Intuit, Pro Blogger, Kissmetrics, and other high end blogs.

    Telling people that they need to write their own content when they are not writers is not fair. I don’t expect you as a content writer to redesign Content Marketing Institute. Yet, I do not see a clear link or name of your web developer. What is the difference?

    The Dove campaign is not a great idea, but it is also not a bad idea. The creepy voice makes it worse. However, it is better they say something positive to women then most of the junk out there today.

    Andy

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Hi Andy…thanks for the feedback. Very helpful. Not sure where I said that people who aren’t good writers should develop their own content. In that situation, I think those experts should be interviewed by the writer to make sure the “raw content” is acquired. Then the writer can tell the story that is in line with the content objective.

      And the creepy voice…well, that stuff happens when Robert and I chat late at night. I’m almost positive it will happen again. I applaud Dove for the positive nature of the program, but my family has a background in social work…you need to be very careful about how you communicate with people who have self-hate issues. It’s too important to wrap a marketing program around it. That said, they can do a lot of other things that would help that do not include Twitter.

      • http://andynathan.net Andy Nathan

        Joe,

        You never said bad writers should develop their own content. It is from personal experience that I found that 80% of the people who hire me, have trouble developing their own content. That is the main reason they use ghostwriters.

        Good point on the Dove campaign.

        Andy

        • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

          Got it Andy. Thanks for clarifying that.

          And thanks so much for listening!

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