Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

Posts Tagged ‘content marketing’

Your Brand Stategy: Six Flags or MoMA?

In Innovation on May 19, 2009 at 10:45 pm

Every day I become a bigger believer in content marketing. I’m still exploring what it means, or can mean, so I end up trying out a lot of analogies. This morning on the way in to work the following occured to me:

Traditional Marketing is like Six Flags, Content Marketing is like the Museum of Modern Art.

Traditional marketing so often relies on the Big Event. A launch with a celebrity, a big payoff at the end of a promotion. It can be like a ride on a rollercoaster for consumers. It’s exciting, then there is a big drop off; then it’s exciting again, then there is a drop off. Up and down, hot and cold, engagement and then no engagement.

Do you want your marketing to look like her...

Do you want your marketing to look like her...

And of course no trip to the amusement park would be complete without cotton candy. No nutritional value, no real anything except a sugar rush (and the subsequent crash). Sort of like those clever TV adverts with talking animals or other CGI graphics that you really enjoy, but can’t quite seem to remember what brand it was in support of.

Then, as you’re just about ready to leave Six Flags you stop to get a souvenir. Maybe a pin or key chain, or one of those wacky hats with a crazy brim. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the key chain ends up in a junk drawer and the hat is in the back of the closet.

Now of course, there’s the long drive back home. Plenty of time to think about the high cost of going to the amusement

...or this guy?

...or this guy?

 park. For a family of four admission can be $160.

When your Six Flags program is over, consumers might have had a good time, or they might have gotten sick on the teacups. Chances are they won’t give your brand a whole lot more thought, at least not until you figure out a way to get them back to the park.

But what if your marketing program was more like an art museum? What if, instead of putting your consumers on a rollercoaster, you walked them through room after room of deep, contextually-rich content? So much content in fact that most people couldn’t even take it all in in one trip? No long line to ride Colossus, just a leisurely stroll, at your own pace, engaging with the content.

Now take it to the next level – don’t just let your consumers wander aimlessly, provide them with an audio tour – a podcast if you will – or even better have a docent that can answer any questions (kind of like a Twitter feed).  Layer more content on top of the content, further deepening the connection with the consumer.

Now, before they leave, consumers should stop off at the museum store. No junk there, just beautiful books that they’ll leave on their coffee tables or fine art prints they’ll proudly hang on their walls. With the museum located in the city, it’s not too hard to get to, and kids under 16 get in free at the MoMA, so just $40 for the family. (Pssst, go on Friday night, 4-8pm and the whole family is free!)

But this isn’t about Six Flags and MoMA, it’s about content marketing and eveything good about Social Media: relevant content, engagement, sharing, even the free economy.  The amusement park model of marketing is broken, it’s time to provide museum-quality content and interaction.

Come back tomorrow, I’ve got an idea on how to radically re-think the amusement park by making the focus on content.

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Public Relations and Content Marketing

In Ideas on April 22, 2009 at 10:50 am

As I was headed in to work the other day, my thoughts focused on how Taylor, the agency I work, for is constantly evolving. We’re such a different company than we were a few years ago. Part of that  is due to some pretty forward thinking by the management, and some is due to external factors. The rise of consumer-generated media, distributed content and the ‘blink of an eye’ news cycle have all been influences.

I’m a big fan of Joe Pulizzi and his Junta42 group as well. They’re all about content marketing and I think Joe will be nodding his head and smiling at what I’m about to say:

PR agencies should think of themselves as content marketing agencies.

Whether it’s a press release, website, media tour, podcast or live event, what we, as marketing communications practitioners, are doing is marketing content. I believe looking at it this way reframes what it is we do for clients. It’s more of a mindset than a completely different skillset.

Content is King

Right now, and perhaps more than ever, content is king.  Two weeks ago the name Susan Boyle would have elicited blank stares.  50+ million YouTube views later and she’s an international talking point. Britain’s Got Talent, and YouTube’s Got Content.  Today, nothing is (or at least nothing should be) ‘one time usage.’ TV appearances live on the web, live events are Tweeted and your brand makes friends on Facebook. It’s all content. Everything your brand produces is content.

