Daily Archives: September 12, 2017

U.S. ag chemical makers back controversial Trump nominee

Democrats oppose Clovis for USDA science job

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DowDuPont amends split plan

Wilmington-based specialty products firm will be much larger under new breakup scheme

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4 Tips to Stop Killing Your Content Team from Workfront & Nordstrom

The pressure is on! Content marketers are being expected to create more with less. And often, that means creating more content without adding additional team members.

Unfortunately, the content copywriters are often the ones that bear the brunt of these situations which can be exhausting and cause content burnout.

To help ease the pain, Workfront’s Heather Hurst and Nordstrom’s Erica Gunn shared some great tips to help you scale work with the resources you have in their presentation at Content Marketing World.

Want to keep your content team happy and productive? Here’s what to do:

#1 – Build a Business Case

Ok listen up, this part is important:

Before you start anything, you need to understand why you’re doing it and whether it rolls up to the most important goals of your company.

Once you’ve developed your goals, it’s time to develop a strategic breakdown that will help you execute. Some key questions to ask include:

  • What are you trying to accomplish?
  • How will you measure success?
  • Are you working on the right things?
  • What’s not going to help you succeed? Eliminate it!

Ultimately, customer data should help make content decisions. Traditionally, Nordstrom relied heavily on gut instincts combined with trends to lead their content strategy. Now, they’ve taken a much nimbler approach that includes weekly meetings so that the team can pivot quickly, as well as measurement of content daily, monthly and quarterly. This enables short-term and long term adjustments to planning and creation based on content goals.

#2 – Manage & Prioritize Work Requests

When you have fully tapped content resources, it comes down to finding the balance between what is urgent, and what is important.

Also, utilizing a project management system like Workfront (which we use at our agency), can help teams identify what should be prioritized when there is simply too much to get done.

It’s essential to make time for unplanned work as well. If you’re able to plan for approximately 60% of your team’s tasks, then that leaves 40% of available time to handle last-minute or unplanned items.

#3 – Leverage Existing Content to Build Assets

One of the most overlooked opportunities for creating great content efficiently is to repurpose existing content. And while many marketers talk about content repurposing as a tactic, few are doing it effectively.

To make repurposing simple, start by tagging content appropriately so that you have an easy way to look it up in the future.

Last year, our CEO Lee Odden developed a great blog post that covered 50 influencer marketing fails, many of which came from influencers themselves. After seeing some great success with this post (over 2,000 shares), we decided to turn it into an ungated SlideShare that featured insights from some of the influencers, but also included some new ways to win at influencer marketing. To date this SlideShare has had over 37,000 views!

#4 – Manage Change

In their presentation, Erica and Heather shared three ways to enact change:

  1. Communicate: Create a case and share it with your leadership team that includes recommendations for more structured intake, prioritization and resource management.
  2. Model: Make an effort to change your own intake, prioritization and resource management behaviors. That way everyone else can see that you’re doing it differently.
  3. Reinforce: Reward team members that are following suit or participating in the change of these new behaviors and consider consequences for those who are following the old behaviors.

A Happy Team is a Productive Team

When you get caught up in the day-to-day, it can be difficult to make time for evolving process. However, think about the amount of time you will save by throwing out antiquated content process and let’s be frank, looking for new talent if your team gets burnt out.

Start by collecting data about what is and isn’t working. From there, you can develop your plan, implement and then reassess and optimize your approach.

What have you found to be your biggest challenges in creating a manageable workload for your content team?


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4 Tips to Stop Killing Your Content Team from Workfront & Nordstrom | http://www.toprankblog.com

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How to Find the Stories in Your Data for Compelling Reporting

Google Analytics Data Visualization Adam Singer

Our hyper-connected digital world is defined by an overabundance of data. Everything’s measurable, trackable, and quantifiable. Want to know how many people died on screen in your favorite movie? Or how much ice cream the average American eats per year? The data’s at your fingertips.

The ready availability of data is great for marketers. It helps us optimize performance, personalize content, and prove our value to the business.

But data in a vacuum isn’t informative or useful. It’s not about the facts and figures themselves; it’s about how we shape that data into compelling stories.

As an Analytics Advocate at Google, Adam Singer has years of experience finding and revealing the meaningful narrative in datasets. His presentation at Content Marketing World 2017 was all about how to create clean, informative, compelling data visualizations.

