content-marketing-buyer-journey PROOF THAT “CONTENT MARKETING” IS NOT JUST ANOTHER 2016 BUZZWORD There’s no denying that digital marketing is essential to a business’ success, seeing as how people look for everything on the web, the web is here to stay, and if a business isn’t on the web, no one will find it. This blog post has been created in order to show you that Content Marketing isn’t just another Buzzword in 2016! The marketing technique is all in how to get potential customers to follow social media pages and blogs. And when talking about digital marketing, the term “content marketing” is sure to come up along with SEO, online reputation, and even mobile friendliness. There are those who say that “content marketing” is a buzzword, but that doesn’t seem to be true at all. For starters, just take a look at buzzwords. What IS a Buzzword? A buzzword, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “an important-sounding usually technical word or phrase often of little meaning used chiefly to impress laymen. “ In other words, a buzzword is something that sounds fancy that doesn’t actually mean anything. A second definition is, “a voguish word or phrase” which indicates that buzzwords, whether they mean anything or not, come in and out of style just like mullets. (Were mullets really ever IN style?) So does “content marketing” even fit the definition of a buzzword? According to Wikipedia, the phrase “content marketing” has been around since at least 1996. That’s twenty years ago. Fads don’t last twenty years. That’s the first big sign that “content marketing” isn’t a buzzword. However, “content marketing” doesn’t fit the definition of “buzzword” at all, because content marketing actually refers to a specific type of marketing practice – it has a real meaning. What is Content Marketing? It’s simple: content marketing is the creation of content with the intention of attracting and maintaining customers. The first example of this was practiced by John Deere by publishing the magazine, The Furrow, which was specific to farmers and is still in wide circulation today. As a side note, the phrase “content marketing” might only be twenty years old, but the practice itself has been around since that publication, which was in 1895. That’s more than a hundred years ago. But content marketing is recommended in plenty other turns of phrase. Advice to start a blog is a type of content marketing. Creating an active social media account is a type of content marketing. Statistics show that marketing on social media is certainly effective, at least if it’s done right. There’s a reason that blogs are frequently recommended as a marketing technique, the same reason. It brings in results. So if content marketing refers to creating content like blogs and social media, and those are actual strategies that actually work, “content marketing” isn’t an empty, fashionable phrase. Wasn’t there a single word for an empty, fashionable phrase? That’s right, a buzzword. Of course, just taking a peek at who uses the phrase “content marketing” should have been proof enough that it’s not just a buzzword. “Content Marketing” is Used Universally It’s used universally and by industry leaders. Across the pond, the UK association once known as The Association of Publishing Agencies changed that mouthful to the Content Marketing Association, and they did it a handful of years ago. A big association like that doesn’t go through all the trouble to re-brand over a buzzword. Look at marketing and publishing agencies who create “custom content” or “custom publishing” – content marketing is all the same stuff, just under a united name, and those whose business it is to create marketable content are using the phrase as a united industrial term because it makes sense. When “content marketing” is defined, it’s obvious to see that it’s been around for ages, and that it’s a thriving practice today that gets real results; but that’s only the case when the content marketing is done well. To find out how to go about content marketing the right way, you can look at plenty of resources to go into the details of answering questions like “what is content strategy?” or you can reach out to here at Whatever you decide, just remember that this very effective and increasingly popular form of marketing has been around and will probably stay around for quite some time; it’s not coming out of nowhere only to fade back into nothing. Wi that said, we suggest the following to any business and website owner… make your aim to both benefit from and learn how to use it for your internet marketing strategy. Read more ROCKET-circle THE CMA AWARDS 2016 – DEADLINE THIS FRIDAY, HAVE YOU ENTERED YET? The CMA International Content Marketing awards are back and ready for entry. The deadline is this week and we are excited to see so much activity already with over 450 registrations from 125 agencies across 22 countries. Make sure you don’t miss the deadline: 2 September and enter now! Agencies from across the world will offer up their greatest work from the past 12 months for judgement by some of the biggest names in marketing. Last year we had over 400 entries from 100 different agencies, and 21 countries, making them the most competitive