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Most digital marketers have probably spent some considerable time scratching their heads about how they can make their content more effective this year and beyond.
If you’re one of these people, then read on, because in this series I will be explaining the notion of ‘Multimedia Content Strategy’.
That’s not just another buzz-phrase – it’s a way to define content strategy beyond just simply having some content on your site, like a blog or series of product pages, and expecting them to deliver.
This series will show you how to better integrate your efforts, using one idea to push content seamlessly across different customer touchpoints and give them real purpose.
It doesn’t matter what sector you work in, or what stage of the ‘journey’ you are on (it’s not unlike X Factor), digital entails transforming your products and services in a way that can sometimes feel antithetical.
Whether it’s newspapers increasing their prices, travel companies investing in new technology, or art galleries removing copyright.
That’s exactly what the Rijksmuseum did in 2012, when it put a lot of its collection online and created the Rijksstudio, allowing the public to curate, purchase, download and rework bona fide masterpieces.
Building on this work, Rijksstudio has just announced the winners of its ‘Make Your Own Masterpiece’ competition, with entrants using the collection to design something of their own.
Let’s take a look at this very Dutch and very admirable project.
In content strategy, people often focus on the most obvious part (the content creation) and don’t quite realise that there’s a lot more to it.
Content strategy is a big picture that is made up of four main ‘blocks’. A burger (content) can be quite nice, but on its own it’s just a meatloaf. You need the bun, the cheese and the sauce to make it really tasty.
These parts all work together, and are made up of smaller ‘ingredients’ to make the whole.
Up until now, it’s been a mystery as to how brands can truly make a success of marketing on YouTube.
Largely it’s been a case of trial and error. Of the top 5,000 YouTube channels, only 2% are owned by brands.
This is incredibly frustrating if your company is committed to content marketing and wishes to exploit the many benefits of online video, but are then presented with the stark fact that if you’re not a teenager showing off their latest shopping haul or Rihanna then you might as well give up.
Common sense largely prevails though. The brands that do succeed on YouTube – GoPro, Marvel or Disney all have a strong similarity. They create content that is entertaining, engaging, unique to the channel and informative.
Timeless qualities that will always ensure a channel’s success no matter how much a search algorithm changes.
A few month’s ago I looked at YouTube strategy for brands and it’s made pretty clear that all of a YouTube creator’s positive efforts will help increase a channel’s ‘velocity’. This rather nebulous term is what YouTube is hungry for. Velocity is achieved through sharing, engagement and ultimately subscribers.
This week YouTube has revealed its Creator Playbook for Brands. It’s a massive 100 page tome with a highly detailed seven step approach to content marketing.
Here I’ll be highlighting the explicit set of guidelines YouTube has provided to help brands create successful content.
How does a publisher move from brand engagement to an enterprise transactional model?
It all revolves around thinking like a retailer and utilising your brands to capitalise on new revenue streams.
Immediate Media is a combined publishing house formed with BBC Magazines, Magicalia and Origin, with around 70 brands.
The group has been investing in technology for a while, enabling digital elements to be added to its subscriptions, as well as integrating advertising and product sales.
The magazines are chiefly publishing special interest content, from sports to weddings etc. With 80% of Immediate’s revenue coming from selling content, it’s clear that there’s a balance to be found between product development and monetisation.
Let’s take a look in more detail…
I’ve written a lot about content strategy over the past decade. I’ve also highlighted various niche tactics that can help content creators to succeed, as well as plenty of examples of excellent content. But I haven’t created many visualisations, and recently I have been keen to do one.
Surprisingly, nobody has yet created a periodic table for content marketing, so I thought I’d have a go.
Before I introduce it, allow me to doff my hat at Dmitri Mendeleev, who first published the periodic table of elements. I’ll also nod in the direction of Danny Sullivan, who created one based around SEO success factors.
Let me also say that I hope that this is helpful, as the world is awash with dubious infographics and I really didn’t want to produce something just for the sake of it.
The usual caveats apply: there will be obvious omissions, possibly duplicated symbols, and other schoolboy errors. I shall fix these things in a future iteration, so please raise a flag if you spot anything.
Ok then, let’s take a look at the table, and I’ll explain my thinking along the way…
Different types of blog post bring different benefits to your website.
Through painstaking research into all the blog content of one website, I have been able to identify clear patterns that should help you think about ways to plan your content strategy.
In this article I will explain the analysis that led to the results you will see here.
Although founded in 1939 as Timely Comics, the modern version of Marvel Comics that all fanboys know and love today was launched in 1961. With Fantastic Four, Spider-man, Avengers and X-Men all first appearing on comic book pages in the first half of the 60s.
With the arrival of the digital age, the expectation was that this 75 year-old company, whose very business is completely ingrained in traditional print media, would just be left to wrinkle and brown like the early-90's Ghost Rider comics I have boxed away in my attic.
However this has been far from the fate of mighty Marvel! (I can get away with exclamation marks here because I’m writing about comic books).
Marvel has played a huge part in the push to build a bridge between print and digital content since mid 2012 by revolutionising the way comic books are consumed, through innovative app design and comprehensive online and offline access to its brand new and vintage comics.
Marvel has also shown incredible skill in rebuilding its own brand through expert content marketing and becoming a peerless heavyweight in the summer blockbuster market.
How does Marvel market its huge amount of content online? Through its many and varied social media channels each offering unique content, tailored to the respective platform.
Let’s take a look at how Marvel uses Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter to ‘make everyone’s Marvel’.
Recently, we ran our first roundtable session of the year in Singapore with 25 marketing professionals engaged in a candid discussion on content marketing.
These sessions are of a much smaller scale in comparison to our annual Digital Cream events, but it’s something we will occasionally be running throughout the year.
It's an initiative to keep our communities and like-minded peers a little more connected, united and close knitted when it comes to exchanging experiences, sharing of insights, benchmarking with others, etc.
One of the best ways to make your visitors convert is by serving them the coolest stuff!
Don’t push them into an overly complicated buying process if you’ve figured out that people who see your style guide are converting at 10x the rate of those who don’t!
Once you’ve controlled for other influences, push your visitors towards your content and watch your revenue fly.
So, how are you going to get them there then?
Last year I watched a panel debate on the following question: “Is it content, or is it an advertisement?” The panelists went round and round in circles for an hour, and there was no conclusion. My own thinking is along the lines of “it doesn’t really matter, and it’s probably both.”
I happen to think that we have entered a new golden age for advertising. The very best ads are conceived as shareable content experiences, and we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible.
Unfortunately most TV and radio ads are still utterly intolerable, but I feel that the bar has been raised in recent years, driven by YouTube, social media, audience participation, and aspirations to be more creative. The best ads are anchored around compelling content. Execution, as with most things, is paramount. Combine the two and you might have a big hit on your hands.
There is a flipside: a lousy idea executed brilliantly is still a lousy idea. If the content is underwhelming then you will have to pay to gain reach. So much for earned media. If you are paying a small fortune to seed your content then you’re very much in the realms of paid media. I call this ‘the shareability gap’, and I believe that brands should invest in creativity, not media.
If a brand has paid for the content, then it pretty much wants you to buy something, or at the very least like it a little bit more, but that doesn’t mean that the content has to suck.
Here are some non-sucky content marketing campaigns that I’ve seen recently. I’ve taken quite a broad brush approach here with regards to formats: there are ads, pop-up installations, photographic collections, blogs, and helpful guides. I like the ideas and the execution. Have a look and do let me know what you think...
We recently held another one of our regular roundtables in New York.
Once again it was a lively discussion with senior execs from travel, retail, B2B, publishing and financial services attending and contributing