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Brilliant Reads: the history of attention, and how content marketing needs to change in 2014.

Welcome to this week’s Brilliant Reads, our last one of 2013. This week we’re taking a look at the history of attention, how content marketing needs to change in 2014, and we’ve also got a few stories from Brilliant Noise too.

Building empires of attention in the digital era (Matt Locke)

goldfish

This post by Matt Locke is a lovely read about the history of attention, and how it is measured.

Matt explains that how we understand how audiences pay attention  to TV, films, journalism etc is fundamental to our culture. He adds that people have built empires on understanding and exploiting this, from Charles Moreton’s Victorian music halls, to Jonah Peretti’s Huffington Post and Buzzfeed today.

Attention has changed dramatically over time – in the 18th and 19th centuries, audiences noisily participated in public entertainment, but this died away and for most of the last century, audiences were quiet and passive.

But the rise of social media over the last ten years on so has seen the return of the noisy crowd. If you win people’s attention (whether it’s for the right reasons or the wrong ones) they will give you their opinion, and let other people know about it too.

Image credit: Miranda Ward

5 ways content marketing must change in 2014 (iAcquire)

2014

Joel Klettke’s post for iAcquire explains five areas in which content marketing needs to develop as a discipline in 2014, using a survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute for context:

  1. Ownership and documentation - only 39% of B2C businesses and 42% of B2B businesses have a documented content strategy in place, but 67% of B2C businesses and 73% of B2B businesses claim to have someone in charge of overseeing content marketing. If your strategy isn’t documented, it isn’t really a strategy.
  2. Outsourcing and quality control – In 2013, 49% of B2C and 44% of B2B businesses outsourced elements of their content creation like writing and design. Outsourcing itself isn’t an issue, but where or who you outsource to is. Often businesses don’t invest enough when they outsource, or opt for quantity over quality, and get poor content as a result.
  3. Measurement and metrics – both B2B and B2C marketers cite ‘Web Traffic’ as the most important metric they measure to gauge the success of their content. There’s far more to measuring content than looking at traffic. Every piece you publish should be tied to a specific stage of the buying cycle, and measured in an appropriate way.
  4. Mark-up – authorship is on most people’s radars, but there are other kinds of mark-up that are being ignored. Now’s the time to start making mark-up a part of all of your content.
  5. Amplification – content promotion needs to be given just as much effort and attention as content creation, and should be considered before the piece is published, not after.

Image credit: artisrams

Finally, we’ve got a couple of stories from here at Brilliant Noise:

Teams That Flow – our latest ebook created with Nokia

We’ve just published our latest ebook with Nokia – Teams That Flow. It’s a guide to building a team that flows, with beautiful design and illustrations from our partners at Endless. (Endless based some of the characters in the book on members of the Brilliant Noise team – see who you can spot!)

How brands should connect with young people

Antony contributed to this Guardian piece on how brands can responsibly use social media to talk to children and young people.

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