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Relevance is Personal, Not Personalised – By Robert Rose

Let me ask you a question.

What was the most relevant or personalised ad or email you’ve seen in the last week? How about the last month? How did it make you feel? Can’t remember?  Neither can I.

The need for personalisation

As consumers, we keep hearing that research says we expect the advertising and content we consume to be more relevant and personalised. But is this true?  I mean, according to this research, 63% of consumers not only want, but expect, personalisation as a standard of service.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the research is probably correct. But asking consumers if they expect personalisation, is a bit like asking them if they’d expect a powerful hydraulic system on the airplane they’re about to get on. They’ll say, “I have no idea how it benefits me, but it sounds important, so yeah I would.”

Personalisation that is not creepy

We want (or expect) relevant, personalised experiences – but we definitely don’t want to notice that it’s happening. Research shows this too. Most people feel creeped out, angry, or indifferent about learning that ads were presented to them based on personal details.

It’s a bit of a paradox.  Ask customers if they want more targeted, relevant advertising and content as part of their buying process, they will undoubtedly say “Yes.” But ask them if companies should use their data to do it, and they will overwhelmingly say, “Hell no.”

The fine line of personal and personalised

See, the content experiences you remember, are most likely the ones that touched you in some personal way. They may or may not have been personalised – but that aspect was irrelevant in comparison to the relevance of the message. The best content experiences aren’t those that are conspicuously personalised. They’re personal: relevant and welcome.

Personalisation – certainly at the level that most businesses can operate – is rarely personal, and it simply doesn’t scale. As marketers, we often use some detail in a consumer’s behavior (such as a visit to a product page on our website) to illustrate that we know something about that person. We personalise based on the data we can most easily get.

Personalised is not Sharable

Here’s the catch. People are unlikely to share a piece of content that was personalised based on easily trackable behaviour. Relevant content that people want to share moves them to say, “Hey, everybody, you have to check this out!” It’s content they see themselves in and believe others will see themselves in, too.

When your audience has an experience of “Wow, this is exactly what I needed,” that’s when you win the relevance game. So as we assemble our content marketing strategies, let’s think less about superficially personalising content against some data that we’ve gathered and more about creating content that hits that exactly-what-I-needed spot for a defined wider audience – regardless of who has what cookies on their machines.

Yes, we want to use technology to the max. Yes, we want to devise strategies that scale. At the same time, we have to stay in touch with what works for human beings. And what works for human beings is coming across content that has so much value to them that they want to pass it on. Personally.

 

Classic vs. Evergreen – By Robert Rose

Quality vs. Quantity

Marketers often talk about quality vs. quantity in content marketing. And when we talk about the former, the topic of “evergreen” content frequently comes up. Great “evergreen” content is timeless. It remains always relevant to audiences. Conventional wisdom says that higher quality content is more evergreen in nature. In fact, you’ll find many articles on content marketing that simply make the terms “evergreen” and “quality” synonymous.  

Evergreen is NOT equal to Classic

 I was working with a client last month and the topics of both evergreen content and quality came up. We got into a discussion about the difference between the different approaches of creating evergreen content. Our discussion centered on the fact that “timeless” content does not automatically mean that the content will stand the test of time. Nor does content that stands the test of time have to necessarily be “timeless”.  Put simply: “evergreen” content and “classic” content are different.

 For example, when we create that an evergreen Christmas holiday recipe video, or that “how-to” infographic on SEO, or the instructional white paper on how to manage an enterprise software implementation, we typically remove (or never put in) anything that boxes us into a particular time in which the content has been created.  We address our chosen topic thoroughly and attempt to create something that will be relevant for any one of our chosen audiences at any time now or in the future.

What classifies as ‘Classic’ ?

 But creating something that will become a classic requires something more. It requires that we create something of lasting worth, or of the first or highest quality. This is different than simply evergreen. This is a subtle but very important distinction.

 I love how author Italo Calvino described a “classic” in his essay on the subject Why Read The Classics? put it. He said “a classic” is something “which even when we read it for the first time gives the sense of rereading something we have read before.” A classic, he says, is “a book which has never exhausted all it has to say to its readers.”

The LEGO movie – The perfect branded content?

The LEGO Movie is a perfect example of high performing branded content. But what makes it special is not the fact that the movie is evergreen content. The LEGO Movie is deeply creative storytelling, with a very distinct point of view. And, in fact unlike most “evergreen” content, it features very trendy, topical characters. Despite that, The LEGO Movie is something families watch over and over again. The movie never exhausts all it has to say to its audience. Being a classic that can stand the test of time is why it has warranted sequels and spinoffs and is a core piece of the LEGO content strategy.

Why does this matter?

Well, when I was with my client, discussing the difference between classic and evergreen I asked (without irony mind you) if they could envision creating a thought leadership paper that was not only timeless (or evergreen), but something that people enjoyed so much, that they would go back and read it again and again.  

Everyone laughed, because they thought I was joking. But I’m serious. Can we actually write a “classic” thought leadership paper?  Would it be possible to create a “classic” video series on SEO.  Can we create a “classic” Holiday recipe?  

Evergreen is Discoverable but Classic is Timeless and Ongoing.

Evergreen content is timeless in that it constantly provides new audiences a relevant value. They discover it. Classic content not only provides new audiences with relevant value, it goes one step further. It provides existing audiences with ongoing value. They can continuously return to time and again.

 Just one quick example of this. Our “What is  Content Marketing” page on the Content Marketing Institute site is, to this day, the most popular page on our site. Now, you might say “well, of course it is – the Google SEO on that page has it as the number one organic page for the question.”  You’d be right. But would it surprise you to know that when we look at the Web Analytics the return vs. new visitor is almost 50%/50%?  That means it’s become a go-to resource for marketers who continually return to it. 

Content That Hooks

I continually return to Theodore Levitt’s paper Marketing Myopia to refresh my marketing chops despite its analysis of industries dated more appropriately to the 1960’s.  The “Dumb Ways To Die” content marketing effort by the City of Melbourne Australia’s Metro organisation, continues to get tens of millions of views each and every year despite being almost 7 years old in 2019.

 And, of course there may be no better example of a classic content marketing effort than John Deere’s The Furrow Magazine.  It’s not only been publishing continuously for the last 124 years, but subscribers routinely save issues as collector’s items. These same subscribers will revisit articles, even those from years ago. The content is both timeless, and classic.

Like all good things – Classics take time

Now, of course, we must acknowledge that we can’t really know if a piece of content is a classic, until it – well – becomes a classic. It must stand the test of time. And for that, you need time.

But as we look to create strategic, high quality content, what we can do is focus on the importance of great storytelling, exploring topics deeply, creating distinct points of view, and not necessarily being afraid to use topical examples to help us tell a story. We can focus on creating content that people will want to revisit again and again.

 That’s a classic.

Looking for help creating your classic piece of content? Contact us to discuss how we can get your content from evergreen to classic.

 The Framework of Tools for Content Marketing By Robert Rose

When I was in college, my roommate used to hold up one giant screwdriver and say, “This is the only tool I’ll ever need.” And, he’d hammer nails with it, open boxes with it, open beer bottles with it (yes, college was like that). It was everything he needed. Sadly, the same can’t be said for all the different tools you need to manage a successful content marketing process.

The tools you really need are there to help facilitate the process you’ve come up with.

I put that sentence in bold, and by itself, because it’s important. Process and strategy come first – and then the tools. You might be like my room-mate and be able to work magic with one tool. Or, you may need a complete suite of technology in order to meet the objectives you’ve created for yourself.

That sentence is also why this post will not be a “round up” of tools for content marketing. The truth is that just about anything can be a “content marketing tool.”  Right now, I’m writing this post in Microsoft Word. It will contain images created in Adobe Photoshop. It will subsequently be placed into a content collaboration tool, published through a content management system, and measured by an analytics system. Anything that helps you create, manage, optimise and measure content could be called a content marketing tool.

Therefore, it is important discuss a framework for which you might choose tools that are appropriate for the content marketing process.

The landscape of content marketing tools

In the book Managing Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi and I discuss the internal content marketing process. While it’s certainly no revolutionary map, it’s as good a model as any in describing the major components of a successful content marketing approach.

content marketing process

We speak to four steps:

  1. Create, Edit and Manage: Where we understand that in order to create content for content marketing, a company needs to assemble a team, develop a workflow that makes sense, establish the rules everyone will play by and agree to follow a pre-determined game plan.
  2. Aggregate, Curate and Optimise: Where we understand how to align all the content across a larger narrative, pull content in from disparate locations and teams, curate it to provide a consolidated, distinct point of view and optimise the content for all of the various channels we manage.
  3. Promote, Converse and Listen: Where we stay focused, and manage inbound conversation as well as publish content outbound. We understand that we have to promote content through traditional marketing methods, and we have to socialize it in our communities.
  4. Measure, Analyse and Learn: Where we measure to understand how the content is changing or enhancing conversion rates, engagement, loyalty or other KPI’s and, ultimately, how our content is (by our definition of content marketing) changing or enhancing consumer behavior.

As you might expect, many of the extraordinarily well covered technology solutions were core in this mix. For example, in the Create, Edit and Manage stage you would include all of the modern Web Content Management and blogging solutions, as well as file sharing technologies.  In the Optimise, Aggregate and Curate you might include classic content optimisation, curation, and intelligence tools.  The Promote, Converse and Listen stage would, of course, include the social channels themselves, as well as the more enterprise listening tools.  And, finally, the Measure, Analyse and Learn stage would have many of the Web analytics tools.

A new look at the technology landscape

With a more nuanced view of the “in-between”, we feel like we can provide some additional insight.  So, we identified these spaces, and started to map these newer technology solutions into them.

mapping the technology

Since there are four main stages in the process, we created four “overlap” stages to map these technologies into areas of the process that they help facilitate.

These ended up being:

  • Content Collaboration Tools: Where ‘Create, Edit, and Manage’ overlaps with ‘Optimise, Aggregate, and Curate’. These tools facilitate content editorial workflow, empower the enterprise to manage teams (either external or internal) and enable collaboration on content.
  • Curation & Conversation Tools: Where Optimise, Curate & Aggregate overlaps with Promote, Converse And Listen. These tools help to promote, publish and aggregate content in meaningful ways, while in many cases also help manage the content optimisation process by using social signals to provide intelligence.
  • Social Content Analytics Tools:  Where Promote, Converse & Listen meets Measure, Analyse & Learn. These tools help to maintain relevance in conversation, while also providing insight into what we should be talking about. From specific niche social channel analytics, to semantic processing of social media conversations.
  • Engagement Automation Tools: This is where Measure, Analyse and Learn comes back around to overlap with Create, Edit & Manage. More than the classic Marketing Automation, many of these tools have the ability to not only manage some form of content, but they do so from the point of view of helping the marketer “optimise” the content for engagement and conversion purposes.

Is this the right way to map these tools?  Well, the answer is a most definite “maybe”.  But, given the fast moving, and disruptive nature of the market right now, and how many of these new solutions are actually overlapping one another, it’s the one we’re going with right now This is a way to look at these solutions through the right lens today. Ultimately, a software tool is meant to make it easier to facilitate some part of a process that is difficult to do by other means. In our experience, if you can map your process, to the stages we have here – it becomes easier to identify these gaps and perhaps a solution that can help fill it.

If you have any questions about which tools may be right for you – contact us.

The year of (Dis)Content: The State of Content Marketing 2019 – By Robert Rose

Hello Marketers. I hope you’re having a tremendously prosperous 2019.

As we approach the second half of the year, I want to provide a perspective on the current state of content marketing in most businesses.

This overview is informed greatly by the research we’ve conducted over the last 8 months, the culmination of our observations from Content Marketing World 2018 and our advisory client work in the past six months.

Let’s start with a question:

Is content marketing a strategic differentiator for business in 2019?

In one of my favorite business books of all time, The End of the Competitive Advantage, Rita Gunther McGrath vividly illustrates that all competitive advantages are now transient in nature.

I concur as it pertains to Content Marketing. A Content Marketing effort itself will never be a sustainable competitive advantage or differentiator. Instead, we as marketers who utilise content need to change our perspective and understand that WE are the competitive advantage.

Our ability as a marketing team (no matter the size) to come together, de-silo from our 1.0 shells, and develop a more dynamic and fluid use of content that is valuable to audiences is the essential skill in the next successful marketing strategy.

It is our ability to move in and out of “arenas”, as McGrath calls them, and create temporary advantages, that will be the critical determinant of success.

But there is a challenge.  Most content marketing programs are stuck in average performance. Consider that only 23% of content marketers conclude that they are “very” or “extremely” successful. And “time to create” and “content quality” are the top 2 challenges cited by marketers. But then consider that 96% of the most successful content marketers say that their company is seen as a “trusted resource” for information.

In 2019, many companies still look at “content” as a sales-driven and/or traffic-generating engine.  Most companies are still relying solely on “sales feedback” and “website analytics” as their sole means of researching their target audience.  When you consider that two-thirds of adults say that “trust in a brand” has a great deal (31%) or a lot (37%) of influence on their purchase decision, you can see that moving to a more audience-centric model, powered by the time and effort into high-quality content is both the answer, and still a big challenge.

If we are to solve this challenge, we should first ask ourselves if we truly believe that compelling, engaging, useful, and dynamic content-driven experiences ultimately will move the business forward. If our answer is “yes,” then the strategic value lies in our ability to repeatedly and consistently evolve to create the valuable stories. This has many implications:

  • Businesses must stop organising and scaling content based on platforms, technologies, and inside out views of the customer journey. Successful marketing departments will become skilled and integrated at creating and managing content-driven experiences. The format and placement of these experiences on multiple channels always will be temporal

 

  • Successful businesses will no longer have a singular view of content as fuel to support marketing campaigns. Instead, they will evolve and begin looking at changing marketing into a function that increasingly supports the fluid use of content to create and support better customer experiences.

 

  • The successful content plan of 2019 will be powered by an ability to constantly reconfigure efforts and manage a portfolio of content-driven experiences. When a particular experience is no longer advantageous to the business, the team will not lean on a “that’s-the-way-it’s-always-been-done” mentality and will healthily disengage and dismantle these experiences.

No, content is not a sustainable differentiator. It’s the ability create, change and optimise value for our audiences that creates sustainable differentiation.

Theme Two: Organising a Media Operation Inside of a Company

For those companies that are evolving their content marketing operation in 2019, the most common question we are asked these days is how do we scale this operation beyond an ad hoc content production machine.

It’s no secret that there has been a sharp growth in the development of internal agencies. Ad Age just reported 78% of Association of National Advertisers members have developed some level of in-house agency. That’s up from just 58% five years ago. Further, of the 22% that didn’t have an in-house agency, 8% said they were considering it for the near future.

In just the last year, at The Content Advisory,  we’ve worked closely with more than 30 companies on helping to operationalise their content marketing approach, and we’ve seen this trend first-hand. As content marketing becomes a more recognised piece of what the company is doing, centralising the approach and creating a content-focused team is a natural extension.

Building a team to manage and serve internal clients with a streamlined set of creative services, production capabilities, and even media buying can be an extraordinarily productive strategy

However, our experience is that looking at the content team as an internal agency is a mistake. Content marketing is a fundamentally different approach, and needs a leading, not a serving, approach.

Content marketing (and content strategy) should be an active and discrete business model within the organisation. Thus, the content team is more akin to your R&D team, your legal team, or your accounting team.

We’ve just released our 2020 Content Marketing team model– and our conclusion is that there is no possible way to scale, manage, and optimise every channel to ensure that the company’s story is being told without a dedicated approach to content as a process.

Theme Three: Measuring the Process of Content Marketing

The third theme within the current state of Content Marketing in 2019 centers on how to change the cultural and procedural challenges of scaling the measurement of content marketing in an enterprise.

Going back to the beginning of this post, when we look at Content Marketing as a differentiator, most businesses measure exactly the wrong thing.  We measure the content, not the impact that it’s having on the audience.

Successful content marketers are taking a different approach to content marketing from the beginning.  In other words, a traditional marketing campaign is a project – the success/efficiency of which is measured once it is complete.

But content marketing done successfully is a fundamentally different model. Now, it may support short-term metrics of campaign-based marketing and advertising, but it is measured against a longer-term investment model as an asset to the business.

For example, let’s look at some current, successful, content marketing initiatives. As you build a business case for a content-driven experience, you might hypothesize simoilar potential goals:

  • What’s the value of the audience on Day 100 when subscribers have grown to 1,000 and the use of that first-party data drives down advertising media costs by 5% but no new leads or customers have been generated? Then, what’s the value on Day 365 when subscribers are at 10,000, new leads are being created, andpaid media costs are down by 20%? Check out how Kraft measures ROI on its online recipes database.
  • What is the value of the blog/digital magazine/hub when it provides one incremental lead per month with no additional marketing spend? What’s the value when it provides 20 leads? How about when it becomes 32% of our new business? See how Frontline Software uses original research as a strategic operation for the company.
  • What is the value of the content marketing platform if the customers engaging with it have an increased average sales price of 15% over time because it establishes the company as a differentiated brand?
  • What is the value of the content marketing platform on Day 365 when it sees a few hundred-thousand page views, and generates thousands of opportunities on the site? What’s the value at the end of Year 2 when it drives 48,000 new leads, is 22% of organic traffic, and creates a $3 million efficiency on paid advertising spend? See why Monster went all-in on its career advice center.
  • What is the value of the content marketing platform if it does every one of these things but takes five years to get there?

In 2019, as a business manager, you have two fundamental ways to make the company more valuable – financial and strategic. Campaign-based marketing and advertising is almost always focused on creating financial value. This is the stuff of sales growth, profit margins, increased revenue, and marketing spend efficiency. The more you use creativity, technology, and process to help optimize these activities the more value you create.

Strategic value, on the other hand, doesn’t include but greatly influences financial metrics. Strategic value is the multiplier that gives a differentiated (or easier) way to achieve financial value. When creating strategic value, you almost always incorporate how an asset in the business – product, service, or brand position in the marketplace – provides a multiplier effect.

THE 2020 FORECAST FOR CONTENT MARKETING

Stronger, with a challenging twist of scale.

Last year, we proclaimed the forecast for content marketing to be “cloudy with a chance for change.” There was a real and constant struggle to get over the cultural hurdles of starting a content marketing program. Measurability was the biggest issue, and it continues to be the biggest challenge.

But in the past year, we’ve seen a lot of progress, and the mood seems considerably improved, despite the challenges of change. In 2019, making the business case has evolved from “why start” to “how do we scale” content marketing. From the explosive growth of native advertising to the hard, positive numbers that forward-leaning brands are generating, there can be no mistake – how brands are using content has begun to transform marketing strategies.

What’s clear is that unique, impactful, differentiating content-driven experiences are becoming as important as product development itself. Successful marketers will adapt and change in a constantly evolving media operation that focuses on creating delightful experiences to inform, entertain, engage, and evolve the customer – that’s the business’ sustainable competitive advantage

Finding A Purpose In Content Repurposing – By Robert Rose

One thing I’m learning is that the topic of repurposing content is complex and often misunderstood. I’ve written before about how I’ve changed my answer when people ask “how much content should we create?” I used to answer “as much as you can – and still have it be great.”

I realized this was bad advice because it assumed that the only thing we have on our plate is the creation of more content. Of course we have much more than that. We have campaigns to launch, sales materials to create, and measurement to, well, measure.

I’ve since changed my answer to the question of how much content should we create to “as little as you can – and still have the impact you desire.”  

But as someone who wrote to me recently asked quite appropriately, “how does that square with your need to continually produce content consistently?”

It’s a great point – and certainly one of the answers to the question is, of course, repurposing content. In order to reduce the amount of content, the goal is to repurpose as much as possible. We want to leverage great ideas across different audience, platforms and the widest distribution possible. However, the downside is that a continual focus on repurposing can lead you to make decisions that lead to bad content. Just recently this happened with a client I was engaged with.

Repurposing Gone Wrong.

A technology firm I worked with had created a channel (a blog and white paper program) targeted to CIO’s. The content was excellent; high level, strategic, and visionary. Then, however came pressure from other parts of the organization. They wanted to “repurpose” this content with some minor tweaks, to serve lower level Directors of Technology as well.  The thought was, that they could simply add in some “granular how-to” types of “tips and tricks” to the pieces and this would solve the issue. However, over time, because of other pressures, they started to shortcut that process and merged the content creation process. Re-purposing gave way to an “averaged purpose”.

Their rationale was “since it’s going to both audiences anyway, why don’t we just create one piece, and re-use it across all of our channels.” Unfortunately, for CIOs this made the pieces too low level, and not terribly visionary (e.g. they were now 5 pages longer than they were before) and too esoteric and unapproachable for the Directors. They ostensibly ruined content for both audiences by averaging out the content’s purpose.

Key Takeaways

The critical thing here is to ask why we are repurposing content destined for a specific audience to be placed on another channel. If we’re approaching content in the right way – we’ve developed both the channel and the content that populates it, specifically for a targeted audience. That means the content is CREATED to be specific to that audience. 

And we should look at it only through the eyes of the audiences we are looking to serve.

It absolutely makes sense to re-use, repackage and repurpose content across channels. But the key is in the verb of all those “re’s”.  The content must have a different use, a different package, and (most importantly) a different purpose – in order to deliver specific value to an audience. And “different” almost always results in creating at least some portion of new. If all we’re doing is taking the same piece and adding it to different channels, then we are just training our audiences that we can get all content everywhere, and there is no reason to depend on any one of them.

The more we lose clarity of our repurposing purpose, the cheaper our jewel of a content becomes.

Audiences can’t be averaged. Neither can purposes.

To approach content in the right way is to develop both the channel and the content for a particular audience and purpose. It may make sense to reuse, repackage, or repurpose that content across channels or audiences – if you honor the verbs that follow all those “re’s.”  The content must have a different use, a different package, and a different purpose each time.

There’s a reason we don’t call it recontenting.

Integrating Social and Print – The Right Channels At The Right Time.

Print is dead. Right?

No, that’s wrong. Print is alive and well, and an increasingly important part of an integrated content marketing strategy.

The real question is the integration.  How do you best integrate a social and print content strategy to fit today’s modern marketing mix?

Print Content is Alive and Well

It’s certainly no secret that digital – and especially social – platforms have captured the imagination of marketers for the last decade.  By some estimates Google and Facebook alone now command almost 40% of total advertising spend. And when it comes to Content Marketing, social media has been the primary source of the effort for most brands.

