Thursday, December 14, 2017

How to Better Understand the Size and Composition of Your B2B Audience

SEO tutorials.

Another posting posted from Content Marketing Institute. In my opinion 1 of the most reliable creators of free tutorials you could find.

better-understand-size_composition-b2b-audienceIn my corporate days, I asked this question of the marketing team on a weekly basis: “Who are these 20,000 people in our email newsletter database? Do they even fit our ideal client profile?”

I’m embarrassed to admit, instead of pushing for the answer, we stayed on the hamster wheel churning out a weekly newsletter featuring one staffer blog post, two curated industry articles, and one marketing meme. No wonder our click-through and open rates were low and never budged.

We were focused on fulfilling the obligation to ship the newsletter on time. However, before I beat myself up too much about the quality of our content, I realize now I should have pushed the pause button and taken a step back to investigate.


When click-through & open rates are low, take a step back to investigate. @JeffLHerrmann #email
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Were the open and click-through-rates low due to lame subject lines and shoddy copy or was our email database full of people who didn’t fit our ideal client profile?

We had no idea if we were wasting great content on the wrong people.

Today, smart marketers operate like niche media publishers, forgoing a massive but unresponsive email database in favor of a possibly smaller but more engaged audience.

If your goal is a more valuable audience, it makes sense to use proven audience measurement methods to better understand the size, composition, and preferences of your audience.

Understand who is on your email list

To convert the names in your database into an engaged audience, you first must understand who is behind those names. You want to consider demographic, “firmographic,” and behavioral factors because no single factor tells all about a person.


You need to know who is behind the names in your database to convert them into engaged audience. @JeffLHerrmann
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Segment by demographics and firmographics

Break down your list by demographics (personal characteristics) and firmographics (company characteristics). Many opt-in web forms capture not only name and professional email address but also job title and industry type. From this information, you can determine a lot about the composition of your database. Create parameters for your classifications – gender, job title, company size (revenue and employee numbers), and industry classification, etc. Then code and segment the records by those classifications.

Insights available could include the composition of C-level executives vs. non-managerial individual contributors or the composition by department (marketing vs. IT vs. sales).

Using this sorting approach, don’t be surprised to find gaps due to inconsistent or insufficient data collection practices. For example, names collected from scans at trade shows over the years may vary in their depth of information because of the evolving technological capabilities.

You can explore third-party “data-appending” services, which would offer additional details about your database. While a single project can be expensive, most providers offer discounts for annual subscriptions to their service. Alternatively, you could search for additional details on LinkedIn or in other online searches and manually update your database. Whether it’s your team’s time or a contract with a service, the investment to learn more about your database contacts is worth it.

Segment by behavior

While segmenting by demographics and firmographics is an important first step, it doesn’t provide the depth of insight to help you program your content to engage your audience. You haven’t yet shed light on the desires and motivations of your audience.

Lean into behavioral segmentation and your lead-scoring system. If you have a marketing automation system, you can track the web activity of people in your database and assign lead scores based on their actions. That provides critical insight into the kind of information people in your audience respond to.

Marketing automation software is great at tracking the people in your database who actively engage with you. But in many cases, lack of engagement is the problem you’re trying to solve. If you focus only on the behavior of your engaged database members, you risk missing the big picture.

And another caveat: Analyzing your own database limits your insight to the characteristics and behaviors of the people who have connected with your company. How do you know whether these people reflect the broader desired audience? Is your list skewed or biased in any direction? 

You need to do more work to get the answers. You can start with demographics, firmographics, and behavior data, but the key is to find out how the characteristics of your database compare to the characteristics of the market you’re going after.

Understand your database audience profile relative to the broader market

To better understand your database in relation to the overall market, you can apply audience evaluation methods used by the media industry. Having this insight will help benchmark your current database (composition and value), understand the gaps in your audience, and build an investment case to grow an audience that will deliver for your organization.

To get started, borrow a page from media measurement powerhouse Nielsen. It analyzes its audience-measurement sample composition in local markets by producing “in-tab” reports that compare sample groups to “universe estimates” for the market. These reports are great at identifying the gaps of market penetration or over/under audience representation.

Step 1: Identify your target audience and market

Decide on a target audience aligned to your ideal client profile. Your audience is most likely composed of your best current and future buyers. In some cases, your target could be customers you don’t have but aspire to reach. Once you’ve decided who you want as your ideal audience, you can then develop a universe estimate, more commonly known as the total addressable market.

Market sizing helps you determine the level of effort and resources required to build an audience comprising your ideal clients (more about this in Step 3). The goal is to determine the total size of the target audience, which is used as the denominator for market share calculations. Consider whether you want a single-digit share of a massive market or deep penetration of a niche market.

Example: Being early in its maturity, Acme’s B2B marketing team decides to target all B2B medical marketers rather than a subset of medical marketers.

Step 2: Determine the most important market characteristics to track

With a firm handle on the identity of your total potential audience, develop a set of characteristics to understand the composition of the audience in your target market. Remember, personas mask the opportunity for true precision in your audience understanding.


Personas mask the opportunity for true precision in your audience understanding, says @JeffLHerrmann
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Which characteristics – demographic or firmographic – may be important to know about your target audience? You’re looking to create discrete segments to truly understand the depth and dimension of your audience. Then you can create a blended sketch or composite view of the target audience – the asset you seek.

Example: The Acme marketing team recognizes that “B2B medical marketers” isn’t descriptive enough for its target audience. It chooses to segment based on gender, seniority, and company size because these are the most observable and reliable characteristics at this point.

Step 3: Build a table and populate the Universe Estimate (UE)/Total Addressable Market (TAM) and market characteristic fields

For this stage, you should use reliable industry resources to develop the most accurate market size and audience composition counts possible. For example, this report from Salesforce Research and LinkedIn provides valuable benchmarking data to inform the total audience profile for a half-dozen sectors. LinkedIn can be a great resource for estimating the size of your target audience. Industry associations also usually have solid estimates on the total count and characteristics of their industry.

At this point, enumerating your niche market will be more art than science for beginners. In the B2B space, available data isn’t as vast as it is in the B2C space. While you won’t have every characteristic populated, making some reasonable assumptions on the count of the people in a market segment is a great way to build reality checks to understanding sizing the audience opportunity and composition.

Example: The table illustrates Acme’s target audience of B2B medical marketers in comparison to the overall audience of medical marketers based on data from the Salesforce Research report.

