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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.

May 21, 2019

Hey, it’s Stiles from Brand Content Studios and here’s your Content Marketing Quickie for the week of May 21, 2019.


-If you’re using a creative ad agency or you are a creative ad agency, you might have some kind of emotional reaction to the thoughts of ad veteran Paul Arnold. Be careful when you invite someone to speak at a conference because they just might speak their mind. Paul says advertising, as it is right now, is on a “suicide” mission to wipe itself out. Hey I bet that’s not what you wanted to hear. You wanted to hear you’re all doing a great job. But the way he sees it, some things are happening that are creating an existential threat. No, it won’t happen as fast as Thanos snapping his fingers or the dinosaurs looking up and saying, “Hey, what’s that falling out of the sky,” but more of a slow decay kinda thing. First of all, he’s seeing clients not trusting their agencies as much as they used to, and creativity getting progressively devalued. A lot of clients are out there feeling “let-down,” and right alongside that, believing that creativity isn’t that hard, that anybody can do it, and that they know how to do it better than any collection of entertainers and journalists. That’s why the lesson Intel learned about taking everything in house is being fully ignored and in-house operations continue to be built. And that content will mostly be inward-focused, company leadership pleasing, customer ignorant and likely – epic masterpieces of utter boredom, sameness, and safety. Paul goes on to say clients raising demands on agencies and agencies bending over to take it up the…to please clients is a wicked combo in which nobody is asking, “Why are we making this?” It is strategy free. I’ve seen it myself. When I ask about content strategy, prospects look at me like I’m speaking to them in fluent Klingon. Can’t we just get on with making stuff that won’t work? Paul said, “If agencies carry on the way they are, they’re destining themselves to becoming a low-value, commoditized category.”


-When the execs at Spotify heard NSYNC sing “Bye Bye Bye,” they thought it was spelled B-U-Y and was a secret message that they should spend tens of millions on podcasting. And that’s exactly what they did. One company they already owned before this recent buying spree was Soundtrap. They started up to make it easier for morons like me to make music, thinking most music programs looked like the dashboard of the space shuttle. Well Spotify is using them to make podcasting easier. Soundtrap for Storytellers is a cloud based, subscription platform that does a lot of cool things some wannabe podcasters see as hard, or something they’d really just rather not mess with. Obviously you can record your show there, but there’s a built in Skype type thingy that makes it easy to have guests in other locations. You could have interviewed Arnold Schwarzenegger in South Africa right before he got kicked in the back. You get a big library of sound effects and jingle making tools, tapping into Soundtrap’s original strength. Then multiple people can edit and work on the podcast together in real time, from different locations since it’s in the cloud. And here’s the really interesting one, interactive transcripts are created that sync with your audio, and you can edit the audio file as easy as editing text document. Now with all that, I thought Spotify would only let you put your podcast on Spotify but wow, no. You can download the finished product and publish it wherever you want and even publish the transcript. Now how much would you pay? This really isn’t an ad. None of you have contacted me to sponsor this show yet so there aren’t any ads, but then again I’ve never asked. Anyway, it’s $15/month or $18 a month if you also want all of Soundtrap's music tools. Drawbacks, you’re limited to 8 hours of interactive transcripts a month, and it’s only available in English. Other languages are coming though, like profanity.


-If you’ve dedicated your whole life to being a keyword master, or if you’re a brand that only creates content so you’ll have a place to stuff your keywords, you might be interested to know keywords are becoming less of a thing. Aw, some of you are mad, I can feel it. Jonathan Kagan at Results Digital isn’t saying keywords have gone away, but there’s been a shift in priority away from keywords and toward audience target and segment. He says think about it, Google, Bing, Yelp, Facebook, it’s the category and audience for those ads that get traffic to you, not keywords. Marketers have started to focus on who should see an ad, not whether they searched for a certain term. Jonathan sets the target audience before even putting keywords in, then lets Dynamic Search ads do the keyword targeting. The audience gets narrowed down, the competition goes down, and they aren’t overpaying for the target they want. What this does require though is ad copy that works beautifully for that customer and that landing page. Jonathan suggests merging your paid social and search teams since the needed skills are the same, get data on your site visitors and use that to build awesome segments, and quit stressing about every variance of a keyword imaginable - the search engines have gotten smart enough you’re just being redundant.


-Gonna squeeze a little more learning in here. The 2019 Adobe Brand Content Survey revealed some things you should probably keep in mind as you do your big time hoity toity content marketing job. Half of people use more than one device at a time constantly or frequently, and they use devices over 8 hours a day. So your audience is definitely out there. Brand sites are important and all that crap, but frankly, young people go to social and video channels to research you and interact with you after buying. More than anything else, consumers want content to be accurate and informative, followed by simple and entertaining. The things that piss people off most are spam emails and slow loading content. In fact, over half, especially Boomers, will give up on you if they have problems getting your content. As for the content itself, what pisses them off is stuff that’s too wordy or badly written. They also don’t like bad designs or creepy personalization. Older consumers are less likely to share stuff, give up their personal info, or trust social media. That said, content from family and friends is the most shared and most trusted. Then again, Bernie Madoff was somebody’s friend and family member.


That’s the Content Marketing Quickie for this week. I want more downloads but you’re probably too busy to do my marketing for me. Just make sure you’re subscribed, and I’ll go buy a Google ad or something. And we’ll be here next week.