content marketing awards in the world. This year the awards will be hosted by the hilarious Stephen Mangan, best known for his roles in Green Wing, Episodes and Alan Partridge. New Categories Excitingly, this year we have introduced new awards designed to reflect the rapid changes in content marketing. There are now 25 categories available to enter, to win Gold, Silver and Bronze. The winners of categories 1-22 will be put forward for consideration for the ultimate Grand Prix award. This year you can enter the same entry into as many categories as you like. You can enter a website, video, mobile/tablet app, print publication, social media campaign or an entire integrated solution. Whatever the channel, so long as it is content produced for a brand, you can enter it and it stands an equal chance of winning. Entries can be made until Friday September 2nd at: View 2015 Winners here THE QUALIFYING PERIOD FOR ENTRIES IS   1ST SEPTEMBER 2015 – 31ST AUGUST 2016 The International Content Marketing Awards will be held on Tuesday 22nd November at the Roundhouse, London. COST CMA Member – £199 + VAT per entry Non-CMA Member – £299 +VAT per entry BECOME A SPONSOR Get your brand in front of the industry’s key decision-makers by being a sponsor of the 2016 Awards. Please see our sponsorship pack or email for more information. Read more InPub_twitter_button_2_400x400 CMA welcomes three new members The Content Marketing Association (CMA), the industry body for the content marketing industry, has announced three new members – Havas Media Group, Sky Media and King Content. Paul Frampton, CEO Havas Media Group UK and Ireland, said: “Havas Media Group has, for some time, been flying the flag for building rather than buying media and our content offering is a natural product of this way of thinking. Dynamism and collaboration are key to driving this forward: by pairing media and creative expertise from across the group, as well as developing a bespoke network of partnerships, we can deliver best-in-class branded content that reaches audiences in the most effective way.” Rachel Bristow, Director of Partnerships, Sky Media, said: “We are delighted to be joining the CMA and look forward to collaborating with like-minded companies to both celebrate and advance content marketing in all its forms.” Craig Hodges, CEO, King Content, said: “We’re excited to join the CMA and look forward to building a solid partnership as we expand our presence in the UK and EMEA markets.” Clare Hill, Managing Director, CMA, said: “We’re pleased to welcome Havas Media Group, Sky Media and King Content to the CMA. All three can benefit from sharing knowledge within our structure and take advantage of our initiatives, insights and extensive network. Our growing and diverse membership reflects the new additions and I look forward to working closely with the new members and their talented teams.” Read the full article on InPublishing here. Read more skymedia Sky Media leads influx of new members for CMA The Content Marketing Association welcomes three new members this month, and managing director Clare Hill says their different backgrounds underline just what a broad church content marketing is. We’re thrilled to open the doors of the Content Marketing Association this month to three new members: Sky Media, the advertising and partnerships arm of broadcaster Sky, which with annual revenue of more than £11bn is the UK’s largest media owner and a major international player; Havas Media Group, part of the one of the world’s top marketing communications groups; and King Content, a pure play content agency with offices in Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York and London. They come at content from different starting places, and each has something different to offer. But they’ve got one thing in common: they’re committed to producing world-class content and great results for their clients. They broaden and deepen the CMA’s existing membership. It’s incredibly exciting that we have members from so many different areas of the content eco-system. Sky, along with ITN, is our second broadcaster member, and is also a media owner like Time Inc, Immediate and Archant. Havas Media Group joins media agencies like MediaCom, MEC and iProspect. And King will sit alongside specialist content agencies like Seven, Cedar, John Brown Media and Progressive. Content players with other specialist skills, such as digital publishing, social media and PR are also members, and our membership growth matches the explosion of content marketing as the industry’s fastest-growing discipline. This month I sat down with Sky’s Rachel Bristow, Jason Hughes and Nick Lewis to talk about its history and ambitions in content marketing. Next month I’ll be following up by looking in depth at Havas Media Group and King Content. Clare Hill: Why is Sky Media joining the CMA? Rachel Bristow, director of partnerships and collaboration, Sky Media: “Sky has always been about great content, and we’ve been doing it for brands for quite a while. It’s a natural progression for us to collaborate with like-minded companies and celebrate and advance content marketing in all its forms.” Clare Hill: It might surprise a lot of people that you’re active