Now, rather than simply execute a PR campaign, agencies should be in the business of strategic content management.  That’s something brands simply can’t back away from. You can kill a stand-alone PR program, but to take a pass on leveraging and maximizing your brand’s content is to simply announce, “We’ve given up. Let us know when the early-90s come back.”

Content Marketing: Five Reasons You Should Be Doing It

1. Content marketing is constant

So often traditional PR relies on a “big launch” then it fades away. Strategic content marketing is ongoing, with a focus on keeping the consumers engaged beyond ‘opening weekend’ or the ‘Big Game.’

2. Content marketing is authentic

Content marketing isn’t about synergistically leveraging the best-in-class this, or the enterprise-wide, value-added that. It’s about providing consumers with information they want to share and engage with.

3. Content marketing is through-the-line

Audio, video, text, images – all of it can be repurposed to extend the life of the content across multiple platforms.  People don’t find news anymore, news finds them. The brands that break through are the ones that strategically leverage content by serving it up to consumers where, when and how they want it.

4. Content marketing is self-propogating

A traditional PR program involves hiring a celebrity spokesperson, setting up interviews and then recording audience figures. Content marketing involves repackaging the interviews, hosting them yourself across multiple platforms, but also encouraging others to host and publish additional content based on the original.  When your content generates related, original, organic content you win.

5. Content marketing is cost-effective

You’ve already hired the spokesperson, created the event or filmed the commercial. Your sunk costs are just that, so for a relatively minimal investment, put some additional muscle behind the initiative and extend the length of the program indefinitely. Or, if you can’t afford the $600,000 broadcast commercial, put a fraction of that money towards initiating and supporting direct consumer interaction via Social Media platforms (that’s content too).

The public relations agency is evolving rapidly and the lines are so blurry at this point that anyone can lay claim to authority if they are smart, nimble and can get the job done. I used to say that I think agencies needed to be in the Smart Idea business, now I think agencies need to be in the Strategic Content Marketing business.

Plus Two More Reasons

Speaking of Joe Pulizzi, here’s some additional thoughts from him on content marketing:

1. Content Marketing (at its best) wants to be shared.  Companies should measure each piece of content by how much they feel their customers will share and spread the ideas (this clears away the BS content about the company that no one wants to engage in).


2. Content Marketing is an asset that lives on forever through Google and other sites.  So often, in PR programs, it’s about renting time and attention.  Content marketing is about creating a long-term relationship, and also content that can be found by customers long after the initial buzz is gone.

For more on the conversion of Content Marketing and PR, check out this post from PR 20/20 and this from The Conversation Agent, Valeria Maltoni

Move over Elvis, Content is King

In Ideas on March 12, 2009 at 9:01 am

It’s a tough time to be a retailer right now. It’s tough if you are selling any kind of goods or services. Everyone is being cautious and deliberate with their dollars, so what are your options right now if you have to sell?

Option 1: You could cut prices

Sure, but that’s the quickest way to devalue your brand. Your brand then becomes a commodity and you’re in a race to the bottom with your competitors. When things do turn, are you going to be able to raise your prices? Probably not.

Option 2: Business as usual

Certainly there are some business, especially those already in the discount business (Walmart) who are going to be ok. But for the rest of us, pretending the current economic conditions don’t exist isn’t a real viable strategy.

Option 3: Radio silence

Pulling back advertising and staying on the sidelines, waiting the recession out, just gives your competitors an opportunity to seize market share.

Content is king

Content is king

So, how do you win in the current landscape? One area that is gaining traction is content marketing. This is a perfect time to offer consumers more value, not more 2-for-1 promotions. Now there is an opportunity to inform consumers, not leave them on their own to search for answers.

Regardless of the size or type of your business, you have an opportunity to connect with your target audience in a meaningful way. Now more than ever people are seeking out expert voices to help them make informed choices. How can people extract greater utility from your product?  What can they do to leverage your service for greater benefit? 

Now, what I’m saying isn’t groundbreaking news to anyone who frequents Junta42 or reads Seth Godin. They’ve been preaching this for a while now. But like any practice, as more people become involved new concepts and techniques develop and evolve. I think this is an exciting time for content marketing as people from different disciplines enter this area, bringing with them skills and experiences that will help shape and reform content marketing.

