Pressly Resources

We cut our bounce rate by 85% and increased demo-requests by 190%. Here is what we did.

website_optimization_imgLike pretty much every company out there, we’re constantly trying to optimize our website. And like every other marketing team out there, we release iterations that suck and versions that rock. Our newest website is one of the latter and below is our ‘secret sauce’.

Here are the numbers —comparing the first week of December 2014 to the first week of March 2015. Let me walk you through what we did, step by step.

data

TL;DR: We released a very effective and highly performing website. To do it, we took time to go through market research and customer feedback, adjusted our voice to match what we are–young, fun and clever–removed all unnecessary industry jargon, excluded boring feature lists from the public site, and trusted our awesome designer to turn it all into a visually appealing product. Look at the screenshot above–it worked for us!

1. Take your time

The first part is setting yourself up for success.

Like any creative process, building a website requires a ton of prep work. We wrote down a list of questions to answer before even thinking about the color palette, the keyword ratios or anything else

We had 30 sub-questions in three main categories:

  • Who are we making this website for?
  • How does our target audience express the problems they are looking to solve?
  • What is appealing to them and what do they hate?

And we did our homework. To nail down how our target audience is searching for a solution, we reached our Google API request limit. More importantly, we spent hours on the phone with our clients to get an understanding for what they loved about our product, what they didn’t like, and the main value they saw in integrating Pressly to their workflow.

 It also allowed us to go back to our beloved software team with some interesting feedback, which is never a bad thing!

Ultimately, I knew it would take us around a month to build the new version of the site. To make sure we’d deliver without rushing through the last steps, I budgeted 6 weeks with our CEO Jeff.

2. Cut the crap. Copy makes a difference

Screw that jargon.

Let’s be honest: Marketing jargon is the worst.

Do you really think anyone picks up on something when they read, ‘our next generation of innovative software enables customers to efficiently implement streamlined strategies while thoroughly tracking the ROI of their multi-channel initiatives in a sophisticated, safe and secure cloud-based platform… blah bla bla’?

 We’ve all made this mistake at some point. When you read other marketing copy day after day, you just learn and repeat by osmosis.

Good copywriters are able to convey a message, using a voice and tone that not only match your brand but are aligned with what your target audience expects. Personally, I think that cutting the number of words used to express a simple idea is a high-value skill. Aren’t the best programmers those who are able to shrink a code base while keeping all of it working?

Pressly Website Screenshot

 

Stay away from feature lists

For this website, we focused on expressing what Pressly can do at a high-level along with what you can expect in terms of results.

For both our homepage and product page, we decided to stay away from feature lists and in-depth descriptions of our software. Why? Because Pressly is a sophisticated web app and we couldn’t possibly convey it all outside of a demo.

 Our assumption was, if the website did a good enough job at showcasing the output product (Pressly hubs from our customers rotate below the fold), our potential buyers would engage with us and ask to see it. So we optimized our demo request pop-ups and added quotes from thought leaders to decrease the defection rate as much as possible.

It works for us: our demo request rate from the website jumped by 185%.

Humor helps

We are a startup so we can be a bit more liberal with our voice than, say, Salesforce or SAP.

Humor is a great tool to create a connection, humanize the website, and encourage engagement. Under our product description, we added a fun bit at the end of each section to keep readers interested through to the next paragraph instead of closing the tab out of boredom.

As a result, we have seen a 45% increase in average visit duration. This told us that our tone and voice encourage visitors to browse through other sections of the site: on average our visitors go through 4.6 pages instead of 1.6 as before.

 

Make CTAs less boring.

Changing ‘Request a demo’ to ‘Don’t be shy, request a demo” made the pricing page one of the most effective lead-generation areas of the site. Don’t be scared to test CTA copy, as long as it matches your overall voice and tone.

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 6.03.18 PM

3. Have a kickass designer

Even if you write the best copy in the world and have the most effective website structure, it will still fall short if the overall product looks like sh*t.

For the design, we went back to simplicity. Making the visuals match the overall idea is key and Liam, our boss designer, did an amazing job. The color palette has been updated, the sticky menu lets every visitor navigate to other areas of the site at any time, and the calls to action stand out.