in content marketing. How long have you been doing it? Rachel Bristow: “Not too much of a surprise, I hope. We’ve been doing content for seven or eight years now – for example with Coke Zero and Wayne Rooney on a project called Street Striker and also with TRESemmé on Britain’s Next Top Model. “More recently, as we’ve begun to develop broader opportunities with brand partners around specific campaigns, we’ve started seeing the opportunities for the market as a whole.” Clare Hill: What’s Sky’s unique point of difference? Nick Lewis, head of marketing, Sky Media: “We’ve got a huge breadth of world-class content on Sky, and world-leading data and technology. The scale of our TV, digital and social platforms, combined with that great creativity, means we can create engaging cross-screen content and campaigns for brands. Our Sky AdVance technology, for example, allows us to sequence TV and digital exposure, which is ideal for content-driven storytelling.   Clare Hill: Tell us about your team. Jason Hughes, head of creative solutions and branded content, Sky Media: “We have a team of eight in Creative Solutions, and our job is to champion and bring ideas to life. But the key for us is that we can tap into support from our world class ents, news and sports content teams. We try to instil creativity throughout the business. “For us, collaboration is a key component on all our projects, whether that’s working with great programme directors or external creative agencies.” Clare Hill: What are you currently up to? Jason Hughes: “We’re working on- and off- the Sky estate with brands like Budweiser, Fosters, Volvo and Right Guard. “If you take a look at the Budweiser Dream Goal project, it exemplifies what we can do.  It’s based on great collaboration between us, the client, creative agencies and at least four Sky departments. And it’s won a few awards too.” Clare Hill: So what you’re doing is way beyond Sky and Sky talent? Jason Hughes: “Oh, absolutely. First, we want to be as pro-active as we can with media agencies, creative and agencies and clients to show them the art of the possible. Second, we’re as interested in paid and earned media as we are with owned. Budweiser Dream Goal is an example of that. It’s all about finding the partners that are right for the brief. Of course we have 130 owned channels at Sky, but also access to others like National Geographic or Nickelodeon.”   Clare Hill: What are the big trends you currently see in content marketing? Rachel Bristow: “We think there are three to focus on. The first is making the content as personalised as possible. The second is in creating shared experiences. Brands really want to create something that drives a shared emotional response. And the third is joined-up storytelling. The right data and technology gives you the ability to tell a story across the right screens to the right person at the right time.” Clare Hill, Managing Director, The CMA Read more cedar-news A Day In The Life Of… Claire Clarke, Business Director at Cedar Claire Clarke is the Business Director at Cedar responsible for the new International Airlines Group (IAG) owned media account. I joined Cedar over two years ago as Group Account Director heading up the British Airways’ account. I was brought in to develop the British Airways owned media content portfolio alongside the Strategy Director and ultimately prepare the account for pitch in January 2016. Wednesday 27th July went like this… 5.50am Wake up before my alarm – never a favourite thing! It’s straight into the shower; check the weather on my phone and decide on an outfit for the day, before a quick drive to the station to catch the train to Waterloo. Check Instagram on the train – I love Instagram! My partner and I are currently renovating our 1930’s home, so in any quiet moment I’m looking for home inspiration. It used to be fashion but it’s all things DIY-related these days! 8.15 am At the office enjoying a cup of tea at my desk whilst writing my list for the day and sifting through emails. I always ensure all the urgent matters are dealt with as a priority. 9am Management meeting with the senior management team at Cedar to review the status across the accounts and the wider business. These meetings are invaluable to learn more about other accounts and get focused on the week ahead. 10am New business transition meeting. We’ve recently won a couple of new airline accounts and are meeting every day to ensure we transition them across as smoothly and efficiently as possible. I update the team on all business related items and make notes against other completed activity. 12pm New client discovery meeting preparation. A small team is flying out to Dublin tomorrow and Madrid on Thursday to meet our new clients. It’s our first big opportunity to spend time with them and get to know their businesses firsthand, as well as provide a refresh on our pitch strategy, content and creative. 