One area that I would like to see develop within content marketing is creative. I think the focus of content marketing, rightly so, has been in delivering information in a “news you can use” manner.  How can the more creative disciplines – art, music, creative writing – be used in service of content marketing? Perhaps Joe Pulizzi of Junta42 can point out several examples of this. I also recommend you check out Joe’s book, Get Content, Get Customers (see picture above) for more information on the content marketing revolution.

Junta42 Content Marketing Blog Rankings Announced

In Ideas on February 25, 2009 at 10:24 am

Joe Pulizzi over at Junta42 has released the updated quarterly rankings of Content Marketing Blogs. I’m pleased, and honoured, to be listed among so many smart people. Eyecube came in at #4.

The top Three:

  1. Marketing with Meaning, from Bob Gilbreath, Chief Marketing Strategist at Bridge Worldwide
  2. PR 2.0, from Brian Solis, Principal at FutureWorks
  3. Chris Brogan, President of New Marketing Labs

Here’s more from Joe, directly from the release:

“The content marketing revolution is alive and well,” said Joe Pulizzi, founder and chief content officer of Junta42, and co-author of the book, “Get Content Get Customers“.  “We started this almost two years ago with just a handful of blogs. Now at more than 200, it’s amazing to witness how many marketing professionals are actively discussing the benefits and challenges of content marketing and custom publishing.”

If you’re not familiar with Junta42…

About Junta42
Junta42 is the go-to site for content marketing and custom publishing, educating marketers and publishers on how to grow their businesses with relevant, compelling content in the form of custom magazines, blogs, eBooks, white papers, social media, newsletters and more. Junta42 offers Junta42 Match, a free service for marketers that helps them find a custom publisher or find a custom content provider in just minutes – free and with no obligation.

Junta42 Celebrates Success With Branded Content Opportunity

In Uncategorized on February 4, 2009 at 12:25 pm
Get in the game

Contest Marketing: Get in the game

Joe Pulizzi over at Junta42 has a nice thing going. The guy owns the content marketing space; is a publisher author; and is helping connect content producers with those in need of said content via his Junta42 Match service. In fact, Junta42 match has helped make 100 matches, and to celebrate that success Joe is running a contest: $4,200 in 42 days.

Joe is committed to moving content marketing forward and he’s putting his money where his mouth is.  Here’s how it works:

Just submit your content project (that you want to outsource) to Junta42 Match between the dates of 2/4/09 and 4/2/09 (Can you believe that’s exactly 42 business days? What a stroke of luck!). All projects submitted during that time will be eligible for $4200, which we will contribute toward your content project – a magazine, newsletter, enewsletter, video series, white paper, website content, social media strategy, etc.

Once you submit your project, we’ll do our job and find you the best custom content providers in North America, just like we’ve done for companies like Research in Motion (makers of Blackberry), United Methodist Communications, and First Midwest Bank. Not only will you get to choose from the best content vendors for free, and with no obligation, but you’ll qualify for the $4200 (pretty cool, huh?).

This is a very cool idea and I’m more than happy to help promote this. I’ve met Joe and he is a great guy who is trying to make a difference by promoting something he (and I) truly believe in.  So, click the links above and get your content marketing project in gear.

Best of 2008? Try Compelling Content

In DINU, Ideas, Insight on December 30, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Whether we’re looking a pictures of hunters and bison in the caves of Lascaux, or getting an inside peek at the lives of the folks at Sterling Cooper via Twitter, one thing has been a constant: Compelling content draws attention.  The Washington Post just released their list of the Top Viral Videos of 2008. Put aside for a moment any issues regarding the term viral – and oh, I’ve got issues. As do people like Mike Arauz and Faris Yakob. But whatever you want to call them, these videos were shared, spread and enjoyed. Their list contains a lot of good stuff, including Tom Cruise going all Scientology on us; Will.I.Am singing “Yes We Can”; and some very literal music videos.

The constant here is that these videos entertain first and foremost. They aren’t contrived for the purpose of selling us stuff (noted exception – the mobile phone meets popcorn meme, courtesy of Cardo, bluetooth headset maker). The focus is on telling a story, or building upon an existing one.

Now, is this a surefire way to generate big sales? Truthfully, I think the jury is still out on that. But it’s certainly a strong way to build a brand. Another ad is not going to get consumers to stop and consider your product, you need to start building a relationship. How do you do that? By creating something more interesting than a 2-for-1 coupon or add a freshness date to your product.

