Some ‘Weeks in Content Marketing’ are better than others. This one happens to be a bad one. Despite all of the content innovation and ingenuity we see every day, there will always be a few projects that are ultimately destined to meet their end. It’s important we acknowledge our industry’s fallen soldiers, learn from their successes and mistakes and keep on creating.
Under the Power of Nintendo Power — The New Yorker
Nintendo Power magazine, just five years younger than I am, had an incredible impact on my childhood, as well as the childhood of Reeves Wiedeman, the article’s author. It’s a shame that the magazine’s final issue will ship in December, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to experience its content, particularly during my Super Mario, Zelda and Contra years. According to the piece, “Most of the articles read like lightly repurposed promotional material from the company’s marketing department, which might have bothered me if, at age ten, I had known what marketing was. This made reading Nintendo Power the rough equivalent of reading a magazine about cars that only featured Hondas.” While this may be true (I haven’t read it in years), the magazine featured reviews and published the high scores of actual gamers, and more importantly, it made me feel like an informed video game consumer, which is an important goal of any good piece of content.
5 Common Content Marketing Sins — Business 2 Community
Aside from only promoting your own products (sorry, Nintendo), procrastination, carelessness and not opening your doors to guest writers can kill your content.
9 Lessons From Lewis D’Vorkin’s Push to Remake Forbes Online — PBS MediaShift
Speaking of guests, Mr. D’Vorkin will be joining Outbrain CEO Yaron Galai on September 19 to discuss Forbes’ revolutionary content hub AdVoice and the ever-expanding role journalism plays in advertising. This piece analyzes Forbes’ ascendance as a digital media powerhouse.
7 Publishers Using Responsive Design — Digiday
Forbes isn’t the only publisher stepping up its content game. This piece highlights publishers including Boston Globe, Smashing Magazine and FoodSense for designs that enable users to access content across a variety of devices without issue.
Create Content for Marathon Site Visits — Website Magazine
Looking to increase your average visitor’s time-on-site? Check out this piece, which recommends lists, questions, photos and videos as attention grabbers, among other tactics.
After last week’s necessary but damaging lecture, it’s nice to see this week’s posts take on a much more helpful tone. In this weekly roundup, you’ll find content marketing book recommendations, partnership recommendations and a stat that will keep you smiling all weekend.
Majority of Smartphone Users Access Content — BtoB
In this (very) short but sweet article, BtoB reveals that 93% of smartphone users access content on their phones, according to a study from the Online Publishers Association. The report also reveals that 79% of smartphone owners have taken action after seeing an ad; 31% have clicked through an ad; and 30% have used a special offer or coupon.
8 Content Production Tools To Help Marketers Become Publishing Machines — Business 2 Community
Can’t seem to write enough to keep your audience happy? This piece lists the group of prospective partners that might be able to pitch in and deliver more valuable articles and videos. Check it out.
Great Summer Reading on Content Marketing — iAcquire Blog
Use this article to fill your Amazon cart immediately. Classics from Joe Pulizzi, Rebecca Lieb, Ann Handley and CC Chapman.
How to Overcome the 5 Excuses That Will Kill Your Content Marketing Efforts — Marketing Land
Writer’s block, lack of time and lack of confidence are among the reasons listed in this piece. The author’s suggestions for people with these complaints? Click to find out!
What Content Marketers Can Learn from a Newsroom — BlueGlass Blog
Aaron Sorkin fans will appreciate this piece, which compares content creation to his new HBO TV show’s setting. Style, timeliness and research are all valuable components of newsroom writing. They can also determine the success of your content.
Content marketers must be messing things up: Check out the first three articles on this week’s list! Words like “mistakes” and “alternatives” can be scary, but these three pieces are here to help us step up our collective game. Summer’s almost over people: No more slacking!
Five Common Content Marketing Mistakes — Business 2 Community
Got no plan? Pay no attention to details? Unafraid of the competition? Well, this article (and the subsequent article) is most definitely for you!
The Top 6 Content Marketing Mistakes — Jeffbullas’s Blog
Trying to make a quick sell? Grammar not a strong suit? Incapable of getting your company behind your efforts? Well, this article (and probably the one before it) is definitely for you!
3 Alternative Content Marketing Strategies — Content Marketing Institute
Okay, so maybe you’re not completely incapable. Maybe you just need a fresh spin on your content. This post by Joltin’ Joe Pulizzi reveals why unconventional content partnerships, an active pursuit of content talent and buying a media company (yes, for realz!) might help kick-start your content strategy.
Report suggests content marketing is part of paid and organic strategies — Brafton
Not everyone thinks we’re tanking. A recent study by Altimeter Group claims that “the presence of high-quality articles, blog posts and other kinds of content on a website will make every part of marketing better,” according to this piece.
