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What: Skyword has announced it has raised US$25 million from Rho Acceleration. The proceeds will help accelerate growth and innovation by transforming the way brands connect with consumers and prospects.
Why it matters: Content Marketing continues to grow at a high rate in corporations marketing budgets; according to PQ Media’s Annual Global Content Marketing Forecast 2017, content marketing expenditures will grow at a 14.4% rate from now until 2021. Skyword caters to the content marketing needs of corporations and its investors’ bet on the market’s growth.

Skyword, a content marketing software and services company, announced that it has raised US $25 million in growth equity from Rho Acceleration, a division of Rho Capital Partners. The company will use the proceeds to accelerate growth and product innovation as it helps transform the way today’s top global brands connect with their customers and prospects.

 

The company also established an additional US$5 million working capital line with Cambridge Trust.

Founded in 2010, Skyword is a leading content marketing software and services company whose customers have created and published more than one million original stories as articles, videos, images, infographics, podcasts, and animations on the Skyword Platform. These stories have earned Skyword customers more than 1.8 billion visits organically, and Skyword has paid its freelance creatives more than US$27 million on behalf of its customers.

“We are thrilled that Rho Acceleration has recognized that marketers must transform their approach from an ad-centric to a story-centric one. This investment validates that the Skyword Platform, our global freelance network, and our companion services enable Skyword to deliver unmatched offerings to global brands,” said Tom Gerace, CEO of Skyword.

“People are avoiding and blocking interrupt ads and marketing techniques in record numbers. But they’re consuming great content at unprecedented rates. To succeed, marketers must shift their fundamental marketing approach from ad-centric to story-centric. Our content marketing and personalization technologies were designed to support this new marketing approach from the ground-up. We augment our technology with managed services and a global community of freelance creatives, enabling marketers to build relationships with customers and prospects through personalized content experiences that reward customer attention,” added Gerace.

To succeed, marketers must shift their fundamental marketing approach from ad-centric to story-centric.

“Skyword is changing the way marketers build and make authentic connections with their audiences,” said George Bitar, managing partner of Rho Acceleration. “We are excited to partner with Skyword and its management team to accelerate their growth and execute on their vision of marketing transformation.”

As part of the transaction, George Bitar, Doug McCormick and Mark Roehrenbeck of Rho will join Skyword’s Board of Directors.

Skyword was advised by America’s Growth Capital and WilmerHale on the equity transaction and Cafferty & Company on the debt facility.

 

There are only three finalists for the Top Panregional Marketing and Media Professional category .The Award Winner will be announced at the Award Ceremony during #Portadalat in Miami on June 3-4. Learn more about the finalists’ background and professional career below:

Latam-Awards-450x253
georgelevyGeorge Levy, Director of Brand Partnerships for the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American Markets, Skyword

George has more than 15 years of professional experience creating and executing online and mobile marketing strategies with a special focus on the US Hispanic and Latin America markets.

Prior to joining Skyword, George was co-founder of Yupi.com, an Internet startup targeting Latin America and the US Hispanic market which was acquired by Microsoft to become what is today MSN Latino.He has been a Regional Partner Development Manager for Microsoft Latin America and Vice President Online Marketing for the World Business Forum | WOBI. Most recently, George served as Chief Operating Officer for Mundial Sports Network, the leading comScore ranked Latino sports network and publisher of Fútbol Mundial.

Over his career, he has developed and executed integrated digital marketing campaigns across a wide range of verticals, and for leading brands including Chevrolet, US Army, Microsoft, IBM and Moët Hennessy. Louis Vuitton (LVMH).George is bilingual in English and Spanish, and conversational in Brazilian Portuguese.

Sesebas-finalbastian Yoffe, Founder y Managing Director de DataXpand

Sebastian es Founder y Managing Director de DataXpand, el primer DMP (Data Management Platform) y Audience Marketplace de publicidad digital en Latinoamerica, US Hispanics y Europa. En el 2014, DataXpand fue galardonada como la empresa digital más innovadora de Latam.

Yoffe ha trabajado fuertemente para que DataXpand en tan solo 3 años sea lider en audiencias segmentadas, estando conectado con más de 40 plataformas líderes en el mundo y gestionando las audiencias propias de grandes anunciantes en Latinoamérica.

Sebastian posee un MBA y más de 16 años en la industria digital. Anteriormente fue Country Manager de ComScore y director de IAB Argentina. Sebastian contribuye continuamente a la industria a traves de su gran expertise en lo que respecta a segmentación de datos y audiencias.

Victor-KongVictor Kong, President, Cisneros Interactive

Victor Kong is a natural leader who has demonstrated over the years his professionalism, with a vision of long-term business and investing in new business, to different projects and broader challenges that the digital industry has daily.

Victor runs the digital business of Cisneros Group. He manages the digital development of all digital endeavors of Cisneros Group, including Redmas and Adsmovil. He lead investments in several companies in the last 12 months related to digital video production, native advertising, data management platform, audio ad exchange among others digital advertising and media start ups.

He is very strategic. He achieved to build a group of companies that in two years grew from $3m in sales to $26m for 2015. His knowledge of the digital market is high, very professional, a leader in the industry. Victor runs the digital business of Cisneros Group. He manages the digital development of all digital endeavors of Cisneros Group, including Redmas and Adsmovil. He lead investments in several companies in the last 12 months related to digital video production, native advertising, data management platform, audio ad exchange among others digital advertising and media startups.

