Tag Archives: content marketing

Content is …. many things [Infographic]

We invited attendees at Content Marketing World to complete this sentence: “Content is ____ .”  Here are some of the answers we received.

PRN_ContentIs

The 4 Archetypes Your Content Needs to Reflect to be Successful

In his session at Content Marketing World this week, Robert Rose (@robert_rose) noted that marketers aren’t in the business of creating content – they’re in the business of creating belief.

Our audiences, he noted, want to believe the best of the best.  Rose shared the quote (paraphrased) from the Street Car Named Desire character Blanche DeBois: “I want magic.  I tell what ought to be the truth.”  It is our jobs as marketers to move into that realm of belief.

In order to create belief, it’s useful to keep the four archetypes of content creation in mind, as well as their corresponding roles in the communications cycle.

  • Promoter – Focus on audience needs and wants.
  • Preacher – Focus on discovery and answers.
  • Professor – Focus on interest and passion.
  • Poet – Focus on feelings and beliefs.

The most successful campaigns mix the archetypes, enabling the brand to not just grab attention, but to keep it as well.   The content we create needs to perform different functions, from generating broad awareness to cultivating interest, then to inspiring action and finally encouraging evangelism.   In many cases, brands develop voices that take the form of one or two archetypes, ignoring the others, creating gaps in the content that doesn’t support the complete buying journey.  Assessing one’s own content objectively, using the four archtypes as a framework for doing so, is a great way to find the weak spots in the content strategy while also providing a guide for their repair.

Author Michael Isopi is a senior member of PR Newswire’s account management team.  Based in Detroit, he specializes in the automotive marketplace.

Content Creation Strategies for eCommerce Success

cmw rei

Paolo Mottola, Jr. at Content Marketing World

Outdoor retailer REI knows how to be creative when it comes to visuals. The retailer’s Zombie Survival Gear Infographic offers up the 13 essentials to prepare you for the next zombie outbreak.

From the Moleskin/First Aid (one blister is more dangerous to you than 10 zombies) to a Signal Mirror (be ready to flash one when the rescue chopper flies overhead), there’s a complete kit. The campaign became such a hit in 2012, REI started offering Zombie Apocalypse classes to teach the basics of surviving in the wild.

It’s okay to be a little disruptive according to Paolo Mottola, Jr. (REI’s Digital Engagement Program Manager), speaking on “Content Creation Strategies for eCommerce Success” at Content Marketing World. Offering up unique and inspiring classes is just one way REI serves the needs of outdoor adventurers.

Search drives commerce for REI in a big way and they are open to spontaneity. In April, REI announced that it would be selling Adventure Kitten Gear including “Rugged Kitten Boots” and a “Wild Cat” backpack to hold 100 cubic inches of kibble and catnip.

“We got 25,000 shares on Facebook with no paid media in 24 hours,” Mottola said. And REI was included in top tech April Fools’ Day roundup stories – an unexpected perk.

REI’s content streams include lots of video and Mottola says they see a significant lift when putting video on product pages.

“Member stories are not just customer stories ,” said Mottola. “We hired a freelancer to go across the country — we wanted our stories to be told in a bigger way.”

Stories like A Cool Mother’s Day Story: Climbin’ Mamas Remind Us Why We Love Our Moms or this Junior Ranger story which will melt your heart.

Content married to category equals success for REI.  The company’s collaboration with Merrill shoes led to videos on how-to outdoor exercises – an idea they actually borrowed from the Marines.

“We invest in these stories to tell,” says Mottola. “We’re authentic to our brand.”  In October, Mottola revealed they plan to feature videos in a major REI-member event.

Some questions from Mottola to ponder though when developing your content creation strategy:

  • Does your content marketing objective align with customer expectations?
  • Do you have resources to develop, moderate the content and scale?
  • What are legal considerations?

Mottola admits they haven’t been afraid to kill campaigns early on when they saw fast results that customers did not like what they were doing.

Vlogger Diane Harrigan (@dianeharrigan) authors the Postcards from SF blog, and is also an account manager with PR Newswire.

Your Content Needs a Downstream Strategy

Brian Clark of Copyblogger at #CMWorld

Brian Clark of Copyblogger at #CMWorld

I’m up early, noodling on the input from day one of Content Marketing World, and just realized the great advice I heard yesterday all has a common theme, and it’s this:  content needs a downstream strategy.

