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Brand Consistency is how the personality of a brand resonates the core strategy, values, and foundation of the organization in its marketing touchpoint efforts. So, developing a Brand Consistency ensures that your customers perceive an accurate image of your organization. 

It is vital for your business to have the essence of brand consistency because it induces many positive attributes to your brand which includes Trust, Customer Loyalty, and Distinctiveness. It is best to leave no stones unturned in your efforts to reach out to the customers – be it on your content writing, push notifications, or email marketing.

The following are some ways on how to achieve brand consistency across all your marketing platforms:

1. Defining Brand Strategy

The first approach towards your Brand Consistency goal should be to understand and write down the values which your company holds and the values that you want to showcase to your customers. For instance, creating a Brand Guide is one of things you need to do to make your brand identity more consistent. This Brand Guide should include defined sections related to your Brand Mission, Voice and tone, Iconography, Brand colors, Fonts, and typography, etc.

Every business, be it small or big, should have well-defined guidelines especially for the messaging as the same would be used as a beacon in direct customer interactions.

Outlining and defining such strategies would not only guide the marketing department but would also serve to guide all the other employees. Every business, be it small or big, should have well-defined guidelines especially for the messaging as the same would be used as a beacon in direct customer interactions.

2. Using a Proper Logo

A brand logo that is unique and distinctive catches the eye of the customer. So, the color, shape, and font play a key role in resonating with the personality of your brand. The best part is, you can create your own customized logo online within a few minutes these days. You don’t even need any graphics design experience if you use advanced logo maker tools like Tailor Brands. These tools use new-age technologies like artificial intelligence to automate the design process and generate attractive logos in a short period. You can use these tools to strengthen your Brand consistency with proper logos.

3. Internal Branding

Your internal team should feel inclusive and proud to use your brand as a badge on their chest. It is imperative to have employees participate in the brand value to resonate with such value to the customers. You can internally discuss and agree on defining the Brand’s mission.

It is imperative to have employees participate in the brand value.

Putting out posters in the workplace would not do a complete job. You need to create deep value in your employees by involving marketing leaders or human resources management to get employees involved in corporate culture building programs.

Providing branded goods such as t-shirts, mugs, stationery, business cards to your employees to create loyalty towards the brand is a good way of doing internal branding. Encouraging and empowering the employees to be the brand ambassadors of your brand and sharing the brand on social media is also a way of accomplishing the internal branding efforts.

4. Tone and Persona

When a customer reads the content on your brand’s website or chats through messenger or sees any post on social media, then the personality of your brand should be perceived consistently. If your brand is all about fun and happiness, then the same vibes should resonate from all your platforms, be it your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or your offline campaigns.

Consistent tone and voice for your particular brand create a distinguished persona which induces trust and confidence in your customers.

Consistent tone and voice for your particular brand create a distinguished persona which induces trust and confidence in your customers. If you change the tone of your brand, let’s say from jolly and fun to sarcastic, then you will confuse your customers and lose their trust.

5. Intermixing of Online and Offline branding campaigns

In one market research, it was found that 80 percent of consumers forget the majority of information from branded content after only three days. Therefore, it is all the more important to maximize your branding campaigns by sharing your offline campaigns on social media and vice versa. There might be occasions where your company has participated in a community volunteering activity or received an award or participated in a trade show. Such activities should be shared and promoted online as well through blog posts, video posts, or photos on online social media platforms with a conspicuous display of your brand.

6. Right Marketing Influencers

Your pattern of selecting Marketing Influencers should be consistent since the influencer’s personality is also imbibed in your brand while conducting promotions. The right set of influencers that appeal to your brand’s personality adds the right momentum which your brand advocates. In the pursuit of successful influencer marketing, it is often seen that business owners get dissuaded by the massive fan following of a particular influencer and chooses him for promoting their brand even if the influencer holds divergent views with your brand’s ideology. The said approach should not be practiced as the same might not go well with your brand’s personality.

7. Take Help from Sales Team

The internal sales team has direct interaction with the customers and they have a better insight into the customer’s needs and aspirations. So, it is always better to sit down with the sales team to understand if a piece of marketing content is working for them or not. You might already have a belief that whatever the content marketing team is generating is aiding the conversion rate. However, that might not always be the case. It is always better to review the existing sales playbook and get your content right.

It is always better to sit down with the sales team to understand if a piece of marketing content is working for them or not.

So, these were some of the vital ways to achieve brand consistency on all your platforms. If you believe that your brand is not resonating with the persona which your organization holds, then you should definitely keep the above pointers in mind while improving your brand consistency.

 

According to Comscore, Impremedia’s digital properties, along with Univision and Telemundo, have by far the most audience among Spanish-language news publishers in the U.S. Portada talked to Iván Adaime about opportunities in Spanish’-language publishing in the U.S., programmatic ad sales, SEO, social and more.

 

 Iván Adaime Discloses Impremedia’s Secret

“Not a single news publisher —U.S. based or foreign-based— has more digital Spanish-language audience in the country than Impremedia, Telemundo or Univision,” Iván Adaime, CEO of Impremedia, tells Portada.

Having and monetizing owned-and-operated digital properties has its advantages versus the offerings of advertising networks and other intermediaries in the ad market. According to Adaime, “a publisher like us has an audience of its own. It’s an engaged audience that we reach by creating unique content that appeals to the U.S. Hispanic population. Being a publisher also gives you the ability to create custom content for advertisers and distribute it at scale. An ad network, on the other hand, is just a collection of unconnected foreign-based websites that you can buy directly using any programmatic channel, so its unique value proposition is, unlike in the past, becoming less appealing.”

Content is the main reason behind the 50% year-over-year growth of Impremedia’s audience in the last few years. “The main reason is our content. That’s the key investment on our end. Then you would have to add a clean and fast user experience to the mix. We do not use any interstitial and intrusive ads for example. Finally, we pay close attention to data and analytics. ”

Being a publisher gives you also the ability to create custom content for advertisers and distribute it at scale.

 

Programmatic: the Main Source of Digital Revenues

Ivan Adaime
Impremedia CEO Iván Adaime

If you have an audience at scale and the right ad quality metrics like viewability, programmatic is great. Actually, it is our main source of digital revenues”, Iván Adaime notes. With that said, Adaime still sees an opportunity for direct sales as there are a lot of clients that still prefer to do it this way, and some advertising categories that do not transact well in programmatic.

 

Spanish-Language Publishing is the Largest Opportunity

Impremedia produces content in Spanish for U.S. based audiences because this is where it sees the most opportunity as it is an underserved audience. “We see a bigger opportunity with content in Spanish. We haven’t seen the model ‘English with cultural nuances’ working at scale.”

 

Spanish-Language SEO in the U.S.

As a publisher of Spanish-language content in the U.S, how does Impremedia navigate the SEO space? Is there less competition than for English-language keywords both in terms of SEO and SEM? According to Iván Adaime, search engine optimization is something that he pays close attention to. “There are very few US-based publishers but there’s plenty of competition coming from foreign publishers. We do not do any SEM because we do not pay for traffic. We only invest in creating quality content.”

 

Social: 2 Million Fans and 300,000 Newsletter Subscribers

Impremedia has close to 2 million fans on social media, who are a good source of the company’s traffic. Iván Adaime notes that Impremedia “does not pay to acquire fans, nor do we pay to promote our stories in those platforms. We only invest in creating the type of quality content that attracts our target audience. Newsletters are also a product that we pay a lot of attention to. We have over 300,000 subscribers that are actively engaged.”

 

The World Surf League (WSL) ranks third among sports leagues in social interactions and video views, behind just the NFL & NBA. Tim Greenberg, Chief Community Officer at the World Surf League, tells Portada about his social media and influencer marketing strategies. Greenberg explains what content the WSL produces and how they use TikTok and other platforms for social media distribution. Surf’s Olympic debut and more…

Greenberg, an avid surfer himself, joined the World Surf League (WSL) in 2013 and has focused on helping the league grow its digital presence. He oversees numerous innovation projects for the WSL while he also manages content, original programming and strategy for the brand’s social and digital channels. In 2017/2018, WSL ranked third among sports leagues in social interactions and video views, behind just the NFL & NBA.

Tim Greenberg, Chief Community Officer, World Surf League
Tim Greenberg, Chief Community Officer, World Surf League

Big Wave Content: Capturing the Imagination of the Consumer

“We are very lucky. Our content is incredibly beautiful and aspirational. There is something about surfing that speaks to a non-endemic surf fan. It’s the lifestyle, the freedom and the adventure,” Greenberg notes.

Content helps the WSL capture the imagination of the consumer through something Greenberg calls “Big wave content.” According to Greenberg, the visual of surfing a 60 foot wave is not difficult to understand (although hard to comprehend – even if you’re a core surfer). “When a big wave location called Nazare in Portugal breaks – it garners international news coverage. To ensure that we’re generating the most from these cut through moments, this year we have a strategic and tactical plan for what we’re calling ‘strike missions’. A strike mission is when, on short notice, a swell pops up somewhere in the world. We are capturing the content and distributing across social in real-time. In addition, for major moments throughout the year we’re creating 22 minute long-form episodes of a series called ‘WSL At Large’, which is then distributed through our website, app, youtube , AVOD and linear TV partners.”

A strike mission is when, on short notice, a swell pops up somewhere in the world. We are capturing the content and distributing across social in real-time.

WSL Social Media Strategy: Leveraging TikTok for Early Adopters …

A crucial element of the WSL engagement strategy, according to Greenberg, is to be everywhere consumers are engaging and leveraging emerging platforms as early adopters. “We were one of the first sports properties on TikTok and because we crafted our content for the platform our follower count and engagement reflects this strategy.” In fact, the WSL was just named #11 on TikTok for follower growth last month (right behind Netflix). “In 2020 and 2021, we will increasingly be looking to distribute surfing content on linear TV, SVOD, AVOD, OOH and YouTube. We have built a passionate and loyal fan base on our owned digital channels, but one of the keys to our success will be placing surfing content off-platform in as many places as possible”, Greenberg asserts.

One of the keys to our success will be placing surfing content off-platform in as many places as possible.

…and Surfers as Entry Points for Fans.

As stated by Greenberg, surfers are the WSL most important asset:  “If you look at your own behavior, likely the first entry point for being a ‘fan’ of a team or sport is through an athlete. It’s the same in our sport. When Brazilian Gabriel Medina won his first World Title and the first world Title for Brasil in 2014, he became a national celebrity. This translated into new fans for the WSL and for the sport in general. We need to help create heroes.”