Image source: Salesforce Research. Data for Gender and Company size derived for illustrative purposes.

Image source: Salesforce Research. Data for gender and company size derived for illustrative purposes.

Step 4: Analyze the table

With the industry data and calculations, you now can identify how your database audience reflects the overall audience, including opportunities to focus on and invest in audience development.

Example: Acme’s marketing team sees that its database:

  • Reflects less than 5% of available audience of medical marketers
  • Skews heavily toward males though the overall audience skews heavily female
  • Reaches fewer managers and director-level marketers (22.5%) than the available audience (35%)
  • Reflects proportionately to the available audience for companies between 501 and 1,000 employees, but captures a higher percentage of companies with 1,001 to 10,001-plus employees (65% vs. 55%).

This analysis now can inform Acme’s content marketing strategy, from content creation (i.e., create content better targeted to attract a senior-level audience) to content promotion (i.e., develop outreach plan to capture more of medical marketers in the United States).

Acme has a lot of work to do. It’s barely reaching its market potential, and its gender composition and seniority levels are skewed. The only bright spot is the company size target reflects Acme’s focus on mid-market and small enterprise organizations. Acme is reaching the right type of company, yet it is most likely not reaching enough of the right type of people.

What’s next?

We’re really just getting started by understanding the relative size and composition of who is in your audience and who isn’t. Use this method as a tool to help your management understand the current state of your audience or email database and how much work you have to do to develop the strategy and content to improve your composition by engaging your ideal clients.


Understand your current audience to learn how much work you have to do to engage ideal clients. @JeffLHerrmann
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For example, the Acme team could justify new content initiatives that address director-level information needs by showing decision-makers how underrepresented that segment is in its current contact database.

Once you understand the gaps in your database as it relates to the market as a whole, you can decide how to invest the resources to improve your audience composition. If you want to take the analysis to the next level, you can derive the total asset value of the audience you currently have or­ – more importantly – the audience you want. To understand how to do that, read Robert Rose’s recent article The Audience Valuation Engine: A New Model for Calculating the Value Per Subscriber.

It’s time you stop beating yourself up about your open rates and engagement rates and consider that you just might be throwing great content at the wrong people.

Hear from Robert Rose and how content strategy can help your customer understanding, and much more, at the Intelligent Content Conference March 20-22 in Las Vegas. Register today.


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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

How to Robot-Proof Your Job as a Content Creator

SEO tutorials.

All new training just published by Content Marketing Institute. Quite possibly among the leading generators of free information online.

robot-proof-content-creationArtificial intelligence is all around us. As I shared in Content Creation Robots Are Here, billions of AI-created pieces of content are published yearly.

What does this mean for humans who create content? Are you in danger of losing a job?

Not quite. Despite the growth in artificial intelligence capabilities, the human content writer is needed more than ever.

Logical place for artificial intelligence in content

Robot content generation excels at drawing conclusions from large amounts of data, according to the Associated Press study The Future of Augmented Journalism: A Guide For Newsrooms in the Age of Smart Machines.


Robot content generation excels at drawing conclusions from large amounts of data via @AssociatedPress study.
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That’s why, since 2014, the AP has used algorithms to produce automated quarterly earnings reports. These short, objective pieces may lack any creative storyline beyond the raw data they lay out, but they allow AP to cover 12 times more businesses than they could with human creation.

Each of these AI-generated examples follows the exact same style and format:

That’s one reason why the AP researchers conclude that machine learning will never replace journalists. But the researchers assert that AI can aid in the content-creation process and free human content creators to do “more complex and qualitative work.”


AI-aided content frees human content creators to do more complex & qualitative work, says @AssociatedPress.
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Here’s how the Associated Press envisions the inclusion of artificial intelligence in the reporting process:

Reporters may spend less time transcribing and manually poring over datasets and instead spend that time making calls and pursuing leads derived from an AI analysis.

ai-chain-of-command

Why humans are necessary to content creation (a terrible AI example)

Clearly, robots are up to certain data-oriented tasks. To see if topic-based content could be generated by a machine, I tested Articoolo, an AI content creator that says it can “create unique textual content in a flash.”

The terrible tagline “a quick, coherent starting point for your articles” wasn’t a good sign, but I gave it a try. I entered the subject “content promotion” and clicked the pencil button. It took two minutes to “cook” the content piece, then presented me with a paywall. I paid $1.90 for the piece, but handed over $19 to the AI site because I had to buy a minimum of 10 articles.

The result? Here’s the opening sentence:

Content promotion is a subject in the promotion universe relating to publishing important messaging to a specific audience white papers will be an example of this.

I ran it again, and received the most awkward-sounding content I ever read:

The problem does not put in their ambition to embark on content marketing strategy, the issues come from 3 common areas: the intricacy of the content advertising ecosystem, too little expertise or understanding with content marketing, as well as the technical measurement issues related to how audience consumes content across different devices today.

What?

I recently created a piece on content promotion, which took over three weeks of research and writing. Compare this excerpt from my blog to the Articoolo piece:

“The reality is writing great content alone won’t get you far.
Composing a high-quality piece and hitting “publish” just isn’t enough.
You have to help it along on its internet journey.
Hold its hand for a little bit. You have to guide it into the limelight, or, in some cases, shove it out there.
It’s the only way to ensure success – as opposed to publishing it on your site, crossing your fingers, and hoping against hope somebody will stumble across it and read it.
With solid promotion, you can help your blog reach great heights.
The only question left, of course, is this: “How do I promote my blog?” I’m here with tons of actionable tips to help you do just that.
Settle in with your cozy beverage of choice.
Ready? Let’s get knee-deep in great content promotion tactics.”

I went into 15 actionable tips, tricks, and strategies. But the key was how I crafted the blog opening with a story that resonated with my readers.

When I focus on writing an opener that gives a hook and is optimized for maximum creativity to hold the reader’s attention, the post usually receives 100% more shares than the average post on the site. This one received over 200 shares within a few hours of going live.

how-do-i-promote-my-blog

 

Why thought leadership demands human creators

Content marketers appreciate the need to build a connection with their audiences and that frequently requires emotional, subjective, and reader-centric content created with thought, care, and immense creativity.

Content written by thought leaders has the power to influence followings and even create waves in the industry with powerful effects.


Content written by thought leaders has the power to create waves in the industry. @juliaemccoy
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Here’s an example from an article by Copyblogger founder Brian Clark called The Writer Runs This Show:

the-writer-runs-the-show

This pithy, poetic piece earned more than 700 shares and generated 83 comments.

