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An 
Analy'cs-­‐Driven 
Approach 
to 
Becoming 
an 
Effec've 
Brand 
Publisher 
2014 
Michael 
Brito 
Head 
of 
Social 
Strategy 
WCG, 
a 
W2O 
Company
INTRODUCTION 
There’s 
been 
a 
lot 
of 
conversa'on 
over 
the 
last 
several 
years 
that 
brands 
need 
to 
think 
and 
operate 
like 
publishers. 
It 
couldn’t 
be 
even 
more 
cri'cal 
today, 
and 
the 
reasons 
are 
in 
plain 
sight. 
Content 
Surplus: 
Content 
and 
media 
is 
omnipresent 
and 
demands 
our 
aQen'on. 
There 
are 
no 
shortages 
of 
mobile 
devices 
either. 
Everyone 
with 
a 
device 
is 
a 
content 
creator, 
which 
adds 
to 
the 
surplus 
of 
content 
generated 
each 
day. 
As 
consumers 
of 
content 
and 
media, 
we 
are 
subjected 
to 
3,000 
adver'sing 
messages 
per 
day. 
This 
doesn’t 
include 
other 
forms 
of 
content 
such 
as 
blog 
posts, 
status 
updates, 
tweets, 
videos, 
emails, 
text 
messages, 
etc. 
A5en6on 
Deficit: 
Most 
of 
us 
can 
barely 
consume—much 
less 
comprehend— 
285 
pieces 
of 
content 
in 
a 
given 
day. 
It’s 
the 
same 
reason 
why 
the 
average 
Facebook 
user 
has 
less 
than 
200 
friends. 
Our 
brains 
are 
wired 
so 
that 
we 
can 
only 
consume 
a 
finite 
amount 
of 
informa'on. 
The 
same 
is 
true 
with 
maintaining 
online 
rela'onships. 
Mul'tasking 
and 
having 
mul'ple 
devices 
is 
a 
cultural 
norm, 
and 
it’s 
not 
uncommon 
to 
find 
a 
family 
having 
dinner 
together 
in 
a 
restaurant 
with 
each 
person 
looking 
down 
at 
a 
device. 
Tunnel 
Vision 
Is 
a 
Requirement: 
There 
is 
a 
significant 
delta 
between 
the 
amount 
of 
content 
in 
front 
of 
us 
and 
our 
ability 
to 
understand 
and 
interact 
with 
it. 
This 
is 
why 
we 
have 
tunnel 
vision. 
It’s 
a 
natural 
defense 
mechanism 
so 
that 
we 
don’t 
get 
too 
overwhelmed 
with 
everything 
going 
on 
around 
us. 
It 
allows 
us 
to 
consume 
content 
that 
is 
relevant 
to 
us 
at 
a 
very 
specific 
moment 
in 
'me, 
and 
oen 
'mes, 
our 
relevancy 
filter 
changes 
each 
moment. 
If 
you 
have 
ever 
been 
in 
the 
market 
to 
purchase 
a 
new 
car, 
you 
might 
have 
experienced 
this 
for 
yourself. 
For 
example, 
the 
minute 
you 
decide 
to 
buy 
a 
car, 
you 
may 
suddenly 
begin 
to 
no'ce 
Audi 
or 
BMW 
adver'sements, 
status 
updates 
and 
conversa'ons 
in 
the 
hallway 
about 
others 
buying 
or 
selling 
new 
cars. 
Once 
you 
sign 
on 
the 
doQed 
line 
and 
drive 
off 
the 
lot, 
all 
those 
car 
2
conversa'ons 
are 
gone. 
But 
the 
reality 
is 
that 
they 
aren’t 
really 
gone, 
you 
just 
tune 
them 
out 
because 
it’s 
not 
relevant 
anymore. 
It’s 
tunnel 
vision. 
The 
Customer 
Journey 
Is 
Unpredictable: 
When 
it 
comes 
to 
purchasing 
products, 
there 
is 
no 
clear 
method 
to 
our 
madness. 
We 
may 
do 
research 
online, 
ask 
a 
trusted 
friend 
or 
conduct 
a 
poll 
on 
our 
Facebook 
page; 
e.g., 
thinking 
about 
an 
Android 
or 
iPhone. 
What 
do 
you 
all 
recommend? 
And 
the 
very 
next 
day, 
we 
may 
do 
the 
complete 
opposite. 
But 
one 
thing 
is 
for 
certain: 
our 
purchase 
path 
is 
open-­‐ended 
and 
dynamic 
based 
on 
the 
types 
of 
products 
and 
services 
that 
we 
buy 
each 
day. 
What 
is 
predictable 
though 
is 
that 
our 
consump'on 
paQerns 
when 
we 
buy, 
research 
or 
just 
read 
content 
online 
is 
in 
fact 
unpredictable. 
Internally, 
brands 
have 
different 
challenges. 
A 
2013 
report 
from 
the 
Content 
Marke'ng 
Ins'tute 
highlighted 
that 
78% 
of 
B2B 
marketers 
have 
a 
hard 
'me 
crea'ng 
original 
content, 
and 
44% 
of 
them 
do 
not 
have 
a 
documented 
content 
strategy. 
Other 
challenges 
include 
the 
inability 
to 
produce 
enough 
content 
(content 
that 
engages, 
various 
types 
of 
content) 
as 
well 
as 
having 
a 
lack 
of 
budget, 
execu've 
support 
and 
training. 
Producing Enough Content 64% 
Producing Content That Engages 52% 
Producing a Variety of Content 45% 
Lack of Budget 39% 
Inability to Measure Content 33% 
Lack of Knowledge, Training 26% 
Lack of Integration 25% 
Lack of Buy-in, Vision 22% 
Finding Trained Content Marketers 14% 
3
If 
you 
look 
at 
the 
four 
external 
factors 
and 
couple 
that 
with 
the 
internal 
challenges 
that 
face 
many 
marketers 
today, 
it 
starts 
to 
become 
clear 
that 
brands 
struggle 
trying 
to 
reach 
their 
audiences 
online. 