12.45pm Pass by our CEO, Clare Broadbent’s office and pop my head in to update her on the new business transition. We pretty much have an open door to our CEO here, so it’s nice to have access when time permits. It does help that I sit just around the corner from her! 1.15pm A quick trip downstairs to buy lunch from Pret, Itsu or Eat. I am so bored with all the lunch options but never have time to venture further afield (#firstworldproblems). It’s back to my desk to briefly sort out house renovations – book the plasterer in, etc. I have such boring chat these days and know my team will welcome the completion of the house more than I do! 2.00pm New business pitch rehearsal. At Cedar we aim to rehearse for a pitch at least 2/3 times before a client presentation. It’s important to us that we use every opportunity to get our proposal and script perfect and exceed client expectations. 4.00pm Meeting with Cedar’s Commercial team to prepare for a British Airways meeting the next day. I work extremely closely with the Commercial Account Director to ensure that we create content that engages customers, delivers for our clients’ brands but also appeals to third party advertisers. We’ve got to know each other really well over the past couple of years and joke regularly that we spend more time together than we do with our partners! I came to Cedar and acquired a ‘work wife’! 5.00pm Run through client costing with my Senior Account Manager before sending to our Finance team for approval. We sit next to each other but don’t often get much time to catch up. We try to grab moments here and there to ensure that we both stay on top of each other’s workloads and that all business-as-usual activity is running smoothly.   6.30pm Meet with the Group Art Director, Editor-in-chief and Strategy Director to check progress on a new business proposal. The team is really dedicated so there have been a few late nights recently. Things are looking good and moving in the right direction. I feel incredibly lucky to work with such a dedicated group of talented individuals. 7.30pm Run through emails before heading home. 10.15pm Frantic sorting of clothes for tomorrow’s trip to Dublin. Watch half an episode of Stranger Things. 11.30pm And so to bed because I’ll need to be up at 4am to leave for the airport. Eek! Read more HAVAS MEDIA GROUP, SKY MEDIA AND KING CONTENT JOIN THE CONTENT MARKETING ASSOCIATION CMA continues to extend media agency, media owner and content agency membership     London, August 10, 2016: The Content Marketing Association (CMA), the industry body for the content marketing industry, has today announced three new members – Havas Media Group, Sky Media and King Content. Havas Media Group’s content proposition centres on the intersection of media and content, blending its media and creative capabilities from across the Havas Media Group and wider network, to ‘fuel the media’ with the most engaging and credible content in the most relevant and effective channels. In 2015, Havas Media Group was shortlisted for ‘Best Video’ at the CMA’s International Content Marketing Awards. Paul Frampton, CEO Havas Media Group UK and Ireland, said: “Havas Media Group has, for some time, been flying the flag for building rather than buying media and our content offering is a natural product of this way of thinking. Dynamism and collaboration are key to driving this forward: by pairing media and creative expertise from across the group, as well as developing a bespoke network of partnerships, we can deliver best-in-class branded content that reaches audiences in the most effective way.” Sky Media instils creativity throughout its business to deliver great production and first class content for its clients. With the brands and scale of TV, digital and social platforms available, combined with great creativity, Sky Media creates engaging cross screen content and campaigns. Sky Media has the advantage of using the skillset across the Sky estate, including Sky Sports and Sky Creative, to work with leading advertisers in numerous sectors including Automotive and FMCG. Its ambition is to grow this area further across news, sports and short form commissions. Rachel Bristow, Director of Partnerships, Sky Media, said: “We are delighted to be joining the CMA and look forward to collaborating with like-minded companies to both celebrate and advance content marketing in all its forms.” The CMA has current media agency members including MediaCom, MEC and iProspect and media owners including Time Inc and Immediate Media. It welcomes members across content agencies, media agencies and brands. King Content is a leading global content marketing agency, with clients such as Thomson Reuters and Lenovo. It has offices across the world in London, New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Singapore and Hong Kong. Craig Hodges, CEO, King Content, said: “We’re excited to join the CMA and look forward to building a solid partnership as we expand our presence in the UK and EMEA markets.” Clare Hill, Managing Director, CMA, said: “We’re pleased to welcome Havas Media Group, Sky Media and King Content to the CMA. All three can benefit from sharing knowledge within our structure and take advantage of our initiatives, insights and extensive network. Our growing and diverse membership reflects the new additions and I look forward to working closely with the new members and their talented teams.” About CMA The Content Marketing Association (CMA) is a not for profit organisation representing the content marketing industry. The overarching aim of CMA is to promote content as an effective marketing tool to client-side marketers and showcase the range of channels that can be used to engage customers from digital – such as smart phone apps, tablet-enabled microsites, video and branded TV – to the more traditional customer magazines. Formed in 1993 the CMA’s members produce content for over 1,000 leading brands and organisations in the UK and internationally. Content marketing is the single biggest channel in the marketing mix and the CMA exists to champion and encourage this growth on behalf of its members. It is widely recognised for being one of the most innovative and supportive industry associations.   