I took inspiration from Brian to create a piece for my own marketing called Dear Return Clients: Here’s Why We Can’t Accommodate Your Old Rates. Posted on my blog, this letter explained to clients who didn’t see our growth and quality increases as transparently as we did, why we (successfully) increased our rates.

Brian’s writing was eloquent and emotion-stirring. But the know-like-and-trust factor, down to the familiar smile in his headshot, is a big reason behind the success of his and other influencers’ content. Readers recognize and relate to the influencer.

While a bot may be able to help an influential content creator, it’s unlikely to replace great writing skills coupled with a familiar human face.

Why human-created content is an opportunity

To stand out in a world of “content shock,” as Mark Schaefer describes it, human-based content is essential. In just 60 seconds, over 3.3 million Facebook posts go out, over 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, and over 1,440 posts are published in WordPress.

With those insane numbers, content marketers always must ask, “Why should my audience click on and read this content? What will make someone click, convert, and become a loyal, avid fan?”

Valuable advice. A friendly voice. Useful content. A relevant viewpoint. Engaging writing. Happy stories. Relatable stories. Inspiring stories. Motivating stories.

Studies, including one done by Motista, show the direct correlation between emotional connection and customer purchase spend. The higher the emotional connection, the higher the spend.


The higher the emotional connection, the higher the spend via @Motista study.
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motista-correlation-emotion-spend

JP Morgan Chase’s sponsored content in theSkimm is an example of an emotionally charged content campaign that brought huge results. Reaching the curated news email’s millennial audience, JP Morgan Chase used creative, catchy wording, emojis, and fun headlines and taglines such as:

  • You probably think this song is about you.
  • There’s something happening here.
  • I want you to want me.

Credit card use among the target audience group increased by 70%, and new account growth rose by 40%.

The emotions behind the click and the connect are the same as those behind a person-to-person relationship.

Storytelling in content marketing gives the user an “experience.” It’s in our nature to listen to stories, and be influenced to trust – or distrust – because of a story we were told. And those stories must be human – written by a human, for a human. Humans are the only way to bring the human element into the story.


Humans are the only way to bring the human element into the story, says @JuliaEMcCoy.
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In The Psychology of Storytelling, Gregory Ciotti, strategist at Help Scout, says:

It seems that we can conclusively say that the human mind is able to relate to and absorb stories much better if there is a ‘human’ element in the story that is easy for the audience to imagine.

How to robot-proof your content

Peter Kafka, reporter and author of Now This Is a Content Mill: Narrative Science Raises $6 Million for Human-Free Stories, says it well:

The trick for content makers like myself is to find work that only content makers like myself can do – work where human qualities like experience, judgment, and creativity get rewarded. And if we can’t do that, we ought to be doing something else, anyway.

Create content that solves your direct (human) readers’ problem. Anticipate their next steps. Let them know and feel you’re there with them.

Here are a few ways you can do that.

Opt for creativity, not just SEO

Quit focusing on the keyword and write for the person. For example, if you’re a writer and your longtail keyword is “how to write a blog,” interview two to three clients on their biggest questions on blogging. Post a poll to a Facebook group or on Twitter. Use the potential audience’s input to craft the blog – to answer their questions – and send it to them once it’s posted. In your human-created piece, you will have engaged content collaborators and readers to address your human audience’s biggest questions.

Include audience experiences in your content

Look for and involve your customers’ experiences. Mine live-chat history and support requests and study the wording, questions, and content your clients write and send to you. What are their common problems? What are their biggest questions? What language do they use when they explain their problem?

Focus on one problem your clients face, and open your article with that. Write a scenario. Then, answer it. Think about those real people while you write, and think about writing in their voices. Creating a buyer or audience persona could help you identify, for example, their age group and subsequently the content voice. Millennials, for example, might open your emails more often if the headline includes emojis (according to a Harris Poll survey, they communicate more through emojis and GIFs than words).


Millennials communicate more through emojis and GIFS than words via @HarrisPoll @gifkeyboard.‏
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Don’t forget ‘the feels’

Remember, emotional connection has a direct correlation to higher sales numbers. Think about how your stories can generate an emotional connection with your audience. Be creative and unexpected. For example, check out the description of Death Wish Coffee’s audience-focused, ongoing podcast Fueled by Death Cast:

We are all Fueled By Death – the idea that we do whatever we can to leave our mark on this world before we inevitably leave it for good.

fueled-by-death-cast

Conclusion

Bottom line: If you want to outperform the robots, it’s time to go beyond a just-the-facts approach in your content.

It’s time to have a creative, authentic, and real voice.

Create content for your human reader.

Be human.

And if you strive for the human connection every time, you’ll never risk losing your place to a bot.

Want to boost your human-focused education using digital intelligence? Register today for winter semester of Content Marketing Institute University, an online-based certification program. Enrollment ends Dec. 15, 2017. 

Get an intensive in-person educational experience for content creation and more at Content Marketing World 2018. Registration is now open.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

 


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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Stock 2.0: What Savvy Marketers Need to Know About the Changing Rules of Visual Content

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Content Marketing Institute produced this piece of writing. These people continually generate information material of the highest quality and also are one of my new must-watch bloggers. I think you'll find it helpful.

the-changing-rules-visual-content

SPONSORED BY STORYBLOCKS

Back in 2015, Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco, and Tom Wilkinson were featured in a series of parody stock photos to promote their upcoming movie Unfinished Business. The film has a 10% rating on RottenTomatoes.com, so don’t worry if you never saw it.

The faux stock photos were the best part anyway.

This series of images inserted the three actors’ heads into existing photos, creating a hilarious mockery of the genre.

The movie was terrible, but its promotional tactic was a watershed moment for visual content. Bland, meaningless stock photography had become so ubiquitous – and so universally disliked – that it could be used as a tongue-in-cheek marketing vehicle.

Several years later, marketers fully understand that these kinds of images get about a 10% positive rating from our audiences, but we’re struggling with what to do instead.

Now more media have joined the fray, forcing us to curate high-quality audio and video resources along with standard photography. As both CEO of the stock imagery service Storyblocks and a marketer myself, I spend quite a bit of time trying to find the right balance between time, budget, and quality in visual content.

Those are really the three pillars of a best-in-class visual content strategy, so let’s dive into each one to see how we can build a meaningful and effective system for making our content look good without breaking the bank.