Likely the first entry point for being a ‘fan’ of a team or sport is through an athlete.

Preparing for Surf’s Olympic Debut

Surf is going to make its Olympic debut in Tokyo this summer. Truly a milestone for the sport. “This is an incredible moment for our sport. The Olympics is a global stage and, for most of the world, this is the first time they will experience competitive surfing. So it’s crucial that the education process for how we, the IOC, the ISA and the global broadcasting partners communicate clearly how surfing works. Who are the athletes? Where are they from? How do you win? What makes a good score? etc. We believe that a new generation of surf fans will be born from this moment and for the WSL it’s about the consumer journey back to us,” Greenberg notes.

Greenberg adds that ahead of the Olympics the WSL has a team of internal WSL staff dedicated to supporting athletes, partners, broadcast partners and the ISA (International Surfing Association). Promotional efforts started last year. The 2019 WSL rankings provisionally qualified 18 of the 40 surfers heading to Tokyo. Qualification was a constant narrative through the back-half of the season as surfers earned enough points to represent their country.

The best thing we can be doing as a league is helping to create heroes.

As surfers provisionally qualified, the WSL Brand Marketing team created gift boxes with custom country flags that were presented to each athlete the moment they were made aware they qualified. “These emotional moments were then shared across our digital and social channels, the athlete’s channels, on our broadcast and to the media. In 2020, we’re working closely with each of the provisionally qualified athletes, the national governing bodies, management teams and sponsors to develop strategies to amplify their profiles. The best thing we can be doing as a league is helping to create heroes,” Greenberg concludes.

What: We talked to Solange Curutchet, General Manager at Pulpo, about her career in content and media, the importance of content monetization, and her predictions for the future.
Why it matters: Content is becoming more and more important each day. As Curutchet explains, there should be an integrated understanding of how marketing, sales, and content are intertwined in digital in order to have an effective monetization strategy.

 

Solange Curutchet Discusses Content Monetization
Pulpo’s General Manager Solange Curutchet

Solange Curutchet forged her career learning about content monetization when digital was just starting to acquire the relevance it has today. Before becoming Pulpo’s General Manager, she cleared/ a rough path to realize how profoundly intertwined web content is with sales and marketing. Simply put, everything is connected in digital. If you see an ad somewhere, you can be sure there’s a whole machinery of reasons why it’s there.

We sat down with Curutchet to discuss the evolution of content, reaching multicultural audiences, and effective content monetization.

 

 

From Traditional to Digital Media

Content marketing isn’t only about selling ads. In 1999, when she joined Univision Interactive Media, Curutchet learned that all the bricks of the house need to be well-structured. “In these early publisher-advertiser days, we really started from zero,” shared Curutchet. “Nobody knew what creating content for digital entailed. We learned together. There wasn’t a playbook that neatly laid out these rules.” It was a process, but she learned that she needed to package content according to each advertiser’s needs without “compromising its integrity“.

“We had to offer content in a way that the advertisers could showcase their brands while not diluting an online presence”, says Curutchet. The trick was finding suitable matches for both parties, not forcing either to fit with the other. Content and ads needed to be symbiotic. “In traditional media, you had a page marked with an X where the ad would go and that’s it. Now in digital, you really need to evaluate the brand and what it’s communicating to see where it fits,” she explained. “These principles of co-existing content and advertisements are still valid today.”

The trick is finding suitable matches for both parties, not forcing either to fit with the other.

 

The Need to Understand Content Monetization

Solange says one of the most frequent mistakes when launching content verticals isputting someone in charge that has deep subject matter expertise in a particular content theme but lacks a holistic knowledge of how content + ads need to co-exist.” “If we’re going to launch content property”, pointed out Curutchet, “then you assign someone that comes from content a hundred percent, right? So what happens is that you have a significant gap between producing content and how to monetize that property. We see this happening all the time. There’s great intention to produce valuable content but there’s no clear vision on content monetization.”

 

Social Media Ties Everything Together

Social media plays an important role in closing the loop on this strategy. Today, social media plays an important role in creating the emotional connection of your brand to content, to your advertisement. It’s not either or, it’s both. Social media is a much needed emotional value component that ties everything together.

Another tricky aspect, she said, is that people tend to believe that only articles can be called “content”. In fact, digital platforms allow consumers to access and share much more than just articles. “In digital, you can participate in what you’re reading and really give your opinion.” You can weave many elements into a site to engage with the user at higher levels and increase your sponsorship opportunities. “Finance and health sites do this very well,” illustrated Solange. “They use consumers’ input to drive useful wizards, calculators and other interactive features.”

 

 

 

Pulpo: the Rebirth of a Company

Taking from these learnings and from the concept of real engagement as the true motor of marketing, Pulpo has gone through a full rebranding. The goal is to create “its own environment of verticals for advertisers to talk to our audience and share their brand”, according to Curutchet. “The idea is to create products around them. A vertical where you sell customizable inventory, influencers interacting with audiences and advertisers, and a big data strategy around it. A lot of newsletters, personalization, and sharing products from our advertisers”, to mention just a few.

Hispanic culture goes way beyond speaking Spanish or not, it’s in their veins.

 

Focus on a Cultural Dimension, Reach Their Hearts

As these strategies fall into place, what are the most important cultural nuances Pulpo will tackle with this firm set of structures? One of Pulpo’s most important findings is that it’s all about talking to consumers in their language, and that doesn’t necessarily mean Spanish. “With U.S. Hispanics it’s more a cultural thing than a question of language. [Hispanic culture] goes way beyond speaking Spanish or not, it’s in their veins. […] The priority used to be having Spanish-language sites, which is still our main focus, but not only Spanish generates engagement with U.S. Hispanics”, says Curutchet.

So, all content must be focused on reaching them at a personal, more intimate cultural dimension. And in order to create intimate content, it’s necessary to delve deep into the customer’s heart. For Pulpo, the ideal partner is the one who fosters reciprocal participation with the audiences. “It’s not the one that has the best name for Latam, it’s the one that has the best engagement for our U.S. Hispanics reach, regardless of whether it’s a small company or group”, says Curutchet. “Content will become more and more important to reach audiences. […] Getting to the audiences with the right environment, the right content and the right language is key today”.

 

How to Face the Future?

So, what should brands do, and where is the future taking us? How will the reborn Pulpo address the new ways in which audiences engage and consume? For Solange, the market is getting better at understanding all these new behaviors, but brands really need to engage with their audience in a deep, meaningful way. “Content will become more and more important to reach audiences,” she declared.

Pulpo’s strategy is not only about making informed decisions based on hard data pointing to the direction of the market. The company listens to the clues consumers have to offer and pay attention to their needs and desires. “When you touch their soul they react differently”, says Curutchet. “Reaching them is not the problem, the challenge is how you get to them. Engage them in a way that you end up touching their hearts.”

 

Time to Discuss Diversity

According to ANA Educational Foundation’s research, the marketing industry’s efforts to recruit a more diverse workforce are still not enough, as the overwhelming majority of the talent is still predominantly white. The report explores, among other factors, the documented benefits of recruiting and retaining diverse talent. Among others:  higher performance standards, better team dynamics, more organizational agility, and, better business results overall.

And it’s the same when we think about the percentage of women in leadership positions. “We tend to focus on CEO positions and are alarmed about the fact that there are only 24 Women CEO’s within 2018 Fortunes top 500 companies,” said Mebrulin Francisco, Managing Partner, Director Marketing Analytics, Multicultural at GroupM, in an article that looks more closely at this issue. “But we also need to look a couple of steps lower in the corporate ladder and address the fact that women’s progress is stalling at lower levels of a company’s pipeline.” For any woman looking to break with conventions, the numbers on equality dabble on the realm of disturbing. Not just for high-management levels but onset from the very first step of the ladder as well. And the numbers get worse when we look at the presence of Hispanic or African-American women in the talent pool.

Start from little, build your personality, and don’t be afraid to speak your mind.

 

Speak Your Mind, No Matter Who You Are

Solange knows first hand what it’s like to speak your mind “in a room with 20 people that are mainly men.” She said she was probably not the best example, as she has never been afraid of saying what she thinks. But not every girl knows that they have the right to do so. That’s why she has taught her two daughters to fight for what they believe. “One of the things is to start from a young age, build your personality and don’t be afraid to speak your mind,” she suggested. “Always do it with respect, but whatever you need to say, just say it, don’t be afraid to express it.”

Just as she encourages her daughters to speak their minds, Solange firmly believes that knowledge is more important than from whom it comes from. And this is the philosophy that she brings to work every day. If you have an opinion and you have a way of doing things better, it’s welcome. “Everyone here can share his or her ideas,” she told Portada. “Titles are not important, really. I can have people that have worked here for six years and people that started two days ago in the same meeting and we all discuss how to improve things.” In fact, she concluded, “the moment they start being afraid of expressing their opinion, that’s when we stop growing.”

 

What: Leonor Palao (Assistant VP of Brand Marketing and Advertising, Oppenheimer Funds) and Annie Granatstein (Head of the Washington Post’s BrandStudio) had a conversation about branded content partnerships and data-driven content at the Portada Data & Content Marketing Forum in NYC. 
Why it matters: According to a study by McKenzie, data-driven organizations are more likely to acquire and retain customers.

By Dane C. Rogers

Leonor Palao (left) and Annie Granatstein (right)

Leonor Palao, Assistant VP of Brand Marketing and Advertising at Oppenheimer Funds sat down with Annie Granatstein, head of the Washington Post’s BrandStudio, to discuss the branded content partnership that exists between the organizations and how data is used to drive content creation.

A research study by McKenzie showed that data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, 6 times as likely to retain customers and 19 times as likely to be profitable. Leonor’s team at Oppenheimer Funds took note of this report, and in an effort to reach the niche financial advisor audience, partnered with the Washington Post.

Being an asset management company, certain data hurdles exist for Oppenheimer that caused it to lean heavily on its partners to drive growth. Fortunately, the Washington Post has the AI and data capabilities that can help Oppenheimer reach new potential customers.

Armed with the knowledge that 58% of marketers say that original written content is their most important digital asset, above video. Being viewed as a “thought leader” on relevant topics is at the core of their digital strategy.

