Content marketing is not anything new, but its rise in use in B2C, B2B and B2G marketing efforts and its overall effectiveness have been gaining attention in the marketing departments in just about every company over the past couple of years.
A recent survey from the Content Marketing Institute finds that 73 percent of B2B marketers are producing more content than they did a year ago. On the consumer side, MarketingProfs reports that 60% of B2C content marketers are planning to increase spending. They have noted this trend on the B2B side as well. And in both B2B and B2C, the percentage of marketers who feel they use content marketing effectively also is on the rise (up to 40% and 30% respectively).
However, based on this data, a majority of marketers are not using content marketing effectively at all. A successful content marketing plan requires consistency in “strategy, branding, creation, promotion, and distribution.” Time and resource management become critical elements here as well, especially since the distribution channel favored by content marketers is social media. The other challenge is that a majority of B2B and B2C marketers are not as worried about the quality of content, as they are their ability to create enough of it.
So, how do you maximize thought-leadership, customer stories and the power of your brand to create engaging and insightful content for your online communities in an effective manner? This is where Meddle can play a vital role.
What is Meddle?
Put simply, Meddle is a content marketing tool that allows you to clip content from sources on the web and add your comments and insights to those clips to create engaging and insightful threads of discussion for your social networks. Since we tend to focus on narrow pieces of information such as statistics, specific trends or remarks, Meddle allows people to zero-in on those segments and build a whole new thread around them.
In speaking with Vidar Brekke, CEO, and Audrey Bellis, VP of Marketing, Meddle has been created to not only serve as a content marketing tool for businesses but also brands. And though business-to-government (B2G) or government-to-citizen (G2C) are not popular marketing terms, the potential clearly exists for engaging audiences across all channels.
One functionality built-in to Meddle is the enterprise feature for groups that according to Bellis “allows members of their organizations (usually employees) to be an active part of the content curation as originators.” If you are part of a team or have a company where social media responsibilities are shared across different teams, the enterprise functionality is a great resource.
The other key aspect of Meddle is its emerging value for search (SEO). Optimization of page content and content marketing are critical paths for organizations looking to build valuable and compelling content for search to drive growth in organic traffic. While the search optimization capabilities are evolving and data is being analyzed (some of my preliminary analysis indicates there are some solid SEO gains through using Meddle, but more time is needed to evaluate it fully), Meddle has seen its use with content publishers growing.
Bellis told me there are a couple of ways Meddle differentiates itself from competitors and enhances the effectiveness of content marketing.
One way, according to Bellis, is that Meddle allows you to “edit your commentary across various platforms within the same dialog box and push to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.” An example of this can be seen here.
Bellis also noted that Meddle passes benefit to the person reading/sharing the excerpt as well as the publisher. With other competitors, Bellis notes, “the value is entirely with the publisher. Through Meddle, each of those shared content pieces/ mini OpEd’s allow the person sharing to curate them on an indexed hub much like a blog roll.” The shared benefit is very compelling, because it connects all parties and content together – a more natural and functional association. (Click to view Audrey Bellis’ page and view the example below).
In my own use of Meddle I found the setup, navigation and creation of Meddles to be easy and very effective. While I plan on a dedicated 2 to 3 week trial of producing content through Meddle and sharing socially, I was pleased with the initial results.
For example, here is the first Meddle I posted a few days ago around hot consumer trends and big data.
Now take a look at the analytics from my sharing this on LinkedIn. Not a bad starting point for my first Meddle post. [UPDATE AFTER POSTING: Vidar Brekke wrote me after publication to inform me that my first Meddle generated 77 unique views, which is pretty solid. Brekke writes, “We’re working on stats to give users a thorough understanding of which traffic sources that are working for them, and hope to release this functionality shortly.” More great news!]
Coming Soon And Closing Thoughts On Meddle
Coming soon, organizations will be able to curate a showcase of their members’ collective insights within their own websites, combining the power and reach of both personal and organizational brands.
Better value to search also is being developed, while existing value is promising and needs to be tracked and evaluated.
Long-term, Meddle should consider expanding its social media options beyond Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. And since content marketing is increasingly becoming more visual, it will be interesting to see if Meddle includes the ability to capture infographics and stills of video for sharing. Such a move would make it even more relevant to platforms like Pinterest.
Overall, Meddle is an exciting tool that enhances the effectiveness of content marketing for businesses and organizations of all shapes and sizes. If you want to follow me on Meddle, click here to view my public profile. Sign up for Meddle and send me an invite to connect.