Content Marketing

800 533 Jane Hunt

What do our clients value most – quantity or relevance?

RELEVANCE VS QUANTITY

What do our clients value most – quantity or relevance?

There is a lot of debate in the digital PR and SEO world right now, about whether relevance is more important than the quality of links. And it’s a fair question…

When I was thinking about this post, I had a look to see what expert opinion I could find on the topic and there are more articles that lean towards relevancy over quantity (if you had to pick one without the other).

But is there one right answer??

‘No.’

However, when we deliver campaigns for the brands we work with, the links and coverage that are celebrated the most loudly are, in fact, most closely aligned with their brand values.

Combine the above with an end of campaign report packed full of consistently high quality links then usually, we have a happy client on our hands. If we can achieve all three, then we’re winning.

Who gets to decide what’s right when it comes to the relevance vs quantity debate?

It’s not up to the agency to decide what it right for the client. We can advise, suggest and recommend.

Ultimately, we work with some fantastic technical SEO managers who know their brand inside out. We feel that they are in the best place to decide on the type of links they believe will have the most impact when included in their backlink profile. And we deliver campaigns to answer that brief.

No two clients/brands are the same

We have the pleasure of working with brands of all shapes, sizes and sectors – and the one thing they all have in common is that they place value on very different elements of digital PR.

For example, brands who are starting out may want high quantities of backlinks to their homepage to kick-start their journey to increased visibility in search.

Other brands will have thousands of backlinks from random referring domains, but lack the quality and relevance to support their product or category pages. These are the clients that will request topically relevant backlinks from sites that align closely with their brand.

And that’s fine – because every brands keyword objectives, content strategy, products and budgets are different.

So how do we handle that?

At JBH (rightly or wrongly), we let the client decide where to place the emphasis. Sometimes a brand will be looking for top-tier coverage and backlinks (the holy-grail) to impress the CEO and in turn inspire more budget for digital PR campaigns.

There is nothing wrong with this – because it helps generate buy-in for an often unknown and under-represented service that can have a huge impact on traffic (over time) and therefore a positive impact on the bottom line.

Others will want highly relevant coverage on industry or niche sites where their audiences are – and this is ok too.

But the different objectives, require a different approach and flexibility. As all brands are different, so are the campaigns we deliver. Over the last year, we’ve discovered that campaigns we produce which are data-led (using unique data either supplied by the client or sourced by us), do significantly better than other campaigns.

And it’s not to do with the format of the content.

It’s down to the data giving us the option to produce highly relevant content for very specific sites AND our ability to pitch to less obvious but still highly relevant sites. Here are a few examples of how we achieved this for our food box client Gousto against a relevance-led brief from their technical SEO manager:

GoodFood.com.au – DA 69

Thenational.ae – DA 87

And why were Gousto pleased with how this campaign answered their brief?

  • The first time Gousto was featured on each domain
  • High authority domains
  • Respected and credible sources
  • Relevant coverage within the food vertical / within the food section

So whilst the debate about quantity and relevancy rages on between agencies and within teams, what’s clear is there isn’t one answer (that everyone is happy with).

We believe it is not up to us as an agency to decide either way. 

The client knows their brand, audience and objectives best and are therefore best placed to tell us whether they choose relevancy over over quantity.

And you might think this stance is a cop-out – my resistance to get off the fence. And if I had to, I would pick relevant quality links every day – because it means the content we created for these sites has landed and is appreciated for its relevance and thought leadership, but this doesn’t mean relevance is right for every client.

So where do you sit in this debate? 

I would love to hear how other agencies manage this conundrum and cater for their client’s differing digital PR objectives.

Striking a Balance onpage and offpage content
1024 682 Carl Eden

How to Make your On-page Content as Good as your Off-page

To make a success of any content marketing campaign, link building is imperative. Not only do search engines use links to discover new web pages, they also help determine how well a page should rank in their results. 

But in spite of its importance, link building is just one piece of the larger SEO puzzle which includes a quality on-page content strategy. 

Seeing as there is so much to consider, it’s easy to become obsessed with the off-page aspects and completely neglect the on-page elements. 

So, why does on-page content matter so much? 

Well, if the content your hard-earned backlinks point towards doesn’t hit the mark with users, their attention and engagement levels will drop. In turn, this could reduce session duration and increase bounce rates, signalling to Google that your content isn’t the best answer to the question that the searcher is asking.

Soon, you could start slipping down the SERPs and the power from those fantastic links could be lost.

Thankfully, you can avoid this worst-case scenario by incorporating some of the following into your ongoing content plan 

Internal linking

Given the significance of back links, it should come as no surprise that internal linking is key to on-page SEO. Along with encouraging visitors to consume even more of your content, internal linking also tells search engine spiders about other pages on your website. 

Three internal links above the fold in this recent blog post. 

We managed to fit three internal links above the fold in this recent blog post. 

Best practice for internal linking includes:

  • Using more than just your top-tier keywords for your internal links
  • Only adding internal links when they are useful to your audience
  • Adding links to the main body of your webpage

Well-optimised metadata

Because metadata is used to tell search engines what your page is about in the most concise and accurate way possible, it makes sense to optimise them. According to Moz, meta titles have “long been considered one of the most important on-page SEO elements.”

Here’s a checklist to abide by when writing your meta titles:

  • Length – Between 50-60 characters long including spaces
  • Keyword placement – Your most important keywords need to be first in your titles
  • Relevancy – Meta title must accurately describe the content on the page
  • Avoid duplication – Meta titles must be written differently for every page
  • Avoid keyword stuffing – You may get penalised for it

Alt text for images

Alt-text is another way for search engines to understand your page’s content, and it makes your website more accessible for people using screen readers as well. 

Did you know: Another benefit of alt text is that it can encourage your images to show up in Google Image search – another great way to drive extra organic traffic to your site. 

WordPress plugin Yoast featuring alt tag and title tag optimisation.

Popular WordPress plugin Yoast features alt tag and title tag optimisation. 

Accessibility shouldn’t be an afterthought when it comes to SEO and can actually deliver a number of additional benefits – ensure on-page elements aren’t being forgotten about, increase your site’s popularity, improve session durations and reduce bounce rates.

Keyword mapping

Keyword mapping is where you assign targeted keywords to specific pages of your website based on research. 

The ultimate aim here is to avoid keyword cannibalisation, which can confuse search engines and deter them from ranking your content at all. 

It’s also a great way to discover which landing pages to optimise and what future content to build for better SEO performance. 

Call-to-action

Don’t forget that each page of your website represents an opportunity to convert customers.

