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.
Fatigue around 100% owned content experiences
- 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.
Empowering content throughout the company
Creating thought leadership visibility
You have them listening. Now what?
Drive business results
The Internet of Things is going to change the way marketers, businesses and people interact with the world. With the rate of things being connected to the internet increasing at an exponential rate, these changes are coming sooner than you might imagine.
Here’s a round up of what we think are some of the coolest, most inspiring and craziest ways IOT will change the face of our world.
As marketers, it’s fun to imagine how we might start to take advantage of these new web based interfaces. From a smart gun, a wireless pill bottle, to the most intimate of body parts, what will the future of marketing look like with this new connected world? Let us know in the comments your bright ideas.
1. K Goal: Vagina tracker
It can already stream the internet straight to your face, vibrate around your waist when you’re slouching and track your health using only your wrist. Now, wearable technology is getting even more intimate and attempting to conquer the final frontier: the vagina.
Recently launched on Kickstarter, the KGoal Smart Kegel Trainer, produced by San Fransisco-based sexual health startup Minna Life, describes itself as a “Fitbit for your vagina,” an interactive device to guide, measure and track pelvic floor muscle exercise. It takes the form of a squeezable silicone pillow, connected to a smartphone app, that measures your “clench strength” and feeds the data back to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. It also has an internal motor for “real time vibrational biofeedback.
2. The iPhone of Guns
One of California’s largest firearm stores recently added a peculiar new gun to its shelves. It requires an accessory: a black waterproof watch.
The watch’s primary purpose is not to provide accurate time, though it does. The watch makes the gun think. Electronic chips inside the gun and the watch communicate with each other. If the watch is within close reach of the gun, a light on the grip turns green. Fire away. No watch means no green light. The gun becomes a paperweight.
3. Smart Lighter to quit smoking
A new Internet-connected lighter called Quitbit will light your cigarette, but wean you off a smoking habit too.
A new Kickstarter campaign called Quitbit takes the same monitoring principles embedded into fitness trackers and helps users track and cutdown on smoking. In a nod to the name, it’s like a Fitbit for smoking.
4. Amazon Dash – home scanner
Let’s be real: Amazon isn’t going to stop until you can go your entire life without setting foot in an actual brick-and-mortar store. Now the company wants to make buying groceries and sundries from its AmazonFresh same-day delivery service even easier, and it’s doing it with a tiny little gadget called the Dash. Yes, move over Fire TV — Amazon’s newest bit of hardware is a free (for now?), WiFi-capable barcode scanner.
5. Smart Bike – GPS directions on your handle bars
While some cars these days are smart enough to drive themselves, the bike industry has remained largely untouched in terms of innovation. But a new company wants to pedal forward with what it’s calling the world’s first smart and connected bicycle.
A Kickstarter campaign for the Vanhawks Valour smart bike connects with a smartphone app and brings tech like GPS directly to the handle bars. The concept is part of a greater effort to help bikers keep their eyes on the road, especially during high-traffic commuting times.
6. Nest Protect – Love your smoke alarm
Everyone by now has heard of Nest’s smart thermostat. But their newest product, Protect, solves another problem at the home: those annoying and sometimes un-safe smoke alarms. Great design and more proof that the future of smart homes is amazing,
7. Electric Objects – smart art
There’s more art on the Internet than in every gallery and museum on Earth.
But many of these beautiful objects are trapped. They’re trapped inside of devices like our phones, our tablets, our TVs, our laptops — devices designed for distraction, living between texts, tweets, football games and emails from work.
So we wanted to make a new way to bring art from the Internet into your home.
8. Pill Bottle
AdhereTech, a New York City-based startup, released a wireless pill bottle at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show it claims alerts patients when they have to take their medication and keeps track of their usage and dosage.
The pill bottle uses lights, speakers and sensors to track how often the bottle is opened and closed, humidity and how much medication is removed in real-time. Using cellular technology, it then sends the information on to doctors, pharmacists who can monitor it.
If the medication isn’t taken on time, users receive a phone call or text message alert as a reminder.