Brands 
Need 
to 
Get 
Content 
Right. 
It’s 
Either 
Now 
or 
Never. 
Content 
is 
how 
we 
reach 
a 
specific 
audience 
online 
in 
order 
to 
change 
a 
behavior. 
It’s 
the 
gateway 
into 
the 
social 
ecosystem. 
But 
the 
reality 
is 
that 
the 
external 
landscape 
will 
not 
change 
just 
because 
your 
engagement 
numbers 
are 
low. 
In 
fact, 
it’s 
only 
going 
to 
get 
worse. 
So, 
in 
order 
to 
adapt, 
you’ll 
need 
to 
evolve 
the 
way 
you 
think, 
operate 
and 
communicate 
with 
your 
customers 
and 
prospects. 
This 
means 
that 
you’ll 
have 
to 
change 
your 
content 
approach 
or 
adopt 
one. 
The 
reason 
why 
many 
of 
us 
struggle 
with 
content, 
storytelling 
and 
being 
able 
to 
scale 
our 
opera'ons 
is 
because 
we 
don’t 
take 
content 
serious 
enough. 
Many 
'mes 
it’s 
an 
aerthought. 
Content 
isn’t 
a 
box 
you 
check, 
a 
bubble 
you 
fill 
in 
or 
a 
bullet 
point 
on 
a 
presenta'on. 
It’s 
more 
than 
search, 
more 
than 
real-­‐'me 
content 
and 
so 
much 
more 
than 
building 
a 
content 
marke'ng 
strategy 
in 
a 
silo. 
And 
you 
can 
only 
learn 
so 
much 
about 
content 
from 
clever 
blog 
'tles 
like 
“10 
Proven 
Tips 
to 
Do 
This” 
or 
“5 
Smart 
Tricks 
to 
Do 
That.” 
Content 
must 
be 
considered 
a 
strategic 
impera've 
for 
your 
brand. 
You 
must 
become 
a 
content 
organiza'on 
if 
you 
want 
to 
take 
your 
business 
to 
the 
next 
level 
and 
stand 
out 
from 
your 
compe'tors. 
Just 
as 
there 
is 
an 
art 
to 
storytelling, 
there 
also 
needs 
to 
be 
a 
strategic 
and 
opera'onal 
plan 
that 
can 
help 
you 
create 
and 
distribute 
content, 
integrate 
it 
across 
paid, 
earned, 
shared 
and 
owned 
media, 
and 
measure 
it 
effec'vely. 
As 
a 
marketer 
or 
a 
brand 
manager, 
you 
must 
move 
beyond 
the 
content 
marke'ng 
buzzword 
and 
commit 
to 
becoming 
a 
brand 
publisher. 
4
Introducing 
Content 
as 
a 
Service 
(CaaS) 
The 
CaaS 
model 
is 
meant 
to 
address 
and 
solve 
for 
both 
the 
external 
challenges 
of 
reaching 
your 
target 
audience 
and 
also 
the 
barriers 
you 
face 
internally. 
The 
goal 
of 
CaaS 
is 
to 
ensure 
that 
content 
is 
considered 
a 
strategic 
impera've 
for 
business 
today 
and 
making 
it 
core 
to 
business 
and 
marke'ng 
objec'ves. 
The 
model 
is 
broken 
down 
by 
four 
separate 
work 
streams—grounded 
in 
analy'cs—and 
supported 
by 
an 
opera'onal 
framework 
that’s 
meant 
to 
facilitate 
integra'on 
at 
key 
touch 
points. 
Social Narrative 
Development 
ANALYTICS & RESEARCH 
Social Channel 
Strategy 
Content 
Performance & 
Analysis 
Participatory 
Storytelling 
Content Operational Framework 
SOCIAL 
NARRATIVE 
DEVELOPMENT 
Both 
a 
quan'ta've 
and 
qualita've 
analysis 
are 
needed 
to 
cra 
a 
story 
that 
can 
break 
through 
the 
cluQer, 
reach 
new 
audiences 
and 
to 
tell 
a 
beQer 
story 
than 
your 
compe'tors. 
We 
use 
four 
analy'cs 
approaches 
to 
achieve 
this: 
Social 
Graphics: 
Your 
audience, 
categorized. 
By 
looking 
at 
what 
your 
audience 
members 
follow, 
share 
and 
discuss, 
we 
group 
them 
by 
interest 
and 
passion. 
5
Influencer 
Meme 
& 
Muse: 
A 
meme 
is 
a 
ranked 
list 
of 
the 
top 
50 
people 
who 
are 
driving 
the 
conversa'on 
about 
a 
given 
topic, 
industry 
or 
brand. 
This 
is 
the 
digital 
1% 
of 
the 
popula'on 
that 
is 
driving 
the 
conversa'on 
about 
a 
given 
topic 
or 
industry. 
The 
Muse 
tells 
us 
where 
they 
get 
their 
inspira'on. 
Content 
Gap 
Analysis: 
We 
examine 
influen'al 
conversa'on 
about 
a 
topic 
or 
brand 
and 
compare 
it 
to 
what 
a 
brand 
is 
sharing 
online. 
The 
gaps 
that 
emerge 
are 
the 
brand’s 
new 
areas 
of 
focus. 
Search 
Insights: 
A 
broad 
analysis 
that 
examines 
the 
search 
volume 
and 
frequency 
of 
certain 
topics, 
keywords 
and 
industries. 
Qualita've 
data 
is 
studying 
the 
various 
percep'ons 
and 
general 
conversa'ons 
about 
your 
brand 
from 
various 
stakeholders 
(media, 
analysts, 
influencers, 
the 
community, 
etc.) 
purely 
from 
a 
contextual 
perspec've. 
