Content Catchup: Get Ready For Seth Godin to School You, and More Must-Reads

Here’s what you missed while wondering how to integrate GIFs into your #bae’s #Vday gift…

‘You Need Editors, Not Brand Managers’: Marketing Legend Seth Godin on the Future of Branded Content

I spoke with Seth Godin, the godfather of content marketing, and he taught me more in 45 minutes than I’d learned in the previous 45 days—including how brands should build effective newsrooms:

TCS: If you were trying to build a brand media property—if you were Gillette—how would you build it? Would you just give some really smart people the resources and creative freedom to go out and make great content?

SG: I think the most important thing is to have an office that’s not in your building. I think what kills brands who try to be interesting is to have meetings where they’re not saying to senior management, “How can we be more interesting?” Instead, they’re saying, “How can we play this more safely?” That’s not what happens when you want to make a hit TV show or a website that people care about. You need editors, not brand managers, who will push the envelope to make the thing go forward.

So one easy way to do that is to set people up in an office down the street, only visit them once a month, and give them really significant metrics—not about pageviews, but about mattering. And give them the resources—not too much, just enough—to go do work that matters. Read it.

Data: Real-Time Marketing Is a Giant Waste of Money

With the Super Bowl having just passed and the Oscars coming up soon, real-time marketing is on everyone’s minds. But few are asking a critical question: Is it worth it? Contently Co-Founder Shane Snow crunched the numbers and came to a surprising conclusion:

Under generous circumstances, the best real-time marketing ad at the Oscars was nine times the cost of the most expensive other kind of advertising, and the #10 real-time marketing ad at the Oscars is 200 times more expensive than the most expensive type of ad you can typically buy… and 1,200 times more expensive than just paying for ad impressions on the same social networks for which you’re building war rooms. Read it.

The Wizard and the Wand: Can Technology Solve Content Marketing’s Biggest Problem?

Join me as I throw down the proverbial real-talk gauntlet:

As editor of The Content Strategist, I often feel like I’m welcoming new readers to the content marketing party. Pouring champagne glasses of optimistic trend pieces and passing out hors d’oeuvre articles full of impressive examples of brand storytelling. But today, I want to address the elephant in the ballroom. Most brands still haven’t mastered the one skill that makes content marketing work: telling relevant stories, day after day.

I call this capability “content velocity.” It’s the big test no one has aced yet, the issue everyone wants to ignore because it’s so hard to address. Simply put, it’s time to tackle this challenge head-on and talk about why content velocity is such a big problem for brands, what needs to change, and how technology just might be able to provide a magical solution. Read it.

‘We Believe in Stories’: GE Reports’ Tomas Kellner Reveals How He Built the World’s Best Brand Mag

The best brand mag in the world has nothing to do with extreme sports; it has to do with science—the kind of science stories that go viral:

They say that Reddit isn’t a friendly place for brands, but don’t tell Tomas Kellner that.

Kellner is the managing editor of GE Reports, which very well may be the best brand magazine on the planet. (Sorry, Red Bull.) Every day, GE Reports publishes fascinating stories on emerging technology that commonly rocket up the Reddit boards and are shared by a devoted audience of over half a million readers. Topping the homepage right now, for instance, is a story about an amazing new material that could revolutionize air travel and a report about tiny sensors inspired by butterfly wingsdestined to have a big impact on bomb detection.

Oh yeah, and these viral stories? They all tie back to GE.

At the helm of it all is Kellner, who has led GE Reports’ incredible rise while writing every big story, all the while expanding GE Reports internationally to regional editions around the globe.

I recently spoke with Kellner, who shed some light on GE Reports’ unique blueprint—from their audience-building tactics, to their measurement secrets, to how they rocket their content through legal, and much more—including why your brand is probably doing everything all wrong. Read it.

Are You Ready For Some X-Treme Content Marketing?! [Contently Comic]

And we end the week with your weekly content marketing comic. No need to click unless you want to read the crazy hot-take rant I wrote to accompany it.

Have a great Valentine’s Day weekend. Go ride that love train. We’ll see you on Monday.

Image by WilleeCole Photography/Shutterstock
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