In this week’s episode, Robert and I discuss why it’s a big deal that two associations – one in Germany and one in Asia – have adopted names that incorporate content marketing. We show some healthy skepticism toward ArticleBunny, a new website that connects writers with brands and promises to deliver high-quality, engaging content. We reflect on new research about native advertising and share our predictions for what it will look like in three to five years. Finally, we share our opinions about Facebook’s latest algorithm change, which focuses on total time reading (TTR). Rants and raves include a lesson for brands from media business models, airport employees who created an unforgettable story around a lost stuffed tiger, and what the recent social media successes of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) teach us about agility and scale. We wrap up the show with a #ThisOldMarketing example from Game Theory.
This week’s show
(Recorded live June 22, 2015; Length: 1:01:05)
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1. Content marketing in the news
- The new Content Marketing Forum and Association in Asia: (4:04): In Germany, The Forum for Corporate Publishing has changed its name to the Content Marketing Forum and is forming a Content Marketing Academy to provide training for its members. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the globe, content creation companies and agencies in Asia have united to form the Asia Content Marketing Association (ACMA). Robert and I believe this is a significant milestone in the global acceptance of this strategic communications strategy, and I explain why.
- ArticleBunny launches (10:44): ArticleBunny’s new website launched this week, which enables companies to order marketing content in a range of styles and formats from professional writers. Because it’s an end-to-end marketplace like Uber, the site’s developers say businesses can trust that their projects will be completed on time and to their standards. Robert and I are skeptical; despite ArticleBunny’s attempts to differentiate itself, it still sounds like many other freelance sites. We wish them the best of luck but believe they need to give more thought to positioning themselves on something other than price.
- Attitudes toward branded and sponsored content (16:31): Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism recently summarized YouGov’s comprehensive Digital News Report 2015, which includes the results of its research into consumer attitudes toward native advertising. While the report emphasizes that 33% of U.K. consumers and 43% of U.S. consumers feel deceived by native ads, Robert and I point out that the majority are still indifferent to them. We agree that this will be a non-issue in three to five years, when sponsored content is simply another part of the browsing experience, especially on mobile devices.
- Facebook now taking “time” into account (28:10): Facebook has once again tweaked its News Feed to take into account total time reading (TTR) – the amount of time you spend viewing each story in your News Feed – in addition to “likes,” shares, and comments. Robert and I agree that marketers shouldn’t be concerned with this latest development; they should continue to focus on creating quality content and exceptional experiences. That’s what drives greater reading time and engagement.
2. Sponsor (33:49)
- This Old Marketing is sponsored by Citrix GoToWebinar, a do-it-yourself event tool that projects your message to up to 1,000 online attendees. It’s offering a new report written by Robert Rose titled The Role of Webinars in the Buyer’s Journey. It explains how webinars can be used in a variety of roles throughout the buyer’s journey, best practices for approaching content by purpose and why you should broaden the scope of webinar use to increase the success of your content marketing strategy. Learn more at http://gotowebinar.com/CMI
3. Rants and raves (35:54)
- Joe’s rant: I really like this article by Greg Satell from Innovation Excellence about the biggest challenge publishers face today – clinging to their traditional distribution revenue models. In particular, I like his statement that marketers will pay more to reach consumers than consumers will pay to get access to content. In other words, content marketing tends to be a better business model than paywalls. The lesson for marketers: The effort needed to get audiences to pay for premium content is probably better focused elsewhere.
- Robert’s rave: Robert loves this fascinating story of a stuffed tiger named Hobbes that got lost at the Tampa International Airport. In the Calvin & Hobbes comic strip, Hobbes has a secret life as a real tiger. So the personnel at the airport decided to have a little fun with this little lost animal. They took pictures of him having numerous behind-the-scenes adventures at the airport and then delivered Hobbes with a bound book of these photos to his owner, a 6-year-old boy. It’s a wonderful reminder that all of your employees have the capacity to tell great stories – not just those in the marketing department.
- Robert’s rave: A listener asks: Is the terrorist organization ISIS savvier than the U.S. intelligence community when it comes to content marketing and social media? Robert draws a comparison between start-up companies, which can move quickly and take controversial positions on issues to attract attention, and enterprises, which must be very guarded and deliberate in their messaging. What’s needed to compete with this kind of guerrilla content are new models for teams, so organizations can have a small infrastructure but still act at scale – as ISIS seems to be doing lately.
4. This Old Marketing example of the week (51:41)
- Game Theory: Game Theory is one of my favorite stories of an entrepreneur who started with nothing and created a very successful online presence by identifying a need and focusing on a specific audience. Matthew Patrick (better known by his online nickname MatPat) was an actor and math whiz who was seeking work, but finding that no one would hire him. So he launched the Game Theory channel on YouTube to combine his passions of education and gaming, and published one video per week about the quirky things that happen in video games. He then used his math skills to analyze what his audience responded to. He now has over 4.6 million subscribers on the Game Theory YouTube channel; he has become so skilled at getting the most out of YouTube’s algorithm that he consults with owners of other channels to help them grow their traffic. MatPat now monetizes Game Theory in multiple ways, including services, advertising, products, and sponsorships. In addition, he recently launched the Film Theorists channel to break down theories and mysteries in movies. This methodical, creative, and relentlessly consistent approach makes Game Theory an excellent example of #ThisOldMarketing.
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