Content Strategy, Influencers, and Leftover Turkey

At ad:tech San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, I caught up with Marketo’s marketing team. Jason Miller and I sat down to talk content marketing. He very flatteringly turned our conversation into a blog post.

Here’s an excerpt of our talk – but you have to click if you want to get to the bit about the turkey!

What are your best tips for businesses that are struggling to find content?

Rebecca Lieb: For one thing, businesses have to start thinking like publishers in order to not only define content, but also to effectively use content. It’s very daunting to wake up every day and find a blank page to fill, blank air time or blank podcast time, which is why “real” publications have editorial calendars. And while the New York Times doesn’t know what breaking news will be on page one on Friday, they do know it’s Friday so they’re going to have a weekend arts preview and a movie section and a theater section and perhaps an interview with somebody opening a new play on Broadway.

There’s a degree of predictability in content that’s not only very helpful to the business or the publisher who’s publishing that content, but also to the audience. The regularity of these types of features keeps people coming back. This is why newspapers have evergreen content like horoscopes and comics, they know that readers will develop habits and pick up content for that reason. So in order to constantly create new sources of content you need a plan, you need an editorial calendar.

The second phase of this is for brands to think of how to recycle and repurpose content. Not everybody likes the same content in the same channels. Somebody might be very happy to listen to this interview as a podcast while other people just want to read the text. So why not make it available in both formats on two different channels? Or if you have a live event, you can chop that event up into content that will take you down the road for weeks or months in the form of videos, infographics, or blog entries.

Next: Why content is like leftover turkey. You’ll have to read that part over on Marketo’s blog.

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Talking All Facebook, All the Time

It’s not often (well, to date not ever) that I post links to my mentions in the media, but last night’s Facebook S-1 filing broke all  personal records for media commentary. These reporters and editors have done some tough work on deadline, so here’s a little link love (as well as personal record-keeping) in no particular order of articles that contain me weighing in on many different aspects of the Facebook IPO. What a crazy and busy night it was!

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A Content Marketing Conversation at Digiday Agency

It’s always a good thing when industry conferences share their content, speakers and insights with the wider world. We can’t all be in the same room at the same time, after all.

This week at Digiday Agency, Pulsepoint‘s razor-sharp CMO Rose Ann Horan and I kicked off the day with a half hour chat about content marketing. Because my upcoming research examines how agencies and enterprises alike are shifting resources and strategy to meet new demands in a world shifting from media buying to content creation, it was exciting to take the discussion into an agency context.

Watch live streaming video from digiday at livestream.com

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Talking Tablets & Super Bowl with Robert Scoble

Delivering observational sound bytes is part and parcel of the job of an analysts (and a very enjoyable part at that).  Even more exciting is the rare opportunity to swap opinions and observations with one of the most respected observers and interviewers in all of digital.

I was lucky enough to have just such an opportunity when a visit this week to Altimeter Group’s San Mateo HQ coincided with none other than Robert Scoble paying us a visit. We’ve met in the past, but my heart sunk when I sat down to do an interview with him and reminded him my coverage area is advertising and media. “No one cares about advertising but the companies that sell it,” proclaimed The Scobleizer, who said maybe we should hold off on talking until some big advertising event in the future, like the Super Bowl.

No interview? Oh noes! #Fail.

We continued on with an amiable offline chat, until I mentioned that next month’s big game will be the first Super Bowl in which tablet use could likely dominate secondary media consumption. Scoble pricked up his ears and our interview was underway. You can listen to it here.

II also recommend listening to his much longer and more in-depth four-part discussion with my Altimeter Group colleague Susan Etlinger.

 

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Content Roundup

Most of my writings on digital marketing, advertising and media don’t make it to this blog. Instead, they’re published elsewhere – and a girl can do only so much typing sometimes.

So herewith, a roundup of recently published thinking that’s appeared elsewhere over the past month or so:

My new book!

Obviously, this is the big one.  Content Marketing published in late October. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you read it. And thanks for waiting at least a couple of months before asking when I plan to write the next book!

The Altimeter Blog

Some topics I’ve address on my company’s blog include covering a Pilot Event at company HQ on the future of media at which I spoke with my colleague Jeremiah Owyang; Occupy Wall Street: Disruption & Leaderless Leadership; and thinking about how content marketing is impacting the advertising ecosystem, the topic of the research report I’m currently working on. It will look at how organizations are rebalancing to incorporate content marketing into their other marketing activities.

TopRank Blog

I was honored when my friend (and interview subject for the above-cited research report) Lee Odden) asked me to guest post on his TopRank blog on Mastering the Content Workflow. It’s a bit of tactical advice for getting a marketing operation running like a newsroom.

iMedia Connection

For the better part of the year, I’ve been writing a fortnightly column for iMedia Connection. My editors there just invited me to write my first feature (or as they call it, “cover story”) on mastering geek speak. It’s practical advice for marketers struggling to communicate with their developer and programmer and generally more techie colleagues. Never have left brain/right brain schisms been deeper than in digital marketing disciplines, but there are ways to bridge those two hemispheres of the brain.

Other recent columns for iMedia include a guide to getting started with content metrics (based on a recent talk I gave at eMetrics New York); and avoiding brand embarassments in real-time.

 


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Published! Content Marketing: Think Like a Publisher

Content Marketing: Think Like a PublisherFunny thing about being an author – particularly one who’s grown all too accustomed to working in digital channels. You spend months toiling over a book. Submit it, edit it, correct it, and then…you wait.

Then, one night you come home from a dinner party and find UPS left a carton in the lobby with your name on it. And so my second book is manifest: Content Marketing: Think Like a Publisher – How to Use Content to Market Online and in Social Media.

It’s exciting to finally hold a copy in my hands, but I’m more excited to see how it’s received by marketers of all stripes. Technology has gotten marketing to the point at which it’s no longer necessary to buy media to disseminate messages. It can be equally – if not more – effective to create your own media. Doing so, however, requires entirely new sets of skill sets and mind sets that are unfamiliar to marketers and advertisers. Instead of thinking about campaigns, they must think continuity. Instead of broadcasting, the emphasis now is on conversation and dialogue. Instead of interruption, the goal is tune-in.

I’m interested in how marketers will use this book (and eager to hear reactions in the comments). And I’m far from done with the topic. I’m excited to be able to follow up on the book with a research project I’m just embarking on, in which I’ll delve into the changing organizational and resource needs of brands, agencies, vendors and media companies as a result of content marketing becoming a permanent and pervasive reality in marketing today.

I hope you’ll consider reading my latest book. Please let me know what you think if you read it.

 

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