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Here’s what you missed when you spent the whole week planning an April Fools’ joke only to have it blow up in your face like it always does… Deadspin: NFL Demands Retraction From New York Times Selected by Dillon Baker, associate editor If you haven’t been following the drama surrounding The New York Times and the NFL, it basically goes like this: The New York Times released an article with evi.
Prick up your ears on March 31 and you can hear the words “Trust me, this is going to be hilarious” gently echoing through all of the office buildings on the planet. A cleverly executed April Fools’ gag can do a few wonderful things for a business—give it some humanity, drum up free publicity, and even bring in leads.
A few months ago, the CEO of a pet-supply company came to me with a problem. When people typed in the brand, Google auto-corrected the query to the name of a popular TV show. The brand was lost in the vastness of the Internet, and the CEO—let’s call him Mike—was worried that no one would be able to find his company via search.
Last April Fools’ Day, our co-founder Shane Snow and head of events Jess Black posted Craigslist ads in 16 cities offering up a free goat. They posed as Sam Slaughter, our VP of content, instructing all goat-seekers to call him immediately. Sam was very confused when the calls started coming in, but he was also proud of the collection of batshit crazy voicemails accumulating.
When I decided to go to a college that didn’t require me to take any math or science courses, I never thought I’d spend so much time analyzing algorithms. But thanks to the Facebook-ification of social media, algorithm talk is now inescapable. This past week, Instagram rolled out an algorithm for its feed, and joined Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and others in attempting to fig ...
It was January 27, 1987, and the New York Giants were a minute away from winning the Super Bowl. Phil Simms, the team’s quarterback and soon-to-be Super Bowl MVP, got a tap on his shoulder. Simms was instructed to repeat “I’m going to Disney World!” and “I’m going to Disneyland!” three times each during the post-game interview, according to a 2014 USA Today article.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 85 percent of marketing professionals in the United Kingdom now use content marketing, and 64 percent increased their spending in 2015. As these companies continue to experiment with social media, online video, custom magazines, and mobile, they’re finding innovative ways to strike that delicate balance between relaying a brand mess ...
Here’s what what you missed while you spent the week not really understanding the Panama Papers… Marketing Insider Group: Guess What? Visitors Don’t Want To Fill Out A Form To Get To Your Content Selected by Shane Snow, co-founder and CCO Savvy content marketers are now almost universally using gated content to generate leads and increase email subscribers.
Twelve years ago, Facebook started out as a place for people to post about themselves. But lately, the platform looks more like a giant digital store where brands buy our attention. In fact, the purpose of the world’s biggest social network has changed so drastically that Facebook may not even be able to call itself a social network.
Here’s what you missed while wondering how Wolf Blitzer still has his job… Outside: Is Social Media Screwing Over Explorers? Selected by Dillon Baker, associate editor Outdoorsy brands have sponsored landmark expeditions for years. Thanks to social media, veteran explorers are now being slowly replaced by more social-savvy—but oftentimes less experienced—alternatives.
As Contently’s editor-in-chief, my job is to immerse myself in every intricacy of the content marketing industry. It’d be a waste for other people in the company to spend all day contemplating the subtle differences between branded content, brand journalism, native advertising, and sponsored content—sales bros have better things to do with their time.
At BuzzFeed, even the data scientists are masters of memes. Last spring, we first wrote about BuzzFeed Pound, a remarkable technology that uses network diffusion to reveal exactly how a piece of content spreads online, from sharer to sharer and platform to platform. A few days later, a tweet arrived in response to the story—a GIF of the headshots of red-headed identical twins ...
How important is originality in filmmaking? Instead of heading to the theater for Batman vs. Superman or My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 last week, I took a painstaking look at the data on 600 recent movie sequels to find out. This is apparently how nerds spend their spare time.[footnote]My colleague Greta inadvertently joined the nerd ranks by spending her weekend helping me compile the data.
“We’ve gone from a world of isolated communities to a global community, and we are all the better off for it.” “I’m starting to see nations turning inwards… I hear fearful voices calling for building walls.” “I hope that we have the courage to see that the path forward is to bring people together, not tearing them apart.
Will virtual reality replace TV in 10 years? Will headsets make iPhones obsolete? Will all branded have to make all their content VR to stay relevant? VR is still in its infancy, which means the hyperbolic questions and predictions are here. But here’s the reality: It’s too early to tell. But the lack of certainty doesn’t mean that marketers can ignore VR.