Over the years we’ve heard a lot about planning editorial calendars, developing buyer personas, doing keyword research and plumbing social conversations for insights that together will help you create and publish amazing content your audience will love. However, almost all the speakers yesterday talked in some form about what happens post-publication.  Or, more specifically, what needs to happen.

Promote your content.  Both Jay Baer and Todd Wheatland emphasized the importance of supporting your own content, and they weren’t talking about just posting a few tweets.   Wheatland noted that most viral videos were boosted at some point with paid promotion.  And Baer went further, noting that advertising isn’t the content marketer’s competition – it’s an enabler that drives qualified views.  Advertising campaigns and PR can fuel significant visibility for the content your brand produces, and in addition to exposure to the audience, they can generate media along the way, which will launch your content into a different stratosphere.

Own the authorship. Copyblogger’s Brian Clark made no bones about the fact that authorship is becoming increasingly important, both in Google’s eyes and  in affecting individual decisions about consuming content.  Rel=author and rel=publisher tags, which essentially authenticate the source of the content by creating a linkage between the content and either a person’s or a brand’s Google+ page, will play an increasingly important role in surfacing content, as Google de-emphasizes anonymous content.   And according to Clark, authorship is something we need to be paying attention to when writing articles or guest posts.  “Who gets the canonical link is a negotiating point,” he noted in his session.

What’s the driver behind this new focus on content post-publication? Without a doubt it’s the finite amount of audience attention, and the spectacular amount of content every marketer is competing with today.  As Baer noted in his presentation, we’re competing for that attention with our audiences spouses, friends and family — not to mention cute baby animal videos — within Facebook news feeds, on Twitter and in almost every other social network.  The simple act of publishing great content is no guarantee of success.  To win qualified attention, content needs support, promotion and a badge of authenticity. In short, we need to build downstream strategies into our content planning.

Driving Content Discovery: TODAY at Content Marketing World – 10:45 a.m., Ballroom C 

We heard Jay Baer say “Market your marketing.” Today at Content Marketing World I’ll be talking about  exactly that,  in a session titled “10 Online Discovery Tips that Will Get Your Content Promoted.”   It’s scheduled for 10:45 and will be in Ballroom C.   I’ll be offering 19 (instead of the previously advertised 10) ways to build an element of discovery into your content strategy, and to promote the discovery of the information your brand publishes.  Hope to see you there! 

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of the e-books Unlocking Social Media for PR and the newly-published  New School Press Release Tactics.  Follow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

 

Fill in the blank: Content is ____ .

CMW_SocialNibbles-ContentIs-BLANK

You’re creating it.  You’re curating it.  You’re publishing, tracking and sharing it. It’s playing a central role in your communications strategy.

How do you define content? 

We’d like to hear your take.  Fill in the blank “Content is ___”  either by leaving a comment on this post, or tweeting with hashtag #ContentIs.   [Tweet this!]

CMW_SocialNibbles-ContentIs-Brand-builderWe’ll be selecting some of the answers (along with names or Twitter handles!) for a slick infographic, and will be displaying them on the screens in our booth at Content Marketing World.

And while you’re at it, enter our sweepstakes for a chance to win a multimedia news release from PR Newswire, and really show off that content you’ve worked so hard to develop.

Coming up at Content Marketing World:

Just because you’ve published your content doesn’t mean your target audience will see it.  Making content discoverable by the right people is a stumbling block all content marketers face.  I’ll be digging into how to drive content discovery next week at Content Marketing World, in a session titled “10 19 Online Discovery Tips that Will Get Your Content Promoted.

Learn how to surface your content so your target audiences can find it, using tactics and best practices derived from my own experiments, smart things I’ve seen others do, and what the data tells us is most effective.   Hope to see you there!

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of the e-books Unlocking Social Media for PR and the newly-published  New School Press Release Tactics.  Follow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

The Kick-Ass Guide to Cleveland for Content Marketing World Attendees

PRN_Guide_ClevelandContent Marketing World Special Edition:  In the run up to Content Marketing World, we invited Amanda Hicken, our Cleveland-based manager of media relations and the author of the Clue into Cleveland Blog to recommend her favorite must- see (and must-eat and must-shop) places near the Cleveland Convention Center, especially for Content Marketing World attendees.  