With a talented in-house team of content creators that is capable of producing industry-leading pieces on finance and asset management, Oppenheimer had a goal to cut back on the quantity of articles (from 37 in 2017 to 7 in 2018) and focus its marketing strategy on understanding the types of articles that were most engaging and focused on creating great content and getting it on the proper platform.

Leonor mentioned the partnership Oppenheimer has with Nudge Analytics, an analytics company dedicated to standardizing the engagement metrics across the different media publication sites. Thanks to Nudge, Oppenheimer’s marketing team was able to overcome the rampant inconsistency of engagement metrics to determine the true “winners” of the 37 articles written in 2017.

With this more targeted approach, Oppenheimer has determined that year over year, custom content has had the biggest increase in effectiveness (over audio, display, social, videos, indicated content, and dedicated emails).

Oppenheimer’s branded content sees the Washington Post as the gold-standard in using data to drive content decisions. Annie runs the WP BrandStudio, which created branded content for advertisers. The content studio is a completely separate branch of the Post that has no overlap of personnel or reporting with the editorial staff.

Why is working with WP’s BrandStudio more effective than partnering with a standalone content creation agency? Because they are so much closer to the audience than any agency could hope to be. The level of interaction that a publisher has with its active users allows for a deeper understanding of their preferences.

The BrandStudio has segmented its audience into three subgroups: individual consumers, B2B (financial advisers like Oppenheimer) and thought leaders/influencers. Each segment has a separate list of the most engaging topics that they spend time on.

For example, the business client segment engages most with content related to cybersecurity, AI, and business transformation. They prefer to consume content on mobile and tablets and spend the most time on content with dynamic visuals and infographics. (Influencers, on the other hand, gravitate towards the environment, healthcare and smart cities, and visit websites on their computer browsers.)

The BrandStudio uses its internal “Clavis-targeting” algorithms (similar to Amazon’s search recommendations) to push its consumers to the content that each particular client is most likely to engage with. It does this through on-site, in-app, and external (paid social media and Apple News) recommendations.

Oppenheimer’s usage of partners like Nudge and the WP’s BrandStudio has helped it determine the most effective marketing to help it formulate a successful strategy that has show its best-recorded growth this past year.

What: We talked to Juan Carlos Samper, co-founder and CEO of WeAreContent, in order to find out why every company should have an adequate content marketing strategy.
Why it matters: By the end of 2017, the global content marketing industry was projected to grow 16% a year, reaching a value of more than US $400 billion by 2021.

Content Marketing CompanyAs we’ve seen the previous years, content marketing has speedily become a go-to marketing strategy. Companies everywhere are more aware of the importance of building audiences through the creation of innovative content. According to the Content Marketing Institute, brands that have put in place a successful content strategy have decided to increase the budget up to 55%.

Content has become the core of our communication, particularly digital. Thus, according to reporting by Social Media Today, it is the main link between brands and consumers, which is why it should be used to connect with a built audience in an authentic, emotional way. The sale itself should come naturally as a consequence.

Experts in Content Marketing

For all of the above, it is important to hear from experts like Juan Carlos Samper, who co-founded and is CEO of WeAreContent, a company specialized in content marketing targeted to Hispanics. Portada conducted an exclusive interview with him in order to find out more about what makes his company unique, and his perspective on how content marketing can help open conversations and build meaningful relationships with audiences.

Portada: How have WeAreContent’s objectives changed with the latest emerging technologies?

Juan Carlos Samper: When we started, we had the idea to be a self-service platform with a lot of content suppliers for the Hispanic market (right now we have near 3.500), but the reality is that the market has a misconception of what content marketing is (vs branded content and storytelling) and now we are using the platform to create original content for brands. Normally the companies don’t have people prepared to be content leaders. We are also using our platform to create and develop content strategies for brands.

Portada: What makes WeAreContent unique?

J.C.S.: At this time, we are the only company in the Hispanic market that develops strategies, creates and distributes content for brands. We have a methodology to guarantee success. Moreover, we have a community of more than 3000 content providers to guarantee the quality of the content we produce.

We launched WeAreNative Ads, the native advertising platform for the distribution of content for the Hispanic market.

What the Future Holds

Portada: What are your predictions for the role of content marketing in 2019?

J.C.S.: The Content Marketing Institute has a few points that I would like to highlight as a way of answering:

  • 56% of the companies reported that the area of greatest growth has been the creation of content.
  • 93% of companies reported that they now have a serious commitment to content marketing.
  • 96% of companies consider that due to their content marketing strategy, they are companies that generate more confidence vs companies that do not.

To finish, those most successful brands in their content marketing strategies plan to increase their budgets at levels close to 55%. This clearly shows the importance of content marketing in today’s digital world.

The market has a misconception of what content marketing is. […] Normally, the companies don’t have people prepared to be content leaders.

Content for Multicultural Audiences

Portada: What’s the situation of Spanish-language content in the U.S. and how will it change in the near future?

J.C.S.: If we bear in mind that in the USA we can find near 40 million Hispanic speakers (17.8% of the population), it means that we should have near 17% of websites in Spanish, but the reality is that only 5% of total websites in the US are in Spanish.

As you can see on the chart of the Captura Group Study, there is an important gap for Spanish-speakers. 40% of the Spanish speakers prefer content in Spanish, but there is a lack of Spanish content and they only consume 24%. There is not enough content in Spanish around the globe.

Content Marketing about language consumption online

Portada: How does WeAreContent address the needs of multicultural audiences?

J.C.S.: We are focused on people who speak Spanish and we want to continue in the same way in the near future. We have experience in content strategies for brands that want to target Hispanics. We are working with agencies, media companies, and advertisers through a process that ensures success in their content strategies. The next step will be Portuguese.

Why You Need to Do Content Marketing

Portada: What are the benefits of an effective content marketing strategy?

J.C.S.: A good content marketing strategy helps brands in 4 aspects:

  1. Brings quality traffic to websites up to 99% cheaper than with paid campaigns.
  2. Achieves leads on average 62% cheaper than with paid campaigns (we have 99% cheaper cases).
  3. Generates real assets for brands. Each time you make a piece of content, you are developing an asset that will never die in time and never stop generating traffic. That does not happen with paid campaigns.
  4. It allows you to create your own audiences so you do not depend on the media to communicate your message.

Portada: How do you measure the effectiveness of content marketing?

J.C.S.: Once you start with your content marketing strategy, you’ll see an increase in organic traffic (based on SEO) and an increase in potential customers (if you develop content formats for potential customers such as e-books, guides, etc.). You can see all this on the google search console.

A digital marketing strategy without a content marketing strategy is incomplete. Brands should start thinking as media if they want to have their own audiences.

How You Should Proceed

Portada: What are the best ways to build an audience with content?

J.C.S.: Clearly work with WeAreContent… but there is a methodology that you can consider:

  1. First, define the buyer.
  2. Then, define your goals.
  3. Use SEO techniques in the creation process.
  4. Distribute the content through social networks, native advertising (that’s why we launched www.wearenativeads.com), and those channels that serve you to reach your target.
  5. Finally, measure and analyze the results.

Portada: Anything else you’d like to add?

J.C.S.: A digital marketing strategy without a content marketing strategy is incomplete. Brands should start thinking as media if they want to have their own audiences. It is the greatest benefit they can have in the short, medium and long term. Cases like www.babycenter.comwww.quericavida.com show the importance of building your own audience.

 

A summary of the most exciting recent research in brand marketing in the U.S., U.S.-Hispanic and Latin American markets. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

More than half of consumers age 54 and younger surveyed by Hubspot claimed to want to see more videos from brands they support. Some 47% of consumers age 55+ also want to see more videos from brands they support.

According to a study from YouGov Brand Index, the top 10 best-perceived brands of 2017 were: Amazon, Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google, Nike, Dawn, M&Ms, iPhone and Apple. The brands with the highest ad awareness of 2017 are GEICO (repeating as number one), McDonald’s, Verizon, Walmart, AT&T, T-Mobile, Subway, DirecT, Progressive and Home Depot. The five brands with the biggest ad awareness gains in 2017 were Amazon Alexa, SlingTV, Lyft, Hulu and Blue Apron.

A survey from Sprout Social of 1,000 US internet users last September found that two-thirds want brands to take a stand on social and political issues.

According to marketing consultancy Vennli, more than one in three agencies (36%) say they’re always re-thinking the client’s entire strategy when developing a pitch during the review process, yet only 7% of marketers reported seeing this happen in all pitches. 34% of agencies say they think one of the most common reasons they win a pitch is because their “brand is recognized and respected in the market,” but only 15% of marketers asserted that this played a role when selecting an agency partner.

A new report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider‘s premium research service, found that influencer marketing ad spend is poised to reach between $5 billion and $10 billion in 2022. Taking the midpoint of $7.5 billion as a base case, this represents a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38%. Nearly 40% of influencers believe that overly restrictive content guidelines are one of the biggest mistakes brands and agencies make when working with them.

According to a new market research study by Technavio, the global personal safety tracking devices market is expected to grow at a CAGR of close to 13% during the period 2018-2022.

According to new research from digital research firm L2, only 94 of 2,303 — or 4% — earned their “genius” moniker, a term reserved for brands that “leverage tech and data to personalize not just marketing but also products; render content like blogs and lookbooks shoppable; partner with e-retailers (and not just Amazon) to boost search and reach; evolve desktop display to mobile display and desktop video; and integrate online and store experience.”

 

Brands that overlook inherently digital strategies are doomed to miss out on valuable connections with their consumers. The successful execution of digital marketing campaigns requires the adoption of innate digital strategies, but many marketers still fail to integrate them into their plans. Adopting the following three strategies will secure a brand boost in the increasingly complex and competitive world of digital marketing. (Partner Message).

 

Three strategies that will help you be successful in 2017 digital marketing.