Imagine that you were only getting 81 cents of value out of every dollar you spent. If you only wasted a few bucks, it might be okay to eat the occasional loss. But over time, those losses would add up, and it probably wouldn’t take long for you to start rethinking your spending habits. Now put yourself in the position of someone investing billions of dollars.
Did you have a dream last night about a hauntingly life-sized Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head clumsily battling the Monopoly Man in a game of Hungry, Hungry, Hippos? Did you plead with your brain to wake up as you watched the game unfold in silence under the dim hum of florescent lights? Did you stare at the window and wonder if there was any way to escape? If so, I have some bad news.
If you’ve ever been to a marketing conference, you know that booze is essential. People need libations if they’re going to spend an entire day talking about the benefits of user-generated content. And if you’ve ever read a marketing blog, you know that outlandish metaphors help make esoteric ideas more relatable.
Here’s what you missed while you were shaking your damn head at the latest brand fails courtesy of Sprint and KFC… The New Republic: It Mii: The Rise and Fall of Miitomo Selected by Dillon Baker, associate editor Last Friday I was sitting at home, slightly inebriated and scanning my phone, when I came across Miitomo, gaming giant Nintendo’s first foray into social apps.
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, ...
As soon as technology changes, it doesn’t take long for the media industry to start evolving with it. But how? As everything from social media to mobile phones affects change so rapidly, it’s hard to determine what’s a passing fad and what’s actually changing the way media operates. To address that distinction, Cision, a communications software company, recently conducted a su ...
Miki and Radha Agrawal didn’t plan on disrupting the feminine hygiene industry when they entered a three-legged race. All they wanted to do was win. And the identical-twin soccer stars were well on their way—until Radha felt blood dripping down her leg. She had her period. If you’re a biological female, chances are you’ve got a story like this.
In 2013, a media corporation told the story of a fearless optimist who treks through an icy winter to free the kingdom trapped under her sister’s powers. The story inspired a generation of loyal toddlers (and their parents) and resulted in a $1.2 billion franchise that bumped the corporation’s first-quarter earnings 13 percent.
Last month, the lightbulb went on with a story idea. Minutes later, it shut off again. After dealing with the effects of a creative rut, my momentary joy was erased when a Google search revealed that my latest idea had already been done by The Huffington Post, Mashable, and Forbes. I was dejected, sure, but also surprised. I didn’t expect all those sites to cover content marketing.
As the sixth-largest public company in the world and the largest bank in the United States, JPMorgan Chase already has millions of customers. So as it continues to invest in publishing content on its blog, the brand has had to confront a unique challenge: How can it build brand affinity in an industry racked with consumer mistrust? On April 6, Brian Becker, the executive direc ...
American Express OPEN Forum is all about community. The branded blog is considered a gold standard for content marketing, and for good reason. Besides impressive longform initiatives like “The Journey,” a multimedia project that chronicled the story of a small kombucha business, OPEN Forum consistently produces helpful content for a loyal audience of small business owners.
Here’s an important question about the startup industry: Does a job at BarkBox actually involve petting cute dogs? With Uncubed‘s new video classes, BarkBox is able to answer that question (it’s a yes) while also offering useful information to recruits who might want to apply to work at the company.
This article originally appeared on The Freelancer. If you’re a freelance writer, the majority of your editors are probably male while the majority of your colleagues are probably female. That’s not just an anecdotal generalization. The American Society of News Editors (ASNE)’s latest report showed that, on average, women made up only 37 percent of newsroom staffs and only he ...
The other day I had several questions about Olark, a San Francisco-based software company. So I went to the company’s website to find answers. But before I could even begin to look for a link to an FAQ page or help center, a pop-up featuring three smiling faces beckoned from the home page: “We’re Olark. Chat with us.
It takes less than three seconds to have a gut reaction. According to Dan Hill in Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success, “emotions process sensory input in only one-fifth the time our conscious, cognitive brain takes to assimilate that same input.” Emotions, rather than cognitive thinking, have a more profound impact on our actions; create lasting, instinctual ...
