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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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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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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PR is the Best Kept Secret in Effective Content Marketing



by Frank Strong

PR is the Best Kept Secret in Effective Content Marketing

A reporter from The Washington Post took an interest on a story pitch about small businesses and the impact on economy.

At the time, my client had a product for a nascent web economy that would fuel small businesses help them build a web presence.  It was at the time, a novel product, and a good match for the story.  Or at least it could have been. 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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Teaching and Relevance: The Last Mile in Marketing



by Frank Strong

Teaching Relevance and Trusted Content  The Last Mile in Marketing

How is it possible for a sales rep to sell prescription drugs to medical doctors?

That was my question to a pharmaceutical sales rep in my MBA cohort a decade ago.  His answer was straight forward and to the effect: I’ll never know more about medicine or the human body than a doctor, but I do know more about my product and the science behind it.

His challenge as a sales rep for big pharma boiled down to teaching an already highly educated community. The width of his knowledge was far smaller than that of his clients and prospective customers, but the depth had to be vastly superior – an inch wide, but a mile deep.

He’d never know more about medicine unless he pursued medical school, but he could certainly learn everything he needed to know about his own product and use that knowledge to be a valuable resource. Read More…

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5 Slightly Contrarian Views on a CMO Council Content Survey



by Frank Strong

5 Contrarian Views on a CMO Council Content Survey

In July 2015, the CMO Council released a report based on a content survey conducted with syndication platform Netline.  The organization published a well-written press release that drew me in and pointed to one overarching conclusion:

Most view their content marketing process as ad hoc, decentralized and driven by internal stakeholder interests.

In reviewing the actual report – Lead Flow That Helps You Grow Report – I came to different conclusions on some of the findings: Read More…

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B2B Solved the Biggest Content Marketing Challenge Yesterday



by Frank Strong

A Solution to the Biggest Content Marketing Challenge You Already Have-head

Sometimes the answers are hidden in plain sight.

Content marketing surveys consistently demonstrate the biggest barrier facing marketer is feeding the content monster.

For example, 54% percent of 1,800 respondents said, “creating engaging content” was the top content marketing challenge in the 2015 B2B Content Marketing survey by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs.

Those in the content trenches, know exactly what this feels like:  We are never done.  Even as one piece goes to publication, our heads are already down on the next two or three. Read More…

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