We’ll cover the design part more thoroughly in a future post. That’s a scout’s honor!

Feedback, questions? Shoot me an email at alex@pressly.com. And don’t forget to follow us @Pressly!

[Infographic] 9 Content Curation Best Practices

In one sentence, content curation can be described as the act of discovering, collecting, and presenting relevant content around a specific subject or area of interest. And it happens all around us: retweets, Pinterest boards, Amazon Lists, and even the collection of movies Netflix recommends to us — these are all examples of content curation.

Leveraging third-party content has become table stakes for most content marketing strategies. Curation allows us to engage our audience more frequently without the tremendous amount of work and money that goes into creating custom content. We can simultaneously build a solid readership while improving brand visibility. Essentially, curation allows us to have a museum without creating each painting.

If you’re new to content curation, follow our list of best practices so that you can see for yourself the undeniable benefits of curation.

8-bit

Download our free eBook “Create, Curate, Dominate” for more infographics, templates, and canvases on content marketing!

The Content Creation Canvas (or How To Be More Efficient With Your Content)

Planning for original content takes much more than just an outline.

In order to get the most out of your content, you need to approach it with every piece of the puzzle figured out. Things like KPIs, Call-to-Actions, distribution channels, and headline ideas should be clearly laid out and planned for. Not only will this make the entire creation process fast and more efficient, you’ll figure out what’s missing before it’s time to ship your content.

Borrowing heavily from the Business Model Canvas, we’ve created the Content Creation Canvas to help you plan out your custom content. Lay out all the key pieces before putting your head down to create your awesome piece of content.

For content teams, use the canvas as a way to coordinate with one another. Make it public and accessible so that every member knows what’s needed.

content_canvas

To find out more on how to create content that engages, check out the third chapter of our eBook “Create, Curate, Dominate” for a step-by-step guide. Download it today!

Stay Calm and Track the Right Metrics

By now, it should be pretty obvious: content marketing requires far more than just publishing a blog post and seeing if it works. Tracking and analyzing how your content performs is a critical part of ensuring the success of your strategy. You need to dig deep into the numbers and learn as much as you can from your audience with every piece of content you publish.

But with so many different metrics that you can pull from, it can quickly become overwhelming to know which ones actually matter and which ones are just adding to the noise.

Before you start keeping tallies on everything, work backwards: decide on the main business goal you hope to achieve with content marketing, then figure out the Key Performance Indicators that are aligned with it.

To help you get started, use our handy cheat cards that cover the most common business objective of brands today. Keep track of the corresponding metrics and efficiently know whether or not your content is working in achieving those

Remember: metrics should be looked at in context: numbers can mean different things when you exclude the external factors around it. Be sure to check out the last chapter of our eBook where we delve deeper into how to track your content’s performance and measure the right things.

KPIcheatcards

BONUS: Use our old school metrics tracker to take a snap shot of your brand’s current online presence. It’s always good practice to write down your goal in numbers and methodically work towards it.

tracker

For more actionable templates like this one, check out our comprehensive eBook to content marketing, “Create, Curate, Dominate“. It’s free to download!

Convince Your Boss (or anyone!) on Content Marketing

Having done it an umpteenth number of times, we know that describing how content marketing works can sound vague and hazy. Because unlike traditional ads where the mechanism is simple and instant, content marketing involves many sub-steps, routes, and methods executed at a much longer time span.

It may not be a click-and-convert operation but content marketing’s enormous ROI is obvious when you simply look at the results.

Whether it’s your boss or someone you met at a dinner party, here’s an infographic to convince anyone of the irrefutable benefits of content marketing. It includes a collection of the most recent industry data that really brings home what Seth Godin once famously said: “Content marketing is the only marketing left.”

convince-your-boss

For more infographics like this one, check out our free eBook “Create, Curate, Dominate” and learn how you can nail content marketing. Download it today!

Don’t leave Dreamforce without attending these 4 sessions

With only days now until Dreamforce 2014 is finally here, it’s about time to start nailing down your schedule. There are hundreds of events and sessions, across a wide spectrum of industries, trends and business goals. But as with any event of this size, finding the right sessions to spend your limited time in can be like searching for the needle in the haystack.
We’ve done the hard work and come up with this list of four sessions we think you must attend this year at Dreamforce to get the most insight as marketers.