The tyranny of time in visual content

How many of you have found yourself squeaking a blog post in just under the deadline only to realize you’ve forgotten the images? It’s okay, you can raise your hand. I won’t tell anyone.

Or maybe you’ve been meaning to start a podcast, but can’t imagine where you’ll find enticing opening and closing music.

Or maybe there’s ninety percent of an explainer video sitting on your desktop that just needs some solid B-roll footage, but you just can’t find time to film it.

We know we need supporting images in our content, and we don’t need Vince Vaughn’s mocking raised eyebrow to tell us that it has to be professional without being cheesy. But the trouble is we rarely have the time to create those pieces from scratch.

New tools to the rescue

This time crunch has created a big market with a strong need, which has mercifully been filled by a new crop of tools designed to give us a sophisticated look without keeping us at our desks till midnight.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Magisto

Intimidated by the video editing process? Magisto is for you. It lets you quickly and painlessly deliver unique videos with the ease of creating a PowerPoint presentation.

There are even A/B testing options to help optimize your video’s performance after it’s published.

For $10/month you can create videos up to five minutes long and include your own branding. Not a bad way to get in on a format that’s driving over 70% of web traffic right now.

Moovly

Moovly’s claim to fame is animated video, which sounds fancy and complicated but is in fact remarkably simple with this kind of tool.

If you need to switch things up from filmed footage, or if real-world video isn’t quite right for your subject, an animated option may be the way to go.

Moovly plans start at $49/month.

Canva

The Canva mission, “Empowering the world to design,” is one that hits home for me. Marketers are often called on to be designers (or we could be far more effective if we were empowered to act like them), so tools like Canva can unlock a whole new world.

If you’re new to design, Canva will get you started with templates for social media, blog images, presentations, and even infographics.

The basics of Canva are available for free, but to access their templates, stock photos, and magic resizing for all social media channels, you’ll need the $12.95/month Canva for Work option.

We use these tools ourselves at Storyblocks, and we’ve also created an API that works with Magisto and Moovly to allow marketers to combine the tools’ functionality with our massive library of images, audio, and video.

There’s nothing more frustrating than being forced to interrupt your creative flow to jump in and out of a tool, so we make our content available natively in these (and other) content creation tools.

With the right combination of resources and functionality, you can significantly streamline the visual part of your content creation. No more late nights scrolling through Google image searches; now visual content meets you where you’re working.

Be brilliant and on budget

Whether you publish something once per month or once per day, the pace of content marketing is relentless. Even with smart reuse and repurposing strategies, we’re always making something new.

And that, of course, means we always need more images.

We don’t, unfortunately, always have more budget.

Content marketing at any kind of scale makes paying per image extremely expensive; a subscription model is far more cost-effective. An unlimited subscription option makes it less likely that you’ll have to skimp on visuals. If you write a long article that needs six or seven supporting images, for example, you can get what you need without going over your monthly quota for downloads.

Quality doesn’t mean what it used to

No matter what you’re marketing or what kind of content you’re using, you’re trying to speak to an audience of real people. Old-school stock photos were technically high quality – they had top-notch resolution and were often set in expensive-looking surroundings – but they didn’t capture real experiences.

Modern audiences no longer see these kinds of images as high quality, because their expectations have shifted.

Social media now allows them to see everyone, from their teachers to their relatives to their favorite celebrities, in authentic situations, and they expect marketing materials to be similarly realistic.

In this environment, cookie-cutter photos featuring perfectly posed and Photoshopped subjects don’t convey a message of quality. Instead, they say that a brand is out of touch with the changing world of their audience.

storyblocks-stock-media-marketplace

Marketers, therefore, need to work hard to understand the visual world that our audiences like to occupy so we can reflect it in our content.

That means social listening isn’t just about reading what people type into their social profiles anymore. It’s also about looking carefully at the images they share.

We have to adjust our perception of quality visual content. It’s not about expensive, airbrushed perfection; quality content understands and mirrors back the things that are important to an audience.

Where do you see visual content going?

Our increasingly diverse, ever more connected world seems poised to keep driving visual content down this more authentic path. While new channels and trends will certainly force us to adapt, it seems safe to say that the days of staged office high fives are coming to an end.

What do you think? Has the time of ultra-cheesy stock photos passed, or should we prepare ourselves for their return?

Special for Content Marketing Institute readers

We’ve put together two cool collections (one for images and one for video) specifically for Content Marketing Institute readers. Check them out, and take advantage of the special CMI deal – where you can sign up for all three libraries right now for just $149 for an entire year.


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Are You Ready for Content Marketing in 2018? 60+ Predictions

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One more tuition coming from Content Marketing Institute. Almost definitely among the most reliable creators of information and facts on-line.

content-marketing-predictions-2018

It’s hard to believe that, after 10 years, this will be the last time I share my annual list of content marketing predictions for CMI. Not to get all sentimental or anything, but looking into the future of our industry and anticipating the content and media trends most likely to impact our businesses has always been a favorite part of the job … and it will be one of CMI’s content experiences I’ll miss the most as I retire from CMI this month. 

But, as change is the only constant, it’s time to put the past aside and focus on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. And, if anyone can help lead the content marketing industry forward and prepare you for what’s to come, it’s the group of experts who contributed to our 10th annual e-book of content marketing predictions.

In 60+ Predictions on Content Marketing in 2018, some of our favorite content marketing colleagues and compatriots share their thoughts on what it takes to build an audience; how advanced technologies and newer techniques – like AI, voice-enabled search, and virtual reality – will impact the content landscape; how troubling trends like “fake news” and data breaches will add complexity to the marketing equation; and more.

As for my own predictions for the upcoming year, they are rather simple – though somewhat aspirational:

  1. Apple will buy Disney. Although I think this transaction is a few years away, I want to go on the record now. As Apple continues to invest in original content, it will discover an out-and-out acquisition makes far more sense. It will see the light and purchase what is perhaps the greatest media company on the planet.

Apple will buy Disney in a few years, says @JoePulizzi. #Predictions2018
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  1. In 2018, at least two major Fortune 500 brands will hire former publishers and/or media executives to serve as their chief marketing officers.

2 major Fortune 500 brands will hire former publishers and/or media execs as CMOs. @JoePulizzi #Predictions2018
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  1. At least one Fortune 100 company will announce it is transforming its marketing department into a true profit center.