I was 21 when I found out that a friend was ghostwriting recipes for a celebrity chef. The recipes were published in a highly respected U.K. magazine, which really shocked me at the time. In my naivety, I could barely comprehend that the chef wouldn’t take time out of his day to sit and write his own recipes. It was almost as crushing as finding out the truth about Santa Claus.
Contently Case Stories is a series highlighting some of Contently’s most successful clients. According to Visually, the first infographics date back to 30,000 BCE, when images were drawn on cave walls to communicate information about populations, animals, and resources. Thousands of years later, the Egyptians used hieroglyphics to tell stories about life, work, and religion.
Disorganization is the enemy of productivity. In content marketing, it can rear its ugly head in the planning process, throughout the course of production, and when managing content assets across multiple departments. When brands don’t know where or how to access valuable company assets, the result is inconsistent messaging and a waste of time and resources.
Last month, in an announcement about Contently’s acquisition of Minneapolis-based tech firm Docalytics, Contently CTO Dave Goldberg asked the billion-dollar question: “Brands spend a remarkable amount of money each year creating dark assets like white papers, slideshows, pricing worksheets, and sales collateral.
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 ...
When I first asked people what they thought about the concept of ‘period panties,’ they responded with scrunched faces and genuine confusion. “Wait. How does that work?” “Why would anyone want to bleed in their underwear?” These are the questions that Thinx CEO Miki Agrawal has attempted to answer with content campaigns spewed across New York City’s public transportation sys ...
In February 2014, a new luxury fashion magazine hit the newsstands in 60 countries around the globe. With Gisele Bündchen on the cover, the 262-page glossy stood out immediately, justifying its ambitious price point of $9.99—four dollars more than the top fashion magazines at the time. While the sophistication and functionality of the glossy magazine could have easily been mis ...
Five years ago, if you wanted to travel to Thailand, you’d probably start with a Google search and a quick glance at a site like TripAdvisor. Today, however, the process of researching a trip has drastically changed. When it comes to travel, it’s hard to overstate the importance of convenience and trust.
In the years following the Great Recession, industrial production declined, university students went to extreme odds to find jobs, and big banks and their financial affiliates lost consumer trust. As late as 2014, the Edelman Trust Barometer revealed financial services was, yet again, the least trusted industry in the world.
Last December, when companies everywhere were busy hawking their holiday deals, Japan Airlines was spreading a message of world peace. The company had partnered with a Japanese artist known as “Yassan,” who previously made headlines for proposing to his now-wife with a GPS route that criss-crossed across Japan and spelled out “MARRY ME.
The SXSW program is always a great barometer of dominant buzzwords. Take “content marketing.” Four years ago, there were only a handful of content marketing panels, and they were all cordoned off at a Sheraton a mile from the convention center. This year, the term appeared nearly 1,200 times in the schedule. By comparison, “synergy” only got 18 mentions.
This article originally appeared on The Freelancer. Every freelancer has at least one horror story of a crazy, ridiculous, or even illegal client request—one that made them spit out their coffee and stare at their laptop in horror and say, “You want me to do what?!?” In fact, it was after going through a traumatic freelancing experience of my own that I decided to write this piece.
This article originally appeared on The Freelancer. LinkedIn can be a useful platform for freelance writers to find clients, meet PR people with interesting pitches, and connect with others in the industry. But that doesn’t mean everything in our inboxes is useful. Far from it. From the recent college grad begging for a job to the editor with an “exciting opportunity” to prod ...
Intoxicated by March Madness and a nostalgia for Grantland’s ridiculous brackets (“Which Tom Cruise is the Best Tom Cruise?“), the Contently edit team decided to blow off real work this week and answer a very important question: Which branded social media account is the greatest of all? So, we made a bracket. Now, we know what you’re thinking: You guys are really big dorks! This is true.
While U.K. and U.S. brands may not see eye to eye on the proper use of the term “football,” whether one puts jam or jelly on toast, or the true definition of the word “pants,” companies from both countries can agree on the benefits of content marketing. According to The Content Marketing Institute, 88 percent of U.K.
In the mad scramble to create a content strategy and prove ROI, marketers can forget something very important: Craft matters. A lot. All too often, brands come up with a solid content plan and then point to a career marketer in the corner of the room and say, “You’re the content guy now”—with no regard for the fact that editing is a highly specialized skill that most people ca ...
Content marketing industry news and analysis, by Contently