What Is and What Ought to Be True [The Weekly Wrap]

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And that’s a wrap of the week ending Feb. 21, 2020

This week I’m exploring the difference between what is true and what ought to be true. I share a news article about the problem with advertising and data. I talk with the authors of a new book about the internal workings of content marketing. And I recommend an article that gives you three strategies for connecting with your audience (hint: start with mutual truths).

Listen to the Weekly Wrap

The theme this week is a question: Can you handle the truth?

Let’s wrap it up.

One deep thought: The magic of what ought to be (3:15)

“I don’t want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes magic! I try to give that to people. I misinterpret things to them. I don’t tell the truth. I tell what ought to be truth.” Blanche DuBois’ avoidance of reality didn’t end well for her in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.

But in so many ways, Blanche’s magic is what we marketers often communicate to customers. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. We don’t lie but, in varying degrees, present a version of what ought to be true rather than what the unvarnished truth is. I explore the difference – and how to apply it to your brand stories.

Marketers don’t lie. They present a version of what ought to be true, says @Robert_Rose via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

A fresh take on a less-is-more content strategy (11:05)

An item in Axios Media Trends caught my eye this week for its relevance to the theme of this episode. Marketers Own Up to Data, Journalism Crises recaps a talk from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) annual leadership meeting in which publishing executives “confessed that new privacy regulation and industry changes are forcing them to finally be on their best behavior after years of reckless spending .”

New privacy regs are forcing publishers to be on their best behavior, according to @Axios Media Trends via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Here’s one confession from that event – from Eargo CMO Shiv Singh: “I’ve literally steered hundreds of millions of dollars to these platforms. And at no point in that journey … did I ask about their data policies or did I ask about what is their relationship with media or politics or consumer privacy or any of that. So, my first response is that we all have a stake in this and I think at some level, we all have screwed up.”

This is the part of the movie when I’m sitting in the corner keeping my voice quiet then sheepishly getting up and saying, “Hi guys, I might have an idea …” (Listen to hear my take on a content marketing version of the speech from the end of When Harry Met Sally.)

You can read this article from TechCrunch that explains what the IAB thinks of cookies and what it’s doing to make sure tracking stays around.

There are positive days ahead for content marketers using audience data to serve up better experiences, it’s just changing.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

This week’s persons making a difference in content: Toby Murdock and Zoe Randolph (16:09)

My guests this week are Kapost founder Toby Murdock, general manager of the Kapost platform at Upland Software; and Zoe Randolph, content architect at Kapost. They are the authors of the new book, Mastering One Voice: A Marketing Fable and Field Guide to Content Operations.

Toby’s got extensive experience helping companies of all sizes turn business ideas into marketing content and a strategy that resonates with customers throughout the buyer journey. He served as Kapost CEO from its founding through the 2019 acquisition by Upland Software.

Zoe oversees messaging, hosts webinars, and authors long- and short-form content as a content architect at Kapost.

We talked about the stories in (and behind) their book and much more.

Here’s a snippet from our chat with Zoe:

“One of the biggest mistakes we can make if we’re in the game of content is to think that everything begins and ends with the content team … One of the biggest first steps to take to get to scale is to help stakeholders see that ultimately content – and through content customer experience ­– is really everybody’s problem.”

Big mistake? Thinking everything begins and ends with the #content team, according to @Kapost’s Zoe Randolph via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Listen in to our conversation about content operations and navigating business silos, then get more of the story:

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

One content marketing idea you can use (29:30)

This week I highly recommend an article that speaks to the theme: 3 Strategies to Connect With Your Audience (Hint: Start With Mutual Truths). In it, Dennis Shiao recaps a great Content Marketing World session by Liz High, vice president of customer experience at Metia Group, that explains how to find the brand’s truth, the customer’s truth, and the truth.

3 sides in #contentmarketing – the brand’s, the customer’s, and the truth via Liz High @metia. @cmicontent #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Love for our sponsor: Kapost

So let me tell you a story … Once upon a time, customers wanted content. So, marketing produced it.