1 Fortune 100 company will transform its #marketing dept into a profit center. @JoePulizzi #Predictions2018
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Of course, these ideas are the tip of the iceberg. Take a look at a few more highlights from our new e-book:

 In 2018, I expect to see more diversification of content formats. More live streaming on social. More audio/podcasts. Alexa skills. Content will continue to expand beyond the traditional web and print approaches. Brands will continue to invest in content, as they have been over the last few years; but that investment will shift from mostly writing services and paid distribution/promotion to a whole host of servicesproduction, more animation and video-related graphics, voice talent, etc. It’s no longer just about words – content is about creating experiences. Amanda Todorovich, content marketing director, Cleveland Clinic


Expect to see more diversification of #content formats, says @amandatodo. #Predictions2018
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Virality and reach will become less important, and marketers will instead focus on better segmenting and targeting capabilities, enhanced with the help of AI. This will finally lead to the downfall of the recent trend of snake-oil salespeople who promise to hack your way into millions of meaningless views, comments, and likes. Content marketing will no longer be a game of volume and bloated numbers but will instead promote empathy, relevance, and exclusivity. Jason Miller, global content marketing leader, LinkedIn


A downfall of snake-oil salespeople who promise meaningless views & likes. @JasonMillerCA #Predictions2018
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2018 will see the rise of employee brand advocates over paid influencers. Companies will embrace employee advocacy programs in greater numbers because of the need to produce thought-leading content to break through online noise and the growing body of evidence supporting better outcomes for brands that take this approach. Cas McCullough, CEO, Writally


2018 will see the rise of employee brand advocates over paid influencers, says @casmccullough. #Predictions
Click To Tweet


In a world of increasing scandal (think Wells Fargo) and people slapping “fake news” labels on content with increasing frequency, success will come from telling the truth. Always. David Meerman Scott, marketing strategist, Freshspot Marketing LLC


Success will come from telling the truth. Always. @DMScott #Predictions2018
Click To Tweet


Brand marketers will make the transition from creating branded content to building content brands. The most successful marketers will make an appointment with their audience, develop a format for their content, attach talent to their content and, most importantly, create a hook. Those that create a simple twist on a familiar theme designed to ensnare or entrap a buying audience will be the big winners in 2018. Content builds relationships. Relationships build trust. Trust drives revenue. Build a buying audience, and the rest will take care of itself. Andrew Davis, best-selling author, Monumental Shift


Marketers will transition from creating branded content to building content brands. @DrewDavisHere #Predictions
Click To Tweet


Do you have a prediction on content marketing in 2018? Why don’t you share it with us in the comments?

Curious about the accuracy of our past predictions? Check out our forecasts for 2009, 20102011, 2012, 20132014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, to see what we got right, and where we went way off track.

 Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute                                                                           

 


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Monday, December 11, 2017

Content Syndication: More Than a Traffic Boost

Content marketing tips and tutorials.

The next tutorial was in fact created courtesy of Content Marketing Institute. I usually enjoy reviewing any one of their tutorials because they are truly instructional. I hope you get something out of it.

I learned content distribution, syndication, and SEO very much by accident.

Here’s the backstory: In 2005 I was firmly rooted in the world of documentaries. I worked on projects for ABC News, HBO, The New York Times and Frontline always as a freelancer. I worked on films about terrorism in Europe, Abu Ghraib, Americans preparing for the apocalypse, and more. One of the Frontline programs, however, proved to be prophetic. I didn’t know it then, but The Secret History of the Credit Card would change the course of my career.

Toward the end of my time in documentaries and TV, the work got a little weird. At one point, within the space of a month, I’d gone from producing episodes of Frontline for The New York Times to producing an episode of Wife Swap. I was getting married and needed a change. I also needed health insurance.

Eventually, I saw an opening at the financial news site TheStreet.com and, based on my experience with the credit-card documentary, I landed a job there as managing editor of MainStreet.com, a new site focused on personal finance. The MainStreet editorial team was a fun, scrappy group, which was good because we were functioning as a startup within the company. We needed traffic and we were new, so generating awareness in a crowded personal finance beat was not easy. Over the years I’ve worked in personal finance for a variety of media organizations, big and small, established and startup. Now I’ve started my own company helping businesses of all types develop editorial and content strategies that make sense. It should come as no surprise that generating awareness is just about everyone’s top goal.

One of the most important tools in creating that kind of awareness, I’ve learned over the years, is content distribution. I’m not talking about paid, cost-per-click-oriented content discovery channels like Outbrain (though these tools can be highly effective in a few ways). I’m talking about syndication where sites like MSN, Yahoo, AOL/The Huffington Post, USA Today, and many others run your articles, and often those articles include links to related editorial content on your site. There are variations of this arrangement. For example, in some cases there may be a revenue share of the ads sold by the media outlet against your content hosted on its site, but the vast majority of the syndication deals I’ve put together involved no money. (See key content distribution terms near end of this post.)

Google eyes syndicated content

When I first encountered this strategy, it seemed like it was all about eyeballs and traffic. Getting one of your articles featured on a big news portal’s home page carousel meant that millions of people would be exposed to your story and learn about your brand. More importantly, getting an article featured on the home page of a big web portal could lead to what is often referred to as a “fire hose” of traffic, with tens or even hundreds of thousands of people hitting your site over the course of hours or days.

Scoring that fire hose of traffic was often considered the big win in the world of content syndication, but over time as I moved into different editorial roles, I learned that direct traffic was just the tip of the iceberg. Traffic from syndication partners is inherently spiky – there’s often no way to predict when your article will get prime placement on a site you don’t control – and prime placement (like the home page carousel, for example) is the key to getting that fire hose of traffic. One day an editor at one of those portals may like one of your stories and share it with the world, and the next day they don’t and it ends up buried in a vertical that sees relatively little traffic.


Direct traffic from syndicated content is only the tip of the iceberg, says @schreibot.
Click To Tweet


Regardless of whether those syndicated articles find the eyeballs or languish on pages unseen, one segment of the audience sees everything: search engines.

Google, the dominant search engine, along with Bing and others, sees these syndicated articles on news sites with powerful domain authority, and, more importantly, sees the links in the articles pointing to articles on the syndicators’ home websites. Inbound links from authoritative news sites can signal that the target sites have strong content, and the articles are solid, trustworthy pieces about the subjects in question.

Search engines may be more likely to rank these sites and those articles higher in their results, which in turn means more organic (aka free) traffic over time. While syndicated articles may be hit or miss when it comes to that fire hose of traffic, they are also potentially helpful when it comes to growing organic traffic to your website. That organic traffic, when managed well, can grow considerably over time and usually isn’t spiky at all.