Cleveland's lakefront, home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Goodtime III, Great Lakes Science Center, and FirstEnergy Stadium

Cleveland’s lakefront, home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Goodtime III, Great Lakes Science Center, and FirstEnergy Stadium

I didn’t believe in love at first sight; then I met Cleveland. The Forest City, The Northcoast, The Rock and Roll Capital of the World.

When I moved here in 2007, I got the same questions you may be asking yourself: “Cleveland?!? The Mistake by the Lake?” “Have you seen the Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video?” “Didn’t your river set itself on fire once?”

Although Cleveland has had a tough past, I love that Clevelanders don’t know the meaning of quit and always look for new ways to adapt, innovate, and succeed.

A few years ago I started the blog Clue Into Cleveland, and with the world’s largest content marketing conference returning to Cleveland this month, I’m here to share my and my coworkers’ picks on where to go when you’re in town for Content Marketing World 2013.  We’ve also summarized my picks into the infograpic you see at the top of this post, and have plotted them on an interactive map for you, too. 

cl map cmw

Click on the map to pull up an interactive guide we created for you.

Where to Eat

Fun Food Fact: It was in Cleveland that Ettore “Hector” Boiardi – better known as Chef Boyardee – opened his first restaurant and started bottling the spaghetti and meatballs that would soon launch an empire.

Stop by James Beard Awards Finalist Chef Jonathan Sawyer's Noodlecat for happy hour specials on noodles, steam buns and sake.

Stop by James Beard Awards Finalist Chef Jonathan Sawyer’s Noodlecat for happy hour specials on noodles, steam buns and sake.

Recently, Cleveland has been going through a dining renaissance.  Fans of the Food Network and The Chew will want to head to Lola (downtown, East 4th Street) or Lolita (a short ride to the Tremont neighborhood) to eat at nearby restaurants of Cleveland-son-turned-foodie-celebrity Chef Michael Symon.

Other downtown dining recommendations include:

“Go Fourth” to East 4th Street for your pick of 14+ restaurants like Greenhouse Tavern (adventurous eaters should share the Roasted Pig Head with a friend), Chinato, and La Strada.  Society Lounge is a must for cocktail lovers, where you can find well-crafted cocktails, tapas and sophisticated nostalgia. Erie Island Coffee, on the other hand, will give you that jolt of caffeine you need in the morning.

In addition to being the second largest theatre district in the U.S., PlayhouseSquare is a dining destination with Cowell and Hubbard, District, and Dynomite Burgers. After dinner, grab a pint at Parnell’s Pub.

Food truck fans can grab lunch from CLE food trucks like Umami Moto, an Asian Fusion truck voted best in Cleveland

Food truck fans can grab lunch from CLE food trucks like Umami Moto, an Asian Fusion truck voted best in Cleveland

Hodge’s is home to Food Network Star and Great Food Truck Race finalist Chris Hodgson, as well as 2-for-$40 Tuesdays featuring 1 starter, 2 entrees, and 1 bottle of wine for only $40.

Cleveland’s playful noodle house, Noodlecat, offers excellent happy hour specials on ramen, udon, and soba noodles, steam buns and exclusive sakes.  (This writer is particularly fond of the Japanese Fried Chicken Steam Bun, College Ramen Noodles, and Spicy Octopus Udon Stir-Fry.)

Looking for an excellent sandwich? Try Cleveland Pickle at 850 Euclid Ave. or take a short drive down St. Clair for the biggest and best corned beef at Slyman’s.  Flaming Ice Cube specializes in quality vegan cuisine, Blue Point Grille in fresh seafood, and Colossal Cupcakes in dessert (try a cupcake shake for something especially indulgent!).

If you’re short on time and need food on the go, check out Cleveland.com’s guide to 31 of the city’s food trucks.  Weekly food truck gatherings like Walnut Wednesdays and Lunch by the Lake Thursdays are popular with the PR Newswire Cleveland office.

What to Do

Downtown Cleveland is more than just a foodie paradise.  After you check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at CMWorld’s Opening Night Reception, squeeze in a little sightseeing.

If you arrive in Cleveland over the weekend, enjoy the best 360 degree view of the Cleveland skyline from the Terminal Tower Observation Deck

If you arrive in Cleveland over the weekend, enjoy the best 360 degree view of the Cleveland skyline from the Terminal Tower Observation Deck

At the lakefront, visit the Steamship William G. Mather, the Great Lakes Science Center, and the International Women’s Air and Space Museum.

If you arrive in Cleveland early, see Cleveland from above with a visit to the Terminal Tower Observation Deck or schedule a Lake Erie cruise on the Goodtime III.

Lolly the Trolley and Take a Hike offer weekday guided tours of the city, but if you’d prefer to sight see on your own, our picks include the Old Stone Church, Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, PlayhouseSquare, the Cleveland Arcade, and the Cleveland Public Library’s magnificent Main Library Building.

Just need a few moments of peace and quiet? Cleveland is called The Forest City for good reason. Escape to over a dozen parks and green spaces in Downtown Cleveland, including three spacious green malls and Voinovich Park on Lake Erie. You can also take a drive around the Cleveland Metroparks (nicknamed the Emerald Necklace) or the Cuyahoga Valley National Park for scenic running and nature trails.

Take a tour, see a show, or enjoy dinner at Cleveland's PlayhouseSquare, the country's second largest performing arts center behind New York's Lincoln Center.

Take a tour, see a show, or enjoy dinner at Cleveland’s PlayhouseSquare, the country’s second largest performing arts center behind New York’s Lincoln Center.

Travel Tips

Get Around with RTA: The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority makes it easy to get around downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods. RTA’s trolley lines are your answer for convenient downtown travel, and you can hop on a bus or train to visit nearby West Side Market or University Circle’s world-class museums.

Downtown Cleveland Alliance’s City Visitor Guides: While Positively Cleveland is your go-to resource for all of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance focuses specifically on the neighborhoods you’ll be spending most of your time in at CMWorld.  Take a look at their Sensational Places, Historic Spaces guide or Downtown Navigator for more ideas.

Bring Home a Souvenir: When you get home from CMWorld, show off your love for Cleveland with a t-shirt, tote or other merchandise from CLE Clothing Co. Their store is a short walk to the corner of East 4th and Euclid or you can shop online.

We have one last recommendation for Content Marketing World attendees. Learn how to drive discovery of the content you’ve worked so hard to create in my c0lleague Sarah Skerik’s session.   Sarah is our vice president of content marketing, and she’ll be giving data-driven tips and proven tactics for improving the results content generated in the session titled “10 Online Discovery Tips that will Get Your Content Promoted.”

Content We Love: Curating Company Content & Keeping it Current

ContentWeLoveOver the last couple months, I’ve been talking a bit about the long life spans of press releases, as well as tactics to drive the discovery of the content our brands publish.

A fantastic example of using a press release to surface content, keeping it fresh and relevant to audiences, crossed the wire a few days ago.   Titled “FM Global Urges Property Owners to Avoid Complacency Following U.S. Presidential Task Force Report on Hurricane Resiliency,” and issued by FM Global, this press release about hurricane preparedness will deliver lasting value both readers and the brand over the coming months.

FM Global used a press release to tie existing content assets to a timely news story, driving discovery of the company's message.

FM Global used a press release to tie existing content assets to a timely news story, driving discovery of the company’s message.

What seems like a simple release initially is really a master class in framing the company’s message within the audience’s needs.

Using a Presidential report from the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force as a news hook, FM Global wrapped a variety of related content – ranging from basic hurricane prep to more sophisticated hurricane risk data – together for  their audiences, offering links to the content along with brief descriptions of the available information.

Pro tips: 

  • Using the title of the Presidential report in the headline improves the visibility, credibility and relevance of the story.
  • FM Global used trackable links to serve the related content within the press release, ensuring they will be able to see exactly how many people clicked on the links within the press release, and which pieces of content were most popular among readers.

Best of all, the communications team at FM Global has created a press release that will be useful to journalists covering the topic, as well as the individual seeking more information on hurricane preparations and insurance claims.

By curating their own content, bundling it together for easy consumption and then using a current news angle to create currency for the information, the FM Global team has done a great job of utilizing existing content assets, getting more out of those original investments while at the same time inserting the brand into the current news stream in a thoughtful, useful and relevant way.

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of the e-books Unlocking Social Media for PR and the newly-published  New School Press Release Tactics.  Follow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

Coming up at Content Marketing World:

Sarah is presenting on the topic of content discovery next month at Content Marketing World, in session titled “10 Online Discovery Tips that Will Get Your Content Promoted.”   We hope to see you in Cleveland at the show!   In the meantime, follow the conversation on Twitter, hashtag #CMWorld.