 

Great storytelling doesn’t come naturally to most people. But if you can harness its power and leverage the impact of content discovery, you can capture your audience in unbelievable ways. Claim your invitation to join Miami’s top marketers for a complimentary, interactive content strategy workshop this Thursday April 23rd in Miami’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel! (Space for this free event is limited and not guaranteed. Please allow some time to confirm your registration.)

Join Skyword this Thursday, April 23rd for a Special Latin American and U.S. Hispanic Edition of the Content Rising Content Marketing Strategy Workshop.

ContentRisingMIAMI4.15
Discover how top marketers are transforming their organizations through original brand storytelling. You’re invited to enjoy breakfast and take part in an interactive workshop session with enterprise storytelling champions! You’ll walk away with the necessary tools and insights to develop and implement a dynamic content strategy. Register now!

PRESENTERS

Guillermo Morrone, VP Head of Global Consumer and Priceless Cities Content Strategy at MasterCard
Fernando Bazan, eMarketing Manager at 3M Latin America will explain their blueprints for creating content at scale for multiple markets around the world.
– George Levy, Director of US Hispanic and Latin American Partnerships at Skyword

EVENT AGENDA

7:30-8:00: Breakfast
8:00-8:10: Introduction and Welcome
8:10-9:30: MasterCard and 3M Case Studies
9:30-12:00: Interactive Workshop

• Gain insights into which brand stories to tell and how to build an audience
• Develop an action plan for expanding reach, improving customer intimacy, and delivering ROI

VENUE

Mandarin Oriental
500 Brickell Key Drive
Miami, FL 33131
Register now! (Space for this free event is limited and not guaranteed. Please allow some time to confirm your registration.) 

Marketers are spending thousands of dollars, if not millions, on digital marketing. It won’t be long before you, too, start investing more heavily in how you reach your audience online. At Skyword’s “Content Rising-U.S. Hispanic and Latin American Content Marketing Workshop” in Miami’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel on April 23, from 7:30 am to 12pm you will hear from Guillermo Morrone, VP Head of Global Consumer and Priceless Cities Content Strategy at MasterCard how content is created at scale for multiple markets around the world.

Register here! (Free event, limited Space)

What you will learn

Skyword's Content Rising Event

– To transform your Marketing with Breakthrough Band Storytelling

– How marketing technology is helping strategists wrap their heads around the complexity of the digital space

Scale content creation and overcome marketing silos.

– Shift your approach from invasive marketing to creating content that people actually love to see.

– Shift from technical SEO to a strategic approach:How and where to inject their messaging into high-traffic areas of the Web.

Amplification solutions to get content out into the World.

– Find the right contributors to help fuel content strategies.

– Choose a web presence management solution to understand behavioral shifts in search.

Register here! (Space for this free event is limited.)

 

 

 

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.

Spanish-language spots show advertisers’ increasing determination to reach Hispanics, while Skyword provides tips on doing it right.

Enterprise tests Spanish spots

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtrG-EWfsSk&w=560&h=315]
Car rental agency Enterprise released a Spanish-language commercial in six U.S. markets, highlighting its service that picks up customers and drives them to rental locations. The 30-second spot by Bromley, “Vamos Por Ti,” began airing on Telemundo and Univisión in Texas and New Mexico, backed by radio and digital advertising. Lee Broughton, assistant vice president of Enterprise Brand Marketing, North America, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “We’re going after what we believe is a burgeoning demographic for the company,” Broughton said. “We really feel like we have an opportunity to build that demographic.”

Read our interview with Broughton here.

After stumbles, Target to double down on Hispanics

target campaignDuring the recession, Target changed its brand strategy from an emphasis on affordable style to rock-bottom prices. It didn’t work so well. Now, the brand is hoping Hispanics, long a big part of its consumer base, will help it with its own economic recovery. Its new CEO, Brian Cornell, told investors, “Our guest is going to be increasingly a Hispanic shopper.” While just 38 percent of Target shoppers overall identify the store as their favorite, some 54 percent of Hispanic millennials said it was their favorite.

Target’s new campaign, Sin Traducción, was created by LatinWorks, and has a strong social media component. Fans are encouraged to add their own ideas for untranslatable words via Twitter.

Hispanic mobile use not only big but still growing

It’s not late-breaking news to any marketer that Hispanics over-index for mobile and social media. This segment is also growing faster than other demographics, according to Celine Matthiessen of BIA/Kelsey, speaking at the Radio Ink Hispanic Media Conference.

PM Publicidad goes all in on total market

PM3 LogoPM Publicidad, the Atlanta-based, full-service ad agency, relaunched as PM3. The agency wanted to highlight its expertise beyond “just Hispanic,” it said. We’re not sure what they mean by that. But capabilities, backed by new staffing, now include media planning and buying, digital asset management and production services, social media management, experiential marketing, mobile app design and development. For example, PM3 recently created a content integration project with ESPN, beIN Sports, and Fox Deportes on behalf of its client NAPA.

Multicultural or truly localized?

In the marketing world, “multicultural” is often used as a synonym for Hispanic. Biiiig mistake, says George Levy of Skyword. He points out that localization of content needs to take into account the multiple cultures within the U.S. and Latin America. Even the language itself has nuances, Levy points out; for example, the folks in Portugal speak Portuguese differently from those who speak it in Spain. And don’t confuse a quesadilla with an arepa, for Pablo’s sake.

MaxPoint goes public

Adtech company MaxPoint Interactive began trading its stock on the New York Stock Exchange. Its software creates 44,000 “micro zones” called Digital Zips to create what it says is hyper-local advertising. MaxPoint aims to drive in-store sales for advertisers by helping them reach the right neighborhoods online for their local, regional, and national campaigns. Customers include Starbucks, Electrolux and pasta company Barilla.