Syndicated articles can be helpful when it comes to growing organic traffic to your website, says @schreibot.
Click To Tweet


Now, there are some caveats. First, not all syndication partners give credit for the links to your website. They may code those links as “no-follow,” which essentially communicates to search engines that the links should be ignored. Secondly, Google and other search engines change their algorithms regularly, and the way they view syndicated content will likely evolve. In fact, earlier this year Google suggested that syndicating articles solely for the purposes of link building was inadvisable and provided a variety of best practices to avoid a penalty, including adding those “no-follow” tags to links.

If I’m reading the Google tea leaves right, I get where it is coming from. Content syndication shouldn’t be all about link building. You need to be committed to investing in the creation of a strong editorial team, because you believe that, in the long run, search algorithms and fire hoses aside, great content – on your site or others – represents a powerful way to attract and interact with your audience.

Experts talk big value of syndicated content

I spoke to Hajnen Payson, head of Trihon Media (an SEO consultancy), a former colleague and a friend who I consider a genius at all things search. We talk about this a lot, and despite recent or future search engine algorithm changes, he believes that syndication has real value.

“In my heart I feel that there will always be value because in order to syndicate to a real news site, your content has to be really good,” says Payson. “Even if authoritative news and media sites were targeted by the search engines, I still think it’d be valuable. It’s all about getting your site out there and, through syndication, you’re exposing yourself to more people and sites that might share. It’s like getting great press on TV. Even though they are on TV and there’s no link that can be shared, those big hits often cause organic lift just by creating awareness.


Syndication remains valuable, despite potential search penalties, says @hajnen. #SEO
Click To Tweet


This type of syndication strategy was a tool used for a time almost exclusively by traditional news organizations. Small news sites in need of a bigger audience would syndicate to larger news organizations in need of more content. The larger sites would get solid, free content, against which they could sell ads, and the smaller sites would create more awareness of their existence, grow traffic which they should be able to monetize, and sometimes get the fire hose. Over the past several years, however, others have been getting into the game. One group is independent journalists and bloggers looking to build an audience for their own personal sites.


Independent journalists & bloggers look at syndicated content as a way to build audiences. @schreibot
Click To Tweet


Until a few years ago, Trae Bodge was the spokesperson for the couponing site RetailMeNot.com.

When she struck out on her own, both as a freelancer and creator of her own website with original content, syndication was part of her strategy. (Full disclosure: Trae is a friend and I’ve hired her for freelance work.)

“The fact that my articles have been picked up by these major news sites has made a significant impact,” she says. “As I’ve invested in content and SEO it’s been particularly impressive to see my own little site’s domain authority grow along with organic traffic.”


Content syndication is part of my strategy and has made an impact. @truetrae
Click To Tweet


E-commerce companies are learning the same lessons, though their challenge from an organizational perspective is more significant. It’s considerably easier for journalists to pivot from large media organizations, establish themselves as independent journalists, and convince news portals to syndicate them than it is for, say, an insurance company to do the same thing. But it absolutely can be done.

Key things to consider for content syndication

In fact, many companies are pursuing this strategy, particularly in the financial news space. There are, however, some important things to consider if you’re working to establish a real editorial operation.

First, news content must be original and editorially sound – especially when it’s syndicated. That means you need to hire real writers and editors with journalistic skills. Articles must be well researched, well sourced with real quotes, well edited and fact-checked.

Second, generally you can’t sell your wares directly in these articles, and usually you can’t link to product pages at all. The goal is to establish your site as an objective authority about a subject. If you can’t write about something objectively because it may conflict with your business interests, then don’t write about it. The sales team can’t tell the editorial team what to write. This is a real no-spin zone and all conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived, must be declared. (The big news organizations do it, and so must you.)

Third, be honest and up-front with your editorial audience about how you make money. It’s not enough to stay away from areas of conflict. You should incorporate an editorial disclosure into your site that explains how your business works. Don’t hide it. If you’re honest about how your company profits, readers are more likely to trust and share your content.


Content syndication goal: Establish your site as an objective authority about a subject, says @schreibot.
Click To Tweet


Finally, be smart about what you link to. This is how you tell your audience and, potentially, search engines which pages on your site are most important. It’s also how you ultimately measure the effectiveness of this exercise. This doesn’t mean you should cram your articles full of links for which you want to rank, but if you have articles that are informative, useful, representative of your site, and, most importantly, truly relevant in the context of the syndicated article, then link to them when appropriate.  Remember, ultimately you want some portion of your reading audience to engage with you in one way or another, and properly monitoring and optimizing this conversion funnel is paramount, regardless of whether the source of the traffic is referral, direct, or organic.

There is no reason why commercial entities cannot support news organizations. There’s a long history of it in America. CBS News is owned by National Amusements. ABC News is owned by Disney. NBC News is owned by Comcast, and was once owned by GE. They all may have perceived conflicts, but they all adhere to editorial standards and practices. The strength of these standards and practices is what makes these real news sites and keeps their audiences coming back (though these days, in the era of supposed “fake news,” that’s getting harder).

The irony here is that traditional news organizations have just as much if not more to learn from e-commerce companies. The existing model for digital news is based largely on CPMs or ad impressions: News organizations get paid, say, $2 for every 1,000 impressions of an ad on their site. These CPMs have steadily fallen over the years, which means that news organizations have had to diversify. They are exploring new revenue streams like e-commerce. In other words, instead of getting paid a small amount when someone maybe sees an ad, some news sites are getting paid much more when readers click on and buy a product from links on the sites. The New York Times recently bought TheWirecutter.com, which features editorially independent product reviews, for this very reason. (Check out its editorial disclosure if you want to see how to do it right.) E-commerce could very well be the key to saving the news business. It may be why Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post … but that’s another story.

Definitions of content discovery, syndication and licensing

Before we conclude, content syndication terms often are used interchangeably to describe different ways of paying or bartering to get your content seen by a wider audience. CCO Chief Consulting Editor Clare McDermott sums up how to differentiate them.

Content discovery engines

Platforms like Outbrain, Sharethrough, and Taboola disseminate your content using recommendation engines – which are essentially small widgets placed at the bottom or right margin of an article that recommend further reading. A content creator pays a company like Outbrain to include its content in the widget, and in return gets a boost of traffic to its site. These recommendation boxes are labeled as sponsored, though the transparency of that labeling varies widely. Pricing is based on cost per click.


