A Whole New Take On ‘Snowfall,’ and 5 Other Must-Read Stories

1. Follow the photos: The real reason Facebook just paid almost 10% of its market cap for WhatsApp (Pando Daily)

On Wednesday, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $16 billion, plus $3 billion in restricted stock units. The tech and business worlds scrambled to make sense of it. Within hours of the acquisition, PandoDaily founder Sarah Lacy had her grand theory: it was all about photos, the engagement holy grail of the modern web, especially amongst Millennials. This wasn’t just about global reach; it was about the primacy of visual content.

“Facebook has become the world’s most dominant, and resilient, social network by ensuring that it “owns” photos, writes Lacy. “Today’s purchase shows they’re determined to maintain that dominance whatever the cost.”

Lesson Learned: Visual content will rule the day for years to come. If you don’t have your Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest and, yes, WhatsApp strategies in place, you’re playing from behind. And speaking of Pinterest …

2. Pinterest: the no-bro zone (Digiday)

Pinterest is still a predominantly female platform. According to ComScore, it’s the most gender imbalanced of all social networks. Why? Maybe it’s because scrapbooking isn’t natural to guys. But several startups are testing this theory with dude-friendly pin boards. (Dartitup, for instance, replaces pins with darts, which certainly sound more manly.)

Lesson Learned: Don’t give up on dudes propensity to pin if you frame it the right way. These ‘bro-terist’ platforms are definitely worth keeping an eye on.

3. Whatever Happened to the Twitter TV Growth Story? (AdAge)

A big part of Twitter’s pitch to advertisers is that its user base that is tweeting while watching TV. But in the past year, that growth has largely fell flat, mirroring Twitter’s stagnating user base. What’s up? Wasn’t this supposed to be marketing’s magical solution to people ignoring commercials?

Lesson Learned: There’s no magical solution that will bring TV advertising back to the future. Twitter isn’t Doc Brown. If you want to reach people during commercial breaks, you need to be on all the platforms they frequent.

4. The Art of Winter: An Artist Creates a Story Out of New York’s Endless Snow (Fast CoCreate)

But artist Shelley Jackson has made them beautiful. This Brooklyn-based author and illustrator has created a new storytelling medium What does it have to do with content marketing? Everything.

Lesson Learned: Creativity is the heart of content marketing. If your brand is struggling to make manufacturing ‘sexy,’ think like an artist. Look for inspiration in the world around you.

5. Understanding and Marketing to the First Global Generation (Fast CoCreate)

If you want to sell to today’s 19-34 year olds, you need to understand that they are, first and foremost, global citizens. What does this mean? America’s young adults want to be engaged in building a better world. They view mobile and social media as vehicles for achieving that goal.

Lesson Learned: Your brand is more than your brand, and marketing means more than selling the need to create value is more pressing than ever. Content marketing is what will help your company bridge that gap.

6. Big Data Reassured Netflix That “House of Cards” Would Be a Hit Before It Started Filming (Biztech)

The success of House of Cards didn’t happen by accident. Netflix used predictive models to plan its strategy. What’s important to keep in mind is that Netflix isn’t a production company — it’s a technology company. And yet, Netflix is forging new paths in the world of content production — thanks to data and a super-smart content team.

Lesson Learned: Don’t create content in a silo. Study your customers’ behavior. Test and iterate your models relentlessly.

Happy reading, folks. Until next week!

What’s the deal with the Content Strategist? It’s something we created at Contently because we believe in a world where marketing is helpful, and businesses grow by telling stories that people love. Take advantage of our tools and talent and come build that world with us.

Image by Rob Shenk

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