When 
the 
community 
talks 
about 
the 
brand 
or 
when 
the 
media 
men'ons 
you 
in 
an 
ar'cle, 
what 
is 
the 
actual 
context? 
Are 
they 
valida'ng 
your 
narra've 
or 
giving 
you 
insights 
on 
how 
you 
might 
want 
to 
talk 
about 
yourself 
differently? 
The 
output 
of 
this 
exercise 
is 
to 
establish 
an 
architecture 
that 
takes 
insights 
from 
the 
data, 
developing 
a 
strategic 
and/or 
crea've 
framework 
and 
puong 
it 
into 
an 
editorial 
framework 
from 
which 
all 
future 
content 
is 
created. 
While 
there 
are 
several 
ways 
to 
do 
this, 
the 
best 
way 
to 
think 
about 
storytelling 
is 
through 
three 
different 
lenses, 
whereby 
the 
brand: 
• ... 
is 
the 
story 
(events, 
campaigns, 
product/brand-­‐focused) 
• ... 
is 
a 
character 
in 
a 
story 
(customer 
stories, 
third-­‐party 
ar'cles) 
• … 
comments 
on 
a 
story 
(lifestyle, 
real-­‐'me/agile 
content) 
From 
there, 
you 
can 
begin 
to 
map 
out 
content 
for 
your 
editorial 
calendar 
and 
align 
content 
to 
specific 
social 
and 
digital 
channels 
with 
some 
strategic 
thinking. 
6
At 
WCG, 
we 
ensure 
that 
all 
content 
follows 
some 
very 
basic 
fundamentals 
and 
delivers 
on 
the 
following: 
• U'lity 
-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> 
helps 
me 
“do” 
something 
• Educa'on 
-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> 
makes 
me 
smarter 
• Entertainment 
-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> 
makes 
me 
laugh, 
inspires 
me 
• Access 
-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> 
connects 
me 
to 
others 
• Altruism 
-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> 
facilitates 
my 
sense 
of 
purpose 
• Emo'on 
-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> 
elicits 
a 
visceral 
reac'on 
• Exclusivity 
-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> 
makes 
me 
feel 
special 
• Informa'on 
-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> 
delivers 
me 
news 
• Financial 
-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> 
provides 
me 
with 
a 
sale, 
rebate 
or 
coupons 
SOCIAL 
CHANNEL 
STRATEGY 
Brands 
struggle 
with 
social 
media 
because 
they 
are 
using 
it 
just 
to 
amplify 
and 
distribute 
all 
content 
in 
an 
effort 
to 
tell 
several 
disjointed 
stories 
in 
every 
channel. 
This 
approach 
dilutes 
the 
message 
and 
contributes 
to 
the 
content 
surplus 
that 
many 
people 
ignore. 
A 
social 
channel 
strategy 
consists 
of 
two 
very 
important 
steps. 
The 
first 
requires 
an 
in-­‐depth 
analysis 
of 
exis'ng 
communi'es/social 
channels, 
a 
compe''ve 
content 
analysis 
and 
examining 
internal 
resources 
that 
manage 
the 
content 
process. 
This 
determines 
what’s 
working 
and 
what’s 
not 
working 
from 
a 
content 
perspec've, 
and 
the 
analysis 
will 
deliver 
insight 
as 
to 
what 
needs 
to 
change, 
which 
channels 
need 
consolida'ng 
(e.g., 
mul'ple 
TwiQer 
accounts, 
etc.), 
or 
it 
may 
even 
uncover 
the 
opportunity 
of 
crea'ng 
new 
channels. 
The 
second 
step 
involves 
strategically 
aligning 
content 
to 
specific 
social/ 
digital 
channels 
based 
on 
the 
audience 
segmenta'on, 
plarorm 
behavior 
and 
documented 
brand 
goals. 
7
Social 
Channel 
Strategy 
also 
involves 
building 
converged 
media 
models 
that 
integrate 
brand 
storytelling 
across 
PESO 
(paid, 
earned, 
shared 
and 
owned 
media). 
It 
starts 
with 
a 
sharable 
idea 
(campaign, 
agile 
content, 
etc.) 
and 
then 
strategically 
ac'va'ng 
each 
channel 
around 
engagement 
(earned), 
content 
(shared) 
and 
customer 
experience 
(owned). 
From 
there, 
it’s 
using 
paid 
media 
to 
amplify 
the 
idea 
using 
search, 
a 
content 
syndica'on 
plarorm 
like 
OutBrain 
or 
OneSpot 
and 
na've 
paid 
media 
on 
Facebook 
and 
TwiQer. 
EARNED 
MEDIA 
Media 
rela'ons 
Influencer 
engagement 
Word-­‐of-­‐mouth 
SHARED 
MEDIA 
Social 
media 
channel 
strategy 
Community 
management 
Social 
content 
crea'on 
Engagement 
Content 
Experiences 
SHARABLE 
STORIES 
PAID 
MEDIA 
AMPLIFICATION 
Content 
syndica'on 
Na've 
adver'sing 
Search 
Social 
paid 
OWNED 
MEDIA 
Brand 
website/newsroom 
Campaign 
micr-­‐osite 
Mobile 
apps 
From 
a 
real-­‐'me 
marke'ng 
perspec've, 
we 
approach 
it 
a 
liQle 
differently 
than 
most 
other 
agencies. 
Instead 
of 
building 
real-­‐'me 
crea've 
based 
on 
what’s 
trending 
on 
the 
broader 
Internet, 
we 
build 
custom 
search 
engines 
of 
very 
targeted 
audiences 
(healthcare 
professionals, 
ITDMs, 
millennials.) 
We 
then 
ac'vate 
a 
content 
engine 
team 
to 
find 
what’s 
trending 
within 
this 
group 
and 
then 
deploy 
the 
crea've 
and 
distribu'on. 
PARTICIPATORY 
STORYTELLING 
Data 
from 
the 
Boston 
Consul'ng 
Group 
tell 
us 
that 
when 
it 
comes 
to 
trust 
and 
credibility, 
“people 
they 
know”, 
“consumer 
opinions 
online” 
and 
“colleagues 
and 
friends” 
rank 
the 
highest 
when 
people 
are 
seeking 
informa'on 
about 
a 
brand 
and 
its 
products. 
8
Brand 
storytelling 
is 
more 
than 
just 
distribu'ng 
branded 
content, 
na've 
adver'sing 
or 
crea've 
campaigns 
on 
Facebook. 
It 
also 
involves 
mobilizing 
employees 
to 
par'cipate 
and 
feed 
the 
content 
engine. 
And 
it's 
not 
just 
employees 
twee'ng 
or 
sharing 
company 
news 
in 
social 
media. 
It’s 
about 
finding 
good 
stories 
about 
the 
brand, 
its 
products 
or 
employees 
and 
using 
long-­‐form 
content 
to 
tell 
everyone 
about 
it. 
Employees 
aren’t 
the 
only 
ones 
that 
are 
influen'al 
either. 
Brand 
advocates 
and 
influencers 
can 
also 
move 
messages 
rather 
quickly 
across 
the 
social 
ecosystem, 
and 
their 
content 
is 
equally 
as 
trustworthy. 
We 
look 
at 
influencers 
through 
the 
lens 
of 
the 
1-­‐9-­‐90 
model: 
The 
“1%” 
are 
bloggers, 
forum 
posters 
(think 
Reddit), 
video 
reviewers 
and 
journalists 
who 
create 
content. 
They 
focus 
on 
telling 
a 
story 
and 
are 
seen 
as 
the 
experts 
on 
a 
given 
topic. 
At 
WCG, 
our 
algorithms 
show 
that 
there 
are 
never 
more 
than 
50 
people 
who 
drive 
the 
majority 
of 
share 
of 
conversa'on 
for 
a 
brand, 
topic 
or 
industry 
in 
a 
given 
country 
or 
language. 
The 
“9%” 
are 
highly 
ac've 
online. 
These 
are 
your 
brand 
advocates, 
and 
their 
behavior 
probably 
aligns 
with 
what 
we 
do 
online 
every 
day. 
We 
recommend, 
share, 
sign 
up, 
download, 
comment 
and 
other 
ac'ons 
that 
let 
our 
communi'es 
and 
our 
peers 
know 
what 
we 
think 
about 
certain 
topics 
and 
brands. 
In 
many 
respects, 
this 
group 
serves 
as 
the 
“trust 
filter” 
for 
the 
broader 
marketplace. 
The 
“90%” 
is 
the 
mass 
market. 
They 
lurk 
and 
learn. 
This 
rather 
large 
group 
is 
sa'sfied 
with 
using 
search 
or 
consuming 
the 
content 
of 
their 
peers. 
They 
decide 
how 
compelling 
the 
1% 
and 
the 
9% 
really 
are 
in 
telling 
your 
brand’s 
story. 
9
Regardless 
of 
what 
group 
you 
are 
going 
to 
go 
aer, 
there 
are 
several 
considera'ons 
for 
making 
par'cipatory 
storytelling 
successful: 
Content 
Strategy 
Alignment: 
Before 
you 
decide 
what 
you 
want 
your 
advocates 
to 
say, 
you 
must 
know 
exactly 
what 
the 
story 
is 
that 
you 
want 
to 
tell. 
A 
comprehensive 
content 
strategy 
should 
help 
you 
establish: 
• What 
you 
want 
to 
say 
(storytelling 
principles, 
narra've) 
• How 
you 
want 
to 
say 
it 
(tone 
of 
voice) 
• Where 
you 
want 
to 
say 
it 
(aligning 
stories 
to 
digital 
channels) 
• Who 
you 
want 
to 
par'cipate 
(employees, 
customers, 
etc.) 
A 
solid 
editorial 
framework 
will 
determine 
content 
and 
plarorm 
priori'es 
and 
the 
content 
supply 
chain 
(workflows 
that 
facilitate 
content 
idea'on, 
crea'on, 
submission, 
approval 
and 
distribu'on). 
Smart 
Technology 
Deployment: 
It’s 
difficult 
to 
manage 
an 
advocate 
program 
using 
email 
or 
a 
private 
Facebook 
or 
LinkedIn 
group. 
There 
are 
several 
technology 
vendors 
in 
the 
market 
place 
that 
can 
help 
streamline 
the 
process 
and 
make 
it 
convenient 
for 
your 
advocates 
and 
influencers 
to 
share 
content: 
• Dynamic 
Signal 
(community-­‐based) 
• Social 
Chorus 
(community-­‐based) 
• Addvocate 
(plarorm) 
• Everyone 
Social 
(plarorm) 
Strategic 
Content 
Ac6va6ons: 
As 
much 
as 
your 
program 
must 
include 
cura'ng 
and 
distribu'ng 
content 
from 
your 
advocates 
to 
help 
tell 
your 
brand 
story, 
you 
must 
also 
have 
a 
content 
plan 
for 
engaging 
directly 
with 
them. 
10
Unfortunately, 
many 
teams 
that 
manage 
these 
programs 
oen 
overlook 
a 
content 
plan 
and 
then 
struggle 
to 
keep 
the 
conversa'ons 
alive 
and 
fresh 
with 
advocates; 
more 
so 
with 
customers 
than 
employees. 
Your 
content 
should 
be 
planned 
weekly, 
monthly 
and 
even 
quarterly, 
and 
take 
into 
considera'on 
several 
factors 
like 
the 
following: 
• Upcoming 
events 
or 
industry 
trade 
shows 
• Upcoming 
product 
launches 
or 
new 
releases 
of 
an 
exis'ng 
product 
• Fun 
things 
like 
contests, 
polls 
and 
research 
ques'ons 
• Asking 
for 
user-­‐generated 
content 
(uploading 
and 
sharing 
photos 
on 
Facebook/TwiQer) 
You 
must 
also 
document 
the 
opera'onal 
plan 
by 
answering 
the 
following 
ques'ons: 
• Will 
you 
focus 
on 
employees, 
customers 
or 
both? 