Join us at PORTADA Mexico!

People change positions, get promoted or move to other companies. Portada is here to tell you about it.

 ::: Skyword – George Levy ::: Eduardo Carbia – IMPAKTU ::: IPG Interpublic Group – Matt Seiler – Henry Tajer ::: MediaCom – Toby Jenner  ::: Claudia Gioia – Hill + Knowlton ::: Chris Thomas – BBDO Worldwide :::

Click here for previous Latam Changing Places editions

8eda7239d1fd010de1a9a771fd2cab2a_400x400Skyword, a content marketing and services company, has announced the appointment of George Levy as Director of Brand Partnerships for the US Hispanic and Latin American markets. In this position, George will lead the efforts to help major brands build meaningful connections with customers in these markets through original storytelling.Fluent in English, Spanish, and conversational in Portuguese, Levy comes to Skyword with 15 years of experience creating and executing digital marketing strategies across Latin America and the US Hispanic market. He served as Regional Partner Development Manager for Microsoft Latin America and was part of the founding team at Yupi.com, a Spanish-language portal that Microsoft later acquired. Most recently, he was Chief Engagement Officer at Mundial Sports Network, a leading Latino sports network ranked #1 by comScore. Levy earned a Bachelor’s degree at Florida International University. He lives in Miami, Florida with his wife and daughter.Read more.

11b7769Eduardo Carbia has been appointed Country Manager Mexico at Video Online Ad-Network IMPAKTU. As this is a newly created position, Carbia will not replace anyone, but will report to both founders Javier Salom (CEO) and Carly Bellis (COO.) For almost three years and until last February 23, Carbia was Relations Manager with IAB Mexico (Interactive Advertising Bureau Mexico).

MduX1UGK_400x400IPG Interpublic Group has announced some changes within the Mediabrands’ unit:

 

 

 

AAEAAQAAAAAAAADNAAAAJDE0NmRiZmQ1LWU4Y2QtNDczNy1iODEyLWY4MDk2ZmRjYjdmMAMatt Seiler will leave his post as Global CEO of IPG Mediabrands and will remain as Chairman of the group throughout 2015, to ensure Henry Tajer transition to the leadership, effective on May 1.

 

 

n_Le2Bkg_400x400In January 2014, Mr. Tajer was named Global COO of Mediabrands, and now will move to a full-time position in New York from Sydney, where he will serve as CEO of the successful operations of the group in Australia.

 

 

rsz_toby_jenner_preferred_headshotMediaCom’s global business development and marketing officer Toby Jenner, has been promoted to the role of worldwide chief operating officer. Jenner will retain his current global business development and marketing responsibilities, while adding a number of additional areas to his new remit. This includes spearheading the agency’s global roadmap and business plan, driving content and connections positioning globally, and supporting the firm’s global account directors and specialist function units.Jenner brings a wealth of experience to the worldwide COO role. He was previously COO for MediaCom in APAC and has also held senior leadership roles in the UK and Australia for both MEC and MediaCom.

Claudia_Gioia_Ejecutiva_Diciembre_2014_Foto_2Claudia Gioia will join the Hill + Knowlton Strategies team as President and CEO of the company for Latin America, on April 1. In this new role, she will report to Mike Coates, President and CEO for the Americas, to handle operations in six markets with a portfolio of global and local brands. Gioia joins H + K from Burson-Marsteller, which also belongs to the WPP group, having held various positions in that firm for 19 years. Her most recent role was Executive Vice President of the Miami office. Over two decades, Gioia was responsible for clients such as Walmart, PlayStation, IBM, Intel, Sony, SAP, Goodyear, HP, Mondelēz, Visa, Raytheon, Repsol / YPF, Fresh Del Monte, Odebrecht, Danone, FedEx, Unilever, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, among others. Gioia will take over from Antonio Tamayo, who will retire.

imagesChris Thomas has been promoted to CEO of the Americas at BBDO Worldwide.He will oversee 21 agencies in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. He will also continue in his role as chairman of I&S BBDO Japan and as chairman of BBDO digital unit Proximity. As CEO of the Americas, Thomas fills the role last held by Troy Ruhanen in 2013. Thomas will give up his post as CEO of Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

What: Content marketing and services company Skyword has appointed George Levy as Director of Brand Partnerships for the US Hispanic and Latin American markets
Why it matters: Content Marketing is increasingly a major driver in the Marketing plans of U.S. Hispanic and Latin American companies. Several specialized content marketing firms are entering the Latin space.  Levy will lead Skyword’s efforts to help major brands build meaningful connections with customers in these markets through original storytelling.

djQzJdCG_400x400 Skyword, a content marketing and services company, has announced the appointment of George Levy as Director of Brand Partnerships for the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets. In this position, George will lead the efforts to help major brands build meaningful connections with customers in these markets through original storytelling.

8eda7239d1fd010de1a9a771fd2cab2a_400x400Fluent in English, Spanish, and conversational in Portuguese, Levy comes to Skyword with 15 years of experience creating and executing digital marketing strategies across Latin America and the US Hispanic market. He served as Regional Partner Development Manager for Microsoft Latin America and was part of the founding team at Yupi.com, a Spanish-language portal that Microsoft later acquired. Most recently, he was Chief Engagement Officer at Mundial Sports Network, a leading Latino sports network ranked #1 by comScore. Levy earned a Bachelor’s degree at Florida International University. He lives in Miami, Florida with his wife and daughter.

