Archive for the ‘Content Marketing’ Category

Can the Medium be the Message?

mediumOn Twitter, the social media world has mastered the short, pithy statement. Now, Twitter founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone are banking that online sharers will also enjoy making medium-length statements. With the quasi-launch of their latest venture, Medium, last week,  they have unveiled a service that combines photos and text without a limit of the number of words you can use.

Rather than sorting posts by author like many existing sites, Medium sorts by topic. This focus on topic borrow, in some ways from Digg and Reddit, and illustrates how presenting information via topics is gaining more traction within digital content circles.

Medium looks like a service will act like a sorting house for short blogs-like text posts, pictures with comments and Pinterest-style images. People will be able to rate content so the most popular rises to the top.

This is an interesting middle (medium?) ground between posting longer status updates on Twitter or Facebook and working around the site’s quirks (having half your story hidden on Facebook and requiring readers to click, or doing multiple tweets) and having a regular blog, which can be a lot of work for those who don’t always have a tale to share.

For marketers and brands looking to tell stories in a new and different way, Medium offers the ability to combine pictures and words in a way that marries the best of Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

Telling stories, promoting and launching new products, and highlighting events in a mid-length format could open things up for creative, visual and even risk-taking marketing content.

And since the best content will rise to the top, the push will be on for stellar content from individuals and businesses alike.

Medium still hasn’t been rolled out publicly but people interested in the service can get on the wait list by registering using (surprise, surprise!) their Twitter accounts. Time now to wait and see if going medium length is what the social media world wants.

For more on Medium’s launch, check out this blog post written by Evan Williams, as well as this Business Insider story.



Content Marketing + Social Media = The Perfect Marriage?

content marketing social mediaHave you embraced content marketing yet? Have you bought into the idea that content is, in fact, king?

It’s difficult not to feel like the role and value of content has dramatically changed over the past year. It was not that long ago that brands were getting their heads around social media; now they have to think about becoming publishers. No wonder some brands have little idea about what to do given the landscape is changing so fast.

Here’s the thing about content marketing and social media: they’re both meant to attract eyeballs and, at the end of the day, drive transactions. In other words, they’re marketing and sales tools that can be leveraged to attract target audiences to change their thinking or behaviour.

It’s really as simple as that, although it can be difficult to tell given the hype surrounding content marketing and social media.

Here’s another reality: content marketing and social media have the potential to be perfect partners because while they share the same mandate, they address the challenges in different ways.

Content marketing involves the use of content – Webinars, videos, blog posts, case studies, whitepapers, etc. – to build a brand’s profile and provide existing and potential customers with some kind of value. By creating content that resonates, brands hope consumers will think of them in a different way, establish a relationship and, ideally, buy a product or service.

Meanwhile, social media is a way to engage and have conversations with consumers by using tools that allow for two-way dialog. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Linked, YouTube, Tumblr or Pinterest, brands leverage social media to connect with consumers and, hopefully, have them connect back.

So what happens when you put content marketing and social media together?

If done right, the content created or delivered by a brand is distributed using social media services to target audiences looking to consumer content in different ways.

By using social media, brands can do a better job of getting content into the hands of people who may find it interesting or useful. As important, social media lets consumers engage with brands about this content.

In other words, content marketing and social media complement and support each other.

It explains why many brands are embracing content marketing because it provides more ammunition for their social media efforts. At the same time, social media can offer an effective distribution network for companies creating a lot of content.

Bottom line: content marketing and social media can be a powerful one-two punch.

More: For some other thoughts, Erin Nelson has a post on the “real magic” of content marketing, while Lee Oden has a post on five ways that B2B business can win with content marketing and social media.