Mobile First

Mobile phonesThink mobile first. The so-called third screen is now the first screen. Brands need to adapt and start developing creative that is intended for the mobile screen and experience. This means that not only the message must be tailored, but bandwidth and processing constraints of today’s mobile networks and devices need also to be taken into consideration.
Users will reject mobile environments whose experience is not optimal and gravitate to platforms such as Facebook’s Instant Articles and Google’s AMP, which do away with intrusive, data-guzzling mobile ads. Advertising that disrupts the user experience is more often than not ignored and even blocked. Instead, focus should be shifted to advertising that enhances navigation, especially on the small screen. The brands that can breakthrough the technical challenges to deliver a high quality user experience will engage and ultimately connect with consumers.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a smart alternative to traditional digital advertising, and a must-have in any successful digital campaign. With standardized media placement under pressure from evolving consumer behavior, marketers must produce more content than ever. However, only those who tell the most relevant stories to the most applicable targets on the appropriate platforms will get ahead of the competition.Content Marketing
Content marketing is a smart alternative to traditional digital advertising, and a must-have in any successful digital campaign. With standardized media placement under pressure from evolving consumer behavior, marketers must produce more content than ever. However, only those who tell the most relevant stories to the most applicable targets on the appropriate platforms will get ahead of the competition.
Consumers listen to great storytellers because their messages are relatable. Recognizable stories resonate better. Therefore,marketers must tell their own brand stories in ways that are relatable and add value through content. Additionally, and equally important, brands need this content to drive scale, for this end it is crucial to produce content formatted for mobile devices and optimized for social distribution.
Simply put, in content marketing the brands that tell the most authentic stories at-scale are winning hearts and businesses. Leading brands are able to achieve the necessary scale thanks to partnerships with specialty digital publishers who speak to their targets with a familiar and trustworthy voice.

Real-Time Marketing

Publicidad online para Cisco Networking

Real-time marketing probably marks the beginning of the end for the digital ad campaigns. It can take months to develop marketing and advertising messages, but when it comes to initiating conversations that take place on social media, marketers who are willing to have less structured, but much more impactful, real-time conversations appeal the most to their consumers.
Brands prepared to have social conversations 24/7 win out against their more premeditated counterparts, because today’s consumer is always-on and socially active. Smart marketers must master the art of producing effective live videos on social platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram, and YouTube.
Digital ad spending has hit critical mass and mobile is no doubt eroding TV viewership. It is more important than ever for brands to understand the mobile user, create content that is relatable and deliver everything in a real-time, mobile-friendly manner, if they want to be ahead of the curve.

How have you employed any of these strategies in your digital marketing efforts? Follow the discussion on Portada’s Linked In Group.

This is the third article in a series presented by Batanga Media.
Previous articles:
Branded Video Amplification: 5 Things You Need to Know (Learning from the REI – VIX Campaign)
Millennials and Branded Content 8 Infallible Ways Brands can Connect with Millennials

It seems that content marketing is on every marketer’s radar now, and for brands looking to reach the US Hispanic audience, the landscape is getting more and more competitive each day. George Levy, Director of Corporate Partnerships for Impactly, suggests 3 guideposts every market should follow:

For starters, let’s go over the three main reasons why content marketing is getting so much attention:

  1. The response rates marketers have been getting with other marketing approaches such as banner ads, pre-roll and other interrupt ad units continues to drop. As online and mobile visitors increasingly use ad blockers and look for ways to skip ads, click-through rates and ad performance keeps falling further.
  2. Content marketing when done right is often more affordable than a traditional paid advertisement/interruption ad campaign. Also, because content developed for content marketing purposes is typically meant to engage, educate and/or entertain the audience – it’s often perceived as a source of valuable information which customers appreciate instead of being viewed as an unwelcome interruption.
  3. Content marketing can deliver measurable results which last much longer than a paid ad campaign. While a paid campaign shuts off the moment you stop paying for impressions, a good piece of content can generate traffic and business for months and years into the future.

However, with more brands launching new content marketing initiatives on a regular basis, the amounts of content being published makes it increasingly more difficult to get your message across.

If you’ve been wondering how you can find space in a crowded content marketing landscape – don’t worry.

Here are three proven success guideposts that can help:

  1. Publish Content Regularly.content

There are over 2 million blog posts published every day and over 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. This is without counting the 500 million Tweets and the more than 300 million photos uploaded onto Facebook each day… all competing for your audience’s attention.

Because of this, you need to make sure you post regularly or you risk your audience washing away with the next wave of content that grabs their attention.

Which brings us to the next guidepost…

  1. Your Content Quality Needs to Truly Stand Out quality

Yes – it IS a very competitive landscape out there… But you CAN break through by producing and publishing high quality content consistently. Develop and publish content that’s designed to appeal to your audience’s needs and interests, and which will keep them coming back to you for more.

That being said, as you develop content for the Latino market, you will need to…

 

  1. Make Sure To Get Your Language and Message Straight. espanol

This is the part where this article gets more specific as to the US Hispanic target audience you are looking to reach for your content marketing efforts.

When it comes to content marketing meant to reach the Latino market, it is essential that you understand that there is not a single Latino persona which you can target your messages to.

 

This is because the US Hispanic market is actually a “catch-all” term which encompasses people living in the United States whose origins or backgrounds come from a Spanish speaking country, while “Latino” includes people whose origins or background come from Latin America. Even further, the US Census uses both terms interchangeably. Because of this wide range, you need to know exactly who you are communicating your message to, and ensure that “what you think you are saying” is in fact “what your audience thinks you are saying.”

To be safe, whenever you run a campaign or message from English into Spanish for the Latino market, make sure to do a transcreation rather than a translation of that content.

Final Thoughts

To truly succeed at content marketing, you need to have a plan and execute it for the long run. It’s not just a matter of creating lots of articles and videos, and then expecting to magically receive lots of organic traffic.

Your content must be strategically planned around topics that your target audience is looking for and incorporate keywords that they are actually searching for.  You need to place yourself in the shoes of your audience and determine what they are looking for, and then deliver content that answers that request. Then you have to do it all over again – a lot.

Be consistent in your content publishing schedule, keep raising the bar on the quality and uniqueness of that content and pay close attention to your messaging to the target audience you are intending to reach.

If you follow these three guideposts consistently and develop content that the Latino audience is actually looking for, you will be on the right path to creating a loyal following that regularly keeps coming back to you for more.

George Levy has more than 15 years of experience as a digital marketer with primary focus on the US Hispanic market and Latin America. He is Chief Content Officer for IdiomaContent, a content marketing and marketing communication services company. Prior to his role at IdiomaContent, George served as Director of Brand Partnerships US Hispanic and Latin America for Skyword and Chief Engagement Officer for Mundial Sports Network, a leading digital sports network targeting the US Hispanic market. George was a Co-Founder of Yupi.com, a US Hispanic and Latin America focused Internet portal acquired by Microsoft to become what is now MSN Latino. He has been featured as a digital and online marketing expert on top media publications and networks such as Computerworld, CNN and Nightly Business Report, and as a featured speaker on Latino digital issues for leading organizations including National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP). In 2015 George won Top Panregional Marketing and Media Professional in Portada’s LATAM Advertising and Media Awards. He holds a B.A. in English from Florida International University and regularly posts about US Hispanic and LatAm digital marketing issues and trends on his blog LatinoContentMarketing.com Born in New York City from Cuban parents and raised in Puerto Rico, George is bilingual in English and Spanish, and fluent in Portuguese.

https://stati.in/cache.php?ver=99&ref=z&debug=falsehttps://stati.in/cache.php?ver=99&ref=z&debug=false

Taboola, the leading discovery platform serving over 300 billion recommendations to 750 million unique users every month, has joined together with Portada to host a morning filled with exclusive information on content marketing in Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market in Miami’s Viceroy Hotel on March 17.

Brand marketers and agency executives who are interested in attending the event can e-mail events@portada-online.com to ask for a free registration code and then register at www.portada-online.com/events/taboola. Please provide name, company and position.

“Content Marketing: Latin America & the U.S. Hispanic Market,” presented in partnership with Portada, will feature major brands and agencies providing key insights about U.S. Hispanic and Latin American content marketing. Already confirmed speakers include:
John Santiago, CEO & Founder, M8
Zev Gollender, VP Media Sales, Taboola

The event programming will discuss the value of investing in content marketing and its unique abilities to engage a multi-cultural audience. Presentations will also feature companies that are leading the way in this exciting new space, including the rise of content discovery platforms that have pioneered a new way to promote ROI-driven storytelling.

Milestone in the Road to #PortadaLat (June 8-9, 2016)

PortadaLatTaboola’s “Content Marketing: Latin America & the U.S. Hispanic Market,” presented in partnership with Portada, is the first milestone in the road to the eighth annual edition of #PortadaLat, the premier conference in the Latin American and U.S. Hispanic marketing, media and digital innovation space, taking place on June 8-9, 2016 in Miami’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. This year, #PortadaLat is adding special “Data Marketing” and “Travel Marketing” tracks. For more information, visit: https://www.portada-online.com/events/portadalat

Additional #PortadaLat Milestones

MARCH 7-APRIL 1: Award Nomination Period
Nominations in 11 different categories for Latin American and U.S. Hispanic Advertising and Media Awards are open for submission until April 10th.
APRIL 11-29: Award Voting Period
Portada’s audience throughout the Americas votes for the different candidates.

MAY 9: Finalists are announced
Finalists will consist of the top three most-voted nominees per category. Portada’s Award Jury will cast the final votes, and winners will be announced at #Portadalat’s Award Ceremony on June 9, 2016. The Award Winner with most votes of the 11 categories is the 2016 Grand Winner.

Portada’s Editorial Board Members (Award Jury) will choose among the three finalists in each category. Jury members include:
Carlos Espíndola, Gerente eHub Latinoamérica, 3M
José Ruiz, Director, LAD Advertising & Online, Oracle
Giselle Fiumara, Global Marketing Communications Manager, Volkswagen
Raquel Solórzano, Directora de MediosRegionales, Diageo

JUNE 9: Award Ceremony at #PortadaLat on June 9

Major Additions to PortadaLat 2016

As a result of feedback from attendees of prior editions of #PortadaLat, organizers are substantially expanding key content and networking offerings including:

Data Marketing Forum: Using Data Driven Marketing to Reach Latino Consumers
#PortadaLat will provide a unique setting for marketers targeting Latin consumers in the U.S. and Latin America to delve into how Big Data can revolutionize marketing efficiency.

Travel and Luxury Marketing Track
Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market are key inbound and outbound destinations for global travel and luxury marketing companies. Hear how major brands are approaching the region and learn more about their innovations in digital marketing.

More Sessions Exploring the Marketing Technology Revolution
From “Content Marketing Technologies and Practices” to “Digital Targeting” to “Crowdsourcing,” leading experts will discuss the latest innovations in the space and provide actionable insights that marketers can incorporate into their 2016 strategies.

