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As a content strategist, I ask people about their content marketing goals every day. Sometimes I almost feel like a fast food worker. “Would you like some lead gen with that?” These goals vary greatly since content marketing can impact everything from sales to customer experience, but there’s one goal that’s pretty universal: growing your email list.
For most, Memorial Day weekend means barbecue, beers, and jealously glaring at Instagram pics of your co-workers in the Hamptons. For me, it also means spending Sunday morning filing my monthly column so that our managing editor doesn’t kill me. So let’s get into it. Here’s what you asked this month: We’ve been using the term “thought leadership” internally for a while.
Last night, a close friend who works in content marketing DMed me on Twitter. She was very concerned. “I have to admit I’m Twitter stalking you because I’m intrigued that this conference has you turned into a tween at a Harry Styles concert,” she wrote. “You’re suddenly VERY EXCITED about things like demand waterfall. Or, intervention? Anyway def going to pump you for cliff notes.” It’s true.
There was a drum roll as the thousands in the crowd hushed. Then it came. Arms shot in the air in spiritual ecstasy. iPhone cameras flashed. What was it? Beyonce? Bono? Michelle Obama? The Pope? No. To the crowd of marketers at Day 2 of the Sirius Decisions Summit in Las Vegas, it was something far more exciting: a new SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall.
This week, I’m on a pilgrimage in the desert. No, not the one my Jewish nana really wants me to take; it’s the one my CMO (very easily) talked me into—the SiriusDecisions Summit in Las Vegas, which secretly has the reputation as one of the most insightful marketing events on Earth. Each day, I’ll share what I learn on the ground from foundational courses, dozens of case studie ...
Five years ago, Jascha Kaykas-Wolff sat in a board room, wondering if he’d wasted his life as a marketer. Every time he took a new job, he was filled with the promise of making a positive impact on the world. But over the course of a 20-year-career, at startups and tech giants alike, he kept finding himself in the same situation: Sitting in a board room, lamenting a missed qua ...
Every day, a new Twitter hashtag magically emerges and fills our lives with something unexpected. Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they’re a little dark and confessional, but they always seem to connect strangers. And every day, a brand comes along, sees those connections and thinks: Oh yeah, it’s time to be a part of the #conversation. This usually doesn’t end well.
Halfway through my panel this week at Collision, the fast-growing tech conference in New Orleans, the moderator told the audience he wished he wasn’t moderating so he could tweet what was being said. But it wasn’t anything I said. Not even close. Instead, he was referring to the wisdom of Alicia Hatch, the dynamic CMO of Deloitte. .
Welcome to the April edition of Ask a Content Strategist, the monthly mailbag column about love, life, and mostly content marketing. This month’s column focuses on a topic that no one’s talking about: video marketing. What’s that? Everyone’s talking about video marketing? Even your nana wants to know why you aren’t doing more video? Well then damn—we don’t have any time to waste.
There’s a lot of noise and uncertainty in content marketing, but one thing has remained constant: People are creating more and more content. According to CMI’s 2017 benchmark survey, over 70 percent of companies plan to create more content this year compared to last year—an upward trend that’s held steady over the past few years. In turn, content marketing hiring is on the rise.
I’ve worked at the same company for the past three and a half years, but it feels, at times, like I’ve worked for three different companies. That’s just the nature of startups; you’re reinventing yourself more than Madonna in the ’80s. Contently’s mission is still the same as when I joined in 2013.
Here are a couple of embarrassing facts about myself: 1. I have a catalogued list of my favorite content marketing SlideShares. 2. There’s one that’s my most favorite, and I reference it all the time. I’m talking about Why Content Marketing Fails, by Moz founder Rand Fishkin. It tackles the biggest content marketing mistakes with the help of clip art and some pretty bad fonts.
I spend most of my life doing five things: sleeping, scheming, reading, writing, and answering questions about content marketing. Lately—as I’ve traveled from Toronto to London to Austin to speak at conferences and lead strategy workshops—it’s mostly been the latter. Here’s one question that keeps coming up: What does Facebook’s fake news problem mean for content marketing.
Welcome to the March edition of Ask a Content Guy, which we’re now renaming Ask a Content Strategist! It’s the same old column in which I answer your most pressing content marketing questions, except now with a name that makes a little more sense considering I’m not Bill Simmons. Like I always say: Never stop iterating, and when in doubt, go with the more SEO-friendly title.
Yesterday kicked off my favorite event of the year. No, I’m not talking about SXSW Interactive, the annual tech festival where I attempt to turn myself into a beer-soaked taco. I’m talking about NFL free agency. This year, the Moneyball approach to team-building has finally made its way to the NFL, and I’ve spent the past two days texting fellow data/football geeks at Contentl ...
I lead a double life, but there’s a secret weapon that lets me get away with it. At Contently, I’m both our director of content strategy—which means I oversee strategy work we do for hundreds of clients—and also the editor-in-chief of our internal publications, The Content Strategist, The Freelancer, and Contently Quarterly. I love both lives, and I stubbornly refuse to give either up.
Go find a six-year-old—preferably a nephew or niece, not some random kid at Whole Foods—and ask them to make up a story. Watch as their eyes light up, how their words jumble together with excitement and wonder. Observe how their arms wave and their fingers spread, as if they’re conjuring a tornado of imagination.
Sometimes, this graphic haunts me. This insane supergraphic (via Scott Brinker) classifies nearly 4,000 marketing technology solutions available today. When Contently launched in 2011, there were only 150. That means there are about 25 times more companies creating content about marketing and competing for my target audience’s attention.
A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting down with a prospective client from a large financial institution, trying to help the marketing team craft its 2017 content strategy. At one point, I explained that experimenting with paid Facebook distribution could be a cost-efficient way to grow its target audience. “Oh, we’re B2B,” someone said.
When I speak at marketing conferences or talk to Contently clients, there’s one question I get more than any other: How did you build such a big audience for The Content Strategist? I’m grateful that hundreds of thousands of smart people read the Content Strategist each month and subscribe to our newsletters, but that wasn’t always the case.