The Marketing Companion

Each year, Mary Meeker compiles a wide-ranging report on the top Internet trends on behalf of venture capitalist firm KPCB. The report goes on for 213 pages. And do you have time for that? No! That's why Tom Webster and I distilled the report into the profound marketing trends that will have the biggest impact on you. Some of the ideas we cover in our new podcast are:

  • Why "viral" is more is more viral that ever and how Facebook Live will become the ultimate in reality TV and a revolution in journalism.
  • Why self-driving cars will dramatically change our behaviors and unleash new personal productivity.
  • The economic battle for your business may get down to music, movies, books, and switching costs. Will Facebook need to get into the music business?
  • The game-changing technology of voice recognition accuracy.
  • The malignant complexity of data and the vulnerability of a "single-source" supply channel.

Pretty interesting stuff? If that wasn't enough, it's the third anniversary of The Marketing Companion and Tom and I have a traditional gift change to remember. Let's get to it! Resources mentioned in the podcast: Jeff Jarvis Blog post on self-driving cars and the future of content

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free Discovery tool.  Affinio is an advanced audience intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Using our deep learning and custom network engine, Affinio is able to analyze these connections to develop a social fingerprint for each user.  Affinio’s customers use this data to: Build in-depth data-driven personas; Understand their audience; Conduct competitive analysis; Identify ideal influencers and sponsorship opportunities; Build data-driven content strategies that resonate; Place highly targeted ads with data-backed creative.

Direct download: Marketing_mega-trends.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:43am EDT

We are rapidly moving toward an ad-free world, which is kind of scary because the Internet really, really, really depends on ads. Ad blocking increased by 94 percent between 2015 and 2016. About one-third of all smartphone owners block the ads that make all that great free content possible. I probably consume more content than ever. But I do it though Netflix, through Sirius radio, through Spotify. I don't personally use an ad blocker ... but I don't see ads, either. Fortunately, there is a new social media super-power that presents an extremely attractive new advertising venue: Podcasting. You heard me correctly. Podcasting is the little advertising engine that could. You can't block an ad on a podcast, and when the ad is delivered by a trusted podcast host, the format is arguably the most effective way to connect to some audiences right now. In fact, ComScore reports that people prefer ads in podcasts over any other digital medium! Now is the time to get in on the ground floor of sponsored podcasts. Fueled by smartphone ownership and the advantage of being the "multi-task" medium, podcasting is experiencing its greatest growth spurt ever, as evidenced by this new report from Edison Research: podcasts and advertising Most of the growth is occurring with consumers under the age of 55: podcasts and advertising And podcast consumers are voracious, spending more than four hours per week consuming an average of five different programs: podcasts and advertising podcasts and advertising Podcast consumers are desirable ad targets for many brands because they are significantly more affluent and educated than the average American: podcasts and advertising podcasts and advertising Finally, podcast consumers are much more likely to follow your brand: podcasts and advertising In a sign that the advertising power of podcasts is starting to be recognized, Scripps, a traditional media company, is making major investments in the space: It bought podcast advertising company Midroll Media for $50 million in cash in 2015, and Scripps just acquired Stitcher, a podcast-streaming app, for $4.5 million. As a marketer, the research had an impact on me and I enjoyed hearing more about this opportunity and the future of podcasting when I discussed it with Tom Webster on our latest episode of The Marketing Companion. If you love podcasting, marketing, advertising, social media, or just the sound of Tom's voice, you won't want to miss this show. Plus, you'll learn about Tommodium, a new pharmaceutical product from the Marketing Companion Labs. It's the solution to Social Media Constipation and ... well, you'll have to hear to believe it. Here we go.

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out, as well as their new free Discovery tool.  Affinio is an advanced audience intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Using our deep learning and custom network engine, Affinio is able to analyze these connections to develop a social fingerprint for each user.  Affinio’s customers use this data to: Build in-depth data-driven personas; Understand their audience; Conduct competitive analysis; Identify ideal influencers and sponsorship opportunities; Build data-driven content strategies that resonate; Place highly targeted ads with data-backed creative.

Direct download: The_greatest_social_media_opportunity__You_might_be_surprised.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:19pm EDT

In our new episode of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I explore a theme of marketing challenges to rise above the increasing noise levels to connect to our customers. It's a difficult proposition and getting harder all the time. Some of the topics in this jam-packed 30 minutes of marvelous audio content include:

  • Rising losses from ad-blocking are pushing marketing dollars into new places.
  • An unlikely source of content innovation -- printed magazines and books.
  • Innovations to merge games with serious editorial content to drive page views and engagement.
  • Surprising insights on what almost every marketer is missing when it comes to creating effective video content.

