What’s Trending in Marketing: Top Content of the Week

May 1, 2015

Fellow marketers, the end is nigh. We don’t have much time left.

I’m talking, of course, about the end of Mad Men. Don Draper and company are in their final season, with just a handful of episodes left to air.

The series’ exploration of advertising in the 60’s and 70’s makes us ponder how much marketing has changed in the last 50 years. What would the agents at Sterling Cooper think of social media, content marketing, or blogging? It’s humbling to think that even if the series ran until it was set in the 90’s or even the early 2000’s, they still wouldn’t be covering half of today’s marketing lingo, strategies, and challenges.

The digital marketing revolution is so young, and changes so fast, that we often struggle to agree on definitions as we boldly plunge forward. What works, what doesn’t, best practices, ROI—it can make you long for the days of fedoras and martini lunches. But that retro-nostalgia only lasts a moment, because right now is an amazing time to be a marketer!

To help you keep up with the changes, here are the present-tense posts your marketing peers have been reading and sharing this week.

Top Marketing Articles to Read This Week

1. Earned Media Definition: 38 Experts Weigh In Riverside Marketing Strategies President Heidi Cohen defines earned media as, “Any positive mention of my brand, created by someone other than me, published somewhere other than my site.” It turns out, though, that nearly every marketer has a slightly different definition of the term. In her recent post, Heidi pulls together 38 different definitions of earned media from influencers and thought leaders in the field.

2. Are the Days of Mad Men and Big Ideas Dead or Alive? In this self-identified “marketing rant” on B2B Marketing Insider, Michael Brenner, Head of Strategy at Newscred, argues that Don-Draper-style ad campaigns are not as effective in the modern age as great content marketing featuring authentic storytelling. Read the full article to see Michael’s take on the changing roles of CMOs and marketing firms.

3. Brands As Publishers: Success Follows Successful Content Marketing E2M Solutions’ Rohan Ayyar points out that brands are now putting out content that rivals what traditional media publishers are doing, both in quantity and quality. In this piece for Entrepreneur Magazine, Rohan lays out two case studies to illustrate the power of content marketing: LinkedIn’s own content curation strategy, and RedBull’s ground-up embrace of user-created content. Check out the article to see just how far good content can take a brand.

4. The Role of Emotions in B2B Marketing: Telling a Story, Making a Sale Content marketing isn’t just for B2C, of course. But there’s definitely a tendency for marketers to think of B2B content as more fact-based and knowledge-driven, underplaying the emotional and storytelling component. In her piece for Act-On’s Marketing Action Blog, Editor Sherry Lamoreaux explores the ways B2B content marketers can successfully use emotional engagement to connect with buyers.

5. Don’t Forget to Recycle…Your Content Dan Gingiss, Head of Digital Customer Experience & Social Media at Discover Financial Services, knows a sure-fire way to cut your workload: recycle and repurpose your content. In his piece for Social Media Today, Dan shares how recycling content can lead to more engagement rather than a one-and-done approach.

6. How to Create Easy, Yet Actionable, Content Marketing Personas  Jodi Harris, Principal at Jodi Harris Content Consulting, believes content marketing personas can “serve as a single version of truth for everybody creating content for your organization.” Her post for the Content Marketing Institute is a thorough crash course in creating and using content marketing personas. Whether you’re just getting started with personas or you use them every day, you’re bound to learn something new.

7. Data Is Driving the Next Wave of Buyer Personas DemandGen’s Associate Editor Brian Anderson begins his report with a sobering statistic: Only 39% of B2B marketers see higher conversion rates with buyer personas. The problem? Personas can be too focused on buyer profiles, lacking intel about how and why buyers are making purchase decisions. In his post, Brian underscores the importance of buyer intent as part of a complete persona and provides tips for making your personas more predictive.

8. The 12 Most Interesting Digital Marketing Stats from This Week If you can’t get enough raw data on current marketing trends, Econsultancy’s Deputy Editor Christopher Ratcliff has you covered. From marketing for the Apple Watch to privacy issues in digital marketing, these short-but-informative stats are sure to give you a few points to ponder.

9. How Self–Publishing on LinkedIn Can Elevate Your Professional Profile As a marketer, you are one of your own most important clients. An effective way to meet your content marketing goals is to utilize the LinkedIn Publishing Platform, says SmartRecruiters CEO Jerome Ternynck. “Self-publishing is a great way to demonstrate proficiency and initiative in your career,” Jerome says. Check out the article on Mashable to see how the LinkedIn Publishing Platform can help you build your personal brand.

10. 11 Trends that Are Changing the Marketing World While there are plenty of blog posts, infographics, and presentations about the changing nature of marketing, Inside Social’s latest stands out because of its insight and depth of detail. Tune in for this deep dive of stats, graphs, facts, and quotes about what’s happening now and what’s just around the corner for digital marketing.

While we may never be as stylish as Don Draper, modern marketers have it made. We have automation, digital distribution, and a wealth of data to leverage as we reach out to consumers. Even now, we are shaping future of marketing. And the future’s looking bright.

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