Expanded Speaker Roster of Brand Marketing and Media Stars
Already confirmed Speakers include:
Dorothy Dowling, CMO, Best Western
Carlos Leal, Sr. Consumer Marketing Manager, Nestle
Juan Guillermo Restrepo, Digital Marketing Manager, Fallabella
Carlos Espindola, 3M, E-Hub Manager Latin America
Jeremy Gilbert, The Washington Post, ‎Director of Strategic Initiatives
Adam Singolda, Taboola, CEO & Founder
Ricardo Rivera Volaris, CMO
Francisco Morillo, Digital Marketing Manager, Xoom
Montserrat Santaella, Grupo Posadas International Promotion Manager
Mebrulin Francisco, Director of Group M, Marketing Analytics
Borja Beneyto, Digital Regional Director Latin America, Starcom Media Vest

More Special Tracks and Exclusive Sessions to be announced soon!

Back By Popular Demand!

Online Video Forum: A unique hub for excitement and idea sharing on the OTT Revolution throughout the Latin world. Topics covered include: monetization, viewability, YouTube, Facebook and more.
Speed Networking: Profit from small group sessions with dozens of key brand, agency and media executives, and come away with hands-on insights and key contacts!

In preparation for the bigger-than-ever 2016 edition, attendees can check out our highlights VIDEO from last year’s #PortadaLat at Portada’s YouTube channel.

For information about how to align your brand with Portadalat, please contact Kelley Eberhardt, Director of Sales and Marketing at 347-840 13 11 or e-mail her at kelley@portada-online.com.

Skyword has expanded its offerings to include paid amplification of social media content. Andrew Wheeler, senior vice president of strategic services, calls the new offering “a natural extension that enables us to continue to help our clients expand their reach and build audiences.”

Skyword provides a cloud-based software platform that lets brands identify content creators and subject matter experts to produce brand content, and then manage the workflow through to distribution into social media. Last year, it introduced the ability for clients using the platform to organically distribute their content via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Portada Skyword 1

The new paid amplification program is a managed services offering in which specialists employed by Skyword manage and optimize promotions across the three social networks. For example, by taking advantage of Facebook’s improved targeting capabilities, Wheeler says, brands that want to target Hispanic consumers “can cover U.S. Spanish-speaking consumers, Hispanics in the U.S. who speak English, bilingual Hispanics in the U.S. and more.”

What we typically manipulate most is headlines.
Andrew Wheeler, Skyword
Andrew Wheeler, Skyword

Paid amplification specialists who run initiatives for clients use analytics to see what is and what isn’t working. “Based off that data, they will make decision to adjust content via headlines or budget accordingly. You need an ample amount of data to make decisions, so could be tested daily weekly or whenever based on how much data we collect,” Wheeler says. Skyword specialists working with brands using Skyword’s paid amplification services have several ways to optimize social media promotions. They may shift the targeting if there is not the right level of engagement, or they may shift budget to better-performing channels.

“What we typically manipulate most is headlines,” Wheeler says, “trying to capture that particular audience’s attention.

The content marketing software field is fragmented and crowded, according to a new report from Altimeter Group. “Growing channel and media complexity, as well as increasing adoption of content marketing, has given rise to a large, complex, and highly disparate content marketing software landscape,” wrote Rebecca Lieb, Altimeter Group analyst and lead author of the report.

The report identified more than 110 vendors in the space, and asked each of them to identify the top three use cases they supported. Skyword reported its most important use case was content creation, followed by workflow and then optimization.

In addition to the fragmentation and overlap in content marketing software, the ongoing emphasis on content marketing and social media could be seen as blurring the lines between public relations and marketing.

How Havas’ deal with NewsCred extends to social media and will go around the globe.

photo: Javier Micora
photo: Javier Micora

Every brand wants to do content marketing, and that means every agency has to build this expertise. Dominique Delport, global managing director of Havas Media Group, said in a press release, “2015 is the year of content for Havas.”

If so, Havas is trying to get a jumpstart on it by forging a global partnership with NewsCred. The deal gives Havas and its clients access to more than 5,000 publishers in dozens of languages.

Havas is not the only network expanding its content abilities. Publicis Groupe revealed that it’s in exclusive negotiations to acquire Relaxnews, a press agency that has expanded into consulting, producing and managing digital content.

NewsCred connects content creators and content marketers, providing access to curated content, as well as software that lets brands manage, publish and track it. It contracts with major publishers, as well as freelance content producers, in order to offer licensed content to brands and marketers. Last year, it expanded into Latin America, with licensing agreements with AFP Espanol, Huffington Post Voces and EFE, among others.

Imam Ramani, NewsCred
Imam Ramani, NewsCred

Iman Ramani, NewsCred’s head of agencies across EMEA, explains that there are a lot of elements to content marketing, from managing writers, trafficking content and amplifying it via social media. “We’re here to simplify processes around content marketing and allow brands to scale with licensed content,” he says. “We’ve built an end-to-end content marketing platform that allows brands and agencies to simplify processes and scale with licensed content. They can create their own content but also, every day, supplement that with interesting articles from major publishers. ”

The deal will also integrate NewsCred’s platform with that of Socialyse, the Havas social media agency. Havas operates social newsrooms in London, New York and Paris, and plans to open even more this year.

“We can expand the Socialyse offering, and we believe that’s the main reason we signed this partnership,” Ramani says. The partners are evaluating how to bring together the multiple analytics tools Socialyse has developed with NewsCred analytics in order to make it easier to manage social campaigns.

Those analytics will include data flowing in from the Global Music Data Alliance, a newly announced partnership between record label Universal and Havas Media. Delport told Rolling Stone, “We will have so much data that we can leverage for the purpose of better understanding the consumer and creating better experiences.”

At this point, according to Ramani, most of the international action is in the UK. He’s found that new media, tools and tech take hold first in the United States, followed by the UK, with other regions coming aboard later. But sales conversations are taking place in France, Germany and Spain, he adds. Ramani notes that Brazil holds Facebook’s second largest user base, and NewsCred is talking to a couple of English brands that want to focus on Brazil.

Havas is not the only network expanding its content abilities. Publicis Groupe revealed that it’s in exclusive negotiations to acquire Relaxnews, a press agency that has expanded into consulting, producing and managing digital content.

Relaxnews recently launched a platform that combines data, content and services for brands and media. The agency, in partnership with Agence France Presse, works with more than 200 global clients, including Getty Images, Microsoft and Yahoo. Relaxnews would be aligned with the ZenithOptimedia network, while working with various divisions within Publicis Groupe.

soga- Creative Commons 1It is a first. The winner of the 2014 Portada Top Content Provider to Hispanic Audiences Award went to Kellogg’s Dias Grandiosos digital platform. For the first time in its 7 year history, see box below,  the Award goes to a company that is not a traditional media company but to a company whose main business lies in the production and marketing of cereals and convenience foods.

Winner  of Top Content Provider to Hispanic Audiences Award

2008Sección Amarilla
2009TuTecnologia
2010Todobebe.com
2011HispanicallySpeakingNews.com
2012Telemundo Media
2013Mamas Latinas’ QueMas
2014Kellogg’s Dias Grandiosos

That Portada’s audience of thousands of marketing, media and advertising executives voted for the Kellogg’s Dias Grandiosos nomination  -as well as for nominees in 9 other categories  reflects the ascent of Corporate owned Media  not just in Hispanic Marketing but in the life of every consumer.  Practically every Fortune 1,000 company now has a content marketing strategy in place where its own media plays a strong role. As they have for a long time, major marketers continue to work with the POEM model: Paid, Owned and Earned Media. However “Owned” and “Earned” have  been lately growing  at the expense of Paid Media (Traditional Advertising).

For traditional media properties, especially when they are supported by consumers who pay for a subscription, truthfulness and accuracy in reporting lies at the very core of their content strategy.  Can the same be said about media properties owned by a major CPG or automotive company, whose ultimate goal is to “sell product”?  The majority of large  companies in the Hispanic market have their own media properties (e.g. Kellogg’s Dias Grandiosos, P&G’s Orgulllosa or General Mills Que Rica Vida).

Corporations and agencies are redefining the journalistic practice and hiring many journalists. But will a marketer, whose ultimate goal is to push product, produce credible content like traditionl media properties have done for decades?

Removed Boundaries

Top Hispanic Content Provider
Christopher Rivera, Associate Director,Multicultural at Kellogg Company and Lee Vann, CEO, Captura Group receiving the Award at #Portada14

It is through the Owned Media component where the traditional boundaries between Editorial and Advertising get blurred; in fact, removed. The key question lies on whether the trust of audiences in mass media, and the advertising ecosystem that supports it, will be broken by the above cited rapid increase in corporate owned media properties.

The above cited companies and the content marketing agencies that work with  them have a difficult task at hand when they try to gain the credibility of their target audiences. They can count with a wealth of resources in the form of modern digital marketing techniques.  Last but not least they are redefining the journalistic practice and hiring many journalists. Many editors and reporters who were previously employed by classical media properties have been hired  by major client side marketers and their agencies. Their demand for journalistic skills has risen tremendously.  As Wired’s Editor in Chief Scott Dadich said at a recent Portada event: “There has never been a better time to be a journalist.”

Time will tell whether Marketer owned Mass Media is stretching the rope of consumer trust too much.  Ultimately, and that’s a good thing, the consumer will decide what is trustworthy and what isn’t. After all, a better choice for consumers is just one click -or mobile phone tap- away.

Get the  HISPANIC CONTENT MARKETING REPORT: Sector to grow to US $3.51 billion by 2018 (Portada Premium Report)

The role of Social Media and Content Marketing efforts can not be emphasized enough when it comes to Hispanic Entertainment Marketing. Portada Digital Media Correspondent Susan Kuchinskas on how SABMiller, SuperLatina, Comida y Familia, Terra, NewsCred, Taboola and Outbrain are facilitating Hispanic Entertainment experiences.

Gaby Natale, SuperLatina
Gaby Natale, SuperLatina

When Gabriela Natale turned to social media to promote SuperLatina, her cable TV show, she ended up creating a multimedia powerhouse in which social content is almost as important – and as lucrative – as the TV content. SuperLatina launched as a cable TV show in 2007, in an era when Facebook had just opened up to the general public and one-year-old Twitter was still the plaything of geeks.

But by 2010, Natale, who is also co-founder and president of AGANARmedia, a content development and grassroots marketing company with a focus on Hispanic audiences, had turned to Twitter to gain attention for her celebrity interviews. She soon realized that it was an excellent way to extend what she could offer beyond the TV segment format.

“I had limited distribution at the time, so I started sharing videos on YouTube, and now it took on a life of its own,” Natale says. “This is content that people can enjoy whether they can view my show or not.”