If you’ve built links on relevant websites where your target audience is ‘hanging out’, you’ll already be driving traffic that is highly likely to convert, therefore, you should have at least one call-to-action (CTA) on every page to make it as easy as possible for users to continue their journey with you. 

Call to Action on the JBH site.

Practising what we preach here at JBH.

HubSpot recommends that your website should have a mix of CTAs for different stages of the ‘flywheel’ – a new way of looking at the traditional sales funnel that attracts, engages and delights everybody passing through your site, from strangers and prospects to customers and promoters.

Retrospective editing

Just because you’ve published an amazing piece of content, which ticks every on-page SEO box imaginable, doesn’t mean to say you can simply leave it be and wait for Google to provide an appropriate ranking reward. 

Facts and figures included in your article could change over time or new pieces of data might reinforce your message. 

Retrospective editing lets Google know that you’re constantly trying to provide your audience with the best answer to their question, which is exactly what its algorithm strives for. 

Landing page content

At the end of the day, the difference between a prominent and poor ranking position will be the actual content on your page.

Three questions to ask when writing or retrospectively editing your content:

  1. Does your content answer the question the searcher is looking for?
  2. Is your landing page content similar to the other pages ranking for this search query?
  3. Can the user easily find the answer within the first couple of paragraphs?

 Therefore, it makes sense to prioritise content creation from the get-go.

This means identifying an idea your audience would find valuable, gathering as many insights as possible, and building a page that combines copy, images and video to great effect. 

And if you ever need assistance creating captivating content that has both on-page and off-page SEO covered, we’re here to help

1024 682 Rebecca Moss

100 Free Data Sources for Content and Digital PR Campaigns

There are a number of reasons why we place such a big emphasis on data when it comes to content marketing and digital PR campaigns. We’ve even explored how journalists use data as a way to craft compelling stories, and how digital PR teams can look to implement these techniques into their campaigns.

Data has the power to:

  • Measure your online standing – Website traffic, social media followers and online ratings.
  • Analyse the effectiveness of your work – Open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates and cost per conversion.
  • Discover your return on investment – Calculate your cost per lead or quantity of leads generated.

However, it can also be a game-changer in terms of content creation – there’s a wealth of data available online just waiting to be curated, which can provide your audience with intriguing insights or indisputable information that encourages movement down the funnel towards those all-important conversions.

Best of all…

…several data sources (the following 100 to be precise) are absolutely free and ready to be used in your digital PR campaigns.

  1. Statista

“The #1 business data platform in the world with insights and facts from 600 industries across 50 countries.”

  1. UNData

Specialised databases, popular statistical tables and country profiles..

  1. Wikipedia

If you’re worried about accuracy, only use data that comes with a reference or external link for further reading.

  1. DBpedia

DBpedia gathers structured content from valuable information over at Wikipedia.

  1. Amazon Public Data Sets

A registry featuring datasets that are available from Amazon Web Services resources.

  1. Google Public Data Explorer

Public-interest datasets that feature graphs and tables for a better understanding of information.

  1. Pew Research

Pew Research Centre claims it generates “a foundation of facts that enriches the public dialogue and supports sound decision-making.”

  1. Datasets Subreddit

A great place to share, find and discuss datasets, but finding your niche could be tricky.

  1. Enigma Public 

The “world’s broadest collection of public data” to “empower people to improve the world around them.”

 

  1. Data.gov

The home of the US Government’s open data, covering everything from agriculture and finance to manufacturing and public safety.

  1. Data.gov.uk

The home of the UK government’s open data, featuring an equally extensive range of useful information.

  1. YouGov

An overview of what the UK’s opinion is on things like politics, entertainment, retail, technology, media, lifestyle and more.

  1. WhatDoTheyKnow

WhatDoTheyKnow helps you make Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to the government and public sector.

  1. UK Data Service

A collection of UK government-sponsored surveys, longitudinal studies, UK census data, business data and more.

  1. European Union Open Data Portal

The single point of access to a growing range of data from the institutions and other bodies of the European Union.

  1. U.S. Census Bureau

Government-informed statistics about the lives of US citizens including population, economy, education, geography, and more.

  1. Socrata

A mission-driven software company that enables you to explore government-related data via built-in visualisation tools. 

  1. Canada Open Data

Pilot project that wants to create greater transparency and accountability with government and geospatial datasets

  1. Datacatalogs.org

Open government data from the US, EU, Canada, CKAN, and more.

  1. Gapminder

European ‘fact tank’ that fights misconceptions about global development using a wide range of data sources.

  1. UNDP’s Human Development Index

A ranking of country progress under the lens of human development.

  1. OECD Aid Database

Visualisation of data showing aid collected from governments.

  1. Qlik Data Market

 Free package provides access to datasets covering world population, currencies, development indicators and weather.

 

  1. World Bank Open Data

Featuring 3000 datasets and 14000 indicators encompassing microdata, time series statistics, and geospatial data.

  1. IMF Economic Data

Including but not limited to global financial stability reports, regional economic reports, international financial statistics, exchange rates and directions of trade.

  1. UN Comtrade Database

A repository of official international trade statistics and relevant analytical tables.

  1. Google Finance

Real-time stock market information, financial news, currency conversions, and tracked portfolios.

  1. Global Financial Data

A source to analyse the twists and turns of the global economy with data on over 60,000 companies covering 300 years.

  1. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Mainly reports about the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States but also information about income, corporate profits and government spending.

  1. National Bureau of Economic Research

Data concerning industry, productivity, trade, international finance, industry and more.

  1. Financial Times

More than a news site, the FT also publishes a broad range of business data and information.

  1. OpenCorporates

The largest open database of companies in the world.

  1. The Atlas of Economic Complexity

Research and data visualisation tool used to explore global trade dynamics,

  1. World Bank Doing Business Database

Resource that evaluates business environment indicators, such as capabilities and costs, around the world.

  1. Visualizing Economics

A self-explanatory site featuring data visualisations about the economy.

  1. Federal Reserve Economic Database

Download and track 567,000 US and international time series from 87 sources.

  1. Buzz Data

Resource that provides UK businesses with targeted business address data.

  1. Financial Data Finder at OSU

Large catalogue of financial data sets.

  1. TripAdvisor

A wealth of free information about destinations to help support your travel or lifestyle campaign. 

  1. EU-Startups

Directory listing the number of start-up businesses in the EU, alongside their industry and sector. Perfect if your campaign is targeting new businesses publications in and around Europe.  

advertising social media data

  1. Buffer

Data insights, survey findings and regular reports about digital marketing can be found on the Buffer blog.

  1. Moz

Along with how-to articles and whiteboard walkthroughs, the Moz Blog also publishes data-driven insight pieces.

