“We wrote our first blog post before we wrote our first line of code.”
- Jon Miller, founder, Marketo

Blogging is important for every business. So we don’t just offer ghostwriting services for others. We blog for ourselves. Why? To discuss big issues such as content strategy, commissioning and ROI, as well as tactics for effective copy creation or editing, not to mention news about Collective Content.

Remember, over a third of marketers say blogs are the most valuable content type. Let us know what you’d like to read about here.

Tag: research

What does the latest research tell us about content marketing?

Marketing is changing fast. So fast, in fact, that it’s hard to keep up. That’s according to academic researchers. But they also note that “keeping up” is no longer optional for most businesses today – it’s a must for any organisation that wants to survive.

Content marketing has become one of the must-do strategies for those looking to keep up, at the very least.

Know where you are going

“Content marketing has gone from a technique which would get a business ahead to one that merely keeps it equal,” marketing professor PJ Forrest writes in a recent research paper. “Content marketing is now the industry standard.”

While a wide variety of content types can be effective, “[j]ust any old copy will not work”, Forrest notes.

“One of the worst mistakes a company can make is a failure to be useful,” she writes. “The content can provide value to the target market in many ways such as being interesting to read, teaching or providing knowledge, presenting solutions to problems, or just being humorous or entertaining.”

It’s also critical to have a clear, well thought-out strategy for content marketing, Forrest adds.

“Not having a strategy leads to failure in any type of marketing but businesses often do not realise they should have a strategy specifically for content marketing,” she writes. “Without knowing what the company was trying to achieve it is impossible to measure whether it succeeded or failed… As the old saying goes, if you do not know where you are going you are likely to end up someplace else.”

Build trust by being useful and user-friendly

Today’s cyber consumer has different habits, interests and needs than past brick-and-mortar consumers, write a pair of Italian researchers in a recent issue of the European Scientific Journal. Those differences, according to Giuseppe Granata and Giancarlo Scozzese, have “highlighted the inadequacy of traditional marketing methodologies…”

Internet-based strategies such as digital marketing, e-branding and storytelling, they say, can improve marketing content and help businesses build more lasting relationships with customers. And essential to such strategies is ensuring they are relevant, secure and easy to use.

“A customer is satisfied when his overall evaluation of the experience with a brand and its products over time is positive,” Granata and Scozzese write. “With this in mind, it is about the initial phase of the marketing funnel that marketing experts should pay more attention to. The stage of research and initial information exchange is in fact that in which the perceived value of the brand for the consumer plays a crucial role. A website that offers relevant content and a secure, intuitive and simple-to-use architecture will encourage the user to revisit the site and potentially repeat the purchase.”

One study, they add, “demonstrated the positive relationship between content quality and brand trust.”

Format content with mobile in mind

In a recent article for the Mexican journal Mercados y Negocios (Markets and Businesses), Nancy Church, a retired professor of marketing and entrepreneurship at the State University of New York-Plattsburgh, reviews a range of activities that will become increasingly important for marketers in years to come. In addition to artificial intelligence, video marketing and augmented reality/virtual reality/mixed reality, these include mobile-first/mobile-only strategies.

“In order to provide the best search results in terms of content and quality of websites, ‘Google’s move to mobile-first indexing means the robots will look at your mobile website first before crawling the desktop version’,” Church writes, citing a 2018 study. “In order to rank higher in Google searches, marketers must ensure that the information, images and videos for mobile sites [are] comparable to the desktop version and mobile optimised.”

Church cites further research that recommends that “marketers ensure that their websites are mobile-optimised with shorter headlines and smaller chunks of text, with instantaneous mobile page load times, and with more videos, especially videos presented in vertical format”.

Having a content strategy, always being useful and keeping mobile front of mind are all essential – some would say obvious, today – ways to be successful with your marketing.

Read Further

11 essential content marketing links from Q2 18

  1. The best way to pitch a content marketing plan to your boss

We kick off with a story we saw back in April, but it’s among the biggest things you can do. Don’t forget that the whole idea of content marketing is still new to most people. So know the WHY as well as the HOW.


  1. 5 stellar examples of emotional storytelling in B2B marketing

We don’t always associate the B2B space with the same use of emotions and empathy as consumer marketing. Why not? Here are some examples you might not know, along with one or two classics.


  1. ‘Home run for us’: Inside Chase’s in-house agency

Believe it or not, we’re big fans of doing work in-house. It’s just that most can’t… or at least can’t do so as much as they’d like. Here’s a success story.


  1. 11 branded content masterminds who are elevating the art of marketing

Follow these people. Follow their work. Inspiring, eclectic stuff. (Bonus: Young Bjork! Double bonus: Rule of 11. Hey, where’d they learn that?!)


  1. How to be a copywriting genius: The brilliantly sneaky trick you must learn

Getting tactical for a moment, this isn’t about clickbait headlines. Think CTA – the humble ‘call to action’ – and always having a next step for your reader in mind.


  1. 5 journalistic tips for conducting better interviews

As we’re a bunch of ex-journalists ourselves, this Contently piece caught our eye. Journalists can be your not-so-secret weapon, but understand this isn’t about aggressive questioning and pork pie hats.


  1. 10 (mostly) quick wins to steal for your original research project

So much longform content is based on research, but what else can you do when you have unique and (hopefully) interesting data? This is a great breakdown by the Content Marketing Institute.


  1. Consulting firms are now a serious alternative in the eyes of more advertisers

How is the industry changing? It hasn’t taken long for Accenture, Deloitte, IBM and other big boys to punch their weight in an ecosystem once dominated by marketing agencies. Meaning what, for the rest of us?


  1. Travel content marketing 2018: Top trends + takeaways

Every quarter, we like to mention a specific vertical in this round-up. Travel has spawned more than one content marketing guru. And there’s a natural fit. What can we learn?


  1. Why you should ditch the idea of the perfect publishing time

We’ve long argued about this. Publishing online should always be about the group of people you’re trying to reach, not average numbers across whole populations. This, and more, in this must-read.


  1. The pie chart: Why data visualization’s greatest villain will never die

And finally, we thought we’d end on a pet hate of ours: a cliché of visual presentation. What other techniques can we use instead of the time-honoured pie chart? Well, quite a few, it turns out.


And why 11 links? Traditionally the shirt number of a tricky winger.



Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent


Read Further

PRs and brand journalists in 2017 – a marriage of convenience?

At Collective Content we’re fascinated by how people respond to us doing our job – creating great content for brands that starts conversations.

That’s partly because it’s a fast-changing field, and of course partly because it’s our job – different in many ways to the traditional journalism we’ve come from but similar in others when done well.

PR pros are important gatekeepers to us creating great brand content. So this year marks the third time we’re running our annual survey in conjunction with ResponseSource to find out what PRs think of so-called brand journalists in 2017.

Take this year’s survey here.

Last year close to 300 PRs – a majority in agencies and about a quarter of the sample working in-house – shared their views. And the results made for interesting reading.

But rather get into the analysis of last year here, we’d encourage you to take this year’s survey. We will share the results with those who take part a little ahead of wider coverage.

Last year’s results didn’t show a straightforward rise in acceptance of brand journalism compared to 2015. This remains a unique study at a time when understanding the future of PR and the rise of brand content are important to all kinds of organisations.

Please also feel free to share our survey link – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZQ9N2P5 . Thank you.

Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent

Download our exclusive research and report ‘PR’s acceptance of brand content uneven’.

Read Further

Contact us

Contact us to find out how we can help you:

Email:  tony.hallett@collectivecontent.co.uk

Twitter:  @ColContent

Facebook: facebook.com/CollectiveContent

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/collective-content

Phone:  0800 292 2826