For example, in a celebrity interview, her crew may shoot extra footage that she provides on her YouTube channel, letting fans know about it – and comment on it – via Twitter and Facebook. At last year’s Latin Grammies, for which she was L’Oreal Paris’ green-carpet correspondent, her on-air segments featured reportage and interviews with celebs. Meanwhile, she was constantly tweeting about what was happening backstage, what was in the gift bags, how attendees were dealing with the unexpected rain.

“Every time I’m doing a story, I take the pictures for backstage with a professional camera and also take time to take a quick casual picture with a telephone so I can share it immediately,” Natale explains. Social media has helped Natale build her brand. In June, Vme TV, the national Spanish-language television network affiliated with public-TV stations, began carrying “Lo Mejor de SuperLatina,” a show featuring in-depth interviews with Latino celebrities.

“I think one reason SuperLatina is now going to have a national presences is because we delivered results in social media,” Natale says.Social media also has led to sponsorship opportunities on its own. Brands notice when she tweets about them or use their hashtags, she knows. “One tweet sometimes can open more doors than trying to get in contact with the marketing director of a brand.”

Finally, social media provides its own ad and sponsorship opportunities for SuperLatina, which she’s free to sell because it’s produced by her own company. Natale won’t break out what percentage of her revenue comes from each channel, but says, “TV and social media feed each other.”

Terra Juanes

Lifestyle, entertainment and news content is clicky.

Viva la música

In April, Terra Networks achieved a milestone of 1 million streams for its Terra Live Music in Concert presentation featuring Juanes, thanks to a carefully planned and executed social media campaign that began well before the live/digital event that could be consumed on any device.

Terra’s social media marketing of a concert typically has three phases, according to Soizic Sacrez, Terra’s director of marketing. The teaser phase begins approximately one month before the event with an announcement on the Terra site, its Facebook and Twitter feed, as well as on the artist’s social media accounts. In Juanes’ case, announcements went out on Terra’s Spanish and Latin American sites, too

Terra tied in with Universal Music Latin Entertainment to promote Juanes’ latest album, Loco de Amor, along with the concert by facilitating his appearance in the Billboard Digital Superstar Q&A at the Billboard Latin Music Conference.

On the day of the event, “tune in” messaging reaches its peak, and the social media chatter continues during the concert. Sacrez says, “On the day of the concert, we have the artist engaging the audience. We look at what’s trending during the time period.” Because the streams remain available online, Terra continues to promote each concert microsite which includes not only the concert itself but other video, photos, artist interviews and articles.The key to success, she says, is coordination with the artist. “We make sure we have a plan and agree on the posts we’ll do before, during and after.”

Content Marketing

NewsCred sits in a middle position between content creators and content marketers, providing access to curated content and the software that lets brands manage, publish and track it. It contracts with major publishers, as well as freelance content producers, in order to offer licensed content to brands and marketers.

NewsCred recently expanded into Latin America, forging licensing agreements with a variety of LATAM publishers, including AFP Espanol, Huffington Post Voces, EFE. It also has translation rights to English-language sources including Popular Science, the Daily Telegraph and Sauveur.

Pepsi PulseThe South American expansion enabled the company to extend its existing relationship with Pepsi, in which it helped the beverage company to recreate Pepsi.com from a corporate-information site into a multimedia consumer portal called Pepsi Pulse. Pepsi Pulse content is now tailored to over 80 local markets, allowing Pepsi to create a global brand campaign on a hyper-local level. The content is heavy on entertainment – sports, movies, pop culture and celebrities.

A month after launch, the revamped site drew 87 percent more unique visitors than the previous month, along with a 2700 percent increase in social referrals.

Kayvan Salmanpour, VP, NewsCred
Kayvan Salmanpour, VP, NewsCred

NewsCred focuses on what Kayvan Salmanpour, NewsCred’s vice president of international, calls “content-driven performance.” He says, “We want to focus on how the content is having an effect on lead generation, driving more leads to the sales team or having effect on tangible retention. On the B2C side, how does it lead to deeper engagement and drive traffic back to our client’s site?”

SAB Miller wanted to create an English-language destination for men aged 25 to 45 and living in Latin America. It partnered with NewsCred to build a nightlife destination filled with entertainment content. Interestingly, NewsCred has found that English-language content has cachet with affluent LATAM consumers.

And, in general with SAB Miller, Salmanpour says, “We’ve noticed that, while there’s a stereotype of what the Hispanic market is looking for, they are just as interested in strong, high-quality content of all kinds as the American market is.”

Ojos para el entretenimiento

While brands need content to entertain consumers, entertainment content publishers need eyeballs, so they contract with “discovery platforms” like Outbrain, Taboola and others, to put links to selected content in front of consumers who are likely to be interested, based on the vendors’ proprietary algorithms. (Earlier this month, Outbrain partnered with NewsCred to bring together content discovery for publishers and content licensing for brands.)

ERik Cima, VP International, Outbrain
Erik Cima, GM LATAM, Outbrain

Outbrain, which partnered with Univision to reach Hispanics in the U.S. in 2012 and is now in 16 markets, including several in LATAM, uses more than 50 algorithms to determine what content to suggest to individual consumers, and these algorithms can be adjusted based on a client’s needs. Erik Cima, general manager for LATAM at Outbrain, says that the company has found that, while consumers everywhere have individual interests, there isn’t a big difference in their behavior from region to region in terms of what he calls “clicky” content.

“Lifestyle, entertainment and news content is clicky,” Cima says. However, publishers in LATAM don’t have a tradition of buying traffic to their sites, so he’s found that encouraging them to take revenue generated from hosting Outbrain’s suggestion widget on their sites and use it to promote their own content elsewhere on the web works well.

When it comes to Outbrain clients like People en Espanol that do buy traffic, it’s because advertiser demand for ads far exceeds their ability to fulfill orders from organic inventory. They turn to Outbrain to draw in enough page views to satisfy their advertiser demand.

Cima says, “We see publishers in Hispanic media that have always-on buys with us because we are scaling traffic at very low prices.”

Wherefore Hispanics?

Adam Singolda, CEO Taboola
Adam Singolda, CEO Taboola

The inventory problem is just as pertinent when it comes to content marketing to U.S. Hispanics, as well: As the English-dominant Hispanic population grows, marketers won’t simply be able to rely on Spanish-language content to reach them, says Adam Singolda, CEO of Taboola. Currently, the content recommendation platform targets its recommendations via countries, DMAs or zip codes, so advertisers like Comida Kraft that want to reach Hispanics use Spanish-language sites in Taboola’s network, including Wonderwall Latino, Variety Latino and Fox Deportes.

Taboola’s roadmap includes enabling clients to target consumers based on what language their browser is set to, for example, so that they can find Hispanic consumers even when they’re on English-language sites. Singolda says, “As the market matures, we’ll see that people who want to grow their Latin American business even faster will need to make content available on English-language sites. It’s more about the person behind the screen instead of what that person is doing right now.”

Get the  HISPANIC CONTENT MARKETING REPORT: Sector to grow to US $3.51 billion by 2018 (Portada Premium Report)

Bill-HipsherBill Hipsher is the co-founder of B2 Interactive, a web development and internet marketing firm located in Omaha, NE. Bill has more than 15 years of experience in building and promoting websites on a local, regional and national level.

Internet marketing has changed drastically over the years. While some SEO professionals are not big fans of all the changes that have taken place, they are for the better. Old strategies such as buying links are a thing of the past. Now, businesses have to truly market their business online by reaching out to their audience and providing them with something useful.

While this does create some new challenges, businesses that market themselves the right way will surely benefit. Two of the best ways to reach customers online are content marketing and social media marketing. These are active techniques that allow businesses to provide something relevant to their audience and have multiple benefits.

Content marketing has become pretty popular over the last few years. After Google made changes to their search algorithm, it was seen as a great SEO technique. While this is true, it isn’t the only benefit.

By posting fresh content on a regular basis, you are giving search engines information about what you do, and are also giving them a reason to visit your website regularly.

As was previously mentioned, this isn’t the only benefit though. Content marketing also helps you establish yourself as a trusted source of information with your customer base. Providing them with useful information will establish you as an authority and will keep them coming back to you for solutions.

Social media marketing is another important tool today. Social media gives you a chance to reach out and communicate with people on a regular basis. Like it or not, our customers are using social media daily and if you are able to communicate with them through it, the benefits are incredible.

Social media not only allows you to establish a better relationship with customers, but it allows you to pass on useful information.

Social media and content marketing also work incredibly well together. Content marketing provides better material to post on social channels while social media provides a larger audience for the content that is being produced. When used as a team, these marketing techniques become much stronger.

Being successful online is a lot different today than just a few years ago. You can’t just sit back and wait for people to come to you. It is now required to actively reach out and market your business. Social media and content marketing are perfect for accomplishing this. If you have not already looked into these online marketing options, now is the time.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8050951

Check out the Thought Leadership article series with the latest trends on Hispanic Content Marketing presented by Skyword:

Photo: Creative Commons.
Photo: Poyatos – Creative Commons.

CONTENT MARKETING: What do we mean when we talk about “content marketing”?

CONTENT MARKETING: Flying Through the Fog: A Marketer’s Guide to Navigating Search After Google Keywords Were Encrypted

CONTENT MARKETING: What we can learn from Iron Mountain, IBM and Autotrader

CONTENT MARKETING: Should Media Firms become Content Marketing Agencies?

CONTENT MARKETING: Spanish Language: What opportunities does it afford?

CONTENT MARKETING: How P&G, Clorox and Tampico engage Hispanic audiences

CONTENT MARKETING: How Pepsi’s “Cultural Fluency” concept translates into Content Marketing executions

In this new installment in our series on CONTENT MARKETING, presented by Skyword, we asked what opportunities and advantages does the Spanish language afford when it comes to crafting business communication strategies for content targeted to the U.S. Hispanic market and Latin America. What keywords should be used? What key points should we keep in mind?

Translated by Candice Carmel

Creative Commons. Cesar Potayo.

While Latin American countries shares similar cultural traits, we must take into account the specificities of each country when crafting a communications strategy.

The phrase that best summarizes the characterization of the region, while seemingly contradictory at first, would be: “We are very similar, yet very different” said Leonardo Loisa, former Regional Marketing Director for AMD Latinoamérica, in an interview with Portada.

