72 hours of video content uploaded to YouTube every minute

May 22, 2012

When YouTube celebrated its seventh birthday on May 21, the Google-owned clip streaming service revealed that 72 hours worth of video content is now being uploaded every 60 seconds – up from 48 hours in 2011.

YouTube has also announced that subscriptions to the service have risen by 50% over the past year.

With over 800 million users watching more than three billion hours of video every month, it now boasts “tens of millions” of channels – including countless branded content channels. It is also the world’s most used mobile streaming platform.

Over the past year, YouTube has redesigned the site, and worked to expand its original programming – launching dozens of new content channels. It has also added the option of converting all short-form videos to 3D.

“We’ve come a long way in the past seven years,” YouTube posted on its blog. “What started as a handful of videos shared among friends has transformed into a global platform delivering the next generation of channels to anyone, anywhere, and on any device.”

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Watch YouTube’s 7th birthday celebration video …

 

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

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Facebook study shows brand marketers the best way to engage with fans

May 21, 2012

by Brian Oliver

Internal research by Facebook has found that brand marketers stand a much better chance of engaging with the social network’s 900 million active users if they focus on posting content about generic topics related to their brand, rather than promoting a specific product or service.

The study also found that conversational ‘fun’ posts that have nothing to do with the brand are least likely to attract a response from fans.

In fact, a separate survey by global Software as a Service company ExactTarget recently revealed that chit-chat posts are one reason why people ‘unLike’ brands on Facebook.

In a bid to help content marketers gain a better insight into which posts generate the most ‘shares’, ‘Likes’ and comments, Facebook spent four weeks analysing activity on 23 brand Pages spanning six different industry sectors.

For the study, Facebook’s research team divided social content into three categories:

1. Purely promotional messages (such as the launch of a new product, a new store opening, or a special deal);

2. Messages that tie in with the brand but cover general topics about the sector in which the brand operates (such as recipe ideas from a food brand or holiday tips from a travel company);

3. Posts completely unrelated to the brand (such as chatty posts about current events that have no connection with the brand).

FACEBOOK POSTS MUST RELATE TO THE BRAND

“The topicality of page posts impacts all types of engagement,” explains Elisabeth Diana, corporate communications manager at Facebook. “But the bottom-line result is that posts related to the brand and posts related to a product or service are the ones that are significant predictors of actions.

“The third, unrelated content, is not a significantly predictive page post.”

In other words, posting content on your Facebook page that is not about your brand is the only type of post that does not correlate with engagement.

“Speaking in the voice of the brand, talking directly about your product or service, or a topic related to the brand, is the best way to engage with fans of your page,” she says.

The Facebook study also found that photos and videos are best for generating ‘Shares’, while ‘Likes’ are driven by posts that prompt users to ‘Like’ something, and posts that pose questions are most likely to foster comments.

“You can maximize your success on Facebook by optimising your Page posting strategy for the type of engagement you are trying to drive,” adds Diana.

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About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications.

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

Two-thirds of UK mobile content marketing recipients act immediately, study shows

May 17, 2012

by Brian Oliver

The growing importance of tailoring content to the fast-expanding mobile market has been underlined by new data from digital agency Steel London.

A study conducted by Steel shows that 36% of UK consumers now read content marketing emails – such as eNewsletters – on their mobile phones (55% in the case of 18-34 year-olds) … and 69% of them act immediately.

Of these, 42% click through to the website and 30% subsequently make a purchase. The figures are even higher for 18-34 year olds: 52% of them click through and 35% end up buying something.
 
At the same time, the study shows that about one-third of recipients choose to screen mobile content marketing messages and read them later on a PC or a laptop.

INTEGRATE MOBILE INTO CONTENT STRATEGIES

The findings show it is now essential for consumer brands and B2B organisations to develop a better understanding of the mobile market and integrate mobile into their content-led marketing strategies.

Andy Hinder, Steel’s CEO, said: “Consumers are increasingly using their mobile as their preferred media and communication device. Because of this, the mobile has become the gatekeeper for further action and engagement with emails.

“With better targeted marketing emails, and the growth in mobile commerce, it is essential for brands to look at how they further adapt their email marketing strategies for mobile.”

He added: “Marketers must also bear in mind when and where the consumer is receiving their communication. This has massive implications for how they create the right messages for a highly personal device, and how they want consumers to react to, and interact with those messages.”

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About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications.

