The week in content marketing with strategist Lieu Pham
This week we’re introduced to native journalism and see how Facebook’s new virtual personal assistant differentiates itself from Siri, Cortana and Google Now. In other news, Instagram finally facilitates both landscape and portrait formats, while Copyblogger implores marketers to take a more scientific route.
Also in this edition, Meghan Casey explains the importance of cementing a content strategy before developing an editorial plan, and Jason Miller draws creative parallels among storytelling methods in the music and marketing industries.
Content, Media & Marketing
Insider, a general-interest news publication owned by Business Insider, is freaking journalists out big time. In an attempt to “deliver to you where you already are, when you want it”, Insider provides content through Facebook and Twitter accounts, without the support of a website. Insider isn’t the first news provider to take advantage of digital media; Now This is a video-publishing platform that delivers news updates in short bursts across all social media channels, and it’s also without its own website. Could Insider and Now This be the first of many to launch native journalism to meet the always-on society?
Last week, I mentioned the rumours about how data scientists are soon to win seats at the marketing team’s table, and that this is thanks to their ability to fill marketers’ blind spots about analysing consumer data. PR 20/20 surveyed marketers to explore the topic further, investigating the challenges the industry faces and spotlighting the University of Montana. This institution is shaking up its marketing program to educate and prepare students for the world of modern marketing.
Podcasting is no longer limited to ultra-tech-savvy audiences. Improved access and usability have made it easier than ever for virtually anyone to listen in on the conversation. With influencer marketing now generating massive buzz, podcasts have become an effortless way to generate guest content. They’re quick to edit and can also provide a simple source of written content. Copyblogger’s Pamela Wilson looks at the many benefits of using podcasts in content strategy and at whether this versatile format is strong enough to overtake written content in the future.
Social & Tech
Facebook has announced the imminent arrival of its virtual personal assistant – M. But is M just another service entering the crowded digital market? Currently in beta mode, M differs from other virtual assistants in that it doesn’t rely on AI, instead employing real people to answer and handle requests. Marketing Land explores how M differs further from Microsoft’s Cortana, Apple’s Siri and Google’s Google Now, according to Facebook’s VP of messaging products, David Marcus.
Victoria’s Secret, New Belgium Brewing Company and NBC’s Saturday Night Live have been testing Instagram’s latest update, which supports photos and videos shot in portrait and landscape modes. According to staff at the image-sharing app, one in five photos and videos that users post is in a non-square format, forcing people to rely on third-party apps such as InstaSize. It’ll be interesting to see what this update means for video on Instagram.
Google has just begun trialling a new search feature in San Francisco, making it even easier for residents to find professional home-service providers. The new feature involves service providers paying Google for top ranking when users search for specific phrases, such as ‘clean house’ and ‘fix window’.
Tips & Tactics
Content Marketing Institute’s Meghan Casey explains how a content strategy helps “provide the right content, to the right people, at the right times, for the right reasons” and stresses the importance of creating this strategy before getting stuck into the editorial plan. Casey outlines her own experiences to demonstrate the value of having a content-strategy statement and offers key steps to crafting that perfect statement.
Convince & Convert’s Park Howell interviews Vincent Stanley, the Director of Philosophy for Patagonia, about how to identify the elements of a brand that can combine to create a story that folds perfectly into marketing. Stanley also highlights the importance of communicating this narrative as educator, friend and change facilitator.
Jason Miller compares marketing with the music industry in his latest podcast interview with singer-songwriter Julian Velard. Velard’s music career took off when he drew on his amazing ability to deliver engaging stories that resonate with audiences – a skill that’s just as powerful in content marketing. Miller and Velard discuss the many returns from experimenting, remaining authentic and fostering loyalty, along with why influencers in the music industry inspire marketers as much as they do musicians.
What can businesses learn from Uber’s recent US$51bn valuation? That it’s time to think about how they approach disruption and innovation. Businesses across any industry can take these three key tips as starting points to address their customer experience and stay ahead of the competition.