Jay Baer – Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting http://www.convinceandconvert.com Fri, 23 Feb 2018 12:39:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.5 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/cropped-convince-convert_C-orange-32x32.png Jay Baer – Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting http://www.convinceandconvert.com 32 32 Jay Baer’s Top 30 Digital Marketing Blogs http://www.convinceandconvert.com/digital-marketing/my-top-33-digital-marketing-blogs/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/digital-marketing/my-top-33-digital-marketing-blogs/#comments Thu, 22 Feb 2018 14:00:25 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=19621 What's on your reading list? Keep it fresh with these top digital marketing blogs, read and subscribed to by Jay Baer and the Convince & Convert team.

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Jay Baer’s Top 30 Digital Marketing Blogs

Digital marketing blogs may be numerous, but I find them still to be critical. I’ve been in digital marketing for over 20 years, and the only way you can stay relevant that long is to read A LOT. In digital marketing, if you don’t learn, you die. Period.

Members of the Convince & Convert team all have their own reading lists, based on their interests and their topical expertise. Together, we read nearly close to 200 online publications routinely.

Believe it or not, we keep up with blogs by a familiar and comfortable (for me) method: email. I subscribe via email and read (or at least scan) nearly 50 blogs that way. It’s actually far more than that because several of the sources I devour are actually email aggregators that pull the best posts from many, many blogs. I find that gives me the best coverage.

I recently went through my email for a week and put together this list of the 30 top digital marketing blogs and subscriptions that I consume regularly. If yours isn’t on this list, it doesn’t mean I don’t read or don’t subscribe. I just don’t read it as routinely as I do these others.

Please add your own suggestions in the comments for digital marketing resources I may have overlooked. I’m eager to see which you read, as well.


In digital marketing, if you don’t learn, you die. Period.
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Buffer

This blog has gotten hugely popular in a short period of time because the content is fascinating, topical, and useful. Proud investor in this company, am I.

Cassandra Daily

If it’s not #trending, they don’t write about it. Subscribing is like having a focus group of teenagers that you don’t have to feed.

Contently Content Strategist

I’m really impressed with these guys. Solid info every day for the advanced content marketer.

Content Marketing Institute

The powerhouse of the content marketing industry. Strong information and insights, delivered daily. Great job by the CMI editorial team for keeping the quality consistently high on this multi-author blog.

Convince & Convert

Hey, that’s us! I only write one post a week (in addition to a weekly newsletter, Convince & Convert ON), so I definitely read Convince & Convert every day. Subscribe via email here.

Copyblogger

One of the originals, and still one of the best. A must-read, in my estimation. I owe these guys a huge debt, too, because they’ve helped me a lot with my own blog.

CoSchedule

Smart and purposeful content always wins, and CoSchedule does this as well as any of the top content marketing blogs.

The Daily Carnage

Curated marketing news that is handpicked by the Carney team and delivered with just enough snark to ensure it’s opened daily.

Duct Tape Marketing

From John Jantsch and occasional guest contributors, everything that gets published here is worth examining. We work mostly with medium and large businesses at Convince & Convert, but I still learn a lot from Duct Tape and their scrappy, small biz sensibilities.

Econsultancy

Solid, broad-based digital marketing coverage with a research bent. Very strong in global perspectives and trends, too.

GatherContent Blog

In addition to having a terrific platform, GatherContent has also crafted a highly informative blog. It features posts from GatherContent’s own contributors, plus guests posts from experienced content creators, content strategists, content marketers, and more. They’re giving an amazing amount of strategic information away.

{grow}

From my friend the author, speaker, and college professor Mark Schaefer and a good crew of guest writers. {Grow} is a place to find conversations about topics that aren’t covered in the more news-oriented blogs. Also a great example of a multi-author blog that somehow maintains a consistent editorial voice.

Hubspot

Remarkable volume of useful content. Essentially defined what a B2B blog could (and should be). These guys live and breathe Youtility (which is why they are mentioned in my book).

Hootsuite Blog

The Hootsuite Blog is a fantastic example of what it looks like to provide real value and relevance through content. Yes, the blog leans more toward social updates and how-tos, but it also has a mix of everything you could need when it comes to digital strategy advice and insights.

Ignite Social Media

I don’t read that many blogs written by a single agency, but Jim Tobin and the crew at Ignite seem to consistently come up with interesting approaches that I don’t see everywhere else. Bravo! Jim’s book Earn It, Don’t Buy It is full of TRUTH, too. (I got to write the foreword).

MediaReDef

Must-read for media observers. A delicious, curated mix of tech and pop culture. Great trend watching.

PR Daily News

From Ragan, a nice aggregation of posts of interest to public relations folks. Curated from other sources, and some original content.

PSFK

Maybe my favorite email to receive each day (other than Quartz, which didn’t make this list because it’s not about digital marketing). PSFK is like Willy Wonka marketing. Amazing case studies and super interesting experiments from around the world. I find a TON of my Youtility examples for keynote speeches from PSFK.

Readwrite

My preferred tech news, geek, gadget site. Not strictly digital marketing per se, but terrific at keeping me up on broader tech and social media issues.

Six Pixels of Separation

I’ll never be as smart as Mitch Joel, or as prolific. Thoughtful brilliance flows on this blog like water from a tap. The wide topical array makes it such that not every post is for every reader, but stick with Mitch, and you’re guaranteed to receive something worth your attention at regular intervals.

Social Media Examiner

Outstanding tactical coverage of all things social media, from Mike Stelzner and his excellent team. Brings the best of Social Media Marketing World to your inbox all year long.

Social Media Explorer

Founded by my pal Jason Falls, this is a thinking person’s blog of social media and digital marketing issues.

Social Media Today

A powerhouse aggregator site that has more and more content written specifically for it, too. Noise-to-signal ratio can be a little high, but frequently you’ll find interesting concepts, and it’s a very good source of fresh voices.

SocialPro Daily

From Adweek, this daily digest covers the social webs from breaking news to how-to posts. If you only check one source to keep up with the heartbeat of social media, this is a best bet.

Spin Sucks

Outstanding blog for PR folks, with a side order of content marketing and social media. Led by rockstar Gini Dietrich, with help from a great cast of guest writers. Incredibly active community too, similar to {Grow} and GatherContent.

Statista

Info-junkies like me will never tire of discovering new or useful research and stats to plug into blog posts and speaking presentations. Statista sends a Chart of the Day infographic to your email, and offers a wealth of free (in addition to paid) data and infographics on the website.

Think with Google

While not a “traditional blog,” this resource center makes my UX-loving heart happy. With insights and mind-blowing studies galore, Think with Google is a wonderful cross-section of content, design, UX, CX, marketing, and more. It’s an absolute must-read for everyone, no matter what industry or role you work within.

TopRank

Outstanding coverage of content marketing, search marketing, research, and interviews from Lee Odden and his team. Popular, and deservedly so.

Uberflip

Content experience is the name of this game, in both thematics and UX. Uberflip’s content hub mixes short videos with podcast episodes and traditional blog posts. Bonus: the meta experience of getting Uberflip’s best thinking on their own Uberflip hub.

Yext

When everyone, including Facebook, is shifting attention back to local community and location, expect marketing advice to follow. My friend Jeff Rohrs and the team at Yext are one step ahead here providing sound advice for SMB and B2C marketers.

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Facebook Usage Declined and the 3 Reasons Why http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-measurement/facebook-usage-declined-3-reasons/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-measurement/facebook-usage-declined-3-reasons/#respond Wed, 21 Feb 2018 12:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=149284 New research reveals that, for the first time ever, Facebook usage has gone down. Jay Baer identifies three possible reasons why.

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Facebook Usage Declined and the 3 Reasons Why

Each year, Edison Research and Triton Digital produce the comprehensive and well-regarded Infinite Dial study which probes how Americans use social media, audio services, and other technology.

The 2018 edition will be released on March 8, and includes a shocking finding:

For the first time ever, usage of Facebook went down.

(Register for the free Infinite Dial Webinar on March 8 to learn a lot more about Americans’ usage of social and other tech. It’s the most recent, comprehensive, and accurate data available.)

That’s right. The behemoth of social media saw a decline in usage, from 67 percent of Americans ages 12 and older to 62 percent of that same audience, according to Edison and Triton’s survey of 2,000 randomly selected persons.

This drop is seen in every age and gender demographic as well. It’s not as if only young people, or older Americans, or women are using Facebook less. Every studied group is using Facebook less.

Facebook Usage Decline per Infinite Dial 2018

Facebook Usage Decline per Infinite Dial 2018

Of course, 62 percent of Americans is still a huge group of people. But this number puts Facebook’s 2018 usage in line with the 2015 penetration rate. Facebook just gave back two full years of user growth.

And a drop from 67 percent to 62 percent is a decline of eight percent overall in one year. Again, not enormous when looked at in isolation, but given Facebook’s steady, upward trajectory since the first Infinite Dial study in 2008, it’s quite a difference in pattern.


Facebook usage dropped 8% in USA since 2017, the first drop in its history. Here are 3 reasons why.
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Why, after a decade, did Facebook finally see a reduction in usage in the United States? I believe there are three explanations.

1. Increased Distrust of Facebook

It hasn’t been a great year for Facebook as an organization. The mainstream media has consistently covered Facebook’s role (or at least complicity) in the world of “fake news.” When you combine this with the company’s other missteps in the areas of privacy and accountability, you end up with an environment where the users of the platform may not fully trust the motives and judgment of those that operate the platform.

Given that Facebook has access to many of our most important personal data points, photos, and feelings, a drop in trust could create a drop in usage.

2. Increased Discord on Facebook

If you’re a Facebook user, I’m sure you’ve seen this in your own News Feed: someone who says they are logging off of Facebook for good because of the rampant negativity present on the platform.

In the shadow of the presidential election, there has been a continued polarization of thought in America, and an acceptance that the new normal is a climate of “us” vs. “them.” This is tiring. Each time you express an opinion on Facebook, you must defend that opinion from segments of your “friends” who are now “the opposition.” This squeezes the fun out of Facebook, like Fergie squeezing propriety out of the national anthem.

When additional Infinite Dial data is released, we’ll have more insight on this point. But I predict we’ll see an even greater drop in daily usage. While there are some people who have signed off of the platform entirely due to discord, anecdotally, I believe the bigger change is people using Facebook a couple times a week instead of every day.

3. Increased Disinterest in Facebook

Indeed, I believe reduced trust in our Facebook overlords along with reduced willingness to argue amongst ourselves on Facebook contribute to this first-ever reduction in usage in America.

But a third explanation is that this drop represents a natural shifting of users to other parts of the Facebook ecosystem. While Facebook’s usage declines, Instagram’s usage continues to march upward, as does the number of people consistently using Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

This may be a purposeful segmentation approach by Facebook. It’s particularly true among young Americans ages 12 to 24, where Edison Research observed the largest drop in usage.

After all, one of Facebook’s most attractive elements is that you can do a LOT of different things on the platform. But that’s also one of its great weaknesses. Is Facebook the BEST place for video? Probably not. Is it the BEST place for photos? Probably not. Is it the BEST place for messaging? Maybe.

As Facebook usage goes down, Instagram and WhatsApp and Messenger usage go up because they offer a more tailored experience. As social media progresses, it is natural for our own usage to gravitate toward one or more platforms that offer a more specialized experience that is more relevant to what we personally enjoy best about social media. Thus, some people gravitate toward Instagram. Others, Linkedin. Others still, Snapchat.

Coca-Cola is doing the same thing. They just rolled out four new flavors of Diet Coke, enveloped in a chic, skinny can. These new adjuncts will assuredly reduce consumption of old-school Diet Coke, but they hope that this move will grow their overall market share, across all five beverage flavors.

Last year, I wrote about Facebook mimicking all of Snapchat’s features and baking them into Instagram. At that time, I predicted that while Snapchat’s user base would shrink as a result, it would actually be better for them strategically. Casual users of Snapchat (like me) would leave the platform and use Instagram instead (like me). Thus, the remaining Snapchat user base would become more homogenous, allowing them to charge a greater premium for advertising. And Snapchat just announced their first-ever profitable quarter, so that may be precisely what occurred.

Distrust. Discord. Disinterest. These are the 3 reasons for Facebook’s decline in usage.

But is it really a problem?