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

 

B2B marketing should focus more on building relationships through trustworthy content and less on sales messaging

May 14, 2012

B2B organisations should focus more on the value of their offering and less on product specifications when they run content marketing campaigns. That’s according to a new Content Preferences Survey conducted by DemandGen, an e-media publication which specialises in B2B sales strategies and solutions.

As Contented Marketer recently reported, more than 90% of B2B purchase decisions are now triggered by exposure to some form of content marketing. DemandGen’s latest study set out to examine the shifting content preferences of B2B buyers.

The survey found that 75% of respondents wanted B2B solution providers to “curb the sales messaging” in their content.

Other key findings included:

MESSAGING: 55% of respondents said providers should focus less on product details and more on making sure sales prospects understand the value of the product to their businesses, rather than resorting to “obtrusive, ineffective sales speak”.

SHARING: While email is the primary sharing mechanism, the survey found that more than half (53%) of the executives surveyed now share content using LinkedIn.

FORMATS: 88% of respondents pointed to white papers as their top form of content for researching a business topic or solution. Visual formats – such as webinars (72%), videos (44%), and infographics (38%) – were also cited as emerging formats for research.

TECHNOLOGY: Nearly half of the respondents (40%) said they now access content via their mobile phone more often than they used to, while 23% now use a tablet device for research.

“This survey illuminated interesting trends in the world of content marketing,” said Amanda Batista, author of the Content Preferences Survey and managing editor of DemandGen Report. “Solution providers, now more than ever, need to demonstrate a clear understanding of their prospects’ challenges, market trends and objectives.

“They also need to cultivate a greater role in content sharing by providing trustworthy content that establishes relationships with prospects.”

She added: “Research shows that nine in ten buyers now connect with a solution provider via some form of content, regardless of company size or industry, and navigating this trend is an evolving process.” 

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

Using content marketing to target today’s ‘connected’ teenagers

May 6, 2012

Having grown up during the golden age of digital technology, today’s teenagers are the first generation to have no recollection of a world without mobile phones, laptops, MP3 players and the internet.

These so-called ‘digital natives’ are the best-connected group of consumers ever – and their content consumption habits are hugely different from older age groups.

Some 94% of teenagers now possess a mobile phone; 70% have a laptop; and 23% own a tablet. Communicating through technology and social media is part of their DNA, and they are used to obtaining and sharing information online. Only 19% of them speak to each other on landlines!
 
Young consumers are a key target for content marketers who want to promote products such as toys, games, music, fashion labels, and high-tech goods. But a successful content marketing strategy requires a good knowledge and understanding of this audience in order to engage fully with them.

Here’s a new infographic which sets out to offer a detailed look at the tech-savvy world of the ‘Millennial Teenager’…

The Millennial Teenager
Courtesy of: Online Schools

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

Email still most common method of sharing content, study finds

April 28, 2012

But email marketers should segment content to increase relevance and add value to recipients…

by Brian Oliver

Despite the enormous popularity of social media tools such as Facebook and Pinterest, a recent study conducted by StumbleUpon and BuzzFeed found that email is still the most-used method of sharing content.

Trying to make articles or videos ‘go viral’ by hoping to get thousands of followers to click on a single link is unrealistic, the study found.

Instead, people are more likely to spread content that resonates with them by distributing one-on-one email ‘shares’ among smaller and more intimate groups of colleagues, friends and family.

The StumbleUpon/BuzzFeed study looked at how content is shared online by analysing the 50 stories that have received the most Facebook traffic since mid-2007. Findings showed that for every Facebook share only nine people actually visited the story.

This suggests that even the biggest stories on Facebook are propagated by intimate conversations within a single network – for example, by large numbers of individuals sharing personally with a small number of friends, rather than by content being ‘broadcast’ through a few ‘influencers’ sharing a single post or tweet and hundreds of thousands of people clicking on it.

MORE CONTENT SHARED BY EMAIL ‘CONVERSATIONS’

While influential people may be able to reach a wide audience, their impact is short-lived, the StumbleUpon/BuzzFeed study found. Content goes viral when it spreads beyond a particular sphere of influence and spreads across the social web via ordinary people sharing with their friends.

“If you think about the course of a day, you spend the most amount of time communicating through email,” says Jack Krawczyk, StumbleUpon’s senior marketing manager. He points out that such ‘intimate sharing’ outnumbers so-called ‘broadcasting’ by 2-to-1 on StumbleUpon.

“People still want to have that intimate conversation,” says Krawczyk, adding that this also applies to young adults who are usually seen as relying on social media tools to communicate. “Those 34 and younger are the ones sharing emails,” he says. “They want that direct line of communications.”
 