About Havas Media Group UK & Ireland Havas Media Group UK and Ireland has a clear ambition to be the most integrated agency group, fostering close collaboration through a ‘one vision, one voice’ strategy. It brings together the media talent within Havas – one of the leading global communications and marketing groups. It employs over 700 people in the UK and Ireland and in 2015 had billings in excess of £500million. It has three key media businesses, Havas Media, Arena Media and Forward Media – all of which work alongside Havas Sports and Entertainment Cake – the industry’s largest global brand engagement network. Specialist divisions that also feed into the group include: Ecselis – performance marketing agency; DBi – digital analytics agency; LuxHub – fashion, luxury and lifestyle agency; Socialyse – paid and earned social unit and SCB Partners – trends based research consultancy. In 2017, Havas Media Group UK will join Havas Creative Group in the Havas Village London – thus operating as one single operational unit. Havas has taken an entire building in King’s Cross – between the upcoming Google office and Central Saint Martin’s College. Havas Village London will bring together 20 businesses and 1,600 people from across the creative and media groups to create a fully integrated offering to meet its clients’ needs. About Sky Media Sky Media is the advertising sales arm of Sky, offering an exciting array of opportunities on TV, online and on the go. Sky Media represents all Sky’s channels and sites, and also sells advertising on behalf of a range of broadcasters including Viacom, Discovery Networks, FOX International Channels, NBC Universal, A+E Networks and Sony Pictures Television Networks. Sky Media’s portfolio of channels reaches 50 million people in the UK every week. Sky Media has offices in London, Manchester and Dublin.  For a full list of channels and opportunities please visit and follow us on @SkyMediaUK About King Content King Content is a leading global content marketing agency, recognised for creating award-winning end-to-end content marketing strategies. With an ever-growing roster of blue-chip clients, and its continued ability to attract the best digital and content marketing talent, King Content is an experienced, dynamic and trusted global content marketing partner – awarded Agency of the Year at the 2015 CMI Content Marketing Awards. King Content has offices in offices in London, New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Singapore and Hong Kong.   Read more instgramstories Instagram Stories – Is it massive news for Brands? Up until recently, the key difference between Snapchat and Instagram has arguably been the quality and nature of the images and videos that users and brands post. People tend to upload fun, ephemeral images to Snapchat, which, as is the platform’s key feature, disappear very quickly. Whereas on Instagram they post crafted, beautiful images designed to not just give an insight into their lives, but also showcase their skills as a photographer. However, all that could be about to change, for in one of the biggest ‘about turns’ in social media for several years Instagram’s boss Kevin Systrom has announced the launch of a feature called Stories, which he acknowledges is more than a little influenced by Snapchat. Making Instagram fun So how does it work, and why is it good news for brands? In many ways Stories mirrors Snapchat in that it enables Instagram users to stitch together images and videos into a post which it then places at the top of a user’s feed. Just like Snapchat the post is only available for limited period –  24 hours in this instance. With Stories, Instagram hopes to “lower the bar for sharing all types of photos and video — and not just the carefully planned and painstakingly touched-up photographs that are typical of the service,” Kevin Systrom, co-founder and CEO of Instagram told the New York Times. From Instagram’s perspective Stories is also a way of encouraging users and brands to post more content. It’s a subtle shift but Instagram is promoting the idea that it is also a platform where users can add fun, throwaway images just like Snapchat. In fact, the promo video for the service shows people using editing software to add stickers – a feature that is hugely popular on Snapchat and have just been copied by Twitter. Not surprisingly brands have been very keen to experiment with the new feature, and early reports are that the results are very impressive. Nike got there first with a story using its Michael