A 10-year veteran of the publishing industry with a background encompassing newspapers and books, EContent magazine editor Theresa Cramer talks to River about content marketing, the future of Facebook, and the Internet of Things …
How did you get into content marketing?
At EContent magazine I cover the digital content industry from every angle. In this day and age, that means talking a lot about content marketing. But we look at it from a more holistic perspective—not just from the content creation side. When it comes to content marketing traditional publishers, journalists, and advertisers are all impacted and I try to take all of those perspectives into consideration at EContent.
What do you think are the key mistakes that publishers make on Twitter?
Publishers need to think of Twitter as a place to build an audience and a reputation as the go-to-source for content, and that doesn’t always mean just publishing links to your own content. Publishers need to understand what their readers are looking for and give it to them, and on Twitter that sometimes means posting a story, infographic, etc. from different sources. That can seem counterintuitive when you want to drive traffic back to your site, but it’s an important part of participating in social media.
Do you think Facebook is part of the past, present, or future of marketing?
Facebook’s reach is massive. It isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Even as marketers fret that teens are fleeing Facebook for other sites and apps, the people with real money – their parents and grandparents – are still there, and are engaged.
Which brands or campaigns do you think have done/continue to do content marketing well?
Red Bull, CocaCola, John Deere – they all do content marketing well, but one of my favourite examples is Subaru’s Drive magazine. This isn’t a new example. In fact it’s quite old, but Subaru sends out a quarterly magazine to owners of its cars. You almost never see a car on the cover. Instead you see stories about extreme sports or the farm-to-table movement. Subaru understands the kinds of people who buy its cars, what they’re interested in, and it reaches them with great content – that only occasionally mentions cars.
What do you think is the next step for the Internet of Things and how will it continue to impact the way in which brands market their products?
The Internet of Things is one of the most exciting areas of digital content. There’s a lot of hoopla around tools like Google Glass, but I think the real growth potential is in making the tools we already use more efficient. Apple’s HomeKit is a big stride toward automating homes in a way that, until now, hasn’t totally made sense. But I think marketers need to be careful not to rush into this space. It won’t make sense for everyone, and you don’t want to alienate your customers by annoying them in their homes.
To what extent do you think native advertising should be highlighted to consumers as advertising?
It should always be made clear that advertising is advertising. Research shows that consumers value this kind of content, as long as it is done well and the source is transparent.
How do you think content marketing has made brand promotion better?
The wonderful thing about content marketing it that, done correctly, it’s about the audience and not the brand. I think the lasting legacy of content marketing will be a world where marketing focuses more on providing value and less on brand awareness or promotion. Yes, it’s good business but it’s also good for consumers.
Do you think there is still a place for print in the future of content marketing?
Yes. All marketing should be multi-channel, and print is still a big channel. In fact, my Subaru example is a print example. Advertisers and publishers are going to have to adjust to a world in which display ads are no longer the norm, and creating custom content across all channels is the focus.