EMAIL CONTENT MARKETING MUST BE SEGMENTED

Separate research from cloud-based firm Act-On Software warns that many companies are failing to take full advantage of the continuing importance of email content marketing as a customer acquisition tool.

Although opt-in email marketing is increasingly being integrated with social media platforms, the Act-On study found that many marketers are still making the common mistake of sending a single message to everyone on their mailing list.

Marketers should be segmenting and tailoring their email content to make sure the information that each customer receives is relevant to their needs and adds value.

Email marketers should also make sure their content does not contain any errors, the Act-On study warns. Poor quality writing within email content – with bad grammar, spelling mistakes and factual errors – can have a negative impact on a recipient’s view of the company.  

(Image via Clkr)  

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About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications.

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

 

Outsourcing of content marketing set to increase this year, says report

April 20, 2012

by Brian Oliver

Seventy percent of companies plan to outsource at least part of their content marketing in the next 12 months, according to a new Digital Content Marketing Survey commissioned by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and branding agency Brandpoint.

This follows CMI research earlier this year which revealed that 62% of companies are already using third-party expertise to strengthen their content marketing activities (compared with 55% in 2011).

The 2012 Digital Content Marketing report – based on a Readex Research survey of nearly 400 ‘marketing decision-makers’ – found that 99% of respondents had recently used some form of content marketing.

And what these companies are looking for in a third-party content provider, says the report, is the ability to deliver “engaging and creative storytelling”, “custom content”, and “professional-level writing”.

WELL-WRITTEN CONTENT IS KEY

Industry observers believe the shift toward using external content providers is being fuelled by the growing importance of publishing well-written content on a regular and sustained basis.  Many companies, it seems, are finding they don’t have enough time, expertise and resources to achieve this in-house.

They also recognise that poor quality writing – with bad grammar, spelling mistakes and factual errors – can have a negative impact on their brand’s reputation. Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam Team, recently warned that sites with frequent content errors tend to have lower rankings in search results.

As Contented Marketer recently reported (“Frequent publishing helps to improve ROI”), the ability to publish quality content on a regular basis is a key factor in maximising investment in content marketing campaigns. At the same time, Google is now upgrading the page-rankings of websites that deliver high-quality content that people want to read and share (see “Google updates making quality content dominant factor in SEO”).

CONTENT BEING OUTSOURCED

The new Digital Content Marketing Survey found that video is the type of content that marketers are most likely to outsource, followed by infographics, online articles, digital white papers, e-books and blogging.

Only 18% of the marketers surveyed cited cost as the deciding factor when choosing whether or not to outsource content marketing. Eighty percent stated they were happy to pay a little extra for the added value of well-crafted, customised and professionally-written material.

BEST RESULTS

Social content, blogging, press releases and online articles are the forms of content used most often, says the report, with marketers finding that social content, e-newsletters and blogging provide the best results.

WRITE FOR PEOPLE NOT SEARCH ENGINES

Eighty two percent of respondents said it is more important for their website and blog copy to be written for people rather than search engines – with SEO expertise ranked fifth among the list of 11 qualities marketers want in a content provider.

Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, said: “This survey affirms that marketing pros are embracing the value of online marketing, but they also acknowledge the need to stay true to certain fundamentals. Quality continues to be a key requirement for success across all forms of content marketing.”

He added: “While the Internet continues to revolutionise the way we all do business, the need to tell a clear compelling story through our marketing efforts remains constant.”

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About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications.

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

New LinkedIn ‘Follow’ button helping B2B content marketers

April 11, 2012

The recent rollout of LinkedIn’s new ‘Follow Company’ button is making it easier for content marketers to target and engage with B2B audiences that are already using LinkedIn.

This appears to support the view that, while Facebook is great for B2C marketing, LinkedIn can work better for B2B. LinkedIn claims to have over two million companies in its network, representing all industries and company sizes.

Just like Facebook’s ‘Like’ button and Twitter’s ‘Follow’ button, you can now add the LinkedIn ‘Follow’ badge to your company website – making it easier for businesses or individuals to begin following your company’s LinkedIn page with just one click. There is no need for them to navigate to the LinkedIn website.

As LinkedIn’s Mike Grishaver explains: “Companies can engage with people from their Company Page on LinkedIn and through status updates. It’s a great and easy way to gain insights and stay connected.”

According to LinkedIn, the ‘Follow’ button is already being used by companies such as Starbucks, AT&T, Sony Electronics and American Express.

HIGHER LEAD CONVERSION RATE

In a recent study of over 5,000 businesses, integrated marketing solutions company HubSpot found that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74% – almost three times higher than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%).

