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Content Catchup: Medium, Chat Apps, and More Big Content Marketing Trends for 2015

Here’s what you missed while wondering how many space heaters your apartment can handle before your circuit breaker explodes…

Why 2015 Will Be the Year of the Chat App for Publishers and Content Marketers

Consider this: According to The Economist, even the papers of China’s propaganda machine are embracing chat apps as a powerful way to distribute their content. That goes to illustrate a larger point: Publishers and marketers simply can’t ignore the biggest revolution in social media for any longer.

The rise of chat apps as a content distribution platform is a multi-faceted phenomenon. In a country like China, it’s certainly the byproduct of restrictions and censoring placed on more traditional social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. But more broadly, it’s a sign of how social media is changing, as mature social networks become oppressively large, particularly for younger people. Read it.

Why BuzzFeed Is Massively Underrated (and 9 Things Publishers and Brands Should Learn From It)

Contently co-founder Shane Snow is here with his first monster post of 2015. Shane’s been caught quite a few times subtly trash-talking BuzzFeed in recent months, but here, he breaks down why BuzzFeed is a master class in media genius that everyone in the industry needs to pay attention to.

BuzzFeed is easy to bash; a fast-rising rocket ship is a visible target. And they do produce some pretty silly content. But when you discuss the future of journalism, BuzzFeed always seems to show up at that intersection between crazy and smart where genius so often lies. What’s actually crazy is seeing most everyone try to copy BuzzFeed’s voice and play catchup to its trendy listicle format at one point or another—from old media, including the Times, to new media like Digiday, to opportunistic startups like Playbuzz. When I say that publishers need to “stop chasing BuzzFeed,” what I mean is that they need to stop imitating BuzzFeed’s style and pay more attention to the brilliant way it runs its business. Read it.

Is Medium the Next Big Frontier for Content Marketing?

Next in social media platforms you’re probably not paying enough attention to: Medium! The beautiful, engagement-focused blogging network is quickly becoming home to the most thoughtful and well-crafted content marketing out there:

What’s the appeal of Medium to advertisers like Marriott and BMW? It’s more publisher than blogging platform, offering a wealth of content and themed collections on every topic under the sun. By some accounts, Medium now receives 17 million monthly unique visitors, an increase of 4 million since March. The site’s clean design puts stories front and center, a content discovery system allows users to file posts under relevant categories, and a social media-friendly infrastructure helps posts generate shares. Read it.

The Top 5 Free Content Analytics Tools

Every publisher and marketer wants to up their analytics game, but not everyone has the budget to afford Chartbeat (or Contently! #selfpromotion). Fortunately, there are a number of free platforms that can help you get your content measurement game in gear. Read it.

This Puppy-Heavy Content Marketing Will Save You From Your First-Week-Back Stress

Listen, the first week back after New Year’s is hard on content marketers. Everyone in your company has plans to take over the world, which is awesome, except that such plans require 17 e-books by Valentine’s Day, which is can be, y’know, stressful. Especially when the only major questions you’ve had to contemplate for a couple of weeks have been Which pie should I eat next? and Do I actually like college football or am I just too lazy to get off the couch?

Luckily, I have a piece of content marketing to save you. Read it.

Oh, and I also have a picture of Beast, our newest office puppy. Just look at that puppy. How can you be stressed out while looking at that puppy?

Happy weekend! See you bright and early on Monday.

Image by Debbie Steinhausser
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