Challenges

What are the challenges content marketing firms face when reaching out to Latin American brand marketers? According to Levy, “The main challenges are two:  There is a historic reliance from marketers to rely on the old interruption model; and, second,  there is a perception that creating breakthrough content at scale to support the many cultures within the USH and LATAM communities is difficult and expensive.” According to Levy, “the truth is the interruption strategy is less and less effective every day. Consumers increasingly experience “banner blindness” and are actively avoiding interruptions, expressing their annoyance with brands who interrupt their consumption of content.And while it used to be prohibitively time consuming and expensive, Skyword was built to help marketers break down the barriers of creating great content at scale for the many cultures within the U.S. and LatAm markets. We embrace storytelling as a viable alternative to traditional advertising and have developed a model to help brands quickly and affordably build and monetize a loyal audience.” Levy concludes that  his goal is to “help us refine brand stories across each unique country and its communities, and truly empower these stories to move forward.”

Ensuring that its clients have the expertise and resources that they need to connect with customers across cultures, languages, and geographies is a top priority at Skyword. Most recently, the company launched its global solution which empowers brands to connect with people all over the world through stories aligned with their passions and interests.

For brands to stay top of mind in today’s digital world, they have to deliver relevant, meaningful experiences that inspire and motivate customers.

The Skyword Global Platform

Skyword recently launched Skyword Global, a platform that allows brand marketers the ability to deploy content marketing programs worldwide with the internationalization of the platform, which includes translation, spelling, and grammar tools across multiple languages and time-zone sensitive editorial and publishing capabilities. Spanish and Portuguese are both included within Skyword’s language capabilities.

Skyword global also expands Skyword’s network of professional content creators (freelance writers, videographers, photographers and editors) to different countries and regions, enabling brands to work with professionals living in target markets. By partnering with creators that have a deep knowledge of the specific US Hispanic and Latin American audiences, brands create a more authentic, personalized storytelling experience for their customers.

What: Skyword acquired custom video production and animation marketplace Vidaao for an undisclosed sum. Following the acquisition Skyword will have rights to the Vidaao platform and freelancer community. In addition, Skyword received a US $11 million investment in growth financing from Cox Media Group. Skyword will also open a new office in NYC.
Why it matters:  Content Marketing Services continue being in high demand and Skyword financing intends to meet that demand with more services and resources. The acquisition of video production company Vidaao also highlights online video as a key element in the content marketing services mix.

descargaSkyword has acquired Vidaao, a New York City-based video creation platform with a robust freelance video producer community. As a result, the  platform and service provider is adding a NYC office to its Boston, Pittsburgh, and Palo Alto locations. The company has also closed an additional US $11 million in growth financing.

Although Skyword has not disclosed the terms of the acquisition, Skyword will have rights to the Vidaao platform, freelancer community, and has also hired all Vidaao employees. As many other companies, Skyword has been struggling to create video at the scale required in today’s digital age and with the level of quality that will move people to act. According to Skyword CEO Tom Gerace , businesses want to create a volume of high-quality video content on a consistent basis to engage their online audiences. “Unfortunately, the process is messy, expensive, and hard to scale when working with one-off vendors. By bringing Vidaao into the content creation process, Skyword gives businesses access to more than 1,000 videographers who specialize in live action and animation production. We’re giving brand marketers direct access to creatives, cutting out the middleman.”

Online Video creation can be a messy, expensive, and hard to scale process when working with one-off vendors. Now Skyword will be able to provide access to more than 1,000 videographers.

Vidaao is an online marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of custom video production services. Thanks to its network of video producers, clients only need to write down their briefs — Vidaao will then take care of production, planning, strategy and paperwork. Vidaao will basically help Skyword in solving the video challenge as it allows  matching the right creative with a brand’s unique needs and then simplify the production process from beginning to end – all within a single platform.

Growth Funding

Skyword has also raised an additional US $11 million in financing ,  to help fuel the company’s growth, expand its product and service offerings, and build its’ partner ecosystem. This additional investment from Cox Media Group allows Skyword  to continue investing in providing available enterprise-level technology, access to authentic voices and professional services.

There are also video producers with extensive experience in the U.S. Hispanic or Latin American marketers within the Vidaao freelance community. These markets , says Geraceare extremely important to Skyword: “they will continue to be a focus of ours moving forward.”

What: Skyword acquired custom video production and animation marketplace Vidaao for an undisclosed sum. Following the acquisition Skyword will have rights to the Vidaao platform and freelancer community. In addition, Skyword received a US $11 million investment in growth financing from Cox Media Group. Skyword will also open a new office in NYC.
Why it matters:  Content Marketing Services continue being in high demand and Skyword financing intends to meet that demand with more services and resources. The acquisition of video production company Vidaao also highlights online video as a key element in the content marketing services mix.

descargaSkyword has acquired Vidaao, a New York City-based video creation platform with a robust freelance video producer community. As a result, the  platform and service provider is adding a NYC office to its Boston, Pittsburgh, and Palo Alto locations. The company has also closed an additional US $11 million in growth financing.

Although Skyword has not disclosed the terms of the acquisition, Skyword will have rights to the Vidaao platform, freelancer community, and has also hired all Vidaao employees. As many other companies, Skyword has been struggling to create video at the scale required in today’s digital age and with the level of quality that will move people to act. According to Skyword CEO Tom Gerace , businesses want to create a volume of high-quality video content on a consistent basis to engage their online audiences. “Unfortunately, the process is messy, expensive, and hard to scale when working with one-off vendors. By bringing Vidaao into the content creation process, Skyword gives businesses access to more than 1,000 videographers who specialize in live action and animation production. We’re giving brand marketers direct access to creatives, cutting out the middleman.”