As new ways to reach customers emerged, marketers kept creating more and more content. They also started growing their teams and adding technology to help drive engagement.

But in all the excitement, we forgot why we started making content in the first place: for our customers. We knew the messages we worked so hard to build were getting lost in the chaos, but we didn’t know another way.

Finally our customer said, “Enough! You’re confusing me!”

With that, Kapost was born. Kapost unites revenue teams to speak in one voice across the entire customer journey.

Learn more at http://cmi.media/contentoperations.

The wrap-up

Tune in next week when I’ll pull more wisdom that’s long in the, ahem, truth. I’ll dare you to explore one news item that I’ve fought truth and nail to bring to you. And we’ll pop up a content marketing tip that includes at least one kernel of truth. And it’ll all be delivered in a little less time than it takes to recline your airplane seat.

If you have ideas for what you’d like to hear more of on our weekly play on words, let us know in the comments. And if you love the show, we’d sure love for you to review it or share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap.

To listen to past Weekly Wrap shows, go to the main Weekly Wrap page

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Avoid the Heartbreak of Lengthy Strategies, Expert Assumptions, and More [The Weekly Wrap]

Listen to the Weekly Wrap here or subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. If you enjoy the show, please take a moment to rate it or post a review.

And that’s a wrap of the week ending Feb. 14, 2020

This week I’m thinking about the trap between strategy and planning. I offer my take on a new article that claims publishing less content is helping publishers grow their audiences. Veteran content marketer Rich Schwerin shares his thoughts about the business challenges of content strategy today. And I point you to an article about deconstructing a content marketing platform to come up with a better content marketing plan.

Listen to the Weekly Wrap

It’s Valentine’s Day (if your Valentine is on Twitter, you can call them tweetheart). Our theme this week is how I left the plan and learned to love the planning.  Let’s wrap it up.

One deep thought: The problem with strategic plans (2:35)

How much strategy is enough? We all agree that a good strategic plan is important – it’s a compelling argument for why we want to go somewhere, a clear road map to help us get there, and a set of standards for the benefits of arriving at our destination.

But how detailed does the plan need to be? Too much detail and no one will read it or adopt it. Too little detail and people won’t care about the strategy, won’t be clear about the plan, or won’t understand what success looks like.

The conventional wisdom is to do two versions: a highly detailed plan with hundreds of slides and the 20-slide executive summary version of that plan.

Both of these become useless quickly. Details go sideways right away due to delays, budget fluctuations, and resource changes. Once the details change, managers worry about their ability to meet the standards of success. Then people question the direction, and everything starts all over again.

Should we just stop creating strategic plans? I explain a better way – one that keeps the strategy fixed and the plan fluid.

Should we stop creating strategic #content plans? @Robert_Rose gives the answer via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

A fresh take on a less-is-more content strategy (9:57)

I read a fascinating piece in Digiday this week with the headline Publishers Are Growing Audiences by Producing Less Content. Yup, you heard that right.

The article details several publishers that have trimmed the number of articles they’re producing yet are seeing more traffic, longer times on site, and more subscribers. These include The Guardian, The Times of London, and Le Monde.

The quote from media analyst Thomas Baekdal stood out to me:

Whether a digital magazine publishes 100, 500, or 1,000 articles makes no difference. It’s the quality and interest of the articles that matter instead. We see this clearly on YouTube, where the most popular YouTubers rarely post more than once or twice a day. Publishers look at this, do the analysis, and they discover that when they cut away the not valuable, nobody realizes that it is gone.

I’ve started to see this with my consulting clients. When they take the time to create their strategy and plan to create fewer pieces – and focus in on the quality of those pieces – they build stronger, more engaged audiences and see better results.

