The week in content marketing with strategist Lieu Pham
Google demoes an app that looks set to reestablish its search supremacy, and Whole Foods messes up its marketing to millennials – and everyone else.
Meanwhile, Twitter streamlines its Amplify service, and artist Richard Prince appropriates and sells Instagram selfies for $90k. Plus, grab 17 content marketing hacks for any business with a budget, and get some legal advice about branded content on Periscope from attorney Brian Heidelberger.
Content, Media & Marketing
For years Google has witnessed the chipping aware of its core product – search – due to the rise of apps and the siloed experiences they offer. But now it’s back with a vengeance. Dubbed Now on Tap, the feature allows you to get contextual search information around almost anything you’re doing, as long as there’s text and data Google can pull from the app.
After a week of speculation, Google’s chief business officer Omid Kordestani has confirmed the company will be enabling ‘buy now’ buttons on some mobile ads. Merchants will reportedly retain at least some customer information, like email addresses for marketing campaigns.
When looking for bloggers to represent your brand, it is always about finding the ones with the most followers? Definitely not, says Lauren Jung in this guest post for PR20/20. She argues that relevance and niche targeting play a far bigger role, and suggests brands turn their attention to the ‘magic middle’, where the most influential bloggers and publishers live.
US supermarket monolith Whole Foods recently announced its plans for a new chain of boutique grocery outlets aimed at Gen Y shoppers. Katie Martell for Ragan argues it’s a bad marketing move, saying the decision potentially alienates both Gen Y and older shoppers, and represents a missed opportunity to position the stores in a highly relevant way.
Google has taken its shoppable ad elements one step further this week, with the announcement that not only will viewers be able to shop directly from TrueView pre-roll ads, but that some of the ads will also offer further products from the same advertisers, with prices, images and a button to click that will take them to the advertiser’s website.
Jerry Seinfeld’s bold side project, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, has enabled him to retain relevance in today’s digital world. The premise is pretty straightforward: Seinfeld takes celebrities out for a cup of coffee and conversation. The success of the comedian’s casual docu-series can be attributed to its ‘peek behind the curtain’ approach, offering a much-sought-after authentic viewer experience.
The Business Marketing Association’s annual conference has just wrapped up in Chicago – this piece by Sean Callahan goes through seven of the key takeaways from the event.
Wall Street Journal talks to YouTube blogger-turned-online phenomenon Bethany Mota about her career progression, her favourite content and the most popular videos on her social channels.
Social & Tech
Twitter has streamlined its Amplify program, which allows brands to run ads against videos certain media companies post to the social network. The new AutoAmplify feature allows brands to circumvent potentially time-consuming interactions with Twitter sales staff and publishers and allow brands to simply open up a program and run the campaign itself.
There’s no doubt that what tickles the funny bone is a highly personal matter, but even for the most easily amused it can be difficult to wade through the reams of teen-created content of dubious merit on the platform to find something appealing. Audra Schroeder of The Kernel is here to help, with a list of eight creators who are using Vine right.
Appropriation is a pretty standard technique in postmodern creative culture, but artist Richard Prince’s giant blown-up Instagram images, recently shown at the Frieze Art Fair in New York, have reopened the argument about the line between ‘real’ art and theft. With pieces selling for US$90,000 a pop, is the criticism justified?
The Uber business model has attracted substantial criticism from the left in the US, with high-profile figures like Cory Doctorow summing up the general feeling by calling it “rapacious, exploitative corporate scum”. This article, by Reihan Salam for Slate, argues that Uber can’t be blamed for being attractive to America’s beleaguered service class.
Reese Witherspoon is the latest in a string of stars to foist a lifestyle brand upon the world. Draper James, Witherspoon’s new website, brings a uniquely Southern flavour to the phenomenon. So, is it a rating of five vegan croquettes or none for her venture?
Snapchat is altering social media through simplification. The platform’s success lies in the reason for its inception – friendship and connection. The platform’s raw nature and the automatic inclusion of ‘funny’ content creates a real sense of this, establishing strong ties built from intimacy and one-on-one communication. Successful Snapchatters Sara Hopkins, Michael Platco and Shaun McBride share their success stories, insights and forecasts for the future of the social platform.
Facebook’s recent rollout of Instant Articles means that users can now access content without opening a link or being directed to a third party browser. This feature enables online publishers to provide user-friendly interactive content almost ten times faster than the traditional web browser method, making it a win-win situation for both online publishers and the social platform.
Tips & Tactics
Lead nurturing is becoming an increasingly important tool for B2B marketers, with recent studies showing that the companies who excel at it generate more than 50 per cent more sales-ready leads. To date, email has been the primary lead-nurturing tool, but with only five per cent of website visitors submitting their email addresses, it’s time to look at new tactics. This latest instalment in the Sophisticated Marketers ebook series reveals them.
The Content Marketing Institute’s Michael Brenner shares his best content marketing hacks for any size business with any size budget, from turning an email outbox into blog posts to turning your boss’ presentations and notes into articles.
Hailed as ‘the closest thing to transportation’, Periscope allows you to broadcast videos live from anywhere and anywhere with the tap of a button. There’s no need for a Wi-Fi connection – simply press ‘broadcast’ and you are sharing your content with all your followers. Attorney and guest columnist for AdAge, Brian Heidelberger, gives a mini law lesson on the dos and don’ts of branded video content via Periscope.
With the constant overload of content flooding the web, your content must deliver a ‘tilt’ or unique edge to cut through today’s clutter. John Hall from the Content Marketing Institute explains how certain practices and values demonstrated by giant corporations like American Express can create traditional publications that build on engagement and grow loyalty among audiences.
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