1. The Dawn of Wearable in Business

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It was the most anticipated Apple event in recent memory, with CEO Tim Cook uttering his own “One More Thing” to unveil the Apple Watch.  Now, only a few weeks later, Salesforce.com has started to answer the questions: how will Apple’s foray into the wearable revolution affect Sales and Marketing? How will we start using it to profit more, and connect better with customers?
With the announcement of their developer kit aimed at bringing functionality and customer insight right onto the wrists of your sales team, as well as opening up their platform to partners to come up with new ideas, Salesforce.com seems to be on the cutting edge of wearables in business. During Dreamforce this year, you can catch up and see where the future will lead in this promising talk: “Salesforce Wear Keynote: The Dawn of Wearables in Business”
 
From smart watches to head-mounted displays, this is the year of wearable technology. Perpetually connected wearables will enable workers, partners, and customers to experience new levels of immediacy, simplicity, and context in their mobile computing experiences. Join us to learn how Salesforce Wear — the industry’s first initiative for wearable computing in the enterprise — is enabling you to use wearables to connect with customers in new ways.
 
2. Boring is never Better
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This week, GE took over social media channels with a new ad directed by the ever-weird comedy duo Tim and Eric. It starred a hairy-chested, overly suave, hammed-up Jeff Goldblum. It was incredibly messed up. But it sure caught a lot of eyeballs – and I have to admit, made me want to go out and buy a new lightbulb or two.
When brands like GE are making spots like this, it’s clear the rule book has completely changed in how brands are connecting with customers. Today we are entertainers, informers, publishers. Which means everything about the way we speak, and the stuff we talk about, has got to get more interesting.
And the secret to success might just be how weird you can be. Which is why you should attend this session at Dreamforce, titled: “The Science of Weir: Why Weirdo Outperform Normals.” 
Join us to hear Salesforce executive and Buddy Media founder Michael Lazerow share his journey as he makes an argument for why we should strive not to fit in, but to stick out. Join Mike as he celebrates all that is weird and outlines a five-step process to embrace weird to reach new personal and professional heights.

3. A Community is Key

Customers are also expecting unprecedented levels of satisfaction and service. Businesses can no longer get away with delivering bad experiences because the internet has given every unhappy customer a megahorn, and the potential to cause serious negative feelings about a brand to go viral.
Dreamforce this year will offer an in-depth look at how their Community Cloud platform is making it easy for brands to offer incredible mobile experiences and customer service. This keynote will offer best practices and useful advice for any company hoping to improve the relationships they foster among customers, employees and partners. The Community Cloud Keynote is a must attend.
Today’s customers expect a new level of engagement from the companies they do business with. To achieve this, customer companies of all sizes are creating communities to connect employees, partners, and customers like never before. Join Nasi Jazayeri, Community Cloud GM & EVP, and top executives from industry-leading companies to hear how they are unlocking hidden innovation, engaging with customers on a whole new level, and creating extraordinary mobile experiences using the Community Cloud.

4. Chart the path

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Good marketers know that, in a way, they are all just map makers. They know where the customer starts. They know what leads her to point B. And they know how to get her to treasure below X, and beyond. Optimizing the steps your customer takes from discovery to purchase to repeat business can make all the difference.
ExactTarget is known for its focus on this kind of path building success, offering great insight and tools along the way to make the customer journey as painless, informed and effective as possible. Which is why the Exact Target Marketing Cloud Keynote is bound to offer any business some useful insight on how we can start doing a better job of guiding our customers to the sale.
Your customers are on a journey. At every turn, they have choices–choices to engage with, buy from, or walk away from your brand. And the stakes are high. If you don’t lead your customers through this journey, delivering what they need, when they need it, and how they want to receive it, they’ll find someone who does. Join Scott McCorkle, ExactTarget Marketing Cloud CEO, and leaders from the world’s most powerful brands to hear how they’re building 1:1 customer journeys across email, mobile, social, web, and more.