And if this wasn't juicy enough, Tom and I introduce a star-studded new motion picture: "Chatbots: Revolution" starring Sean Connery, Marge Simpson, and Slurry the lovable Marketing Companion Chatbot. You are not going to miss this are you? Let's find our marketing signal. References for this podcast Ad blocking to cost $12 billion Kickstarter project for print-only tennis magazine Most people watch with the sound off Washington Post new story form and games  

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out! Affinio is an advanced audience intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Using our deep learning and custom network engine, Affinio is able to analyze these connections to develop a social fingerprint for each user.  Affinio’s customers use this data to: Build in-depth data-driven personas; Understand their audience; Conduct competitive analysis; Identify ideal influencers and sponsorship opportunities; Build data-driven content strategies that resonate; Place highly targeted ads with data-backed creative. "

Direct download: Cutting_through_the_marketing_noise.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:02am EDT

In the latest episode of The Marketing Companion podcast, Tom Webster and I reveal our wishlist of what we would like to see "more of" and "less of" on the web. Among the topics we explore: Brand skepticism and brand bullying -- It seems like any time a company authentically tries to be "human" on the web it attracts an attack. If we want brands to show up in a more human way, shouldn't we reward them? Evangelism -- This word is a red flag for me. When anybody describes themselves as an evangelist for ... (fill in the latest social technology) ... I immediately wonder about the credibility of the person. "Evangelism" suggests you have a specific agenda and your goal is to "convert" instead of "lead."  The web need more business leaders and fewer evangelists. Long-term thinking -- Why Uber needs to be more like Nike. A brand develops from a collection of small interactions over time. Do brands still have the patience to be great? Whining -- Let's stop whining and start taking care of each other. Want to make the world a better place? Think about how you're showing up in your little corner of the world. ... and there's much more. Also, I have been experiencing chatbot envy. Apparently this is the way to go now, according to Facebook. So Tom and I decided we needed to get ahead of this curve by introducing Slurry™, the new Marketing Companion chatbot. It's not quite ready for primetime, but it is rather entertaining! Ready for some fun? Here we go. Resources mentioned in this podcast:

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out! Affinio is an advanced audience intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Using our deep learning and custom network engine, Affinio is able to analyze these connections to develop a social fingerprint for each user.  Affinio’s customers use this data to: Build in-depth data-driven personas; Understand their audience; Conduct competitive analysis; Identify ideal influencers and sponsorship opportunities; Build data-driven content strategies that resonate; Place highly targeted ads with data-backed creative.

Direct download: A_modern_marketing_wish_list.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:04pm EDT

Over the past few months I've seen a few trends coming together but I'm not sure I grasped the significance of what's happening until I heard a recent comment from my 16-year-old nephew. Here is what I have seen occurring:

  • WhatsApp has rapidly become the biggest messaging service in the world with more than a billion users.
  • Snapchat is a juggernaut with the 18-24 age group, now earning more daily check-ins than Facebook. The company founder insists it is “not a social network.”
  • Facebook is the social network for most of the world, yet their major investment is in the development of private Facebook Messenger, including bots that would help companies scale “human” interaction through the service. More than 900 million people use Messenger now.Instagram (owned by Facebook) started private DM in 2014 that focuses on the sharing of content with up to 15 people in a threaded approach. The artificial intelligence-powered messaging space that allows third parties to build and deploy chatbots is predicted to facilitate 40 percent of mobile interactions by 2020 as “smart agents” proliferate, according to Gartner.
  • After falling behind Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, Apple has become laser-focused on improving Messages.
  • Other private messaging services like Viber and Kik have established footholds with certain demographic groups and have attracted millions of users.

And here is the quote from my young nephew: "Oh Facebook is dead. My friend posted on Facebook and we made fun of him. We only use Snapchat now because who wants to put everything in public all the time? This just connects me with my real friends." Of course you can't pin a trend to the comment of one person but he helped articulate the idea I had been pondering: A seismic shift in how people connect to each other. People are more interested in actually communicating, instead of broadcasting. We don’t want personal and private lives merging any more and we want control over our different social circles within these messaging apps. Social media won't go away (Facebook isn't dead!), but it may become less important to certain groups as this trend toward more intimate conversation rises. It seems like we're going full circle. The first communication apps (ICQ and AOL Chat for example) were all private. What Facebook, Snapchat, and WhatsApp have realized for some time finally hit me, too. The world is transitioning from public social media to private media. For the foreseeable future, these intimate channels will present vast new opportunities, and perhaps perils, for marketers.

