Behind-the-Scenes Look at Content Marketing World 2016

Video Produced by Nathan Mikita

Content marketing is perhaps the buzziest of buzzwords when it comes to marketing and advertising strategies today — but ironically, with this buzz also comes buzzing confusion. Last year, research showed that 55 percent of B2B marketers said that their organization’s content marketing program is not defined and that it was unclear if their organization’s program was effective or successful.

As more and more brands are attempting to adopt these practices of integrated storytelling, while also trying to keep up with the shifts that happen within marketing almost every day, what is content marketing and what does it actually entail?

The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action."

In short, consumers don’t want to be sold. They want to be told a story.

As brands navigate the ever-changing mural of how to market to their audience, companies are popping up to help brands of all shapes and sizes tell their story and find the audience that resonates with their messages.  

In this episode of “On Foodable Weekly,” Paul Barron takes us inside Content Marketing World 2016 and identifies a few companies that are innovating and helping brands and marketers find that sweet spot of strategy and creativity to reach their customers.

Paul also dishes out three tips to help marketers tackle the content marketing conundrum.

Who did we meet on the floor of Content Marketing World?

NewsCred 

NewsCred works with publishers to provide creative assets, strategy, and distribution to forge more productive connections between a brand and their consumers.

"Being able to message particular audiences, particular buyers, particular industries, with not only content that is relevant to them but is actually going to be able to build your brand presence," NewsCred Director of Sales Chad Wiedmaier said.

Creating original content is always a challenge, but one way NewsCred helps brands is by identifying and giving them access to already existing content that is relevant to their brand message.

"A stat that we've come to find... If you publish on a daily basis, you are going to be able to attract three times of an organic audience... and the brands that are doing that on a daily basis are the ones that are winning," Wiedmaier said.

TrackMaven 

TrackMaven is an integrated marketing analytics software platform that helps brands understand what content is working across social media channels, their blogs, and the web in order to help them measure against their competitors, Tripp Brockway, sales manager at TrackMaven, said.

ROI and comparative analytics are the final puzzle pieces of the content marketing equation and are a hurdle for a lot of brands to make the leap into non-traditional marketing strategies.

A platform like TrackMaven can help to find where you are excelling and where you can do better.

Percolate

Percolate is a "marketing collaboration tool...that allows [a restaurant group] to come into one place and keep track of... all the different content that is going to all the different markets and across all the different channels," Collin McCarthy, senior account executive at Percolate Inc., said.

As marketers and brands attempt to navigate the constant expansion of distribution platforms, these tools can help set you apart from your competitors.  

Watch the full episode for more!

Chipotle Continues to Tell its Compelling Brand Story with New Short Film

Chipotle Continues to Tell its Compelling Brand Story with New Short Film

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

Chipotle Mexican Grill proves it’s still ahead of the content marketing game with its latest release of the short film, “A Love Story.” The animated film tells the story of two young entrepreneurs as they build competing fast food businesses. It demonstrates “how competition among food businesses can cause them to become something that was not initially intended,” according to a press release.

The fast casual dining king has teamed up with Passion Pictures, an award-winning animation production company to create the latest installment of the Chipotle short films.  

Appealing to a millennial audience, the short is set to a cover of the Backstreet Boys’ 1999 hit song “I Want it That Way,” featuring a duet by the GRAMMY Award winner, Alabama Shakes’ lead singer Brittany Howard and My Morning Jacket front man Jim James.

“We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” said Mark Shambura, director of brand marketing at Chipotle in a press release. “That starts with using excellent ingredients, and preparing those ingredients using classic cooking techniques. ‘A Love Story’ illustrates how competition propelled these two once-simple concepts to become something neither of their founders envisioned — reliant on limited time offers, vast menus and heavily processed food.”

Chipotle's Previous Native Content

This isn’t the first time the brand has taken to a compelling animated format to tell a unique story. The brand has won numerous awards for its previous short films.

The first short, “Back to the Start” was released in 2011 and it told the story of a farmer who got caught up in large, industrial farming, but decides to return to his roots with small, sustainable farming. This film was set to a Willie Nelson cover of Coldplay’s song “The Scientist.

Then in 2013, the chain released the beloved animated film, “The Scarecrow,” where a worker in a large agricultural plant leaves after being tired of heavily processed food to farm with more sustainable practices. This animation was set to Fiona Apple’s cover of the song “Pure Imagination.”

