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What Is Your Brand’s Responsibility to Content Now? [The Weekly Wrap]

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And that’s a wrap of the week ending April 3, 2020

This week I’m thinking about what exactly our responsibility to digital content is. I offer my fresh take on an article that suggests consumers don’t trust digital marketing. I talk with Leadtail CEO Carter Hostelley about B2B social right now – and how to prepare for the new normal. And I point you to an article that explains what to expect when you’re experimenting.

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Our theme this week is asking “are you responsible?” (In my last job, whenever anything went wrong, they said, “You’re responsible.”)

One deep thought: Great responsibility (3:18)

With so many people asking to stay at home, there may never have been such a large, welcoming, and hungry audience for digital media. Ironically, the same crisis keeping us at home and consuming more content than ever has created overwhelming stress over whether we should create or share some forms of content, namely marketing and sales content.

Brands already have been perceived as being on both the right and the wrong side of content creation. On one side, you have Ford’s largely admired response advertising. On the other side, is the financial services company whose ad told me it was time to talk with an advisor about increasing my 401K contribution, and the travel brand that promoted content on all the “hot spots” (yeah, not kidding) I should visit this spring.

This kind of content feels weird, like a misplaced performance out of context with reality – like someone laughing hysterically at a funeral or talking loudly during a lecture. Our response is something akin to, “They should know better. They should be more responsible.”

It’s tempting to think we, as content marketers, have a responsibility to deliver (think news, education, business continuity, thought leadership, inspiration, or even humor). But do we?

Do content marketers really have a responsibility to deliver #content now? @Robert_Rose via @cmicontent #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

When everyone can simply click a button to publish or share, an ensuing wall of noise isn’t just likely, it’s inevitable. I talk about our true responsibility right now: distinguishing between what our brands want to say and what our audiences need to hear from us.

A fresh take on trust in digital marketing (11:32)

I found this article from Media Post interesting: GroupM: ‘Consumer Trust In Digital Marketing Is Not As High As We Hoped’.

It covers a new report on consumer trust in digital marketing from LWPP media arm GroupM based on a survey of 14,000 consumers in 23 countries.

Among the findings:

  • More than half (56%) of those surveyed want more control over their data.
  • 60% surveyed said they’re less inclined to use a product if the brand uses their data for any purpose.
  • By a margin of 2-1, more consumers say TV ads provide a more positive impression of brands than digital formats.
  • 37% of consumers surveyed feel digital ads are too intrusive.
60% say they’re less inclined to use a product if the brand uses their data for any purpose via @GroupMWorldwide via @cmicontent. #survey #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

According to the article: “The research shows that consumers are increasingly deleting cookies and browser history-tracking units and behaviors that have been key components in digital advertising. And the report concludes that if companies wish to continue using consumers’ data, they’ll likely need to offer incentives and communicate the benefits of data sharing more convincingly. Being transparent about consumer data usage could help foster a new relationship of trust in the digital marketing process per the report.”

Hmmm … if only there were something we could do that would foster trust, help us gather first-party data in a way that complies, and is within the spirit of GDPR and CCPA and the new world we live in. I talk about what this means to our opportunity (and responsibility) as content marketers.

This week’s person making a difference in content: Carter Hostelley (16:22)

My guest this week is Carter Hostelley, founder and CEO of Leadtail, a social strategy and insights firm. For more than five years, he has championed the importance of social media to CMOs and senior marketers at leading B2B business brands and venture-backed companies. His firm also develops and publishes social insights reports to help marketers better understand how their target audience engages on social media. These reports have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Forbes, Adweek, and Before Leadtail, Carter held many executive roles with B2B companies.

Here’s a snippet of one of the insights Carter offers:

The overarching theme isn’t to be serious or to not be fun. It’s to be empathetic. And that means shine the light on your customers, shine the light on how you’re supporting the global community, the local community, and those sorts of things. I see empathy as the driver right now.

Listen to our conversation about this new world of B2B social media while we’re all locked down. Then learn more about Carter:

  • Follow him on Twitter.
  • Visit and fill out the contact form or email him directly (he’s carter at leadtail dot com).

One content marketing idea you can use (34:25)

The post I’d love for you to take another look at this week is What to Expect When You’re Experimenting, which was published in CCO in February.

In the article, CCO editor Jodi Harris writes: “Expanding your content horizons with AI, VR, or other tech enhancements can feel like an exciting journey of creativity or a frustrating exercise in futility – depending on how you approach the process.” And then she takes you through a way to approach experimentation that won’t blow up in your face.

Experimenting with VR, AR, and new #content #tech should add new dimensions to your existing brand story, says @Joderama via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Love for our sponsor: Content Marketing University

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It’s perfect for enterprise brands and entire departments looking to hone their skills together and individual professionals wanting to advance their own practice of content marketing.

Use the discount code FRIEND200 for a $200 discount on access to the courses for an entire year when you register by April 30.

The wrap-up

Join us next week when I offer deep thoughts about how it’s not curtains for the world, so we’ll pull ourselves together. I’ll offer my take on a news item that’s like a detective’s dog (it’s got a good lead). I’ll share an electric interview about something I’ve had my ion – it’s sure to give you a charge. The tip of the week may leave you wanting to shower due to all the eu-reek-a moments. An it’ll all be delivered in a little less time than it takes for me to find yet another series on Netflix to binge.

If you have ideas for what you’d like to hear more of on our weekly play on words, let us know in the comments. And if you love the show, we’d sure love for you to review it or share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap.

To listen to past Weekly Wrap shows, go to the main Weekly Wrap page.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute