Creating content, especially in a lean marketing team, is an all-hands-on-deck endeavor. Having a dream team in place to create not only the social posts, blog pieces, and video snippets, but the strategy, big picture campaigns and creative long-term vision should be a top priority for marketers in 2015.
Michael Brenner makes an interesting list of all the various creative talents you would need in an ideal Content Marketing team. But while there’s no denying that this would be a dream team, it’s anything but lean.
By this point, as a reader of this blog, it’s not unlikely that you’re familiar with my story. I was hired straight out of college as a community manager by Scoop.it and have spent the last few years diving into the worlds of community and content marketing on behalf of this awesome brand. As I prepare to move on to my life’s next adventure, I’d like to share some of my key learnings about community management and content marketing with you.
A majority of my day-to-day responsibilities at Scoop.it could fall under the umbrella of “non-traditional” marketing, which means that I put forth a lot of effort to learn about the space I had been thrown into. Today, I’ll share four key learnings and observations on community management and content marketing and I’d love to hear how you feel about them as well.
The key to success in a myriad of web content that may drown us in 2015 is to curate content. The whys and hows are explained in-depth inside this article.
It’s interesting to see that content curation is evolving from an opportunity to a necessity as Julia McCoy from ExpressWriters recently noted in the Search Engine Journal explaining how we must curate content in 2015.
Why is that happening? Why is this accelerating?
Three and half years ago, my friend Steve Rosenbaum came out with a book that had a huge impact: Curation Nation. He described perhaps better than anyone else how much content curation was needed and how important a trend it will be. His latest book Curate This! just got published and it’s a fantastic read: not only is it a curation jewel in itself but he also introduces a new concept that paints the future of what the Web could eventually become: the desert island.
This morning in the always fast-paced tweet chat run by Buffer, an interesting topic came up that I feel is often overlooked by community builders and brands. The subject of the conversation was Nir Eyal‘s Hook Model, which essentially helps brands build habit-forming products.
A question was raised concerning how to figure out the current pain points of users of a platform or product, and the number one answer, of course, was to “ASK!!!”
Asking is, of course, the first part of the answer to this question, but it certainly isn’t the only one; and I don’t even think it’s the most important one. Having led community input efforts for Scoop.it’s redesign last year, I learned the importance of the next two steps of the community feedback loop. Continue reading
“Employees at the brand at IBM. How about at your company?”
Marketers used to buy ads, PR and creative work. Now they also buy software. This is new and this is a big change. A clear example of that trend, Marketo‘s massive success is 100% built on marketing software – a category which didn’t exist 10 years ago. Beyond Marketo, an entire ecosystem has developed ranking from marketing automation to inbound marketing and content marketing. Some say this space is crowded but the fact is no one denies anymore that software tools have proven useful to understand “which 50% of my marketing spending is efficient“.
The success of these tools has been to be designed for marketers by marketers. The same way Salesforce.com used the language of the VP Sales and not the language of CFO’s, marketing software vendors owe a big part of their success to speaking the language of marketers. Demand generation, campaigns, leads, funnel, nurturing, editorial calendars, brand assets, landing pages, open rates, click-through rates… The jargon is undoubtably omnipresent in these tools because they’re focused on being understood and used by one unique user category: marketers.
This needs to change.
…you need good content.
Last week, back from Content Marketing World 2014, Jay Baer noted that over the last 12 months, the number of content marketing software vendors had exploded, forcing the vendor and expo area to massively expand. How many exactly were participating? Too many according to him. And because these companies were not sustainable yet but spending their VC’s money, he predicted a big shakeout will happen.
I tend to find inspiration in strange places. Last week, I was listening to a podcast with a few of my favorite stand-up comedians expecting nothing more than a few chuckles. Interestingly, they began talking about what it’s like to be a comedian in the age of the Internet and the pressure to “keep their personal brands alive” and “stay relevant” with fresh jokes on a more consistent basis than they can write.
As comedians, these two were put off by the notion that everything online these days is about marketing, whether it be your product, yourself, or even your jokes. One of the quotes that specifically inspired me went something like this: “Everything online is marketing these days. Why can’t we just make good stuff and then people who like it will watch it?”
Twitter strategy might be shifting and the implications for our personal and business experience could be profound.
If you’re in social media marketing, you probably cringe at the mention of the word EdgeRank. I know I do, because it makes me think of how frustrating it is that even the best of my brand’s Facebook content might not be seen by more than 200 or 300 of our 57,000 fans unless I spend money to promote it.
Brace yourselves, social marketers, because algorithms just like Facebook’s EdgeRank might be coming to Twitter. In this post by our friend Mark Schaeffer, you can learn about some of the reasons why Twitter is thinking about implementing this, including the pressure from investors now that Twitter has gone public.
Mark brings up some great points for both sides like the fact that, with so many active users, “an unfiltered news stream can seem overwhelming,” but one of the best things about Twitter is that it’s completely unfiltered because it allows for news to break in real time; something we see happening more and more each day.
According to Mark – and most marketers including myself happen to agree – Twitter will ultimately end up implementing an algorithm that determines what updates you see depending on elements like trending topics and interaction history, which will make organic reach plummet which would effectively eliminate the main differentiator of Twitter from Facebook.
What can do you, then, to prepare for this change? Continue reading
Earlier this month, Facebook dropped a bombshell by not only acknowledging that Facebook pages’ organic reach was declining but also by telling us we shouldn’t expect them to recover. Facebook’s VP of Product for Facebook Ads, Brian Boland, went on to explain that this is the new world we live in now, that the same thing happened with search engines before and that we’d better get used to it. It’s true that many platforms go through a similar cycle: first, they present a great free opportunity, then more and more people grab it – decreasing the return for everyone until finally, the platform focuses on those ready to pay for play. It happened with Google Search; it happened with Apps (yes, Apple doesn’t sell ads but others do – such as coincidentally… Facebook). And now that all social media are publicly-traded company with ambitious revenue targets to reach, it will happen to social media as well.
So what does the decline of organic reach on Facebook and social platforms exactly mean on a practical basis?