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Three-quarters of millennials expect brands to be entertaining

Female_animal_trainer_and_leopardIf you had to describe your branded content in one word, what would it be? Informative? Engaging? Boring? (I hope not) Upbeat? How about entertaining?

In Facebook’s “Coming of Age on Screens” study, 72% of young millennials from all over the world said that’s what they expect from brands – entertaining content. That’s a lot to live up to. It’s a lot harder to be entertaining on command than it is to be informative but when you hit that sweet spot the returns are insane.

Evian’s crazy, roller skating babies video earned the company a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most viewed online ad ever, accumulating more than 25 million views in just two months. When they made that, they knew it was funny and highly entertaining, and I’m sure they hoped it would be a huge hit, but I doubt they expected it to blow up the way it did.

Facebook and Google curate content especially for you. . .and you. . . and you.

Every day, I’m introduced to several hundred pieces of content via social, email and search and still I know I’m not seeing everything I’d like to see. Argue with me if you like, but there’s a ton of great content on the internet and now Google and Facebook are going to help you see even more of it.

Google just added a Suggested for You section in Google news. Krishna Bharat announced the update on his Google+ page, a choice that always perplexes me. I understand Google wanting to use their own social network to disseminate information but it always feels so unofficial. It’s like they’re hoping no one will notice.

The link is located in the sidebar, just under the Top Stories list. This is what I found when I checked my Suggested Stories this morning.

Writers Rejoice! Study shows Google rewards those with more to say

searchmetrics-labs-and-robotContent marketers, would you like to know the secret to getting in good with Google’s search engine spiders? Come closer and I’ll whisper it in your ear. . . .

. . .all you have to do is post high quality, relevant content.

Honestly, it’s a little more complicated than that but when you boil down all of the data from the comprehensive 2014 Ranking Factors Study from Searchmetrics, that’s pretty much what you’re left with.

But Searchmetrics did go through the trouble of writing an 83 page document. And they did produce an adorable infographic with retro robots (its as if they know me!), so we’re going to spend some time digging a little deeper.

IAB takes a global look at what works and why

Live Tweeting BadgerStuck in a marketing rut? The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) just released their first ever “What Works & Why: IAB Global Insights Report” which includes highlights of award-winning digital campaigns from around the world.

Last year, the IAB released a similar report but only included winners from the US. This year they included works from 14 countries such as Australia, Chile, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Sweden and the UK.

And since we’re talking digital content, the “report” is actually a website where you can click through to read case studies, watch videos, view the images and get insight from a team of global experts. It’s worth exploring and it could help you hone in on your next big campaign.

Here are a few of my favorites:

70% of B2B marketers are producing more content, but only 21% are able to track ROI

The B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends, produced by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs and sponsored by Brightcove–say that 10 times fast–is out and provides an interesting, if not concerning, glimpse of how B2B marketers are approaching their marketing strategies.

First, an alarming number haven’t written down their marketing strategy, which means, should they not turn up for work one day, their company is up a certain creek, without a paddle:

2015-b2b-research-content-marketing-strategy

Hoping that more equals more, B2B marketers are pumping out more content this year versus last year:

2015-b2b-change-content-creation

Lastly, only 21% of surveyed marketers report any kind of success in tracking their ROI, with 15% not even bothering to track!

2015-b2b-tracking-ROI

Google upgrades My Maps; quite the nifty marketing tool

If you’d like to know all of the cities in the world James Bond has ever visited, there’s a map for that. You can even specify which Bond; Connery, Craig or Moore. Check the box and watch the location markers appear and disappear.

James Bond Map

With the new Google My Maps (previously Google Maps Engine Lite), you can create a map for just about any location-based data set with  images, descriptions, custom icons, and more. If you have an Android phone, you can even create and update your maps with the My Map app. (Say that 3 times fast.)

This isn’t a totally new concept, but Google recently upgraded the tool to make it more user and viewer friendly.

New features include the ability to:

You can pay and pay but organic search still wins

BrightEdge sent over a new report called “Cracking the Content Code” and since I’m all about content, I had to share it with you.

To come up with the numbers, BrightEdge tapped into their giant Data Cube repository which contains information about billions of pieces of content from all over the web. Sounds like a machine that could take over the world. Luckily it’s on our side. . . for now.

The Data Cube sliced and diced to find out which was the most effective driver of traffic; organic search, paid, display /email or social. Want to guess which one came out on top? If you paid attention to the title of this post then you already know but I’ll make a dramatic reveal anyway.