Distrust. Discord. Disinterest. These are the 3 reasons for Facebook’s 8% decline in usage.
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Facebook’s vision—as articulated by Mark Zuckerberg many times, and in many ways—is to be the way humanity connects. And they are when you look at the entirety of their holdings. But, when you look at the do-everything workhorse that is Facebook per se, the bloom is finally off the rose. Too big, too boring, too noisy, too everything.

Should Facebook be concerned about this drop in usage? Yes. But as long as they are growing their user base across everything they own, they’ll continue to dominate social media, and beyond.

(Register for the free Infinite Dial Webinar on March 8 to learn a lot more about Americans’ usage of social and other tech. It’s the most recent, comprehensive, and accurate data available.)

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9 B2B Content Marketing Musts for 2018 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/b2b-content-marketing-musts/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/b2b-content-marketing-musts/#respond Wed, 14 Feb 2018 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=149097 B2B content marketing is harder than ever. Learn the nine musts you'll need to succeed in 2018, says Jay Baer, backed by the latest research.

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9 B2B Content Marketing Musts for 2018

B2B content marketing is almost universally embraced. 87 percent of all business-to-business organizations are using content, according to an eMarketer survey of firms with 100 employees or more.

So the question about B2B content marketing isn’t WHETHER it’s a viable marketing approach. Rather, it’s WHAT must be done in 2018 to make it more viable, and HOW content marketing for B2B must change in the face of altered customer expectations and heightened competition.

eMarketer recently released a new report on this topic called B2B Content Marketing 2018. I was one of the content marketers interviewed for this study. It’s a sound and thorough report, and I encourage you to review the summary, listen to the podcast overview, and consider becoming an eMarketer PRO subscriber to get access to the entire piece.

Good news: I’ve reviewed and analyzed the complete report. Here are my favorite findings, plus commentary on what I think they mean for the future of B2B content marketing.

Publish Your Own Research

According to a survey from Ascend2, 50 percent of B2B marketers say that research reports generate leads with the highest customer conversion rates, compared to other forms of content marketing.

(Note: Convince & Convert will be kicking off a research series soon.)


50% of B2B marketers say research reports generate leads with the highest customer conversion rates. #contentmarketing
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Seek Content Downloads

The same survey from Ascend2 finds that leads with high conversion rates begin with a content download. Two-thirds of B2B content marketers believe this to be the case. Compare this to webinar registration (45 percent) and demo request (37 percent).

This surprises me. I would assume (wrongly, it appears) that a webinar registration indicates more specific and meaningful interest than a content download.

Taken in tandem with the point above about research (which is typically distributed via download, like the eMarketer report) the “make research, and allow people to download it if they provide their information” is an even more sound approach.

Know That Credibility Is Only Somewhat Important

This one is disheartening to me. Research from our friends at the Content Marketing Institute and SmartBrief found that when seeking information about potential products and services in a B2B environment, prospective buyers aren’t all that concerned about where that information comes from.

40 percent of respondents say the source of the information doesn’t matter, as long as it is credible. (To which I say, “Well, then how do you know it’s credible?”)

31 percent say they prefer the information to be unbiased.

Interestingly, 24 percent prefer the information to come from the company or manufacturer that they are considering. (I call this the “fox watching the henhouse” approach to content marketing.)

Taken together, I interpret this to mean that while it is, of course, optimal to have strong third-party endorsements, creating content marketing that extolls your own virtues is more than just possible. It’s actually acceptable and desirable in many B2B consideration funnels. Fascinating!


40% of B2B buyers say when researching, the source of info doesn't matter, as long as it's credible.
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Consider Increasing Your Content Marketing Budget

Competition gets tougher, and audiences get more jaded. That’s the current cycle in B2B content marketing. To continue to succeed, many firms are increasing investment.

38 percent of companies in B2B anticipate boosting their content marketing budgets in 2018, according to an Informa survey.

And content is also becoming a larger and larger share of total marketing spend. Based on their research, Content Marketing Institute finds that the most successful companies in B2B are spending approximately 40 percent of all marketing dollars on content marketing.

So what do we cut in that scenario, as content vacuums up more and more budget dollars? Collateral material? Events and exhibits? Sponsorships? Print ads? Logo golf balls?

Part of this budget increase is for content marketing software, including robust editorial calendars and productivity tools.


38% of B2B companies anticipate boosting their #contentmarketing budgets in 2018
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Don’t Stop Content Marketing at the Purchase

You’ll find excellent commentary in the eMarketer report about the need for content to be created and targeted explicitly at all stages of the funnel, including post-purchase. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I wrote a whole piece about why B2B content marketers are spending their resources incorrectly and mostly ignoring content for retention:

B2B Marketers Are Working Harder Than Necessary

Think Quality, Not Quantity

The script has flipped on this equation. Back when there were still green field topics and authority to be seized, a quantity-driven strategy made sense. Now, there are very few—if any—stones unturned.

Changes to customer expectations, massively increased competition, and social media and search engine algorithm shifts have, in combination, resulted in a new content marketing world. Now, crafting the definitive piece on a particular topic is a far better idea than crafting a bunch of okay content executions across a broader topical spread.

I loved this quote from the eMarketer report:

“There’s this push for quality content over quantity,” said Timothy Morral, director of editorial content at Walker Sands Communications. “Part of it is driven, because B2B brands recognize that they need quality leads. Quality content and quality leads work in parallel.”

Exactly! Not only does quality content break through, but quality content creates quality leads, and mediocre content creates mediocre leads.

Get Good at Multi-Sensory Content Marketing

Most B2B content marketers come from a writing or publishing background, either via education or experience. This is because, for a long time, B2B marketers deployed the overwhelming majority of their content marketing in writing. B2B content marketing meant white papers, ebooks, data sheets, FAQs, and so forth.

Now, however, changing consumer content consumption patterns (powered partially by the shift to mobile and the ability to stream video just about everywhere) have made written content (like this content, ironically) less popular, in favor of multi-sensory executions like videos and interactive white papers and the like.

Companies (and Convince & Convert partners) like Vidyard and SnapApp are powering B2B video and interactive content to increase reach and conversions. Here’s an article Anthony Helmstetter, one of our Analysts, wrote on video marketing:

The 3-Part Secret to Video Marketing in 2018

Don’t Sleep on Search

Despite the shift to multi-sensory content executions to break through the clutter, a Digital Donut survey found that organic search is still the top-performing method for driving traffic to content, with 44 percent of respondents listing it as one of their top three choices.

39 percent cited email to your own list. (Although if those prospects are already on your list, it’s not really a new audience or source of traffic.) Paid search ranked third with 33 percent of respondents ranking it in the top three. Linkedin and Facebook were next, and the remaining options lagged far behind.


Organic search is still the number one tactic for driving traffic to B2B #contentmarketing
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Find Ways to Boost Relevancy

Your prospective customers, even when in active shopping mode, have no shortage of content consumption options. Content is EVERYWHERE. From you, from your competitors, and from third parties.

Content becomes disproportionately successful when it’s more interesting at the format level (video, interactivity), or more specific and relevant to the potential customer. This is what is powering the move toward account-based marketing (ABM) in B2B. In an ABM scenario, the content is by definition customized and tailored to a specific industry or company. Why? RELEVANCY is the killer app.

One of the easiest ways to boost content marketing relevancy is through personalization. If you’re not already personalizing, you’re probably behind. 68 percent of B2B marketers said they are testing personalization of content and offers, according to a Chief Marketer study.

As I acknowledged in the eMarketer study, however, while personalization is effective—and clearly is the future of content—it requires effort. This approach can be a strain on your resources and team. This is especially true if you are already having trouble getting buy-in from leadership that the existing content program is worthwhile. Asking to allocate additional funds to create highly bespoke content can be an obstacle.

There you have it. The 9 B2B Content Marketing Musts for 2018. Thanks to eMarketer and all the other organizations that are putting out such great research and reports on this topic.

If my team and I here at Convince & Convert can help you stay ahead of customer expectations in the area of content marketing, please get in touch about a free analysis. We create Digital Marketing Maturity Maps for some of the world’s most interesting brands, and guide them as they accelerate, measure, and propel their digital. 

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4 Essential Social Metrics for 2018 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-measurement/essential-social-metrics-for-2018/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-measurement/essential-social-metrics-for-2018/#respond Tue, 13 Feb 2018 13:30:17 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=149164 Social may be the most measurable form of marketing, but that doesn’t mean we’re measuring it well. Learn which social metrics to prioritize in the coming year.

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4 Essential Social Metrics for 2018

Once upon a time, social took up just a tiny corner in the world of marketing. Oftentimes, companies reluctantly threw a small percentage of their budget at it without really investing much in the way of staffing, strategy, or analytics. But as anyone knee-deep in the evolution of the industry knows, those days are gone.

Bypassing traditional customer service channels, social is now the channel of choice for consumers who want to reach out to and engage with brands. And those consumers have seriously high expectations: 53 percent of them expect a customer service response within an hour! The power of social now goes beyond simple brand awareness or reputation; it’s quantifiable dollars and cents.

Social will be a major part of most companies’ marketing strategies in 2018, but are you looking at the right metrics to measure your success in the social realm? If you’re evaluating the effectiveness of your campaigns based merely on page likes and clicks, I’m afraid you’re missing the boat.

I recently joined Jim Rudden, CMO of Spredfast, for a webinar breaking down how to best approach social planning and measurements this year. While social is the single most measurable form of marketing ever, that doesn’t mean we’re measuring it well. I’ve seen lots of mind-numbing social media scoreboards in my time! So how do we focus on the metrics that matter? Here are a few:

1. Post Volume

This one is crucial, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to getting it right. The harsh reality is that there is no “neutral” in social. Every time you post—whether it’s a major campaign rollout or a response to a customer comment—it either builds or hurts your brand, so hitting on the right cadence is paramount.

Learning how to get in that “Goldilocks Zone” where everything is justttt right is a moving target. It will vary from brand to brand and channel to channel. And don’t think you can set it and forget it, either; you need to test and revise throughout the year to keep things fresh. You have to work to find where the decay point lies for your audience.


There is no 'neutral' in social.
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2. Relevancy Score

Social algorithms seem to be forever changing, and making sure your content is seen by your audience is getting harder and harder. A great way to ensure that your posts are getting the broadest reach possible is to make them hyper-relevant.

Much like Google’s system, Facebook now rates paid content. It’s on a scale of one to 10, and once your post has accrued 500 impressions, you’re assigned a score based on things like how often it is viewed, liked, and shared, as well as negatives like how often it’s hidden or reported.

Keeping an eye on these scores—and adjusting your content and approach accordingly—is the best way to get more eyes on your posts. If your content is effective, they’ll show it to more people. After all, it benefits both your brand and Facebook to deliver advertising that people want to see.

3. Video Minutes Viewed

Video content is quickly becoming one of the most effective weapons in the social toolbox. When it comes to tracking impact, though, the simple metric of how many views a video gets is virtually worthless, in my opinion. On Facebook, just three seconds constitutes a “view,” so it’s clear that we need to be far more nuanced about how we’re measuring engagement if we truly want to determine the success of video posts.

In addition to determining the total and average minutes watched, the dwell pattern can tell you all about where attention is dropping off for your viewers. This can be especially powerful if you have a call to action in your video that you want to make sure is reaching your viewers.

4. Post-Click Conversion Rate

Oftentimes, the goal of social content is to drive consumers back to your website to take part in a deeper engagement with your brand. Just looking at post clicks isn’t going to tell you if that’s happening consistently, though. What really matters is what happens after the click.

You can get 500 clicks on a post, but if the customer isn’t taking the next step and purchasing your product or interfacing with your form etc., then you’re not getting the job done. The percentage of conversions happening from those clicks is the real measure of how effective your content is in spurring the behaviors your brand wants to foster.

The most useful metrics for your business will vary based on your individual priorities and goals, of course, but these are a great starting place.

To go more in-depth on these and to hear about the other three vital metrics you’ll need to employ in order to properly measure your brand’s social impact in 2018, you can find Jim’s recap here and check out the Social Measurement in 2018 webinar.

This post is part of a paid sponsorship between Spredfast and Convince & Convert.

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Non-Creepy Personalized Marketing Must Have Youtility http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/non-creepy-personalized-marketing/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/non-creepy-personalized-marketing/#respond Wed, 07 Feb 2018 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=149013 Personalized marketing is reaching new heights, combing big data and machine learning. But for consumers to embrace it, personalized marketing must be truly, inherently useful writes Jay Baer.

