How to Align Sales and Content Marketing Teams

How to Align Sales and Content Marketing Teams

Businesses traditionally grow to a size at which Sales and Marketing are forced into separate corners. But business leaders recognize that these two departments affect each other at every step they take. Without the help of the sales team, Marketing might fail to properly understand the needs of its target market. And if Marketing were to vanish tomorrow, leads for the sales team likely would as well.

Yet the teams often don’t work as collaboratively as they should. In fact, they may even be at odds. Sales might blame Marketing when leads are lacking, and Marketing might criticize Sales when a lead falls through the cracks. The result: more division, less revenue.

Only 46% of marketers describe their sales and content marketing teams as well-aligned. That means 54% of companies are relying on sales and content teams with too much tension between them and not enough cooperation.

To get the maximum return on investment from their content marketing and sales teams, executives need to create a culture that enables those teams to work together. Here’s a three-step guide to creating that kind of company atmosphere.


1. Make communication easy

You don’t have to hold more meetings to encourage communication. After all, nobody likes to sit in a meeting when she could be cracking away at her to-do list. Marketers want to be creating content and marketing materials, and salespeople want to be closing more leads. So rather than cramming these two teams into a room together for a few hours a week, encourage collaboration in an organic, enjoyable way.

At my company, our marketing and sales departments sit right next to each other. When one of our marketers has a question for the sales team, all he has to do is scoot a chair a few feet away or get up and take a short walk. That isn’t just an easier way to answer work-related questions, it also allows these teams to chat and get to know each other better. And it’s a constant reminder that the two departments need to work together cohesively.

If your sales and marketing departments can’t work in close proximity, they can still interact in a beneficial way. Encourage communication through Slack or Skype. You can create specific chat groups or threads that can be designated for the sales and marketing teams to ask questions and collaborate.

Some companies, such as LinkedIn, eBay, Uber, and Google, swear by Slack. Instead of letting large company size interfere with their departments’ communications, they use the platform to enable those departments to regularly interact with one another. When rapid decisions need to be made and key inter-department input is needed, there’s no holdup; and that leads to much more efficiency and transparency.

When borders, halls, or streets have to be crossed to achieve in-person communication, it’s crucial to implement a strategy that allows for faster response time, but it can be difficult to get the masses on board. The easing of this process truly does begin at the top, so a great way to get your departments using these types of communication platforms is by first encouraging the leaders within your company to adopt and use them. Others will follow.


2. Involve both teams in content creation

Isn’t content the marketing team’s job? Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean only the marketing team should work with it.

One of the biggest alignment-related issues is that sales teams often don’t know how to use content in their roles. Though marketing teams are great at creating content that ranks well on Google or pulls in clicks on Facebook, that content might not be easy for the sales team to use for helping potential clients.

The best way to overcome that issue? Get Sales involved in the content creation process. According to CMI and MarketingProfs research on business-to-business content marketing, feedback from Sales is one of the best ways for marketers to research their audience.

Salespeople will know what questions their customers have most often, and marketing teams can create content to address those questions. And hey… your salespeople might even want to create a piece of content themselves!

And content isn’t just blog posts. It can take the form of videos, infographics, podcasts, and other formats.

I’ve found guest posts in relevant publications to be especially helpful. Potential clients are impressed when your company leaders write for trusted industry publications, and sales teams can help you learn what publications their clients love. At Influence & Co., our 2018 research found that the vast majority of publication editors planned to publish the same amount of guest-contributed content, and this year’s numbers show no signs of diminishing. Marketing teams have a huge window of opportunity to guest-post.

When salespeople are involved in the content-creation process, whether by providing a question that needs answering or by recommending a type of content that clients will respond to, they feel more invested in marketing efforts. They’ll know what the content covers, and they’ll be more inclined to share it when an opportunity arises.