This suggests that increasing your reach on LinkedIn through quality content is not only likely to boost your website’s LinkedIn referral traffic, but can also lead to an increase in sales leads because of the higher conversion rate of LinkedIn traffic.

NEW TARGETING FUNCTION

LinkedIn has also announced plans to roll out two new functions – ‘Targeted Updates’ and ‘Follower Statistics’ – which have been designed for companies that have followers on the network. Initial users will include AT&T, Samsung Mobile, Dell and Microsoft.

The ‘Targeted Updates’ function will allow companies to segment their followers by a range of variables such as industry, seniority, job function, company size, non-company employees, and geography. LinkedIn says this will enable companies to send different content and status updates to different groups of followers.

The ‘Follower Statistics’ product will be an analytics dashboard that allows companies to see how effective their updates have been.

According to LinkedIn, the new tools are all about “driving media efficiency” and helping marketers to create “direct and lasting relationships with their audience”.

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Here’s a video showing how businesses or individuals can follow a company on LinkedIn …

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

More than 90% of B2B buyers influenced by content marketing

April 7, 2012

by Brian Oliver

A new study by DemandGen, an emedia publication that focuses on B2B sales strategies and solutions, has found that more than 90% of B2B purchase decisions start with exposure to some form of content marketing material.

The report also found that over 40% of B2B buyers often learn about a supplier’s products or services for the first time by downloading content from their website.

This highlights the growing importance of a content strategy that includes the provision of helpful downloadable material – such as white papers, case studies and eGuides – to demonstrate the value of a company’s products or services.

CRITICAL TOOL

The study’s findings show that optimised content-led marketing is becoming an increasingly critical tool for many B2B companies. It suggests that companies that guide prospects through the ‘conversion funnel’ with engaging and relevant content are more likely to be successful in generating qualified sales leads.

This is in line with a recent study by integrated marketing solutions company HubSpot which found that some 25% of businesses that use content marketing now find it essential.

“Research has shown that engaging content is critical to supporting an inbound marketing strategy and helping companies get found,” says Jeanne Hopkins, director of marketing at HubSpot.

She adds: “Progressive marketers are realising that content also plays a key role in advancing prospects from the middle of the funnel to closed deals by nurturing and educating buyers with information that speaks directly to their needs at different stages.”

GROWTH OF CONTENT MARKETING AGENCIES

The DemandGen Report also recognised that B2B companies often find it difficult to create and sustain effective content without outside help, such as independent content writing services.

“As these trends emerge, B2B marketers continue to struggle to keep pace with content development, content marketing strategies and how to utilise content to drive demand,” says DemandGen Report editor Andrew Gaffney.

Industry expert Jon Wuebben, CEO of ContentLaunch, believes this is one reason why we’re seeing the growth of agencies that specialise in the strategic planning, creation, distribution and curation of customer-focused content. In his latest book, Content Is Currency: Developing Powerful Content for Web & Mobile, Wuebben insists that the content marketing agency is now replacing the traditional ad agency for many companies.

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About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications.

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

 

Video content marketing helps to increase online sales conversions, says new report

April 1, 2012

Using original videos in content marketing is one of the best ways of driving customer engagement and increasing online sales conversions – that’s according to new research conducted jointly by comScore Inc, a leader in measuring the digital world, and online video distribution network EXPO.

The report found that more than half of the people surveyed gained a better understanding of marketing messages when they were presented in the form of a video – with around 80% of them finding videos easy to relate to, and more than 80% stating that videos give them a better understanding of the importance of key messages.

The study measured a series of indicators and found that professionally-produced video content and user-generated product videos can both help to drive higher levels of sales effectiveness. However, branded video content is regarded as better at conveying features and benefits, while user-generated videos are seen as more trustworthy when it comes to dealing with product claims.

VIDEOS INCREASE CUSTOMER CONFIDENCE

Frank Findley, comScore’s vice president of research and development, said: “While marketers may already be familiar with the effectiveness of professional video content alone, these results suggest that even greater returns can be had by combining their use with authentic, user-generated content.”

Jessica Thorpe, vice president of marketing at EXPO, said: “We found that consumers perceived feature benefits as more believable when coming directly from the brand through professionally-produced content, while the unbiased user-gen videos were more believable in verifying specific product claims, such as superiority and convenience.”

She added: “When used together, all of the perceived gaps get filled in and consumers become more confident in their purchase decision, resulting in better sales effectiveness.” 

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(Image via Clker)

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing