Depressing research

It’s official. B2B marketers are getting less effective at content marketing.

The latest Content Marketing Institute research into B2B content marketing: 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends in the US paints a pretty bleak picture:

‘Only 30% of B2B marketers say their organizations are effective at content marketing, down from 38% last year.’

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What hasn’t changed is the critical success factor for those who are winning:

‘53% of the most effective marketers have a documented content marketing strategy.’

Surely the time has come for our industry to put an end to random acts of content? What doesn’t serve the audience is now proven to not serve the bottom line.

Crazy but it might just work…

SumoMe has decided to let 150,000 customers start cross-promoting their content for free on its platform.

This ‘pay it forward’ strategy may seem commercially naïve, but there is method in the madness.

This is how SumoMe Discover works:

You plug the widget into your content pages.

A prospect arrives at your site and hopefully goes through your beautifully constructed conversion process and downloads/ subscribes etc. At the end of the content piece there’s a contextually relevant promotion of content provided by another SumoMe customer.

There is a chance that this might be a competitor. But here’s the kicker: they will also have to promote your content to be given access to the network.

Think of using the Google Display Network without having to pay anything to Google. The price is sending visitors away from your site – which they will do anyway. So why not get a free ride on the back on it?

It’s just launched so watch this space.

The ‘Content Godfather’ launches new hardback

Content Inc

Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses

Content Inc. has finally been published in the UK and Joe Pulizzi has produced an excellent piece of work as always. It’s written for entrepreneurs but seasoned marketers will find it peppered with a lot of insights too.

The repeated mantra of focusing on building email subscribers is vindication that despite all the changes happening over the last few years ‘the money is still in the list’.

The ‘Three and three’ model is a key takeaway. Interestingly the most successful Content Inc. entrepreneurs focus on  a blog, a book and public speaking.

The only criticism from our end is the lack of alternative strategies if you don’t have the luxury of time to ‘build audiences before you sell’.

The success stories of businesses that persevered with years of audience building before generating revenue are laudable.

We all know content marketing success is a marathon and not a sprint. But how many start-up entrepreneurs can convince banks and investors that the righteous and sustainable path to revenue may take a while?

89 marketers bare their souls

IDIO has just published a new e-book: Ouch: A frank look at digital marketers’ biggest pains

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Some genuine nuggets in here, rather than the usual peer-to-peer generated ‘answers to job interview questions’ (My biggest challenge is my obsession with perfection…)

Some notable gems include:

  • A great summary section on the grouping of challenges: Customer (data, insight and relevance), Organisational (inertia, culture and innovation) and Tactical (content, attribution and measurement)
  • A simple little chart explaining the ‘Cost-Benefit Lag’ for ROI modelling to get internal buy-in.
  • A fascinating section on attribution modelling. The next step in ‘first touch’, ‘last touch’ and ‘multi-touch’ attribution is now ‘cohort analysis’. (‘Mind blown’.)

Twitter launches new analytics platform – Brand Hub

Twitter has expanded its analytics solutions with its new product called Brand Hub. Although there is focus on paid Twitter campaigns, this new product aims to help marketers better understand their “share of conversation, key audiences, and trends about their brand’s conversation.”

For some time, marketers have relied on 3rd party analytics platforms to go beyond the in-built Twitter analytics. It now seems Twitter is aiming to keep users within their ecosystem with features such as:

  • TrueVoice

A new metric which represents how much of the social media conversation is about a given brand, compared to their competitors

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  • Audience

Greater demographical insight into users talking about a brand broken down by gender, location, occupation types and even income levels.

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  • Conversation details

This report helps marketers understand how users are discussing brand and products within tweets. It will also provide insight into the top phrases used in conjunction with a brand.

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Current paid account users can request access by speaking to their Twitter account team.