3. Keep content updated and accessible

If you have a great marketing department—and I’m sure you do—it’s probably created amazing content about every topic under the sun. But for a salesperson, accessing that content isn’t very easy. Nobody wants to scroll through pages and pages of marketing material to find the right article to share, so most salespeople just don’t.

There are a few ways, however, that marketing departments can keep their sales department informed:

  • First, ensure your team has a content marketing strategy mapped out: 81% of B2B marketers say a documented strategy helps align teams so they can work toward a shared mission and goals.
  • Second, provide the sales department or the department leads with weekly updates. Start by sending an email with links to and summaries of each piece of content published during the week. That email takes just a few minutes for salespeople to review, and it ensures that they know what content is available as it goes live. If a salesperson requests an article about a specific question, send that article to him or her individually.
  • And third, create a content bank or a resource library. Includes all content your marketing department has ever produced internally, and organize it according to the sales situations in which each piece of content is most useful. That will make it even easier for your sales team to use it.

* * *

Those are just a few steps you can take to better align your sales and marketing departments. When those departments work hand-in-hand, your content is more effectively and frequently used and clients are better served.

Getting your sales and marketing teams on the same page is the best way to achieve content marketing success.

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How to use domain authority for digital PR and content marketing Search Engine Watch

Study: How to use domain authority for digital PR and content marketing

Study: How to use domain authority for digital PR and content marketing

For the SEO community, Domain Authority is a contentious metric.

Domain Authority (DA) is defined by Moz as

“A search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.”

Some people say that this score does more harm than good because it distracts digital marketers from what matters. Improving your DA doesn’t mean you’re improving your rankings. Others tend to find it useful on its own as a quick way to determine the quality or trustworthiness of a site.

Here’s what I say, from a digital PR perspective, domain authority is valuable when you’re using it to compare sites relative to one another. In fact, DA provides value for us PRs and is incredibly useful to our work.

Think of it this way. There are more websites than ever before, about 1.5 billion to be exact and so in some ways, this means there is more opportunity for marketers to get their content out in the world and in front of new audiences. While most people think that journalism is dying out, an enlightening post on Recode by Rani Molla explains that “while job postings for journalists are off more than 10 percent since 2004, jobs broadly related to content have almost quadrupled.” 

In other words, if outreach is executed well, there are more places than ever to get your content featured and lead to driving traffic, broadening your audience, and improving your search ranking.

But even the most skilled PR teams can’t reach out to 1.5 billion sites. The knowledgeable ones know that you really only need one successful placement to get your content to spread like wildfire all over the Internet, earning links and gaining exposure for your brand in the process. With so many options out there, how do PR professionals know which sites to spend time targeting?

That’s where DA comes into play. When it comes to link building, content marketers know that not all backlinks and brand mentions are created equally. The value of a link or mention varies depending on the referring website. Moz’s DA score is a way for us PRs to quickly and easily assess the quality of the websites we target for our client’s content marketing campaigns.

Our team tends to bucket online publishers, blogs, and websites into three categories:

  • Top-tier
  • Mid-tier
  • Low-tier

Keep in mind, particularly with the new Moz update, when deciding who to pitch, you must take a holistic approach. While domain authority is an excellent way to quickly assess the quality of a website, a site’s DA can change at any minute due to a multitude of factors, so make sure you are also taking into account your goals, the site’s audience, social following, and reputation as well as Moz DA score. In response to a Marketing Land tweet about the new DA, Stevie Howard says it perfectly.

Screenshot of Stevie Howard's tweet in response to a Marketing Land tweet about the new DA

Top-tier sites

What constitutes a top-tier website? Can a top-tier site have a low DA? Potentially, but it’s uncommon.

When you look at the holy grail of media coverage, DA tends to align perfectly. Take, for example, the following seven major publishers that any brand or business would love to earn coverage on. The DA scores for all of these sites fall above 90. These sites all have an extremely large audience, both on-site and on social media.

List of top tier sites having a DA score of 90 and above

Our team at Fractl has an innate sense of the online publisher landscape, and the largest and most well-known content publishers out there all tend to have a domain authority above 90. This is what we consider to be the “top-tier”.

These publishers are difficult to place with because of their large audience, social following, and reputation, so for the best chance at earning organic press mentions on these sites, offer them authoritative, unique, exclusive, and newsworthy content.

Mid-tier sites

Mid-tier sites may not be the holy grail of news publishers, but they’re our bread and butter. This is where the majority of placements tend to happen. These publishers hit a sweet spot for digital PR pros—they’re not as sought-after as Buzzfeed and don’t deeply scrutinize pitches the way The New York Times does, but they have large audiences and tend to be much more responsive to content pitches.

I tend to categorize the mid-tier as publishers that fall within a DA of 66 to 89. Here are some examples of publishers that may be considered mid-tier.

List of mid-tier publishers that have a DA of 66 to 89

Low-tier sites

Don’t underestimate a low-tier site simply because of its domain authority. For example, it wasn’t long ago that personal finance website, Money-ish, had a DA of 1. Launched in 2017, it was first its own website before being absorbed as part of the larger MarketWatch domain. MarketWatch has a DA of 93, with social engagement as high as 12,294,777 in the last year. If you ignored Money-ish because of its DA when they first started, you would have missed out on a chance to get your content featured on MarketWatch as well as build relationships with writers that are now under the MarketWatch umbrella. There are all types of content, and most marketers can figure out which projects have “legs” and which have less appeal. These lower-tier sites are often very niche and the perfect home for content that is aimed towards smaller, more precise audiences. These lower-tier sites also tend to have a high engagement where it matters, your target audience. Consider the site’s community. Does this site have a ton of email subscribers or high comment engagement? Are they killing it on Instagram or on another social network? You never know which site will become the next Money-ish, either!

List of low-tier sites with DA below 60 or 65

Pitching differences for each tier

There are plenty of sites that fall within different ranges of domain authority that would be an excellent fit for your content. It all just depends on your goals. In Fractl’s latest internal study, we were able to identify trends in the way journalists respond to PR professionals, based on the DA of the site they write for.

Graph on how journalists respond to PRs based on their sites DA score

Observations

  • Feedback from writers working for sites with a DA lower than 89 was most likely to be complimentary of the content campaigns we pitched them.
  • The verbiage of their responses was also more positive on average than those from journalists working for publishers with a DA of 90 or above.

An example of the feedback we received that would be labeled as complimentary is,

“Thanks for sending this over, it fits perfectly with our audience. I scheduled a post on this study to go up tomorrow.”- Contributor, Matador Network (DA: 82)

Those of us that have been pitching mainstream publishers for a while know from experience that it’s often easier to place with websites that tend to fall in the mid to low-tier buckets. Writers at these publishers are usually open to email pitches and open to writing about outside content because such websites have less stringent editorial guidelines.

Conversely, publishers that fall into our definition of “high-tier” were less positive on average than writers working for publishers with a DA less than 90. On average, the higher the DA, the less positive the language becomes.

Why might that be? It makes perfect sense that publishers like The New York Times, CNN, TIME, and The Washington Post would be less positive. They’re likely receiving hundreds of PR pitches a day because of their popularity. If they do respond to a pitch, they want to ensure that they’re inquiring about content that would eventually meet their editorial guidelines, should they decide to cover it.

According to our study, when journalists at publishers with a DA of 90 or above do respond, they’re more likely to be asking about the methodology or source of the content.

An example of this feedback is from a staff writer at CNN.

“Thanks for sending along. I’m interested to know more about the methodology of the study.”

A response like this isn’t necessarily bad, in fact, it’s quite good. If a journalist is taking time to ask you more about the details of the content you pitched, it’s a good indication that the writer is hoping to cover it, they just need more information to ensure that any data-driven content is methodologically-sound.

