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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.

Mar 18, 2019

Hey, it’s Stiles from Brand Content Studios and here’s your Content Marketing Quickie for the week of March 18, 2019


-Do you know when the first email was sent? 1971! 1971! The top song was Three Dog Night’s Joy to the World, you know, the Jeremiah was a bullfrog song? The highest grossing film was Fiddler on the Roof. On TV we were watching the then highly controversial political fights between Archie and Meathead on All in the Family. They think that in 2018, 124.5B emails went out. And yep, emails are content. Or at least what you put in them is content. So it’s worth knowing how to do it right and things like the Email Marketing Survey Summary Report help because their research gives us some insights, or at least some things to debate. The first thing they found out is engagement and improving brand awareness is the main thing companies want out of their email campaigns. Nobody likes to see low opens and click rates. And you’re never going to up your engagement unless you learn what your target audience likes and wants. It’s actually amazing how little companies know about who they’re selling to or care what kind of content they like to get. Next, most marketers think a mix of personal messages and one topic emails are most effective. By the way, only 17% think plain-text emails work. 64% of marketers say the effectiveness of their emails is improving moderately. It’s almost like you shouldn’t believe those “Is email dead” thought leadership pieces. Lastly, companies appreciate that when it comes to email, they can mostly handle that in-house, 39% use in-house people only. Now when they get all fancy schmancy and pursue the personalization and machine learning automation whiz bang, that’s when they reach out for some specialists. As always, our take is you can build the machine and the data can be right and your targeting can be on point…but if your content isn’t worthwhile, all that’s for nothing. Stop making what kind of show you’re going to put on the last thing you think about.


-Well it’s been about a month since Spotify said surprise! We’re spending over $300M to buy Gimlet Media and Anchor, cause we’re getting big into podcasting. And then we all went, “Okay but why?” And then they didn’t say anything, and we kept saying, “No really, why did you spend $300M on podcasting?” But answers are starting to trickle out, apparently there’s a plan. And the plan is essentially to cover bases and hedge bets. Spotify’s CEO, Daniel Ek and Gimlet’s founders Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber have been making at least some public comments about the plan. First, what’s Spotify going to do with a high-quality podcast producer like Gimlet and an app that makes it super easy for any Joe to make low quality podcasts like Anchor? First of all those brands apparently aren’t going away, they won’t get swallowed up by the Spotify brand. Courtney Holt, Spotify’s head of studio and video, says it’s like Pixar and Marvel being owned by Disney. They’re still their own powerful brands. Is it? Is Gimlet and Anchor really like Pixar and Marvel? Here’s what Spotify knows, there IS money in podcasting, an expected $659M in ad revenue by 2020. So here’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to be the primary place people go for podcasts, and we’re going to have podcasts you can only get on Spotify. Like Netflix does with movies and TV. We’re also going to be the main way people discover new podcasts cause our algorithm we did for music is that awesome. Maybe you, like I, have listened to a song on Spotify’s Discover Weekly and thought to yourself, “Why in God’s name do they think I’d like this song?” Well they’re gonna do that for podcasts. Like Netflix does with movies and TV. Holt says their algorithm is “pretty darn good.” Hey, watch the language, I checked clean content on my show description settings! Spotify’s CFO says they’ll invest in podcast content and that will increasingly be exclusive. But Gimlet’s Blumberg says well, our existing shows will stay available everywhere. Now, about Anchor. They don’t know. What do you want? They don’t know. Spotify says maybe exclusive originals will work best, but maybe user-generated shows will work best. So they’re exploring both.


-The expectations are pretty high for those who use tech, including content technology, to sell tech tools. I mean they should know how to kill it right? The Technology Content Marketing 2019 report tells us how they’re doing. First, 75% say their content marketing’s working better than a year ago. So there’s that. But what, if anything, are they struggling with?  Here’s the thing about the answer, which I will give you here in a sec, stay in the car. There’s not a lot of difference between the struggle named by those who are top performers and those who aren’t. Which means it’s a real and sticky problem. And that problem is creating content that appeals to the different multiple roles that are involved in buying decisions. Everybody cares about something different. There was actually only one other thing where there wasn’t that much difference between top performers and the others. They both pretty much say they care a lot about making content designed to build customer loyalty. Still, only 53% of tech marketers and 73% of top performers said they did that more successfully than the previous year. Success for early funnel goals – brand awareness, lead gen, and education, that’s what’s growing. For those that did better, what exactly did they do better? They covered more stages of the buyer journey. Only 62% of tech marketers overall said they cover all those bases well. How do they research what the audience wants? 80% actually listens to what their sales team tells them. 71% look at their website analytics. And get this, 55% actually, and I know this is weird, ask their customers. Email’s huge, 92% use it to nurture prospects. 64% reported using video more often compared to last year. But check this out, just as many say they did more written content like blog posts too. 37% even increased their use of audio. Getting back to the expectation tech companies should be better at marketing tech than the average bears, it’s true, they are. 36% say their proficiency with content marketing tech is at expert level while only 24% of regular enterprise marketers would say that. Get your shopping cart ready, there’s a sale on smarty pants!


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.