9. The FingerReader – for visually impaired
Scientists at MIT are developing a ring-shaped device they claim can read aloud text to people with visual disabilities in real-time.
The FingerReader, worn as a ring on the index finger, has a small camera mounted on top and speech software that converts text from books, newspapers and menues into audio.
The audio device, which took three years to design, connects to a laptop or mobile phone and includes a text extraction algorithm, allowing users to read single lines or whole blocks of text when selected.
Content curation might be all the rage – but if you’re a marketer trying to break into the practice, where do you begin?
We’ve assembled these keystone content pieces that provide a valuable starting point for anyone hoping to get started as a content curator, or simply wishes to know more.
1. Manifesto For The Content Curator: The Next Big Social Media Job Of The Future ?
Way back in 2009, Rohit Bhargava from the Influential Marketing Blog put his stamp on the Content Curator job title in this seminal manifesto. At the time, the idea was such a novelty that he offered up a free book to anyone who had it has their official role on their business card. Something tells me that today he’d be giving away a lot more books.
A great starting point to see how the need for curation has evolved over time – and what curators are really supposed to be doing, and what their deeper purpose is.
The detached analysis of an algorithm will no longer be enough to find what we are looking for. To satisfy the people’s hunger for great content on any topic imaginable, there will need to be a new category of individual working online.
Read now: http://www.rohitbhargava.com/2009/09/manifesto-for-the-content-curator-the-next-big-social-media-job-of-the-future.html Continue reading “5 Great Articles to Get Started as a Content Curator” »
Over the past few months, it has been heads down at Pressly.
We’ve been focused on how to help brands share engaging, relevant content – their own and content they curate. As a result, Pressly has become a platform offering brands the ability to deliver beautiful, content-rich destinations for the Web, mobile and newsletters.
A huge dividend for a lot of hard work is being selected as a launch partner for the Radian6 Buddy Media Social Studio product – one of only eight partners selected for the launch. This deal reflects our vision on how brands should be leveraging great content.
Here’s what Pressly brings to Social Studio customers and how Social Studio enhances Pressly:
There is a big push for brands to become publishers. However, we don’t think brands should only rely on their own content. There is growing evidence that curated third-party content performs better for brands. More than half (51%) of Americans trust user-generated content more than other information on a company website (16%) or news articles about the company (14%) when looking for information about a brand, product, or service (More info on this Filemobile post) We think 80/20 is an ideal split of curated versus original brand content. The incentive for brands is to attract a targeted audience by becoming a beacon of great content around a topic.
With Pressly integrated into Social Studio, brands can enhance any Social Studio post with content from anywhere. They can pull in their own content (blog posts, whitepapers, etc.), third-party content (publishers, thought leaders) or content from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and more.
This makes the posts shared by brands more compelling and increases engagement.
We believe brands shouldn’t limit themselves to building engagement on platforms they don’t own. While it makes sense to use social networks and other channels to get in front of people, it’s far more valuable if content exists on a branded destination that includes calls to action to drive business metrics.
When using Pressly, brands can instantly create beautiful content destinations that work across all screens (desktop, tablet and smartphone).
Social Studio helps brands amplify content across networks, while Pressly automatically creates a destination to house this shared content. A brand’s audience on social networks will be redirected to a Pressly-powered hub where they can discover more content around a topic. This lets the brand drive more engagement and conversions.
Social Studio brings additional social amplification to the Pressly platform. Social Studio delivers tools to manage and schedule posts to social networks. The Pressly integration lets content be embedded to gain wider exposure and drive target audiences back to the brand’s destination.
BUSINESS METRICS AND INSIGHTS
When Social Studio users leverage the Pressly integration, a content hub is automatically created. They can then integrate existing sales and marketing platforms to drive business metrics.
Calls to action such as newsletter signups and whitepaper downloads can be seamlessly delivered alongside content. Analytics packages such as Google Analytics can be turned on to track valuable insights and push them to CRM platforms like Salesforce for lead-gen and lead scoring.
This Radian6 Buddy Media launch partnership is an important development for Pressly because it validates the work we’re doing and the product road map to help brands harness the world’s content into beautiful destinations.
