Every week here in the Porter Novelli New York office, where our PN Connect digital team creates and executes content strategy for healthcare clients including Cardinal Health and Johnson & Johnson, financial institutions like Sammons, and consumer goods like Bel Brands and HP Inc, our team gets together to share research, product and platform developments and content marketing best practices. It’s kind of a digital show and tell, and it allows us to step outside of our inboxes and apply some critical thinking to what’s happening in the content marketplace. And in turn, we’d like to share them with our digital colleagues across the PN Connect global network and our clients.
Juli is Porter Novelli’s VP of Strategic Planning, Analytics and research. She helps clients and internal teams to develop data-driven actionable insights to inform communications tactical and strategic plans as well as measure and analyze public relations efforts across various verticals including consumer, food and nutrition, healthcare and technology.
Only 5 percent of marketers say they have mastered the ability to adapt and predict the customer journey and truly understand which actions will derive maximum value. A new report by CMO Council, highlights the rapidly evolving marketing landscape that must race to meet the continuously shifting customer consumption behavior. Personalization remains a high priority for marketers, and, in general, the report offers a hard reality check, showing once again that in the real world of marketing, having access to the data isn’t, in itself, that useful. Having clean data that provides a full 360-degree view of the customer, thereby opening up the opportunity for personalized marketing, does help. Unfortunately, most marketers just aren’t there yet.
Tamar is Porter Novelli’s Senior Vice President of content strategy. She develops actionable content strategies and social marketing plans, platforms and solutions that position each client’s unique offerings in an organic, engaging manner and reaches target audiences in a creative, unique brand voice. At Porter Novelli, she’s developed content strategies for HP, The Hartford insurance, The Shops at Columbus Circle, Johnson & Johnson, and Cardinal Health, as well as executions for chefs within Orange Palate, Porter Novelli’s boutique culinary practice.
At the risk of sounding mildly indecent or too forward, I’ll be blunt: I’m kind of a little in love with Contently’s Joe Lazauskas. In a content marketing way! Like more than a casual Facebook acquaintance whom I like too much to hide but not enough to hang out with in real life… but less than my actual real-life husband. I platonically like-like Joe. Like, a lot. Which is to say his insights into content marketing, content distribution and the ever-changing digital content landscape are amongst my favorites.
His recent Contently article, “5 Big Ways Content Marketing Will Change in 2016,” featured a few excellent points about content marketing and its evolution into and relationship with content distribution.
I’m not going to round up my five favorite points because that’d be a roundup of a roundup, and I respect myself and you (and Joe!) too much to waste your time doing that, but his focus on the increased need for content and editorial specialists is noteworthy to me, both because I come from 15 years in the digital editorial space (and because I’m a selfish narcissist!), but also because brands and agencies are realizing the importance of this specialty skill in growing digital and traditional but, most importantly, integrated business.
He explains, “I think that marketing execs are going to realize a rather obvious point this year: You can’t just tell a career marketer to “do content” and expect to compete in a Hunger Games-esque media arena. That’s not a knock against marketers; it’s just that writing, editing, videography, and content strategy are specialized skills.” True, Joe!
Another important prediction from my content crush is a shift from media budgets into content marketing operations, leading to much higher returns on content programs. This is a result of content experts understanding platforms, audiences and how and where content is consumed and investing in those distribution platforms. What good is good content if your content distribution model is no good… or worse — non-existent?
And finally, the third of my favorite of Joe’s (can I call you Joe?) points is on the shift from overly stylized, bloated content strategies and plans to actually just hitting the ground running (after identifying your audience), publishing content and then optimizing what’s more important than measuring and adjusting content. (While planning and understanding your client and their offerings is an essential step in the content creation process, your client will probably thank you profusely when you actually start creating content versus spending their precious financial resources on talking about creating it, amirite?)
“ …Testing your assumptions is usually the best plan. You research, create content you think your audience will like, test some distribution channels, and then adjust your outlook for the next round of publishing. You spend your budget getting actual results and evaluating your assumptions, not on a fancy plan. And you get better over time,” Lazauskas explained, distilling content planning down to its purest essence. “Instead of content strategy, we’ll begin to talk about ‘content methodology,’ the process of continuously creating, distributing, and optimizing content for the next round of publishing.”
The emphasis on methodology was especially salient, true, and reassuring, because at Porter Novelli, when we’re in the early planning phase of any digital content marketing program, we start with the simple model of…
Audience + Content + Measurement
Glad to see my content crush and I agree on that too. If he likes short walks on the beach and Doritos, then he’s officially my unofficial digital dream dude.
Jess helps clients and internal teams answer critical questions about campaign strategy and performance using any data they can get their hands on. Porter Novelli has a genius team of technical analysts who tap directly into the APIs of most social media platforms, granting access to the most useful data, allowing analysts like Jess to tell full, compelling stories about brand performance and opportunities.
As a social media analyst, I wonder what I did to make Jack Dorsey mad, because upping the character limit to 10,000 is literally the worst thing he could do to my life. Twitter had built this beautiful world filled with super analyzable, 140-character-long pieces of content, and then decided, “screw it”, in a move that seemed as strange as if Spark Notes were to exclusively offer heavily-annotated encyclopedias. As a consumer, I was mildly annoyed.
But then Twitter dropped another bomb. COO Adam Bain recently confirmed that Twitter is testing 30-second skippable pre-roll ads. The standard had previously been six seconds.
The ads appear before videos created through Twitter’s Amplify program, in which media partners such as BuzzFeed and Fox Sports post videos surrounding major cultural highlights like game day clips and memorable Oscar moments. Now instead of six seconds, users are subject to 30 seconds or more of advertisements when accessing these clips.
The Twitter medium, which was founded on the beauty of limitations and brevity, is removing limitations for video advertisers. Digiday notes that most TV advertisers have 30-second spots, so the move allows more advertisers to explore Twitter video advertising with less retro-fitting.
Twitter is a business and businesses need to make money, and the difference between six seconds and 30 for only certain content doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but Twitter continues to dance closer to the line where they risk alienating consumers. For now, the workaround lives in the skip button accompanying the pre-rolls, but who knows how long that will be an option.