  1. HubSpot

Large repository of marketing statistics and trends along with tools for social media, SEO and web analytics.

  1. Content Marketing Institute

Articles, resources and research all about the world of content marketing.

  1. Facebook API

Using the Graph API, you can retrieve data all sorts of data from Facebook.

  1. Twitter API

Stay up to date with worldwide conversations by connecting your website or application to the Twitter Platform.

  1. Instagram API

You can use the Instagram API to build non-automated, high-quality apps and services.

  1. Complete Public Reddit Comments Corpus

Here you’ll find over one billion public comments posted on Reddit between 2007 and 2015 for training language algorithms.

 

  1. data.police.uk

Open data about crime and policing in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  1. FBI Crime Statistics

Statistical reports and publications detailing specific offences and outlining crime trends.

 

  1. UNICEF Dataset

UNICEF has compiled relevant data about education, child labour, maternal mortality, water and sanitation, antenatal care and much more.

  1. NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre

The NHS produces more than 260 official and national statistical publications every year, which includes national comparative data for secondary uses.

  1. Healthdata.gov

125 years of US healthcare data including claim-level Medicare data, epidemiology and population statistics.

  1. U.S. Food & Drug Administration

A compressed data file of the Drugs@FDA database, which is updated once a week.

  1. MedicinePlus

Resource for health statistics such as the rate at which people are catching the flu and the average cost of a medical procedure.

  1. America’s Health Rankings

An analysis of US national health on a state-by-state basis using historical data.

  1. The Broad Institute — Cancer Program Data

Access the cancer-related datasets of the Broad Institute’s scientists.

  1. Human Rights Data Analysis Group

The non-profit, nonpartisan group applying rigorous science to the analysis of human rights violations around the world.

  1. Harvard Law School

Everything from international relations to human rights data courtesy of political institution databases.

  1. The Armed Conflict Database by Uppsala University

Data that dives into minor and major violent conflicts around the world.

  1. Amnesty International

Human rights information, run independently of any political ideology, economic interest, or religion.

 

  1. FiveThirtyEigh

Primarily a news and opinion website, but its content is supported by in-depth data and statistical models.

  1. Google Scholar

Another Alphabet-owned resource but with a more academic slant – articles, theses, books, whitepapers etc.

  1. The Upshot

A section of the New York Times that examines politics, policy and everyday life, primarily using data.

  1. The New York Times Developer Network

Search articles, retrieve headlines and discover media dating back to 1851.

  1. Associated Press API

Search and download content using your own tools without having to visit AP portals.

  1. Million Song Dataset

A collection of 28 datasets containing audio features and metadata for a million music tracks.

  1. BFI Film Forever

Research data and market intelligence about the UK film industry and culture.

  1. IFPI

Key statistical highlights of the global recording industry.

  1. Academic Rights Press

The world’s leading aggregator of global music industry data.

  1. OpenLibrary Data Dumps

Datasets on books including catalogues from libraries around the world.

  1. One Million Audio Cover Images 

Dataset hosted at archive.org covering music released around the world, for use in image processing research.

  1. SkiftStats

The latest statistics, research and data about the travel industry.

  1. Search the World

Population, weather and travel information for millions of locations worldwide.

  1. U.S. Travel Association

Covers a wide variety of travel-related topics, primarily relating to the economy.

 

  1. Labelled Faces in the Wild

13,000 collated and labelled images of human faces, for use in developing applications involving facial recognition.

  1. Microsoft Marco

Microsoft’s open machine learning datasets for training systems in reading comprehension and question answering.

  1. Machine Learning Dataset Repository

Collection of open datasets contributed by data scientists involved in machine learning projects.

  1. UCI Machine Learning Repository

Dataset specifically pre-processed for machine learning.

  1. CERN Open Data 

More than one petabyte of data from particle physics experiments carried out by CERN.

  1. Natural History Museum Data Portal

Information on nearly four million historical specimens in the London museum’s collection, as well as scientific sound recordings of the natural world.

  1. Microsoft Azure Data Markets Free Datasets

Freely available datasets covering everything from agriculture to weather.

  1. NASA Exoplanet Archive

Public datasets covering planets and stars gathered by NASA’s space exploration missions.

  1. LondonAir 

Pollution and air quality data from across London.

  1. National Centers for Environmental Information

Quick access to many of NCEI’s climate and weather datasets, products and various resources.

  1. National Climatic Data Center

Huge collection of environmental, meteorological and climate data sets from the US National Climatic Data Center.

 

  1. Yelp Open Datasets

There are 5,996,996 reviews, 188,593 businesses, 280,991 pictures and 10 metropolitan areas included in Yelp Open Datasets.

  1. Capterra

Directory covering business software and reviews.

  1. Monster

In-depth data source for job market and career opportunities.

  1. Glassdoor

Directory where you can research companies, compare salaries and read employee reviews.

  1. eBay Market Data Insights 

Data on millions of online sales and auctions from eBay.

  1. Junar

 Data scraping service that also includes data feeds.

 

Need help delving the depths of data? We thrive on turning facts and figures into compelling content and campaigns – contact us to find out how.

gaming creativity: how tot fake it till you create it
1024 682 Carl Eden

Gaming Creativity: How to Fake it till you Create it

One of the hardest parts of digital PR is coming up with creative ideas on tap. But there are various steps you can undertake to make the process a little bit easier. Here’s some handy starting tips on improving your creative process:

1. Break Ideation Down

When it comes to generating ideas, it can be hard to know where to begin. So try and find ways to make your initial ideation into more of a mechanical process. 

A few years ago now, Mark Johnstone in a talk ‘How to Produce Better Content Ideas’ shared a television advert for BT broadband. In the advert, a boy asks his father ‘why did they build the Great Wall of China?’ The dad, flustered because he doesn’t know, panics and tells his son they built it to keep the rabbits out. Cut to – the boy in school, about to deliver a presentation to his class on why China built the great wall:

So, how did Mark break the advert down to examine its success?

  • Customer Insight
  • Product Truth
  • Competitor Insight

BT knew that its customers wanted information for their children. They knew their broadband speed was faster and could provide information quicker. They knew competitors were entirely focused on price. They found success by combining Customer Insight, Product Truth, and Competitor Insight.

Top Tip: Take inspiration from this advert and try and generate ideas through manageable sections. 

Instead of trying to create ideas from the air, which is daunting, find a way to mechanically break ideation down to explore different sections at a time. 

