Content Marketing Catchup: 7 Crucial Content Metrics, a Mind-Blowing Social Study, and More Must-Reads

Here’s what you missed while signing a petition to get Labor Day moved back a week…

AdDetector: Why This Google Engineer Built a Plug-In That Calls Out Sponsored Content

The sponsored content debate is hotter than a summer bonfire that spiraled out of control thanks to your drunk cousin Bill. Now, one man has single-handedly taken sponsored content labeling to a new level. Sam Petulla tracked him down to find out why:

The plug-in’s creator is Ian Webster, a Google engineer who made the tool as a side project from his day job. We spoke with Webster about why he made AdDetector and what he hopes to accomplish from it. Primarily, he says he sees it as “trying to enforce better labeling.” When he set out to understand sponsored content, he found that different publishers use different terminology for their posts. Moreover, the editorial independence of publishers varies, with some claiming advertisers have no influence on posts and others saying the advertisers create the posts themselves.

“I’m trying to take the easiest route to educating the general population about which posts have sponsors,” he said. Read it.

This Designer Destroys 2014′s Big Marketing Buzzword, and It’s Awesome

You really need to watch this. I suggest you do it now. Watch it.

This Study of 2.6 Billion Shares Reveals Which Platforms and Publishers Dominate Social

On The Content Strategist this week,’s Kelsey Libert shared one of the year’s biggest studies on social content. It’s a must-read:

The number of shares an article receives has become ubiquitous in online content; widgets that show shares, tweets, pins, and +1s appear front and center on nearly every post you read (or, in this case, just to the left of this paragraph).

Just how many times does content get shared? Where do people prefer to share it? And are some publishers more effective than others at generating highly shared content? These questions are crucial to content marketers looking to understand the key components of a viral marketing success, and our recent research collaboration with BuzzSumo is here to give you some answers. Read it.

7 Content Marketing Metrics You’re Probably Undervaluing

These days, the ROI debate comes with a side of FOMO. Everyone’s worried they’re not tracking the right stats. In our latest Contently Labs piece, we reveal seven metrics you need to start measuring today. Read it.

Storytelling and Technology: The Secret Ingredients of Retail 2.0

The Facebook app isn’t the only thing going through an unbundling. The online retail store is, too, writes Sam Petulla, and it’s spilling into the physical world, with storytelling and technology as the driving forces.

Google, eBay, and Amazon are all hopping on the movement that’s been aptly dubbed “clicks to bricks.”

Part of these micro shops’ appeal is their ephemerality. You have to get the goods while they’re hot, or the store simply won’t exist anymore. But another big part of their allure is how brands use storytelling to stand out. Pop-up shops frequently show off a collection or a particular aspect of a brand that extends the brand’s narrative. As the Guardian recently wrote, New York concept store Story “is built on the concept of treating retail as media, curating its merchandise every month.”

Story is a leader of the “new retail experience” in another major area, too: in-store proximity marketing, or the highly personal targeted communications between retailers and shoppers via devices like iBeacon. Read it.

Happy weekend!

Content marketing

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