Conclusion

Domain authority will continue to remain a controversial metric for SEOs, but for those of us working in digital PR, the metric provides a lot of value. Our study found a link between the DA of a site and the type of responses we received from writers at these publishers. High DA sites were less positive on average and requested research back methodologies more than lower-tier sites. Knowing the DA of a site allows you to:

  • Improve your list building process and increase outreach efficacy
  • Customize each outreach email you send to publishers of varying DAs
  • Anticipate the level of editorial scrutiny you’re up against in terms of content types and research methodologies
  • Optimize content you create to fit the needs of your target publisher
  • Predict the outcome of a content campaign depending on where you placed the “exclusive”

Remember, just because a site has a high DA, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good fit for your content. Always be sure to take a holistic approach to your list building process. Keep in mind the social engagement of the site, the topics they cover, who their audience is, their editorial guidelines, and most importantly, the goals of you or your client before reaching out to any publisher solely based on domain authority.

Domenica is a Brand Relationship Manager at Fractl. She can be found on Twitter .

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B2B Content Types Marketers Prefer in 2019

B2B Content Types Marketers Prefer in 2019

Most B2B marketers expect to ramp up their production of social media, website, and video content in the next 12 months, according to recent research from Walker Sands.

The report was based on data from a survey conducted in January 2019 among 300 B2B marketers with active roles in their company’s current content programs. Some 51% of respondents hold titles of VP or more senior, and 49% hold titles of director or less senior.

Nearly two-thirds (72%) of the B2B marketers surveyed say their organization plans to produce more social media content in the next 12 months compared with the previous 12 months.

Some 65% plan to produce more website content, and 63% plan to produce more video content.


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The Most Annoying Things About Brands Content

The Most Annoying Things About Brands Content

What annoys consumers most about content from brands? Which experiences frustrate people most when consuming content in general?

Adobe surveyed 1,000 consumers in the United States and found some answers to those questions.

Some 39% of respondents say they find it annoying when brand content is too wordy or poorly written.

Other top annoyances about brand content include when content is poorly designed (28% find it annoying), when content is personalized to the point of being creepy (25%), when content is old/stale/repetitive (22%), when content isn’t personalized/relevant (22%), when content isn’t optimized for the device that it is being viewed on (21%), when content has no images or video (17%), and when content highlights a promotion for a product already purchased (16%).


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Content Marketing in a Data-Driven Era

Content Marketing in a Data-Driven Era

Though no longer a new concept, content marketing still regarded as a surefire way for marketers to tell their brand story and win the hearts and minds of customers.

The truth is more complex than that.

Delivering quality content to educate and build trust with customers is a sound concept, but actually executing on that idea—in a way that serves both the customer and the marketer—has never been more difficult.

Generating high-quality content is risky business: It takes time, coordination, and money to produce pieces that will capture your audience’s attention. And with 2.5 quintillion bytes of online data being created each day, we’ve entered a vortex of neverending content, making it nearly impossible for content consumers to differentiate valuable information from background noise.


If you are one of the countless marketers who has arrived at a similar conclusion, you might find yourself asking some soul-searching questions:

  • What can be done to revive the deteriorating standard of content?
  • How can we improve the content experience both for consumers and for marketers?
  • How can we harness data to create personalized content that serves the user in a more meaningful way?

There is good news: Martech proliferation, limitless creativity, and forward-thinking leadership are propelling content marketing into a new age of growth and development.

Content marketing can—and will—be saved. Here’s how.

The Thirst for Immersive, Interactive Content Experiences

Content is being reimagined. Although the demand for content is strong, so is the competition among those creating it. In 2017, Internet usage reached 47% of the world’s population, equating to 3.8 billion people. The Web isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Traditional content pieces, such as PDFs, infographics, and calculators, aren’t capturing customers’ attention like they used to. What’s more, those traditional formats give very few insights back to their creators: Views and downloads give us a surface-level idea of how a content piece performs, but not much beyond that:

  • Did the downloader skim the content, read the whole thing, or bounce right out?
  • Did a marketing piece get downloaded by an optimistic IT professional, only to end up in the electronic recycle bin?
  • Did it get downloaded and shared?