  • Customer Insight – Look at your customers. What kinds of people are they? What kinds of sites do they frequent? Look at problems they face or stories of interest to them. If you sell footwear to older women, don’t look at shoes, look at the issues faced by older women. 
  • Product Truth – What do these products do? Who would buy this? What need does it address? You might be able to tie into a more interesting topic.
  • Competitor Insight – Research blog posts and marketing campaigns of similar brands. What stands out? What do you do differently? 

Whilst this approach may not necessarily work for you, try to find ways to make your ideation sessions less daunting from the start – look at target sites, demographics, products, and brainstorm any connections you might find. 

2. Remember to Tell a Good Story

Why would a journalist cover my content marketing campaign? Often, the answer is simple, and it’s one which hasn’t changed a great deal in a fair few decades. For the journalist, the story is everything. 

One of my favourite books on ideation is Chip and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick. In their book, the Heath brothers examine adverts and urban legends to dissect story success – what makes a good story stick? They break down stories into a SUCCESS principle, some of which can be easily applied to ideation:

  • Simplicity – Often you’ll often provide journalists with a wealth of data and they’ll pick out one element and just run with that. Ideas which stick are often simple and to the point. Can you chisel your idea into its one core element? Think in terms of movie pitches. ‘Speed is Die Hard on a bus!’ ‘Alien is Jaws in space!’ What’s your hook?
  • Unexpectedness – Our brain notices things that are different. Surprising data often has more value. For example – did you know that deer kill more people than sharks every year? Playing against stereotypes or audience expectations can help an idea land. Look at stories journalists are covering in your industry and try to add your own unexpected twist. 
  • Emotions – Notice how the press will do human interest stories which will have more impact than simply listing figures? People are more likely to share stories that make them feel something – happiness, anger, surprise. Can you provide a human element to make your ideas more successful?

Always ask – who cares? Why would a journalist want this? What makes it stand out?

3. Site Survey to Reverse Engineer Content 

One last fast tip to get started. Use an advanced Google Search Operator to perform a site search with a relevant keyword and ‘survey.’ This works especially well with tabloids. So for example, if you sell wedding rings and want wedding topics to inspire you, try this in Google:

Weddings survey site:dailymail.co.uk


This will pull up all combinations of all stories built around weddings and surveys. Doing this will provide an overview of the flavour of stories the press has covered around your keyword. And you might notice a few patterns. Weddings, for example, will bring up:

  • Cost of weddings
  • Wedding habits
  • Wedding locations 
  • Wedding stress

If most of the stories are on the costs of weddings, it makes sense to start there as it’s clearly a subject the press are keen to explore. Can you look to do an unexpected twist on this?

Again – this isn’t a definitive list, but starting ideation can be daunting and hopefully, these tips are useful. Find more inspiration here. And if you’d like to leave ideation in our hands, feel free to contact us to find out more! 

Compelling data for your next PR campaign
1024 682 Rebekah Massey

How to find compelling data for your next digital PR campaign

Data is a deadly digital PR weapon. Not only can it help you discover your ideal audience and target their biggest interests, it can also provide metrics on campaign success, allowing you to edit and optimise for the future. 

But in spite of its widespread use for research, insight and reporting, data is often overlooked or ignored for content – the creative part of a digital PR campaign that, for many, means imaginative thinking or outlandish ideas. 

However, you cannot underestimate the power of data when it comes to grabbing the attention of users, maintaining their engagement and encouraging action. 

No matter whether its a mind-boggling statistic or a reassuring nugget of information, content that places an emphasis on data will stand a better chance of resonating with audiences and establishing trust. After all, you can’t argue with cold hard facts. 

 

But you might be wondering…

Where exactly can I find compelling data for my next digital PR campaign? And how can I utilise it to best effect? Here are 10 of the best sources of information (with a couple of excellent data-driven digital PR examples thrown in for good measure).

PRO TIP: Don’t just rely on one of these data sources – bring multiple sources together for never-seen-before content or a more convincing argument. This will give you the edge when it comes to outreach. 

 

1. Office for National Statistics

It’s little wonder that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is widely cited by journalists, content marketers and digital PR professionals – its the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics and the recognised statistical institute of the UK. 

From discovering how census statistics can paint a picture of the nation to tracking economic changes in post-referendum UK, the ONS has it all.  

 

2. YouGov

Whereas the ONS tends to focus on quantitative information, YouGov adopts a more qualitative approach – what people think about things like politics, entertainment, retail, technology, media, lifestyle and more.

One of the reasons why YouGov makes such a good data source is because it believes in the power of participation. At the heart of YouGov is a diverse global online community, helping you get direct insights from the people who matter most to your brand. 

 

3. WhatDoTheyKnow

Anybody has the right to request information from a publicly-funded body, but what if you’re not sure how to go about it or simply want to find out what others have asked? Make a beeline for WhatDoTheyKnow. 

Run by volunteers, WhatDoTheyKnow helps you make Freedom of Information requests and will email you as soon as you get a response. Everything gets published online too, building a massive archive of information – to date, WhatDoTheyKnow users have made 557,982 requests to 24,128 authorities.

 

Data-driven PR example #1 – TicketSource Culture Per Square Mile Study

JBH harnessed the power of readily available, free data to help TicketSource discover and visualise the UK’s most cultural destinations per square mile. 

As this campaign was based on cultural attractions such as theatres and museums, we decided to gather data from the world’s largest travel site – TripAdvisor. We gathered information on the number of cultural attractions in each area and worked out how many of these were in every square mile, allowing us to formulate a ranking. 

This data-driven campaign has generated amazing top-tier news coverage and backlinks for our client, including coverage on the Times online and itv.com.

 

4. Statista

Statista claims to be the #1 business data platform in the world with insights and facts from 600 industries across 50 countries. If you’ve ever conducted research for facts and figures, chances are you’ve stumbled across Statista. 

In addition to its wealth of statistics on all manner of subjects, there’s also a bunch of industry reports and market outlooks to sink your teeth into. The only problem is that some information remains hidden behind a paywall, with accounts starting at USD$49 a month for full access.

 

5. Wikipedia

Yes, we know, Wikipedia is an openly editable website with content written collaboratively by largely anonymous volunteers. However, there are a number of reasons why Wikipedia should be one of your go-to sources for data. 

First of all, its writers don’t get paid, which means they’re either extremely passionate or the ultimate authority on their chosen subject. Secondly, people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds contribute to Wikipedia, resulting in great diversity. Last but not least, the vast majority of articles contain references, further reading resources and external links for undeniable accuracy. 

 

6. World Health Organisation

Even if your digital PR campaign isn’t health-related, you shouldn’t dismiss the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a data source. The breadth and depth of its research and resources is incredible, spanning topics that include sustainability, climate change, drug and alcohol use, sanitation and hygiene, road safety, and much more. 

top 10 causes of death WHO

There aren’t many other organisations that work with and have access to data from 194 countries across six regions around the world. WHO is both on the ground and in a position of corporate power, providing insight from every level of society. 

 

7. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

Although this is another health-related source of information, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention go beyond their primary remit with research into everyday topics like physical activity, healthy living and workplace safety. 

The data and statistics section of CDC’s website is particularly useful, with a list of topics as well as various tools and related organisations. 

 

Data-driven PR example #2 – Gousto Iconic Dishes

Due to the subjective nature of food, coming up with a digital PR campaign based on the world’s most iconic dishes isn’t easy. 

Therefore, we decided to adopt a unique scoring system for this campaign – combining search volume data from Google Adwords with Instagram hashtag data (shoutout to the #foodpic massive).

This approach enabled us to pitch relevant data to news and food publications all over the world, resulting in coverage and backlinks on sites like Harpers Bizarre, Time Out Dubai and Good Food (Australia).

 

8. World Bank Open Data

As one of the world’s most comprehensive resources for global development data, the World Bank is sure to become one of your regular ports of call for digital PR.  

Beyond everything else, its analysis and visualisation tools will enable you to bolster your research, gain a deeper understanding of global trends, and download data in a compatible format. 

 

9. Google Public Data Explorer

Most data research journeys will start with a standard search on Google. Unfortunately, finding suitable results can be tricky, as websites that have nailed their SEO footprint are often given precedence over more legitimate data sources. 

This is where Google’s Public Data Explorer can help. Along with the ability to explore vast amounts of public-interest datasets, you can also visualise and communicate the data for respective uses. Best of all, visualisation changes over time, enabling you to keep track of trends. 

 

10. FiveThirtyEight

Even though FiveThirtyEight is a news and opinion website, it relies on statistical models and probabilistic thinking for its content. When combined with superb visuals and in-depth analysis, FiveThirtyEight leaves many mainstream media outlets in its wake. 

It provides unadulterated information about a variety of sectors as well as an explanation of each dataset and its source. Perfect for data-driven journalism and storytelling. 

 

Don’t worry if you’re overwhelmed by data – you can always leave your next digital PR campaign in the experienced and adept hands of JBH. Contact us to find out more.

1024 682 Rebecca Moss

What Should Your Content Really Look Like in 2019

What’s at the centre of your digital and social activity? Chances are its content, which bridges the gap between brand and customer like no other media or medium could do previously.

Content marketing has come a long way since the early days of publishing multiple (and mostly mediocre) blogs each week on your website in the vain hope of getting noticed or ranking for a couple of obscure, long tail search queries.

These days, content marketing is a multi-channel, cross-platform behemoth, consisting of everything from landing pages and infographics to podcasts and videos.

The increasingly competitive space in which content sits has also changed dramatically, with things like featured snippets and voice search making any marketing objective even more difficult to achieve.

But that doesn’t mean to say boosting your brand identity, increasing online awareness and engaging with customers through content marketing is impossible…

Here’s the content that performs best in 2019:

Long-form authoritative content

So, if regular blogging doesn’t cut it anymore, what does?

The answer is long-form authoritative content.

This means going into great detail about a particular theme or topic and updating it regularly with fresh insight, imagery and video.

After analysing 912 million blog posts to better understand the world of content marketing, Brian Dean from Backlinko discovered that long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than shorter articles. It also generates significantly more social shares, especially within the ‘sweet spot’ of 1,000-2,000 words.

Other industry studies have also found a direct correlation between long-form content and first page Google rankings. This is because long-form content stands a better chance of satisfying intent and maintaining engagement by demonstrating in-depth knowledge of a particular subject.

Best practice: Identify topics or themes that strongly correlate with your brand’s products, services, or industry. Think about how you could demonstrate your authority with long-form content that meets your customer’s wants and needs.

Short-form video

Every year, the importance of video content continues to grow – you only have to look at the success and influence of platforms like Instagram to realise that its here to stay for the long haul.

According to a recent study by Altimeter, short-form video (less than two minutes) is the best performing content in terms of engagement across every industry and every geography. By contrast, long-form video (greater than two minutes) was said to be 20% less effective.

In addition to greater engagement, short-form video can also improve your SEO, make content more accessible to a wider audience, generate a strong emotional connection with customers and lead to more conversions.

Best practice: Generate ideas for short-term video content that will resonate with your audience. Remember to optimise for mobile viewing (where most video is watched), create captions, include a CTA and keep it short!

Influencer marketing

Despite the exponential rise of social media influencers in recent years, this marketing trend is nothing new. However, several brands are reluctant to explore the idea of influencer marketing due to misconceptions that you need to spend thousands (or even millions) getting high-profile celebrities on board.

More often than not, brands have the most success with influencer marketing when they choose people directly related to their industry or niche. Better yet, they collaborate with influencers throughout the content ideation and creation process.

The following influencer marketing statistics speak volumes about its effectiveness:

  • Influencer Marketing Campaigns Earn $6.50 for Every Dollar Spent
  • 67% of Marketers Promote Content With the Help of Influencers
  • Influencer Marketing Is the Fastest-Growing Online Customer-Acquisition Method

Best practice: Think of influencers as an ad-hoc extension of your own content team. Take advantage of their creativity and audience, relieve some pressure from in-house efforts and add credibility to your brand in the eyes of followers.

Voice search

Voice search is slowly but surely becoming a daily fixture for many, especially given the increasingly popularity of Google Home, Amazon Alexa and other voice assistants. Estimates suggest there are over one billion voice searches per month, while 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.

So with more and more text-based digital tasks moving over to voice thanks to the speed and convenience it affords, every marketer should adjust their content strategy accordingly.

Unfortunately, each device seems to pull data from different sources and offer completely different results. But by creating pieces of content that deliver quick answers to quick questions, you should be able to position yourself ahead of the competition.

Best practice: Think about the words people say, not just what they’re likely to type. Also, most voice-activated searches take place on mobile, so make sure your website is responsive and optimised for smartphones.

Storytelling and Digital PR

There’s a reason why storytelling remains one of the most popular approaches to content marketing – it works, and will continue to work for many years to come. By conveying facts through narrative, you’ll create a connection with your audience and encourage action thanks to the number of decisions people make based on emotion.

One excellent example comes from National Geographic and its content marketing activity that engages with 350 million combined global followers on social media. As Nadine Heggie, VP of Brand Partnership, explains: “Staying true to your brand, being timely with content, using the power of wow and wonder, and embracing new technologies to tell stories.”

Key ingredients to any story include a main character/hero, a conflict/journey, and an ending/resolution. Don’t forget to make it easy-to-follow, relatable and memorable. Support your stories with visuals and data to drive the message home.