• What’s 
the 
criteria 
for 
selec'ng 
advocates 
(invita'on, 
open)? 
• How 
long 
is 
the 
program 
and 
will 
you 
rotate 
in/out 
new 
members? 
• What 
do 
you 
want 
to 
call 
your 
program? 
• What 
technology 
plarorm 
will 
you 
use? 
• How 
are 
you 
going 
to 
measure? 
CONTENT 
PERFORMANCE 
AND 
ANALYSIS 
In 
April 
2014, 
Contently, 
a 
content 
marke'ng 
plarorm, 
surveyed 
302 
marketers 
split 
evenly 
across 
B2B 
and 
B2C 
businesses 
about 
their 
content 
goals 
and 
measurement 
prac'ces 
and 
unearthed 
some 
key 
findings. 
The 
State 
of 
Content 
Marke'ng 
Measurement 
report 
found 
that 
90% 
of 
marketers 
expressed 
uncertainty 
that 
their 
key 
content 
metrics 
are 
effec've 
in 
measuring 
business 
results. 
11
Rather 
than 
measuring 
content 
(status 
update, 
press 
release, 
blog 
post, 
tweet) 
at 
the 
“social 
network” 
level, 
there 
is 
more 
value 
measuring 
content 
at 
the 
actual 
content 
level. 
At 
WCG, 
we 
use 
what 
we 
call 
the 
Branded 
Scoring 
Content 
Approach, 
where 
we 
score 
each 
piece 
of 
content 
that 
gets 
published 
online 
on 
a 
1–100 
scale. 
High 
performing 
content 
ranks 
higher 
on 
the 
scale, 
low 
performing 
content 
ranks 
lower. 
The 
algorithm 
uses 
two 
variables 
to 
determine 
the 
score: 
1) 
where 
that 
content 
was 
published 
(how 
many 
distribu'on 
channels) 
and 
2) 
the 
engagement 
level 
in 
each 
plarorm 
it 
was 
published. 
It’s 
a 
fairly 
simple 
algorithm 
that 
provides 
maximum 
insight 
if 
done 
correctly. 
Here’s 
the 
process: 
Content 
Gathering: 
We 
collect 
all 
your 
content 
from 
its 
mul'ple 
plarorms, 
even 
content 
shared 
across 
mul'ple 
plarorms. 
Content 
Processing: 
All 
content 
is 
loaded 
into 
a 
custom 
database 
and 
scored. 
All 
possible 
variables 
(likes, 
shares, 
comments, 
clicks) 
are 
taken 
into 
considera'on. 
Primary 
and 
secondary 
channels 
are 
weighted 
appropriately 
to 
their 
importance. 
12
Content 
Scoring: 
Total 
post 
scores 
are 
the 
average 
of 
all 
possible 
channel 
variables 
(e.g., 
likes, 
shares, 
comments, 
clicks 
for 
Facebook). 
Each 
post’s 
score 
is 
a 
func'on 
of 
all 
content 
for 
the 
brand, 
rather 
than 
an 
isolated 
quan'fica'on. 
As 
such, 
engagement 
is 
a 
realis'c 
reflec'on 
of 
your 
brand’s 
content. 
We 
use 
this 
scoring 
system 
to 
op'mize 
future 
content, 
to 
determine 
where 
it’s 
shared 
and 
whether 
or 
not 
to 
push 
paid 
dollars 
behind 
it 
in 
order 
to 
improve 
reach/engagement. 
CONTENT 
OPERATIONAL 
FRAMEWORK 
This 
is 
an 
opera'onal 
step 
that 
spans 
across 
each 
of 
the 
four 
work 
streams 
above. 
It’s 
a 
consulta've 
approach 
that 
helps 
our 
clients 
structure 
their 
team, 
assign 
roles 
and 
responsibili'es 
with 
internal 
stakeholders 
and 
other 
agency 
partners, 
invest 
in 
the 
right 
technology 
and 
build 
a 
content 
supply 
chain 
(editorial 
process 
that 
facilitates 
the 
movement 
of 
content 
from 
idea'on 
to 
distribu'on) 
that 
can 
scale. 
Essen'ally, 
it's 
helping 
brands 
build 
a 
newsroom 
organiza'on. 
It 
starts 
with 
having 
the 
right 
team 
structure 
that 
can 
help 
streamline 
content 
through 
what 
we 
call 
the 
“content 
supply 
chain.” 
We 
typically 
recommend 
building 
a 
centralized 
editorial 
team 
that 
supports 
and 
enables 
mul'ple 
business 
units, 
product 
organiza'ons 
or 
geographies. 
This 
used 
to 
be 
called 
the 
Social 
Media 
Center 
of 
Excellence. 
This 
also 
involves 
assigning 
roles 
and 
responsibili'es, 
much 
like 
a 
newsroom 
organiza'on. 
You 
have 
to 
decide 
who 
in 
your 
company 
has 
the 
right 
skillset 
to 
write 
content, 
approve 
content 
and 
create 
other 
assets 
(videos, 
Infograms, 
photos, 
etc.) 
13
Develop 
Content 
Strategy 
Scale 
Content 
Globally 
Source 
Technology 
Vendors 
COE 
B 
C 
This 
may 
require 
you 
to 
reach 
across 
the 
hall 
and 
collaborate 
with 
other 
teams 
if 
you 
don’t 
have 
all 
the 
resources 
yourself. 
Some 
brands 
will 
a 
create 
centralized 
“editorial” 
center 
of 
excellence 
to 
help 
augment 
the 
gaps. 
