Brand Publishing: Talent, Team, And Tools

It’s impossible not to have noticed that the publishing world, both consumer and B2B, has fallen on hard times. Publications have up and died, publishers have closed down and failed. Thank the Internet.

While this is certainly a calamity for the media industry, it is something of a boon for savvy brands and marketers, who are realizing that this is their chance to fill the content void left by the disappearance of newspapers and magazines—a chance to, well, become publishers themselves.

Now, if being a publisher were easy, everybody would be doing it. But it’s not. Being a publisher requires the right talent, team, and tools to get the job done, and not every enterprise is willing to make that happen. For those that do, however, an opportunity to shine awaits.

Today, in the new digital world, content-creation and content-production tools that were once the province of publishers are available to all enterprises, large and small. Content-management systems and content-curation technology can help turn brands into publishers overnight.

But here’s the catch: None of these tools or technologies helps with the creation of good, worthwhile content. That’s up to the CMO and his or her marketing team. Everyone has been creating lead- and demand-gen content for years now—musty white papers that potential customers have to provide name, rank, and serial number to get the privilege to receive.

That’s not being a publisher, and that’s not content marketing.

Being a publisher means looking at content 180 degrees differently. Good content is about what the customer is interested in, not what you and your marketing mission statement says is interesting. It’s about them, not about you. This is probably the main impediment to brands truly becoming publishers.

At some conference in the recent past, I was listening in on a discussion with a brand marketer who “got” content marketing and one who was struggling. “Who is a good example of a company that does content marketing well?” asked the rookie. “Well,” said the sage, “you have to look at Red Bull to see how far you can take this. The fact is, Red Bull is a media company that just happens to make an energy drink.”

You might not want to take it to Red Bull extremes, but are you and your team ready to create something new and valuable and interesting and entertaining for your customer?

All the tools and technology in the world won’t make you a publisher; thinking like a media company, a storyteller, and an editor will.

Here are some links to recent articles on CMO.com about content marketing and brands as publishers that might get you going:

Four Predictions For The Future Of Brand Storytelling

Marketers And Journalists – Joining Forces To Create Killer Content

Content Marketing: Focus On Quality Over Quantity

Brand Newsrooms: THE Model For Real-Time Content Marketing

Competition On The Content Battleground

CMOs Buy Into Content Marketing

About the Author

Tim Moran, CMO.com

Tim Moran, Editor in Chief, CMO.com

Tim Moran is the editor in chief of CMO.com by Adobe. He has been with the site since its inception. Before that he spent 20+ years in the B2B technology press. [Read more]

Moms Turn to Online Video: The Opportunity for Brands

Presented By

Think with Google

Whether they are researching the next family vacation or squeezing in a workout during nap time, today’s moms are turning to YouTube in their moments of need. Check out the video below to see how brands are answering those needs, sparking a discussion, or providing a little inspiration in return.

Today’s moms aren’t so different from their moms, or even their moms’ moms. They have many of the same parenting questions, and they experience similar joys—watching their children learn new things, for example. But the resources they use to manage the complexities of motherhood have changed. Moms still seek advice and a broad range of opinions, but they’re often turning to the web to do so.

To better understand the role of the internet in moms’ lives, we partnered with TNS to survey 1,500 women ages 18–54 who watch videos online and have kids under the age of 18. Results showed that 83% of those moms search for answers to their questions online.1 And of those, three in five moms use online video to answer those questions.1

When moms have those I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-buy, I-want-to-do moments, they often turn to YouTube. So much so that moms say they visit YouTube more than any other site or app for online video.2 Whether to research the next family vacation, get in a quick workout during nap time, decide which tablet is the best option for the kids to share, offer homework help with the fractions lesson, or learn how to set up the new printer for her own small business, Mom turns to YouTube in her moments of need, no matter how big or small.

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, we want to celebrate moms and all they do. Check out the video below to see how Mom is turning to YouTube in her moments of need—and how brands are answering her needs, sparking a discussion, or providing a little inspiration in return.

View full article at ThinkWithGoogle.

Measuring the Impact of Online Video on Brand Metrics

PRESENTED BY:

Think with Google

THE RUNDOWN

Engagement metrics show how people react to online videos, but brand metrics prove they move the needle on brand objectives such as awareness, perception, and interest. Google’s Brand Lift solution reveals these insights about YouTube ads in near real time so you can optimize on the fly.