The rise of private media

The platforms have been responding to the rising trend of private media:

  • Instagram started private DM in 2014 that focuses on the sharing of content with up to 15 people in a threaded approach.
  • Twitter has experimented with Snapchat-stylized doodles and photo editing and in 2015 expanded the character limit via direct messaging.
  • Facebook Messenger will now support scannable codes, user names and links. This update allows the creation of a unique Messenger URL that will allow for greater discovery of users and businesses within the private sphere.
  • Facebook is already positioning pages and ad units with a “message the brand” option and analysts believe Facebook is positioning Messenger as its primary commerce hub of the future.
  • Business Insider reported that for the first time, combined usage of the top four messaging apps exceeded the combined usage of the top four social media apps. Falling data prices, cheaper devices, and improved features are helping propel their growth:

Screenshot 2016-04-30 17.12.10

Implications for marketing

I am beginning to think through some of the implications for this trend and I would be delighted to hear about your ideas in the comment section. "Open rate" -- The typical open rate for email is about 20 percent. Without the boost of ad support on Facebook, your organic reach for your content probably averages less than 1 percent (this varies widely by business). The open rate for a private message? 98 percent. Smartphone users are more likely to have push notifications turned on for a messaging app than for email, a branded app, or even Facebook. Protection against another wave of content shock -- I recently wrote that content shock isn't a trend, it's a wave. Every "quiet" channel becomes more difficult and expensive to maneuver in as the amount of noise rises. How do you keep the open rate at 98 percent as the popularity (and potential spam level) rises? What will be the rules of engagement? Conversational moments -- Today a brand goal on social media is mass relevance. We want that kitty picture to get as many likes, clicks, and shares as we can muster. But in this new world, the goal is engagement through private, meaningful, conversational moments. How do you scale? Through ... Bots -- Facebook is working on smart bots that can hold human-like conversations. This seems like the foundational technology that would make this work on a large scale. How do we insert ads and brand messages in conversations in a way that isn't disappointing ... or creepy? From content-orientation to person-orientation -- In our current "mass relevance" model, content is at the center of the experience. In the future, content will still be important, but an individual will be the focus of the experience. We will be using Big Data in sophisticated ways to craft personalized, timely, location-based content and offers. Brand communications will be more immediate, expressive, and intimate.

Permission-based -- The challenge of Snapchat is to get people to find you and follow you. Presumably brands will have to get people to find and follow them in these channels.

The purpose of Facebook -- It will be fascinating to see how Facebook morphs and shifts in this environment. This is the platform most brands have been married to, and this is where most of the marketing investment is still occurring. There is a comfort there. How does that relationship change moving forward?

Data capture -- Several years ago I suggested that Google should give away new smartphones every year in exchange for the ability to analyze the gold mine of data in text messaging. It appears that this trove of data could be migrating from texts and email to company-controlled messaging apps. What will happen to the lines of privacy? Will there be a new value exchange for this data?

And by the way ... Where IS Google in this whole development? As of yet, they don't seem to have a relevant entry.

This is a fascinating new development and there are many, many future conversations we will have together on this topic. Let's get the ball rolling with this new podcast episode. In the latest edition of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I open up a discussion on private media and we also dissect new research on brand authenticity. And oh yes, we launch our latest product from the Marketing Companion Labs, Snapchat Silver, for those of you over 40 trying to figure out Snapchat. You won't want to miss this episode!

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out! Affinio is an advanced audience intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Using our deep learning and custom network engine, Affinio is able to analyze these connections to develop a social fingerprint for each user.  Affinio’s customers use this data to: Build in-depth data-driven personas; Understand their audience; Conduct competitive analysis; Identify ideal influencers and sponsorship opportunities; Build data-driven content strategies that resonate; Place highly targeted ads with data-backed creative.