These 
cross-­‐func'onal 
teams 
are 
responsible 
for 
deploying 
and 
opera'onalizing 
a 
brand’s 
content 
strategy. 
You 
must 
also 
go 
through 
the 
daun'ng 
task 
of 
assigning 
roles 
and 
responsibili'es 
to 
your 
external 
agency 
partners 
and 
manda'ng 
that 
they 
play 
nice 
together. 
Editorial 
workflows 
are 
essen'al 
to 
ensure 
that 
your 
content 
is 
being 
distributed 
at 
the 
right 
'me 
and 
in 
the 
right 
channel. 
Deploying 
workflows 
such 
as 
this 
will 
not 
only 
protect 
the 
brand 
from 
making 
mistakes 
(think 
US 
Airways, 
Kitchen 
Aid), 
but 
also 
ensure 
that 
there 
is 
enough 
content 
in 
the 
pipeline 
and 
that 
the 
stories 
are 
consistent 
once 
distributed. 
A 
M 
B 
C 
A 
M 
B 
Brand, 
Business 
Unit, 
Region 
M 
Media 
Agency 
Crea've/Ad 
Agency 
C 
Content/PR 
Agency 
A 
14 
Content 
Governance
For 
more 
informa'on 
on 
how 
CaaS 
might 
help 
you 
achieve 
your 
content 
marke'ng 
and 
brand 
goals, 
please 
contact 
Michael 
Brito. 
MICHAEL 
BRITO 
mbrito@wcgworld.com 
415-­‐871-­‐5165

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An Analytics-Driven Approach to Becoming a Brand Publisher - White paper (CaaS)

  • 1. An Analy'cs-­‐Driven Approach to Becoming an Effec've Brand Publisher 2014 Michael Brito Head of Social Strategy WCG, a W2O Company
  • 2. INTRODUCTION There’s been a lot of conversa'on over the last several years that brands need to think and operate like publishers. It couldn’t be even more cri'cal today, and the reasons are in plain sight. Content Surplus: Content and media is omnipresent and demands our aQen'on. There are no shortages of mobile devices either. Everyone with a device is a content creator, which adds to the surplus of content generated each day. As consumers of content and media, we are subjected to 3,000 adver'sing messages per day. This doesn’t include other forms of content such as blog posts, status updates, tweets, videos, emails, text messages, etc. A5en6on Deficit: Most of us can barely consume—much less comprehend— 285 pieces of content in a given day. It’s the same reason why the average Facebook user has less than 200 friends. Our brains are wired so that we can only consume a finite amount of informa'on. The same is true with maintaining online rela'onships. Mul'tasking and having mul'ple devices is a cultural norm, and it’s not uncommon to find a family having dinner together in a restaurant with each person looking down at a device. Tunnel Vision Is a Requirement: There is a significant delta between the amount of content in front of us and our ability to understand and interact with it. This is why we have tunnel vision. It’s a natural defense mechanism so that we don’t get too overwhelmed with everything going on around us. It allows us to consume content that is relevant to us at a very specific moment in 'me, and oen 'mes, our relevancy filter changes each moment. If you have ever been in the market to purchase a new car, you might have experienced this for yourself. For example, the minute you decide to buy a car, you may suddenly begin to no'ce Audi or BMW adver'sements, status updates and conversa'ons in the hallway about others buying or selling new cars. Once you sign on the doQed line and drive off the lot, all those car 2
  • 3. conversa'ons are gone. But the reality is that they aren’t really gone, you just tune them out because it’s not relevant anymore. It’s tunnel vision. The Customer Journey Is Unpredictable: When it comes to purchasing products, there is no clear method to our madness. We may do research online, ask a trusted friend or conduct a poll on our Facebook page; e.g., thinking about an Android or iPhone. What do you all recommend? And the very next day, we may do the complete opposite. But one thing is for certain: our purchase path is open-­‐ended and dynamic based on the types of products and services that we buy each day. What is predictable though is that our consump'on paQerns when we buy, research or just read content online is in fact unpredictable. Internally, brands have different challenges. A 2013 report from the Content Marke'ng Ins'tute highlighted that 78% of B2B marketers have a hard 'me crea'ng original content, and 44% of them do not have a documented content strategy. Other challenges include the inability to produce enough content (content that engages, various types of content) as well as having a lack of budget, execu've support and training. Producing Enough Content 64% Producing Content That Engages 52% Producing a Variety of Content 45% Lack of Budget 39% Inability to Measure Content 33% Lack of Knowledge, Training 26% Lack of Integration 25% Lack of Buy-in, Vision 22% Finding Trained Content Marketers 14% 3
  • 4. If you look at the four external factors and couple that with the internal challenges that face many marketers today, it starts to become clear that brands struggle trying to reach their audiences online. Brands Need to Get Content Right. It’s Either Now or Never. Content is how we reach a specific audience online in order to change a behavior. It’s the gateway into the social ecosystem. But the reality is that the external landscape will not change just because your engagement numbers are low. In fact, it’s only going to get worse. So, in order to adapt, you’ll need to evolve the way you think, operate and communicate with your customers and prospects. This means that you’ll have to change your content approach or adopt one. The reason why many of us struggle with content, storytelling and being able to scale our opera'ons is because we don’t take content serious enough. Many 'mes it’s an aerthought. Content isn’t a box you check, a bubble you fill in or a bullet point on a presenta'on. It’s more than search, more than real-­‐'me content and so much more than building a content marke'ng strategy in a silo. And you can only learn so much about content from clever blog 'tles like “10 Proven Tips to Do This” or “5 Smart Tricks to Do That.” Content must be considered a strategic impera've for your brand. You must become a content organiza'on if you want to take your business to the next level and stand out from your compe'tors. Just as there is an art to storytelling, there also needs to be a strategic and opera'onal plan that can help you create and distribute content, integrate it across paid, earned, shared and owned media, and measure it effec'vely. As a marketer or a brand manager, you must move beyond the content marke'ng buzzword and commit to becoming a brand publisher. 4