Create fewer #content pieces. Focus on quality. And you may see better results, says @Robert_Rose via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

I explain how this seemingly counterintuitive strategy can help content marketers focus on helping people find what they want while leading them to start reading more of what we want them to consume.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

This week’s person making a difference in content: Rich Schwerin (14:17)

This interview is a fun one because Rich Schwerin is not only a wonderfully smart guy, he’s also seen it all when it comes to content marketing in Silicon Valley. Rich is now a senior content strategist at Autodesk, where he focuses on content that engages attention, solves problems, and delivers results.

He’s worked for years in enterprise technology content strategy, including stints at VMware and Oracle. He’s done a variety of things in and around content marketing, including SEO, social media marketing strategy, and product marketing. Rich also puts his background in journalism to work writing articles and moderating panels for the Bay Area Content Marketing Meetup.

Here’s a preview of our chat:

Editors know more than readers. You and your subject matter experts are living and eating and breathing your subject 24/7 … There’s a danger in assuming the audience knows all that. Your job is to organize the information and interpret it and focus on what the audience needs to know – not everything.

Don’t assume your audience knows all that your editors and experts know, says @greencognito via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Listen in to our conversation about content strategy and some of the challenges he’s seeing in business, then get more from Rich:

One content marketing idea you can use (29:30)

I’m sharing an article from way back in 2013. Before you scoff about the age, let me tell you this article is as valuable as it was seven years ago. In Learn What Makes a Content Plan Successful by Taking One Apart, my friend Buddy Scalera wrote about building a better content plan by taking apart your existing one, putting it back together by making decisions about what works and what doesn’t, and documenting the process.

The true challenges lie in building a #content plan from scratch, says @buddyscalera via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Love for our sponsor: ContentTECH Summit

Here’s something you should plan for – especially if you’re looking for a content tech strategy. I’m talking about ContentTECH Summit April 20 to 22 in San Diego.

We’ve got amazing, speakers like Meg Walsh, who runs content services at Hilton Hotels; Cleve Gibbon, chief technology officer at Wunderman Thompson; and Wendy Richardson, senior vice president of global technical services for MasterCard.

These brand-level folks are ready to teach you the effective use of technology and better processes that can help your strategic efforts to create, manage, deliver, and scale your enterprise content and provide your customers with better digital experiences.

And I’ve got a discount for you. Just use the code ROSE100 and you’ll save $100 on registration.

Check out the agenda and register today.

The wrap-up

Join me next week for one thought that I love from my head to matoes. I won’t glaze over the fact you doughnut want to miss the love we share for the hole news story. And – hotdog – I think you’ll relish the content marketing tip we cannoli offer you through this podcast. You have a pizza my heart, you guys. And of course, it’s all delivered in a little less time than it takes to spray-tan your face.

If you have ideas for what you’d like to hear more of on our weekly play on words, let us know in the comments. And if you love the show, we’d sure love for you to review it or share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap.

To listen to past Weekly Wrap shows, go to the main Weekly Wrap page

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Pondering the Power of Disruption and Risk in Content Marketing [The Weekly Wrap]

Listen to the Weekly Wrap here or subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. If you enjoy the show, please take a moment to rate it or post a review.

And that’s a wrap of the week ending Jan. 31, 2020

This week I remember the disruptive influence of Clayton Christensen. I give my take on a World Economic Forum report that names content and marketing as the jobs of tomorrow. I talk with Rebecca Geier about taking risks and the importance of “just doing it” in content marketing. And I share an article about an alternative way to think about audience personas.

Listen to the Weekly Wrap

Our theme this week is disruptive change. It’s like gravity, to paraphrase Clayton Christensen. You may hate it, but it doesn’t care. Let’s wrap it up.

One deep thought: The disruptive power of inspiration (2:30)

Who shapes your ideas? We all have muses – people inspire our creations. In Greek mythology, nine muses gave artists and philosophers the necessary inspiration. Calliope, the muse of epic poetry, is said to have inspired Homer to write the Iliad and the Odyssey. I like to think of Calliope as the muse of big ideas.