Next steps: Try to gain an in-depth understanding of your audience – their needs, pains, hopes and aspirations. Know exactly what you want to say and what you want your audience to do before launching any storytelling campaign.

Take your content marketing to the next level with JBH – let’s create something awesome together.

Content Marketing Trends for 2019
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Content marketing trends for 2019: 6 experts share their predictions

The world of content marketing is changing every day, new tools and technology are emerging constantly and the bar for high quality content continues to rise. Even with all these changes one thing is still certain, Content is King and it won’t be giving up its reign any time soon. As content marketing changes and our approach to it evolves, we’ve caught up with 6 of the leading digital PR and content marketing experts to get an idea for what content marketing trends 2019 holds in store.

Check out their content marketing trends for 2019 below:

 

Michelle Garrett, Digital PR expert shares content marketing trends for 2019

Michelle Garrett | Writer / Public Relations Consultant | Garrett Public Relations

LinkedIn | Twitter

Aligning your marketing channels

As we look ahead to next year, I see content marketing, public relations and social media becoming more closely aligned. These three cry out to be better integrated in order to get the most from each of them. Keeping them in separate silos limits their power. Brands who are able to integrate the three will see stronger results with less effort.

For example, a piece of content touting the results of a survey or research conducted by the brand can be leveraged for earned media coverage (= PR). That earned media hit can then be used as social media posts.

 

Ashley Norris, Content Marketing Consultant

Ashley Norris | Consultant | The CMA

LinkedIn | Twitter | Twitter

Action and Reaction

I think this year has been one in which brands have been forced to react to external events from changing policies to accommodate GDPR through to re-assessing their social approach in response to Facebook’s news feed algorithm change.

This year, however, I think there will be fewer seismic changes, enabling brands to be more proactive. More will embrace social issues, hopefully in a subtle and supportive way.

 

Automation and Artificial Intelligence

I think we will begin to see more automation too as companies move from wondering what to do about Artificial Intelligence through to actually finding really useful applications for automation.

 

Long form content

At the same time I think brands will also look to engage with journalists in creating longform, sometimes challenging content.

 

There is a growing premium on longform now, words, videos and increasingly podcasts and I think companies will see significant returns in brand awareness by comissiong this type of content.

 

 

Perri Robinson, Head of Marketing

Perri Robinson | Head of Marketing, UK & N Ireland | Meltwater

LinkedIn | Twitter

Shift in marketing budget

There’s no denying that the numerous social media algorithm updates rolled out in 2018 have impacted content organic brand reach. We’ve been forced into a pay to play world as a result and as soon as we start putting budgets behind campaigns, the need for ROI measurement becomes greater.

I predict that there’ll be a shift in how marketing budget is traditionally allocated, with more emphasis placed on content measurement tools to help content marketers justify their spend (and existence) in 2019.

 

Shift in influencers marketing

Influencer fraud is rife right now. We’ve seen major brands such as P&G pull out of using paid for influencers to support their content marketing efforts due to ever-growing influencer trust issues. Consumers are also becoming more cynical over their favourite Insta account constantly posting #ad and “in partnership with” content too.

In 2019, I expect we’ll see more brands (large and small) replacing paid for influencers with authentic brand advocates who are happy to share brand love due to their genuine passion for the company.

Greater emphasis will be placed on user-generated content because of this. That’s not to say that paid for influencer marketing will cease to exist, but marketing departments will need to adjust how they measure what influence is (in order to combat influencer fraud) and also how they measure the ROI of influencer marketing.

 

Rebecca Moss, Digital PR Manager

Rebecca Moss | Digital PR Manager | JBH – The Content Agency

LinkedIn | Twitter | Twitter

News outlets using a pay-per-read model

With many of the larger news outlets moving towards subscription based models and paywalls, I predict that the way that we both consume news stories and sell campaigns into news outlets is going to change drastically.

But just what does this mean from an online PR standpoint? Back in 2017, Google discontinued their ‘first click free’ (FCF) rule, whereby publishers were asked to grant access to one page of their paywalled content, allowing indexation. Google has since introduced their ‘flexible sampling’ framework, which allows the publishers themselves to decide just how much of their content they want to give away for free.

There is plenty of documentation from Google itself, explaining how to mark-up content that would be inaccessible to non-subscribers (using structured markup called JSON-LD). This helps Google to understand which parts of the content is included and which parts would not be visible within the publications ‘flexible sampling’ framework. Even with all this in place, we are still reliant on the news outlet implementing this in full.

One solution to this (and something I predict that we will see rolling out in 2019) is the pay-as-you or pay-per-read model, where readers would be able to decide on an article-by-article basis whether they want to commit to purchasing that piece of content to read.

Whether this is rolled out using Apple Pay, Android Pay or something else entirely, it would help to give consumers more choice and flexibility in the way that they consume news.

Whilst this would be a fantastic move for readers of news (as it could help to ensure that editorial quality remains high), it still doesn’t really help online PR specialists who are working to secure indexable coverage for their clients. A small client mention, link or citation may not be included in the ‘flexible sampling’ framework.

 

 

Adam Neale Managing Director of Bold Content

Adam Neale | Managing Director | Bold Content

LinkedIn | Twitter

Aligning marketing goals and video storytelling

2019 will be the year of bold and daring strategies for the use of video. Especially in businesses use of documentaries.

Businesses have become familiar with the documentary format, having used it’s techniques to tell case study stories, customer testimonials, explainer videos and the like. But the corporate documentary format is becoming familiar and audiences are used to seeing the standard talking head shot, cut with B-roll.

In order to grab attention brands need to try something different. It could be as simple as the use of creative editing techniques or adding a layer of animation or it could go as far as subverting the genre conventions.

Often, too little thought goes into what the video strategy should yield and marketing managers fail to see the potential of a truly standout documentary film.

As authenticity was the buzzword of 2018, 2019 will see the rise of experimentation to make brand content stand out from the crowd and that’s where talented filmmakers come into play.

By sitting down with filmmakers to discuss their marketing goals and determining how they can be aligned with the potential for high quality non-fiction storytelling, marketing managers can open the doors to content creation that can find new audiences, change perspectives, raise awareness, start a movement and ultimately change lives.

The exciting thing about brand documentaries is the many different forms they can take. There’s huge potential to tell great stories whether they are in the form of branded content about a subject that is unrelated to your brand, or in a piece of integrated comms about your brand, your founder or a CSR strategy.

The potential for positive PR, winning awards, film festival entries, should not be underestimated. The uplift in positive brand sentiment from a great short documentary film can be a powerful marketing tool.

