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Author: James Carson

James Carson

I’m Director of Content at Made From Media. We offer a range of content marketing production and publisher consultancy services.

Before this I was Head of Digital Marketing at Bauer Media's lifestyle division, leading a team of digital marketers and analysts optimize our websites and supply business critical information. 

I was also heavily involved in brand social media strategy and editorial print/digital integration, as well as being responsible for web editorial planning and content strategy. I primarily oversaw audience and engagement growth on graziadaily.co.uk, heatworld.com, closeronline.co.uk, FHM.com and Empireonline.com. 

Multimedia content strategy: the customer journey and the big honking idea

Most digital marketers have probably spent some considerable time scratching their heads about how they can make their content more effective this year and beyond.

If you’re one of these people, then read on, because in this series I will be explaining the notion of ‘Multimedia Content Strategy’.

That’s not just another buzz-phrase – it’s a way to define content strategy beyond just simply having some content on your site, like a blog or series of product pages, and expecting them to deliver.

This series will show you how to better integrate your efforts, using one idea to push content seamlessly across different customer touchpoints and give them real purpose.

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The 24 ingredients for a delicious content strategy

In content strategy, people often focus on the most obvious part (the content creation) and don’t quite realise that there’s a lot more to it.

Content strategy is a big picture that is made up of four main ‘blocks’. A burger (content) can be quite nice, but on its own it’s just a meatloaf. You need the bun, the cheese and the sauce to make it really tasty.

These parts all work together, and are made up of smaller ‘ingredients’ to make the whole.


Content marketing is a revolution, all the way back to (native) advertising

Content marketing costs less than advertising, and more people engage with it.

It sounds like a revolution but actually there are some rather unkind hidden truths in all of this.

Much like the pigs at the end of Animal Farm, with the evil predecessor gone, what’s replaced it looks… very similar indeed.


The irresistible rise of the quantified self and life logging

'The quantified self' is a loose term, springing up from the proliferation of smart phone technology and life logging applications.

While it's now in a coming of age stage of more mainstream interest, it could herald a dramatic revolution in how we measure our own lives, and how long we live for... 


The Death of the Author 2.0

With Google's Authorship program, you might be tempted to think authors are on the up.

But maybe not. There are quite a number of reasons why authors are as dead as they ever have been.


How new Google Plus features can help you create great content. Part one: image editing

Google Plus has announced a host of new image editing features, which integrate the brilliant Snapseed application into the social network.

There's also an 'awesome' twist with the addition of animated gifs for sequence photos. A collection of useful tools for anyone who wants to use original imagery in their content. 

On Wednesday Google+ announced a host of improvements. For me, involved in the content side of things, I was particularly interested in the new image features, particularly after hearing that they'd integrated the excellent Snapseed app


TL;DR: people don’t really read on the web and what you should do about it


Content marketing teams are on the hunt for great writers, but before we go on a hiring spree, we need to ask if anyone actually reads!

Publishing sites such as The Oatmeal and Buzzfeed have grown rapidly without a whole lot of text, while image curation platforms such as Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram have exploded in the last few years.

Let's remember: there's more to content marketing than good writers!


Is Google’s AuthorRank just a myth?

This time last year, I took some time to research the topic of rel="author" for a quick fire talk at BrightonSEO.

This led me to some interesting conclusions around the future of Authorship and its relationship with search engines, particularly in the realms of authors being ranked within a system, which has come to be known as 'AuthorRank'.

It has been a full 18 months since we saw the release of Authorship, but in that time, it appears many people in the industry genuinely believe that AuthorRank is in effect.

In reality, they are two different things, and the latter has actually been coined from within the SEO industry – taking from an earlier patent named “Agent Rank”. My argument is that AuthorRank’s role has been overstated, and any potential effect is being overhyped.

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge

Five celebrity social search takeaways for your content strategy

I spent the best part of the last three years focused on assisting editorial teams in driving traffic through celebrity searches.

It was fast paced, breaking, and quite often absurd. It is also possibly the most transient search vertical of them all, with the fickle nature of celebrity appeal rising and falling in rapid media driven spikes.

In such a rapidly changing and often odd market, you need to be prepared, so here are five celebrity search takeaways that can translate to real life. 


Five core elements of audience building content strategy

At a publisher, you normally think about content strategy in a way that delivers growth, engaged audience kind of growth.

Content strategy is about more than that, but I want to address the issue of building audience, since that’s what a lot of people will be aiming to do with their content strategy during 2013.

I’ve worked on a number of large sites, and I normally see the same issues to begin with – get these issues right, and engaged audiences often grow.


Could content marketing replace the SEO department?

A couple of weeks ago I was on a panel to discuss the role of content marketing to coincide with the release of Econsultancy’s Content Marketing Survey Report.

I was principally there to represent the publisher’s side of this new approach, but one comment I made seemed to cause a stir. It was: If you’re struggling to find a separate budget for content marketing, you could rename your SEO department to ‘Content Marketing’, rather than set up a new cost line.

It might then be easier to gain investment for the new discipline, because you’re not setting up a whole new department. I’m sure if you read this article, we’ll come to some agreement.


Five ways to avoid social media fragmentation

The most common problem I’ve come across in social media is what I’ll call ‘fragmentation’. It’s the attempt by marketers to use as many platforms as possible in an effort to reach a potential audience.

What generally occurs is a fragmentation of attention and resources away from what suits the company best – and whatever ‘strategy’ was in place consequently falls flat because it lacks focus. 

This post is a five step guide to approaching a multi-platform social media strategy. Hopefully you'll be even more resistant to tech press hype and clearer on how to integrate your social media platforms by the end of it.