Here’s a quick visual summary of his entire presentation, courtesy of Kingman Ink:

My favorite part is the lizard that represents your limbic brain. Visuals cut straight to that reflexive part of your brain, making a point quicker than listing facts and drawing conclusions.

Here’s how Adam suggests creating data-based visuals that speak directly to our inner lizards.

#1:  Prepare Data for Analysis

Great data visualization starts with…well…data. More than that, it starts with a meaningful and manageable data set. The data you choose to include should be tailored to both the story you want to tell and the audience that’s going to receive it. For an example, when pulling internal data, your CEO might just want to know whether marketing is contributing to revenue. By contrast, your CMO will want revenue, engagement, and sales enablement data.

Adam recommends these three steps for data analysis:

  1. Filtering: Make sure you’re getting high quality data. For example, in your website analytics, exclude bot and spam traffic from your traffic reports.
  2. Sorting: Use the sorting that makes the most business sense. In most cases, a combined and weighted sort will be the most useful, organizing data along two variables.
  3. Grouping: In Google Analytics, you can group data into categories. This can help you create more specific, focused visualizations.

#2: Tell Your Data Story

With the data in hand, you can create a visualization. Aim to create an image so simple, specific, and clean that it’s readable at a glance. In other words, the opposite of this: 

Notice how your eyes flick back and forth between the legend and the chart, trying to make sense of it all. Compare that chart to this one:

There’s a mountain of data behind that visualization, but you can instantly grasp the point: vaccines eliminate diseases.

Such a stunning visual doesn’t happen by accident. It takes careful planning. Adam recommends “storyboarding” your visualizations before you even pull the data in. Nail down who you’re talking to, what questions you’re answering, and the story you’re telling before you create a single chart.

#3: Best Practices for Compelling Data Reporting

As with any kind of storytelling, the best way to visualize your data depends on your audience and your story. But there are some consistent best practices to follow. Adam recommends following these guidelines for visualizations in your internal reporting, regardless of audience or intent:

  1. Keep charts and graphs simple. Don’t graph every data point–just enough to show the trend. Focus on what matters most to your story.
  2. Tell the user what the point is. Your audience shouldn’t have to guess at the conclusion you want them to draw: Put it right in the title of your visualization.
  3. Don’t spin the data. Ever. The point of data visualization is to get at the facts, not obscure them. Don’t abuse your audience’s trust with misleading visuals.
  4. Make reporting part of your process. It’s easy to think of reporting as something tacked on to the end of a campaign, a final housekeeping task. Better to see reporting as vital to our ongoing marketing efforts and approach it with dedication and enthusiasm.
  5. Use the right data for the right stakeholder. Make sure you personalize your reports for different audiences, sticking with only the most relevant data for each.
  6. Be creative and have fun. Solutions like Google Data Studio make it easy to pull in data and play with visualizations. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Data Points

When done properly, a single chart or graph can convey paragraphs of information at a single glance. Choose your data carefully, keep your visualizations simple and purposeful, and you can create a report far more compelling than a list of stats and figures could ever be.

Speaking of beautiful data visualization, have you seen our interactive influencer marketing infographic?

 

The post How to Find the Stories in Your Data for Compelling Reporting appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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Misty Copeland: 'It’s Important for Women to See Themselves Represented'

Misty Copeland opens up to Glamour magazine in the October 2017 issue about the importance of women seeing themselves represented in beauty ads.

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12 Questions You Need to Answer if You Want to Launch a Video Content Strategy

There’s no question that video is an increasingly important digital marketing tactic. Humans are visual creatures by nature and, when done right, video allows brands to tell their story and create meaningful, emotional connections with their audience.

For California-based Jordan Vineyard and Winery, video content has become a central piece of their marketing strategy. Lisa Mattson, Director of Marketing & Communications, shared how they’re winning at video during her Content Marketing World session “How Jordan Winery Crushed Content Marketing With a Video-Centered Strategy.”

For a little background, Jordan Vineyard and Winery has been around since the early 1970s, and until Mattson came on board, they’re marketing strategy hadn’t changed in more than 40 years.

“Even the finest wine has a shelf life,” Mattson said in reference to a brand’s image and personality. “You have to innovate.”