Is the money we’re putting into online video making an impact?

Online video is undeniably one of the key areas of focus for marketers in 2015, as well as for the next few years, because spending on desktop online video alone is projected to grow 21% every year until 2019. But as that spend increases, so does the need for brand advertisers to justify budgets and answer questions such as the one above. You need to know that video is an effective way to connect with your audiences—and that its impact can be measured.

For online video platforms such as YouTube, engagement metrics (for instance, views, likes, shares, comments, and watch time) provide a basic barometer showing how an audience responds to videos. These metrics are important because they help to inform strategies as well as the content of the video ads. The result—hopefully—is quality content that the audience finds useful, entertaining, and shareable. Creating things that an audience likes is only part of the job, though. The effectiveness of an ad campaign is also evaluated by how it affects brand metrics such as awareness, perception, and audience interest.

Gaining insight into these metrics has been tricky, however. In the past, you’d put money into a campaign and get feedback in the form of clicks and views. But you could never really be sure about its brand impact without expensive, time-consuming testing, and sometimes those results wouldn’t come in until the campaign was over. When it comes to YouTube ads, that’s no longer the case: Google’s Brand Lift solution allows you to gather brand metrics about YouTube ads in a matter of days. Advertisers across a variety of verticals have used the tool to test and optimize their online video content.

Here we present the results of different meta-analyses that show how YouTube ads are performing for advertisers and what that means for how you should rethink measuring your online video campaigns.

NEAR REAL-TIME DATA SHOWS THE IMPACT OF YOUTUBE ADS

Quick access to information about brand metrics can shift the way you perceive video content. That’s because you can now tell whether the audience likes the content (with engagement metrics) and if it’s making an impact (with brand metrics). Most important, if the content fails to measure up, finding that out in near real time means you can react and optimize quickly to get the most out of your online video spend.

After analyzing around 50 campaigns from Fortune 100 brands and category leaders running on Google Preferred (some of YouTube’s most popular channels), we found that 94% of the campaigns drove a significant lift—an average of 80%—in ad recall. We also found that 65% of Google Preferred ads saw an increase in brand awareness, with an average lift of 17%. This is particularly impressive considering that the brands in the study were already well-known.

94% of campaigns drove lift in ad recall

We also measured YouTube’s impact on what we call “brand interest,” or interest in a brand as measured by an increase in organic searches for it on Google. YouTube proved effective here as well. Looking at over 800 Brand Lift studies, we found that 65% of YouTube TrueView campaigns drove a significant lift in brand interest, with an average lift of 13%.

Together, these numbers tell a compelling story: YouTube campaigns are driving brand impact. So let’s talk about three ways you can put that information to use.

1. TEST YOUR CREATIVE

Faster collection of brand metrics offers great opportunities to test your video campaign, determine what works, and fix what doesn’t before burning through too much of your media budget. For instance, when you A/B test your campaigns, you can analyze the results by version to see which creative executions are most effective at driving brand lift.

Mondelez International launches Trident Unlimited

Mondelez International did this for the launch of Trident Unlimited. The agency produced two versions of the same spot: In the first version, the actor put gum in his mouth at the start of the commercial, and in the other he was already chewing the gum. Which one resonated? A Brand Lift study let Mondelez know that the second version had a 5% higher recall rate. And, after optimizing budget behind that version, recall rose to 97%. “Brand Lift delivered quickly,” says Leonardo Carbonell, the agency’s paid media director. “It was good to optimize the campaign while it was running.”

Having access to this kind of data in near real time means advertisers such as Mondelez can optimize on the fly and make sure their campaigns truly resonate.

2. OPTIMIZE AND REFINE YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC TARGETING

Brand metrics also help you optimize to ensure that you’re reaching the most appropriate audience. Digital platforms such as YouTube allow you to target your video ads. Then data from Brand Lift can inform you about the age ranges and genders that are most affected by your campaign.

This is great for brands that begin at a broad level with their targeting; they can now see which subset the ad performs best with and use that information to refine their targeting and increase their spend where it will be most effective.

