Joy Parks

Posts Tagged ‘online communities’

Branded content now commands 32% of marketing communications budgets

In business development, content, content communities, content strategy on May 4, 2010 at 9:11 pm

The Custom Content Council, working with ContentWise, today released their 10th annual industry study “Characteristics Study: A Look at the Volume and Type of Content Marketing in America for 2010.” And the future couldn’t be brighter. Despite a recession and reduced ad spending in traditional paid media, U.S. spending on the production and distribution of branded content has increased to $47.2 billion. The large bump, the details of which are available only to Council members, is attributed to the inclusion of electronic and other forms of content marketing for the first time this year.

Highest proportion of spending on branded content ever
According to the Council’s news release, the most common forms of branded content (also known as custom content) are “website updates of articles, blog posts and e-newsletters, while the least common are mobile and e-zines, such as flipbooks and interactive PDFs.” And while mobile content may not be widely used right now, the study notes “it does rank as the medium that most marketers believe they are likely to add or invest in next year.” Even more optimistic is the study’s findings on the proportion of marcom spending on branded content—a whopping 32% of overall budget, the highest percentage of spending dedicated to branded content in the study’s 10 year history.

For both companies looking to benefit from their own content marketing program and the content strategists and creators who already know the value of branded content, the news doesn’t get any better than this.

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Conversation Agent demonstrates why strategic content and good writing demand respect

In business development, content, content communities, content strategy on April 20, 2010 at 3:59 pm

This morning, Valeria Maltoni’s Conversation Agent, the number one blog on the Top 42 Content Marketing Blogs (as listed by branded content expert Joe Pulizzi) carried the headline “Top Company Blogs Require Content Strategy, Expertise, Good Writing.”

Granted, my first response was “you think?” But considering the number of semi- or soon-to-be-abandoned (you can always tell) corporate blogs I’ve seen—and the fact that content for far too many websites and other online communications is done as an afterthought, not part of the strategic plan, it dawned on me that for someone not involved in the marketing of writing and content strategy services, this idea might be quite revolutionary. So kudos to Conversation Agent for bringing the value of good content forward—and for so dramatically showing the direct relationship between professionally written, strategically-developed content and corporate success.

And a child shall lead us …

In content communities on February 21, 2010 at 1:01 pm

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine bought her six-year-old daughter a Webkinz™ stuffed toy. Not knowing much about the Webkinz phenomenon and the amazing online content that Ganz™ has created as part of the Webkinz play experience, she didn’t notice that this particular toy was missing its online secret access code.

Her daughter certainly did. After all, she had access to the rich viral network of Webkinz info found on the grade one recess yard. The little girl patiently explained to her mother that without those magic numbers, the Webkinz was “just a stuffed animal.” Then she went next door to play with a friend who could unlock the site.

Eventually, the toy was paired up with its code and restored to its full play value to the delight of both the mother and the little girl. But what I found interesting was how fully this six-year-old understood that the online content was an essential part of the toy—that it wasn’t just an add-on, but intrinsic to the play experience.

It’s a fact that bodes well for the future of branded content and its creators.