But before you get started with video content, Mattson said you need to answer some critical questions if you want your venture to be successful. Below I outline some of the key questions you need to consider.

#1 – Do you have the upper management support?

This one’s pretty simple. The success of any of your marketing initiatives, especially if you’re looking to add a new tactic like video to the mix, depends on getting buy-in from the top. When the leaders at the top support what you do and are excited about it, that trickles down.

#2 – Are you willing to embed yourself in other departments?

In order to create dynamic video content, you’re going to need to lean on folks in multiple departments. Not only are your colleagues going to be a source of inspiration for the type of content you create, but they may need to actually participate in the filming.

#3 – Are your spokespersons comfortable on camera?

Quite obviously, anyone you put on camera needs to feel comfortable there. If they aren’t, that discomfort will be obvious to your audience and turn them off.

#4 – Are you prepared for resistance from co-workers?

As mentioned above, you’re going to have to work with several people from several departments to create awesome video content. But video is time consuming. And your colleagues are busy and this will add more to their already full plate. As a result, you need to be prepared to be met with some resistance, and have a plan to help you work around it.

#5 – What are the best video stories to tell?

At the end of the day, you’re creating video to help tell your brand’s story. So you need to think critically about what types of stories are a good fit for the medium.

#6 – Can you run lean and mean?

If you’re just starting out with video, you likely don’t have a huge team of resources just yet — and maybe you never will. So, you have to be able to commit to running your video strategy “lean and mean.”

#7 – Do you have IT infrastructure?

Video content can take up a lot of bandwidth, so it’s essential to consider your IT needs from the beginning. Mattson recalled an instance where the retail sales department couldn’t process online customer orders because marketing was using so much juice to upload videos to YouTube. So, it’s absolutely critical to make sure you have the right IT infrastructure.

#8 – How big and thorough is your budget?

While it’s widely known that video costs more to produce, Mattson said you don’t need to have a huge budget. You just need to know what your budget is and make a thorough list of what needs to be included.

“Little things add up,” Mattson said. “You might need a little bit of stock footage, or maybe you need to buy some props, and that all costs money.”

She went on to share some of the specific items you’ll need to budget for upfront, including: lenses, camera body, external drives, iMac, lighting, tripod, audio, editing software, and miscellaneous. She estimated the investment to be about $14,000, which seems high. However, hiring a production company to create just one three-minute video, she said, could cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.

#9 – What are the right skill sets and job responsibilities?

Of course, in order to produce high-quality video content, you need capable people to actually do it. Mattson suggested in embracing multi-talented positions, and hiring candidates with core skills and be willing to cross-train them. In addition, she noted that it’s important to know what skills simply can’t be taught, and that it’s important to set job expectations early and clearly.

#10 – Do you have an editorial plan?

For Mattson, consistency is the key to video success. As a result, you need to have a strategy content plan that helps you keep a cadence that will keep your audience coming back and make an impact.

As an extra tip, she also suggested leaving a little wiggle room in there to take advantage of what’s trending. For example, the song “Despacito” is going gangbusters on the radio, and they created a parody video about bottling their wine. You can watch it below.

#11 – Do you have distribution?

According to Mattson, content might be king, but distribution is queen. Once you create an amazing video, you need to set it free to your audience and go beyond social media.

Some of the distribution considerations mentioned included: where you’re hosting your video content (i.e. YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), paid placement, influencers, and search.

#12 – Do you have an audience?

This is the big one. At the end of the day, if you’re going to do video you have to make sure that you have an audience for it. Depending on your industry, product, service and type of customer, video may not resonate.

One Final Thought

When it comes to creating and executing on a video strategy — or your overall marketing strategy for that matter — there’s one big thing that Mattson said that really resonated with me:

[bctt tweet=”People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. – @lisamattsonwines #video #CMWorld” username=”toprank”]

For me, this comes down to storytelling. You need a compelling narrative that’s hyperfocused on why your organization does what it does.

Stay tuned for more #CMWorld coverage and insights on the TopRank Marketing Blog. In addition, follow myself and the rest of our on-the-ground team members on Twitter at: @CaitlinMBurgess, @Tiffani_Allen, @leeodden, @knutesands, @NiteWrites, @amywhiggins and @azeckman.

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First responders sue Arkema

Seven emergency personnel claim Texas chemical fire resulted in injury from toxic fumes

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