There are some secrets a PDF just won’t share.

Content marketing has been proven to generate three times as many leads as outbound marketing, for 62% less. Given the massive investment organizations are making in content marketing, surface-level insights aren’t enough—for those making the content, or for the executives making budget decisions.

As marketers, we have to find a way to report on content performance at a more granular level.

Adopting the Data-Driven Approach to Content Creation

“Flying blind and hoping it works” is a failed strategy, and a sure way to waste those coveted marketing dollars.

Once a user begins reading a piece of content, you should be able to know how long it is before they exit—but also whether they make it into the body of the text, and the last thing they read before purchasing. Those are the insights that shape the customer journey, fuel product development, and ultimately leave an impact on the bottom line. Forrester calls those types of organizations insights-driven businesses, which are reported to be growing eight times faster than the global GDP.

Even knowing how things should (or could) be, only 22% of companies report being happy with their conversion rates. One of the driving factors behind that underwhelming statistic is the continued proliferation of generalized content, written without consideration of the user’s needs. Such bland, broad-approach offerings are where marketers lose out on the opportunity to win over the hearts and minds of prospective customers.

A lack of prescriptive, personalized content that solves specific problems is a persistent void in the world of content marketing today.

Data Always Wins. Make Sure You’re on the Winning Side.

Data doesn’t lie, and so the analysis and dissemination of data are heavy but critical responsibilities to own.

Marketers have long been searching for the perfect attribution model that connects the dots between their work and organizational outcomes in a meaningful way. Data, albeit important, is only partly the solution.

Though a perfect model may not actually exist, experience has taught me a thing or two about data-driven content that serves both the customer and the business. Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Create device-agnostic content: Your content should be easily consumable across all channels and devices. If 70% of users are consuming your content on mobile, don’t create PDFs, which perform horribly on mobile and will garner a quick exit from your user.

    Key takeaway:

    Consider the user’s environment before you decide the content’s format.

  • Develop personalized content: If I’m an IT professional reading an article about how to implement a martech tool, I likely don’t need to read the parts related to marketing. Think: Is there a way to adjust the content piece to better serve the user based on their role? See whether there’s a way for you to collect information about your users before they arrive at your content—and adjust what they see accordingly.

    Key takeaway:

    Proactively anticipate how you can serve the user relevant content downstream.

  • A/B-test specific content elements in real-time: A/B-test certain paragraphs, titles, and subtitles in real-time—while the content is being presented to the user. Doing so can help you identify specific data points within your content to measure and modify accordingly.

    Key takeaway:

    Pinpoint where you convert or churn a user within a piece of content; use that data to write high-conversion content.

  • Declare your value exchange: Give the user a chance to (quickly) understand the value your content is providing. Anticipate skimming. Give users something simple to read through, such as five brief bullet points that will help them get the gist of the content—and encourage them to invest in reading the whole piece.

    Key takeaway:

    Make it easy for readers to access the information they need quickly and efficiently.

  • Invest in a team that can support you technically: Tracking all of the above is hard work. The design, development, implementation, and post-tracking are all net new work streams that need to be accounted for. Make sure your team buys in and sees the value the efforts will provide to the customer and the company as a whole.

    Key takeaway:

    Ensure you have an adept technical team in place to implement the tracking and the systems required to measure specific KPIs.

Content, Reimagined

Producing static, one-dimensional content is no longer a viable strategy for content marketers with robust KPIs. In a world where there’s nearly 4 million Google searches conducted every minute, your company’s content needs to be outstanding, versatile, and data-driven. The more information you have about who your customer is, what they’re looking for, and why they’re visiting your content piece, the better off you’ll be.

