Case Study

Day 4 of #DF14: What you can’t miss today at Dreamforce

It is Day 4 of Dreamforce 2014  – the last hours of an action-packed week of product releases and inspiring speakers. Here’s your must attend list for the day and the newscaps from yesterday to catch you up. (All times are local time, San Francisco).

3 Things You Don’t Want to Miss Today

1. Arianna Huffington and Eckhart Tolle

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM Moscone South

Also part of the Reimagine Everything keynote, Arianna Huffington and author Eckhart Tolle will join forces to talk about what it means to truly thrive as human beings. This keynote is sure to inspire and leave attendees acutely aware of their own personal power.

 

2. Al Gore and Neil Young

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM Moscone South

As part of the Reimagine Everything keynote, Al Gore and Neil Young will form a visionary pair working to transform the world. Young will showcase his newest venture: Pono Music, which gives listeners access to the highest quality sound that has ever been created, just as the artist intended it. Gore will discuss the critical need to develop greater awareness of our global ecosystem.

 

3. Marc and Parker Q&A

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Moscone West

Chairman and CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff, joins his co-founder, Parker Harris, at a town hall session. Bring your thoughtful questions and get them answered first-hand by these two visionary founders.

Highlights from Day 3: The new wrist wearable that isn’t a watch

Yesterday featured an exciting and highly anticipated launch from will.i.am, but before the singer took on the wearable tech scene, we were treated to a sit down chat with one of the most renown VC investors on the planet, Marc Andreessen.

The investor – who was one of the first to back Twitter – gave some startling insights into the world of the venture capitalist. He talked about the low rate of success when you place a bet, but how important is to be really, really right on the bets that do pan out (this is what they call looking for at least the 10x pay out). He also touched on women’s issues, clamorouing for fairer pay and disparaging the low numbers of female workers in the STEM areas.

But his primary message of the night was about innovation. Apple is losing its edge. And all tech companies will inevitably become obsolete, he said. You better start truly innovating, or fade away. Period.

Great content aside, the true gem yesterday was something you wear on your wrist and does a lot of the things the Apple Watch will do. But don’t call it a watch. It’s really more of a fashionable, standalone super-cuff, and its founder, will.i.am unveiled the gizmo for the first time on stage last night.

The PULS is highly focused on bringing fashion into the tech industry – something the singer claimed is often neglected. Which it doesn’t boast the same health monitors that Apple’s does, it makes up for the shortfall with some unique features: you don’t need a phone to send texts or call for example. With Neil Young showing his Pono player off later today, the world of tech seems to be getting enmeshed ever tighter with the world of music.

Next Year

Kinda like advertising for Christmas on Boxing Day, it’s confirmed that the speakers will announce some early details about next year’s confab as the #DF14 ceremonial closing winds down. Get your calendars out.

Curation matters. Just ask Buzzfeed and the New York Times

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On first blush, The New York Times and Buzzfeed couldn’t be any less similar. One is a flagship of  ethical and investigative journalism, almost synonymous with the notion of journalistic authority itself. The other will give you 19 amazing cat pictures you can’t believe aren’t photoshopped.

But look closer and you’ll see both media giants have evolved in recent days to deliver content in a very similar and compelling way. And the take away for marketers about how these guys are changing their game will make all the difference to your content strategy.

Curation and Creation: Your readers want both

In a recent Digiday article, Ricardo Bilton writes that the Times and Buzzfeed are starting to enter a new age of content curation. Rather than simply publishing their own stuff, they are starting to see the value – or necessity – to start assembling, collecting and giving readers an editorial snapshot of other stuff that is out there.

“It’s pretty odd at this point to imagine a reader only wants stories from any one news organization,” said Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed.

The curation-meets-original content approach is an important shift from how most publishers have approached their app strategies so far.

 

It’s this exact topic we’ve been hearing so much about directly from our customers in recent months. Except in this case, we’re talking about marketers and how they can build better, more powerful relationships around their content marketing efforts.

There’s no question great content can be used to efectively move consumers along the buying cycle, particularly at the top of the funnel. But we’re finding that marketers, just like publishers, have been hitting several obstacles. The space is noisey. Consumers, just like readers, think it’s strange to get all their news from just one location. So what are marketers to do?

While there are several obvious pain points we and a lot of our competitors address – we are starting to see a ton of success by doubling down on we what we feel are the two most important and exciting challenges.

Fatigue around 100% owned content experiences

 
Nobody wants to hear a brand just talk about its own products. The majority of brands get this and address this situation by creating content around their industry and/or broader topics relevant to their targets. While this is a great start, it doesn’t go far enough for two reasons.
  • Hard to produce enough great content: Being forced to create enough great original content on a regular basis is a daunting task for the most capable of content teams.
  • Lacks an authentic and complete conversation: Your audience wants to be informed and/or entertained. The more complete and fuller the content destination you can create the better. We recently spoke with a well respected company lauded for their amazing content initiatives. During a recent focus group, their audience revealed that while they love their content around relevant industry topics – it still felt lacking due to it being only their own view point.

It’s for this reason that at Pressly, we believe the future lies in topic-based, curation driven destinations. Giving brands the ability to combine owned, 3rd-party publisher thought leadership and social content into one destination will be the key to building customer relationships around a certain conversation.

Empowering content throughout the company

The second area where we are focusing our attention and seeing amazing results is around helping companies empower their entire organization with content. We often work very closely with the marketing team on creating amazing content destinations around a topic. Once this is accomplished, the next challenge we hear is how do we get our whole team (sales, support, management) to leverage the content we are bringing together. The answer lies in a very simple capability we’ve built into Pressly.

Creating thought leadership visibility

Pressly offers the ability to create individual sub-hubs under the parent hub of an organization. This enables individual team members to create a personal branded hub with the ability to flow-in and customize content from the company’s parent hub that relates to their focus / audience. Individuals can then share the content from this hub to their own social accounts and email their customer relationships.
 

You have them listening. Now what?

Of course, unlike publishers, brands don’t exactly rely on an advertising model to find their bottom line. Instead, marketers need to ensure this mixed strategy of curating and creating context actually leads to real sales.

That’s why it’s so important to not only own the conversation, but own the destination where the conversation is happening. Too many brands simply share out links, blog posts and studies – creating great engagement, but ultimately losing those leads to other websites, never to see them again.

Instead, look for a solution that lets you bring your readers to an environment you can control and set up engagement actions, for example a Pressly Hub. When you share a piece of content on Pressly, people are first taken to your Pressly powered landing page. This gives the ability to provide additional context and thought leadership on why you curated a specific piece of content. As well, Pressly helps facilitate the discovery of other related stories you’ve curated or created on the topic. Thus, keeping people around longer and increasing the opportunity to convert.
 

Drive business results

Because you are now driving engagement on destinations you control, Pressly gives the ability to easily integrate Calls-To-Action alongside content. This gives the ability to tie in your other sales and marketing platforms to complete the circle and drive real business value behind your content initiatives.