Investors, startups: Here’s what you need to know about native ads — VentureBeat
Apparently we here at Outbrain help to make things better too, at least according to Dan Greenberg, co-founder and CEO of Sharethrough, a social advertising company. In his excellent piece on investment opportunities in native advertising, Greenberg says the following about what we do: “For example, companies like Outbrain and Disqus, which power recommended content widgets on publisher sites like Mashable and USA Today, are helping to answer the question of scale by enabling marketers to promote their content through native ads across the web.” Sweet.
Agency heads take note: This week marks the dawn of the content marketing agency era! At least according to a July 24 post on The Content Marketing Institute’s website. In the piece, author Steve Lazuka argues agencies must transition into content marketing firms in order to meet their client’s needs. Lazuka offers agencies the following three steps for beginning the transition: finding the right technology, building the right team and setting the right price. What do you think? Is it time for agencies to position themselves as content marketing shops? See what other interesting items appeared this week around the Web.
How To Weave Content Marketing Into Your Company’s DNA — Marketing Land
If you’re not quite ready to hire Sterling, Cooper, Draper (and Price?) to manage your content strategy, this piece offers a very comprehensive approach to a total content marketing overhaul. My favorite excerpt: “You should not set out to create remarkable content for a singular purpose, but should instead view the content creation process as an opportunity to makes the most of your time, money and resources.”
No-Excuses Content Marketing with Marcus Sheridan [Interview] — Business2Community
We’re all huge fans of The Sales Lion AKA Marcus Sheridan here at Outbrain. Particularly because he drops gems like this during interviews: “The principle here is people in your industry have questions. He who answers those questions the most and the best gets the reward from Google, and gets the reward from the consumer him or herself.”
Sell Your Expertise Without Selling In Your Guest Posts — Business Insider
This piece echoes Sheridan’s point about providing valuable information for consumers. “Entirely. Focus on simply educating your readers. In the content marketing age, information sells. That’s why people browse the internet – not to be sold to, but to be informed.” Truth.
Should You Write a White Paper for Content Marketing? — Search Engine Journal
Whitepapers are the redheaded step-child of content marketing. But this piece champions them as useful and effective components of your content marketing strategy. “[A whitepaper] builds authority, it raises awareness, it encourages inbound links, and it increases your chances of becoming the go-to company if your industry is ever in the press, among other things.”
I apologize for the two-week hiatus. New York State demanded that I serve on a Grand Jury. I tried to explain to several jury wardens that my role as Weekly Link Disseminator was far more important than helping to decide whether or not murder and robbery suspects were indicted on criminal charges. Several jury wardens adamantly disagreed. Rather than be indicted on charges myself, I decided to oblige said several jury wardens. Alas, I’m back with this week’s content marketing gems. Stay outta trouble, dear readers. It might be harder than you think.
Creative Content Marketing that Defines a Brand — Business2Community
This piece lauds brands like Starbucks, Whole Foods and Patagonia for their creative approaches to content marketing. “Creative is the key word that should always be attached to content marketing. When you use creative content marketing you can start defining your brand in some pretty big ways.”
Content Marketing is a Juggling Act — B2B Digital Marketing
Being creative is easier said than done. In order to accomplish creativity, or any of your other important content initiatives, your strategy must be flexible. This piece focuses on how to plan a marketing strategy than enables you to adapt as your business goals change.
How to Grow Content Marketing Footprint — MarketingWeek
If going old-school is one of your content goals, this piece explains why print content is an effective outreach tactic. The article quotes Simon Carter, Fujitsu’s marketing director for UK and Ireland, who says his company uses its book The White Book of Cloud as “an engagement tool for existing customers and new prospects. It’s also helped us have a number of key conversations with stakeholders.”
Content Outreach Mistakes: 4 Things You Never Realized You Were Doing Wrong — Search Engine Journal
In case your creative approaches are stalling, and your print book is as widely read as my undergraduate thesis, this piece might help you figure out what you’re doing wrong. Among the most commonly found mistakes: being generic, being vague and misspelling tings things.
3 Must-Have Investments: Social Media, Content Marketing, and Mobile — ClickZ
There seems to be one of these articles every week, which tells me that there are still some people out there who haven’t smelled the content marketing espresso beans yet. If your boss is one of those people, ask him/her if he/she has heard of Facebook. Then ask if he/she has heard of the iPhone. When he/she rolls his/her eyes because obviously I’ve heard of those things you imbecilic subordinate, tell him/her that content marketing is becoming just as valuable to marketers as social media and mobile marketing, according to a little-known shop called IBM.