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3 Tips to Using Content Marketing for Customer Loyalty

3 Tips to Using Content Marketing for Customer Loyalty

Content is a hugely important part of any business. It’s what gives your brand a voice that your customers can relate to and it’s a way to show your customers what you’re all about. Not only is it used to convey who you are and what you do, but most importantly why they should care.

In no other area is content more crucial than when it comes to customer loyalty. Building a brand that resonates with your followers is what keeps them coming back and interacting with your business — online and, ultimately, in person as a repeat customer.

Customers are more savvy than ever, and it takes more than monetary rewards like discount offers and loyalty programs to keep them engaged. Being able to provide real value will help strengthen the relationship with your customers, build trust, establish credibility, and create  community.

Did you know that the cost of acquiring a new customer is almost seven times as high as it is to retain an existing one? Or that, on average, a loyal repeat customer spends around 65 percent more per visit? This makes the idea of a great content marketing strategy a very enticing prospect.

So, how do you engage your customers with content marketing? Below you’ll find three keys to creating a successful content marketing strategy that keeps your customers coming back for more.

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7 Creative Content Ideas for Your Restaurant Website

7 Creative Content Ideas for Your Restaurant Website

By Allison Tetreault, Foodable Industry Expert

In 2012, only 50 percent of independent restaurants had a website. Of them, 40 percent displayed their menu online.

Now, in 2015, a time when Millennials and Generation Z are strongly influencing the restaurant decision, it should be common sense that restaurants not only have a website that prominently features their menu, but also be active on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

But as more restaurateurs embrace the Internet, more and more websites are gaudy, clunky, flashy, and just downright annoying. You can tell that the websites from that 2012 study haven’t been updated since. Restaurateurs aren’t updating their menu online, and aren’t keeping their content fresh. 

If you didn’t know this already, Google likes fresh content. And your customers? They like Google. 

Below are seven ways to keep the content on your website creative and entice more mobile viewers to put down that smartphone and visit your restaurant in person.

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Taco Bell Takes a Bite at McDonald's With New Commercial

SCREENCAP OF TACO BELL COMMERCIAL  | YOUTUBE.COM

SCREENCAP OF TACO BELL COMMERCIAL | YOUTUBE.COM

If there's at least one thing we remember from high school, it's that food fights can get pretty dirty. And when the one doing the slinging is a multibillion-dollar company? Well, then, food fights turn into an all-out food war. The fast food chain Taco Bell made some hard-hitting, not-so-subtle, fast jabs at McDonald's with its new commercial.

In an effort to promote its new biscuit taco and breakfast menu items, Taco Bell painted a Cold War-era, post-apocalyptic world called the "Routine Republic." A television set plays a commercial within the commercial filled with communist-state propaganda, art showcasing mighty fists holding up burgers and a twisted, smiling clown-faced enforcer, complete with blaring trumpets in the background. Guards bullying civilians are also eerily clown-faced. Posters are plastered on grimy walls, the only bit of color in the grungy city is a dirty, yellow slide winding around a bleak, concrete patrol tower, no doubt symbolizing McDonald's playgrounds. 

The message around the city is the same: "It's another perfect morning in the Routine Republic, where happiness is eating the same breakfast."

McDonald's has become a routine trademark in the fast food breakfast audience, and known for its Happy Meals. Here, Taco Bell is encouraging consumers -- imprisoned by this routine -- to break free and try something different, meaning what Taco Bell has to offer. 

With grenades in the shape of little, burger-shaped, wind-up toys (Happy Meal toys were pretty explosive in popularity...every kid wanted one!), a ball pit moat surrounding the city walls, and slogans such as "Circle is good! Hexagon is bad!" splattered across the commercial, the circle clearly representing a burger and the hexagon a Taco Bell Crunchwrap, the references were undeniably jammed down the viewers' throats. 

But did the viewers digest them happily or spit them out?

One user on Youtube commented "Shots fired. McDonald's, your rebuttle?" While another answered, "There is no rebuttle. McDonald's is a sinking ship." A third chimed in saying, "Taco Bell, although this is well produced, I'm still not going to think of you as something truly 'different.' You're all fast food in my mind...but props for going WAY out of your way to prove otherwise."

Industry experts, your thoughts? Was this a clever move on Taco Bell's part or was it just plain greasy? Watch the video here!