Branded Content vs Content Brand
Yes and no. There are certainly big success stories of organizations shifting to become content brands, just look at Neil Patel and Quicksprout, HubSpot, or Marketo. All three own the keyword for their category, ?growth hacking? for Quicksprout, ?inbound marketing? for HubSpot, and ?marketing automation? for Marketo. All three are also the defacto content creators for their category.
This seems to work really well for these type of companies, all of which are a form of marketing / sales enablement. Yet for other brands the transition and connection is not nearly as well aligned. Where I see potential conflict is within companies with strictly self-service models. By creating a content brand in the spirit of educating and providing advice to the target audience for a category, a company may inadvertently define themselves as a services company, and if ill equipped to operate as such could face negative consequences due to not being able to meet expectations.
For this reason, ultimately, it really depends on the structure of a company as to whether they should be a content brand or simply create branded content.
Your favourite content generation/marketing tools
Social and online monitoring services like Google Alerts, Tweetdeck with custom search queries, our social media intelligence platform Infegy Atlas, SEMRush for search and ad analysis, Buzzsumo for content performance and content ideation, Google Adwords keyword tool for SEO and ideation, Buffer for post scheduling, Google Analytics with UTM tracking, goals, and conversion tracking, and finally Pardot for outbound email, lead forms, and prospect tracking. We use a lot of tools.
#1 Social media channel for content marketing
The sheer amount of text content is overwhelming, and it seems that to stay competitive the majority are adapting click-bait style, short form, high volume, opinion pieces that provide no real value. At the end of the day the #1 platform for a company, industry, or category will be the one that can deliver the most value to the target audience.
With the over saturation of text content, I expect that video will become more and more important as a medium. It has a higher barrier to entry, requires more thought and planning, yet at the same time is a more relatable and engaging medium. With Facebook?s recent focus on video and Youtube?s continuing dominance as the number two search engine, I expect that these two particular channels will play the biggest role in distributing video.
Long detailed vs short snackable content
Data, data everywhere. Data that says long detailed content is better. Data that says short detailed content is better. Which will win? The content that has the greatest impact and generates the most leads. It is up to the content creators to create a variety of content for their audience and then analyze the data to see which formats, subjects, and styles convert at the highest frequency.
If I can tell you how to generate more leads using a single, underexploited Twitter feature in less than 500 words, I should create short content. However, if I?m teaching you how to create a content strategy, a longer ebook that includes templates and case studies will likely be more effective. Neither is objectively wrong or right, only subjectively.
The future of the Content-SEO pair
As search algorithms have gotten more sophisticated and now take into account word stemming (analysis, analyzed), social activity, on-page interaction, and more, simple keyword based strategies seem to be less and less important to winning the page rank war. The best advice I?ve seen from SEO experts recently is, ?create content that people love.?
The greater impact is that organizationally, employees with backgrounds in journalism, writing, design, and other liberal arts disciplines are now needed more than ever to help create compelling, interesting content. Pair that with an organizational focus on data, and the makeup of marketing teams starts becoming quite different than it has been historically.