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Non-Creepy Personalized Marketing Must Have Youtility

Is personalized marketing good, or evil?

I’ve been asked some form of this question so many times, in so many places, by so many different types of companies. I figured I should answer it here, in writing.

Actually, you may have ASKED this question—if not of me, of someone. Maybe of yourself?

The question often sounds like this: “When does personalized marketing cross the line and become creepy?”

We think that this line is thin, and that just the slightest push toward additional customization based on behavior or inferred intent will send potential customers running, afraid that “big data” has run amok.

We think that personalized marketing is like the famous line from Spinal Tap: “There’s a fine line between stupid and clever.”

The reality is that the line is actually pretty wide. Customers are, in fact, exceptionally tolerant of personalization (even hyper-personalization) as long as ONE THING IS TRUE: The personalization must either inform or reduce friction, period.

In short, the personalization must be a Youtility.

This may seem axiomatic to you. “Of course, if we’re going to personalize, it should be in service of an enhanced customer experience,” you may think. But that is by no means always the case, is it? If you’ve ever bought a product and then seen ads all over the damn internet for the SAME PRODUCT YOU JUST BOUGHT, you know that personalization isn’t always useful, and sometimes can be downright irksome.

Understanding that personalized marketing must be useful—so useful that people would pay for it, to quote the definition of Youtility—is critical. Because we are very quickly entering an all-new era of digital marketing; an era where the availability of big data makes it very, very easy to personalize customer communications and interactions in a way that would have been unthinkably complex just a short time ago.

We’ve talked about the power of 1:1 marketing for a long, long, LONG time. But now, artificial intelligence and machine learning have teamed up with real-time data collection to give just about every marketer the option to personalize some, or a lot, of the customer experience.

And that power is intoxicating in ways both good and bad. The option to give customers just what they want, when they want it, and where they want it based on what we know or can ferret out about them SHOULD improve CX. But the ONLY way to insure that it does is to start every personalization project with one, simple question:

“How does this improve the customers’ lives, regardless of its impact on the company?”

Ask yourself that, and your personalization efforts will always contain enough incremental usefulness that customers will largely embrace it, even when it is FREAKY.

Look at Netflix, for example.

Netflix Uses Potentially Creepy Personalized Marketing, but With Youtility

In an extraordinary column on Medium published last month, Netflix data engineers described, in detail, precisely how they create as many as a dozen different pieces of “cover art” for every Netflix show.

Based on other shows you’ve watched, Netflix automatically serves you the artwork that the algorithm believes best matches your thematic and actor preferences, subtly encouraging you to watch more, because the graphic makes you believe, “This show is exactly what I want to watch!”

For the movie Good Will Hunting, for instance, Netflix serves up different images based on whether it thinks your affinity is stronger for Robin Williams or romantic comedies.

Someone who has watched many romantic movies may be interested in Good Will Hunting if we show the artwork containing Matt Damon and Minnie Driver, whereas, a member who has watched many comedies might be drawn to the movie if we use the artwork containing Robin Williams, a well-known comedian.

But the machine learning behind these personalized artwork decisions is much more dynamic and robust than just Minnie Driver versus Robin Williams. For the hit show Stranger Things, for example, Netflix included in their Medium post a collection of nine very different images, each designed to appeal to different members based on their preferences (!!!):

You might think this is at least a little invasive. It’s definitely fascinating, looking at the same programs on Netflix when you’re logged in as yourself versus as your spouse, to see what the algorithm has determined each of you prefers.

But we tolerate this data mining because it has enough Youtility for us. The trade-off between loss of privacy and more compelling video content recommendations seems like a good deal.

You may not have a room full of data scientists cooking up this kind of personalization. (When I first read the Netflix post on Medium, when I got to the part about HOW it works, my head almost exploded.) But you don’t need scientists. You need to understand that personalization is just a value exchange, the same way that asking for an email is a value exchange.

The same way that connecting with someone on Linkedin is a value exchange.

The same way that paying someone to mow your lawn so you have more time to do other stuff is a value exchange.

You Don’t Get to Decide What’s Good Personalized Marketing, But They Do

As marketers, assisted by robots, our ability and opportunity to personalize with data is wizardry made commonplace. But we cannot ever forget that our audiences—not us—are those that decide what is satisfying and what is creepy. They decide what is clever and what is stupid. They decide what is in bounds and what is out of bounds.

And in almost every case, that decision is based solely on whether or not the personalization makes their lives better, or just helps you sell more stuff.

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The 6 Critical Chatbot Statistics for 2018 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/digital-marketing/6-critical-chatbot-statistics-for-2018/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/digital-marketing/6-critical-chatbot-statistics-for-2018/#respond Wed, 31 Jan 2018 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=148952 Chatbots are all the rage. Here are the key 2018 statistics you need to know as you consider adopting chatbots for your business. Jay Baer analyzes research from Drift, Salesforce, and myclever.

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The 6 Critical Chatbot Statistics for 2018

Although they’ve technically been around since the 1950s, virtual chatbots only recently became popularized, as brands implement them to reach more customers with greater efficiency.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, for example, launched a chatbot via Facebook Messenger called “BB” (stands for BlueBot). The primary function of BB is to help passengers book tickets and keep them up to date on flight status, gate changes, and similar data-driven functions.

The company built the chatbot to assist its human support team, which handles more than 16,000 customer interactions weekly, according to coverage on the MarTech Today blog. In just the first six months of operation, BB sent nearly two million messages to more than 500,000 customers. Recently, KLM expanded the reach of the chatbot by hooking it up to Google Home, adding an audio/voice layer—an interesting augmentation.

I wrote about the rise of chatbots in my book, Hug Your Haters, and since then the rollout of chatbots has become even more extensive. But as I wrote about recently here at Convince & Convert, the truth is that a lot of chatbots (and live chat technologies) frustrate and disappoint customers, the very group they are supposed to aid.

Despite the missteps in execution, most consumers (in all generational categories) are relatively bullish on what chatbots can do, when, and how.

This became clear in a 2018 research project that surveyed more than 1000 adults in the USA, aged 18 to 64, balanced by age and gender. The survey sampling was provided by SurveyMonkey Audience, and the study itself was written and conducted by Drift, Salesforce (disclosure: Salesforce is a sponsor of my podcast, SocialPros), and myclever.

You may download a copy of the entire study here—no email address required. I have summarized the findings for you in this post, the 6 Critical Chatbot Statistics for 2018.

Chatbots and Amazon Alexa Are Equally Popular

Certainly, as we found in the Hug Your Haters research, telephone and email are still the most common forms of interaction between customers and companies.

60 percent of survey respondents say they have used these mechanisms to interact with a business in the past 12 months.

38 percent say they have used online chat in the prior year.

30 percent indicate they’ve used a company’s mobile app to interact.

28 percent have engaged with a business in social media.

As of 2018, 15 percent of American adults (per this survey) say they have used a chatbot to interact with a company in the prior 12 months. This is almost precisely the same percentage of Americans who own a smart speaker (Amazon Alexa, Google Home, et al.) as of January, 2018 per research from our friends at Edison.


15% of American adults have used a chatbot. 16% own a smart speaker like Amazon Alexa.
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37 Percent of Americans Would Use a Chatbot in an Emergency

The survey respondents were asked what they would use a chatbot for, if available.

Interestingly, the most common use case for chatbots is “getting a quick answer in an emergency” at 37 percent. Personally, if I have an emergency, I’m not sure THAT’s the time I’m likely to turn to a robot for fast and accurate guidance.

The second-most-common use case is “resolving a complaint or problem” at 35 percent. This makes a ton of sense, and I profiled several companies (most notably, HP) in the Hug Your Haters book that are using chatbots to augment customer service, like KLM above.

Getting detailed answers or explanations is how 35 percent of respondents might use a chatbot. This is problematic today, as many of the circumstances where early-stage chatbots fall apart is in nuanced, specific requests from customers. Because chatbots—even with artificial intelligence—can only respond to what they are programmed to respond to, detailed answers are not where they tend to shine.

34 percent of respondents say they would use a chatbot to find a human customer service assistant. This one is pretty meta. If we have to use a robot to find a real person, that doesn’t say much for the capabilities of the robot, does it?

Other uses of chatbots make more sense (at least to me). They include:

  • Making a reservation: 33 percent
  • Paying a bill: 29 percent
  • Adding yourself to a mailing list: 22 percent

37% of Americans would use a chatbot to get a quick answer, in an emergency.
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24-Hour Service Is the Number One Chatbot Benefit

Participants in this survey were also asked about the primary benefits of chatbots, provided they were available and working for the online services these Americans used most.

Speed and availability are where chatbots are perceived to provide the most value to consumers.

Specifically, 64 percent of respondents said “24-hour service” is a benefit of chatbots.

The second most mentioned benefit is “getting an instant response,” mentioned by 55 percent of the participants.

“Getting answers to simple questions” (55 percent) and “easy communication” (51 percent) were also mentioned by more than half of respondents.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, “friendliness and approachability” (32 percent) are not areas where consumers believe chatbots are particularly strong. This is despite the manifest efforts of many brands to make their chatbots more “human.” Plenty of work to do in this regard, it appears.


64% of Americans say 24-hour service is the best feature of chatbots. Do you agree?
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Chatbots Are Equally Popular Among Millennials and Baby Boomers

This finding surprised me somewhat. The research discovered that the perceived benefits of chatbots are roughly equivalent among younger Millennials consumers and older Baby Boomer Americans. In fact, in several areas, Boomers are actually MORE bullish about chatbots’ potential that are members of the younger cohort.

For example, 61 percent of participating Baby Boomers say a potential chatbot benefit is “getting an instant response,” while just 51 percent of Millennials say the same.

Let’s recognize that “potential benefits” do not equal “usage,” but these findings indicate that older Americans are at least open to the premise of useful chatbots.


Millennials and Baby Boomers are equally bullish on the potential of chatbots.
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Nearly Half of American Adults Would Prefer to Deal with a Human

In the survey, participants were asked a simple and important question: “What would STOP you from using a chatbot?”

The number one answer is a tough one for chatbots to overcome, at least for a while: our innate desire to interact with other humans.

43 percent of adult Americans say they prefer to deal with a real-life assistant, rather than a chatbot.

I guess you can look at that as a half-full or half-empty statistic. On one hand, nearly half the country would just prefer to handle their business with another person. Fair enough. However, nearly six in 10 Americans do not object to using a chatbot in some circumstances.

As chatbots improve, it will be fascinating to see if this objection fades away.

The second hurdle for chatbot usage is actually related to the first. 30 percent say that they “worry about the chatbot making a mistake.”

Conversely, on the other end of the response scale, 15 percent of survey participants indicate that NOTHING would stop them from using a chatbot. That’s a high level of trust in technology!


15% of Americans say nothing would stop them from using a chatbot.
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Users Prefer Chatbots Over Apps When Communicating with Companies

In almost every case, respondents indicate they believe chatbots offer more benefits when communicating with businesses, in comparison to apps. The biggest difference is in the area of “getting quick answers to simple questions,” where 69 percent of participants say chatbots are up to the task, compared to 51 percent for apps.

Users also believe chatbots to be superior in the areas of “24-hour service” (62 percent versus 54 percent and “ability to easily register a complaint” (33 percent versus 24 percent) among others.

Apps fare better than chatbots in just three categories, but they are all important:

  • Convenience (chatbots, 53 percent versus apps, 57 percent)
  • Ease of communication (chatbots, 35 percent versus apps, 41 percent)
  • A good customer experience (chatbots, 28 percent versus apps, 30 percent)

It’s interesting that in the circumstances where users believe chatbots to be superior, they’re FAR superior. But in the core function of easy, convenient, and customer experience, apps are perceived to be better, for now.

The full study also includes comparisons between chatbots and email, and chatbots and the telephone.


Compared to apps, chatbots are believed to be faster, but not as convenient.
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Chatbots are popping up like dandelions, and companies are rolling them out to save money and (in theory) add customer convenience. In 2018, overall consumer reaction to chatbots is positive, but still somewhat wary. This is probably wise, as chatbots will only get better as the artificial intelligence underpinnings improve, and businesses learn lessons (sometimes the hard way) about how best to utilize this new technology.

If my team and I here at Convince & Convert can help you stay ahead of customer expectations in the area of email/chatbots/messaging, please get in touch about a free analysis. We create Digital Marketing Maturity Maps for some of the world’s most interesting brands, and guide them as they accelerate, measure, and propel their digital. 

