Archive for Deborah Bates

Is your content headed for the Emergency Room? [Infographic]

Posted by Deborah Bates on April 10th, 2013 at 12:39 am

It may come as no surprise that the average attention span of us humans has dropped somewhat over the past 12/13 years. What with micro-blogging and Vine's 6-second videos at the height of their popularity, it was probably always going to end up this way. Did you know, though, that the average attention span is now down to just 8 seconds?!
So, your brand has less time than the average television or radio advert to grab your prospects' attention. When you consider that most web users dedicate only 4.4 seconds to each 100 words they see on a webpage, this isn't such an easy task. However if you keep your content marketing simple, concise and eye-catching, it is less likely to flatline - as this latest infographic shows...

Content marketers: Be your own press regulator

Posted by Deborah Bates on March 19th, 2013 at 7:37 am

There's been lots of speculation around the announcement from David Cameron that the government will create anew system of press regulation within the UK, which will replace the Press Complaints Commission. An independent press regulator and accompanying code of conduct (written by the industry itself) is to be established, which will decide whether or not publishers have breached any ethical guidelines. Although most of us working in the media saw this coming, it may have been a little surprising to find out that the regulations will apply to online content, too - even if publishers don't opt in to them.
Content marketers - this isn't your cue to panic.
All you have to do is take action now to ensure your content meets all ethical and quality best practice guidelines. Admittedly this will require a bit of time, effort and ongoing work; however it's absolutely necessary if you wish to maintain your brand's reputation as a white-hat publisher... and actually, it's not so difficult. So, how can you become your own regulator?
1. Set up a house style guide
Create a house style guide for your brand and circulate amongst every single member of staff. You may think only the regular content contributors need to see this,... Read more

Rel=author: The basics explained [infographic]

Posted by Deborah Bates on March 7th, 2013 at 9:54 am

Much has been made of Google's authorship tag, rel=author. In fact, there are endless blogs on the topic floating around the interwebs. Most of them explain what it's all about in great depth and really, rather well; however I've found that a lot of them are a little too in-depth.
Let's face it - we're all busy. All we need to know is what it is, why it's useful and how to implement it. For example, if you knew straight away that it is easy to use, could increase your content's click-through rates and boost your social footprint, wouldn't you consider it a vital part of the content marketing process?
Well, here you go. No jargon, no heavy detail. Just the basics of rel=author explained... Enjoy!

Why Sesame Street made it to the top of YouTube

Posted by Deborah Bates on March 6th, 2013 at 9:11 am

For those that love videos of ‘talking’ dogs, babies biting fingers or Korean men dancing, the news that Sesame Street’s YouTube page is the first non-profit channel to achieve one billion views may come as a surprise. To those that know what kind of content will inspire people, not so much.
To me, there are three main reasons why this channel has proven so successful – reasons which brands (whether for-profit or non-profit) should take note of...
1. It’s educational
Ok, so I know it’s aimed at youngsters, but the theory is all the same – teach viewers something new every time they watch. With Sesame Street, it’s a new letter, word, number or life lesson.
For brands, it could be anything and everything. It’s just a great way to make the content truly valuable. If your videos enrich your viewers’ lives every time they watch, they’ll not only keep coming back for more, but they’ll be more likely to recommend your content to their peers. This could mean increased likes, re-tweets, shares and +1s. These broaden your audience reach and also can improve your social signals (thereby increasing your traffic/rankings). What’s not to like?
2. There’s a good balance of light-hearted and serious content

Whilst... Read more

Five things Scrabble and content marketing have in common

Posted by Deborah Bates on March 5th, 2013 at 3:22 am

It’s probably no surprise to hear that content marketing and Scrabble aren't so dissimilar. To a certain extent, achieving great success in either requires a little bit of luck. Plus, they both require a pro-active attitude, a head for words and the courage to go where no-one has gone before. Ok, that sounds a little dramatic, but you get the gist!
In fact, the two have so much in common that there are many ways in which content marketers can take inspiration from this much-loved board game. Here are five to get you started...
1. It’s all about balance

Balance is vital in Scrabble. Experienced players will tell you that having a balanced rack of letters (ideally with four consonants and three vowels) is really important if they’re to land that all-elusive quadruple-word score.
It’s key in content marketing, too. Brands need to strike a balance between all sorts of things – stock and flow content, word-based and visual pieces, serious and light-hearted topics... In fact, it’s key to creating content that appeals to people at all stages of the buying cycle.
2. Strategy is a must
Serious Scrabble players often start forming a strategy in their minds as soon as their first word hits the board. They... Read more