Content Marketing Catchup: Cracking the ROI Code, Lessons From ‘Serial,’ and More Must-Reads

Here’s what you missed while wondering whether quarterly ROI counts as a vegan Thanksgiving side…

How HSBC Cracked the ROI Code and Tied Their Content Back to Revenue

When I was in college, the big faux pas was talking about what the hell I was going to do with my creative writing degree. In content marketing, the equivalent is ROI, but one company has cracked the code, reports Dillon Baker:

For many of the companies jumping on the content marketing trend, simply creating and distributing content has been priority number one. But what about tying content back to real business results?

“Marketing has to remember that the reason why we exist is to create sales,” declared HSBC’s VP of marketing, Debra Russeth, at last week’s Contently Summit.

Russeth is of a rare breed in the content marketing world: She’s figured out how to tie the content her team was producing back to hard revenue figures. But that wasn’t always the case. Read it.

The NYT Launches Its First Paid Post in Print—With Augmented Reality

The classic cheesy print advertorial has been around since the 19th century, so when The New York Times published it’s first paid post in print this week, it was bound to raise some eyebrows. But that was for all the right reasons in the case of the Times‘ augmented reality native print ad with Shell. Read it.

The Biggest Lessons Content Marketers Can Learn From ‘Serial’

The biggest viral hit as we wind down 2014 is a good old fashioned podcast, and that’s great news for the future of storytelling, writes Melissa Lafsky Wall:

Despite its old-school medium and lack of cross-channel packaging (no YouTube channel posting hidden outtakes, no Instagram feed showing episode-relevant photos, etc.) “Serial” has all the touch points of a viral hit, inspiring rabid Reddit boards and nonstop media coverage and a fan base that has crossed oceans (British devotees have begun organizing “‘Serial’ listening parties”).

It even passed my personal “virality” test: Both my mother-in-law and my landlord have heard of it. Read it.

The Content Marketer’s Guide to Promoted Tweets

Here’s a secret: At Contently, our favorite paid content distribution platform is Twitter. In this Contently Labs post, Amanda Walgrove reveals all our secrets. Read it.

This Study of 500 Publishers Reveals How Marketers Can Get Other Sites to Write About Their Content

We end with a piece very near and dear to my heart—marketers annoying the hell out of journalists. I’ve had to abandon one of my email accounts thanks to this phenomenon, and Kelsey Libert of Fractl has some real talk for all offenders:

There’s a lot of talk about how the rise of content marketing is impacting, well… marketers.

Less addressed? The impact on publishers, our partners of necessity in the branded content boom, and what happens when we pitch them tons of stories without really thinking first.

There’s little doubt that marketers need publishers. They amplify our content and help us reach vast audiences. And right now, they are also the victims of thousands of freshly minted content marketers flooding their inboxes with an escalating number of story pitches.

To help our industry ensure that we are stewarding this trend to the benefit of both publishers and our brands, BuzzStream and Fractl collaborated to survey more than 500 publishers to learn more about the pitching influencers that can make or break a content promotion strategy. Here we share what we’ve learned in this two-part series on the state of content promotion and improving pitch open rates. Read it.

Happy turkey shopping!


Image by Andrew Stawarz

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