As you use responsive content to help you acquire those data points, your content will be easier to refine and will reinforce a positive cycle of trust and information-sharing with your consumers. Just like that, you’ll know you’ve hit the jackpot.

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How to Use Influencer & Emotional Marketing in Content

How to Use Influencer & Emotional Marketing in Content

As marketers in the Age of Digital, we are moving at the speed of digital without the chance to assess patterns and think deeply about our work. Meanwhile, consumers’ devices are constantly bombarded with marketing clutter and meaningless ads that don’t take the time to understand consumers’ needs or preferences.

As it always has, our success as marketers stems from using emotional marketing to focus on consumers’ needs and preferences in order to capitalize in our markets. However, although emotional marketing is a powerful approach, it cannot stand alone; it needs to be integrated within marketing channels and tactics.

With the emergence of influencer marketing as an important trend, part of our job as marketers in 2019 is to pair emotional marketing with influencer marketing so that we can better target and reach our desired audiences.

Let’s review how you can integrate emotional and influencer marketing into your content marketing program this year and beyond.


What is emotional marketing?

Emotional marketing is an method that’s driven by your target audiences’ feelings and values. It involves connecting with your audience through a captivating story that aligns with their beliefs. Those connections are critical, considering that emotional responses influence intention to buy much more than the ad’s content itself, research shows.

But what does emotional marketing entail?

It starts with defining values that your brand was established upon and using those principles to make connections with your customers.

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Content alone is not going to win the streaming war. Here’s why

Content alone is not going to win the streaming war. Here's why

Netflix will announce its Q1 ’19 earnings on Tuesday – when we’ll know for sure if its subscription price hike was a good business move in the short term. Meanwhile, Disney announced Disney+, its new streaming service platform, will only cost $6.99/month and its stock shot up over 11 percent overnight.

This further complicates the pricing model debate for streaming services as Disney overshadows Apple, who had dominated the tech news cycle for weeks after announcing its competing OTT streaming services to Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, called AppleTV+. With big names like Steven Speilberg and Oprah in attendance helping to buttress Apple’s credibility in the increasingly crowded OTT market, Apple sent a clear message that they, in the words of one executive, would “define the commitment to storytelling, on every screen in your life.” While it may have been tempting to be distracted by the cavalcade of celebrities that took to the stage inside Steve Jobs Theatre, Apple’s silence on one topic became deafening on the Twittersphere as everyone began to ask the core underlying question left unanswered: How much will this cost? Disney shared, why can’t you?

CNBC media reporter Alex Sherman, who attended the unveiling in person, tweeted “we got a half hour of actors talking about their shows without clips and zero details on Apple original content pricing or if channels services will be bundled for a discount. The general mood here is shock and mild annoyance among the people sitting around me.” Vox’s critic at large Todd VanDerWerff opined “Apple’s new streaming service is still mostly defined by what we don’t know.”

He’s right. The company chose to avoid addressing any specifics around pricing or the potential savings users could capture by bundling with other Apple services. What we do know is that Apple TV+ will be a subscription service free of advertising. This announcement kicked off an interesting debate about which revenue model – ad-supported or subscription – is most likely to attract large scale consumer audiences.

Apple and now Disney’s decision to forgo ads stands in stark contrast to recent reports from Google-owned YouTube, who instead is purported to be looking into expanding its ad-supported content while potentially deemphasizing subscription-based models as well as Viacom owned PlutoTV which is doubling down on its completely free ad-supported model. Google denies it will abandon its subscription model entirely as others later reported, but it is clear that the world’s largest advertising company sees significant opportunity in offering premium content for free in an ad-supported environment.

As the debate unfolds over ad-supported models vs. subscription-based revenue streams, the real question marketers and content platforms need to be asking is: “What do consumers want?” The answer is both.