We believe the content world is poised for change as brands explore new and different ways to attract customers.
As much as creating content is important, brands also need tools to be smarter and more effective so they can achieve ROI. Our launch partnership with Radian6 Buddy Media Social Studio is a sign of exciting things to come.
Many enterprises are using content marketing as a primary tactic for lead generation but they fail to take advantage of of optimizing their website experience to improve results. Here are the case studies of how five major lead generation campaigns generated significant results through optimization:
1. Implementing a Mega-sized Image (Dell):
When Dell wanted to improve its B2B landing page’s lead generation, it experimented with its photo in one of its campaigns. While this original landing page already featured clear copywriting and a corresponding image, Dell redesigned a page where the pre-existing image element became a larger background image.
The results of the test were surprising: according to Econsultancy, this larger image (known as the “mega-sized image”) lowered bounce rates by 27% and increased lead generation by a whopping 36%. Dell’s team was so impressed that it took this technique and applied it to all their other contact forms and landing pages, and raised conversion rates across the board — sometimes with increases in the triple digits.
2. Chat Solution (Adobe):
Despite having a sizeable amount of traffic, Adobe wanted to promote its brand and increase its consumers’ purchases. The solution was provided by Demandbase, and came in the form of of a chat solution. Before the chat dialogue would begin, this solution would identify a visitor’s location, company name, company size, industry, revenue, and various other variables, and use this information to qualify and prioritize visitors. These visitors would then be queued up to chat with Adobe representatives. Adobe representatives would then mingle and connect virtually to visitors and potential clients.
After this solution was implemented, Adobe discovered their visitor-to-lead conversion rate went up by 300%. While implementing a chat solution does require an initial investment of people resources to operate the chat , it could have a big impact on your conversion rate.
3. Life Cycle Tailoring (Select International):
Just a couple years ago, human resources firm Select International Select International’s communicated with customers through direct mailings to purchased lists, and a bi-monthly e-newsletter to leads. These tactics did not prove to be useful, and Select International was running low of high-quality leads.
Select International collaborated with Hubspot to find a remedy to this problem: the two companies began to work on tailoring content to each visitor life cycle. For example, Select International created a free whitepaper that would attract first-time readers and generate leads. They would then segment their communications more carefully so that each email would be tailored for a reader (e.g., by considering variables like timing and industry type). All these variables ultimately played into Select Internationals’ Lead Score mechanism: this score would give their marketing team a quick overview into leads’ activity and engagement with Select International content. The marketing team could use this to gauge interest and better qualify leads.
The simple concept of lifecycle tailoring quickly becomes extremely complex with the many variables that need to be considered. This hard work pays off in dividends: Select International increased their lead generation by 194% and revenue from web leads by 101%.
4. Members-Only areas (Dell):
Dell’s Enterprise Efficiency is a content initiative designed to generate leads for Dell’s B2B offerings. Enterprise Efficiency primarily focuses on getting web traffic to convert into registered members.
In order attract visitors, Enterprise Efficiency works with IT thought leaders to craft and publish content relevant to enterprise and IT audiences. However, visitors need to sign up and register as a community member before they can participate in discussions and gain access to the more exclusive sets of insights and analytics.
According to BAA Link, Enterprise Efficiency had a community base of over 45,000 registrants from April 2010 to December 2011.
5. Simpler Landing Pages (HP):
The tradeoff with comprehensive landing pages is one of lead generation and life cycle tailoring: the more information you acquire from visitors, the greater your ability to tailor content and pitches to them, which usually results in a greater amount of successful conversions (as seen with Select International and Hubspot). However, HP lost many potential leads because many visitors were reluctant to fully complete the complicated form.
HP faced this dilemma with their B2B landing pages targeting IT professionals. They decided to try to find a middle path: instead of requiring such a vast amount of information, they went from dozens of fields, drop-down menus, and other effort for the visitor, and stripped down to simply first and last name, company name, e-mail address, and a checkbox for 4 types of newsletters users could subscribe to.
