Content Marketing

IBM Taps Influencers, Debating Branded Content, Marketers’ Holiday Wishes

The Strategist picks the day’s most relevant and interesting stories about the world of content from around the web. Here’s what you should be reading today:

IBM on Content Marketing

Clare McDermott of Content Marketing Institute interviewed Leslie Reiser of IBM about its content marketing strategies, who says the tech giant works with influencers (bloggers and IT analysts) and uses experts “in the appropriate channel for maximum impact across the social ecosystem.”

Content marketing, Reiser says, has helped IBM with relevance, reach, and “amplification of a voice through the redistribution of content.”

Branded Content: A Bad Idea?

Deb Wiseman of Ripple Effect Group argues that branded content for entertainment purposes might not be the best idea.

She says, “If you don’t have the right type of product with the right type of audience, creating branded content is fitting a round peg in a square hole.”

She highlights four company campaigns from Old Spice, Cheetos, Chevy, and Smirnoff and why or why not they didn’t work.

Digital Marketing Holidays

ClickZ’s Sundeep Kapur discusses SES Chicago and what marketers said they want out of consumers this holiday season.

Top on marketers’ wish list is for consumers to have a digital reader to download their apps, to tell friends about products and services, and to respond to surveys.

Is Social Media Marketing Worth It?

Mashable’s Todd Wassermann argues that parts of social media marketing, are, well, a waste of time. 

Buying likes is pointless, he says, and while great customer service on social media is nice, competitive pricing is what fosters loyalty.

He also takes aim at branded content: “IBM claims some 32,000 individual blogs and a wealth of other professional-grade content. Yet one does not simply go to and expect to see editorial content. No matter how good it is, the reader will always suspect the goal is not truth-seeking, but the promotion of IBM. That’s fine, but it’s really advertising, not publishing.”

Jeff Zucker May Run CNN

The Wall Street Journal reports that Jeff Zucker, former chief executive of NBCUniversal, might be pegged to be the next president of CNN Worldwide.

Zucker is executive producer of “Katie,” the talk show hosted by Katie Couric, and would be replacing Jim Walton.

Content Marketing Successes in 2012

Brandon Gutman highlights the content marketing successes this year from five big brands: Virgin Mobile, Marriott, American Express, L’Oreal, and Vanguard.

He concludes that content marketing is great for building brand loyalty, but that it should also be used to attract new customers. Staying true to the brand and being honest is necessary, as is “invest[ing] in the appropriate resources to meet your objectives.”

Becoming a Freelance Writer

The first step to becoming a freelance writer is to gather experience, and that involves blogging on familiar topics and “performing research to write articles that you may not know about,” according to Business 2 Community.

Freelancers also must research the employers who pay on time and have excellent customer service representatives. Once the foot’s in the door at a publication or agency, it’s a good idea to “start small and prove your worth” and build rapport with the employer, then gradually do bigger and bigger assignments.

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