Sword and the Script

General Electric Theater: Reagan met Content Marketing in 1954



by Frank Strong

General Electric Theater Where Reagan met Content Marketing in 1954-1
In 1954, the television had reached a critical milestone:  26 million U.S. households (56%) owned a TV.

Long before product placements and sponsored content, one iconic American brand placed a big bet in creating its own television program – another example of an early content marketing initiative – at the urging of its public relations department.

The show, General Electric Theater, was born and its host would be none other than Ronald Reagan.

The experiment was a wild success. Read More…

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Best and Worst of Sword and the Script in 2015



by Frank Strong

Best and Worst of Sword and the Script in 2015

The process of analyzing the best performing and worst performing is both insightful and humbling.

It’s insightful for thinking through why content performed or underperformed.  This is an analytical skill that is easily parlayed into one’s professional work.

It’s humbling for the posts thought derived from epiphany, inspiration or passion that seemingly go nowhere. Every blogger, indeed every writer, can likely relate to this phenomenon. Read More…

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One Bold Content Marketing Prediction for 2016



by Frank Strong

One Bold Content Marketing Prediction for 2016

In 2016, a company such as Amazon, eBay or WalMart will acquire Yahoo.

Joe Pulizzi has often noted there are two choices in content marketing – build an audience or buy one.  He recently made a credible argument that Nike should have acquired Grantland when ESPN moved to shutter the site amid controversy:

Nike spends about $8 million dollars per day trying to get people to buy their stuff. This generally means interrupting people with advertising while they are engaging in content they actually want to read or view (ala Grantland).

In mulling it over for a week or so, it’s that line of thinking that leads me to this content marketing prediction. Read More…

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7 Superior Podcasts for Super Listeners Eyeing the Big Picture



by Frank Strong

7 Superior Podcasts for Super Listeners Eyeing the Big Picture

Podcasting as a medium has ebbed and flowed for the last several years. It hasn’t exploded like some have said, but it’s certainly captured a respectable share of the market.  Some 17% of Americans listen to podcasts monthly according to Statista.

There’s several other important points about podcast listeners.  They are affluent, educated and maintain “listening habits dramatically different than the average American,” according to Edison Research.  In other words, these people listen to lots of podcasts.

In a 5-minute webinar titled Why Podcasting Might be Bigger than you Think (video embedded nearby), the research firm says podcast listeners consume upwards of 5.5 hours of podcasts a day.  That may sound like an impossible amount of time, until you realize listeners take “audio where it may not have been previously consumed.” Read More…

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A Pediatric Prescription for Effective Content Marketing



by Frank Strong

A Pediatrician has the Prescription for Effective Content Marketing

In just three days, one pediatrician has earned 3.6 million views on YouTube for this video.  It’s led to news coverage, like this piece by a local FOX affiliate in Boston.  A quick Google search (233,000 results) shows he’s had dozens of placements, if not thousands.

By all appearances on his channel, it’s the first time he’s ever published a video to YouTube, though this one does look fairly professional in finish.  The website for his business – Pacific Ocean Pediatrics – is elementary.  His Facebook page has just 400 or so fans at this moment.

So how did a medical doctor with 26 years in practice suddenly become an internet sensation?  He answered a new parent’s most pressing question:  How to calm a crying baby.  His technique entails a unique hold and a “shake of his little booty.” Read More…

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In Content Marketing, Marketers Might be Losing Their Way



by Frank Strong

In Content Marketing Marketers Might be Losing Their Way

Content marketing is blending the functions of marketing and sales to the extent, marketing has lost its focus on creating demand.

That’s my take after listening to Tom Webster evolve a concept over couple of podcasts on The Marketing Companion and finally rendered in a more polished format on Mark W. Shaefer’s {grow}: The dangerous confusion of sales and content marketing.

He makes several interesting points, and two that stood out for me:

1. Content proliferation for irrational buyers. Read More…

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Survey Finds Tough Grades on B2B Content Marketing



by Frank Strong

B2B content marketing effectiveness

If content marketing was a self-evaluated college class, marketers would give themselves a “C.”  That’s my sense after reading the new B2B Content Marketing 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America report.

The annual report is a joint effort between MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute. Now in its sixth year, the report is derived from a survey of 1,521 North American B2B marketers.  The study has a confidence interval of +/- 2.5% at a 95% confidence level. My perspective on last year’s B2B survey can be found here: Study: Effective Content Marketing Has One Element. Read More…

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9 Content Snacks from the Story of Content Marketing



by Frank Strong
Story of Content Marketing

The best way to excel at content marketing is to “be the story.”

That’s according to the new documentary by the Content Marketing Institute: The Story of Content.  The film, which runs a little more than 40 minutes, explores what content marketing is, its history and why it’s different. It does so through a who’s who list of interviews and case studies from brands big and small.

Major brands have transitioned from product companies, to media companies that happen to have products, by focusing on teaching and relevance. Large brands include John Deere, Proctor & Gamble, Red Bull, GE and Marriott.

John Deere, for example, started its long running brand magazine — an early and unlikely example of content marketing — called The Furrow in the 1800s.  The publication educates farmers about new agricultural technologies.  Marriott espouses a “publish or perish” philosophy to marketing and has resourced a production team to produce short movies. Read More…

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