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Who Are the Best Content Marketing Speakers? http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/who-are-the-best-content-marketing-speakers/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/who-are-the-best-content-marketing-speakers/#respond Wed, 24 Jan 2018 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=148823 Content marketing has a great new event. Jay Baer and Convince & Convert want to know who you think are the best content marketing speakers.

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Who Are the Best Content Marketing Speakers

I am so THRILLED to tell you that the Convince & Convert team and I are partnering with our friends at Uberflip to co-produce Conex: The Content Experience, a fantastic event for smart content marketers in August, in the great city of Toronto.

This is year three of Conex. I was one of the speakers for years one and two, and I was so impressed by how good the event was that I asked to partner and co-produce with Uberflip in 2018, and into the future. Plus, I’m an investor in Uberflip (I love their Content Hub technology), so it’s a natural fit.

For my entire career, my rule has been “do not produce events.” Too much time. Too many details. I speak at dozens of events every year, but have never produced one—until now. Why the change? Six reasons:

1. Conex Is Intimate

We’ll have 750 to 950 people at this year’s event—big enough to be dynamic, but small enough to interact and network.

2. Conex Is a BLAST!

Uberflip is known for being irreverent, and some say the same about me and my team. From the first minute until the last, this event is going to be fun.

3. Conex Is Super Relevant

Uberflip helps tons of companies succeed with content marketing. So does my firm. Plus, I’ve written multiple books on the subject, and produce The Content Experience show, which is all about content marketing success. This event is for content marketers and is put together 100 percent by content marketers.

4. Conex Is a Very Strong Event

Terrific speakers teaching the latest and greatest content marketing tips and tactics. There’s no fluff. NO PANELS. No bad speakers. All meat. No bun.

5. Conex Is in a Killer Location

Toronto is one of North America’s great cities. There’s so much to do, and it’s very easy and affordable compared to many big places in the USA. Also, it’s super convenient, and there are reasonably priced flights for just about everyone. And the event itself is at the remarkable Royal Conservatory of Music’s TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning. Beautiful!

And perhaps most importantly . . .

6. Conex Is a Great Deal

Until February 15, full conference passes are just US $499. (Save $400 on this early bird deal.) There is simply no better value for a content marketing event, in my estimation.

Plus, for just another $300 you can add a pre-conference workshop called “How to Create the Perfect Content Marketing Editorial Calendar.” Tickets are limited to about 50, and it will sell out because this exclusive workshop is being taught by the tremendous Anna Hrach, one of the Analysts on my team here at Convince & Convert.

I just approved the curriculum for this workshop, and we’ve loaded it with our best stuff. Tons of value!

The Content Experience event for content marketing

I am 110 percent sure that if you’re in content marketing, you will LOVE this event. I want you to be there. We’ve got a while until Conex kicks off August 20, but I wanted to make sure you knew about the January 31 cutoff for the very best price.

The Best Content Marketing Speakers

I believe in Conex so much so that I’m co-producing it and helping select the speakers.

And that’s where I need your help. I want to know who YOU think is a great content marketing speaker. Who is super interesting, and relevant, and smart, and awesome? Who do YOU want to see on stage at Conex?

I would be very grateful if you’d leave a couple of recommendations here. If you do, I promise you I’ll do whatever I can to get them to Toronto.

If you have any questions at all about the event, our workshop, or anything else, just ask here. Either me or Kelly Santina, our Head of Operations, will answer back right away.

Many thanks. Hope to see you in Toronto. Remember, best price ends February 15.

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9 Antidotes to the Facebook Algorithm Squeeze http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-strategy/9-antidotes-to-the-facebook-algorithm-squeeze/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-strategy/9-antidotes-to-the-facebook-algorithm-squeeze/#respond Mon, 15 Jan 2018 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=148741 Facebook algorithm changes don't mean you should abandon the Facebook News Feed. Here are nine ways you can still succeed, from Jay Baer.

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9 Antidotes to the Facebook Algorithm Squeeze

The Facebook algorithm is changing again, and it’s bad news for brands who want to show up in the news feed.

In a recent, inscrutable, Kremlin-esque press release, Mark Zuckerberg and team announced that they are changing the Facebook algorithm and will henceforth . . .

“. . . prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people. To do this, we will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed. These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to—whether that’s a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion.”

In this release, they also acknowledge that organic reach among business pages will dwindle, and that “engagement bait” posts such as “click like if you want this puppy to live” will be algorithmically punished.

Reactions to this move were immediate among the social media cognoscenti, and ranged from full-blown “The sky is falling” mode to “So what?

Now that everyone has engaged in their newsjacking (the Social Media Examiner BREAKING NEWS video got 273,000 views, and spawned a ton of traditional media opportunities for Mike Stelzner—well played!), let me tell you what all of this really means.

The Facebook Algorithm Separates the Wheat and the Chaff

First, this move should come as NO SURPRISE. Many people (including me) have been predicting this for years.

Remember this: Facebook is a public company. They have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profits for their shareholders. They do not have a responsibility to maximize your profits. Of course, if they can further entice you to buy more ads by minimizing free exposure, they will do so eventually.


Facebook's responsibility is maximizing profits for shareholders, not maximizing YOUR profits.
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Further, it is also true that many company posts do not succeed on Facebook today. This is not because Facebook is evil and is trying to convince you to buy ads (although that’s somewhat accurate), but more so because a lot of business content on Facebook SUCKS. It’s a Yellow Pages ad masquerading as an organic social post. It DESERVES to fail. Facebook is just hammering the last nail in the coffin.

Ask yourself this: When was the last time you saw something on Facebook and said, “Wow! That’s great content from a business. I cannot believe it doesn’t have more engagement?” Rarely, if ever. The truth is that Facebook’s algorithm already does a pretty good job of separating the wheat from the chaff, at least among business content. Whether they can keep #FakeNews at bay is a different issue for a different post.

The Facebook Algorithm Change Doesn’t Mean Abandon Ship

Will this move make it harder and more expensive for businesses to succeed on Facebook? Probably. But it’s not as if you can just log off the platform, throw up your hands, and go home. There are two billion people using it. Don’t give up. You just need to get better, and get smarter.

Thus, here are the 9 Antidotes to the Facebook Algorithm Squeeze. None of these are “buy more ads.” Follow them, and you’ll very much still be able to succeed on Facebook, even as a business page.

1. Post Content That Solicits Thoughtful Responses

The key phrase in the press release is that Facebook is prioritizing posts that “spark conversations and meaningful interactions among people.” Given that this all has to be sorted out in a nanosecond, Facebook has to look for behavior that indicates “conversations and meaningful interactions.” What might that be? It’s not “likes” or “shares” or even “comments” per the release. While they don’t overtly describe the desired behavior, my bet is that they are looking for comments of a certain length, and replies to comments.

This is a “conversation” in social media, a threaded back and forth rather a passive clicking of a like button.

So, when you add content to Facebook, try to post about topics that have more than one opinion. Complex, non-obvious topics will work better than topics that everyone agrees upon.

2. Get Serious About User-Generated Content (UGC)

Right in the release, Facebook admits that posts from real people will take priority over posts from brands. This has been the case for a while but will become even more acute. The more you can encourage your actual customers to post on their personal page (and mention your business), the more likely you are to reach a decent audience.

This is the Facebook version of prioritizing consumer-driven word of mouth.

3. Get Serious About Employee-Generated Content (EGC)

Similarly, most of your team members have a personal Facebook account. They will likely have a better chance at Facebook engagement than will your company account.

This will be a boon for employee advocacy software programs (I am an investor in a great one, Trap.Itas companies try to encourage their team to carry the messaging water on behalf of the organization.

4. Post How-To and Youtility Content

Facebook says they will de-prioritize viral videos and other content that is passively consumed on the platform. However, they will give extra credit via the Facebook algorithm to content that attracts conversation. Think about how you can post how-to videos, video FAQs, and other interactions that encourage viewers to ask questions.

Using Facebook for customer service and customer support and showing off interesting and innovative product use cases, etc. could be very successful in this new algorithm environment.

5. Use Live Video

Reading between the lines, it sounds like Facebook is going to push recorded video down the priority list a little, in favor of live video. This is because live video is often more urgent and important, but mostly because it routinely generates more conversation. In the press release, Facebook says live video gets SIX TIMES more interactions than regular videos.

If you’re using video on Facebook, it’s time to ask yourself why that video isn’t live. Do you lose some production polish? Possibly. But if the Facebook algorithm is going to push live video up, and recorded video down, it’s absolutely worth trying to make it work live.

6. Create Facebook Shows

Similarly, it’s time to stop random acts of content (one of my 10 Content Marketing Commandments for 2018). This is particularly true on Facebook. If our overlords at FB want conversation, the best way to achieve that is for the people likely to create that conversation to actually KNOW WHEN THE CONTENT IS COMING.

Think of your Facebook strategy like a TV network thinks about their schedule. Every Wednesday, they have the same shows. The shows do not change. Viewers know when to tune in, or at least set their DVRs. You need to do the same. Create one to three Facebook shows and replicate them every week at the same time.

7. Engage Your Community with Facebook Groups

Already, some of the most rewarding elements of Facebook are contained in Groups. Group-created content performs better in the news feed and is often delivered to members via email, depending upon how they have their notifications configured.

If you don’t have a Facebook Group for your best customers, prospective customers, employees, fans, or some other cohort, 2018 is the year to experiment with it. For business, Groups work in ways that the news feed simply does not.

8. Use Messenger Bots to Deliver Choice Content

Messenger and WhatsApp are still Facebook’s play to take over the person-to-person messaging space. Already, I bet you’re getting way more notes from your friends on Messenger than you were six months ago. Why? Because it breaks through the clutter of the inbox, and it’s easy to add multimedia.

Adoption isn’t universal yet, but it’s moving quickly. If you can develop a solid Facebook Messenger bot that can deliver solid content to your audience, the response rate is MUCH HIGHER than for email, and INFINITY HIGHER than for the news feed. You want people to see your stuff? Get them to subscribe to your bot.

Want to see how it works? Click here to subscribe to my bot, and I’ll send you cool stuff now and then.

9. Use the Mom Test

Remember that when you publish content on Facebook that does NOT succeed, it impacts the likelihood that the next piece of content will succeed. This means that the rich get richer, and the boring get forgotten. When in doubt, do NOT PRESS PUBLISH unless you’re fairly certain the content will indeed create conversation.

I use “The Mom Test” to help with this decision. I ask, “Would my Mom, who loves me unconditionally, engage with this content?” If the answer is “yes,” then at least you’re on the right track. If the answer is anything else, think very long and very hard before posting, because if your Mom doesn’t love your post, I’m almost positive that Zuckerberg and Co. won’t love it either.

Facebook not giving you the ability to send mediocre content to your customers for free isn’t the end of the world. In fact, they are probably saving businesses from their own worst instincts, in some cases. But all is not lost. You can still succeed on Facebook WITHOUT SPENDING A TON OF MONEY if you follow these nine antidotes.

If my team and I can help you think through these necessary shifts, let us know. Convince & Convert works with many of the world’s most interesting brands. What do we do? We’re personal trainers for digital marketing and word of mouth. If you want to shape up, holler

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The 10 Content Marketing Commandments for 2018 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/10-content-marketing-commandments-for-2018/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/10-content-marketing-commandments-for-2018/#respond Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=148662 Content marketing success is more elusive than ever. More competition. More cynicism from audiences. Artificial intelligence and robots being used to create hyper-relevant, just-in-time content. This game isn’t easy. Our consulting team helps big brands figure it out and make content marketing succeed disproportionately. And if we can help you, let’s talk. Meanwhile, as we […]

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The 10 Content Marketing Commandments for 2018

Content marketing success is more elusive than ever. More competition. More cynicism from audiences. Artificial intelligence and robots being used to create hyper-relevant, just-in-time content.

This game isn’t easy. Our consulting team helps big brands figure it out and make content marketing succeed disproportionately. And if we can help you, let’s talk.

Meanwhile, as we kick off a new year, I’ve been keeping track of what the team and I tell our clients, and how we advise them to do content better. I collected them here, in this list of the 10 Content Marketing Commandments for 2018.

1. Thou Shalt Not Engage in Random Acts of Content

Have a strategy and an editorial calendar, and stick to it.

2. Thou Shalt Not Be a Content Coward

The only way you can really succeed is to be someone’s favorite blog/podcast/video/webinar/email. And that only happens if you have the courage to be SPECIFIC about your topic and point of view. Content that’s about everything is about nothing.

