The week in content marketing with strategist Lieu Pham.
This week, we pay a visit to the Playboy Mansion as The New York Times takes a look at its digital transformation. Elsewhere, kittens go to college and Uber expands its empire by jumping into the food-delivery biz. Also, Facebook takes a swipe at Amazon, LinkedIn goes all cloaks and daggers with groups and Twitter creates Moments. Finally in this edition, lean ways to harness LinkedIn, techniques to address writer’s block and 17 digital tools to test and learn.
News, Media & Marketing
Marcus Sheridan, aka the River Pools and Spas guy, sets the record straight: content marketing is not a new and shiny marketing toy. It’s been around for over a 100 years and it’s probably going to outlive us all. As Sheridan argues, it’s nothing to do with content marketing – it’s to do with changing consumer habits. “However you define it,” he says, “these basic tenets of content marketing have been around forever.” The article also links to Content Marketing Institute’s recent documentary, The Story of Content, which is worth checking out if you haven’t already.
Do we need more kittens in content marketing? Whiskas seems to think so. To fulfil Whiskas’ global brand objective, which is to be the reference in cat care, the pet food brand has invested in Kitten Kollege education films centred on answering the most searched topics and starring a cast of super-cute kittens (of course). The films, 12 so far, will be published on YouTube, Facebook, College Humor (comedy site) and the Whiskas site.
Sex doesn’t always sell. Playboy had to learn this lesson. This New York Times piece examines how even an iconic publication like Playboy isn’t immune to the changes in our digital landscape. To address new media habits, Playboy has redesigned its publication to be more relevant, including making some content ‘safe for work’ and suitable for social media networks. More drastic was its decision last year to remove fully nude models from its publication. It seems the changes are paying off. Since the revamp, Playboy has attracted a new and younger generation of readers and increased its web traffic to 16 million users.
Social & Tech
Facebook now wants us to shop for products and clothes without leaving its app. Competing for Amazon’s market share, the social giant is hoping its new shopping features will not only attract more advertising dollars from brands, but also make shopping easier for users via shopping pages that allow us to browse and purchase.
Social Media Examiner recounts this week’s announcements across the social sphere. LinkedIn has privatised the conversations occurring within groups to improve the quality of interactive content between users. Facebook hasn’t wasted any time responding to Twitter’s Moments instalment, announcing the trial period for an extension called Reactions – an add-on that enables users to express their emotions beyond simply liking a status or photo.
While Twitter has been the place we frequent to read the latest conversations happening among world leaders and celebrities, so many new users have tried and abandoned the network because of the confusing layout and function. In an attempt to win the top social title once and for all, the social network has announced Moments – a function that acts like a list, enabling users to seamlessly sieve through the stories of the day. Journalist Farhad Manjoo shares his thoughts on the new feature and whether it will be enough for Twitter to convert loyal Facebook advocates over to the team of Tweeters.
When it comes to buying and selling on social, Facebook has reigned supreme, with retargeting functions, sponsored posts and newly introduced shoppable videos tempting users online. However, with the whole ad-blocking saga making users more defensive than ever, Instagram has hit the sweet spot with direct messaging acting as a subtle selling function. Writer Haley Mlotek details her first experience purchasing via Instagram DM and why the unconventional e-commerce elements of the network make it such an exciting way to buy online.
Uber is at it again, taking over the world one industry at a time. The transport service’s latest feature – UberEATS – is a disruptor service that delivers lunches with the same efficiency as it delivers drivers. The service is available in several cities across the States, including LA, New York, San Fran and recently Seattle. UberEATS sees users order from a preset menu directly from the app, all based on their current location.
Facebook’s great, but what we’ve been waiting for is a ‘dislike’ button. There’s so much out there on the social network that deserves an anti-appreciation option and, for some reason, Mark Zuckerberg just won’t deliver. Instead, he’s introduced six added emojis in conjunction with the latest rollout of Facebook Reactions. Gizmodo’s Adam Clark Estes shares Zuck’s latest explainer video, which previews what will most likely be the closest way to show our disapproval of content on Facebook.
Tools & Tips
Carolyn Pawelek from Spredfast answers some burning questions regarding the best types of content to post, effective reporting methods, dashboards and posting platforms for time-poor, cash-strapped businesses – all without having to go premium.
In this day and age, there’s no excuse for young startups, budding thought leaders or anyone really to give up on developing a loyal group of followers. Walter Chen from Entrepreneur arms us with 17 free tools to drive traffic to your blog and reach audiences you didn’t even know existed.
There is nothing worse than staring at a blank white page, with no motivation, no ideas and wishing to be anywhere else but in front of your laptop. Ragan has come up with 25 tried-and-tested strategies that will see you beat writer’s block and tease out that inspiration lurking from within.