Brands have to be brave enough to commission filmmakers with the remit of telling a good story. If they write a traditional brief they run the risk of inserting brand messages and diluting the story. Bland corporate messages and familiar testimonial videos lay down that path.

Especially in the B2B space where brands have traditionally relied on explainer videos, they now need to devote budget to making content that will reward the audience for watching. Content that will educate them, engage them, grab them and expand their worldview.

 

Liane Grimshaw, Founder & Managing Director of SupaReal

Liane Grimshaw | Founder & Managing Director | SupaReal

LinkedIn | Twitter | Twitter

Branded content hubs

Although content has always been at the centre of forward thinking B2B marketing, its growth and proliferation has resulted in often inconsistent assets and fragmented content experiences. Large brands, especially in the B2B space, are starting to do something about this and here at SupaReal we see this as a core consideration for 2019.

Developing branded content hubs that support a single brand across diverse product and service offerings, and across numerous target sectors and international regions, is going to be a key trend for 2019. Housing all brand content in one place, in multiple formats and for all stages of the buying journey, will help brands better leverage their investment in content marketing, not least in building awareness and authority around the key topics they want to be know for.

 

Content marketing essentials for 2019

Looking ahead, it is clear that content marketing will continue to evolve and grow with the rise of new and more sophisticated technology. It’s essential that content marketing strategies incorporate this technology in new and exciting ways to drive their campaign strategies forward.  

 

Want to learn more about content marketing? Read everything you need to know in our definitive guide.

Use these tips for instagram growth
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7 reasons your Instagram account isn’t growing

We’ve all read the blogs posts about “how to get more followers on Instagram.”

They tell you to:

  • Post more, post at a specific time of day
  • Use hashtags
  • Tag your location
  • Network with other Instagrammers.

But what if you’re doing all of this and none of it is working? Here are 7 key reasons you’re not seeing growth on your Instagram account:

 

Using Insights analytics for Instagram growth

Source: Buffer.com

 

1. You’re not using Instagram Insights

Instagram provides its own native analytics tool called Insights that has all kinds of features giving you statistics on each post. By taking the time understand which posts are performing well, you can better understand your audience and create more of the content that they want to see and will engage with.

For example, when a post gets high engagement, the Instagram algorithm understands that it’s valuable content and will, therefore be more likely to share it on the explore page.  This places your account in front of new users who don’t already follow you and provides more opportunity for growth.

 

Top Tip: Figure out which posts have the highest engagement signals and post more content like that.

 

Let’s say you own a bakery, you post lifestyle images of your shop and images of the items you sell – cakes, bagels, donuts etc. If your audience is engaging with the pictures of the donuts you can take that insight and post more images like this.  

That’s not to say every image should be a donut, but do be aware that this is the most popular content on your account and use this insight  to your advantage by posting similar imagery on a regular basis.

 

Use stories for Instagram growth

2. You’re not making the most of Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are one of the best features Instagram has to offer but if you’re not seeing the growth you expect, it might be because your not maximising their full potential.

According to Hootsuite, over 400 million stories are created each day, but a lot of accounts are underutilising Stories, posting perhaps unrelated or random moments in their day that don’t particularly hold a lot of interest for their followers.

Instead, you should be telling a story with your Stories. Whether that’s a quick 15 second story or multiple stories strung together, you need to include a beginning middle and end.

The great thing about Stories is that they are so easy to create. You only have to fill 15 seconds, and they disappear after 24 hours have passed, so the content doesn’t have to be high quality video – you can just shoot them on your iphone.

By expanding your content to other include other elements, you not only make your profile more appealing, as followers get more value, but you also increase the amount of time that your content is in front of your followers giving you more brand exposure.

Having a clear theme on your Instagram account will help attract the right followers

3. You don’t have a clear and concise theme

Having a page with a theme that is all over the place – dog photos, fashion photography, city images, landscapes, product photography etc, means your followers never know what to expect and they can’t guarantee that by following you they will see content they enjoy, consistently.

If your main goal is to grow your following, and getting active and engaged users, having a clear theme is a must. The Instagram algorithm places  posts on explore pages based on their interests using broad match categories such as travel, style, nature, fitness etc.

If your account has a clear theme that matches a users interests then you will be more likely to be shared with that person.

 

4. You are buying followers or participating in questionable giveaway schemes

Buying followers or participating in giveaway schemes  where you have to follow lots of accounts to win a prize can be detrimental to the organic growth of your Instagram account.

If you are using  Instagram as part of your brand building strategy,  or to help you generate sales, leads or traffic to your website, this is probably one of the worst things you can do.

‘Buying’ followers in this way can lower your overall engagement levels  and as a result your account can suffer.

 

5. You’re editing is all over the place

Not only does the theme of your Instagram need to be consistent but so does your editing. If your pictures are all over the place, black and white, over saturated, unsaturated etc, you need to take a step back and pick one style that suits you the best.

If you have too many things going on at once, this can be distracting for your audience and can take away the value of the content you are trying to showcase.

6. You’re cropping your photos wrong

Most of your followers will be engaging with Instagram with their device in a vertical position, meaning that landscape imagery can be tricky.   

 

Top Tip: You should always try to crop your photos at 4 X 5 as it takes up the most space on your followers feed. When they are scrolling it will occupy the most amount of space on their screen and be more likely to catch their eye than a tiny landscape photo that has another photo visible beneath it.

 

Use other platforms such as YouTube to help grow your Instagram account

7. You’re only trying to get Instagram followers through Instagram

Instagram is not the only platform out there. You can utilise other platforms to get people to visit your instagram, especially other social media platforms.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest can all be invaluable tools in helping you grow your Instagram page.

According to Hootsuite, 95% of Instagrammers also use YouTube, so by including  multiple social media channels within your strategy, you have a greater chance of building your following organically, and reaching an audience that will want to engage with your posts.

For example, let’s say you own a company that sells makeup. You post pictures on your instagram of your products and of models wearing your products.

To generate more traffic to your instagram page, you could also start making YouTube tutorials using your makeup, offering an incentive for your YouTube audience to follow you over on your Instagram account.  

 

Having trouble posting consistent high quality posts on your Instagram? These 6 FREE tools can help.

Utilising video marketing in your content strategy
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5 great examples of video content marketing done right

Have you heard the news about video yet? It becoming a vital part of content marketing.

You might be thinking, “Yeah, and in other news, the Popes Catholic”

YouTube is the second most trafficked site, after Google and according to Cisco, by 2020, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic.

It’s clear that video is a great tool for content marketing and that it’s what users are demanding, but you probably already knew that, so here are 5 great video marketing examples to give you some inspiration for your next campaign.