So much going on today! So many changes to consider. Facebook and Snapchat and content wars. OH MY! In this new episode of The Marketing Companion Tom Webster and I consider some EPIZOODIC new ideas that will be affecting your marketing programs now and in the future. Listen in for some TREMENDIFIED new insights on:

  • Snapchat rejected Facebook's takeover bid last year. Mark Zuckerberg is taking revenge like a jilted lover. Watch out for this ZUCKERFICATION of Facebook Messenger. Facebook and Snapchat ... AT WAR?
  • The surprising new study that shows how people consume content in their cars. GOLLY GOSH this is unbelievable!
  • Audible is seeking WORLD DOMINATION on everything audio. The Netflix of audio? WOWZERS.
  • The epic battle for the content eco-system is heating up! Apple? Google? Amazon? TAKE COVER!
  • Twitter's new partnership with the National Football League. A multimedia SHOCKER! Is this the salvation of Twitter or is this FOURTH AND LONG for the company?

Also, don't miss this FREE eBook co-authored by Mark Schaefer and our sponsor Affinio called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Did I just say this is FREE? Why, yes I did. Well, you're probably ready to jump out of your seat by now. Please. Stay Calm. Your podcast awaits.

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level. Check out BuzzSumo's powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Affinio is now offering a FREE eBook co-authored with Mark Schaefer called How to Identify, Understand and Grow Your Ideal Content Audience. Check it out! Affinio is an advanced audience intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Using our deep learning and custom network engine, Affinio is able to analyze these connections to develop a social fingerprint for each user.  Affinio’s customers use this data to: Build in-depth data-driven personas; Understand their audience; Conduct competitive analysis; Identify ideal influencers and sponsorship opportunities; Build data-driven content strategies that resonate; Place highly targeted ads with data-backed creative

Direct download: Facebook_chases_down_Snapchat.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:40pm EDT

First, let's establish something. Despite all the Wall Street belly-aching about Twitter, The Bird is a powerful force in our world. It is a place for innovation, conversation and collaboration. It is where news breaks and politicians rant. It is the place for real-time commentary on live events. But if Twitter has no paying customers, it will not be a platform forever. So there is the rub. Twitter has an enormous and passionate audience. It has a goldmine of real-time data. It is a primary method for getting news to spread. It is changing the world through Twitter chats. ... and yet nobody is paying for any of this. Twitter will never have the mainstream panache of Facebook or the dead-simple interface of Instagram. It needs to find a way to focus on being profitable with LOW user growth ... and you know, there are LOTS of companies that do that. But what Twitter lacks in growth it makes up for in high-octane relevance. When Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa cross swords over marriage and marijuana, they do so on Twitter. When Oprah single-handedly lifts a brand's stock price 23 percent, she does so on Twitter. And when a politician gaffes so hard it sparks a mocking hashtag, he or she (but probably he) does so on Twitter. Twitter has become part of the fabric of our lives. So as the stock for our beloved little channel continues to tumble, Tom Webster and I decided to take this on. How do you save Twitter? We cover a lot of ground in this 30 minute episode of The Marketing Companion and you're going to enjoy the debate! Here we go! How to save Twitter ...

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial and use the coupon MARKETING-COMPANION to get 20% off BuzzSumo for the first six months. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level.

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Affinio is an advanced audience intelligence platform that leverages the interest graph to understand today’s consumers. Using our deep learning and custom network engine, Affinio is able to analyze these connections to develop a social fingerprint for each user.  Affinio’s customers use this data to: Build in-depth data-driven personas; Understand their audience; Conduct competitive analysis; Identify ideal influencers and sponsorship opportunities; Build data-driven content strategies that resonate; Place highly targeted ads with data-backed creative.

Direct download: 73_Why_Twitter_matters.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 8:58am EDT

For the first time since Facebook unseated MySpace in the hearts and minds of teens, ladies and gentlemen, we have a new social media champion -- Snapchat, at least if you're a young American (cue David Bowie). While Facebook continues to dominate overall social media usage, in a new report from Edison Research, Snapchat has eclipsed Facebook with social media users aged 12-24. In fact, 72 percent of them now use Snapchat and 26 percent cited this as the channel they use most often, up from 15 percent just a year ago, a mind-blowing statistic. At the same time, Facebook dropped from 43 percent to 32 percent as the most-used network for that age group. This new report prompted a fascinating discussion with Tom Webster on our Marketing Companion podcast. We also discuss:

  • Why this trend is another way consumers are becoming "less available" to advertisers.
  • Why influencer marketing is growing in importance and how it is transforming in this ad-free era.
  • Is Snapchat social media as it was meant to be? It's unencumbered by Likes, status and brands (for now).
  • New data on podcasting and why Tom Webster now believes this should be considered a "mainstream" channel.
  • Why the "short attention span" view is a myth.
  • The enigma of radio -- receivers are disappearing but reach is holding steady.
  • Content in the future -- might be unrecognizable from where we are today.