Use platforms like @outbrain, @sharethrough & @taboola to disseminate content, says @soloportfolio.
Click To Tweet


Content syndication

In a syndication relationship, a content creator provides content to a media site, and the media site offers backlinks in return for the content. Some cases may involve a revenue share of the ads sold by the media outlet against the content hosted on its site, but most syndication deals involve no money. Syndication is an increasingly popular way for digital media companies to beef up their content without paying directly for its creation, and content creators like syndication for the traffic it drives to their websites. Sites like MSN and Yahoo are well known for using syndication arrangements, but even non-media companies like LinkedIn use syndication strategies that are built on a barter relationship rather than a paid relationship.

Content licensing

In a licensing deal, a content creator agrees to provide content in exchange for payment – whether in a one-time arrangement or a sustained relationship. Different types of intermediaries help brands with licensing deals. A company like NewsCred acts as a clearinghouse for companies that need to access more content and are willing to pay for it. And content creators can use a licensing agency to monetize the content they develop.


Use a company like @newscred when you need to access more content & willing to pay for it. @soloportfolio
Click To Tweet


A version of this article originally appeared in the November issue of CCO magazine. Subscribe for your free print copy today.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 

Please note:  All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team.  No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).


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Content Syndication: More Than a Traffic Boost

SEO tutorials & tips.

Another posting coming from Content Marketing Institute. Probably one of the most knowledgable suppliers of free training online.

I learned content distribution, syndication, and SEO very much by accident.

Here’s the backstory: In 2005 I was firmly rooted in the world of documentaries. I worked on projects for ABC News, HBO, The New York Times and Frontline always as a freelancer. I worked on films about terrorism in Europe, Abu Ghraib, Americans preparing for the apocalypse, and more. One of the Frontline programs, however, proved to be prophetic. I didn’t know it then, but The Secret History of the Credit Card would change the course of my career.

Toward the end of my time in documentaries and TV, the work got a little weird. At one point, within the space of a month, I’d gone from producing episodes of Frontline for The New York Times to producing an episode of Wife Swap. I was getting married and needed a change. I also needed health insurance.

Eventually, I saw an opening at the financial news site TheStreet.com and, based on my experience with the credit-card documentary, I landed a job there as managing editor of MainStreet.com, a new site focused on personal finance. The MainStreet editorial team was a fun, scrappy group, which was good because we were functioning as a startup within the company. We needed traffic and we were new, so generating awareness in a crowded personal finance beat was not easy. Over the years I’ve worked in personal finance for a variety of media organizations, big and small, established and startup. Now I’ve started my own company helping businesses of all types develop editorial and content strategies that make sense. It should come as no surprise that generating awareness is just about everyone’s top goal.

One of the most important tools in creating that kind of awareness, I’ve learned over the years, is content distribution. I’m not talking about paid, cost-per-click-oriented content discovery channels like Outbrain (though these tools can be highly effective in a few ways). I’m talking about syndication where sites like MSN, Yahoo, AOL/The Huffington Post, USA Today, and many others run your articles, and often those articles include links to related editorial content on your site. There are variations of this arrangement. For example, in some cases there may be a revenue share of the ads sold by the media outlet against your content hosted on its site, but the vast majority of the syndication deals I’ve put together involved no money. (See key content distribution terms near end of this post.)

Google eyes syndicated content

When I first encountered this strategy, it seemed like it was all about eyeballs and traffic. Getting one of your articles featured on a big news portal’s home page carousel meant that millions of people would be exposed to your story and learn about your brand. More importantly, getting an article featured on the home page of a big web portal could lead to what is often referred to as a “fire hose” of traffic, with tens or even hundreds of thousands of people hitting your site over the course of hours or days.

Scoring that fire hose of traffic was often considered the big win in the world of content syndication, but over time as I moved into different editorial roles, I learned that direct traffic was just the tip of the iceberg. Traffic from syndication partners is inherently spiky – there’s often no way to predict when your article will get prime placement on a site you don’t control – and prime placement (like the home page carousel, for example) is the key to getting that fire hose of traffic. One day an editor at one of those portals may like one of your stories and share it with the world, and the next day they don’t and it ends up buried in a vertical that sees relatively little traffic.


Direct traffic from syndicated content is only the tip of the iceberg, says @schreibot.
Click To Tweet


Regardless of whether those syndicated articles find the eyeballs or languish on pages unseen, one segment of the audience sees everything: search engines.

Google, the dominant search engine, along with Bing and others, sees these syndicated articles on news sites with powerful domain authority, and, more importantly, sees the links in the articles pointing to articles on the syndicators’ home websites. Inbound links from authoritative news sites can signal that the target sites have strong content, and the articles are solid, trustworthy pieces about the subjects in question.

Search engines may be more likely to rank these sites and those articles higher in their results, which in turn means more organic (aka free) traffic over time. While syndicated articles may be hit or miss when it comes to that fire hose of traffic, they are also potentially helpful when it comes to growing organic traffic to your website. That organic traffic, when managed well, can grow considerably over time and usually isn’t spiky at all.


Syndicated articles can be helpful when it comes to growing organic traffic to your website, says @schreibot.
Click To Tweet


Now, there are some caveats. First, not all syndication partners give credit for the links to your website. They may code those links as “no-follow,” which essentially communicates to search engines that the links should be ignored. Secondly, Google and other search engines change their algorithms regularly, and the way they view syndicated content will likely evolve. In fact, earlier this year Google suggested that syndicating articles solely for the purposes of link building was inadvisable and provided a variety of best practices to avoid a penalty, including adding those “no-follow” tags to links.

If I’m reading the Google tea leaves right, I get where it is coming from. Content syndication shouldn’t be all about link building. You need to be committed to investing in the creation of a strong editorial team, because you believe that, in the long run, search algorithms and fire hoses aside, great content – on your site or others – represents a powerful way to attract and interact with your audience.

Experts talk big value of syndicated content

I spoke to Hajnen Payson, head of Trihon Media (an SEO consultancy), a former colleague and a friend who I consider a genius at all things search. We talk about this a lot, and despite recent or future search engine algorithm changes, he believes that syndication has real value.

“In my heart I feel that there will always be value because in order to syndicate to a real news site, your content has to be really good,” says Payson. “Even if authoritative news and media sites were targeted by the search engines, I still think it’d be valuable. It’s all about getting your site out there and, through syndication, you’re exposing yourself to more people and sites that might share. It’s like getting great press on TV. Even though they are on TV and there’s no link that can be shared, those big hits often cause organic lift just by creating awareness.