  • 5. Introducing Content as a Service (CaaS) The CaaS model is meant to address and solve for both the external challenges of reaching your target audience and also the barriers you face internally. The goal of CaaS is to ensure that content is considered a strategic impera've for business today and making it core to business and marke'ng objec'ves. The model is broken down by four separate work streams—grounded in analy'cs—and supported by an opera'onal framework that’s meant to facilitate integra'on at key touch points. Social Narrative Development ANALYTICS & RESEARCH Social Channel Strategy Content Performance & Analysis Participatory Storytelling Content Operational Framework SOCIAL NARRATIVE DEVELOPMENT Both a quan'ta've and qualita've analysis are needed to cra a story that can break through the cluQer, reach new audiences and to tell a beQer story than your compe'tors. We use four analy'cs approaches to achieve this: Social Graphics: Your audience, categorized. By looking at what your audience members follow, share and discuss, we group them by interest and passion. 5
  • 6. Influencer Meme & Muse: A meme is a ranked list of the top 50 people who are driving the conversa'on about a given topic, industry or brand. This is the digital 1% of the popula'on that is driving the conversa'on about a given topic or industry. The Muse tells us where they get their inspira'on. Content Gap Analysis: We examine influen'al conversa'on about a topic or brand and compare it to what a brand is sharing online. The gaps that emerge are the brand’s new areas of focus. Search Insights: A broad analysis that examines the search volume and frequency of certain topics, keywords and industries. Qualita've data is studying the various percep'ons and general conversa'ons about your brand from various stakeholders (media, analysts, influencers, the community, etc.) purely from a contextual perspec've. When the community talks about the brand or when the media men'ons you in an ar'cle, what is the actual context? Are they valida'ng your narra've or giving you insights on how you might want to talk about yourself differently? The output of this exercise is to establish an architecture that takes insights from the data, developing a strategic and/or crea've framework and puong it into an editorial framework from which all future content is created. While there are several ways to do this, the best way to think about storytelling is through three different lenses, whereby the brand: • ... is the story (events, campaigns, product/brand-­‐focused) • ... is a character in a story (customer stories, third-­‐party ar'cles) • … comments on a story (lifestyle, real-­‐'me/agile content) From there, you can begin to map out content for your editorial calendar and align content to specific social and digital channels with some strategic thinking. 6
  • 7. At WCG, we ensure that all content follows some very basic fundamentals and delivers on the following: • U'lity -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> helps me “do” something • Educa'on -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> makes me smarter • Entertainment -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> makes me laugh, inspires me • Access -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> connects me to others • Altruism -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> facilitates my sense of purpose • Emo'on -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> elicits a visceral reac'on • Exclusivity -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> makes me feel special • Informa'on -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> delivers me news • Financial -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐> provides me with a sale, rebate or coupons SOCIAL CHANNEL STRATEGY Brands struggle with social media because they are using it just to amplify and distribute all content in an effort to tell several disjointed stories in every channel. This approach dilutes the message and contributes to the content surplus that many people ignore. A social channel strategy consists of two very important steps. The first requires an in-­‐depth analysis of exis'ng communi'es/social channels, a compe''ve content analysis and examining internal resources that manage the content process. This determines what’s working and what’s not working from a content perspec've, and the analysis will deliver insight as to what needs to change, which channels need consolida'ng (e.g., mul'ple TwiQer accounts, etc.), or it may even uncover the opportunity of crea'ng new channels. The second step involves strategically aligning content to specific social/ digital channels based on the audience segmenta'on, plarorm behavior and documented brand goals. 7
  • 8. Social Channel Strategy also involves building converged media models that integrate brand storytelling across PESO (paid, earned, shared and owned media). It starts with a sharable idea (campaign, agile content, etc.) and then strategically ac'va'ng each channel around engagement (earned), content (shared) and customer experience (owned). From there, it’s using paid media to amplify the idea using search, a content syndica'on plarorm like OutBrain or OneSpot and na've paid media on Facebook and TwiQer. EARNED MEDIA Media rela'ons Influencer engagement Word-­‐of-­‐mouth SHARED MEDIA Social media channel strategy Community management Social content crea'on Engagement Content Experiences SHARABLE STORIES PAID MEDIA AMPLIFICATION Content syndica'on Na've adver'sing Search Social paid OWNED MEDIA Brand website/newsroom Campaign micr-­‐osite Mobile apps From a real-­‐'me marke'ng perspec've, we approach it a liQle differently than most other agencies. Instead of building real-­‐'me crea've based on what’s trending on the broader Internet, we build custom search engines of very targeted audiences (healthcare professionals, ITDMs, millennials.) We then ac'vate a content engine team to find what’s trending within this group and then deploy the crea've and distribu'on. PARTICIPATORY STORYTELLING Data from the Boston Consul'ng Group tell us that when it comes to trust and credibility, “people they know”, “consumer opinions online” and “colleagues and friends” rank the highest when people are seeking informa'on about a brand and its products. 8
  • 9. Brand storytelling is more than just distribu'ng branded content, na've adver'sing or crea've campaigns on Facebook. It also involves mobilizing employees to par'cipate and feed the content engine. And it's not just employees twee'ng or sharing company news in social media. It’s about finding good stories about the brand, its products or employees and using long-­‐form content to tell everyone about it. Employees aren’t the only ones that are influen'al either. Brand advocates and influencers can also move messages rather quickly across the social ecosystem, and their content is equally as trustworthy. We look at influencers through the lens of the 1-­‐9-­‐90 model: The “1%” are bloggers, forum posters (think Reddit), video reviewers and journalists who create content. They focus on telling a story and are seen as the experts on a given topic. At WCG, our algorithms show that there are never more than 50 people who drive the majority of share of conversa'on for a brand, topic or industry in a given country or language. The “9%” are highly ac've online. These are your brand advocates, and their behavior probably aligns with what we do online every day. We recommend, share, sign up, download, comment and other ac'ons that let our communi'es and our peers know what we think about certain topics and brands. In many respects, this group serves as the “trust filter” for the broader marketplace. The “90%” is the mass market. They lurk and learn. This rather large group is sa'sfied with using search or consuming the content of their peers. They decide how compelling the 1% and the 9% really are in telling your brand’s story. 9
