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Digital Marketing Budgets On the Rise With Content Marketing Leading the Way

Before we get started I have a quick questions which probably has a not so quick answer. Here it goes. Who thinks that content marketing is a good term to be throwing around in marketing circles? It sure gets a lot of play but it seems to be such a wide area and catch all phrase. What does it actually mean? Feel free to drop an opinion in the comments.

Ok, well thanks for entertaining that thought. Now, no matter how we define it or parts of it, marketers are still very much buying into the concept of digital. It would be silly not to in most cases. In fact, according to Econsultancy’s and Responsys’ Marketing Budgets 2013 report the digital space continues to get more and more budget attention. Note that these numbers come from the perspective of the company and not the agency side of the equation.

Companies and Digital Budgets 2013

Taking Google’s New Image Search for a Test Drive

Last week, Google announced that they were going to make changes to their image search tool. They said it was going to be faster, more beautiful and more intuitive. Guess what – they were right.

Come along while I take Google’s new image search for a test drive.

Keyword: The Birds

At first, image search looks just like it did before the switch. But once you click on a photo, everything changes.

The chosen photo used to load in an iframe on top of the source page. This was cumbersome and didn’t always function as it was supposed to. Now, the rows split apart and the chosen photo appears in a wide, black bar that fills three-quarters of the screen.

Tumblr’s New Posting Tool Puts the Emphasis on Fast and Photos

tumblr front pageTumblr may be a blogging platform but you wouldn’t know it from their front page. I don’t know if it was their intention all along but, the free blog site has become known for it emphasis on graphics over text.

Because of this, it attracts an artistic crowd. Fashion, comics, art, architecture, design – they all flourish here. As does visual humor and celeb sites with miles and miles of both legit and manipulated photos.

These numbers tell the story:

tumblr numbers

Yes, it’s a busy place. But for everything they’ve done right, their posting blank has been wrong for so very long. It was long and required too many steps. Photo handling was atrocious, which is ironic given the graphic nature of the site.

Q&A Site Quora Launches Free Blog Platform

Last week, LinkedIn announced they were shutting down their Q&A section which prompted me to ask the question “are we over the Q&A concept?” Now here comes Quora with a new twist – Blogs on Quora. I’m not sure if that helps or hurts my argument but let’s take a closer look.

The set-up is ultra simple. Name your blog, choose one of two plain themes, add a logo and you’re live. Now all you have to do is post. To test the system, I set one up to go along with my TV blog: http://tvoftheabsurd.quora.com/

quora blogThe text editor has minimal options and there doesn’t seem to be a way to wrap the text around the photos. Maybe I’m missing something. As simple as it appears, I’m still confused.

Marketers Say Content Marketing Works, So Why Don’t They Want to Pay For It?

Warning: I’m about to get on my soapbox on behalf of freelance writers everywhere.

Get a load of this:

According to a survey by BusinessBolts, 74% of marketers use content marketing to increase traffic and promote their brand.

Marketers reported seeing massive benefits from content marketing, the biggest benefits coming in the form of increasing their traffic.

Great news for freelancers, until you get to this:

content creation cost

Seriously? The overwhelming majority of companies, companies who say that content is king when it comes to marketing, aren’t willing to pay more than $100 a month to make it happen!?!

That makes me mad and sad.

Content Wars: eBooks Falter But New York Times Paywall is a Hit

Have you ever read Thunderstruck by Erik Larson? Published in 2006, it’s the true story of how Marconi’s wireless helped capture one of England’s most notorious killers. I went to buy a copy from Amazon last week and here’s what I found:

thunderstruck

I could have the ebook delivered instantly to my Kindle for $11.99. If I was willing to buy it used (I was) and wait several weeks for delivery, I could buy it for one cent. I’d have to pay shipping, but with media rates it would still come in under $4.00. $8.00 more to get it now or save the money and get a copy that I can later turn in for credit at the local used book store.

Save to Drive Chrome Extension and Image Enhancements from Google

Save to Drive Chrome ExtensionGoogle is busy putting together more and more pieces of rather widespread and increasingly comprehensive set of productivity tools that one day might, just might, make people use all of them and see their interconnectedness (Did I channel my inner Buddhist? Nope. I didn’t think so either).

Among the latest additions are a Chrome extension that helps you save images to your Google Drive account. The other is a way to use the images once they are in Drive.

First the extension which is called Save to Drive (clever). From the Google Drive blog we get this

The new Save to Drive Chrome extension gives you a few new ways to capture content from anywhere on the web and store it neatly in Drive. After you install the extension, you can click on the Drive extension icon to save: