Why do we read our favorite blogs? This series is about how Intel plans to meet its current marketing objectives and what this might mean for other technology-driven companies. Why do we read our favorite blogs? We read them because the content falls in line with our interests or needs. We are driven by curiosity, pleasure, business, or all three! Intel’s digital magazine website IQ caught my attention for these reasons. While I tend to be more interested in art and storytelling, I know that there is a powerful link between science and innovation. Intel IQ has leveraged its employee culture and interests into content curation that educates and entertains. All of this content is built around the tag line, “Innovation Everywhere.”
Intel’s Tag Line Genius
Intel’s tagline is perfect for its content marketing strategy. “Innovation Everywhere,” is focused on the subject of innovation, yet it is broad enough to include innovation examples from around the world, as Intel is used globally. The need for focus should not be overlooked in planning marketing objectives. Your tag line may or may not be visible on your blog. Your content may not have an official tag line but never the less it should have tag line focus. This focus can be developed by asking, “What are the rules/guidelines for our branded content creation?” This allows your team to focus on creating content that is inside of your focus. Your focus will lead to meeting your end objectives.
Why Content Marketing?
Intel already has a paid media strategy that makes use of traditional advertising – print, television, paid search, etc. At the time, Intel chose content marketing by digital magazine for very specific reasons. Here are some that are very clear:
• Target audience’s ability to filter disruptive advertising
• High employee use of social media
• The need to learn about its target audience
Below are details from this process:
Audience’s Ability to Filter Disruptive Advertising
In today’s world that is oversaturated advertising and media, it becomes easy to recognize advertising and to ignore it. This is a reality called “banner blindness.” Wikipedia says, “The term ‘banner blindness’ was coined by Benway and Lane as a result of website usability tests where a majority of the test subjects either consciously or unconsciously ignored information that was presented in banners. Subjects were given tasks to search information on a website. The information that was overlooked included both external advertisement banners and internal navigational banners, e.g. quick links.”
One metric that advertisers look at is CTR or click through rates. AT&T was the first brand to do online banner advertising in 1994. At the time, AT&T had a very high CTR of 78 percent. The numbers show that for every 1,000 people who visited a site that had an AT&T banner, 780 of the visitors clicked through to AT&T’s website. That was a very good CTR! Today, a good starting standard for a banner ad is a CTR of .02 percent.
High Employee Use of Social Media
For Intel, and any other brand, there are ways to understand the company culture. Intel is already a tech-savvy company that builds core processors and other tech products. These same employees are active on social media and the company policy encourages its use. This can be a tell-tale sign about your company culture. Is it tech-savvy? Is it currently on social media? If so, it may be time to produce custom content for your brand. A content marketing consultant may help plan the strategy – either with your team of writers or with free-lancers you hire to develop your content.
The Need to Learn about its Target Audience
Traditional advertising can lead to audience insights that are different from organic feedback. What I mean by organic is engagement with custom content that is hosted on your website or blog. A banner advertisments will have a call to action (CTA), and multiple metrics that can be tracked. What content marketing analytics can provide is a focus on in-depth interests of your audience. A banner ad is clear, short, and enticing. It relies on the content of the website on which the ad is placed. However, the content of that website is out of the control of the advertising party. There is no way to test for the best content and learn from those metrics.
In an interview hosted by Ben Tomaszewskl, Intel’s Global Paid Media & Content Strategist Luke Kintigh talked about target audience tracking metrics and said that, “In 2015, we’re going to focus on repeat readers, subscribers, and other relational metrics that represent sustained engagement from our readers. Really, unique and page views only represent very short-term success—we want to build and own an audience, not just rent one.” It is clear from his statements the importance of using content to test and track audience interests. Kintight also said, “We’re taking a closer look at how to measure and lift post-click engagement by tracking time spent, scroll rate, bounce rate and other ‘attention’ related metrics. Using attention-based goals and benchmarks is already impacting how we optimize and build content.” Just as Kintight described, custom content tracking can lead to the creation of more proficient content, audience insights, and results.
IQ’s digital magazine has its own algorithm to determine the most relevant employee content. It seems that the algorithm pulls in information from four distinct categories: submissions by Intel employees, trending stories from online, stories related to events, and culture. This last category includes content created by others, such as Mashable, Wired, and Spin. For your content creation, you can ask the same questions and create categories from which to pull content. Ideas for content can be submitted by employees. Search engine research can be conducted to understand more clearly what is trending online. Other business relationships can be recognized as possible content creation or category.
On a monthly basis, Intel’s IQ digital magazine website has close to one million visitors. IQ’s goal is to keep people reading and engaged in its content. It is not about increasing the number of visitors, although that is always a foundational goal. It is about building a long term relationship with the digital magazine. So far, IQ is a success with this amount of monthly visitors. IQ’s goals are now to keep readers interested by continuing to develop quality content first. Through such content, new audiences can grow, content becomes more personalized by testing, and Intel builds its own audience on its own website. The essence of content marketing is to: provide quality, build your own audience, and own – don’t rent – the space! This is why I am so excited to produce custom content. Intel’s IQ has definitely produced in all three of these areas.
IQ delivers very interesting content. The first time I read a post, it was about some strange sport that I have never heard of. It was great to learn something new and exciting. I shared it with a friend of mine that same hour. The most recent post I have read was on invisibility cloaks. It is great to learn new things and have a source like this for content marketing at its best.
If your brand is just using paid media, consider content marketing. It would be nice to own your own audience and not have to pay for that space to get in front of them. It gives your brand a lot more control for testing and all the other factors I mentioned above.
Understand Your Company Culture
If you’re a cutting-edge technology company, what does that mean? Are your employees on social media? If so, what channels of social media? This information might be of high importance when considering social media. Content Marketing Boundaries For content marketing to be successful it has to have a focus. Intel’s focus is innovation. Or, to be more specific, Innovation Everywhere for the blog tag line. It is important to find and set your boundaries so that you can meet your marketing objectives. I find that more boundaries lead to more creativity. This is especially true for writing and content marketing. It makes the whole process much less confusing and the end product sharper.