This week, the poets and philosophers of business art and science lost their Calliope: Clayton Christensen. The Harvard Business School professor was best known for his 1997 book, The Innovator’s Dilemma. But his ideas on innovation, product development, and life in the modern world span so much more than business thinking.

Poets of business art and science lost their Calliope this week – Clayton Christensen, says @Robert_Rose via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

I explore the ways his thinking inspired me to pursue disruptive changes over the past 20 years and share my thoughts on the most important ideas from this inspiring man.

Once you’ve listened to this segment, explore Clayton’s thinking in these important works:

A fresh take on content marketing as a job of tomorrow (9:51)

An interesting report came out last week from the World Economic Forum (supported by data from LinkedIn) and it fits nicely with our theme this week: Jobs of Tomorrow: Mapping Opportunity in the New Economy.

These jobs are in “urgent demand” worldwide. Over the next three years, the report says, 37% of projected opportunities will be in the care economy. That makes sense as the population ages. Interestingly, the next ones are:

  • Sales, marketing, and content (17%)
  • Data and AI (16%)
  • Engineering and cloud computing (12%)
  • People and culture (8%)

17% of projected job opportunities will be in #sales, #marketing, #content via @wef report. @cmicontent #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

I share my take on the roles with the fastest growth and the news that content marketing strategy is one of the “most desired further learning” opportunities in the marketing and sales category.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

This week’s person making a difference in content: Rebecca Geier (13:38)

I’m a huge fan of Rebecca Geier’s work. She’s got nearly 30 years of business leadership experience with engineering companies large and small and was named one of the 10 most innovative entrepreneurs in America by The Wall Street Journal editors. Rebecca’s passion is advising engineering executives to realize their vision. She’s also a talented speaker on the topic of B2B content marketing and is writing a university-level textbook on the topic.

Rebecca and I talked a little about the Kansas City Chiefs’ upcoming Superbowl LIV appearance – and a lot about content marketing as a disruptor in B2B marketing.

Here’s a peek at a bit of our conversation, in which Rebecca talks about the state of content and communications today:

Communication – work and personal – is mostly disappointing. It’s not done well. It requires an enormous amount of effort and thought. One-to-one communication requires a lot of humility, and I think all of those things are uncomfortable for a lot of people. Companies are just not thinking through how they’re communicating, and what they’re communicating, and who they’re communicating with.

Companies don’t think through what, how, and with whom they’re communicating, says @rebeccag via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Listen in to our discussion, then learn more about Rebecca:

One content marketing idea you can use (32:43)

This week, I highlight another post I wrote because it ties so nicely to this week’s theme: An Alternative Approach to Developing Content Marketing Personas.

What’s different about this approach to personas? Well, it’s based on the jobs-to-be-done framework, which I learned about thanks to Clayton Christensen.

Love for this week’s sponsor: ContentTECH Summit

I have something you can muse on. I’m talking about ContentTECH Summit April 20 to 22 in San Diego.

We’ve got amazing, speakers like Meg Walsh who runs content services at Hilton Hotels; Cleve Gibbon, chief technology officer at Wunderman Thompson; and Wendy Richardson, senior vice president of global technical services for MasterCard.

These brand-level folks are ready to teach you the effective use of technology and better processes that can help your strategic efforts to create, manage, deliver, and scale your enterprise content and provide your customers with better digital experiences.

And I’ve got a discount for you. Just use the code ROSE100 and you’ll save $100 on registration.

Check out the agenda and register today.

The wrap-up

Tune in next week for more inspirational nutrition. I’ll noodle on one thought that reminds you nothing is impastable. I’ll talk about a one-in-a-melon news item that – let’s be frank – will have you saying, “hot dog!” And I’ll finish up with one fresh content marketing tip that gives you the encourgemint you need. And it’s all delivered in a little less time than it takes to cringe at another of your friends taking the Dolly Parton challenge.

If you have ideas for what you’d like to hear more of on our weekly play on words, let us know in the comments. And if you love the show, we’d sure love for you to review it or share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap.

How to subscribe

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute




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