Content Marketing Stories that caught our attention this July

Every month, one of our team’s internal KPIs is the learning each member brings to the table and how the learning can be collectively applied to solve client problems. Generally, when we are faced with a ‘How are we going to get this done’ situation, the team takes a deep dive into research, case studies, conflicting opinion and customer surveys to find the answer. In the process, we end up coming across some really interesting reads. Here are 10 reads from the world of content that got us talking.

1. The black white and grey of content marketing

The first one on our list this month is an article that doesn’t mince words. It compares content marketers to snake oil peddlers (yikes!) and asks some hard-hitting questions on that interesting term called ‘ROI’ and if your content is actually delivering it. We tend to agree in some places and disagree in others. Content can be connected to ROI if the goals and metrics are plotted out in advance and trackable analytics is used to determine the results. Problem is that several people in the business don’t do this easily or well. In this day and age, content marketing need not be a blind term that promises a few blogs and engagement in return. It can do much more. Or can it? Read this for the flip side of the coin

2. How the right email can land you a CXO meeting

And right on the heels of that, we ask you to turn your coin around and read this interesting account of how content marketing can and did help someone land a C-suite meeting. When you talk about the exact ROI from content marketing, not everything translates easily to money. But the explanation given the article is quite compelling. According to it, a CEO is almost worth on an average, $800 an hour to a company. Can content make it compelling enough for him or her to give you $800 worth of time?

Yes. It can.

The right kind of content can get noticed by influencers and organically drive results. This isn’t a one-off. There have been many instances when well-written, targeted content has set ships sail in the right direction. Our personal experience with content proves this. For a client looking to source leads, we had suggested the trial of a cold email trail to see if things convert. Not only did the targeted, well-written email get them the meeting, it got them new business worth lakhs.

3. The ‘business’ of content marketing and murky facts

July seems to have put us in the yo-yo zone. Or is it a coincidence that we ran into another article that is calling content marketing ‘a calculating, dollar-driven invasion on the internet!’ As unbelievable as it sounds, it is true to some extent. The fact that 43% people on the internet have read misleading medical information is an alarming number. There have been proven experiments that click baits that have the right strategy but are low on quality can easily make it to the top of Google’s search results for quite some time. With content penetrating into journalism, there is a thin line between news, facts, expressions and regurgitated mix of all of it. Can the ‘business’ of content marketing cause more harm than good? Find out here.

4. Five keys to driving sales with content

Even then, businesses know for a fact that good content can eventually drive sales. This article on Forbes continues to put us on the yo-yo journey which states five keys to driving sales with content. From testimonials to stories to website text to blogs, all go a long way in creating your brand, the emotions associated with it and the reason that pushes a sale. In the end, we have a compelling proposition in front of us. Content can lead to sales. How much is a question…. probably for another blog all together.

5. Is your brand’s direct content marketing breeding distrust?

We are on a swing once again. Apparently, business2community states that ‘marketable’ content created by someone actually breeds distrust. People only trust when the content is written by a third party. We wonder where the line starts and ends then. People seem to be trusting advertising all these years and make their purchase decision based on them. They do this fully knowing that the advertisement is a direct message from the seller. Content, on the other hand, is more to do with subtle persuasion. When practised with the 80/20 rule, content can be useful while aiding the seller too. But we are in full agreement with the third party rule. Which is why influencer marketing is also a part of content marketing. But that doesn’t’ mean we leave our websites and blogs unattended.

6. If you market apps, don’t miss these successful mobile marketing campaigns

So how can self-created content be useful? By enhancing (knowledge), entertaining and being used in more ways than one. With news doing the rounds about branded apps being dead, author Ian Naylor, the founder of AppInstitute has shared three mobile marketing campaigns that show how things can be done right. Some of the apps have explored a latent need and converted it into a successful product. Others have just been made so useful that you can’t get them out of your smartphone anytime soon.

7. How tech is transforming content marketing

And we are back to scoring once more in the favour of content marketing! Yay! This article of how technology will transform content marketing rings a few notes close to home. It shows that if you produce x content, then technology today aids the marketing to get the content a reach of 10x. Brand content is only the tip of the iceberg and the real strength lies in its amplification via the right marketing channels. While company blogs have been created and may be even maintained over the years, the changes in technology and its accessibility has opened new doors and channels in reaching more consumers in a shorter span of time. It’s time we add some zing to the ‘marketing’ in content marketing.

8. The handy guide to create your next social media proposal

On that note, we felt it will be useful to peers and colleagues to get a handy guide to create a social media marketing proposal. Many a clients are lost between the pitch and the retainer agreement and we have a few tricks mentioned there that’ll help you plug the leaks and get you an interesting prospect. Social has a lot of noise that needs to be filtered out. It also needs a proper strategy in place before you start so that things don’t go awry three months down the line. The proposal writing guide comes from our own learnings over the years so we hope you find it useful.

9. Artificial Intelligence and its impact on content marketing

We are back with the buzz word of the month – Artificial Intelligence – and its impact on content marketing. Would it send some chills down your spine if we told you that a Copyblogger article from way back in 2015 stated that websites like Forbes and Associated press were using ‘machine-generated’ content! It is no secret that machines can read and understand content, put it in context and pick out the best that suits your current requirements. That’s how a simple search works. Machines are good at suggesting edits and even creating a shareable version of the content. They can research through tons of data in minutes to add the exact specific data in your content that can resonate with your target audience. Luckily for us, they don’t come too close to replacing humans (just yet). The intelligence tools come at a prohibitive cost (which may change in the future as adoption increases) and can be used only for very specific types of content. Unless machines get creative in the future, learn to empathize, interpret emotions and react, the human aspect of content creation will be intact. (phew!)

10. 21 time-saving tips for content marketers

And last but not the least, we can’t end our summary without the listicle for tips that can make life easy for content marketers. The first comes from Search Engine Journal which outlines 21 time-saving tips for content marketers.  Rightly put there that content marketing can be a stressful job and if you don’t manage your time right, you will only end up feeling burdened under a never ending backlog. These tips are super useful to break the shackles and get your time organized.

The other one is a super useful a to z guide on video content marketing. How long did it take you to read this article? A few minutes, perhaps. If this were a video, it would have been just a minute. That is the power of video. So we suggest you take 1 minute and 33 seconds out of your time to watch this video from Salesfusion’s Marketing Minute series. There are some interesting nuggets in there that tell you how to get the most out of your content.

Summing it up

We remember the time when the Is SEO dead click baits emerged a few years ago and still continue to attract attention. The negative criticism for content marketing services also seems to veer in the same direction. We will be watching where the discussion heads to keep you posted on the updates. Meanwhile, we have a whole lot of interesting reads lined up for August. Keep watching this space for more.

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