Tag Archives: content marketing

Se7en deadly sins

Over at the site of my new business, we’ve been having fun with the seven deadly sins. Nothing sordid, mind, all very tasteful. We’ve been listing the various downfalls we’ve seen befall sites and matching them up against the classical vices. (Of course, being a business, we then offer ourselves as the solution.) It’s part of our radical strategy of making clients’ content interesting.

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Bad news for papers: the public sector wins

For eight years I plied my trade as an online journalist. My mission, should I have no choice but to accept it, was to attract readers to pages where adverts were served. For every 1,000 page impression a piece of content received we could expect something like £10 (plus any sponsorship for the relevant section).

That’s a lot of work to get a lot of traffic for not much cash. That’s a key problem for commercial publishers online. Another key problem is the way that online has moved in the past two years or so.

Thanks to the phenomenon known as Web 2.0, the focus has shifted to individual items of content not to where they are displayed. Blogs, RSS feeds, widgets, wikis, social network and umpteen other phenomena take content out of its context and share, manipulate and distribute it in more ways than seem possible. If the content is interesting enough, that is.

This presents a bijout problemette for commercial content producers. While it’s great to have lots of people reading their stories or watching their videos it’s hard to generate revenue unless you can drag those users under an advertising banner or beside a sponsor’s logo. This mission is not impossible but it is damn hard.

But this is all great news if your aim is not to make money from attracting people but simply getting a message to them. And this is where the public sector wins big, especially when it comes to delivering public service messages.

Online is now about distribution and content. If you can embed your message in interesting content then the natural flow of the web will take it to the people for you.

(Also posted on w00tonomy.com.)

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From journalist to content marketeer

I am very proud to be a journalist and, coincidentally, have long admired the late great Bill Hicks. I especially enjoyed his assessment of those trod “the other side” of the media line:

By the way, if anyone here is in advertising or marketing, kill yourself. Thank you, thank you. Just a little thought. I’m just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day they’ll take root. I don’t know. You try. You do what you can. Kill yourselves. Seriously though, if you are, do. No really, there’s no rationalisation for what you do, and you are Satan’s little helpers, OK? Kill yourselves, seriously. You’re the ruiner of all things good. Seriously, no, this is not a joke. “There’s gonna be a joke coming…” There’s no fucking joke coming, you are Satan’s spawn, filling the world with bile and garbage, you are fucked and you are fucking us, kill yourselves, it’s the only way to save your fucking soul. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now. Now, back to the show.

So part of me is bewildered to find that I have set up a “content marketing” agency called w00tonomy. Yup, I now work in marketing, though I still consider myself a journalist. A journalist who is hibernating until the current great winnowing is past and the good times come back.

In the meantime, sorry Bill.

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