Focus on Context

We’ve all seen various repeats of “Content is King”, first uttered by Bill Gates in 1996. It was certainly true then, although many people seemed to think (and apparently, some still do) that focusing solely on content was sufficient to achieve success. Mr. Gates, of course, is bright enough to know that the “build it and they will come” approach to marketing leaves a lot to be desired. His mistake was in believing that most people would realize that and fill in the gaps. Some, Bill… but apparently, not the majority.

Taking into consideration the self-induced tunnel vision of the masses, if you add the fact that search algorithms have matured tremendously, perhaps even beyond the point that many thought possible nearly 20 years ago, one can reasonably argue that Bill’s statement is no longer true. Or at least, true only in a more general sense. [Read more…]

Where Do Content Ideas Come From?

Looking for content ideasI was asked recently what my process was for developing content ideas — and I got to thinking that this particularly nosey client might not be the only one wondering how the gears and wires all go together behind the scenes.  After all, we don’t really discuss idea generation much, we just assume it’s a thing that happens without effort.  Ideas magically populate, we send them to our writers to write and BLAM!, we’re done.

Oh, Dear Reader, how I wish it were so…. but it’s not.  Generating content ideas takes genuine effort, real dedication and knowledge of your particular subject matter, whether that’s the mating rituals of assorted beavers or performance boating.   [Read more…]

Marketing for The Tubes: Improving Your YouTube Video Skip Rate

I’ve had a keen eye for marketing as long as I can remember.  As a child, I reached for the Want Ads before the comics and always paid far more attention to commercials than the programming they were embedded in.  After three and a half decades of watching, it drives me crazy when I see big name advertisers consistently misusing a marketing form.

Skip Ad buttonEverybody, large and small, has seen the little commercials that YouTube forces you to watch before you can click through to get to your video of dancing cats.  They’re the little annoyances that we all wait impatiently through, until the “Skip Ad” button pops up.  According to a TubeMogul report in 2013, up to 85 percent of all those ads are skipped with glee. [Read more…]