3. Thou Shalt Not Embrace False Metrics

Content consumption (views, downloads, plays) is a symptom of success but is not the sole measure of it. The goal is not to be good at content. The goal is to be good at business because of content. (More on the four types of content metrics here.)

4. Honor Thy Audience as a Messenger

Human beings trust one another far more than they trust companies. It is wise to find ways to encourage customers and partners to create content; it is often more successful and persuasive than company-created content.

5. Thou Shall Be Mobile-First (For Real)

We know mobile is important. But mobile-first means that you use the mobile view as the primary visual canvas. After all, if you say “mobile-first” but you’re constantly using a 34-inch, 4K monitor to create everything, you’re not really mobile-first, are you?

6. Thou Shall Create Talk Triggers

Same is lame. If you’re going to the trouble of making content, wherever possible do so in a way that creates conversation. Talk Triggers are purposefully created differentiators that make word of mouth involuntary. Here’s a great one from LinkedIn. Talk Triggers is also the title of my new book with Daniel Lemin, coming October 2.

7. Thou Shall Atomize Content

Take your big, tent-pole content executions and deconstruct them into a series of smaller, nimbler content executions. For clients, we use the 1:8 Principle: Each big piece of content should spawn at least eight smaller pieces of content. This approach makes your content execution much more efficient.

8. Thou Shalt Not Cross-Post

While atomizing your content, however, you should not be posting the exact same thing in multiple places. Audiences choose a platform or content archetype for a reason, and to not customize and optimize your content for each disrespects their choice, and rarely succeeds.

9. Thou Shalt Not Pray at the Altar of Volume

Creating more content is not a measure of success. Creating just enough content to exceed your business objectives is the goal. In fact, creating too much content (e.g. sending too many emails, posting too often on social) often has a negative impact on results.

10. Thou Shall Covet Moving Pictures

Video. video. video. video. If it doesn’t move, it may be a snooze.

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How Content Marketing Can Save Newsjacking http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/how-content-marketing-can-save-newsjacking/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/how-content-marketing-can-save-newsjacking/#respond Wed, 03 Jan 2018 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=148566 From Jay Baer, 4 ways content marketing is a better way to implement a newsjacking strategy, in comparison to social media.

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How Content Marketing Can Save Newsjacking

Timing is everything.

This is more true than ever today, as the atomic half life of brand communication continues to shrink, victimized by algorithmic masters that dole out attention like Pez.

The massive flood of content created every second of every day about every topic and happening results in overwhelming competition for attention, as has been well-documented by Mark Schaefer, and others.

The antidote—at least in some circles—is newsjacking. Coined by David Meerman Scott in his book of the same name, where he defines the concept thusly:

Newsjacking is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story so you and your ideas get noticed.”

The important part of this definition is “breaking news story.” The intent of newsjacking as originally conceived is that your brand’s angle is the second paragraph in traditional media coverage of whatever is happening. The actual story is paragraph one.

Newsjacking was published in late 2011, and became deservedly popular, especially among public relations practitioners who saw it as a reliable recipe for merging long-lead story pitching with real-time earned media.

Oreo Killed Newsjacking

Just fifteen months later, however, the now-legendary Oreo Dunk in the Dark tweet was sent. With one tweet, Oreo and their agencies ushered in the era of “real-time marketing,” and “RTM” disciples rushed to set up Twitter war rooms to capitalized on every trending hashtag.

This shifted the notion of newsjacking from a way to get earned media coverage to a way to get more likes and shares on owned social media outlets. In short, Oreo’s Dunk stunt moved newsjacking from a PR tactic to a social media tactic.


Oreo's Dunk in the Dark tweet shifted newsjacking from a PR tactic to a social media tactic (unfortunately).
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This post from the Get Spokal blog illustrates the outcome. Nearly every one of their 15 newsjacking examples is a tweet, and essentially none show evidence of earned media coverage whatsoever (other than perhaps trade press talking about the clever tweet, thereby earning ego points among marketing peers, but not creating any real business value).

I am not a fan, and have never been a fan, of this kind of marketing. (In fact, my post “17 Mostly Failed Brand Tweets from The Oscars” is still one of the most-read posts in the history of this site.) For more, here’s a short video rant on why most brands are trying to hard to be clever, in real-time.

My three biggest problems with real-time marketing are:

  1. Expensive to execute as you need always-on personnel + software
  2. Ripe for missteps, especially when brands try to jump on hashtags and trends spawned from misfortune (as I covered comprehensively in “The 3 Social Media Rules for Death and Tragedy“)
  3. Minimal impact. Even done well, do these real-time tweets create customers or keep customers? It feels so often like social media marketers doing marketing for the enjoyment of other social media marketers, and we don’t play that game at Convince & Convert.

Content Marketing Can Save Newsjacking

But all is not lost for the newsjacking premise. Today, it is easier than ever to create on-trend content in nearly real-time. With everyone carrying around a mobile production studio in their pants at all times, there’s not much excuse for not being able to produce content on the fly, beyond inertia and corporate process obstacles.

Further, with the one-click availability of live video, creating reaction content that inserts your angle into a breaking news story is as easy as making a sandwich (maybe easier if you insist on using a panini press).


4 ways using #contentmarketing for #newsjacking is better than #socialmedia http://bit.ly/2EPLhRW
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This approach—using content marketing for newsjacking rather than social media—has multiple advantages:

  1. Can more fully express your ideas, especially with video
  2. Can host the content marketing somewhere and give it a longer shelf life. Also, strong SEO benefits if the trend/story persists long enough for search traffic to accrue
  3. You can still use social, but instead of social BEING the newsjack, social AMPLIFIES a more substantial piece of content that inserts your angle into the story
  4. If desired, more ways to promote the newsjack with paid. Given that most social media newsjacks are on Twitter, your options for paid are… Twitter. With a content marketing newsjack, you can use paid Twitter, Facebook, IG, Linkedin, SEM, display, etc.

Anyone Can Use Content Marketing for Newsjacking

You do not need to be a big brand with an in-house video studio to engage in this form of content marketing as newsjacking. In fact, from a nimbleness perspective, I might argue that you’re better off being a small and scrappy business that can turn on a camera and record without sign-offs and hand wringing.

Dr. Tim Wood of Mission Family Chiropractic in Kelowna, British Columbia is a terrific small business example of content marketing newsjacking.

This year, the Kelowna area—the major city in Canada’s Okanagan region—has received a tremendous blanket of snow, far more than is typical for this area. Local media scrambled to cover the storms, with advice and counsel for local residents and visitors.

The last time this happened was in 2015, which was when Dr. Wood created his content marketing newsjacking: a video showing local residents how to shovel snow without injuring their backs:

It’s a useful, safe, three-shovel approach that I’m going to try next time we get a lot of snow here in Indiana!

KelownaNow.com is a large digital media platform for the region, and when this year’s snows rolled in, they discovered Dr. Wood’s video and promoted it on their site, and in their social media.

Newsjack accomplished!

Lessons from This Newsjack

  1. Your content marketing newsjack attempt does not need to be highly polished. In fact, it’s authenticity is probably higher if it’s not perfect
  2. Unlike social media newsjacks, if your content marketing is actually useful and has a home (Youtube, in this case) its newsjacking potential persists. Remember, Dr. Wood’s video was shot two years before it was picked up by local media
  3. If and when your newsjack succeeds, re-amplify it yourself. This is the one flaw I see in Dr. Wood’s execution, as he did not re-post the video to his own social channels, even after it was picked up in the press.

Newsjacking was originally about earned media through real-time public relations. It was co-opted by social media to become more about “riding the hashtag” but that has limited upside and potentially large downside, in my estimation.

Instead, since we now have the ability to make credible content marketing (especially video) instantly, use that opportunity to pursue a newsjacking strategy that is rooted in content marketing, with social media as the amplification layer.

Big hat tip to my friend Jan Enns for bringing this case study to my attention, via a Linkedin post. 

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Our Top 10 2017 Social Media and Content Marketing Articles http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/our-top-10-2017-social-media-and-content-marketing-articles/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/our-top-10-2017-social-media-and-content-marketing-articles/#respond Wed, 27 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=148328 Top 10 social media and content marketing articles from Convince & Convert in 2017, including tips, tricks, templates, and more.

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Our Top 10 2017 Social Media and Content Marketing Articles

As we close each year here at Convince & Convert, I like to take a look at our most popular articles, posts, and podcasts over the preceding 12 months. It’s not 100 percent scientific because articles get traffic in multiple ways (search, social, email, etc), but looking at the top 10 from among more than 300 pieces of content does give an indication what you—the amazing audience that visits our corner of the web—found most valuable.

It’s also a good compendium of useful content for folks that may have fallen behind on their reading and want to catch up. Here are our top 10 best-performing posts this year.

The 11 Critical Podcast Statistics of 2017

The 11 Critical Podcast Statistics of 2017

This is the second or third year I’ve written this piece, inspired by an annual study by our pals at Edison Research. Podcasts continue to soar in popularity (do you listen to our own Social Pros, Content Pros, or Experience This!)? I love that so many people find value in this summary every year!

How Social Media Has Evolved Over the Past 12 Years

How Social Media Has Evolved Over the Past 12 Years

We ran this last January and it FREAKED ME OUT. I mean, you obviously know that social has changed a lot in a decade, but to have it all spelled out in one article? Wow. It really hits home. Great job on this by Matt Banner.

4 Goal-Specific Ways to Measure Influencer Marketing ROI

4 Goal-Specific Ways to Measure Influencer Marketing ROI

The success of this post doesn’t surprise me. Nothing was as hot in social/content circles as influencer marketing in 2017, and this straightforward article by Kim Westwood helps frame up some potential measurement protocols. We’ll cover this topic more next year, as well.

The Truth About How Often to Post in Social Media

The Truth About How Often to Post in Social Media

This was one of the mini-rants I wrote this year (I think I’m getting cranky in my middle age). Our friends at CoSchedule released a roll-up post about social media posting schedules. Good advice there, but my take is that you should publish . . . when you have something worthwhile for your audience. This one got a lot of chatter on Facebook and LinkedIn too.

8 Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Page

8 Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Page

This one is super helpful because it includes step-by-step walkthroughs and specific screenshots of where to click and what to do. A great one from Ann Smarty that could be updated just about every quarter, considering how many changes Facebook constantly throws at us.

An A-to-Z Guide to Google Analytics for Content Marketers

An A-to-Z Guide to Google Analytics for Content Marketers

This was quite a collaboration! Andy Crestodina and Orbit Media Studios wrote a terrific post on Google Analytics. Then, Payman Taei used the Visme tool to create a nifty infographic of the key concept. Payman pitched us to run his summary and infographic on Convince & Convert, and voilà! One of our most popular posts of the year. Thanks to everyone involved. The info and insights in this one are spot on.

11 Visual Storytelling Tools and How They’ll Help Your Content Marketing

11 Visual Storytelling Tools and How They’ll Help Your Content Marketing

Kayla Matthews is one of the best in the business at writing posts that round up useful tools and apps. Here, she used that superpower to pull together a great list of recommended tools (a bunch I’d never heard of) that content marketers can use to improve their visuals (which is SO important now).

The Formula to Calculate Content Marketing ROI_

The Formula to Calculate Content Marketing ROI

This one of my favorite posts this year. There’s so much confusion out there still about what ROI actually is, and how to calculate it legitimately for content marketing. Warning: This one has math (but that didn’t seem to hurt its popularity!).

6 Trends in Digital Advertising That Take Us from 2017 to 2020

6 Trends in Digital Advertising That Take Us from 2017 to 2020

Loved this future-casting from our very own Zontee Hou (who co-leads our strategy division). Are robots going to be doing ALL the digital advertising by 2020? Maybe!

The Proven Mechanics of Successful Social Media Writing

The Proven Mechanics of Successful Social Media Writing

I mentioned CoSchedule above and their meta-study of social media publication cadences and timelines. Nathan Ellering led that initiative and also contributed a killer post here at Convince & Convert, full of VERY specific templates for how to phrase your content on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and beyond. Bravo, Nathan!

On behalf of all of us at the Convince & Convert blog, huge thanks to the millions of you who spend time with us every year. We appreciate your trust, and we’re looking forward to a great 2018 together!