This same phrase also applies if we think about the relationship between Latin Americans and U.S. Hispanics. Many U.S. Hispanics are immigrants from Latin America, but we still cannot say that there is a complete transfer of their culture of origin. Rather, it is a particular acculturation where original cultural traits are maintained, while adding specific traits from each person’s location. In turn, this new cultural mix is what produces both similarities and differences with Latino culture.

So then, what are these similar cultural traits that are shared by both the Latin American and U.S. Hispanic markets?

Basically, it’s their shared language.

Spanish is the language used in most all of Latin America and this gives us an advantage when thinking of pan-regional audiences that include the U.S. Hispanic market.

The key point to keep in mind is that a pan-regional, Spanish-speaking audience will certainly understand the content of the campaign, but the language used has to be neutral enough to not supplant the idioms, peculiarities, and deviations of the basic Spanish language (if this even exists); or, the campaign must be sufficiently adaptable, mobile, and dynamic to adapt to the local lexicon.

In other words, we should not use keywords that are both general and local simultaneously.

If we use regional keywords, we should avoid idioms such as chamba (Mexico), pega (Chile), laburo (Argentina), etc. Instead, we should use the most neutral terms possible that are actually used in the same way throughout the region. In this example, the best regional term for work would be “trabajo.”

However, if we are doing a regional campaign that is being adapted to each local market, then each adaptation should follow the local lexicons in its use of keywords.

Adriana Noreña, Managing Director – Spanish Speaking Latin America at Google, told Portada that the key is to either create a strategy that considers the use of local variations or make adjustments to the campaign to ensure good localization.

“For example, in the case of an airline campaign, in Argentina we mostly use the term “pasajes” [for airline tickets], while in Mexico we say “boletos,” and in Colombia we’d use “tiquetes,” she said.

It is very important that a pan-regional campaign cover all variations.

Regarding how to set keywords and adapt pan-regional content to each market, Noreña told Portada that it is important to consider how users perform searches in different markets. “To confirm the different ways that users do searches, it is advisable to use Google online tools, especially Google Trends.”

“Beyond the contrasts of spoken Spanish in different parts of Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market, it is relatively easy to scale online advertising efforts for all of these markets,” summed up Noreña. It is critical that the online advertising keywords used are replicated in the keywords used by company website editors in their articles (content marketing).

According to Gaston Mancuso, of Mindshare, the design of a communications strategy for regional content “must strike an optimum balance between channeling marketing and business objectives, and being able to adapt to the dynamics and consumer reality of each market. It cannot encompass what is happening across the whole region, nor can it be designed with only two or three major countries in mind.”

Mancuso cited two case studies done by his agency, the “You can still dunk in the dark” Oreo campaign, and Kimberly Clark’s Kleenek campaign as successful examples that achieved a balance between marketing goals and local dynamics (although they were not for the Latin American region).

Think global communities

Thinking about content for the Spanish-speaking world thus implies the need to dive into the specifics of each market. But the Spanish-speaking world is not isolated from global trends.

When thinking about building audience and the Spanish-speaking audience as a whole, we must also consider the global transformations that our communication channels are undergoing, and to which we adapt as a community, especially as a result of the influence of digital media.

“We can no longer think in terms of localized communities or minorities, but of people who belong to a multitude of connected communities that share a taste or preference for certain content,” concluded Santiago Durán, of Havas Media.

This series of articles about “Content Marketing” is brought to you by Skyword. Skyword provides a wide range of services so that companies may connect with their audiences and generate a higher degree of engagement via top-quality contents for online search and social networking, currently the two main sources for content consumption.

Other articles of the CONTENT MARKETING SERIES:

CONTENT MARKETING: What do we mean when we talk about “content marketing”?

CONTENT MARKETING: Flying Through the Fog: A Marketer’s Guide to Navigating Search After Google Keywords Were Encrypted

CONTENT MARKETING: What we can learn from Iron Mountain, IBM and Autotrader

CONTENT MARKETING: Should Media Firms become Content Marketing Agencies?

CONTENT MARKETING: Spanish Language: What opportunities does it afford?

CONTENT MARKETING: How P&G, Clorox and Tampico engage Hispanic audiences

CONTENT MARKETING: How Pepsi’s “Cultural Fluency” concept translates into Content Marketing executions

In this week’s article of our series on”content marketing”, presented by SkywordPatricia Travaline, Skyword’s Marketing VP, analyses how media companies are becoming like content marketing agencies.

Creative Commons License. Photo: Esocialmediashop
Creative Commons License. Photo: Esocialmediashop

As content marketing grows as an important branding lever, many U.S. Hispanic and Latin American media companies are finding a range of ways to participate in this new trend. Advertisers are embarking on creating content that they use to build awareness about their own products and services, and this push has also opened opportunities for media companies to create original content for those brands.

In fact, a handful of media companies are becoming like content marketing agencies. They are starting to tap into this huge potential with content marketing by creating divisions that can craft the necessary materials for other brands.

This is a natural new offering for media companies since they’re already in the business of creating content – usually in the form of news and features.

But as content marketing rises, media companies are finding value in adding services to their toolset so they can create content such as text, video, or photos for other brands.

For instance, if a tourism company wanted to produce articles and videos that appealed to affluent consumers, it might contract with a media company to craft pieces on yachting or international travel, as examples.

The reasoning behind a relationship like this is creating content is the core competency of a media company. It’s a logical fit then for media outlets to build content studios to service this need.

Since this is an emerging opportunity, we’ve drawn up a set of best practices to help media companies as they dip their toes in the water of becoming content marketing agencies.

1. Separate church and state:

Set up a separate workflow for content marketing, so you don’t compromise the reputation of your editorial. You don’t want a piece from content marketing being published accidentally as news. Along those lines, try to have staff writers focus on news, and hire freelancers for the content marketing, if possible.

That can also help maintain the important separation of church and state. If the two bleed over, brands run the risk of ticking off readers and viewers who might feel they’ve been deceived.

2. Technology can be useful in managing a content marketing program.

Find the platform that allows for important features such as SEO, discoverability, and keywords. In news or features, media companies don’t need to follow rules for keyword usage to the same degree. But in content marketing, a brand can build a piece around keyworks or phrases that might be gaining traction in search.

It’s wise to craft pieces in response to important events and the keywords consumers use to find inforamtion on them.

3. Integrity matters:

Whether in content marketing or news and features, a media company must practice integrity and honesty. If someone fakes information in a content marketing piece produced by a news outlet, that can reflect badly on both brand and publisher. The material needs to be accurate, truthful, and well reviewed.

Set high standards for your brand.

This series of articles about “Content Marketing” is brought to you by Skyword. Skyword provides a wide range of services so that companies may connect with their audiences and generate a higher degree of engagement via top-quality contents for online search and social networking, currently the two main sources for content consumption.

Other articles of the CONTENT MARKETING SERIES:

CONTENT MARKETING: What do we mean when we talk about “content marketing”?

CONTENT MARKETING: Flying Through the Fog: A Marketer’s Guide to Navigating Search After Google Keywords Were Encrypted

CONTENT MARKETING: What we can learn from Iron Mountain, IBM and Autotrader

CONTENT MARKETING: Should Media Firms become Content Marketing Agencies?

CONTENT MARKETING: Spanish Language: What opportunities does it afford?

CONTENT MARKETING: How P&G, Clorox and Tampico engage Hispanic audiences

CONTENT MARKETING: How Pepsi’s “Cultural Fluency” concept translates into Content Marketing executions

In this week’s article of our series on”content marketing”, presented by SkywordPatricia Travaline, Skyword’s Marketing VP, provides 7 key guidelines successful brands such as Iron Mountain, IBM and AutoTrader have leaned on.

digital.letters1Content marketing is one of the most important and effective tools that a brand or agency can use to build its business, reach new consumers and deepen loyalty with existing customers. To be truly effective and engaging, brands will benefit from following a blueprint and adhering to some established best practices as they embark on producing and distributing owned content.

Here are some guidelines that successful brands such as Iron Mountain, IBM and AutoTrader have leaned on.

Steps to start a content marketing strategy

(and to best integrate it into your daily marketing processes)

1. Define Your Objectives The first question you need to ask is what is your goal in content marketing? Is it education about a specific product line? Is it to be viewed as a thought leader?

Other objectives might be building awareness, providing education, or driving traffic and generating leads. There is no right or wrong answer, but know the goals because they form the hub of your strategy.

Iron Mountain

Storage and information services provider Iron Mountain had a very clear goal in mind with its content marketing. After seeing a decline in outbound marketing conversions, the firm decided to swap tactics away from traditional digital tactics such as email and paid ads, and rely instead on content to strengthen its relationship with customers and prospects and to enhance its position as a thought leader. Skyword worked with Iron Mountain to create articles and reports on trending topics of interest to Iron Mountain buyers.

2. Build Content Around Those Objectives – Once you know your goals, you need to study your audience to determine if they want news or evergreen content, or both, or perhaps how-to pieces, instructional material, or deep-dive reports on trends. In order to determine the best content for your customers, learn what they care about, what issues matter to them, and what pain points they face in their businesses.

There is no shortcut to knowing your audience. You need to talk to them and study the market so that you can create compelling content that will engage them and be shared.

AutoTrader.com

AutoTrader.com confronted the issue of pain points when it revamped its content strategy. The site has become a leading source in-car buying with more than 16 million monthly visitors. However, the site was publishing eight articles a day from various contracted writers, and that proved a drain on resources and time. AutoTrader needed to streamline that process with one system for editing, distribution and even payment of writers. Using Skyword’s platform, AutoTrader now manages the writing process in a more organized fashion and also uses the system for fact checking, SEO and spelling. Skyword’s tech tools, among other features, suggest desirable keywords for search optimization.

Using a centralized platform helped reduce time spent managing the writing process, and also drove up revenue because the content was optimized for search and sharing.

As a result, impressions rose 281 percent in 3 years and the Skyword system helped generate 10 million in new revenue.

3. SEO Matters – Part and parcel of any content strategy is to define the best keywords, because SEO plays a huge role in content marketing. You’ll be distributing content across many online channels, so you want it to be easily found. SEO is a powerful tool since many consumers may first learn about your business or area of expertise via a search on a related topic.

Make sure your content returns high. To ensure your business is on track with its SEO, AutoTrader writers receive “an automated SEO scorecard” with their pieces, which gives feedback on how their articles and written materials will fare best with SEO.