Then, they supplemented their sparse information with a solution from a third-party that would autofill as many variables as possible (such as company revenue, industry type, amongst many others). This transition led to a form abandonment decrease by 43% and a conversion rate increase of 186%.
Optimizing your content through testing and implementing new ideas has paid off greatly for these five enterprises. If you’re already investing in creating great content marketing, take the time to optimize your landing pages and lead generation strategies to truly make the most of your content marketing.
Email marketing on mobile is an increasing concern for marketers, with some industries seeing over 65% of their email campaigns being opened from a tablet or smartphone.
However, there is still a large portion marketers that are doing nothing about optimizing their emails for the small screen. Not only is this causing readers to suffer from a poor reading experience, but this can have significant impacts on a marketer’s key metrics, such as conversion, sales and lead generation.
One reason for this inertia is that mobile is still a blooming trend and not everyone has had time to prepare for it adequately. Which is why Pressly put together a free ebook to help marketers navigate this new world. 10 Things You Know About Mobile Email Marketing is available for instant download, and it gives you best practices and insight into some surprising facts about mobile email, such as:
- More people use their smartphone for email than for phoning people
- The three most common complaints for mobile email
- The secret to better lead conversion on mobile email campaigns
And so much more!
Get your free guide today and get started on the path to improving your mobile email strategy.
Fellow Bostonians! We are in your beautiful city for BrightcovePlay 2013, between May 13 and May 15. If you are attending the event, come say hello! We would love to meet up with anyone interested in learning more about transforming your content for mobile, and improving your mobile content engagement and returns.
A Pressly Guide to Brightcove Play 2013
For those of you who are attending, we’ve got something special just for you. We have put together a Pressly-powered guide to give you everything you need find your away around the conference, as well as some special features, such as:
- Live stream video so you can watch all the action happening on stage, no matter where you are
- Full schedules and links to the speaker tracks
- Bios and background info on all the speakers
- Plus: bonus info on Boston’s best places to eat and go have fun once you’re done schmoozing
On your smartphone or tablet device, you can access the BrightcovePlay 2013 Guide here: Brightcove.Pressly.com
(Tip: if you aren’t on a mobile device right now, email yourself that link for easy opening).
If you’d like to catch up, Pressly CEO Jeff Brenner will be taking part in the panel on responsive design and video on Tuesday. And we also have a booth set up with the other sponsors, and we’ll be giving live demos of Brightcove video integrations with Pressly’s mobile publishing platform. Just look for the people in the black polo shirts holding iPads.
Pressly Integrates with Brightcove
We are also pleased to announce that Pressly now integrates with Brightcove. So, if you are a Brightcove customer and you want to know how you can start presenting your video content to tablet and smartphone users in a beautiful and compelling way, please get in touch.
That’s it for now. Can’t wait to meet you!
ps: not sure what Pressly is? Learn more here.
But the exact same thing can be said for traditional publishers of all sizes, whether you are a major daily, or a niche local magazine. Content marketers and brands are just a different kind of publisher, after all. And pageviews, bounce rates and advertising (or call to actions) are all crucial elements in both worlds. Continue reading “Mobile Makeover: Local News Goes Mobile To Boost Engagement” »
The image above, originally produced by NBC, was posted on our Twitter feed this week by a good friend. It shows two crowds, both gathered for the exact same event (the unveiling of a new pope), at the exact same location, eight years apart.
I’ve never seen a more powerful illustration of just how far mobile adoption has come.
In fact, it’s starting to feel a little bit like an understatement to simply call it “adoption”. It’s more like “total take over”.
By now most publishers have hopefully started to think about the mobile web. They’ve seen their Google Analytics reports, and noticed an ever-growing portion of their online traffic is coming from mobile devices – and those mobile users need something better than an ad telling them to go download a native app. But the jury is still out about the best way to handle the explosive rise of the mobile web.
Mostly the thinking falls into two categories:
Do you build a separate web app for tablet and smartphone visitors (delivered from the browser from a subdomain like m.yoursite.com)? Or do you re-do your desktop site with mobile responsive design in mind?