Adobe, WordPress, Google Docs lead CabinetM list of content marketing tools

CabinetM reports content marketing technology is the sixth most popular layer within client martech stacks.

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Content marketing technology is the sixth most common layer of customers’ martech stacks, said Anita Brearton, CEO of CabinetM, a marketing technology management platform. And based on her company’s list, Adobe, Google and WordPress are the most common of that mix.

“There is no longer a clean line between content marketing and marketing technology,” said Brearton. “We are all content marketers in one way or another. And, as such, we all use one or more pieces of technology to create, deliver, manage or measure the effectiveness of content.”

Brearton pulled a list of the most often used content marketing tools among her clients and found the number one tool was Adobe Creative Cloud, which CabinetM classifies as a content creation solution.

Top 10 Content Marketing Tools based on CabinetM data:

  1. Adobe Creative Cloud (Adobe)
  2. WordPress (Automattic)
  3. Google Docs (Google)
  4. Canva (Canva)
  5. Drupal (Drupal Association)
  6. SharePoint (Microsoft)
  7. Sitecore Web Experience Manager (Sitecore)
  8. Curata Curation Software (Curata)
  9. InVision (InVision)
  10. LiveChat (LiveChat Software)

Of the top 20 content marketing tools from Brearton’s list, five were content creation platforms, three of which showed up in the top 10: Adobe Creation Cloud, Canva and InVision. While content creation platforms made up 20 percent of Brearton’s top 20 most popular content marketing tools, the bulk of the list was divided evenly between content management/workflow solutions, content management systems, content marketing platforms and chat systems.

“One of the biggest trends is that marketers are viewing chat as a content marketing tool and are recognizing that it offers a way to engage customers and enhance the customer experience,” said Brearton, “There are three chat tools in the top 20!”

Drift, a content marketing/chat solution focused on “conversational marketing” came in 16th in Brearton’s list of top 20 content marketing platforms. Brearton said the tool was a big driver in the chat trend.

What makes a great platform? Brad Smith, founder of the content creation firm Codeless, says the true value of content marketing technology isn’t that it allows content marketers to do more, but that enables them to do less.

“Martech removes the time-consuming bottlenecks, making preparation easier, collaboration more seamless, and distribution more consistent. That frees up content marketers to spend more time prioritizing the most difficult part: starting at a blank, white screen and creating something from scratch,” said Smith.

When asked which content marketing technology the team at Codeless finds most helpful, Smith points to everything from an SEO content template from SEMrush, a workflow management platform and a Facebook ads tool.

“We use AdEspresso for social paid promotion,” said Smith, who disclosed the platform is also a client of Codeless. “We pay for an account and use it to automatically run split tests for both ad creative and placements to bring down distribution costs. You can set the variables, and then it will automatically pause under-performing placements and creative, or increase budget on others that are working well.”

One of the content creation tools in Smith’s arsenal of content marketing tech is Grammarly. Codeless uses it to catch glaring errors, but Smith said it also helps his team check for plagiarism (both automated and manual) when contracting out writing assignments to freelancers.

“For example, we commonly see less experienced writers will basically rip off content that’s already out there and that puts us and our clients at risk,” said Smith.

Snail mail? You might expect something like AI or virtual reality to come up as the next big thing in content marketing, but Brearton has another idea: direct mail.

“In the world of what’s old is new again, marketers are back to focusing on direct mail as part of their omnichannel programs because the response rates are very good, and direct mail serves as a great reinforcement for mobile and online initiatives,” said Brearton.

CabinetM recently released its direct mail technology stack with assistance from the United States Postal Service and Postalytics. The stack includes more than 175 martech solutions aimed at creating, personalizing, distribution and tracking direct mail campaigns.

In a release announcing the direct mail technology stack, USPS vice president of product innovation Gary Reblin said that direct mail response rates are often 30 times higher than display ads and nine-times higher than email ads.

“What’s new and exciting is that there are lots of new tools that make it easy to create, produce, and deliver personalized direct mail on demand, as well as tools that provide the means to track and measure the effectiveness of direct mail programs,” said Brearton.

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U.S. podcast audiences keep growing, 62 million listening weekly

Half of the U.S. has now listened to a podcast, according to Edison Research.

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For the first time, more than half (51 percent) of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast, up from 44 percent last year. Put another way, 144 million people, or 20 million more people than just a year ago, have listened to a podcast.

Frequency is on the rise, too. An estimated 90 million, or nearly one-third (32 percent) listen monthly, up from 26 percent.

