How effective is your B2B content marketing strategy? IDG Sponsored 2015 research by Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs on how tech marketers have changed their content marketing practices over the last year. This video focuses more specifically on trends within a paid, owned, earned media strategy.
IDG Communications considers itself “a best-kept secret” in the world of tech video, with aggregate viewership higher than CNET or The Verge — but far less recognition for it. Now, the company has a plan in motion to bring its video more visibility.
IDG launched IDG.tv in December to serve as a hub for video content from its media properties, which include Macworld, PCWorld, NetworkWorld and CIO. Now, it’s in the process of building out a dedicated video-production arm untethered to any individual publication, with roughly a dozen full-time staffers working out of studios in Boston and San Francisco. The team’s mandate: Make top-notch video content about consumer and enterprise technology for IDG’s global brands, whether that means creating new series or bringing a smart, differentiated take to tech event coverage.
“We really decided the time was right to leverage our audience and become the dominant creator of tech video on the Web,” said Dina Roman, general manager of IDG.tv.
Alongside the launch of IDG.tv, the company hired Kyle Kramer, formerly head of production at Vox Media, to serve as vp of video programming, spearheading its video content strategy. IDG has already rolled out a few video series, such as “Breakout Startups,” which examines tech startups innovating in their field, and “Hardcore Hardware,” which spotlights the most powerful new gaming tech for PC gamers. It plans to launch “many more series” over the next several months, according to Roman.
How are vendors, IT enterprises, and investors making decisions with 3rd Platform technologies? Since 2012, M&A deals have been skyrocketing in both deal volume and value. In 2014, total IT disclosed deal volume jumped to $476 billion and had almost 1,300 deals associated with cloud, mobile, social, and big data technologies.
IDC’s Vendor Watch Service provides expert guidance on smaller, private tech vendors before they hit the public radar.
Launching a new business? Or promoting an existing one? Either way, my guess is that social media figures pretty high on your priority list when it comes to marketing your brand.
Over 70% of all online adults in the United States have a Facebook account. For the first time ever, 56% of senior citizens are on social media. That figure stands at 89% for young ’uns, or users from 18 to 29 years of age. The millennial generation, consisting of young adults born between 1980 to 2000 and accounting for nearly 30% of the US population, see social media as their primary means of connecting with brands. Over half of them claim that “social opinions” directly influence their purchase decisions.
So we all agree that being on social media is unavoidable if you want to be relevant to today’s consumer.
With the explosion of social media platforms, the question now arises, “which social media platforms will give me actual results?” And this, my friends, is the most sensible place to begin your social media journey.
Research Your Options
The first step to social media success lies in being active on the right platforms and engaging with your target audience in the form that they prefer best. But before you make a choice of which platform would work for your business, you need to first figure out what each platform has to offer you and then proceed by eliminating the least attractive ones.
Before we analyze each platform’s pros and cons, let’s see where they all stand with respect to each other.
The data above clearly shows Facebook as the leader in terms of number of users, followed by LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter – in that order. This data also shows us how in a matter of a couple of years, Twitter has gone from being the third largest network to a lowly number five. At the same time, we see Facebook stagnating in its usage figures in the last year with a barely-there upward blip in 2013.
Let’s arm ourselves with some more facts about the top five social networks before we decide which ones work best for our business.
Facebook offers brands the widest possible reach – with 1.34 billion active users per month, Facebook is light-years ahead of competition. As a platform it is marginally more popular with women than men, it’s also more popular among Hispanics and Whites as compared to African Americans. A trend that has been accelerating in recent years is the exodus of teens from the site with 3 million teens dropping off in the last three years.
The third edition of Build The News, a two-day hackathon organised by The Times and Sunday Times, took place last weekend at the News UK offices in London. Around a hundred talented developers and student journalists brought innovative ideas and prototypes to the table, competing for both the student and staff categories.
The three topics proposed by the organisers before the event were: interaction – if news organisations are getting rid of comments, how can readers be engaged?; social sources – how to ensure UGC is fairly credited; and context – how to explain to readers the wider situation and context around a certain story.
Participating teams tackled not only these categories, but many others. Here are five ideas developed and presented at Build The News:
May’s General Election is fast approaching and news organisations are looking for creative and interactive ways of engaging their audiences. The hackathon’s winning team developed a tool that can be easily applied to this particular event, but also to other types of video interviews.
Once given a video, the system generates a transcription, identifies the speakers and provides a written summary of the keywords and main topics discussed. Interactive Debate also uses natural language processing and sentiment analysis software to identify the emotional charge of the participants.
The tool can also serve journalists by providing an analytics dashboard of viewers’ engagement with the content, from most viewed to most shared or commented on.
“I have a long-standing interest in working with transcriptions”, said Pietro Passarelli, one of the team members and current MSc Computer Science student at University College London. “Having worked in the media industry on broadcast documentaries, I am always considering ways in which to make the process easier, faster and more insightful”.
Facebook has rolled out a new app that lets friends (and subsequently their network of friends and so on) add clips to an ongoing video focused on a single topic—April Fool’s Day, for instance. It’s potentially a game-changer for advertisers on the social network, which eventually could use the app to engage directly with consumers. And it’s another example of Facebook’s growing emphasis on video.
It’s easy to envision how the new app, Riff, might have been used during last year’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which over the course of three months generated more than 17 million videos posted on Facebook while raising awareness and money to fight Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The video-driven campaign contributed to the huge increase in the number of video posts on Facebook last year—up 94% in the US and 75% globally. In January, the company said that video views on the social network had reached 3 billion a day. “If you go back five years ago, a lot of Facebook was primarily text, right, and a little bit of photos,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors. “Now, I think the primary mode that people are using to share is photos, and I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future that shifted more and more towards videos.”
