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According to Forbes, 93 percent of B2B marketers claim content marketing drives more leads than traditional marketing. Why? Because content gives marketers the opportunity to have a voice and help their potential customers solve pressing issues. However, simply publishing an insightful blog post isn’t enough to generate leads or revenue.
Last January, a potentially wise man predicted that the smartest brands would publish fewer stories in 2016, putting more of an emphasis on larger editorial projects rather than churning out 600-word blog posts. Did that come true? Sort of. Beckon, a marketing data firm, found that 5 percent of all branded content gets 90 percent of attention. (That’s a stat you’re going to hear a lot in 2017.
This year’s top content marketing covered topics like dating, science, politics, mascara, Ryan Reynolds, trap music, and anthropomorphic breakfast food. While some brands fell back on conventional marketing—the average TV commercial, the basic how-to article, the microsite that only 12 people visit—these companies cut through the noise by taking calculated risks.
Today, plenty of brands and publishers have content studios. But when The New York Times launched T Brand Studio, its native ad shop, a few years ago, the content marketing space still had that new car smell. The Gray Lady took a big risk investing in a new model that blended editorial creativity with marketing. Thus far, that risk has paid off.
“I basically ignored press releases and focused one hundred percent on storytelling. My stories have real protagonists who are trying to solve real problems and reach real outcomes. ” That’s Tomas Kellner, editor-in-chief of GE Reports, explaining his content marketing approach in early 2015. While most companies were just warming up to the idea of storytelling, Kellner and GE ...
Last Monday, I shut off the presidential debate after 28 minutes. I was looking for an excuse to go for a jog that night, and after hearing Donald Trump say a word that sounded like “bigly”—more on that later—I put on my Nikes. I figured I’d have plenty of time to catch up on all the shimmies, sniffles, and sound bites over the next 24 hours.
I took my first journalism class freshman year of high school, back in 2004. Before students could write for the school paper, which came out in print once a month and didn’t exist online, they had to learn about the principles of reporting, then pass a test on the information. I passed on the first try, but more than a decade later, I’ve forgotten most of what we had to study.
Every social network has a personality. Twitter is for the clever individual trying to turn current events into a punchline. Facebook is for the opinionated person who overshares details about private life. Instagram is for those who want to filter their lives through indulgence. But LinkedIn? That’s where users go to be boring. As the internet’s corporate rolodex, LinkedIn gets the job done.
Most lead generation training programs start with discovery, one of the most basic tenets of sales. But how far can a marketer dig into discovery questions before going too far? Forms with only three fields have a 25 percent conversion rate, but that rate drops to 15 percent for forms with six or more fields.
There are marketers out there who would sell their vital organs if it meant they could get inside a millennial’s brain. After all, who needs a kidney when you can seduce millions of young people to pay for your bespoke financial services? But therein lies the problem—some marketers see everyone born between 1980 and 2000 as the same person. We’re not. Because there ...
Written by Aaron Taube One of the hardest parts of content marketing is creating work that resonates with a wide audience and stays true to your brand. Producing a viral hit is nice, but it won’t do much good if it’s totally irrelevant or, worse, antithetical to what your company stands for. Perhaps no piece of content marketing did a better job of combining resonance and rel ...
Can a couple of books land on a marketer’s desk at the right time and change the destiny of an entire marketing department? Based on my experience, the answer is yes. As I was ready to become the VP of marketing integration of the IT Division at Schneider Electric, a global company that specializes in solutions for data centers and critical power products, I had a clear object ...
Three years ago, I sat in a sleek startup office as the co-founders of Rap Genius told me about their master plan for taking over the internet. Rap Genius—now known as Genius—was one of the hottest new tech companies at the time, with big funding, pop culture relevance, and co-founders eager to get headlines, good or bad.
When most athletes announce their retirements, they wipe away tears during a press conference and answer banal questions from beat reporters. When Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant told the world he was going to hang up his Nikes for good, he wrote a poem. What’s more noteworthy than the quality of Bryant’s free verse is where the poem was published: on The Players’ Tribune, ...
The best headline ever written is “Headless Body in Topless Bar.” It appeared on the front page of the New York Post in 1983—simple, symmetrical, and intriguing. Five words that tell a story but still compel you to find out more. Today, you’d probably never see that headline, at least not online. Most publishers now favor either conversational titles or listicles, ideally with ...
If 2014 was the year of the “brand blog,” then 2015 was the year of the “brand as media company.” Red Bull has long been the strongest example of this mentality, developing a nuanced content studio that employs hundreds of people and produces high-quality movies, music, live broadcasts, original photography, and even a respected print magazine.
On TCS, we’ve spent a fair amount of time covering the ways publishers use emojis, with the philosophy that the medium can work for the right companies in the right situations. The basic rules are: 1. No eggplants. 2. Never use them to react to controversy or tragedy. Emojis are playful, lighthearted, and at this point, pretty trite—three adjectives that usually don’t belong ...
(Full disclosure: I drafted Rob Gronkowski on my fantasy team this year.) Most professional athletes aren’t famous enough to get major endorsement deals. Those that do typically just appear in 30-second commercials and sweat Gatorade or talk to Papa John. But New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, the transcendent bro that he is, has moved beyond that to become a content marketing stud.
Even though I get paid to work with words, I love numbers. When I was a full-time freelance writer, my favorite assignments were short articles for The Wall Street Journal that focused on sports statistics. Each story only ran about 300 words—sometimes less—which meant I had to be as precise as possible when choosing what to write.
Superheroes work out six hours a day, eat steak and steamed vegetables religiously, and on occasion, take steroids. They don’t, under any circumstances, eat fast food. You can’t become Thor by devouring Original Recipe buckets. However, these hard truths didn’t stop Kentucky Fried Chicken from sponsoring a new 20-page DC comic book titled “The Colonel of Two Worlds.