And 22 percent are weekly listeners, up from 17 percent. That’s an estimated 62 million weekly U.S. podcast listeners. The numbers come from Edison Research and Triton Digital’s latest Infinite Dial survey.

Who’s listening? Numbers are increasing among men and women, but men are more likely to be listeners with 36 percent of male respondents saying they listen to podcasts monthly, compared to 29 percent of women.

Podcasts are reaching roughly 40 percent of people age 12 to 24 and 25 to 54.  While listening among those 55 and older is up from 13 percent last year, just 17 percent of this older demographic are monthly podcast listeners.

Weekly listeners said they heard an average of seven podcasts in the last week. More than half (52 percent) of them had listened to four or more podcasts that week.

Digital audio looks to podcast market. Spotify, which has made significant overtures in podcasting with the acquisitions of podcasting network Gimlet Media and back-end services company Anchor last month, is quickly gaining traction among younger audiences. Among monthly podcast listeners age 12-24, fifty-three percent were Spotify listeners, up from just 32 percent a year ago.

Why you should care. The marketing opportunities in podcasting continue to evolve from host-read ads and branded sponsored series. As companies like Spotify invest in growing their podcast businesses, the marketing opportunities — and measurement and attribution capabilities — will become more sophisticated. This is still early days for podcasting, but growing audiences and investment means it’s an area more brands will consider incorporating into their marketing strategies.

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Google decision to yank comments from webmaster blog highlights user-generated content challenges

If Google can’t filter spammy content from one of its own blogs, what hope do brands have when it comes to policing user generate content?

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On Friday, Google announced it was turning off comments on its Webmaster Central Blog, the site that provides news and updates for website owners and search marketers.

“Sometimes they were extremely thoughtful, other times they made us laugh out loud, but most of the time they were off-topic or even outright spammy,” wrote Google’s webmaster trends analyst Gary Illyes about comments often received on the blog, “If you think about it, the latter is rather ironic, considering this is the Google Webmaster Blog.”

Why you should care

Google’s decision to remove comments on its Webmaster Central blog puts a spotlight on the broader challenges marketers face when trying to monitor user-generated content (UGC). Google’s inability to effectively filter and block spammy or abusive comments from its own blogs drives home the time and effort needed to deliver an effective and worthwhile user generate content strategy. If Google can’t do it, does anyone else really have a chance?

And blog owners aren’t the only ones vulnerable to bad actors in the comments section. Publishers aiming to monetize website content via Google’s AdSense program are also impacted by spam and abusive comments. According to Google AdSense rules, publishers must ensure content on their websites — including user generated content such as comments — does not violate Google’s hate speech policies. If Google finds any content in violation of its rules, it will remove ads from the page.

Google’s choice to remove all comments shows that whatever benefits could have been gained from an open dialogue with readers were not worth the time needed to police the content. Google’s call to disable comments is worth taking note of for any marketers looking to launch a blog — or content marketing strategy — that relies heavily on user generated content.

More on the news

  • The “nofollow link attribute” Google introduced in 2005 as a way to prevent comment spam did not sufficiently deter bad (or annoying) actors.
  • Per Google’s announcement, the webmaster team will now use help forums and its Twitter feed to interact with its community.
  • In 2015, Marketing Land and our sister site Search Engine Land disabled comments after our research showed they were not driving beneficial conversations.

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Here’s why a disciplined story is so vital to digital transformation success

Content is what makes a digital transformation run, so telling a story across all channels that is clear and consistent is more important than ever.

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You must feed digital transformation or it dies. Once you’ve gone through the Herculean work of integrating the tech stack, designing and developing great new experiences, and shifting the processes and culture of the organization, it’s time to make that sleek new high-performance machine move as the salesperson promised.

So, you’ve got to fuel it, and that fuel is content. After all, how do you create a continuum of experience across all customer touchpoints without the content to fill that continuum? Where do you get the data to create a detailed picture of your customer if not through the content they access (or the content they ignore)? How do you maintain relevancy in the two most important digital channels, search and social, without content?

A digitally transformed organization is a content organization. With that much content, telling a disciplined story that is clear and consistent is more important than ever because the alternative is a big, blatant mess of a brand and an incomplete pool of data.

Your story moves at the speed of digital

Keeping a story accurate and consistent across a sales force and an ever-growing array of marketing channels has always been difficult. But digital transformation drastically changes the scale of both delivery and consumption.