Have your own must attend tips for Dreamforce? Share on Twitter with #RoadToDF

 
 

The 3 Big Trends at Dreamforce 2014

You don’t need a crystal ball to see where the future will take your business. You just need to get yourself to Dreamforce, and mingle with the brightest minds and most intelligent thought leaders on the cutting edge.

But with hundreds of break out sessions, workshops and keynotes, it might seem overwhelming. Which is why we took the time to sort through the most compelling events to give you a bird’s eye view of the major trends and emerging stories. These are what we see as the three biggest themes for business leaders to watch out for at this Dreamforce 2014:

Customer Service, Evolved

THE BUTLER

A Dreamforce conference wouldn’t be complete without a cornucopia of customer service best-practices insight. Yet, this year’s event marks a new direction in the industry. From connected devices to API’s to new self-service opportunities, customer service is getting a facelift. And Dreamforce will give you a sneak peek at what that looks like.

Selected Sessions:

  • CEB – The Effortless Self-Service Experience
    Customer’s don’t want to deal with you anymore. They want to do it themselves. But research shows a huge portion of complaints originate from confusion during the self check-out period. Find out how you can make self-service as painless as possible.
  • Desk API’s: Creatively Support Your Customers
    Desk.com has been reengineered to meet the needs of this new generation of customer service. Take a look behind the scenes and see what magic is possible with their new API integrations opportunities.
  • Navigating the Future of Customer Service
    Join guest speaker Kate Legget of Forrester Research as she surveys the top 10 trends to move the needle on higher quality customer service in this new era.

Connected Devices  

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One of the most exciting trends – if only for the really cool gizmos – is the come-uppance of the Internet of Things (a.k.a #IOT, Internet of Everything, Connect World, and so on). As we wait for Apple to finally unveil its own Smart Watch, and companies like Nike, Google and Samsung are all making gigantic in-roads into wearable tech,  every marketer worth his or her salt needs to know all about this explosive new movement.

Selected Sessions:

  • Apps for the Connected World: Supercharge Customer Data with Code Halos
    Today’s outlier companies are winning with a new set of rules: the dominate by managing the data that surrounds people, organizations, processes and product –  a “Code Halo”. Find out how you too should be building these ideas into your business model.
  • Connected Products: It’s Not Just for iPhones Anymore
    By 2020, there will be an estimated 75 billion connected devices. You’ll want to catch this session to find out exactly how and why your company can join this rapidly growing space.
  • Heroku: Your Window into a World of Connected Devices
    Join this sessions to see how Heroku Connect can send device data directly into your Salesforce Clouds to help you better understand your customers, create value and generate revenue.

For a full list of the trend setting events at Dreamforce, visit their site, here.

Gamification

arcade players

While the term has been on the buzz charts for some time now, Gamification seems to be popping up more than ever. Perhaps it’s because mobile devices and tablets have become ubiquitous, making turning processes and business apps into games easier, and more technologically feasible than ever.

Whatever the cause, it’s undeniable that gamification is reaching new heights and is bound to enter more workplaces, marketing strategies and our daily lives, as a result. If you’re keen on understanding how this major theme can affect your company and life, there are plenty of great sessions planned at #DF14.

Selected Sessions:

  • Finding Flow: A Beginner’s introduction to Gamification
    Exploring its roots in psychology and lessons learned when applied in real life situations. A great starting point on the topic.
  • Compete to Win (Don’t Motivate to Lose)
    Amazing conversation abut a powerful way to motivate your employees, and bring gamification to your team. You can forget incentives, this approach offers huge ROI.
  • Gamification: Open Forum with Thought Leaders and Experts
    A chance to ask your questions, share concerns, and get personal with the world’s foremost gamification pundits.

What Conversation Are You Leading?

Whatever the big trends are, businesses coming to Dreamforce will all be competing to own the conversations around the ones that matter most to their customers.

Pressly is a new platform that lets any business create a centralized hub and provide potential customers with a valuable content resource. And for businesses coming to Dreamforce we are offering a limited-time promotion to help you get started.

See the details here.

Happy Dreamforcing!