Online Video creation can be a messy, expensive, and hard to scale process when working with one-off vendors. Now Skyword will be able to provide access to more than 1,000 videographers.

Vidaao is an online marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of custom video production services. Thanks to its network of video producers, clients only need to write down their briefs — Vidaao will then take care of production, planning, strategy and paperwork. Vidaao will basically help Skyword in solving the video challenge as it allows  matching the right creative with a brand’s unique needs and then simplify the production process from beginning to end – all within a single platform.

Growth Funding

Skyword has also raised an additional US $11 million in financing ,  to help fuel the company’s growth, expand its product and service offerings, and build its’ partner ecosystem. This additional investment from Cox Media Group allows Skyword  to continue investing in providing available enterprise-level technology, access to authentic voices and professional services.

There are also video producers with extensive experience in the U.S. Hispanic or Latin American marketers within the Vidaao freelance community. These markets , says Geraceare extremely important to Skyword: “they will continue to be a focus of ours moving forward.”

Last Tuesday and Wednesday hundreds of marketing and media executives convened in Miami for #Portadalat. The Latin Online Video Forum and the Sixth Annual Latam Advertising and Media Summit. Below some highlights and intelligence obtained from a star roster of speakers and participants. #Portadalat 2015 will take place on June 4 and 5 2015  in Miami.

50% of ESPN Sales are multiplatform

Cynthia Evans, Managing Director Group, M Latin America, Josh Chasin, Chief Research Officer, ComScore and Marilyn Aldir, Digital Marketing Director at Televisa Publishing and Digital
THE QUEST FOR ONLINE VIDEO METRICS: Cynthia Evans, Managing Director Group, M Latin America, Josh Chasin, Chief Research Officer, ComScore and Marilyn Aldir, Digital Marketing Director at Televisa Publishing and Digital

One interesting fact provided during the Latin Online Video Forum was when Artie Bulgrin, SVP Global Research + Analytics, ESPN said that 50% of ESPN’s global sales are multiplatform. At the same panel, moderated by Cynthia Evans, Managing Director, Group M Latin America, Josh Chasin, Chief Research Officer at ComScore noted that in terms of online video metrics, “we are still operating in the wild west”. All panelists agreed that TV is going digital and will become a digital medium.”

Changing Media Mix

BRAND STORY TELLING: Carlos Espindola, e Hub Manager Latin America, 3M, Fernando Rodriguez, principal DG, Juan Carlos Pedreira, Partner/Senior Social Media Strategist Social Business Hub, Inc., Denisse Guerra, Regional Marketing Director Latam Estee Lauder
BRAND STORY TELLING: Tom Gerace, CEO, Skyword;Carlos Espindola, e Hub Manager Latin America, 3M; Fernando Rodriguez, principal DG; Juan Carlos Pedreira, Partner/Senior Social Media Strategist Social Business Hub, Inc. and Denisse Guerra, Regional Marketing Director Latam Estee Lauder

Denisse Guerra, Regional Marketing Director at Estee Lauder, noted that only four years ago 100% of Estee Lauder’s Latin American Advertising budget was invested in print media. Since the global beauty products company has diversified its ad buys and now also buys other media including digital media and TV. Guerra was one of the speakers in a panel on Brand story telling in Latin America moderated by Tom Gerace, CEO, Skyword. Gerace quoted a recent Skyword survey according to which 76% of marketers think that marketing has changed more in the past 2 years than in the past 50 years.

Mexican Investors have moved to Miami

Cesar Salazar, Venture Partner, 500 Startups
Cesar Salazar, Venture Partner, 500 Startups

In a conversation between Cesar Salazar, Venture Partner, 500 Startups and Victor Kong, president of Cisneros Interactive, Cesar Salazar explained that many Mexican venture capital and angel investors are now based in Miami from where they invest into the region. He also said that there are 2 to 3 venture capital companies in most Latin American countries. The public sector of all these countries supports VC’s. What does Salazar look for when investing in start-ups? Mostly the quality of the team and the size of the market opportunity. “It is not difficult to start a company, what is difficult is to scale its business.”

Good Design is as little Design as possible

Scott Dadich, Editor-in-Chief, Wired
Scott Dadich, Editor-in-Chief, Wired

Wired’s Scott Dadich who gave the #Portadalat’s keynote on “The future of technology by design” provided many insights about the interaction of technology and design. “Good design is as little design as possible”, Dadich claimed. “Good apps teach you as you go,” he added.

Dadich also talked to Portada about the current state of the media market. “There has never been a better time to be a journalist”, he said noting that the boom of content marketing has increased demand for journalists. On the increasing amount of  brand marketers becoming publishers, Dadich said that as a publisher-journalist he does not fear them: “We are really all in the business of fighting for attention and time.”  Dadich said that he recently increased Wired’s editorial team by 45 people, most of them in copy editing,fact checking and social media. Wired publishes between 40 and 60 online stories per day, including video stories. It recently increased its publishing time to 19 hours per day from 10 hours per day. Interestingly the home page amounts to less than 20% of total page views at Wired.com. Dadich is sceptical about rewarding journalists by the amount of clicks their stories get: “Clicks can be a race to the bottom.”  

 

El Presidente’s show

Fernando Fiore,
Fernando Fiore, “El Presidente” de la Republica Deportiva, Univision

Attendees very much enjoyed Fernando Fiore, “El presidente’s” conversation with Pacino Mancillas, Partner at AC&M Group. Fiore reminisced about all the World Cups he has been present at as well as about his friendship with many soccer legends. He voiced concern about Brazil’s readyness to host the World Cup in terms of its infrastructure. Fiore also noted how Soccer and Soccer Marketing has changed over the last decade: “It has become a huge entertainment business,” he said.

Check out more pics from #Portadalat!

The 7th Annual Portada Latam Advertising and Media Summit will take place on June 4 and 5 2015, in Miami

Last Tuesday and Wednesday hundreds of marketing and media executives convened in Miami for #Portadalat. The Latin Online Video Forum and the Sixth Annual Latam Advertising and Media Summit. Below some highlights and intelligence obtained from a star roster of speakers and participants. #Portadalat 2015 will take place on June 4 and 5 2015  in Miami.

50% of ESPN Sales are multiplatform

Cynthia Evans, Managing Director Group, M Latin America, Josh Chasin, Chief Research Officer, ComScore and Marilyn Aldir, Digital Marketing Director at Televisa Publishing and Digital
THE QUEST FOR ONLINE VIDEO METRICS: Cynthia Evans, Managing Director Group, M Latin America, Josh Chasin, Chief Research Officer, ComScore and Marilyn Aldir, Digital Marketing Director at Televisa Publishing and Digital

One interesting fact provided during the Latin Online Video Forum was when Artie Bulgrin, SVP Global Research + Analytics, ESPN said that 50% of ESPN’s global sales are multiplatform. At the same panel, moderated by Cynthia Evans, Managing Director, Group M Latin America, Josh Chasin, Chief Research Officer at ComScore noted that in terms of online video metrics, “we are still operating in the wild west”. All panelists agreed that TV is going digital and will become a digital medium.”

Changing Media Mix

BRAND STORY TELLING: Carlos Espindola, e Hub Manager Latin America, 3M, Fernando Rodriguez, principal DG, Juan Carlos Pedreira, Partner/Senior Social Media Strategist Social Business Hub, Inc., Denisse Guerra, Regional Marketing Director Latam Estee Lauder
BRAND STORY TELLING: Tom Gerace, CEO, Skyword;Carlos Espindola, e Hub Manager Latin America, 3M; Fernando Rodriguez, principal DG; Juan Carlos Pedreira, Partner/Senior Social Media Strategist Social Business Hub, Inc. and Denisse Guerra, Regional Marketing Director Latam Estee Lauder

Denisse Guerra, Regional Marketing Director at Estee Lauder, noted that only four years ago 100% of Estee Lauder’s Latin American Advertising budget was invested in print media. Since the global beauty products company has diversified its ad buys and now also buys other media including digital media and TV. Guerra was one of the speakers in a panel on Brand story telling in Latin America moderated by Tom Gerace, CEO, Skyword. Gerace quoted a recent Skyword survey according to which 76% of marketers think that marketing has changed more in the past 2 years than in the past 50 years.

Mexican Investors have moved to Miami

Cesar Salazar, Venture Partner, 500 Startups
Cesar Salazar, Venture Partner, 500 Startups

In a conversation between Cesar Salazar, Venture Partner, 500 Startups and Victor Kong, president of Cisneros Interactive, Cesar Salazar explained that many Mexican venture capital and angel investors are now based in Miami from where they invest into the region. He also said that there are 2 to 3 venture capital companies in most Latin American countries. The public sector of all these countries supports VC’s. What does Salazar look for when investing in start-ups? Mostly the quality of the team and the size of the market opportunity. “It is not difficult to start a company, what is difficult is to scale its business.”

Good Design is as little Design as possible

Scott Dadich, Editor-in-Chief, Wired
Scott Dadich, Editor-in-Chief, Wired

Wired’s Scott Dadich who gave the #Portadalat’s keynote on “The future of technology by design” provided many insights about the interaction of technology and design. “Good design is as little design as possible”, Dadich claimed. “Good apps teach you as you go,” he added.

Dadich also talked to Portada about the current state of the media market. “There has never been a better time to be a journalist”, he said noting that the boom of content marketing has increased demand for journalists. On the increasing amount of  brand marketers becoming publishers, Dadich said that as a publisher-journalist he does not fear them: “We are really all in the business of fighting for attention and time.”  Dadich said that he recently increased Wired’s editorial team by 45 people, most of them in copy editing,fact checking and social media. Wired publishes between 40 and 60 online stories per day, including video stories. It recently increased its publishing time to 19 hours per day from 10 hours per day. Interestingly the home page amounts to less than 20% of total page views at Wired.com. Dadich is sceptical about rewarding journalists by the amount of clicks their stories get: “Clicks can be a race to the bottom.”  

 

El Presidente’s show

Fernando Fiore,
Fernando Fiore, “El Presidente” de la Republica Deportiva, Univision

Attendees very much enjoyed Fernando Fiore, “El presidente’s” conversation with Pacino Mancillas, Partner at AC&M Group. Fiore reminisced about all the World Cups he has been present at as well as about his friendship with many soccer legends. He voiced concern about Brazil’s readyness to host the World Cup in terms of its infrastructure. Fiore also noted how Soccer and Soccer Marketing has changed over the last decade: “It has become a huge entertainment business,” he said.

Check out more pics from #Portadalat!