Now, your story is going out; not just at the rhythm of a campaign, but continually across your marketing channels. Your social feeds are voracious, thought leadership constantly sought after in complex and changing industries, and you’re launching new experiences to stay competitive. And just as fast as it’s being delivered, it’s being consumed. To be top of mind with a customer is to be on top of your content game.

As your story goes out across all those channels at velocity, it’s also going out in numerous forms, from the few characters of a tweet to the pervasive language of an interface (yes, even your interface is telling a story) to the conversational interaction of your talking head videos. You need to ensure that your story not only can be adapted to those forms but that it is being done so appropriately all the time.

Finally, while your story is everywhere and moving at the speed of digital, so is everybody else’s. Your story needs to cut across the cacophony of competitor noise and the general digital deluge of information and experiences that your clients always face. That takes the continual distribution of an exactingly created, consistent story.

Your story is getting personal

Not only is the story spreading across more channels faster and more often, that story will probably have multiple versions. Digitally transformed companies are now set up to deliver and capitalize on personalized content, so a story needs to be more than just broadly relevant to a market and a field. It needs to speak directly to an audience segment and, more often than not, to a specific individual.

And even though these individuals and segments often differ in their challenges and how your organization can solve these problems for them, those messages cannot be at odds with each other. Those messages all need to serve the same brand with those individuals and segments being characters in a bigger, unified story. Otherwise, there will be confusion about your goals and priorities both externally in the market and internally in your organization.

Your story is speaking for itself

Today, your customer is steps ahead of your sales force. They’ve Googled your company, they’ve checked your website, they’ve read your social media feeds, they’ve reached out to colleagues across their social networks.

They’re halfway through the book before your sales representative even has a chance to set up the story with them face-to-face.

Your story is going to be self-driven, so wherever it appears, it needs to be simple and clear, regardless of the complexity of your solution, the complexity of your organization, and the complexity of your market. Even as your story gets more complex internally, as it versions for different audiences and different media, the outcome of that story, the part that your audience sees and interacts with, still needs to be simple and clear.

Your story changes based on the data

You should be telling your story over and over and over until your audience is so familiar with it, they can pitch it back at you. However, there is one important exception: if your story isn’t working. The most disciplined, consistent, and clear story might be inherently flawed. It happens. Erroneous assumptions, bad generalizations, a misunderstanding of the customer challenges, a misreading of the data, a misprediction of the trends — all of that can innocently make it into a story.

But the beauty of storytelling for a digitally transformed organization is that you’re going to know relatively quickly if it’s not resonating.  It’s the same principle of a digitally transformed company quickly launching and adapting a product. That’s because you have a complete picture of your customer from data aggregation across channels.

In the past, you had the digital metrics to know that your white paper wasn’t being downloaded. You also know what your audience is searching for on Google thanks to AdWords and what they’re saying on social and through their content engines. But now those feeds are connected. The fundamental mandate of story writing is to know your audience. Digital transformation means you know more than analytics. You know the human beings behind those analytics.

And when you see that your story isn’t resonating and, more importantly, why it’s not resonating, you can change it. However, if even your erroneous story is not disciplined and clear, changing that story will be hard to do. Rebuilding a house on a badly built foundation is extremely difficult.

You are competing on the content experience

Anywhere you release a single sentence into the market, you face an opportunity to either strengthen your story or degrade it in public. With digital transformation, that opportunity is coming at you scores of times a day. The digitally transformed company is competing on its experiences, and that includes the content experience. Releasing undisciplined content across all of those many opportunities piles up and creates costly problems for the brand.

To ensure a high-quality content experience, you need to make sure there’s a story behind it, and that the story is accurate, consistent, tightly adaptable to both media and audience, and continually delivered. Being able to do that takes a lot of discipline in the marketing organization. And I mean a lot. It takes a process for creating the story. It takes an official, almost sacred, documentation for housing that story. It takes somebody in charge of that story at all times.

You must feed digital transformation or it dies. But you also must be careful what you feed it, else it can turn on you.

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6 marketing trends set to take off in 2019

No longer are marketers focused solely on moving a customer through the funnel. Now, marketers are creating experiences that promote…Read blog postabout:6 marketing trends set to take off in 2019
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No longer are marketers focused solely on moving a customer through the funnel. Now, marketers are creating experiences that promote...Read blog postabout:6 marketing trends set to take off in 2019

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Measure Your Success

Business management consultant Peter Drucker is often attributed with the saying “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” By this he meant that you don’t know whether you’re succeeding unless your goal is defined and tracked. When it comes to DMO websites there are six goals we see tracked more often than others. They are:… Read More

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Business management consultant Peter Drucker is often attributed with the saying “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” By this he meant that you don’t know whether you’re succeeding unless your goal is defined and tracked.