  • 10. Regardless of what group you are going to go aer, there are several considera'ons for making par'cipatory storytelling successful: Content Strategy Alignment: Before you decide what you want your advocates to say, you must know exactly what the story is that you want to tell. A comprehensive content strategy should help you establish: • What you want to say (storytelling principles, narra've) • How you want to say it (tone of voice) • Where you want to say it (aligning stories to digital channels) • Who you want to par'cipate (employees, customers, etc.) A solid editorial framework will determine content and plarorm priori'es and the content supply chain (workflows that facilitate content idea'on, crea'on, submission, approval and distribu'on). Smart Technology Deployment: It’s difficult to manage an advocate program using email or a private Facebook or LinkedIn group. There are several technology vendors in the market place that can help streamline the process and make it convenient for your advocates and influencers to share content: • Dynamic Signal (community-­‐based) • Social Chorus (community-­‐based) • Addvocate (plarorm) • Everyone Social (plarorm) Strategic Content Ac6va6ons: As much as your program must include cura'ng and distribu'ng content from your advocates to help tell your brand story, you must also have a content plan for engaging directly with them. 10
  • 11. Unfortunately, many teams that manage these programs oen overlook a content plan and then struggle to keep the conversa'ons alive and fresh with advocates; more so with customers than employees. Your content should be planned weekly, monthly and even quarterly, and take into considera'on several factors like the following: • Upcoming events or industry trade shows • Upcoming product launches or new releases of an exis'ng product • Fun things like contests, polls and research ques'ons • Asking for user-­‐generated content (uploading and sharing photos on Facebook/TwiQer) You must also document the opera'onal plan by answering the following ques'ons: • Will you focus on employees, customers or both? • What’s the criteria for selec'ng advocates (invita'on, open)? • How long is the program and will you rotate in/out new members? • What do you want to call your program? • What technology plarorm will you use? • How are you going to measure? CONTENT PERFORMANCE AND ANALYSIS In April 2014, Contently, a content marke'ng plarorm, surveyed 302 marketers split evenly across B2B and B2C businesses about their content goals and measurement prac'ces and unearthed some key findings. The State of Content Marke'ng Measurement report found that 90% of marketers expressed uncertainty that their key content metrics are effec've in measuring business results. 11
  • 12. Rather than measuring content (status update, press release, blog post, tweet) at the “social network” level, there is more value measuring content at the actual content level. At WCG, we use what we call the Branded Scoring Content Approach, where we score each piece of content that gets published online on a 1–100 scale. High performing content ranks higher on the scale, low performing content ranks lower. The algorithm uses two variables to determine the score: 1) where that content was published (how many distribu'on channels) and 2) the engagement level in each plarorm it was published. It’s a fairly simple algorithm that provides maximum insight if done correctly. Here’s the process: Content Gathering: We collect all your content from its mul'ple plarorms, even content shared across mul'ple plarorms. Content Processing: All content is loaded into a custom database and scored. All possible variables (likes, shares, comments, clicks) are taken into considera'on. Primary and secondary channels are weighted appropriately to their importance. 12
  • 13. Content Scoring: Total post scores are the average of all possible channel variables (e.g., likes, shares, comments, clicks for Facebook). Each post’s score is a func'on of all content for the brand, rather than an isolated quan'fica'on. As such, engagement is a realis'c reflec'on of your brand’s content. We use this scoring system to op'mize future content, to determine where it’s shared and whether or not to push paid dollars behind it in order to improve reach/engagement. CONTENT OPERATIONAL FRAMEWORK This is an opera'onal step that spans across each of the four work streams above. It’s a consulta've approach that helps our clients structure their team, assign roles and responsibili'es with internal stakeholders and other agency partners, invest in the right technology and build a content supply chain (editorial process that facilitates the movement of content from idea'on to distribu'on) that can scale. Essen'ally, it's helping brands build a newsroom organiza'on. It starts with having the right team structure that can help streamline content through what we call the “content supply chain.” We typically recommend building a centralized editorial team that supports and enables mul'ple business units, product organiza'ons or geographies. This used to be called the Social Media Center of Excellence. This also involves assigning roles and responsibili'es, much like a newsroom organiza'on. You have to decide who in your company has the right skillset to write content, approve content and create other assets (videos, Infograms, photos, etc.) 13
  • 14. Develop Content Strategy Scale Content Globally Source Technology Vendors COE B C This may require you to reach across the hall and collaborate with other teams if you don’t have all the resources yourself. Some brands will a create centralized “editorial” center of excellence to help augment the gaps. These cross-­‐func'onal teams are responsible for deploying and opera'onalizing a brand’s content strategy. You must also go through the daun'ng task of assigning roles and responsibili'es to your external agency partners and manda'ng that they play nice together. Editorial workflows are essen'al to ensure that your content is being distributed at the right 'me and in the right channel. Deploying workflows such as this will not only protect the brand from making mistakes (think US Airways, Kitchen Aid), but also ensure that there is enough content in the pipeline and that the stories are consistent once distributed. A M B C A M B Brand, Business Unit, Region M Media Agency Crea've/Ad Agency C Content/PR Agency A 14 Content Governance
  • 15. For more informa'on on how CaaS might help you achieve your content marke'ng and brand goals, please contact Michael Brito. MICHAEL BRITO mbrito@wcgworld.com 415-­‐871-­‐5165