Facebook’s challenge is getting users to see the value of Riff. The few companies that have ventured into this niche haven’t seen major success. JumpCam, for instance, ranks No. 1,346 in the App Store’s social networking category, according to App Annie. CompetitorsMixBit, CollabraCam, and Vyclone haven’t fared much better in the rankings.
But Facebook is pressing on with its video efforts—at its developer conference last week it announced plans to bring immersive videos with 360° perspective to the social network and its virtual-reality platform, Oculus.
“What really matters is that consumers are using video on Facebook, because that gives us an opportunity, one, to provide a great consumer experience, but two, to have ads match that consumer experience,” chief operating office Sheryl Sandberg said on the company’s most recent quarterly earnings call. “If there wasn’t consumer video on Facebook, video ads in your news feed would be very jarring.”
Brands are taking Facebook video as seriously as YouTube. But what performs well on each platform differs, according to new data from digital video analytics company Tubular.
For a second week running, Air France’s “France is in the air” video soared on YouTube, racking up more than 17.8 million views on the platform from March 14 to March 20. That makes the playful, 45-second spot the current top brand video on YouTube. On Facebook, meanwhile, a clip from Marvel’s upcoming “Avengers: Age of Ultron” film topped the charts, attracting 9.4 million views between its Thursday upload date and the end of Friday.
“There was obviously significant spend behind [the Air France video], because you see there was only a tiny amount of [likes, comments and shares],” said Allison Stern, vp of enterprise at Tubular Labs. More paid promotion leads to a lower engagement rate, she said.
When it comes to search algorithm changes, Google has gone from making official announcements to a “this is something we do every day so don’t expect to hear from us” attitude. With this in mind, the upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm change is a very big deal. As background, here is a high-level history of events:
June 11, 2013: Google announced specific recommendations for developing mobile-friendly websites. It listed common configuration mistakes and explicitly called out faulty redirects and smartphone-specific errors (incorrectly served 404s, Googlebot Mobile and unplayable videos).
September–October, 2014: Google tested several different mobile-specific indicators, using both mobile-friendly and non-mobile-friendly icons.
November 18, 2014: Google officially launched mobile-friendly designations to results in mobile search.
February 26, 2015: Google announced that, on April 21, it will be expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.
Google has gotten very serious about mobile search and is taking a primary role in improving the experience. In other words, we’re on notice to clean up our site(s). The good news is that Google is providing instructions and tools to help us do this. Here are the top three things that every website owner needs to do in anticipation of the April 21 deadline:
1) Make use of Google’s guide to mobile-friendly websites.Google provides a 60+ page guide that discusses why and how to build a mobile-friendly website. There are dedicated guides for several open-source CMS platforms (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.), as well as a specific guide to mobile SEO, with special emphasis on avoiding common mistakes.
2) Test your site using Google’s Tools. Users of Google Webmaster Tools (WMT) are already familiar with Google’s emphasis on mobile, as WMT has been alerting users to “fix mobile usability issues found on site xyz.” Clicking on “View details” brings users to a three-step process: 1) Inspect mobile issues, 2) Follow these guidelines and 3) Fix mobile usability issues. For those just starting out or who don’t have a WMT account, Google provides the ability to test a single page. This report groups all of the errors in one page and links on how to fix the errors, based on how the site was built (I built via CMS, I built myself, I had someone build the site).
Mobile and video are two buzzwords of digital journalism from recent years, but there were initial doubts over whether they could be combined successfully.
As screen sizes have grown and internet connectivity improved, the concept is no longer in question.
Mobile was the focus at last week’s Online News Association event in London, and Cameron Church, director of digital video company Stream Foundations and previously of Brightcove, discussed his work in helping news publishers make the most out of their video offering, especially on mobile.
He shared his thoughts and advice on the subject.
‘You are not your audience’
“Unless you sit there and click play a million times a day or week,” said Church, “you’re not going to be the one that gets to choose what works or doesn’t work.”
While producers or journalists may sit in their cosy, stationary editing suite or at a desk, the audience is out watching video on the move.
Editors still need to “empower creative spirit,” he said, “but rein them in a little bit because they have to get back into real connection” with serving their audience.
Since our first CXOTalk show launched in 2013 with Guy Kawasaki, I have interviewed 12 startup founders/CEOs, 15 Fortune 250 executives, 28 Chief Information Officers, 10 technology analysts including Group Vice Presidents from Gartner and IDC, seven venture capitalists, six bestselling authors, one Emmy award winner, one Brigadier General and one NBA team owner. After hosting our 100th episode last week, we can now add to that impressive guest roster, our first Chief Content Officer, John Gallant of IDG Communications.
John Gallant, Chief Content Officer – IDG Media US
As Chief Content Officer for the largest technology publishing company in the world (IDG literally publishes in every continent), Gallant (Twitter: @JohnGallant1) works with editorial teams to set content strategy and figure out how to leverage social and mobile as he determines the overall content strategy that drives the business of IDG in the U.S. The print industry has been completely re-vamped by digital transformation. With just one print publication left today, CIO Magazine, IDG has reinvented itself and continues to serve their audience using a rich array of media such as web-based tools, social media, podcasts and events.
Content is so important, not just to marketing, but to all businesses looking to drive successful outcomes. More and more companies are realizing the importance of quality content and the role it plays in building that ongoing relationship with their customers, however when you look across the technology landscape, there are a lot of people covering a lot of similar technologies. IDG differentiates their brand by focusing on delivering high-value content targeted for specific audiences that is not being delivered by another brand in the market.