When it comes to DMO websites there are six goals we see tracked more often than others. They are:

  • eNewsletter SignUp
  • Visitor Guide Download
  • Aggregate Bounce Rate
  • Aggregate Time On Site
  • Aggregate Goal Conversion Rate
  • Aggregate Pages Per Visit

Because it is the most commonly tracked, we covered eNewsletter Sign-up in more detail in this previous post. In this post, we’ll pull from our report State of Personalization for Destination Marketers, so you can see how you measure up to your peers.

In the below charts, the Non-Targeted numbers represent website visitors who were not served personalized content. If you are not serving personalized content, you should compare your own performance against this group.

If you are serving personalized content, you will be in the higher performing group and should compare your performance to that of the website visitors tracked under Targeted.

How does your website compare to your peers on these key metrics? Does this bring up questions about what you’re measuring and managing? A simple but well organized measurement strategy is critical to managing a successful website. If you have any questions about best practices, please feel free to contact the Bound team here, and we’ll be happy to chat.

If you would like to download the  Free Guide: State of Personalization 2018 Report from which we pulled these metrics, click here. In the report, you will learn how destination marketers like you are leveraging:

  •      Website personalization benchmark statistics
  •      Strategies for implementing personalization
  •      2018 trends in content and personalization
  •      Real case studies from successful destinations

Related Posts

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Images and Stories Inspire Us to Travel

Photo courtesy of Tupelo.net When you see an image of a beautiful location or hear a great story about a destination, your natural response is to want to experience it yourself. The first step in that experience is often looking at the pictures of other travelers and reading their thoughts, opinions and narratives of their… Read More

The post Images and Stories Inspire Us to Travel appeared first on Bound.

Photo courtesy of Tupelo.net

When you see an image of a beautiful location or hear a great story about a destination, your natural response is to want to experience it yourself. The first step in that experience is often looking at the pictures of other travelers and reading their thoughts, opinions and narratives of their experiences. We respond strongly to this user generated content because we can relate to the creators and we can relate their experience to what ours could be like.

In our 2018 State of Personalization Report, we identify user generated content as a major driver in online engagement. That’s the difference we see between user generated content and advertiser or marketer generated content. Travelers trust other travelers over advertisers. According to a study by Elon University, 65% of consumers trust word of mouth on the Internet more than content produced by advertisers.

Incorporating user-generated content into your destination’s digital marketing campaigns is a great opportunity to include an undeniable level of authenticity. In the report, we look at how leveraging local audiences to create content creates three benefits:

  • Modern consumers are visual decision makers.
  • Real people don’t feel like an advertising campaign.
  • User generated content establishes credibility.

As part of a bigger initiative to turn all marketing directives from professional photos to user-generated images taken by real visitors, Bound customer, Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau, started their #MyTupelo campaign. While Elvis’ hometown draws crowds from far and wide, many visitors only come for one specific attraction — so the challenge for the marketing team at Tupelo CVB was to increase overnight/weekend stays. Tupelo realized that it could take its marketing goals and initiatives to another level with a strategy that involved leveraging their locals.

“With UGC it’s not just us telling you to use our hashtag; it’s us saying there’s another traveler who stood in the exact same spot you’re standing in right now, and telling their travel story with a level of authenticity we just can’t provide on our own,” said Will Crockett, Online Content Manager at Tupelo CVB.

San Francisco Travel Association launched their “I am San Francisco and You Are Always Welcome” campaign as part of an initiative to let international travelers know that all people are always welcome. The first phase addressed the visitor directly in a dedicated video and #AlwaysWelcome hashtag. Phase two involves a nine-feature campaign leveraging locals with the goal of showcasing San Francisco as a diverse and welcoming destination. Titled “I Am San Francisco,” it’s an online series sharing the stories of both natives of the city and those who came to visit and found a home.

“We wanted to tell stories that are real and authentically San Francisco,” President and CEO of SF Travel Association, Joe D’Alessandro said. “This is what San Francisco is all about–not just acknowledging diversity but celebrating and defending it around the world.”

User generated content is just one of the topics we cover in our annual report. You can download the Free Guide: State of Personalization 2018 Report to learn how destination marketers like you are leveraging:

  • Website personalization benchmark statistics
  • Strategies for implementing personalization
  • 2018 trends in content and personalization
  • Real case studies from successful destinations

Related Posts

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