Mar 11, 2019
Hey, it’s Stiles from Brand Content Studios and here’s your Content Marketing Quickie for the week of March 11, 2019
-Time for another chapter in the continuing story of “how do you get some kind of control over lunatics on Twitter who leave nasty replies to your tweets”? If you’re waiting for a good answer, you won’t find it here and you won’t find it at Twitter. Bless their hearts, they’ve tried. They want to fix the problem. But every fix creates a new problem. CEO Jack Dorsey himself said a year ago, the platform’s just not that great at keeping conversations productive or meaningful. You probably have people in real life who can’t keep their conversations productive or meaningful. You’re thinking of a name right now aren’t you?! Here’s what you find, too often, on Twitter, good ol’ abuse, harassment, lies, definitely echo chambers. I think this, you’re welcome to agree with me all you want. The initial thought was well, we can ban the worst offenders and kick them off Twitter. That wasn’t working so hot. So Twitter’s thoughts turned toward promoting “conversational health.” My insurance plan does not cover conversational health. After promoting conversational health a year, not much has changed. The fake accounts didn’t care. So here comes another new thing, a feature that lets you hide replies to your tweets so no one will see replies you don’t like. You already see the problem with that don’t you? That doubles down on the echo chamber. If users can’t win a debate, they can just hide the opposing viewpoints. Twitter product manager Michelle Haq is among those who hope the community will police itself against that. You can’t see the hidden reply, but you’ll see a reply was hidden. So if I do an enormous amount of hiding, you’ll know I can only handle my own opinion and my feed will be boring. Anyway, Twitter’s confirmed the hide the reply feature will be tested here in the next few months.
-I’ve started a Mike’s Boiled Pineapple business, and I want to sell them using that coolio ecommerce thing on Pinterest. Now when I start this, I notice, stop the fruit, other, bigger brands can do things on Pinterest that I can’t, and that’s not fair. So it should come as good news that Pinterest is expanding these capabilities to rank and file merchants. We now have access to Catalogs, which will let me upload and convert my whole boiled pineapple catalog into shoppable Pins. Tim Weingarten, their head of shopping product, says a Related Products feature will start showing up under product Pins so I can show off boiled pineapple products I think shoppers might be interested in based on what they’ve looked at. You’ll also have expanded Personalized shopping recommendations that shows you products that resemble your saved pins based on available inventory from merchants who have shoppable Pins. If you’ve saved pins on spikey fruit and on boiling water tips, you’ll probably see one of my products. I also get access to Pinterest Shopping Ads that used to only be available to certain brands. You can have that if you’re in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland. Hey, speaking of Pinterest, and we were weren’t we, rumor has it they’re getting ready for an IPO and they might seek a $12B valuation. Pretty pictures can make you rich.
-Poor B2B decision makers. You know they get content just like everybody else, but for some reason, the image of a B2B decision maker is someone in a cold, impersonal office with a computer chip in their brain, a kitchen sweeping device firmly lodged in their nether regions and dressed in attire that’s perfect for stock photography sessions. That’s why they keep getting content that’s completely unimaginative and skull crushingly boring. You can almost see the thinking on the brand marketer side…ooo we’ll send them this website that’s so dense with info it could choke a horse, and we’ll give them this gated whitepaper that’s got enough graphs in it to permanently cross their eyes. Then they’ll think we’re super intellectual and buy us because we’re so over their heads. This isn’t just me thinking that’s a silly way to go, the B2B decision makers think that too. Propeller Insights, which never spins their results, see what I did there, says 82% of them wish they were getting the same creative care and thought that goes into B2C content. I mean, how would you like to read or watch the stuff you’re sending out if you weren’t you? 48% find B2B content boring. 49% think websites aren’t nearly as creative or engaging as websites meant for consumers. So, does creative B2B content really matter? No, not if you actually want to sell anything. Only 22% think the B2B content they’re getting motivates them to take another step in the buyer journey. Cause here’s the drill, maybe you have something they do need and would want, but because you’re leading with a thick mass of information presented as dry as you can dry it, they’re not going to dive in and abuse themselves to find your diamond in the rough. They want to make good decisions for their companies but 81% think they could do a much better job of that if B2B content was better and, I never have a problem saying it, entertaining. Audrey Merritt, she’s a partner at WHM, says two things I say a lot. “So much B2B marketing falls flat because it doesn’t make the audience feel something." And, “We understand tech companies get excited about pushing the features of their product. But most buying decisions are emotional.” But hey, if you’re selling only to Vulcans, stick with cold, impersonal and logical.
-Do you listen to podcasts? Yes you do, you’re listening to this one. But don’t worry, you’re hardly weird or the only one doing it. In fact, Edison and Triton Digital’s annual Infinite Dial study, which it seems like that happens every year, says 70% of Americans 12 and up now know what a podcast is. Which makes you wonder how many people age 12 and up know what a cassette tape is. By the way if you don’t know, it’s like brown string in a plastic box and the machines you put it in pulls out and chews up that string. It’s fun. Okay so 70% know about podcasts, that’s up 6 points from a year ago and the biggest year-to-year increase in 3 years. Larry Rosin, the president of Edison, also released new data from their Share of Ear study late last year. And that showed the time people spend with podcasts has more than doubled in 4 years, in fact the 122% increase was the biggest percentage change of anything Edison’s tracked. So now let’s just look at ad-supported audio. For that, podcasting’s 3.9% share of listening goes up to 6%. Now that might not seem like news worth putting in this podcast at first since streaming audio gets 18% and my old industry of AM/FM radio still gets a whopping 73%. But podcasts get twice the 3% of listening that satellite radio gets. And President Larry says once someone becomes a podcast listener, they get addicted to it, spending 28% of their audio time with it. So with all this going for it, you’d think advertisers are all over podcasting and podcasters like me are making a good living at it. Oh hell no. Most podcasters make nothing and are burning out, that’s what’s happening. Advertisers spend billions on audio advertising every year, but podcasting only gets a sliver of love, despite the listenership trends and targeted topics you’d think would be very attractive. Well Edison’s wondering what’s going on too. They say podcasting is being enormously “undersold” right now and the upside is huge IF ad buyers wake up and read what’s going on in their industry. Still, beyond ad buying, there’s the opportunity for brands to be doing their own podcasts and building their own audiences. And of course, many are doing just that, some much, much better than others. But they’re at least in there swinging. With no podcast, you’re not even at the plate. You’re not in the ball park. You’re watching your competition play from a bar somewhere on the other side of town.
That’s the Content Marketing Quickie for this week. If you thought it was worth the time you gave it and it made you think about stuff after you listened, it’d be great if you subscribed. I promise, you will not make me rich. We’ll see what happens next week.