To start, it’s important to level set by clarifying that OTT is now mainstream, and this is not a niche consumer audience. In partnership with the Harris Poll, OpenX conducted a nationwide study of OTT users released this week which found that the majority of US consumers now stream at least one OTT service, with most streamers subscribing to an average of three platforms. Within this growing group of streamers, there are very diverse opinions about preferred billing models that signal a broad opportunity for platforms to be creative with how they monetize their content.

The study found a nearly even split among those who want to pay a subscription fee in exchange for zero ads with a slight majority opting for some form of advertising to reduce or eliminate subscription fees. Forty-six percent of consumers prefer a service that costs $10/month with no ads. Interestingly, the survey also found that consumers would be willing to pay as much as $24/month for one primary subscription – nearly twice Netflix’s adjusted monthly rate of its most popular plan now $13/month (up from $12/month), showing there is clear upward pricing mobility for an ultra-premium provider in the subscription market. I expect the earnings call on Tuesday to report no significant hurt in sales because of this increase.

That said, there is a potentially missed opportunity by streaming providers, including Netflix and Apple, to be releasing a tiered pricing model that includes ad-supported, discounted and free subscription models.

Ofthe 2,002 U.S. consumers who answered The Harris Poll survey OpenX commissioned, 54 percent would opt for an ad-supported model; 29 percent of which prefer a service that costs around $5/month with 2-3 minutes of ads per hour, while the other 25 percent prefer a free service with up to 10 minutes of ads per hour. The clear message here is that there is room for multiple models, and a “one-size-fits-all approach” (or singular billing models) will likely be replaced by a menu of options tailored to consumer preferences. One guide to follow comes again from the nationwide survey of OTT users that uncovered the sweet spot of content and cost — what I would call the 15/100 rule of video. Consumers watch around 15 channels of cable TV today and if price weren’t an issue, they would be open to watching 15 different OTT services. For cost, whether it is OTT or cable/satellite, viewers are comfortable spending about $100/month to have access to the content they want to watch.

Consumers don’t want an unlimited number of choices and they don’t want to pay for channels they don’t watch. Just as demand for a variety of OTT providers increases, so too will the diversity of revenue models. Less than five percent of all television advertising dollars flow to OTT channels today. As the eyeballs continue to migrate to streaming platforms, OTT advertising dollars will quickly follow – and they are projected to outstrip the overall growth of all advertising by five times in 2019. Investments in content alone will not determine the winners from the losers in the OTT race. Whichever platforms get the pricing formula, content portfolio and user experience right will ultimately establish market leadership in the rapidly growing OTT market.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Dallas Lawrence is currently the chief communications and brand officer at OpenX, the largest independent advertising exchange. Prior to joining OpenX, Dallas Lawrence served as the chief communications officer for Rubicon Project, led global communications and government affairs for Mattel and served as the chief global digital strategist for Burson-Marsteller. During more than a decade in Washington, DC, Dallas served as a press secretary on Capitol Hill prior to joining President Bush’s communications team, leading outreach efforts for the President’s signature domestic policy initiative No Child Left Behind. Dallas would later deploy to Baghdad, Iraq, on behalf of the White House to serve as a spokesperson for the Coalition. Upon returning from Baghdad, Dallas joined the communications team of Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld where he served as the Pentagon’s director of public liaison for both Rumsfeld and his predecessor Secretary Gates. He has been named both the “Crisis Manager of the Year” by PR News and “Social Media Professional of the Year.” In 2013, PR Week named him one of the 40 most influential leaders in PR. Dallas was previously a commissioned officer in the United States Navy and earned a BA in political science from the University of California at Berkeley and an MA in government from The Johns Hopkins University.

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Company Content Compliance & Presentation Management

Company Content Compliance & Presentation Management

Compliance protocols exist to keep everyone in your company saying the right thing to the right person about your business and its products.

In industries like retail or travel, compliance can mean ensuring all employees are speaking on brand and on message. But in highly regulated industries, such as pharma and finance, compliance is a bigger, legal issue to contend with.

