Content Marketing

McDonald’s # Campaign, Content Bests Banner Ads, (RED) Mobile Giving

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:

McDonald’s Using Hashtags in Commercials

McDonald’s has put out its first TV ad that asks viewers to log onto Twitter and join in on a conversation, Mashable reports.

The campaign is in alignment with the Pro Bowl; People who participate on Twitter by tweeting out the hashtag #mcdprobowl will be entered to win a trip to the event in Hawaii.

OneSpot to Replace Banner Ads with Sponsored Ads

Paid Content’s Jeff John Roberts reports that OneSpot, an ad firm, will be replacing banner ads with branded content.

He writes, “In practice, this might mean that an ice cream chain selects a piece of content it controls — perhaps a company blog post or a video or a newspaper review. With the help of OneSpot, the ice cream chain zaps that content into the form of an ad and places it on sites where ice cream fans are likely to be. The advantage of this approach, rather than randomly spraying an ad around the Internet, is that target customers are likely to engage with the advertiser because the ad is content they care about.”

OneSpot is a mix of native advertising and display advertising.

(RED) Introduces Mobile Giving 

According to ClickZ, (RED), the AIDS charity, has introduced a mobile giving campaign that focuses on World AIDS Day and the holidays.

After a user dials **RED on a mobile phone, “they hear a brief message from Dutch mega-DJ Tiësto, who thanks them for helping in the fight against AIDS and informs them that he will send them a text. Once received, the text contains three links, which allow users with one click to either purchase Tiësto’s newly launched electronic music compilation, Dance (RED) Save Lives, on iTunes; go to to purchase products from (RED) partners; or to sign up to donate to the charity.”

This is the first time (RED) has ever used mobile marketing.

Branded Content Kings

Anna Washenko of Sprout Social highlights three brands that are “knocking it out of the park” with branded content: Patrón, Lenovo, and PayPal.

The tequila company uses sponsored posts that promote the Patrón Secret Dining Society and run on local food and culture websites. Lenovo has content on Buzzfeed and other sites, along with deals on its laptops and electronics. PayPal partners with Mashable on posts that include “tips for making safe online purchases” and infographics “sharing mobile shopping statistics.”

Middle East Taps Into Branded Content

The Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity which is “the leading awards and Festival for creative excellence in communications for the Middle East and Africa region” is introducing an entry section for Branded Content and Entertainment.

According to Jazarah, entries open Dec. 9 and close Feb. 7. The jury will be chaired by Mike Wiese, the director of branded entertainment for JWT.

Why Comparing Content Matters 

Content Marketing Institute’s David Drickhamer says that companies need to “benchmark” and look at what competitors are doing in terms of content marketing.

Companies need to benchmark against direct competitors of all sizes, trade associations, B2B magazines, and similar organizations in different industries that are creating great content.

He says, “As content marketing budgets grow, and more companies produce and promote their own content and thought leadership material, it will only become more difficult to stand out.”

Tips for Freelance Writing

Erin O’Neil of The Renegade Writer has some tips for fellow freelancers on her blog.

Freelance writers need to consider themselves businesses and market themselves accordingly, as well as do their homework and research about organizations before writing for them. This includes looking at other writers’ biographies, taking notes on the tone of organizations’ websites, and thoroughly reading the content.

Keep a positive attitude and don’t let rejection make you bitter, she advises. Instead, rejection should be used as motivation to work harder.

Investing in a Freelance Career

Helium’s Natalia Jones says that money should be invested in a freelance writing career. This means that writers should take courses on writing and/or business, hire a web designer to create a website or blog, pay for memberships to online writer’s journals, and outsourcing support activities.

She says, “Writers would hold on to the actual task of writing but may outsource marketing a business website, research or even household or office chores if it means freeing up more time to focus on doing what brings in the money.”

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