COMING AT YOU THE WEEK OF 9.13.22
This week’s most important Marketing News
Lots of us are offended that Google started this update days after the Helpful Content one wrapped up. But really we have only ourselves to blame for all our “the Helpful content stuff was underwhelming” talk.
Overall, experts agree the update didn’t cause an extremely large shakeup. But it did give Google a chance to clearly explain what kind of content they think is most valuable.
The multi-platform feature is part of Microsoft’s Smart Campaigns, and it will let you manage and report campaigns from Microsoft’s interface. The feature isn’t available to everyone, but advertisers can join their waitlist.
eCommerce opportunities, like Live Shopping, are big in China. But it hasn’t taken off in Western countries the way they hoped. And it seems Instagram also listened to us when we said we like our apps to have their own purposes, which requires them to have different UX and design. So they’re gonna opt-out of their full-screen plans, even though it’s worked for TikTok.
A year ago, Apple released their App Tracking Transparency feature which allows people to opt-out of app tracking. Many of us feared what ad targeting would look like after the feature, and Facebook ads have felt the effects. FB ad channel adoption has dropped and shown volatility since the update. On the other hand, Apple’s Search Ads weren’t really on equal footing with Google and FB ads, but Apple’s channel adoption has increased enough recently to make them a contender.
This article is interesting just to hear Serena’s story of overcoming the low point of her career. Not to mention, it introduces the concept of unlearning as a fresh way of escaping patterns that don’t serve you.
Do I need to explain to you why a thorough comparison page is helpful? I don’t think so.
Darius argues that investing in your continuous education (not necessarily a formal one) has the best return on investment.
WHY USEFUL CONTENT IS KING AND HOW TO CREATE IT
I recently came across an article by Paul Graham that starts off asking, “What should an essay be? Many people would say persuasive. That’s what a lot of us were taught essays should be. But I think we can aim for something more ambitious: that an essay should be useful.”
Yes! I want to read useful stuff. And I want to write useful stuff. Don’t you?
As a quick exercise, let’s read his quote again, replacing “essay” with “content marketing.”
“What should content marketing be? Many people would say persuasive. That’s what a lot of us were taught content marketing should be. But I think we can aim for something more ambitious: that content marketing should be useful.”
Persuasion has often been the focus of content marketing. We often create content in order to persuade our audience to complete one of our marketing goals—like getting new email-list subscribers, driving traffic to the demo page, etc. But utility is the way to win trust, and eventually business, from our audience. Our content needs to be useful.
Paul Graham argues there are four elements to useful content
- Importance. The topic needs to matter to the readers.
- Teaching. The content needs to explain something the audience didn’t know or couldn’t understand well before.
- Truth. What you tell them needs to be true. Seems obvious, but we also all know that people lie.
- Strength. The content has to be told with conviction and power.
You could fill hours and days talking about how to make content that is truly important, that teaches well, or how to convey strength in an article. But I want to focus on a piece of the truth category.
Specificity affects truth
Here’s an example Paul shared of three ways to tell someone the location of Pike’s Peak.
Pike’s Peak is in Colorado.
This is true, but vague. Vague thoughts aren’t helpful. And they’re often a writer’s cop out. When you don’t know the details, it’s easy to play it safe by saying something vague.
Pike’s Peak is in the exact middle of Colorado.
This is specific, and hypothetically more helpful. But it’s false. Sometimes when we aren’t as informed as we want to be, we can compensate by adding specificity that we can’t prove. Only true info can be helpful, so avoid this.
Pike’s Peak is near the middle of Colorado.
Here’s our winner. True and specific enough to be useful.
Your content’s ability to be useful totally depends on giving the right amount of detail
To avoid being vague, you have to do a lot of research, often you need personal experience. Those things can’t be faked without a loss of quality. But when you hit that sweet spot—when you don’t bog down your content with unimportant details but you give just enough to be truly helpful—you earn loyalty and trust from your audience.
🍞 Remembering When America Banned Sliced Bread — Atlas Obscura
📱 Apple used to sell wonder. Now it sells fear — Fast Company
🚗 Put in your road trip “to” and “from” and this site shows you fun stops along the way — Make My Drive Fun
➗ The Myth of Being ‘Bad’ at Math — Medium