Nissan Canada created TrueView ads for Micra model launch

Nissan Canada, for instance, created two TrueView ads for the launch of its Micra model in July 2014. One of the ads featured actor Jim Parsons, while the other was a standard brand video. A Brand Lift study was able to confirm that both ads were effective at driving awareness lift and that one ad was much more successful at increasing ad recall. But the most important finding might have been that the ads resonated strongly with women ages 25–34 and 45–54. At that point, the brand had an ad that was proven effective, a more specific demographic on which to focus the spend, and a platform to get the ad in front of the target audience. For Nissan, it was a winning combination.

3. PRIORITIZE THE METRICS THAT MATTER MOST

Every campaign is measured differently, so your path to success won’t always be the same. A campaign that’s optimized for ad recall may look different than one that’s optimized for brand interest or view-through rate. Different metric priorities can lend themselves to distinct creative best practices. Even within Google, we’ve seen a case study for this.

“We tested seven videos for a recent campaign where our goal was to drive brand metrics,” said YouTube’s Global Media Lead Maria Chai. “Because we hadn’t been able to get real-time brand signals, we looked at view-through rates as a proxy for the creative’s ability to move brand measures. Although view-through rate can be a great metric for assessing whether the creative holds the user’s attention, we learned that videos with higher view-through rates don’t always correlate to a lift in brand metrics. Getting this insight in near real time allowed us to optimize our creative rotation quickly before we fully ramped up the campaign.”

The three takeaways above represent a new mind-set for brand advertisers’ approach to online video, where measuring brand metrics in near real time is instrumental in driving more effective brand spend. This approach ensures that you’re measuring what matters most: how your content and your media dollars are moving the needle on brand metrics such as awareness, ad recall, and brand interest.

Now is the Time to Build Consumer Trust Through Enhanced Ethics

Wallace Snyder

Wally Snyder, Executive Director, Institute for Advertising Ethics

Advertising Age reported on April 24, 2015, the dramatic results of a representative national survey of Americans commissioned by the 4A’s that found extremely low levels of trust for advertising.  Only 4% believed that Advertising and Marketing practice integrity, which 69% of the sample said means “always keeping promises.” (No One Trusts Advertising or Media, April 24, 2015; adage.com)

The findings must be dealt with because Advertising and Marketing’s job is to build consumer trust for our brands and clients.  As David Bell, member of the IAE Advisory Council, puts it: “Trust is the currency of our business and Ethics is the engine of Trust.”  This important “Trust” is created, motivated and maintained by practicing enhanced advertising ethics.

Consumers are highly motivated to purchase by Trust.  Research conducted by Bozell over twenty years ago showed that consumers ranked “ethics and values” as the number-one factor in assessing whether or not a company can be called a “corporate good citizen.”  Research reported in the Wall Street Journal showed that consumers think highly enough about ethics that they are willing to pay more for an ethically produced product. And Leo Burnett understood this when he stated: “Ethics is at the center of how we express a brand.”

The Institute for Advertising Ethics, a partnership between the American Advertising Federation and the Missouri School of Journalism, has adopted eight Principles for Advertising Ethics that emphasize the importance of ethics for the advertising entity and its professionals, and that cover the current ethical dilemmas we are facing. Specifically related to the consumer research findings, Principle 1 states that advertising and editorial share a common objective of truth and high ethical standards in serving the public, and Principle 2 urges that our advertising and marketing professionals exercise the highest personal ethics in the creation and dissemination of commercial information.

Principles and Practices with Commentary

Principle 3 urges that the line between advertising and editorial should not be blurred.  This relates to one of the negative research findings that only 4% trust “Brand-sponsored content that looks like it’s editorial content.”  So-called “Native Advertising” is now being offered by 75% of the nations’ publishers.  The point is that it can be done effectively and with trust with effective disclosure that it is paid content.

While the research is discouraging, it presents an opportunity for the advertising and PR industry to believe in the importance of building trust with the consumer through ethical and effective marketing communications.  IAE stands ready to assist with ad ethics classes, its certificate program and website page.

From BBQ to Burns: 5 Hot Summer Trends to Plan For

Presented by:

Think with Google

 

 

 

THE RUNDOWN

As the weather changes, so does digital behavior. People are out of their houses and on their smartphones, looking for places to go and things to grill. What they’re searching for (and how) provides a window into consumer interests this season and beyond. We looked at Google data to see what’s on the rise for summer (besides the temperature, that is). From the best BBQ to the most sunburned states, here’s what’s trending and what it might mean for your business.

1. Mobile: So hot right now

People are more likely to use a mobile device to go online in the summer months than in other seasons. Whether they’re traveling on vacation, lounging on the beach or grilling in their backyards, U.S. consumers are constantly connected.

As they fire up their outdoor grills, more people are searching for “recipes” on a mobile device—the new cookbook. Mobile’s share of searches is up 44% year-over-year.

Mobile Share of “Recipes” Searches

Source: Google Data, 2013–2014, Mobile Share Query Volume, United States.

Mobile Share of “Hotel” Searches

Source: Google Data, 2012–2014, Mobile Share of Search Query Volume, United States.

During summer travel season, searches for hotels go up. While we’re seeing a general shift to mobile, this shift grew 86% faster in the summer months than any other time last year. People are looking for everything from deals to directions.

Are you capturing demand across screens? Are you showing consumers the type of content they’re looking for? Is your marketing contextually relevant?

2. Burnt out on summer, people are looking for relief

What are people looking for when it’s warm out? A nice tan, of course. At the start of summer, we see a bump in searches for “suntan.” But as the weather heats up, so do searches for “sunscreen,” followed closely by a big spike in “sunburn” searches. Now consumers are in the market for “aloe vera” to soothe those burns.

The ways the consumer journey so clearly plays out on search are fascinating. So are the regional differences. Google searches for “suntan” are most popular in Kentucky, while Hawaii is tops for “sunburn” and “sunscreen.” Californians appear to look after their skin the most, searching for “sunscreen” and “aloe vera” more than people in most other states.

Searches for Suntan, Sunburn, Sunscreen and Aloe Vera

Source: Google Data, January 2011–June 2014, Indexed Search Query Volume, United States

How is weather affecting demand for your products? What can you learn about the consumer journey based on search patterns? How are you using this information to shape your messaging and distribution strategies?

3. Kansas City wins the BBQ battle

Summer is BBQ season, and it’s a hotly contested cuisine. Which town is most popular this summer? If we look at searches, Kansas City is the clear winner, with Memphis and Austin vying for second place. Interestingly, Buffalo, New York (home ofOinktoberfest) makes the top five.

Top Cities for “BBQ” Searches

Source: Google Data, May–July 2014, Indexed Search Query Volume, United States

Can you nuance your messaging or tailor your product offering based on location?

4. A taste of summer throughout the year

Grilling is certainly seasonal, but it’s becoming less so. More people are looking to get a taste of summer in the colder months. Meat lovers seek out the top BBQ destinations year-round, especially during events such as the World Series of BBQ and SXSW.

“BBQ” Searches by City

Source: Google Data, January 2013–July 2014, Indexed Search Query Volume, United States

They’re also grilling more during non-summer holidays, including on Thanksgiving, President’s Day and even Christmas.

Searches for “Grilling”

Source: Google Data, 2012–2014, Indexed Search Query Volume, United States

This opens the door for marketers to promote these traditional “summer” activities during new moments of consumer interest.

Similar patterns occur across products, and finding them can help you extend the life of a seasonal product. Look at ski towns. During summer travel season, searches for hotels go up. While we’re seeing a general shift to mobile, this shift grew 86% faster in the summer months than any other time last year. People are looking for everything from deals to directions.

Searches for Major Ski Towns in the U.S.

Source: Google Data, January 2010–July 2014, Indexed Search Volume, United States

If your product is seasonal, can you make it relevant during other times of the year? Are there new moments of consumer interest that you can explore?

5. Gaming becomes a daily habit

Views of video game content on YouTube, such as trailers and walk-throughs, go up a bit in the summer—no surprise there. What’s more interesting is when. During the school year, views of gaming content spike on weekends. But when kids are home from school, gaming content is watched much more consistently throughout the week.

Average Views of Video Game Content on YouTube

Source: YouTube Data, January 2013–June 2014, Indexed Video Views, United States

Has your media strategy shifted with consumer behavior? Are you accounting for seasonal changes in media consumption?

Each season brings interesting, nuanced market dynamics that businesses need to consider. The key is to plan accordingly. Dig into the data to uncover seasonal trends in your category while keeping your eye on broader shifts in behavior. Develop a strategy based on what you’re seeing, but allow some flexibility to adapt as new opportunities arise.