The week in content marketing with strategist Lieu Pham
To block or not to block? That’s the question this week as Apple enables ad blocking – much to the chagrin of web publishers and advertisers. Meanwhile, Quartz paints a future where your TV knows what you want to watch based on your expressions (it’s closer than we think) and we’re introduced to the bacon lovers’ dating app. Elsewhere, the spotlight is on journalists as Slate‘s Fergus Pitt reveals a new frontier for journalism – in space. And Facebook makes it search-easy for reporters to follow and report on the important stories of the day. As always, we’ve produced a round-up of noteworthy content marketing tips and tools.
Media & Views
What if you had a TV that knew your preferences, served you content it thought you might like then changed the channel if you looked bored? While this may be the stuff of sci-fi dreams, it’s also the world of near-future possibilities. Media startup Affectiva has developed a system that can analyse a viewer’s face to determine whether they like or dislike a video. The technology, if developed properly, could be employed by streaming services like Netflix to help curate content for its audience.
Slate‘s Fergus Pitt uncovers a technological trend that could offer new opportunities for journalists. Remote sensors, deployed on high-flying drones and satellites, are amassing significant data and imagery that could be harnessed for reporting. Pitt uses the example of the August chemical warehouse explosion in China in which The New York Times published before and after satellite imagery of the affected area. As Pitt goes on to say, these remote sensors enable data visualisations that provide a different perspective – from outer space.
Backlash against Apple’s ad block
Apple opened up the floodgates last week when it enabled ad-blocking apps on its new operating system. Many were quick to capitalise, with ad-blocking apps Peace, Purify and Crystal topping the download charts. This move from Apple has adversely impacted publishers and advertisers, even causing the stock prices on personalised retargeting company Criteo to fall.
Welcome to Gen Z
If Hannah Horvath from Girls is the TV icon of millennials, then Alex Dunfy (of Modern Family) is our Gen Z rep. As New York Times writer Alex Williams reports, these “true digital natives” grew up with smartphones. While these Gen Zs have a knack for consuming information – at rapid speeds – they are just as quick to lose interest. Williams contends that marketers will need to consider not only the attention spans of the Vine-watching, emoji-texting generation, but also their distinct cultural and social attitudes.
Social & Tech
Oscar Mayer, the American meat and cold-cut production company, has launched Sizzl, a bacon dating app that allows people to specify their bacon preferences, upload photos and look for a greasy match. Resonating with millennials in particular, the brand is garnering some great earned media with paid media backing.
Facebook ‘likes’ power ad targeting
Next month, Facebook will serve targeted, personalised ads based on the stockpile of data it has collected on users. The news follows the 2010 move from Facebook to farm out the embeddable ‘like’ widget to publishers whose back-end code has enabled the tech giant to start collecting information.
Signal, the new search functionality from Facebook, makes it easy for journalists to uncover conversations related to a story or trending topic they’re tracking. The new feature is Facebook’s response to making its data more accessible to individual journalists.
Apple News is out
Apple’s newsfeed app aims to tailor news to users’ interests and reading habits. Newsfeeds are old news, but Apple says its version will enable users to control the curation process and promises to respect people’s privacy.
How Google Now, Siri and Cortana predict what you want
Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land analyses the pros and cons of three digital assistants: Google Now, Cortana and Siri. Sullivan details how each of these technologies can anticipate your new move (and your needs) by mining information sources such as email, search, web browsing, calendars, location and apps. The predictive aspects of these virtual assistants (VAs) can be incredibly accurate, as well as helpful, but they also depend on how much you want to share.
Tips & Tactics
Scientists at UC Davis reveal that the brain and music are inextricably linked. Music, often associated with memory or an event, is one of the few mediums in which people seek to eliminate other distractions or noise. Mashable offers three simple ways for marketers to take advantage of this audio opportunity.
It’s the new social platform that’s got the social world fired up: Blab. Described by Mashable as “Periscope for groups of friends”, Blab is a live-casting public video chat among four participants a time. This Social Media Examiner post gives us 15 tips on how we can utilise Blab in our marketing programs.
Content atomisation (or repurposing) allows marketers or brands to get more out of a single piece of content. Just how many ways can content be atomised? According to Jay Baer: 49.
According to Kevan Lee, TOFU, MOFU, BOFU and 10 other marketing buzzwords are worth knowing. Check out the list and see how many you’re familiar with.