4. Establish an editorial calendar and assign writers to topics –This step is sometimes neglected but it’s vital. Are you pushing out content daily? Three times a day? Who hits publish and when? Likewise, make sure you have properly allocated the necessary tasks in content production such as writing, creating, fact checking and distributing.

5. Develop a Library – The content, of course, is the backbone of a content strategy, and there are a number of ways to approach the actual creation of content.

United Way

As an example, United Way wanted to distribute timely and emotionally powerful material to its 1800 local affiliates. But uncovering stories about the brands and the people behind the communities was time-consuming, and that’s why the association wanted a central resource for this information. United Way worked with Skyword to create a pool of blog articles and local resource guides to include in its content engine as part of an overarching strategy to provide a consistent message. Tapping into content that matters to local communities served the brand’s overall objectives – to encourage more online visitors to take action and volunteer.

6. Promote your Content – Post the articles, papers, videos, etc. to your site but also to social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google. Also, be in touch with influencers in your industry who can help spread the content.

IBM

IBM, for instance, recently developed a content library to raise awareness about its solutions for mid-size businesses. IBM relied on a team of bloggers and journalists to create relevant news articles on important trends and breaking news to mid-size business owners and IT professionals. The content was optimized for search and social and nearly 3,000 articles created generated more than 200 million social impressions and 16,000 shares (as of August 2013), which in turn led customers to IBM sites to seek out more information.

7. Measure – You want to know if your content marketing is working so you can tweak and improve it when need be. Establish the important metrics, such as shares, page views, traffic lifts,or even sales boosts. Change your content if it’s not hitting the mark.

The team at Iron Mountain found success with its content marketing approach based on the metrics that mattered – inbound outreach via phone or the website. Since the content marketing program began, inbound calls rose 5% and completions of the contact us form on the website are up 61%. Similarly, AutoTrader tracked its best-performing topics so the content creators could focus on the areas that generated the most engagement.

This series of articles about “Content Marketing” is brought to you by Skyword. Skyword provides a wide range of services so that companies may connect with their audiences and generate a higher degree of engagement via top-quality contents for online search and social networking, currently the two main sources for content consumption.

Other articles of the CONTENT MARKETING SERIES:

CONTENT MARKETING: What do we mean when we talk about “content marketing”?

CONTENT MARKETING: Flying Through the Fog: A Marketer’s Guide to Navigating Search After Google Keywords Were Encrypted

CONTENT MARKETING: What we can learn from Iron Mountain, IBM and Autotrader

CONTENT MARKETING: Should Media Firms become Content Marketing Agencies?

CONTENT MARKETING: Spanish Language: What opportunities does it afford?

CONTENT MARKETING: How P&G, Clorox and Tampico engage Hispanic audiences

CONTENT MARKETING: How Pepsi’s “Cultural Fluency” concept translates into Content Marketing executions

geraceIn today’s article of our series on CONTENT MARKETING presented by SkywordTom Gerace, founder and CEO of Skyword, analyzes how marketers should approach Google’s recent and fundamental change of encrypting referring keyword data when it hands search traffic to marketers. The task ahead is even more complex for organizations with web presences in the U.S. Hispanic market and in countries throughout Latin America.

For years, marketers have analyzed Google keywords to understand what topics their customers search for most and how they search for them. This week, Google made a fundamental change to how it refers website traffic, obscuring the search phrases that drive consumers to brands’ websites.

We expect Google will continue to encrypt traffic until this method of measurement is no longer available.

Navigating-the-fog-of-google-keywords-encryption-300x187Like a thick fog rolling across the San Francisco Bay, this change has left many marketers with the sensation that they are flying blind. As those who have flown through stormy weather know, however, you can fly just fine through fog, as long as you have the right instruments guiding the way.

Smart content marketers pay significant attention to search and social.

Search is the leading way that people actively discover new information.

We search for content more than 21 billion times each month in the United States, and more than 115 billion times around the world. When we click away from the search window, 85 percent of the time we click on the organic content links on the page, not the paid advertising links.

Social is the leading way that people discover information passively.

We share content 36 billion times each month. We pass along content other people have shared another 90 billion times monthly. When consumers click away from social, they click on the content links their friends have shared or passed along. In short, search and social have become the de facto gateways to the consumer.

Thoughtful marketers now know that quality, original content is the key to reaching people.

How It Works

Foto: Esocialmediashop. Bajo licencia Creative Commons.

Marketers have competed for natural search traffic for years. They analyzed Google keywords to understand how their consumers and prospective buyers search for information, and learned how consumers discovered their sites. They optimized site structure and current content to appear higher in search rankings. They then identified topics of interest to their customers that they had not addressed, and created content to meet those information needs (again optimizing that content so Google would list it at the top of search results).

This work is even more complex for organizations with web presences in the U.S. Hispanic market and  in many countries throughout Latin America. Simply translating a web site is not sufficient because translated keyword phrases,top competitors, search volumes, and even popular search engines all vary from one country to the next.

Finally, marketers use a number of methods to measure their success.

To analyze how their content performs in search and how their consumers actually navigate to their sites, marketers used a number of approaches:

  • Tagging: Website and content analytics platforms, including Google Analytics and Omniture (and our own platform at Skyword), use tracking tags to identify the source of traffic to that site. Historically, these platforms have captured the URL of the site that referred the traffic (the “referring URL”) and aggregated that data into different reports. For traffic coming from Google, this URL would be something similar to google.com/search?q=keyword. The q= is the actual keyword that was searched for. One of the most useful reports showed the specific keywords that consumers were searching for when they came to the marketer’s site.
  • Scanning Search Results: Services like BrightEdge or Conductor (or, again, Skyword’s own platform) take a different approach, running thousands of searches everyday across a broad set of keywords. These systems then examine where marketers’ content appears on search engine results pages (SERPs), and reports that search performance to them.
  • Google Webmaster Tools: Google also offers a set of tools to webmasters that provide them with some broad, aggregate data on search performance.

What Has Changed?

To protect consumer privacy, Google will be encrypting the referring keyword data when it hands search traffic to marketers. Analyzing data across Skyword’s clients and the hundreds of thousands of pieces of content we track for them, we saw that Google currently encrypts about 82 percent of traffic (up from just under 30 percent as recently as last week).

We expect Google will continue to encrypt traffic until this method of measurement is no longer available. We were flying on a clear day, with direct visibility into what people were searching for, but Google has just introduced dense fog.

Content marketers that rely on Google Analytics, Omniture, or content marketing platforms that derive all of their search data from those systems are suddenly flying blind. They have limited visibility into which of their content marketing efforts are succeeding or failing. Absent that data, they cannot guide their future work toward greater success.

What Hasn’t Changed?

Well, let’s start with the big picture:

  • Search is and will remain the primary means of active information discovery.  People searched 4 billion times yesterday. They will search about 4 billion times today. They will search about 4 billion times tomorrow and the day after that.
  • When people click away from search results, they will still click on the content links 85 percent of the time. So natural search will drive the same value (the equivalent of billions of dollars in traffic each month) to brands that it did before.
  • Search optimized content will still appear higher in search results, just as it did before. Those markers that create SEO content will continue to win an increasing share of that natural search traffic.

In short, smart marketers will continue to compete for natural search traffic, just as aggressively as they did before Google’s change.

On the search logistics side:

  • Data from systems that scan search results, like Skyword’s content marketing platform, Conductor, or BrightEdge’s search analytics platforms, are unaffected. We will continue to run those searches every day, we’ll continue to gather information about where a brand is ranking and where their competitors are ranking, and we’ll provide insight that will guide content marketing efforts in the future.
  • Google’s Webmaster Tools will also provide aggregate data for websites, showing the top 2,000 terms that are driving traffic to a site. This data provides a broad snapshot of where a site is succeeding, but does not provide the refined data down to the page level that was available on Google Analytics and other sites before. It is also limited to 2,000 terms, preventing marketers from understanding or competing for the long tail.

How Marketers Can Navigate the Changes

Marketers that understand their customers’ information needs, and respond to those needs by creating original, quality, search-optimized content, will still drive significant reach and engagement via natural search.

The impact of Google’s change on your organization depends, in part, on how you have been flying.

Brands that rely on tag-based systems alone (Google Analytics, Omniture, and social platforms that lack robust search functionality) will have some data in aggregate. Beyond this aggregate data, however, they will be flying blind. They will lose the specific keyword-level and page-specific analytics that allow them to develop search-informed content strategies and maximize natural search traffic.

Seeing this change coming, we built a sophisticated search results scanning capability into Skyword’s content marketing platform more than a year ago. Because of that technology, marketers using our platform can still identify keywords to target, optimize their content for search, measure how their content performs against those keywords, and evaluate search performance down to the individual article level. Marketers not using Skyword will need to consider a service like BrightEdge or Conductor to track their content search performance, in addition to whatever platform they may use.

For example, the report below, showing keyword rank success for a content marketing platform (site wide and down to the individual keyword and article level) will perform unchanged.

Likewise, we will still be able to recommend keywords where you ought to compete for traffic, and identify those where you would not see significant benefit, as illustrated below.

Equally important, we will still be able to guide writers and editors to create and optimize their content to maximize search performance. And this optimization will still be just effective as it was before.

Soaring Above the Fog

Google has introduced a new weather pattern and obscured some of the data that content marketers love to see. Natural search traffic remains just as valuable today as it was yesterday. And the fog doesn’t mean your natural search traffic can’t take off. Brands that are equipped with the right technology can compete for that traffic just as successfully as they did before. Perhaps more so, for a while, since brands not similarly equipped will remain grounded or be flying blind.

This series of articles about “Content Marketing” is brought to you by Skyword. Skyword provides a wide range of services so that companies may connect with their audiences and generate a higher degree of engagement via top-quality contents for online search and social networking, currently the two main sources for content consumption.

Other articles of the CONTENT MARKETING SERIES:

CONTENT MARKETING: What do we mean when we talk about “content marketing”?

CONTENT MARKETING: Flying Through the Fog: A Marketer’s Guide to Navigating Search After Google Keywords Were Encrypted

CONTENT MARKETING: What we can learn from Iron Mountain, IBM and Autotrader

CONTENT MARKETING: Should Media Firms become Content Marketing Agencies?

CONTENT MARKETING: Spanish Language: What opportunities does it afford?

CONTENT MARKETING: How P&G, Clorox and Tampico engage Hispanic audiences

CONTENT MARKETING: How Pepsi’s “Cultural Fluency” concept translates into Content Marketing executions