Itching to know what’s on my mind about content marketing, PR, social media, blogging or even goings-on in Austin? Then you’ll want to check out my blog. Because what’s on my mind just might something that should be on your mind. Oh, and if you like what you read, please share it on social media and come back for more!
Can you imagine hiring a sales rep and not measuring his or her performance? If you don’t, how do you know whether the sales rep is succeeding or failing? The same reliance on measurement should be applied to content marketing. But, sadly, that’s not always the case. Some marketers don’t measure up A new survey by Skyword, a provider of content marketing software and services, found that 18 percent of marketers don’t measure a single thing about the content they produce and publish. Not traffic. Not engagement. Not conversions. Nothing. (Full disclosure: I’ve done freelance work for clients of Skyword.) If you’re not measuring how your content is performing, then you may as well be burning the money you’re spending on that content. Without measurement, how do you know what’s working and what’s not? Without measurement, your content is pointless and your content marketing strategy is rudderless. Monitoring the analytics When I was an in-house content marketer, we tracked organic search activity, web traffic, social media engagement and other metrics at all three of the companies where I worked. I can’t imagine us not having kept an eye on at least the most basic statistics through Google Analytics and complementary platforms. You can’t make well-thought-out decisions about content marketing strategy without some performance data in hand. Smart organizations realize that. “We watch our analytics very carefully every day and [...]
Anyone who knows me has heard me rant about crappy content online. Awful content — blog posts, infographics, videos and so forth — can damage or destroy a brand’s reputation. Unfortunately, crappy content keeps swirling around the internet, like the space junk that floats around our planet. For some brands, the culprit is cheaply produced content. For others, it’s a lack of a cohesive strategy (or any strategy at all) for creating and delivering digital content. The survey says … Everyone has his or her own perception of what constitutes “crappy” content. But a new survey from software company Adobe Systems Inc. offers a macro perspective. The Adobe survey, which questioned 1,011 U.S. adults in December 2017, pinpoints consumers’ pet peeves regarding brand content: Content is too wordy or poorly written — 44 percent. Content is irrelevant — 42 percent. Content is poorly designed — 33 percent. Content is not optimized for my device — 29 percent. Content is so personalized that it’s creepy — 26 percent. Content is old or stale — 24 percent. Content is lacking video or images — 16 percent. Abandonment issues Those are serious issues, to be sure. Yet if just one of those annoyances arises, two-thirds of the people surveyed by Adobe said they’d abandon an online shopping cart. That’s the bottom-line issue here. The message is obvious: Your brand could be losing [...]
We’ve likely all seen the yearly press release from airports: Our passenger traffic went up 6 percent last year. Our passenger traffic last year set a record. Blah, blah, blah. No one can blame the airports for putting out these press releases. After all, folks do want to know whether airport traffic is taking off … or not. So, it was a pleasure to see a fresh take on the annual ritual of traffic statistics being cranked out by the airport. Sure, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport did issue a press release touting the fact that passenger traffic was up 11.5 percent in 2017 compared with 2016. But we also got some meatier — and, frankly, more interesting — data from this year’s release. Brisket and tacos and beer, oh my! Aside from learning that a record-setting 13.8 million passengers fly into and out of ABIA last year, we were treated to these gems about 2017: Passengers gobbled up 61.5 tons of brisket. Travelers dined on 684,199 breakfast tacos (and I’m sure I ate some of those). Visitors heard 1,500 performances of live music. Travelers quaffed 18,300 bottles of Shiner Bock, the No. 1 bottled beer sold last year at the airport. Visitors snapped up 111,557 T-shirts, with “Keep Austin Weird” and ACL shirts ranking as the most popular. More than 80 artists exhibited their works. As noted by ABIA, the nearly [...]
For 20 years — hard to believe it was 20 years — I was a reporter and editor at four newspapers, most recently at the Austin Business Journal. It never dawned on me that I would ever not be working at a newspaper. Yet here I am, 12 years after leaving the newspaper business, not working at a newspaper. It was a bittersweet departure from an industry I loved (and still respect) so much. But I don’t wistfully look back at that time. Why? I’m still a storyteller, just in a different context. Today, I promote myself and think of myself as a content marketer, and the skills I learned about in journalism school at the University of Kansas and the skills I honed in newspaper journalism remain the foundation of my career. Say yes to quality, no to crap You see, storytelling never goes out of style. My friend Mary Alice Kaspar, a former colleague at the Austin Business Journal, now works in PR and she, too, considers herself a storyteller. And neither one of us has any regret or shame at all about the type of storytelling we now do. I also like to think that Mary Alice and I are solid storytellers, thanks in large part to our grounding in journalistic practices. And that’s what sets us apart from so much of what you see online [...]