No matter the industry, though, one thing remains constant: The bigger the company, the harder to maintain compliance.

How do you manage what 300+ people are saying and presenting in their day-to-day business activities?


Your employees are not robots; they need to be able to react and adjust to what their clients and colleagues are saying. Businesses need spontaneity and flexibility to survive and thrive. But management must still ensure that messaging remains consistent, on point, and within legal bounds.

In federally regulated industries, one aspect of compliance is based on what and how you communicate to clients: You can say “this” to your customers, but you can’t say “that”—and there are legal disclosures that need to be included with the message.

Another component of compliance for regulated businesses is what specific employees, depending on their job function, can and cannot say. For example, in pharma, a medical doctor representing a drug manufacturer may be able to present specific information about how to administer a particular drug to a room full of doctors, but a nurse or sales representative cannot.

A less obvious compliance component of both regulated and nonregulated businesses is brand messaging: All logos, colors, fonts, typography, messages, and taglines are required to be consistent throughout all forms of company communication. This type of compliance is often overlooked when dealing with presentations, in particular, which is why a compliance-focused presentation management strategy is crucial.

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How to Update Old Content for Marketing

Why Content Marketing Fails, and How to Fix It

It’s no secret: Companies publish tons of content every year. Some of it attracts readers, some of it even goes viral, but, unfortunately, most of it falls flat.

Over time, it’s easy to end up with a large logjam of mediocre content. At my company, we call it the “content graveyard.”

You may think it’s not a huge concern; unfortunately, though, all that mediocre content is doing actual harm.

With all that dead content out there, it’s very possible you have multiple articles on the same topic essentially competing with each other for search rankings. Also, stale blog content can confuse your readers because it’s likely not aligned with the current direction of your industry, and maybe even your own company.


Ultimately, stale content breaks trust with your audience, hurts your reputation, and doesn’t position your company as the go-to resource in your industry.

The good news: you can do something about underperforming blog content.

You can take simple steps to update your blog content and get more ROI from existing efforts without having to publish anything new.

Three Steps to Refresh Your Content

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Why Content Marketing Fails, and How to Fix It

Why Content Marketing Fails, and How to Fix It

Ever get excited about an idea, but when you start searching online for further information you’re taken to mountains of boring, insufficient, copycat content? Why is that?

In B2C Content Marketing 2018: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America report by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, merely 38% of respondents’ organizations reported having a documented content marketing strategy. Among those who thought their content marketing efforts were most successful, 59% had a documented strategy compared with 18% for the least successful marketers. The numbers were similar on the B2B side.

Clearly, a documented strategy makes a difference in content performance. Instead of flooding the Internet with content that’s merely meh, avoid the following content marketing mistakes to ensure that you are strategically producing content that breaks through and wows your audience.

1. Lack of Research


Many content teams don’t spend sufficient time up front to research the niche they are targeting, missing opportunities for creating unique content. Little to no audience research is done to understand important gaps in the market. No interviews. No insight into what’s being shared or linked to the most, by whom, or for what reasons. Often little thought is given to the types of content that would truly captivate the targeted audience.

One software company that’s doing content research right conducts interviews of 20 members of its target audience for each of half a dozen blog posts it produces monthly. The result is content that offers tangible, real-world, insider insights far beyond what any others are doing in the space. That process also translates into an army of promotional soldiers for the company: Each participant takes to social media to promote the pieces to which he or she contributed.

You may be thinking that conducting 100-120 interviews monthly for your blog would be like herding kittens. And that’s where looking to technology, standardization, and established processes makes the effort efficient and manageable. The result is an onslaught of online promotion of the company’s content all the time, every week, by those with credibility and existing social networks.

Interviews are merely one method for researching fruitful topics. You can also monitor industry trends for fresh, new ideas, or review onsite searches to confirm the current interests of your audience, or monitor online discussions to uncover new challenges or approaches that would be useful to tackle in your content.

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