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It's informative, it's got some laughs in it, and best of all it won't waste your time because it's short. The Content Marketing Quickie brings you the latest each week from your favorite industry with a side of snarky commentary. From Mike Stiles and Brand Content Studios.

Apr 16, 2019

Hey, it’s Stiles from Brand Content Studios and here’s your Content Marketing Quickie for the week of April 16, 2019. Let’s see what changed while you weren’t looking.


-Podcasts are hunky dory and everything, but one of the lingering issues with them is discoverability. Or to be more precise, searchability. We learned in last week’s Content Marketing Quickie – see, I told you you’d learn something in a short period of time if you just subscribe and listen – that YouTube is actually the largest platform for podcast consumption by far. Which makes me feel stupid cause I have yet to put this one back on YouTube. And, you’ve heard that behind Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. But to make all that work to the maximum degree, all those spoken words in podcasts need to be written words. That’s where transcription comes in. And here’s the news. Google’s Podcasts app is automatically transcribing shows. That means not just searchability of the content, people can look for certain episodes about certain topics on your podcast without having to memorize the name of your show or the episode title. Are you telling me Content Marketing Quickie for April 16, 2019 isn’t a memorable title? The head of product for Google Podcasts says, “Google’s really good at giving you text and video related to your search query. There’s no good reason why audio isn’t a first-class citizen in the same way.” Well, here’s the problem. Sorry, there’s always got to be a problem. Android Police checked these new auto transcripts and as you probably already guessed, there were loads of errors. We’re all so different and we all talk funny and for all the hype around Echos and Alexas and Siris, the machines just don’t seem to be able to make out what we’re saying. Next week I’m doing the podcast completely in pig latin.


-Who doesn’t love data? He was the most popular character on Star Trek: The Next Generation. But we love that other data too, the kind that tells you whether or not your content is working for you or if it’s just a money sucking pure crap waste of time and effort. And what should you be looking for anyway? Michael Brenner’s group had a post recently that gives you the basics and here they are. 1. Traffic, that includes total unique visitors, pageviews and unique pageviews. It’d also be nice to know where your traffic is coming from. 2. Sales or conversions. What counts as a conversion? Well that’s up to you Skippy. It’s whatever gratifies you or whatever you count as a win, but for the most part, if the content consumer takes a desired action afterward, that’s a convert. 3. Engagement

How long do they stay? How many pages do they go to during their visit? 4. Social media engagement. Yeah likes are ego boosters but what you really want is shares, that means whatever the content was really struck a chord. It’s also nice to know how much traffic your site is getting from social platforms so you’ll know if it’s worth the trouble. More on that in a second – cause a big can of worms has just been opened up about that. 5. SEO performance. Where are you in search rankings for your keyword phrase and are you trending up or down? Google Analytics is frankly meh when it comes to that, but Google Search Console is worth checking out if you haven’t. You’ll see which terms you do rank for and how you’re trending. Now take all of this with a measure of salt or a spoonful of sugar or a tranquilizer dart to the neck, because success is what YOU say it is. Everyone has their own goal for their content, or they should, and who cares what other people say it should be doing?


-I watch a lot of YouTube, mostly things getting blown up in slow motion – which you think I wouldn’t have the time for what with the slowness of that. And maybe you’ve noticed like I have that it’s getting harder and harder to find videos that aren’t front loaded with ads, multiple ads, longer ads, many unskippable. I wonder how long people have to say that ads that interrupt, pop up, or generally prevent you from getting the content you want will meet with irritability and ill will before marketers and platforms start listening. My personal guess is 67 years. YouTube introduced 6-second video ads in 2016 and everyone seemed cool with it. I mean, they were ads but it is what it is – they didn’t generate a lot of actual complaining and what’s more, they worked! After a year, Google reported “70% drove a significant lift in brand awareness, with an average lift of 9%. Over 90% drove ad recall with an average lift of over 30%.” So when you find something that works, you go with it right? Of course not! We’ve got to fix what isn’t broken, nothing can just be fine. MediaRadar looked at all online video ads in January and February of 2018 then 2019 and found, you guessed it, a rise in longer video ads. The number of 6-second ads was down 20%, and the number of 30-second ads went up 19%. Well here’s the problem, longer ads work too! You can’t skip them so the view through rate is a forced 100%, and since there’s more information in it, the resonance is higher. Our only hope, the 15 second ad, which is now the most common at 40%. The hope is that maybe that’s the sweet spot of volume of information conveyed before viewers hate you.


-And now the thing I mentioned earlier about social media that’s kicked off quite the ant bed, pitting brother against brother, Hall against Oates, ant against ant. Lush set everyone’s heads on fire when they announced, they’re ditching their social media channels in the UK. That’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They’ve had it. They’re done f’ing around with algorithms, going through middlemen, paying for access to their own audience and not being in control of the conversation. Instead they’ll drive people to the site, email, and phone for more one-on-one conversations. But they aren’t acting like social doesn’t exist, it’s still a thing. But they’re switching their social strategy to all influencer marketing. And another but, they’re just trying this is the UK. Their channels in North America, which is just upwards from South America, will remain. Needless to say, many people who make their living as social media gurus and practitioners and Facebook defenders went into full Lush Derangement Syndrome…slamming the company saying the only reason they’re giving up on social is their content sucked and they were doing it wrong and they’re failures because they didn’t buy the expert’s latest book. But actually, Lush was doing fine. Their Facebook and Instagram channels got over 10m video views and were growing 42% month on month. They’re just done. They said, "We don’t want to pay to be in your newsfeed.” Now the question looms, is this gonna start something? Will other brands start re-examining the value proposition of social media? Will ongoing PR problems with the social media platforms make brands think twice? Will this lead to a boon for other distribution channels? And how am I supposed to get all the way through Avengers Endgame without a bathroom break? We’ll just have to see


That’s the Content Marketing Quickie for this week, your call to action this week is to do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around then subscribe to the show so you don’t forget it. And we’ll see what happens next week.