 

1. Blendtec

Blendtec seems like the obvious place to start. They have proved that there is no such thing as a boring industry and that video works no matter what product or service you are trying to sell.

Blenders are probably one of the duller products on the market – but start putting unusual stuff in them, they suddenly become a lot more interesting.

Blendtecs video marketing campaign is what put them on the map, and while certainly not everyone who watches their videos is going to buy a blender, they have definitely built a lot of brand recognition.

Their YouTube channel now has over 879K subscribers, with their videos still receiving hundreds of thousands of views.

It’s not just subscribers and brand awareness that their video campaigns have built. They saw a massive ROI for their videos, with a 700% increase in sales over a 3 year period.

 

2. Moz

Moz approaches their video marketing in a slightly different way, rather than trying to sell anything they use video to establish themselves as a thought leader within their industry.

Every week, Moz host its educational video series called ‘Whiteboard Fridays.’ The host uses this as an opportunity to share their knowledge on all things SEO. By having a regular series and using knowledge from experts, Moz has become the go-to for any and all SEO questions.

Another element of their series success is that the Moz team are active in the comments section on their posts. They have built a great relationship with their audience and if you write a comment you can actually expect to get an answer, which leads to regular engagement.

 

3. BuzzFeed

Anyone who has social media is thoroughly aware of just how addictive Buzzfeed’s video content can be. Whether its breaking news, funny memes or new recipes, BuzzFeed’s marketing team are social media savvy and able to put together engaging bite-size videos that make their audience stop scrolling.

BuzzFeed knows that social media distribution is the key to their success and create content that will appeal to their audience’s interest – putting a focus on engagement and value.

They have such a varied audience that they have created an umbrella of content with a number of different subtopic underneath it such as Tasty, Celeb, News and have given them all their own Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages, meaning their audiences only get content they want to see on their feeds.

This intuitive way of thinking about what their audience wants, and creating of high-quality content that works on the platform it is being viewed on (in BuzzFeed’s case, mobile) has led to a staggering 3 billion video views a month on BuzzFeed.

 

4. Airbnb

Airbnb is a company who has utilised content marketing to thrive and their video marketing is doing just as well.

They use strong storytelling in their videos to create a sense of community and build trust in the brand. Through their videos, they humanise their brand and they build relationships with their audience by creating regular video content for their YouTube channel every week.

They also use video as their main form of communication with their audience, for large company announcements, rebranding and even for PR crisis’.

Rather than shy away from the scandal, they used video to apologise, explain and cut through all the gossip.

 

5. JBH / Youth Employment Skills

Not to brag or anything, but we’ve put together a few great video marketing campaigns in our time as well. One of our favourites is a campaign we created for Youth Employment Skills.

The aim of the campaign was to boost signups for their service and we did just that – they had a 1,425% increase in signups as a result of the videos.

The targeted audience was hard to reach and wouldn’t want to listen to content created by people that assumed to know their needs. The brand was also unknown and the budget was extremely limited meaning we had to get creative with video ideas.

We achieved such great results by working with influencers at The Wall of Comedy to create funny, authentic video content that was specifically targeted at Facebook users as that was where the audience was spending time online.

The response from the target audience great and in total the videos accumulated:

  • 650,250+ Facebook video views
  • 4,662 Facebook engagements
  • 2,459,413+ Overall reach

Learn everything you need to know about influencer marketing with our definitive guide.

1024 533 Jane Hunt

How House of Cards changed the marketing game

Like many Netflix addicts, I’m all ready to spend my weekend binge-watching the new and final season of House of Cards.

But, before House of Cards became one of the most popular shows around (ranked 44 on IMDB), Netflix took a huge $100 million gamble on an unlikely season that no one was sure would succeed.

Today, we’re all hooked, and all your colleagues will be plugging their ears and moaning about spoilers when you want to talk about it on Monday morning. But just how did House of Cards pull Netflix out of a hole and change the content marketing game?

 

Obtaining the rights

Did you know that House of Cards was originally a four-part series that aired on the BBC way back in 1990? No, me neither until I started doing research for this blog post.

That version of House of Cards is also available on Netflix, set after Margaret Thatcher’s tenure at No. 10; it received really good ratings and momentarily was very popular.

An intern at MRC studios watched the series and wouldn’t stop talking about it, to the point that the studio decided they would look into buying the rights for the show.

Rights obtained all they needed was a director and a star. Naturally, they decided to pitch the show to David Fincher, director of other hits such as Fight Club and were interested in going after Kevin Spacey as their lead.  

A bidding war then began between a number of major networks, which Netflix ultimately won.

 

Where was Netflix before House of Cards?

Netflix was founded in 1977 (that’s just one year after Apple!) and became a public company in 2002 – way back when they were shipping out DVDs to people homes and relying on the postal service.

After seeing the success of YouTube and the popularity of streaming, Netflix began their own streaming project which went live in 2007, and they began to move away from their DVD business model.

At this point, Netflix had 1.2 million subscribers and saw steady growth over the coming years. It helped contribute to the distribution of indie movies and began acquiring rights for its own original content library but in 2011 Netflix took a dip.

Its CEO decided to split off the DVD rental side of the business into its own company called Qwikster, a decision that fostered nothing but ill will with their audience. The new service meant that customers had to create new accounts, something users weren’t happy about and led to Qwiksters short, one month, existence.

 

person streaming Netflix original content, house of cards

 

Then came House of Cards

House of Cards turned things around for Netflix. It aired in February of 2013 and according to The Wire it brought with it 3 million new subscribers worldwide (2 million in the US). This was a huge win for the company and they found that just 3 months after its launch they had already broken even on their $100 million investment.  

Netflix proved that there is incredible value in creating your own content.

With House of Cards, Netflix brought in the golden age of internet TV. From it, we have seen just how powerful original content can be; even the likes of Amazon jumped on the bandwagon, creating original content for its Prime customers such as Mr Robot.

 

Creating original content

You might not have a million dollar budget for your content like Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and Facebook but that doesn’t mean you can’t harness the power of original video content.

Even smaller brands are creating their own video series for their audiences to enjoy.

Original video content as part of your content marketing strategy

Moz – Whiteboard Fridays

Moz is a company that creates some great tools and products for SEO who for years now have been creating a segment every Friday called Whiteboard Fridays.

The short (usually under 10 min) segment covers a range of topics related to SEO with the aim to educate marketers. Some of their videos have amassed over 40K views and they have acquired a steady fan base which has helped establish their reputation as the go-to place for anything SEO related.

 

Want to learn more about Content Marketing? Read everything you need to know in our definitive guide.