 

One thing every marketer should do for Dreamforce

conversation image

 

If you don’t do this at Dreamforce, you’re leaving money on the table

The countdown is on for Dreamforce 2014, one of the most spectacular marketing events of the year. Aside from a saliva-worthy roster of keynotes, break-out sessions, tech displays and parties, there’s one reason companies get excited for attending: the prospect of reaching your next customer.

Over 130,000 attendees live, and nearly a quarter million watching online, guarantees an active, enormous and like-minded audience, just ready to hear your message and perhaps do business with you.

But with all that traffic, comes noise. You certainly will be just one of hundreds of other companies, many of them with similar value props, vying to turn Dreamforce attendees into their next set of leads.

While there are endless tactics available to catch their limited attention and make the sale, there is one approach in particular that every company should think of before hopping on the plane to San Francisco:

“Own a conversation that your customers care about”

What is Owning a Conversation?

In the age of content marketing and brand publishing, Dreamforce attendees (most of whom are marketing and technology pros) no longer want to be advertised “at”. They want and expect to be engaged by brands, intellectually, and to be given valuable information. This is nothing new, of course. But the concept of “Owning a conversation” is an important key to keep in mind as you prep your marketing and sales strategy for the event, which is only a few weeks away.

Surely, your brand has a topic, conversation or timely event that is both relevant to your target customers, and unique enough to stand out from the crowd. In particular at Dreamforce, you may want to dig deep into how you tie into Salesforce.com or any of the major marketing automation platforms like Hubspot. Think of what Dreamforcers care most about, about the kinds of content they are already consuming and then pick your angle.

Why is this so important?

There are a number of reasons laying claim to a theme is so crucial to events such as Dreamforce.

  • You are sharing already: as a modern day organization, you likely already have teams of social and content sharing and pumping out some content. However, if you haven’t though through your conversation, how can you expect your readers to connect to or care about what you are saying?
  • Your readers want more than just your POV: a crucial aspect of conversations is that they have multiple points of view. Of course, you can take a stand, but as a curator, you’re job is also to bring on broader, perhaps conflicting elements and angles.
  • You want to convert that traffic: Owning is end to end. It means you own the experience, too, not just the message. It’s not enough to share across fragmented social channels and platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. You’re just sending your prospects to another company’s site. What you should be doing is upstreaming that conversation by actually owning the real estate, not just the message.

Tips:

  • Pick an angle: Pick a polarizing, authentic stance that your company believes in. There is far too much unbiased slop out there, your customers won’t have any time for that.
  • Discovery tools: One of the hardest parts is finding enough great content to fill the channel. There are hundreds of powerful tools. Find a few you like. To see what we use, read this.
  • Curation and Publishing tools: This is what demands your smarts and most of your time. How will you collect, present and share that content in a meaningful and business-driving way? Tools such as Pressly are designed exactly for that.

Want help? We’ve got you covered

If you’re planning on attending Dreamforce, we’re offering a limited time promotion to get you using Pressly’s end to end content curation service. In just a matter of minutes, you can be up and running with your very own branded content hub, which will look great across devices and platforms.

See the details of the promotion here: pressly.com/dreamforce

 

22 People to Follow Before Dreamforce 2014

Well, Dreamforce 2014 is on its way – and it is the must attend event for marketers all year. But it’s going to be noisy with all those parties. Aside from doing your best to stand out and make some business happen, how will you filter the noise for yourself and get the most from the event? Below is Post Code Anywhere’s awesome guide to who you should following to arm yourself for the big Salesforce.com party.

Want even more tools to guarantee a successful Dreamforce? See what Pressly can do for you with our Dreamforce 2014 Promotion.

 

Besides the fantastic parties, informative breakout sessions ( 14,000 to be exact!), visionary keynotes and the great San Francisco location, one of the very best things about attending Dreamforce is all the inspiring and enthusiastic people you will meet.

But with over 125,000 Salesforce enthusiasts expected to attend this year, it’s hard to know where to start.

We’ve compiled a list of a few of the awesome people we’re hoping to bump into – aside from Bruno Mars of course!

