3 pointers from Forbes’ piece on content marketing trends

3 pointers from Forbes’ piece on content marketing trends

3 key quotes from Mike Templeman:

Simply blogging to have a blog or updating social media for the sake of it won’t cut it anymore. You need to engage with your audience and tell them a story.

I wonder how often we do something just for the sake of doing it. Trying out new technology just because it’s new (and not because it will create value for the end user), writing for the sake of writing, adding ‘interactive features’ just because they are interactive (and not because any reader will bother to interact). We get caught up in the novelty of something, so much so that we fail to ask the basic question: how does this add value to the end user?

More and more consumers are consuming more content on tablets and mobile phones.  But really, if we’re still talking about optimizing for mobile, then we’re having the wrong conversation. This study is really telling us that everything must be mobile first. Design and create for mobile consumption.

We are still a long way off from a mobile first approach. Our primary mode is still to focus on desktop even though fewer readers use that nowadays. I wonder if the only way to break this ingrained mentality is to force everyone to work using tablets and smartphones from time to time.

Don’t just make content to make content. But rather, outline your customer’s journey and then create the content that will help move them from one stage to the next. If they’re using the content to make a decision, then ensure the content you provide is guiding that decision.

I first came across the concept of user journeys during UX training. Admittedly it is not something that I’m very clear about, but it makes sense to tailor content for different parts of the journey. If we can’t go that far, then at the least, we should plot out the user journey and identify where our content is supposed to go, and how can it amplified for maximum impact.

This all ties in with John Lavine’s message – engage your user and be strategic about it.


Forbes: Content Marketing Trends – What To Expect In 2017 And Beyond


Content Marketing 101: How do you define it?

Content Marketing 101: How do you define it?

What people say content marketing is:

“Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star.  Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one.”

Robert Rose

In order words, it is action, not just talk.

“Your customers don’t care about you, your products, your services…they care about themselves, their wants and their needs.  Content marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about so they actually pay attention to you.”

Content Marketing Institute

Get this: the typical customer doesn’t care about you. They care about themselves – what they want, what makes them happy, what meets their needs. It’s not about you, so get over yourself. Ditch the hubris, focus on your consumer and really listen.

Content marketing is the opposite of advertising. It’s about engaging consumers with the stuff they really want, in a way that serves your brand’s purposes and ideals, rather than just trying to jam your logo into their periphery.

Heidi Cohen

Again, consumer first. This is why I advocate user interviews, but unfortunately it is deemed as an afterthought or good-to-have. If I had to name just one thing I learnt from my product development days, it was the importance of talking to the users and understanding their stories. If you don’t understand your users, you can’t engage them effectively.

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” 

Content Marketing Institute

Pay attention to the keywords in bold. We need to be strategic, relevant and consistent. Oftentimes we let our clients ride roughshod over us, forcing us to sacrifice strategy. We need to effectively persuade clients to take sensible steps to attract consumers, rather than letting them dictate a self-absorbed campaign that alienates the end user.


Content Marketing Institute: Six Useful Content Marketing Definitions

Heidi Cohen: 50 Marketers Define Content Marketing

Moving beyond ‘Content Shock’: Key takeaways

Moving beyond ‘Content Shock’: Key takeaways

A few colleagues and I recently attended a workshop titled “Content Marketing: Moving Beyond Content Shock in Asia”. Speakers included Andrea Edwards, Nick Fawbert and Mike Jackson.

The session was highly informative. I’ve distilled some of my takeaways – particularly from Andrea Edwards’ talk – below, for easier reference in future. If you ever have the chance to hear these guys in a ‘live’ setting, go for it!

Our job as branded content experts

Our audience has a finite amount of time and they want to spend it on content that is relevant and meaningful for them. Are we delivering what they need and want, or what we need and want?

Our job as content marketeers is to create killer content that is relevant, meaningful, and meets the users where they are.

Focus on these 3 critical channels

The majority of content discovered by your audience comes from just 3 channels – e-mail, search and social. The best marketers focus their efforts on creating content that can be discovered across all of these.” – Michael Brenner, Marketing Insider Group

Oftentimes we overlook these three critical channels in favour of our in-house traffic drivers. Time to expand our horizons and be more focused at the same time. The 80/20 rule comes to mind here.

It’s all about the customer, the customer, the customer

Andrea Edwards pointed out something basic but woefully overlooked:

  • Who’s your customer?
  • Who/what influences your customer?
  • What’s the conversation you want to align your brand with?

Are we asking these questions honestly and consistently? Or are we taking things at face value because it makes our work simpler in the short-term? I am probably biased towards anything that has to do with customer research, but I truly believe that we do not understand our customers enough to deliver excellent campaigns.

Are you hungry for success?

Another point that Andrea Edwards brought up is our appetite for success. To paraphrase her:

Success requires energy. It requires a hunger, a sense of urgency – a true obsession to help customers…

The quality/intent of content is all that matters. Half-hearted content gives rise to ‘content shock’…

Do these qualities apply to all the work that we do? If not, how can we improve? These are questions every client-facing person should ask themselves honestly – and often.


Andrea Edwards: The Digital Conversationalist

Nick Fawbert: Mutiny Asia