In this week’s episode, Robert and I discuss Jay Acunzo’s fantastic report on content marketing “pods” – an effective way to structure teams for content marketing. We question why The Washington Post plans to distribute every article they have directly on Facebook Instant Articles. Is it smart long-term thinking or a risky gamble? Finally, we ponder what’s really behind Twitter’s shocking decision to do away with tweet counts. Rants and raves include a call to arms to save advertising plus an opportunity for newspapers to rethink their business model – which contains an important lesson for content marketers. We wrap up the show with a #ThisOldMarketing example from Thomas Edison.
This week’s show
(Recorded live October 4, 2015; Length: 1:02:33)
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1. Content marketing in the news
- Rethinking how we structure content marketing teams: The pod approach (3:56): Jay Acunzo, author of the Sorry for Marketing blog, proposes that content teams should be structured in small, cross-functional “pods” composed of people with complementary skills. Robert and I agree it’s a brilliant model for content marketing success. We discuss one type of setting where it works extremely well.
- The only game in town: Why The Washington Post is pushing all its content to Facebook Instant Articles (17:56): The Washington Post announced on Tuesday that it will be pushing 100% of its content to Facebook Instant Articles, as part of a move to court mobile users and millennials, The Media Briefing reports. Robert and I agree that distributing its content on this channel may be a brilliant long-term play, but it could also be a risky strategy to put all its eggs in one notoriously fickle basket.
- Twitter removing share counts (29:33): Twitter announced this week that share counts will no longer appear alongside tweet buttons; third-party direct access to tweet share stats will also be curtailed. This could be a move to monetize the mountain of user data it has amassed; Twitter says it’s an engineering-driven change. I believe it’s most likely a business model decision. Robert and I discuss who will be hurt the most by this decision and lament that the future of the Internet appears to be largely controlled by a small number of powerful technology companies.
2. Sponsor (37:39)
- Number Crunch: How a Content Marketing Platform Saves Time and Money: Time is work is money. How much time can a content marketing platform really save you? These hard numbers from our sponsor, Brandpoint, crunch out quite the story. http://bit.ly/brandpointhub
3. Rants and raves (40:51)
- Robert’s rave: Robert applauds Jeff Jarvis’ recent article on Medium, a call to arms for journalists to fix advertising. But Robert issues an even bigger challenge: Marketers and advertisers ought to fix journalism. Rather than focus on our companies, our products, and superficial list-based topics, brands ought to tackle bigger issues. In the process, we have an opportunity to lead our organizations into a new era.
- Joe’s rave: I’m fascinated by this article that analyzes the state of the U.K. newspaper industry. It makes the case that publishers should no longer offer daily editions of their papers because weekday editions don’t contribute as much to their profits as the premium-priced Sunday editions do. Adapting this idea to our profession, I issue a big business-model challenge to brand marketers.
4. This Old Marketing example of the week (55:28)
- Thomas Edison: Not only was Thomas Edison a prolific inventor, he was also a content marketer. As he was making the case for America to build infrastructure to support electric lighting in the late 1800s, the gas lighting industry opposed him claiming that electricity was unsafe. To help spread the word about the benefits of electric lighting and the risks of gas lighting, Edison devised a clever content strategy: He began publishing a magazine in 1882 called the Edison Electric Lighting Company Bulletin. What was unique is that he labeled it as a “top secret” publication, only for the eyes of his employees. These four-page leaflets were then leaked to the media. As electric lighting grew in popularity, the content of the Bulletin evolved to include more positive articles about electric lighting. He also expanded the number of magazine titles to focus on lighting for specific markets, such as railroads. Thomas Edison’s magazine is an excellent example of #ThisOldMarketing.
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