Syndication remains valuable, despite potential search penalties, says @hajnen. #SEO
Click To Tweet


This type of syndication strategy was a tool used for a time almost exclusively by traditional news organizations. Small news sites in need of a bigger audience would syndicate to larger news organizations in need of more content. The larger sites would get solid, free content, against which they could sell ads, and the smaller sites would create more awareness of their existence, grow traffic which they should be able to monetize, and sometimes get the fire hose. Over the past several years, however, others have been getting into the game. One group is independent journalists and bloggers looking to build an audience for their own personal sites.


Independent journalists & bloggers look at syndicated content as a way to build audiences. @schreibot
Click To Tweet


Until a few years ago, Trae Bodge was the spokesperson for the couponing site RetailMeNot.com.

When she struck out on her own, both as a freelancer and creator of her own website with original content, syndication was part of her strategy. (Full disclosure: Trae is a friend and I’ve hired her for freelance work.)

“The fact that my articles have been picked up by these major news sites has made a significant impact,” she says. “As I’ve invested in content and SEO it’s been particularly impressive to see my own little site’s domain authority grow along with organic traffic.”


Content syndication is part of my strategy and has made an impact. @truetrae
Click To Tweet


E-commerce companies are learning the same lessons, though their challenge from an organizational perspective is more significant. It’s considerably easier for journalists to pivot from large media organizations, establish themselves as independent journalists, and convince news portals to syndicate them than it is for, say, an insurance company to do the same thing. But it absolutely can be done.

Key things to consider for content syndication

In fact, many companies are pursuing this strategy, particularly in the financial news space. There are, however, some important things to consider if you’re working to establish a real editorial operation.

First, news content must be original and editorially sound – especially when it’s syndicated. That means you need to hire real writers and editors with journalistic skills. Articles must be well researched, well sourced with real quotes, well edited and fact-checked.

Second, generally you can’t sell your wares directly in these articles, and usually you can’t link to product pages at all. The goal is to establish your site as an objective authority about a subject. If you can’t write about something objectively because it may conflict with your business interests, then don’t write about it. The sales team can’t tell the editorial team what to write. This is a real no-spin zone and all conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived, must be declared. (The big news organizations do it, and so must you.)

Third, be honest and up-front with your editorial audience about how you make money. It’s not enough to stay away from areas of conflict. You should incorporate an editorial disclosure into your site that explains how your business works. Don’t hide it. If you’re honest about how your company profits, readers are more likely to trust and share your content.


Content syndication goal: Establish your site as an objective authority about a subject, says @schreibot.
Click To Tweet


Finally, be smart about what you link to. This is how you tell your audience and, potentially, search engines which pages on your site are most important. It’s also how you ultimately measure the effectiveness of this exercise. This doesn’t mean you should cram your articles full of links for which you want to rank, but if you have articles that are informative, useful, representative of your site, and, most importantly, truly relevant in the context of the syndicated article, then link to them when appropriate.  Remember, ultimately you want some portion of your reading audience to engage with you in one way or another, and properly monitoring and optimizing this conversion funnel is paramount, regardless of whether the source of the traffic is referral, direct, or organic.

There is no reason why commercial entities cannot support news organizations. There’s a long history of it in America. CBS News is owned by National Amusements. ABC News is owned by Disney. NBC News is owned by Comcast, and was once owned by GE. They all may have perceived conflicts, but they all adhere to editorial standards and practices. The strength of these standards and practices is what makes these real news sites and keeps their audiences coming back (though these days, in the era of supposed “fake news,” that’s getting harder).

The irony here is that traditional news organizations have just as much if not more to learn from e-commerce companies. The existing model for digital news is based largely on CPMs or ad impressions: News organizations get paid, say, $2 for every 1,000 impressions of an ad on their site. These CPMs have steadily fallen over the years, which means that news organizations have had to diversify. They are exploring new revenue streams like e-commerce. In other words, instead of getting paid a small amount when someone maybe sees an ad, some news sites are getting paid much more when readers click on and buy a product from links on the sites. The New York Times recently bought TheWirecutter.com, which features editorially independent product reviews, for this very reason. (Check out its editorial disclosure if you want to see how to do it right.) E-commerce could very well be the key to saving the news business. It may be why Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post … but that’s another story.

Definitions of content discovery, syndication and licensing

Before we conclude, content syndication terms often are used interchangeably to describe different ways of paying or bartering to get your content seen by a wider audience. CCO Chief Consulting Editor Clare McDermott sums up how to differentiate them.

Content discovery engines

Platforms like Outbrain, Sharethrough, and Taboola disseminate your content using recommendation engines – which are essentially small widgets placed at the bottom or right margin of an article that recommend further reading. A content creator pays a company like Outbrain to include its content in the widget, and in return gets a boost of traffic to its site. These recommendation boxes are labeled as sponsored, though the transparency of that labeling varies widely. Pricing is based on cost per click.


Use platforms like @outbrain, @sharethrough & @taboola to disseminate content, says @soloportfolio.
Click To Tweet


Content syndication

In a syndication relationship, a content creator provides content to a media site, and the media site offers backlinks in return for the content. Some cases may involve a revenue share of the ads sold by the media outlet against the content hosted on its site, but most syndication deals involve no money. Syndication is an increasingly popular way for digital media companies to beef up their content without paying directly for its creation, and content creators like syndication for the traffic it drives to their websites. Sites like MSN and Yahoo are well known for using syndication arrangements, but even non-media companies like LinkedIn use syndication strategies that are built on a barter relationship rather than a paid relationship.

Content licensing

In a licensing deal, a content creator agrees to provide content in exchange for payment – whether in a one-time arrangement or a sustained relationship. Different types of intermediaries help brands with licensing deals. A company like NewsCred acts as a clearinghouse for companies that need to access more content and are willing to pay for it. And content creators can use a licensing agency to monetize the content they develop.


Use a company like @newscred when you need to access more content & willing to pay for it. @soloportfolio
Click To Tweet


A version of this article originally appeared in the November issue of CCO magazine. Subscribe for your free print copy today.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 

Please note:  All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team.  No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).


[Read More ...]

********************************************************************

To get more information regarding starting your own business or related subjects take a look here: http://ift.tt/2yTC7ky

********************************************************************

Hope you found that useful information that they provided.

Let us have your reaction just below, leave a quick comment.

Let me know which topics you want us to write about in our articles.

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