~ Jay Baer, founder

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Grading Eleven 2018 Social Media Predictions http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/grading-eleven-2018-social-media-predictions/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/grading-eleven-2018-social-media-predictions/#respond Wed, 20 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=148317 Eleven 2018 social media predictions from Spredfast, with commentary and feedback from Jay Baer and Convince & Convert. Do you agree, or disagree?

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Grading Eleven 2018 Social Media Predictions

Is there any form of marketing (or any element of business, really) that changes as much and as frequently as social media? I think no.

Recently, our friends at Spredfast staged their annual Smart Social Summit (good event, by the way!) and sat down with 11 social media experts to get their predictions on 2018.

They also rolled up those predictions in this nifty Social Media Trends Tip Sheet, which you can download gratis as a PDF right here.

These 11 predictions are loosely rolled up into five main ideas, and I’ll showcase them here and give you a sense of what we think here at Convince & Convert about each of them.

Ready to dive in? (Note: Download the full Tip Sheet to get additional, juicy detail.)

Solve the Social ROI Puzzle

From the Spredfast Report: With the debut of shoppable posts on Instagrambuyable pinsFacebook collection ads, and tracking offline conversions, e-commerce marketers can now draw the line between their social media advertising and business results. Our experts believe that social networks will continue to prioritize reporting return-on-investment, adding new capabilities in 2018 to make that line between ad and direct revenue driver even clearer.

We Say: On the commerce side specifically, this is absolutely true. It is crucial for all parts of the social commerce ecosystem to definitely track results and prove ROI. However, for non-commerce social advertising, the responsibility for tracking results is likely to continue to fall at the feet of the advertiser/brand, which is why we expect a sharp increase in attribution software licensing this year.

Dive Deeper into New Tech

From the Spredfast Report: Artificial Intelligence. Bots. Automation. These are the head-scratching words that top-level executives are jumping on as soon as possible—but they’re also new enough that marketers aren’t quite certain where to start. Although it’s challenging for marketers to weave these new technologies into their goals for 2018, the return and opportunities are genuinely exciting.

We Say: Yes, and no. We have already adopted bots here at Convince & Convert. Get on board with Vince, the Convince & Convert bot, and he’ll let you know when we publish something awesome. I’ve done several Webinars about AI and machine learning for marketing this year, and there is NO DOUBT the train is coming down the track. But, for marketers of all but the largest brands, we believe 2018 is about learning and tire-kicking, and 2019 will bring the adoption of that tech.


2018 will be all about learning and tire-kicking on new tech. 2019 will be about adopting that tech.
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Combine Digital and Physical Spaces

From the Spredfast Report: We’ve seen Instagram and Snapchat pave the way to make AR part of our everyday lives—and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. Ikea’s AR kit is one of many examples that place the power of AR in the hands of a consumer, so our experts expect that 2018, we’ll see more innovation roll out from brands adopting this technology.

We Say: Yes, but . . . We fully believe many brands will work to achieve early-stage, first-mover advantage with these new, AR-fueled social content opportunities, but to what end? The IKEA AR kit cited in the Spredfast study is a good example of a brand using the tech to improve customer experience and drive real results. But we fear too many AR examples this year will be showing off for showing off’s sake.

Even More Video

From the Spredfast Report: This year we saw something big happen: Digital spend finally exceeded TV spend. And to take more of that budget, Facebook launched the Watch platform. It’s worth creating video content that will truly resonate on each platform, specifically. With more opportunities to learn from digital data than television advertising, brands will continue experimenting with video to find out what truly works best for them.

We Say: All-in. Q1 may not see anything crazy, but the Disney/Fox deal, end of net neutrality, expansion of “story” video content, and other moves are going to make video perhaps the most important digital imperative by 2H 2018. If I had a kid in college (and I do), I would be forcing them to take video production and editing classes (and I am).

Omni-Channel Marketing (finally)

From the Spredfast Report: After years of hype, real-time omni-channel marketing is finally upon us. The stars have aligned allowing customer data, channel targeting, dynamic content, and omni-channel campaign management tools to come together in a meaningful way. Very soon marketing will never be the same with campaigns managed like a trading desk with on-the-fly optimization.

We Say: Yes, eventually. The promise of omni-channel (with social being perhaps the most public and real-time of those channels) has been bubbling to the surface for a while now. This reminds me of the “this is the year of mobile” predictions we had for seemingly 27 years. (It was actually about five). No doubt, customer expectations are driving the need for true, omni-channel consistency. However, wanting to do omni-channel and doing omni-channel are very different things, especially at enterprise scale. We believe that desire will outstrip reality for all but the biggest firms (and e-comm players) and that 2019 and 2020 will be the watershed years for omni-channel for most brands.

Those are the five big social media predictions from Spredfast’s panel of experts, and our thoughts on each. Would love your comments below, and don’t forget to grab the Tip Sheet (no cost) which goes into much more detail on each prediction.

Thanks to our pals at Spredfast for putting this together as part of our paid partnership with them this year. If you need a social media management tool that covers social marketing, care, and insights (and you do), give them a look for 2018.

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7 Decisive Differences Between Strong and Weak Content Marketers http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/7-decisive-differences-between-strong-and-weak-content-marketers/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/7-decisive-differences-between-strong-and-weak-content-marketers/#respond Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=148193 Why do some content marketers succeed and others fail? Jay Baer analyzes new research and identifies the gaps that matter.

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7 Decisive Differences Between Strong and Weak Content Marketers

Our friends at Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs have released their 2018 B2C Content Marketing Benchmark and Trends Report. As always, it’s stuffed with interesting facts and figures. I have always found this research to have a good pulse on the reality of the content marketing business, and this year is no different.

I encourage you to read the entire report. It’s worth the time.

But the specific element of this year’s research that I found most interesting is the data comparison between “most successful” and “least successful” content marketers.

Note that these are self-identified labels. If a survey participant characterizes their organization’s content marketing approach as “extremely successful” or “very successful,” they are classified as a “most successful content marketer” in this research. Conversely, if the respondent claims their organization is “minimally successful” or “not at all successful” at content marketing, they are classified as a “least successful content marketer” in the report.

It’s also important to recognize that the participant pool is not vast—195 total for North America. And, while I have no evidence of this, I strongly suspect that people who think they are good at content marketing are more likely to take a detailed survey about content marketing versus people who think they and their company are mediocre or worse at it.

With those caveats in place, let’s look at seven areas where there are interesting gaps between what “most successful content marketers” think and what “least successful content marketers” think.

1. A Commitment to Content Marketing

Nearly all (93 percent) successful content marketers say their organization is extremely or very committed to content marketing. This is a huge contrast with the least successful content marketers; just 23 percent of them say their organization is similarly committed.

This isn’t a surprise, right? If the company believes in content marketing, the chances of that content actually working are likely to be much improved.


Successful content marketers are more than 3X more likely to work in a company committed to content.
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2. A Documented Content Marketing Strategy

The rallying cry of last year’s report was to “document your content marketing strategy.” This seems to have worked, as this year’s research shows a strong uptick in written strategic plans. The gap between the most/least successful content marketers isn’t quite as large in this area as in commitment, but it’s still huge: 59 percent of the most successful say they have a documented strategy, compared to just 18 percent of least successful content marketers.

Again, this adds up. If the company is committed to content, they probably have a documented plan for it. It is interesting, however, that one out of every three successful content marketers appears to still NOT have a strategy, which seems like dancing on the edge of knife, at least to me.

3. A Large Budget

Among the successful content marketers, more than one quarter of total marketing funds (26 percent) go to content marketing. For the least successful, 18 percent. Now, 18 percent of all marketing is still a hefty chunk, and the difference between 18 and 26 points isn’t enormous.

I look at it this way:


Money alone can't buy you content marketing effectiveness, but it doesn't hurt.
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However, the least successful content marketers seem to believe there’s a correlation between budget and effectiveness. Why? 45 percent of them plan to increase content marketing spend in the next 12 months, compared to 35 percent of the already successful content marketers.

4. Realistic Expectations

82 percent of most successful content marketers say their organization has realistic expectations about what content marketing can achieve. Fewer than half as many of the least successful content marketers say the same (40 percent).

This one may be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the survey respondents themselves may be the ones setting internal expectations. However, it would appear that commitment level and realistic expectations go together in the content marketing success formula, in most instances.

5. Enough Time

Multiple studies of content marketers (and digital marketing on the whole) show that time pressure is the most common frustration for these professionals. This seems similar to the luxury of realistic expectations. Content marketers who think they are successful also universally believe they have enough time to do their job well.

The phrasing in the study is, “Agrees that leadership team gives ample time to produce content marketing results.” When answering that question, 80 percent of most successful content marketers said “yes,” compared to just 36 percent of the least successful content marketers.


Having enough time to create good content is a major factor in content marketing success (new research)
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6. Strong Project Management

This one makes a ton of sense, and the gap between the most/least successful content marketers is Kanye-West-ego large. When asked, “Our project management flow during the content creation process is excellent, or very good,” 56 percent of most successful content marketers said “yes,” versus just 11 percent of their least successful brethren.

Project management acumen (and presumably, software) is evidently a big factor in content marketing success.

7. Quality Is More Important Than Quantity

This one fascinates me. 84 percent of successful content marketers say that they either always or frequently prioritize content quality over content quantity. This is almost double (43 percent) the response percentage among least successful content marketers.

I’m not entirely certain how respondents judge quality versus quantity, as I’d argue that successful content IS quality content. After all, this isn’t a fine arts project, as I ranted about earlier this year.

Yet, it’s remarkable that focusing on quality correlates so precisely with the most success/least success divide.

Summary of the Decisive Differences Between Strong and Weak Content Marketers

Strong content marketers have these advantages:

  • Organizational support, as evidenced by commitment to content, a documented strategy, and budget.
  • Practical thinking, as evidenced by realistic expectations and a focus on quality.
  • Robust process, as evidenced by strong project management, and enough time to create good content marketing.

Are some people just better at content marketing than other people? Of course. But, based on this new research, it appears that organizational values, structure, and support are also major drivers of content effectiveness. I see that as a sign of a maturing industry, don’t you?


Good content marketers have more company support, budget, time, and better project management culture
Click To Tweet


Make sure to read the entire 2018 B2C Content Marketing Benchmark and Trends Report. And thanks to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs for their hard work in putting this together every year.

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Has LinkedIn Ruined Slideshare? http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/has-linked-ruined-slideshare/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/has-linked-ruined-slideshare/#respond Wed, 06 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=148007 Slideshare is fraying like the hem on a K-Mart dress. Is it too late to save, and who's at fault? Jay Baer digs in.

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Has LinkedIn Ruined Slideshare

I love Slideshare. The “YouTube of presentations” was at one point the number one destination for business owners and managers. It sported better demographics and site visitor loyalty than even LinkedIn. It was one of the top 100 most visited websites on the planet. Maybe that’s why LinkedIn bought it for $119 million in 2012, padding the nest eggs of serial investors and Slideshare backers Mark Cuban and Dave McClure, among others.

It was a smart deal—and a good price. In those days (which seem SO long ago, even though it’s been just five years) LinkedIn fancied itself as the content hub for business. It’s about the same time that they started the influencers program and enabled publishing (blogging, really) on the Linkedin platform.

I wrote a post in 2015 called “Is Slideshare Digital Marketing’s Secret Weapon?,” and I meant it. But it’s not true today.

Since the acquisition, the entire proposition has started to fray like a hem on a K-Mart dress. First, they eliminated the popular lead generation capability that allowed Slideshare users to garner email signups in exchange for content. They also changed how users could customize their Slideshare home pages. The promise at that time was the monthly introduction of new features for all users. That lasted about . . . one month.

Next, LinkedIn paid $1.5 billion for online training company Lynda. That’s 13 times more than they paid for Slideshare, so certainly that was going to be a priority. Note how the Slideshare home page now prominently features online courses? And that each of those featured courses has updated in the past three hours?

And then, the big move: Microsoft bought LinkedIn itself for a whopping $26 billion—in theory, to drive usage of Skype and finally give Microsoft SOME sort of social network (beyond its investment stake in Facebook). Wired, however, speculates that it was really the world’s biggest acquihire, giving MSFT access to the sparkling reputation of LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, who recently joined the board of directors.

Whatever the underlying cause, the effect of the past five years of LinkedIn ownership of Slideshare has been severe atrophy. Like Paul Sheldon’s leg at the end of Misery, Slideshare is now but a shriveled appendage.

