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Posts in Content

AA and Warc downgrade UK adspend for 2012

The Advertising Association (AA) and Warc have downgraded claims that UK advertising spend will grow by 4.7% in 2012, as predicted earlier this year.

Forecasted growth for next year has dropped to 3.8%, which reflects the “deteriorating economic outlook and the impact of the Eurozone crisis on global corporate and consumer confidence”.

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The ticking digital talent time bomb

In new research conducted by Econsultancy, one of the key barriers to growth was identified as finding staff with suitable digital skills.

For the Digital Marketing: Organisational Structures and Resourcing report, we also asked participants in the survey about the specific skill areas that they perceived to be the most difficult to recruit for.

Web analytics and data topped the list, followed by social media, and content marketing, indicating that there is already a potential skills shortage in these areas.

When respondents were asked which digital marketing disciplines they anticipated would be the key areas of growth in the coming year, the top answers were social media, content marketing, and web analytics and data.

The fact that those areas of predicted growth in resourcing were the same as those that are already listed as being the most difficult to recruit for means one thing: a looming talent time bomb.

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2012: The trends every marketer should be aware of

As the countdown to 2012 speeds up, it's time for some predictions.

Here are five things brands will be devoting their time and budget to next year, including driving cross channel sales, multichannel attribution, and mobile marketing. 

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Consumers want 'free stuff' from social, marketers think they 'want to be heard'

A study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and social technology business Lithium reveals a disconnect between what senior marketers think consumers want from social media, and the reality.

According to the 1,300-plus consumers surveyed online globally, there was found to be an expectation that a brand follow, like, post or preference in a social media environment would enable a person to; be eligible for exclusive offers (67%), have the opportunity to interact with other customers who share the same experiences (60%) and gain access to games or contests (65 %).

When the same question was asked to over 120 CMOs, the results were very different.

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The hard slog of brand journalism

Producing content for a non-traditional publisher is hard. For a start, consumers still don’t trust content produced by non-traditional publishers. They see it as advertising and this is one huge hurdle in itself.

Having taken the jump from working in online journalism for traditional publishing houses two years ago, to working for a non-traditional publisher (Confused.com), it has been, at times, a challenge, though I do like a challenge.

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Bing drops CyberMonday.com, others over "thin" content

For companies hit by Google's Panda updates, the search giant's approach to cleaning up its index may seem quite unfair.

But if Google has been aggressive with Panda, its efforts appear to be no match when compared to Microsoft's efforts to increase index quality on Bing. Need proof? Just ask CyberMonday.com, which is run by the National Retail Federation's Shop.org.

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What do unique visitors and traffic volumes really mean to a B2B advertiser?

Here at Econsultancy we are many things, one of them being a B2B publisher.

Like most publishers (B2B or otherwise) we carry ads on our site and have an in-house team to sell and manage the advertising. 

A recent in-house project at Econsultancy kicked up the dust on the issue of traffic figures and what gets quoted when selling advertising.

In three years managing ad inventory on Econsultancy, I have only ever been asked for two numbers: unique visitors and page impressions.

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Website errors corrupt marketing efforts from within

The shockingly high level of errors on large-company websites points towards immature web governance processes and a general over-reliance on content management systems (CMS) for quality control.

And yet, the levels of automation and sophistication possible in web governance have never been higher...

We recently conducted a survey examining the quality of web content on the websites of large companies. A staggering 87% of the website owners polled admitted there were likely to be a significant number of errors on the websites they manage.

As any web marketer will tell you, this will have a significant knock-on effect. Website errors seriously undermine the user experience, erode trust and confidence, and impact return on marketing spend.

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Seven common web governance mistakes and how to avoid them

Marketers and communicators are creating more content than ever before and publishing to a greater diversity of platforms and digital channels, and the errors are starting to pile up.

The business value of today’s digital communications is being undermined by out-dated, erroneous, broken and incompatible content. This is damaging the customer experience, causing sinking rankings in web search, and putting revenues at risk. 

So how do you avoid these costly website governance pitfalls? Companies need to address their approach to governance in order to embrace today’s challenging multichannel environments while dealing with quality issues effectively.

Below we take a look at the seven most common web governance mistakes, and how you can successfully avoid them.

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Video content: learning from the amateurs (specifically, Benton)

This probably seems like 'newsjacking'. It might be. I'll try to get to bottom of what makes ‘Benton’ so shareable. (For the record, I know it's actually 'Fenton').

People in the digital industry are obsessed with memes because they spend all their days on the internet.

And it’s obviously clear that the recreation of this level of ‘sharability’ is the holy grail for brands, who find it difficult to convince the customer to suspend their disbelief when being sold to.

Some sources point to a shared piece of content being three times more likely to be viewed than a ‘paid’ piece. Below I attempt a cod analysis of ‘Benton’, to find out what makes him so sharable, along with some famous examples of adverts and video content that apply the same principles.

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Five questions your corporate blog should answer

Too many corporate blogs are the answer to a question nobody asked, serving up generic, me-too posts or even syndicated second-hand content.

Give your content a kick up the social by writing to answer these five searching questions...

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The Skittles user experience

What should FMCG brands do with their websites?

The last 12 months has seen a sea change in the user experience strategy of many grocery brands, placing social media, and particularly Facebook, at the heart of their digital play.

At first look this seems sensible, Facebook offers an opportunity for richer forms of interaction than either digital advertising or a brand’s own website have historically delivered. And the platform is free to use. And it yields lots of new data points that weren’t available before.

But in the long term Facebook can’t be where brands ‘live’ online, and making Facebook the centre of gravity for FMCG brands opens up a number of risks for brand owners. We need to put our thinking caps on and consider a new future for brand websites in the marketing mix.

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