CMI’s content marketing research found that Social Media Publishing and Email are the primary technologies that marketers are using to assist with the management of content marketing efforts, with more than 80% of them citing it as their top technology.

However, there are distinct signs that print is alive and well for forward leaning brands.

For example, AirBNBMag is the newest print publication from the travel and leisure brand.  The magazine features user-generated stories and feature articles on travel destinations all over the world. Additionally, there are companies like Lincoln Electric that are bringing a print sensibility to industries like welding with their Arc Magazine.  And Casper, the new startup mattress provider has actually gone as far as to go “print-only” for their content marketing platform Wooly Magazine.

The commonality amongst these is they are deftly integrating both digital and print into their strategy, to create a more integrated and measurable experience.

The Three Best Practices of Integrating Social and Print

So, print is wonderful, and can certainly create a differentiated experience for a brand. And social media is great for reaching today’s younger audiences. And, of course, digital (broadly speaking) is a much more measurable approach.  So how can we begin to mix these ideas so that these tactics, together, can provide a much more cohesive marketing approach.

Here are three best-practices we have seen truly work

Integrate Content And Calls To Action Across Offline and Online

One of the wonderful things that Lincoln Electric does with its Arc Magazine is to leverage digital calls to action in the print magazine, and vice versa. Within the print magazine, the brand features URL’s for deeper exploration of content, or where the reader might find extended resources for a particular article.

For example, a feature covers story might also feature links to their resources section where subject matter experts are online to answer questions asked by readers.

Additionally, the company is not just publishing a print magazine, but writes each story in a way that can be extended through digital and social channels.  As they create content, they create more “lengthy” versions of a story, or with “behind the scenes” features that can be featured for the Web, mobile, or social aspects of the content itself.

As Craig Coffee – the leader of this program for Lincoln has said– “we measure every conceivable thing related to the online and digital footprint of the magazine and draw correlations between what we see there and what we think we know about the print side. We balance a lot of qualitative and quantitative data to validate our efforts.”

  1. Use Digital & Social To Leverage Promotion and Distribution

    By its very nature, physical distribution is expensive and hard for print publications. Therefore, getting your print piece into the right hands is even more important. This is where digital and social can play an important role.

    For example, Four Seasons Magazine is a wonderful print magazine published by the global hotel chain. It has been published for years but used to only be available to guests who would pick it up in the room.

    However, the hotel saw an opportunity to use its content to bring in new guests as an awareness generator.  So, the magazine developed a digital “content brand” for the magazine, giving it its own digital web site, email newsletter and integration into the social media feed.  So, now the company is driving subscription – and distribution – to the print magazine through its digital channels.

  2. Create A Content Creation Process, Not A Channel Publishing Process

    One of the most toughest to implement business practices is to get out of the channel or format first mentality.

    We are classically taught as marketers and communicators to think channel/platform first. And then ask ourselves how will we fill that platform with content. We start with the statement “I need an email”, or “I need a blog post”, or “I need a print ad”. We then proceed to design and create content that will fill that channel or platform accordingly.

    In order to add more linear types of platforms such as print, we have to get out of that cycle.  We must start with “what’s the story” and then follow a content creation cycle that takes ALL of the channels and platforms that may be fed by this particular piece of content into account.

    This is what feeds the two best-practices examples mentioned above.  When Lincoln Electric goes to create a feature story on a celebrity, they not only interview the featured celebrity. And also capture video content of the celebrity. All of the created materials will need to fill the content across print, digital and social.  They realize that if they measure twice and cut once, that building reusable components can help them create an efficient channel strategy.

Print In The Marketing Mix

Ultimately, print provides a wonderful opportunity for brands to differentiate on experiences that many have, given up on.“Inefficient”, “too expensive”, or “dead”are some of the most common reasons for giving up on print.

None of these things have to be true if we actually integrate the key pieces of social media and/or digital channels to help us create a truly cohesive content strategy.

Want to find out how we can work together?

Contact Us Today