The 7th Annual Latam Advertising and Media Summit will take place on June 4 and 5 2015, in Miami

The second day of #PortadaLat has begun! The first panel was moderated by Tom Gerace, CEO of Skyword, and included panelists Carlos Espindola, eHub Manager Latin America, 3M; Juan Carlos Pedreira,  Partner/Senior Social Media Strategist, Social Business Hub. Inc.; Denisse Guerra, Regional Marketing Director, Estee Lauder; and Fernando Rodriguez, DG Consulting, Miami.

How can we create relevant content? How can we create a good content marketing strategy?

TomGTom Gerace, CEO of Skyword stated: “We need to go well beyond what the brand is and what it does, to create a connection with consumers.”

 

guerra-expansion1112Connecting with consumers was one of the key points discussed by the panel. For Denisse Guerra, Regional Marketing Director, Estee Lauder, it is essential to “listen to your consumers, offer them relevant content, and co-create content with consumers.”

For pan-regional marketing, a global calendar is necessary, said Guerra, “but we need to be careful about special dates, such as Mother’s Day, which falls on a different date in Latin America.”

“Nowadays at Estee Lauder, we need a multi-channel communications plan that includes all media. Five years ago, our spending was limited to print media.”

 “At Estee Lauder, we produce a lot of centralized content with a brand voice, but we ‘tropicalize’ our messages for Latin America and adapt them to each specific market in the region.

Guerra also noted that “we have learned to train our teams to create local content.”

Regarding metrics, Guerra stated: “You cannot measure each media in the same way. One has to clearly know what you want to measure.”

jcpJuan Carlos Pedreira, Partner/Senior Social Media Strategist at Social Business Hub. Inc., noted: “We have to understand what our audience really wants and ask them; not create content based on what we think they want. In my opinion, the key is to create original content that reflects the brand’s personality.” Pedreira added that “we need to very careful about maintaining the authenticity of the brand when creating content.”

3mIn response to the question about how 3M creates its content for Latin America, Carlos Espindola, eHub Manager Latin America, 3M, responded: “We have very different products and not all of them are well-known in Latin America, so the production of our content is based on offering information about our products and having consumers connect with our brands.”

Espindola added that he considers it important “to work jointly in Latin America to achieve success. Approaching each Latin American country separately is not necessary.”

 “to work jointly in Latin America to achieve success. Approaching each Latin American country separately is not necessary.”
 

Tom Gerace asked the panel what advice they would give in terms of content marketing.

Espindola, of 3M, advised to keep in mind the context of the content. “Not all content can be used in all markets.”

Fernando Rodriguez, DG Consulting Miami, advised to have a clear idea about “who you are as a content producer and stay your course. You can’t be all over the map.”

The panel concluded with questions from the audience.

The second day of #PortadaLat has begun! The first panel was moderated by Tom Gerace, CEO of Skyword, and included panelists Carlos Espindola, eHub Manager Latin America, 3M; Juan Carlos Pedreira,  Partner/Senior Social Media Strategist, Social Business Hub. Inc.; Denisse Guerra, Regional Marketing Director, Estee Lauder; and Fernando Rodriguez, DG Consulting, Miami.

How can we create relevant content? How can we create a good content marketing strategy?

TomGTom Gerace, CEO of Skyword stated: “We need to go well beyond what the brand is and what it does, to create a connection with consumers.”

 

guerra-expansion1112Connecting with consumers was one of the key points discussed by the panel. For Denisse Guerra, Regional Marketing Director, Estee Lauder, it is essential to “listen to your consumers, offer them relevant content, and co-create content with consumers.”

For pan-regional marketing, a global calendar is necessary, said Guerra, “but we need to be careful about special dates, such as Mother’s Day, which falls on a different date in Latin America.”

“Nowadays at Estee Lauder, we need a multi-channel communications plan that includes all media. Five years ago, our spending was limited to print media.”

 “At Estee Lauder, we produce a lot of centralized content with a brand voice, but we ‘tropicalize’ our messages for Latin America and adapt them to each specific market in the region.

Guerra also noted that “we have learned to train our teams to create local content.”

Regarding metrics, Guerra stated: “You cannot measure each media in the same way. One has to clearly know what you want to measure.”

jcpJuan Carlos Pedreira, Partner/Senior Social Media Strategist at Social Business Hub. Inc., noted: “We have to understand what our audience really wants and ask them; not create content based on what we think they want. In my opinion, the key is to create original content that reflects the brand’s personality.” Pedreira added that “we need to very careful about maintaining the authenticity of the brand when creating content.”

3mIn response to the question about how 3M creates its content for Latin America, Carlos Espindola, eHub Manager Latin America, 3M, responded: “We have very different products and not all of them are well-known in Latin America, so the production of our content is based on offering information about our products and having consumers connect with our brands.”

Espindola added that he considers it important “to work jointly in Latin America to achieve success. Approaching each Latin American country separately is not necessary.”

 “to work jointly in Latin America to achieve success. Approaching each Latin American country separately is not necessary.”
 

Tom Gerace asked the panel what advice they would give in terms of content marketing.

Espindola, of 3M, advised to keep in mind the context of the content. “Not all content can be used in all markets.”

Fernando Rodriguez, DG Consulting Miami, advised to have a clear idea about “who you are as a content producer and stay your course. You can’t be all over the map.”

The panel concluded with questions from the audience.

The 7th Annual Portada Latam Advertising and Media Summit will take place on June 4 and 5 2015 in Miami

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

In the first article of our new series on”content marketing”, presented by SkywordPatricia Travaline, Skyword’s Marketing VP, casts a first look on what content marketing really is, how it works and the best ways to address a content marketing strategy.