The 3 Biggest Slideshare Problems Today

First, traffic to Slideshare has fallen off considerably. This is despite the fact that three-quarters of all content marketers are creating more content than ever, according to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. To be sure, not all (or even most) of that content is in the form of presentations and ebooks (the most common content types found on Slideshare). But you would think more content would equal more Slideshare usage. But it hasn’t, probably because of points two and three.

Second, Slideshare has jettisoned their editorial team, for the most part. At its apex, part of Slideshare’s appeal was its curation, including regular promotion of new and interesting presentations to the site’s home page in the “Today’s Top Slideshares,” “Featured Slideshares,” or “Trending in Social Media” sections.

A screen grab from November 30 shows that “Today’s Top Slideshares” were uploaded to the site 51, 55, and 61 days ago. Freshness! And the “Trending in Social Media” section is almost laughably ancient. Amazingly, the top two presentations “hot” on Linkedin and Google Plus were created FOUR YEARS AGO. Trending on Facebook? Presentations uploaded one year ago. On Twitter? Just nine months. Again, this is on the home page of a site that was in the top 100 in the world in the recent past.

Perhaps it’s simply a labor issue. An examination by my pal Mathew Sweezey using Linkedin found that the only employees still working on Slideshare appear to be a handful of engineers.

Third, Slideshare now appears to be making puzzlingly awful customer experience decisions. I have no idea if this is correlation or causation. But in my long career in digital, I’ve found that when engineers  run CX, customer friendliness typically doesn’t surge.

In his own post about the troubles at Slideshare (which inspired this one), Sweezey noted that Slideshare now prohibits re-uploading of Slideshares. Plainly, this sucks. The issue is that if you upload something and decide to refresh it later (fix a typo, add a slide, tweak the headline) you now cannot do that, despite the fact this has been a feature since essentially day one of the platform.

Now, Slideshare demands that you upload an entirely new version of the file. That means any comments, shares, or links you’ve created and propagated across the web will be null, void, or dead. Hurray. Want to add a new slide six? Start over, pal.

Maybe this is just the way it has to go? Maybe platforms that emphasize longer form, written content are doomed to be dominated by platforms featuring short form, video, and disappearing “story” content? After all, Slideshare’s evident and imminent demise comes on the heels of the death of Squidoo and the business model shift and subsequent near-irrelevance of Scribd, among others.

But I would think that a business social network (or whatever LinkedIn considers itself to be at this point) would see value in being the world’s only meaningful hub for presentations for businesspeople. But maybe I just don’t get it?

Do you?

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Why Live Chat Usually Sucks http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/live-chat-usually-sucks/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/live-chat-usually-sucks/#respond Wed, 29 Nov 2017 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=147875 Despite the promise of painless, instantaneous customer support, most live chat and chat bots suck. Here's why.

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Why Live Chat Usually Sucks

It’s the holiday season again, which yields at least four truths:

  1. Huge uptick in cranberry sauce consumption (seriously, when ELSE is that eaten?)
  2. Huge uptick in deck and patio fires, due to foolhardy and drunken usage of turkey fryers
  3. Huge uptick in customer interactions with companies, as we agitate for the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals
  4. Huge uptick in consumer frustration, as we encounter truly terrible live chat and chat bot experiences

I get it. I really do.

Every company is reading white papers and sitting in on webinars (some produced by me) that talk about the need for omni-channel consistency and customer-focused interaction mechanisms.

“If customers don’t want to use the phone, let them use chat!” say the white papers.

“Facebook Messenger is all the rage! It’s going to replace email! You need to build a bot!” bleat the webinars.

Consumers not only face a frenzy of navigation choices and special offers when they land on a retail website. Now they also must weigh the pros and consequences of using live chat, Messenger, phone, email, Twitter, Facebook, fax, or needlepoint as a contact mechanism when they inevitably have a question or problem.

For Whose Convenience?

Yes, I believe that companies should interact with customers in the fashion and platform of the customers choosing, rather than demanding customers use phone and email because it’s the company’s legacy preference. I talked about that a lot in Hug Your Haters.

That book was published 18 months ago, and the increase in live chat and chat bots has been remarkable. But here’s the problem:


Most live chat and chat bots suck....here's why.
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If you’re going to add an interaction modality for your customers, shouldn’t you take that opportunity to ensure this new channel offers a BETTER experience? Unfortunately, I often find the exact opposite to be true.

I had a problem yesterday with a company I use routinely. I went to their website and decided to use the live chat, so I could check my email during the “conversation.” The agent was incredibly slow and knew almost nothing about the product. Ultimately, after 35 minutes of painful back and forth, the agent gave me a phone number to call.

I called the number and had the problem fully solved in five minutes.

The problem is that companies rolling out live chat and chat bots do it for the wrong reasons. It’s not to offer an enhanced customer experience for consumers who prefer those channels. Instead, it’s to save money on a per-interaction basis. A chat agent can handle three to six conversations at once via chat, and a telephone agent can handle just one. And Messenger bots, once programmed, can handle infinite simultaneous conversations, bringing the average cost per interaction as close to zero as possible. “Hallelujah!” says the CFO, delighted at the cost savings provided by this new technology.

But the customer does not say hallelujah. They say a different exclamation that starts with “F.”

One Chance to Make a First Impression

If the company ultimately wants to encourage customers to use live chat and chat bots to save money, then why do they routinely put their very worst reps on live chat? Why are so many Messenger bots nearly useless? Consumers will behave in a way the company desires, if they are consistently incentivized to do so. A glance at the Cyber Monday phenomenon is all the proof we need of that point. Businesses decided to incentivize consumers to spend money online in a dedicated time horizon and discounted prices sufficiently to force the desired behavior change.

It’s realistic to believe that many customers will opt for low-cost interaction methods like live chat and chat bots, and that’s good news for business, ultimately. (Note that not all customers will do so, as some people really prefer phone and email, and that will continue to be the case until we have full generational turnover). But this gravitation from phone/email to chat/bots will only occur if companies commit meaningful resources to providing an outstanding customer experience via these new channels.

85 percent of Americans say they hate to wait on hold. That makes sense, and every time I hear that stat I wonder, who are the other 15 percent? And why do they have so much free time? Very few people want to call, and not many folks are hoping for more presents in their inbox, either. Chat and bots should be a huge hit among consumers.

But they are not.

My friend Ed Davies is a digital marketing consultant in the United Kingdom. His recent experience illustrates the core problem:

Ed needed to contact One.com, a web hosting provider, about a domain name issue. He chose live chat and was told he was #20 in line (for live chat support!). After a few minutes of waiting, the chat software sounded a chime and nudged him to find the answer himself on the website.

He was never given a sense of how long he might have to wait (something that is common on the telephone), and after 45 MINUTES, a chat agent logged on. With no acknowledgment of the wait, the agent dove into the issue.

During the subsequent interaction, the agent left Ed waiting for 10 minutes, with no message or input of any kind. Even on the phone, when you are forced to wait for a long time, agents typically pop back in every once in a while to apologize and make sure you’re not sharpening an axe.

As a result of this poor experience, Ed took his business elsewhere.

As Ed wrote to me when he told me this tale:

“Chats should provide a better experience for the customer—there are tools available that keep the customer informed, and not just saying ‘you are in position number 14.’ I found myself thinking I’d rather be on hold on a phone than a chatI can stick the phone on speaker, dance to the tinny pop music they have playing, make a coffee, move around the house, etc. It comes down to not respecting my time in a world where I value it more highly than any other thing.”

Ed is exactly right. It’s about respect. Companies are patting themselves on the back after they check the “launch live chat” box on their strategic plan without realizing that the execution of this new option is actually driving customers away.

As always, just because you have technology doesn’t mean it provides a better experience. And in this case, the experience is often worse.

I know there are instances of great live chat and chat bots. I’ve experienced some myself. I don’t want to indict the entire category, as that is both unfair and untrue. But just about everyone I know has a disappointing chat/bots experience. How has your experience been?

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Will Amazon Dominate Influencer Marketing Too? http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/will-amazon-dominate-influencer-marketing-too/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/will-amazon-dominate-influencer-marketing-too/#respond Wed, 22 Nov 2017 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=147703 Amazon is getting serious about influencer marketing. Is this good news, or very bad news? Jay Baer analyzes the plusses and minuses.

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Will Amazon Dominate Influencer Marketing Too

Jeff Bezos and Amazon already oversee dominant or emerging powerhouse businesses in cloud computing and storage, e-commerce, rockets, ebooks, smart speakers, and original programming (check out the $250 million they recently paid for just the RIGHTS to make two Lord of the Rings TV shows). Now, they’re making a new move into influencer marketing.

There’s a new wrinkle in the long-running Amazon Associates affiliate program: The company is now offering Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram influencers the option to set-up a simple storefront on Amazon.com. Social media stars can send their audience to these storefronts to buy recommended products. The store comes with an easy-to-remember vanity URL—especially useful for YouTubers who often promote URLs with audio only.

Commissions average about eight percent of referred sales—perhaps not a windfall, but potentially quite attractive for influencers able to move real merchandise. Take, for example, YouTube star Dan Markham. While on a panel at Web Summit (where Amazon announced that Twitter and Instagram influencers would now be eligible), Markham revealed he sold $161,000 worth of fidget cubes through his Amazon store, netting more than $12,000, according to coverage in TechCrunch. That is a LOT of fidget cubes.

The Good News of Amazon Influencer Marketing

On its surface, I like this move for three reasons:

First, from Amazon’s perspective, it’s low-hanging fruit. Why NOT run these referred sales through your massive e-commerce empire? Somebody has to sell fidget cubes and whatever else consumer product influencers are pitching. And I’m sure that in many cases, those sales were already coming through Amazon, but in a haphazard fashion.

Second, from the influencer’s perspective, it’s a no-brainer. A storefront that requires essentially no work and no fees? Custom URL? Eight percent commission? Yes, please. This is the same reason Amazon has been such a huge player in affiliate marketing for nearly 20 years—they make it easy to make money together. They are like the Jerry Maguire of e-commerce.

Third, from a brand perspective, this is terrific if you’re using influencers to drive consumer product sales. Now, you have definitive tracking of units sold, and thus evidence of why, whether, when, and how much influencer marketing is working. No more guessing games. And after all, isn’t influence about driving action, not just awareness? This helps connect those dots.

And it IS so simple. I was accepted into the program based on my Twitter following. I built a storefront in five minutes and included some favorite recent books, a microphone I like, and a green screen I bought recently for video work. Presto! Now, I just need to sell $161,000 worth of green screens!

The Bad News of Amazon Influencer Marketing

But upon further reflection, this move troubles me. Amazon’s market penetration gives them the ability to dominate influencer marketing in short order.

What’s to stop them from going one more step and creating their own database of influencers? Why wouldn’t they add a services layer to help brands find and select influencers too (the same way they’ve organized affiliate portals in the past)? And then, why couldn’t they ask influencers to create content on the Amazon video network, rather than YouTube or another platform? Or audio versions for Alexa? If you’re making $12,000 hawking fidget cubes, and the guy writing the checks says you need to put all your content on Amazon now to keep getting paid, you’re going to give that request serious consideration, I’d wager.

The one historical truism of digital marketing through the years is that whoever controls the metrics controls the budget. And if Amazon becomes the de facto scorekeeper for influencers via their storefront program, it’s not at all a stretch to imagine the entire influencer marketing ecosystem disrupted and subsumed by Amazon.

There are plenty of marketers who would welcome that kind of disintermediation. Lots of folks would prefer the turbid bouillabaisse of influencer marketing agencies, software, and measurement to just disappear. It’s too confusing and uncertain, they say. But an Amazon-dominated influencer marketing landscape is the precise opposite: It’ll be crystal clear who’s in charge and how it all works, but as always, Mr. Bezos and his associates will extract their pound of flesh.

Do you want to hand them a knife?

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4 Fixes for More Effective Content Marketing http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/more-effective-content-marketing/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/more-effective-content-marketing/#respond Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=147688 It's time to fix your broken content process, think beyond the blog, and embrace a more effective content marketing strategy.

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4 Fixes for More Effective Content Marketing

The myth of content marketing runs deep.

We still think that if we build it, they will come. But we’ve proven time and time again that this strategy doesn’t work. It’s time to fix that.