Jordan brand Jumpman23 to unveil a new Michigan football jersey. It generated a very impressive 800,00 views in the first 24 hours. Mountain Dew, Quaker, Coach, E!’s “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” USA’s “Mr. Robot,” the Miami Dolphins and GE have also already posted Instagram Stories. Beauty brands, who from a company perspective are among the biggest user of Instagram, have also adopted the feature. Glossy reports  that a slew of companies have uploaded Stories including Essy, Sephora and YSL. All about engagement The reason why brands are so enthusiastic about the new feature is that it is an intriguing option on a platform that many have already invested heavily in. Engagement levels also tend to be very high on Instagram as it is so easy for users to heart the things they like. “Instagram is really brand friendly, so that’s a huge opportunity,” Nick Sheingold, associate director of strategy at Laundry Service who produced the video for Nike told AdAge. “Those numbers are staggering.” Ultimately, Instagram Stories does present a couple of new challenges for brands. Firstly it means harder work for their social media team. Traditionally brands have only posted a limited number of images and videos and now, to keep up, they may have to post daily content. Perhaps more importantly Instagram Stories challenges brands to think about how they can use ‘behind the scenes content.’ Raw and spontaneous posts that take the viewer behind the scenes are the order of the day. Yet ensuring that those images and videos don’t fly in the face of brand style guides is sure to be a challenge. Commissioned by The CMA Read more video Making the most of video content Video content usually entails a significant investment for a brand. There may be times when footage shot on phones, or cheaper video cameras will suffice, but on most occasions producing high quality, engaging content means getting the professionals in. The key for brands is to work out how to squeeze as much return on investment from that content as possible, and this requires plenty of thought before even engaging a video provider. Working on a video strategy is essential, not just to determine the type of content, but also where that content can be placed, and how footage from the shoot can be used creatively. Here then are a few suggestions of ways to get a little more value from your video shoot. 1 Add video to your email newsletters This is very much a growing trend at the moment with brands adding tutorials, product reviews and more to their newsletters. There are all kinds of reasons for doing this, from increasing customer loyalty through to making a brand stand out. The overwhelming rationale though is that many brands report that adding video to an email newsletter results in a higher open rate – a major KPI for most companies. Also watching a video will improve another core KPI – the time and level of engagement. 2 Adding outtakes and clips to other platforms As most marketers are probably aware the fastest growing video platform at the moment is Snapchat, and if your brand is any way targeting a younger demographic you really need to have content that works on the platform. There is some advice on working with Snapchat here, and some great examples of brands using the platform here. Snapchat aside though, there are however a multitude of platforms to add short clips and teasers to including Instagram and Vine. Successfully engaging with viewers on short-form video platforms is largely down to pre-planning. What type of outtakes might work on the platforms? Also how can that content drive viewers to watch the richer, longer format content on another platform – say a brand homepage or YouTube? It is a very tricky task creating video content that excels on one platform yet still makes the viewer want to see more on separate platform. 3 Offering video content to media companies Many media companies have set ambitious targets for the percentage of their content that has to be video based. For example, for The Huffington Post it is apparently as high as 50%. So one useful tactic may be offering video content to media companies first as an exclusive. Of course this only works if the content is editorially driven and not too brand pushy. It does mean though that the media company can add pre-roll video to the content thereby generating a small amount of revenue. This is a win-win for both parties 4 Live streaming There have been countless words written in the past few months about the potential of Facebook Live for brands. Some brands have been very successful at using the platform, and its main rival Twitter’s Periscope too, to take fans and followers behind the scenes. There are some good examples of live streaming by brands here. It is also especially effective if brands are shooting video content in a great location or are using a celebrity as part of the shoot. There is inevitably a risk of things not going quite as brands have planned, but there is an argument that says even if mistakes are made they ‘humanise’ a brand, and for some companies that may be very important. Commissioned by The CMA   Read more Read More News Articles »
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