The New Year ushered in the usual slew of “lookahead” insights for the content marketing industry. Unfortunately, nothing was particularly fresh or surprising, (except that the “dipshits” identified brilliantly in this year-old piece from Vice are still around).
Among the outpourings of wisdom that I came across was a piece of intelligence that’s worth surfacing even if it’s not surprising: Market research firm Ascend2 recently published a summary report on social media marketing success, which identifies “lack of in-house resources/skills” as the biggest challenge faced by the marketing, sales, and business professionals polled.
My work at /newsrooms so far has taught me much, but one thing that stands out is the need to bring together journalists, designers, editors, and data analysts. This is the only way content marketers can hope to meet the demands of the industry. In-house communications departments are still, too often, analyzing the data to prove ROI on every bit they send out through social media. Traditional marketing agencies are hiring journalists to tell more compelling stories, (to the point where “storytelling” should be a banned word for 2015.) Others in the industry are still trying to make every video they produce go viral.
What the Acsend2 research highlights is that marketers are still trying to publish something that resonates… and then go home. They haven’t yet absorbed the reality of what Mark Schaefer calls “content shock,” the intersection of finite content consumption and rising content availability.
In other words, the environment requires a sustained effort. For members of any audience, the expectation is that they will find something insightful every time they check a channel. If not, they look elsewhere. A 20-second video might be a masterpiece, but does nothing for your social media channels unless it’s followed up… again and again and again.
Keeping the channel current is what journalists have done since the first wide-circulation newspapers were published in the 19th century. Put them together with smart designers and producers who can get things done quickly, as well as data analysts who figure out what’s working best, and you’ll have the resources you need.
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