My team at Convince & Convert and I today are releasing a new ebook:

4 Ways to Fix Your Broken Content Marketing

A Guide for Thoughtful Content Marketers

This ebook isn’t a magic bullet for making your content marketing work. That doesn’t exist, unfortunately. What we do instead is take you through a step-by-step guide on how to define a data-driven content strategy that reaches your audience with relevant, timely, and useful content.

Once you’ve got that dialed in, we show you how to think beyond the blog and into more exciting content types that you can experiment with depending on your specific goals and outcomes.

Ultimately, I want you to have a clear framework for what to publish, when, and how so that your content marketing efforts will actually do something for your business—not just sit on your site growing mold. This way, you’ll involve the right people, tools, and resources to make meaningful connections.

Enjoy!

Provide your name and email address, and you’ll get instant access to the ebook when you confirm subscription via email. The download will start right away, so be sure to check your downloads folder or wherever your file downloads normally land.


How often are real people creating your content?
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4 Ways to Fix Your Content Marketing

The ebook has 55 slides and is divided into four sections, one for each of the big fixes you need to get your content marketing on track.

Fix Your Content Topics: Is what you’re creating relevant enough?

Fix Your Content Formats: Are you making content in the modes your audience prefers?

Fix Your Content Creators: How often are real people creating your content?

Fix Your Content Amplification: How does anyone know your content marketing exists?

I know you’re going to love this ebook. The content atomization cheat sheet alone (pages 29–32) is super detailed by itself. Please give it a look, and leave your comments below.

Thanks as always!

Download 4 Ways to Fix Your Broken Content Marketing:

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2 Key Marketing Jobs That Did Not Exist Last Year http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/marketing-jobs-that-did-not-exist-last-year/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/marketing-jobs-that-did-not-exist-last-year/#respond Wed, 08 Nov 2017 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=147517 These 2 new marketing roles are responsible for growing audience and managing truth. Do you need them on your marketing team? Probably.

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2 Key Marketing Jobs That Did Not Exist Last Year

It’s been said that marketing has changed more in the past five years than in the prior 40. I’m not quite old enough to validate that assertion first-hand, but I do know that marketing change is constant, and possibly accelerating.

Last week, I wrote about the tsunami of artificial intelligence and the fact that robots and AI aren’t likely to steal marketers’ jobs so much as change the composition of marketers’ day-to-day duties.

In addition to this data-driven reassignment of roles and responsibilities, the future (and present) of digital marketing also includes two all-new jobs that simply did not exist last year.

They are the Audience Strategist and the Digital Knowledge Manager.

Why You Need an Audience Strategist

Paid is more expensive that ever, and average results will continue to decline as the gold rush continues. We’ve seen this movie before when it was called “SEM.” No, paid digital promotion is not going away, but the low hanging fruit is picked.

Thus, attention is swinging back to earned exposure (thus, the big rise in influencer marketing), and owned audiences (see the returning emphasis on email and YouTube subscribers, et al.).

When he worked at ExactTarget, my friend Jeff Rohrs predicted this shift four years ago in his terrific book Audience: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Friends, and Fans. He just may have been ahead of the adoption curve a bit, which is not uncommon with business book authors. Heck, I’d argue that my first book, The Now Revolution, is truer today than it was when Amber Naslund and I published it in 2011.

Content marketing strategy genius Robert Rose developed a new framework for measuring and valuing a brand’s total “audience” and argues here that someone on the marketing team must be charged with caring and feeding and thinking about that combined group.

It’s not a community manager, and it’s not a content marketing manager (although both of those could be launching pads for this role). Instead, what is required is truly an “Audience Strategist” charged with protecting and growing the value of the collected attention from fans, subscribers, and followers of the brand.

Robert says in this post on Content Marketing Institute that the Audience Strategist role includes these duties:

  • Audience development: Building in the content promotion programs that will ultimately acquire and/or retain the most targeted A-level audiences to the company’s content platforms.
  • Audience segmentation: Understanding which programs produce the highest-quality audience members, and segmenting them into natural strata of business value.
  • Audience valuation: Auditing audiences to understand what data you have, and what data is needed to enrich the audience asset.
  • Audience integration: Working with disparate parts of the business to understand where and how having insight or access to audiences can help optimize the business strategy.
  • Audience measurement: Managing the audience asset and measuring its value over time as a broader part of a content marketing effort.

I really like this construct, and am thinking about what it might look like here at Convince & Convert if we had an Audience Strategist. At present, like most other organizations, we have different people tackling disparate pieces of the duties above, and I wonder what a cleaner set of responsibilities might yield.

Why You Need a Digital Knowledge Manager

Whereas the Audience Strategist is tasked with building and protecting the people who love the brand, the Digital Knowledge Manager is charged with building and protecting the data that is true about the brand.

Remarkably, this role also came from the fertile mind of Jeff Rohrs, who is now CMO at publicly-traded software company Yext.

Yext is responsible for taking all the stuff that’s relevant about your business and making sure it’s distributed consistently, accurately, and quickly across the entirety of the ever-expanding digital universe. Here’s an example Jeff used in a presentation he and I gave at Yext’s outstanding Onward17 conference last week:

Arby’s is currently offering a seasonal venison burger. Yes, it’s featured on their website, but how do Yelp, TripAdvisor, Waze, YP.com, Dex, Amazon’s Alexa, Siri, and the hundreds of other intelligent services know it’s on offer? Making that work is what Yext does.

As we move more and more into new UI for data retrieval, being proactive about the facts about your brand becomes more critical. Structured data is the new FAQ, and the same way you needed a “Webmaster” when your digital presence pretty much started and stopped with your website, you now need a “Digital Knowledge Manager,” given that your digital presence is expanding outward without end.

Jeff and I collaborated on a free ebook called “The Everywhere Brand” that talks about the growth of intelligent services and voice-based UI and what it means, as well as why a Digital Knowledge Manager is critical to be the ringleader of all this data.

And, Yext created a handy sample job description for a Digital Knowledge Manager position here. Here’s a summary of the key duties:

  • Works directly with employees across Operations, Marketing, PR, SEO, Paid Search, Social Media, and others.
  • Has a focus on embracing leading-edge technologies with the goal of determining what, if any, new or modified digital knowledge is required from the company, and determines how to surface/publish that data for maximum positive impact toward the company’s goals.
  • Acts as an internal educator to drive awareness of trends, changes, and new technologies, as well as consumer adoption and behavior change.
  • Owns source tracking (internally) for all pertinent digital knowledge for the company, brands, products, people, locations, and services.
  • Arbitrates data discrepancies to guide teams to one common source for data integrity, which will be shared across all teams.

Brands heavily invested in owned audiences that also have a lot of physical locations (thus, a lot of structured data that must be consistent) will need both an Audience Strategist and a Digital Knowledge Manager in their marketing organizations. Some companies will need one or the other. But I’d argue (and Robert and Jeff will concur, no doubt) that just about every brand of size will need at least one of these.

When you actively manage something and make it somebody’s job to do just that, chances of success and growth increase. This is the case with audiences and with data consistency. Sure, you could continue to laissez-faire these responsibilities or split the duties between a few, existing digital marketers. But if you’re serious about owned, and you’re serious about the intelligent future, it’s time to create a new role or two and stop leaving success to chance.

(Disclosure: This post is not sponsored in any way. However, Yext has been a Convince & Convert sponsor. I was a paid speaker at the Onward17 event and was compensated to co-create The Everywhere Brand ebook.)

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Will New Video Ads and Internal Agency Finally Propel Twitter Forward? http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/will-new-video-ads-and-internal-agency-propel-twitter-forward/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/baer-facts/will-new-video-ads-and-internal-agency-propel-twitter-forward/#respond Wed, 25 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=147216 Twitter has at least three big problems. Now, they are rolling out new video ads, and an in-house agency to help big brands. Will these moves help?

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Will New Video Ads and Internal Agency Finally Propel Twitter Forward

Twitter has, at minimum, three big problems:

  1. A declining base that is actually getting smaller in the United States
  2. Ad revenues that are similarly stagnant
  3. Constant battles over the platform being used for harassment and abuse

Add to this list the fact that while video has been available on Twitter since 2010, followed by the company’s acquisitions of Vine in 2012, and Periscope in 2015, many advertisers have been non-plussed about the platform’s video ad capabilities.

With Facebook and Instagram video ads skyrocketing in popularity, combined with the ongoing threat presented by Snapchat for the attention of young social media users, Twitter had to do SOMETHING to further unlock advertisers’ video lucre.

And. They. Did.

Introducing Video Website Cards

Twitter last week rolled out a new advertising format that combines Vine-like six-second videos (they don’t loop, however) with the ability to drive traffic from Twitter to a defined URL.

Called “Video Website Cards,” this new opportunity seems daunting at first. “H0w can I engage a target audience in SIX seconds?” But, the beta advertisers like Macy’s are proving it’s possible as long as you focus on a quick-cut, no-dialog experience that feels a little like an abbreviated Snap story:

One of the best features of this new format is the ability to optimize for clicks or for conversions. In fact, in their announcement blog post, the Twitter team says these new ads are delivering twice the results compared to benchmark mobile video ads.

I like this format, and this opportunity, a lot. I’ll be testing Video Website Cards soon.

But Seriously, Six Seconds?

Twitter may understand that doing six-second ads well isn’t intuitive for many marketers. Thus, in a companion release, they announced #Fuel (unnecessary hashtag included), a cadre of Twitter creative types working as an ersatz agency to help big companies do video better on Twitter.

Converse is one of the first brands to take advantage of #Fuel, partnering with Twitter on a recurring video series aimed at Millennials and Gen Z called “Converse Public Access.” Stars of the series include Miley Cyrus and Maisie Williams.


The whole idea of #Fuel is admirable on one hand, as brands might be quite keen to get some help with this kind of campaign. I’m less certain that agencies are going to be excited about this move, however, as it potentially puts Twitter in the position of competing for services revenue against the very same agencies that are buying the Twitter ads in the first place.

Twitter describes #Fuel like this:

“#Fuel is a rapid-response hub to help brand partners develop content strategy, activate creative ideas, and optimize content for the feed, all with a focus on enhancing the consumer experience on Twitter.”

Sounds like an agency to me.

It will be very interesting to see if the community of large agencies and media buyers embraces or rejects #Fuel.

How about you? What are your experiences with Twitter video ads?

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4 Ways to Fix Your Broken Content Marketing http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/4-ways-to-fix-your-broken-content-marketing/ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/4-ways-to-fix-your-broken-content-marketing/#respond Wed, 18 Oct 2017 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.convinceandconvert.com/?p=147006 Marketers still imagine that if we build it, they will come, despite growing evidence that this strategy doesn’t work. It’s time to fix that.

The post 4 Ways to Fix Your Broken Content Marketing appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.

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4 Ways to Fix Your Broken Content Marketing

The myth of content marketing runs deep.

We still think that if we build it, they will come. But it’s been proven time and time again that this strategy doesn’t work. It’s time to fix that.

My team at Convince & Convert and I today are releasing a new ebook:

4 Ways to Fix Your Broken Content Marketing

4 Ways to Fix Your Broken Content Marketing: The Thoughtful Marketer’s Guide

This ebook isn’t a magic bullet for making your content marketing work. That doesn’t exist, unfortunately. What we do instead is take you through a step-by-step guide on how to define a data-driven content strategy that reaches your audience with relevant, timely, and useful content.

Once you’ve got that dialed in, we show you how to think beyond the blog and into more exciting content types that you can experiment with depending on your specific goals and outcomes.

Ultimately, I want you to have a clear framework for what to publish, when, and how so that your content marketing efforts will actually do something for your business, not just sit on your site growing mold. This way, you’ll involve the right people, tools, and resources to make meaningful connections.

Enjoy!

Provide your name and email address, and you’ll get instant access to the ebook when you confirm subscription via email. The download will start right away, so be sure to check your downloads folder or wherever your file downloads normally land.

The 4 Fixes

The ebook has 55 slides and is divided into four sections, one for each of the big fixes you need to get your content marketing on track.

Fix Your Content Topics: Is what you’re creating relevant enough?

Fix Your Content Formats: Are you making content in the modes your audience prefers?

Fix Your Content Creators: How often are real people creating your content?

Fix Your Content Amplification: How does anyone know your content marketing exists?

I know you’re going to love this ebook. The content atomization cheat sheet alone (pages 29–32) is super detailed by itself. Please give it a look, and leave your comments below.

Thanks as always!

Download 4 Ways to Fix Your Broken Content Marketing:

The post 4 Ways to Fix Your Broken Content Marketing appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.

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