 

 

Headliners

Don’t expect to find these four on the dance floor but still worth following for important updates ahead of Dreamforce…

Benioff

Marc Benioff @benioff – Chairman and CEO of salesforce.com with a penchant for lavish shoes!

algore

Al Gore @algore – American politician and philanthropist, who served as the 45th Vice President of the United States.

hilaryclinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton @HillaryClinton – Former United States Secretary of State, US Senator and First Lady of the United States.

tonyrobbins

Tony Robbins @TonyRobbins – An American life success coach and motivational speaker dedicated to helping people achieve their dreams.

 

Salesforce Folk

Have a question about Salesforce? These are your guys (and gals!)

triciagellman

Tricia Gellman @triciagellman – Tricia is a senior director at Salesforce.com. With an impressive CV including stints at Apple and Adobe, Tricia certainly knows her stuff!

julieliegl

Julie Liegl @julieliegl – VP Dreamforce Conference Chair. Follow Julie for all the latest updates on Dreamforce.

toosassy

@TooSaaSy - The official feed of salesforce.com’s “super-rad” mascot. You know that big blow-up costume you’ve seen parading around the events? Yep it’s got its own Twitter account!

geraldinegrey

Geraldine Gray @GeraldineGray – Salesforce MVP and founder of Girly Geeks, Geraldine now runs Endiem, a Salesforce consultancy based in Houston.

aaronpayne

Aaron Payne @aaronjpayne – Strategic Account Director for the Salesforce1 Platform.

NicoleAlford

Nicole Alford @salesforceQueen – Salesforce MVP alum and now a Principal Success Manager in the Customers For Life division of salesforce.com.  Enthusiastic about everything Salesforce, especially SaaSy!

 

Partners and Vendors

Looking to get more out of your Salesforce CRM? Check out these useful offerings and integrations.

precurive

@precursive - A bunch of self-confessed Salesforce evangelists, Percursive makes resource management software that helps improve utilisation, reduce project cost and project leakage.

silverpop

@silverpop - Provider of both digital marketing software and, more importantly, the most amazing Dreamforce parties ever, hopefully they will be serving more neon blue cocktails this year! But be quick – the tickets sell out ridiculously fast.

financialforce

@FinancialForce - Provides cloud ERP solution for Salesforce CRM which include Cloud Accounting Software, Billing applications and Financial Management.

aptus

@Apttus - Apttus delivers Quote-to-Cash automation software in the cloud. Quote-to-Cash includes configure price quote, contracts, renewals and revenue management. Last year these guys held some really good sessions and even better Margarita meetups!

newvoicemedia

@newvoicemedia - A fantastic supplier of contact centre technology that works great with Salesforce. Check them out! 

 

Consultants, developers and other clever cloggs

philwalton

Phil Walton @sfdcphil – Phil is an expert in implementing Salesforce.com, MVP, and all-round top bloke! He also leads the North England Salesforce User Group.

jonathan-gale

Jonathan Gale @Cloud_CEO – Jonathan has over 20 years’ experience building technology businesses. He joined NewVoiceMedia In October 2010 as Chief Commercial Officer to manage sales, marketing and product strategy and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in early 2011.

Amygrenham

Amy Grenham @amygrenham – Amy is the marketing manager for Salesforce partner and Salesforce consultants, Desynit. Follow Amy for useful marketing and brand advice.

Fabrice

Fabrice Cathala @FCathala – Salesforce Architect at Capgemini, PAAs evangelist and popular blogger.

gaurav

Gaurav Kheterpal @gauravkheterpal - Gaurav is a well known name in the global Salesforce mobile development community. He’s won several awards from Salesforce for his innovative apps built on Force.com platform and he’s an active community contributor on Salesforce Developer Forums and Stack Exchange.

 

Last but not least…

We will of course be on hand throughout the event showcasing how our global address verification technology, Capture+, can be integrated within Salesforce to ensure accurate data at the point of entry in your CRM. If you have any questions – you know where to find us…

pca

Postcode Anywhere @pca_plus – Postcode Anywhere’s official Twitter account.

pcaalex

Alex Bryan @pca_alex – Seasoned postcoder and Salesforce evangelist. Alex will be manning the Postcode Anywhere stand and tweeting throughout the event.

 

 

This post originally appeared on Post Code Anywhere http://blog.postcodeanywhere.co.uk/index.php/22-people-you-need-to-follow-before-dreamforce/

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.