Are you ready to hear more? Of course you are. Let's get to it. Resources cited in this episode:

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial and use the coupon MARKETING-COMPANION to get 20% off BuzzSumo for the first six months. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level.

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Our podcast is also brought to you by Voices Heard Media. Please check out this tremendous resource for scaling social media engagement. Take a look at building an engaged and relevant audience through innovative new games, contests, analytics, polling platforms, and other innovations.

Direct download: tmc.71.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 5:08pm EDT

There is a steady drumbeat of bad news about content marketing ...

  • The output of content per brand increased by 78 percent in one year, but content engagement decreased by 60 percent at the same time.
  • On social networks, brand-generated content is seeing the lowest engagement rates now than any other time. BuzzSumo reported that even the best content creators are seeing dramatic declines in social referrals.
  • 50 percent of professionally-marketed blog posts receive fewer than eight social shares.
  • Content Marketing Institute, the relentless cheerleader for all things content, reported in their new research that satisfaction with the measurable results of content marketing slipped from 38 percent to 30 percent in just a year.

TrackMaven report concluded that a majority of professional marketing content fails to have an impact and calls this “the darkest picture to date of content marketing.” BuzzSumo's analytics genius Steve Rayson recently wrote:

Whilst in earlier years it was possible that if you produced good content it would get found and shared, almost by virtue of its quality, this is no longer the case. There is now so much content that even producing great content is not enough.

But despite the gloom, here is a fundamental truth: Content Marketing works. Which of course is part of the problem. In fact, the more it works, the more people invest in content. The more content, the more competition. The more competition, the more it costs to compete just to maintain the gains ... and this is exactly what we're seeing in the marketplace right now. The trick is adjusting to these new realities. How do we overcome that level of information density? How do we assign value to our work? And how do we produce content that rises above the noise? That is the topic of our new podcast episode and one that will surely make you think and perhaps it will even cheer you up in the midst of all this gloomy news. There is a path forward, but we need to adjust to these new realities instead of denying them. Here's how:

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

BuzzSumo is the world's best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial and use the coupon MARKETING-COMPANION to get 20% off BuzzSumo for the first six months. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights to take your marketing to the next level.

GoToWebinar – a leader in online events – is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. Trusted by start-ups to global organizations worldwide, GoToWebinar helps businesses reach over 40 million people each year.

Our podcast is also brought to you by Voices Heard Media. Please check out this tremendous resource for scaling social media engagement. Take a look at building an engaged and relevant audience through innovative new games, contests, analytics, polling platforms, and other innovations.

Direct download: tmc.70.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 6:13pm EDT

How much time do you spend each week learning something new? It's a problem for me, which is why I love podcasts so much. I can usually find a way to fit in a 30 minute podcast and feel energized and refreshed. I am even getting a lot of new blog posts ideas from podcast discussions that inspire me. If you haven't discovered podcasts as a way to get energized and inspired, the latest edition of The Marketing Companion would be a great place to start. In this latest edition you'll hear about two new apps to help you create content, a list of the worst apps in the world (including the Death Simulator), and some radical new insights into customer service best practices.

Two cool new apps for the content creator

Tom Webster and I start the show covering two new content-creation apps we love. The first one is Anchor, an app that Tom uses to record and share soundbites on the go. These soundbites are called “waves" and could have an interesting impact on content creation. Lots of possibilities here. I talk about how I am using Blab and why I love it. I'm still in the experimental stage but see huge potential in this as a flexible and easy way to create quality content. I am even combining Blab and Slideshare.

Radical insights into customer service

The heart of the show is a discussion of the surprising data behind Jay Baer's new book Hug Your Haters. Tom Webster led an Edison Research team to discover the truth of customer service on the web today. Here are some the fascinating tidbits that came out of the show:

  • Why Jay's new book is not the one he started out to write.
  • What industries are number one for complaints?
  • What company gets the single-most number of complaints?
  • The vast implications of customer expectations for response speed.
  • What do you do about that 2 percent of "haters" who just love to hate? They won't go away no matter what you do. How do you know when it is time to walk away?
  • The Hatrix -- a strategy for dealing with haters
  • Onstage haters versus offstage haters and the amazing data that points to radical new social media service strategies
  • Why the emphasis on Twitter complaints may be overstated.

I'm sure you'll love this show. Especially the part about poop. Here we go ... Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity. Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty, the best weekly curation of digital news.

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Direct download: tmc.69.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 7:07pm EDT