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Advertising alone isn’t sufficient to reach the modern consumer anymore. In an online world driven by search and social, savvy brands have realized they need a mix of paid, owned and earned media to reach their consumers.

Content marketing falls under the owned media heading and it’s becoming a vital cog in consumer outreach, in part because it delivers on the twin consumer behaviors of search and social. Content marketing often takes different shapes and forms – it can be a branded web series, a webinar, a white paper, a podcast, a blog with how-to information on your products or more.

Content marketing has proven to be an effective tool for brands ranging from Autotrader to IBM to United Way. They use it to connect with consumers, find new customers, and grow their revenue.

How to drive a successful content marketing program?

There are many best practices that drive a successful content marketing program, and one of those is frequency. Because timing is everything. With the proper timing and the ability to strategically push out content based on real-time trending topics, a brand can achieve “content velocity” which refers to the speed at which something catches on.

The biggest benefit of content velocity lies in the ability to grow share of voice over the competition. Social media spikes only last a short while, so driving a long life for content is a wise pursuit.

Consider consumer behavior today to better understand how and why the speed of content matters. Search and social are the gateways to B2B buyers with 115 billion global searches every month on Google, and 36 billion social shares each month in the United States.

Content is particularly key to connecting with B2B buyers because 60% of B2B buying decisions are made before engaging with a sales person. Also, 70% of the content B2B buyers read or study before making a purchase they find on their own

(Source: 70% stat comes from “Strengthen Your B2B Brand With Better Content Distribution,” a Forrester Research, Inc., blog post dated May 8 that buyers search out.)

But how much content do consumers truly want and how often should a brand serve them?

Bear in mind the first rule of content marketing – keep it snackable.

The average consumer has an eight-second attention span to devote to your marketing. So you need content that will engage buyers in social mediums, but it’s also important that you send out that content strategically.

At the right time. How often?

That will vary by the brand, but a good guideline is to create as much relevant content as possible because B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average than firms without (Source: Social Media B2B 2012).

Also companies that blog 15 times per month generate five times more traffic than those that don’t (Source: Hubspot). As such, posting in the company´s blog at least four times a week is deal and will help ensure enough content to share on social media a few times a day.

You want your content to catch on for the long-term, rather than fade away.

Remember then that content marketing opportunities increase with spikes in searches, shares and social chatter on a trending topic. When this happens, search and social can drive traffic back to your site, and engagement with your brand.

While it can be tempting to grab these real-time spikes and latch onto them, be wary of pursuing the brass ring of a big spike. You can’t plan for it. However, with regular publishing and frequency you can develop the right momentum and catch hold of vital search and social topics. We advise marketers to monitor real-time trends and endeavor to feed them when feasible with existing content that matches the topic. Overall though, a well-stocked content cupboard will have both news and evergreen content.

Blog posts can help service topical issues, but deeper dive pieces on evergreen trends can boost long-term traffic and links and drive strong search results.

The takeaway?

Have a an arsenal of content ready to go and if a topic spikes to push out an article on it. But also be prepared to publish regularly on the topics that matter to your audience. To do that, know your audience, know the keywords, and understand the searches they do on Web sites and social for topics that matter to them and you. Serve up content that aligns with their interests, and do so with SEO top of mind.

Case: IBM

With the IBM midsize insider news program Skyword helped IBM build a large pool of news writers well-trained in finding their own topics and turning assignments around quickly enough to capture the interest of audiences searching and sharing around these issues.

The goal was to educate midsize business owners and IT decision makers on IBM’s offerings and increase the brand’s digital authority around topics relevant to the mid-market.

Key to achieving this mission was to differentiate IBM’s brand from other solutions providers.

Results

Using Skyword’s platform IBM treated this project like a newsroom, publishing about 10 professional, search-optimized articles each day.  The results demonstrate the power of well-timed content velocity. The IBM site has published more than 3500 articles, has now gained acceptance into Google News as a reputable news source, and has generated more than 280 million social impressions, 64,000 social engagements, and 712,000 page views. The engagement rate is well above average with a nearly 21% social sharing rate and a 1.8% average click-through rate from MidsizeInsider.com to IBM.com solution pages, which is 35 times higher than the average for banners.

Content velocity is great, but ultimately a brand will benefit most from creating high quality content that establishes its leadership in a specific category. In this way a business can simultaneously grow the number of ranking keywords relative to the competitions while providing lasting value to consumers who are searching for products, services, or information.

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

The announcement this week that Robert J. Murray, global president of iProspect, has left the leading digital agency to become president of Skyword is yet the latest signal of the growing importance of content marketing in the business of advertising. The appointment was first reported by the New York Times, and Murray is expected to start June 3 at the company’s headquarters in Boston.

Content marketing refers to editorial content including articles, video clips, TV shows, etc. that is created on behalf of marketers and advertisers. It is also known as branded content and to some extent branded entertainment. And among the nation’s leading providers of this type of content is Skyword, which earlier this month closed a $6.7 million in growth financing led by Cox Media Group.

The investment, said Skyword and Cox Media Group in a joint statement, will be used to expand the team and help scale the company to meet increasing customer and partner needs as content marketing “becomes an integral part of brand marketing initiatives and digital content production for media companies.”

Skyword recently recruited two long-time Hispanic sales executives: Former Terra.com Michele Azan, and former Vme and Azteca America Court Stroud.

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