Let your customers get to know you (let your employees have blogs and Twitter accounts), and just as importantly, get to know your customers (follow their Twitter accounts and post comments on their blogs).

This is the time to start developing these relationships, there is no benefit to starting ‘when times are good’ or when you have a new product, dive in, create a story, add to the conversation.

What’s in store for 2009? Junta42 says…

In Ideas, Innovation on December 22, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Joe Pulizzi of Junta42 recently asked a whole host of content marketing experts what they saw coming down the pike as we flip the calendar to 2009. Some real thought provoking stuff (read the whole post here).

Here’s a sampling:

Name: Giles Rhys Jones, Interactive Marketing Trends
Prediction: Distributed Eventing
The creation of an event to reach a few people, then the filming and merchandising of that event nationally, regionally and globally through both broadcast and digital channel to reach a much broader audience.

Name: Paul Conley
Prediction: I expect brand marketers to begin buying media properties — particularly well-established brands with both Web and print products — from traditional B2B publishers. The economic crisis in publishing offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for marketers. I expect them to act on it.

Name: Anna Prokos
Prediction: Marketers will reach out to custom media providers who specialize in digital magazines and online applications—a more cost-effective and fast way to get their content into the hands of readers.

My thoughts are included in the story as well.  Bottom line – telling consumers your detergent will get their whites whiter or that they’ll be more attractive to the opposite sex if they use your toothpaste isn’t real compelling anymore.  In 2009 getting engaged with the consumer on their terms is no longer an innovative, way ahead of the curve strategy – it’s going to be the baseline for successful consumer relationships.

Junta42 Content Marketing Top Blog List Update

In Ideas, Innovation, Insight on November 17, 2008 at 10:50 am

Joe Pulizzi over at Junta42 has come out with the latest edition of his Top 42 Content Marketing Blogs. I’m happy to report that Eyecube came in at number 33 – up 13 spots from the last ranking.

How is Joe’s rank different than the AdAge 150 or Brendan Cooper’s PR Friendly Index? The Junta42 list focuses on what Joe calls Content Marketing:

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Search Engine Optimization is not my thing. Nothing wrong with that important field, it’s just not what I’m about. I’m a big believer in the following:

Tell compelling stories.

Give consumers tools and the opportunity to play with your brand.

Show interest in the consumers if you want them to show interest in you.

 

It’s pretty simple really.

The Shift in Marketing: It’s All Up For Grabs

In Insight on October 13, 2008 at 11:54 am

Good post from Joe Pulizzi of Junta42. In the current challenging economic times, content marketing is going to be a strong play.  Joe highlights two words every content marketer should have tattooed on their arm: Inform and entertain. If you aren’t doing one or the other (and preferably both) you’re wasting your time – and your prospect’s time.

Joe sees this as an exciting time in the marketing industry as multiple marketing disciplines fight for, and help define, content marketing. Ultimately digital, PR, advertising and the other agencies all must accept a new reality: They are all in the same business; the awesome idea business. That’s what a client is looking for and they don’t care where it comes from.  Prove you have the idea and you’re going to get a chance to define the marketplace.

Junta42: Content is King

In Ideas on August 18, 2008 at 9:10 am

While it seems like the Internet, Social Media, Web 2.0 and Consumer Generated Media have been with us forever, it’s all fairly new territory. The rules are still being written (and broken and ignored), which is an exciting situation.

To get a better handle on what all this means, or might mean, try checking out Junta42. Their focus is on Content Marketing, which they define as: a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

The site is packed with interesting articles and is a great resource for those looking to provide content, or in need of it. They also publish their own Power Ranking of blogs that are leading the way in Content Marketing. This morning they came out with the latest edition and I’m proud and excited to say that Eyecube made the list, coming in at #46 (out of 172 ranked blogs). While the more well known AdAge Power 150 is heavily based on algorithms and metrics, Junta42 uses a more subjective criteria. They believe, “There are many bloggers out there that are simply fantastic, but don’t get the eyeballs because of the niche they cover.”

If you have a moment, swing over to Junta42 and join their community, and while you’re at it, give Eyecube a Hitch! (you’ll see when you get there).