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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.

Jun 4, 2019

Hey, it’s Stiles from Brand Content Studios and here’s your Content Marketing Quickie for the week of June 4, 2019.


-Wanna learn some stuff about social media? Gee that’s swell, because Social Media Examiner just put out their 2019 Industry Report and these are always nuggets of information that are either reaffirming, or downright hard to believe. Despite warning signs and storm clouds, social marketers don’t care. They’re very bullish on it, even moreso than last year. They think it’s doing everything they want it to do: exposure, sales, thought leadership, you name it. The big 5 will likely stay the big 5, in order they’re using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Twitter? Really? Yes Twitter! It’s the 6th most-popular social platform for American users but #3 in the hearts of marketers. In fact, over a third plan to increase activity on Twitter even though usage has fallen 4 percentage points in 2 years. Anecdotally, I was following the Twitter hashtag during Digital Summit Atlanta and was stunned at the lack of participants and activity on it compared to just 5 years ago. On the other side of the coin, Americans are way more likely to use Pinterest and Snapchat than social marketers are. Facebook is de-prioritizing the News Feed and de-prioritizing publisher content, but social marketers do not care. 51% plan to increase their posting throughout this year. What Facebook is switching to is something consumers love, messaging. But you can count on social marketers to zig when the world is zagging. Only 39% of them plan on increase their Facebook Messenger activity, which is actually DOWN from 2018. But here’s something they’re getting right. They know they have to pay Facebook to get any reach. While 51% are increasing organic efforts, 59% are upping their Facebook ads game. So, in summary, it’s like social marketers feel like they just figured these channels out so they’re operating as if the platforms and user behavior don’t change.


-Gonna take a shot in the dark here…you do lead generation campaigns don’t you? What do you hope to get out of that? Yeah, I know, leads, I’m not that stupid. But even SmartBrief wanted to know more about what the expectations are so they asked marketers and advertisers things like what do they see as "typical" success for lead gen campaigns. Over 30% want an average conversion rate of 10% or less but over half want 20% or less. Some wanted 50%+, they’re like the girl who turned into a blueberry on Willy Wonka. If you don’t test your landing pages, you are not alone. Only 24.5% do that "Always" or "Often". 16% "Never" do. How many fields do you make users grind through on your forms? 93% use 6 or less. The experts say you should shoot for 5 tops.

Now to talk about my thing, content. Marketers are using all kinds of it. Tops on that list are white papers, ugh, videos and infographics. Most think promoting a video will deliver the strongest conversion rate. But at the same time, they put a lot of stock in the design, layout and copy of the landing page, feeling like that’s got the greatest impact on conversion.


-Wow Andreesen Horowitz analyzed the living hell out of podcasting. I mean it’s a really in depth and thorough look at where things stand today. Who didn’t come out looking so good? Apple. 60% of podcast listening happens there and that app comes pre-installed on phone but has Apple been good for podcasting? Could be better. Like tons better. Even though the podcast app is in 900M iPhones worldwide, it only has 27M monthly active users in the US. That’s um, quite a gap. The other way Apple’s botched it is they don’t monetize podcasting on their platform at all – that’s made it hard for advertisers to jump in harder and heavier than they have. Yet another way Apple’s blown it is the metrics are non-existent. And of course, a lot of people think the app sucks. Overall, it paints a picture of Apple as a lead weight around podcasting’s ankles. In terms of the app, the study says “Users seldom feel passionately about the podcast app they’re using. The content is the core element users are engaging with.” That might be why Spotify already has 9% of podcast listening and iHeartRadio and Pandora are scoring from promoting podcasts to the large existing user bases they already have. Then there are what Andreessen Horowitz describes as “long-tail” listening apps, like Stitcher or Breaker, who are competing based on features users just like better. Advertisers are in and are largely very happy with the results they’re getting, but podcasting’s monetization is still lacking. Again, ad buying is manual and tedious, not like it is on Google and Facebook. And it needs those metrics and targeting tools. The report says, “The current state of monetization in podcasting mirrors the early internet: revenue lags behind attention.” But make no mistake, companies, probably not Apple, will figure these things out and podcasting’s monetization future looks very, very bright.


-Well earlier I told you how doe-eyed in love social media marketers are with Facebook, no matter what. So this story I assure you will not matter to them. But an eMarketer report tells us users are spending less time on it. And they say time spent on Facebook will go down even more or at best, stay flat for the foreseeable future. Do you spend 38 minutes a day on it? Because that’s the average and that’s down 3 minutes from last year. That may not sound like much unless it’s your 3-minute video that didn’t get seen. What’s going on? Why is interest going down? Several reasons. One, the scandals, the privacy issues, it all just keeps giving the brand impression that this is a company that’s learning to fly while it’s already 30,000 feet in the air and we’re all sitting there in coach hoping they get it right. Analyst Debra Aho Williamson also says the News Feed changes haven’t helped, because there’s less publisher content and apparently, your friends and family just aren’t that fascinating. Teens especially seem more than willing to not go on Facebook, and our lives depend on what teens think. So, the numbers aren’t great, and you know what you do when you have bad numbers? You hide them of course; this is the generation of transparency and authenticity. Facebook recently stopped disclosing metrics for its main app. The good news for them, Instagram’s fine. Usage should rise through 2021.


That’s the Content Marketing Quickie for this week. Subscribe, review it, let me know how to make this better for you…sounds like my honeymoon. And as Johann Sebastian said, I’ll be Bach next week. I’ll be…because that was his last name.