SmarketSights Episode 002 - Content Marketing, Caitlyn Jenner, Entourage, and Facebook

By Zachary Clark, Director of Business Development

About SmarketSights

SmarketSights is a blog and podcast series created to discuss the latest industry happenings in marketing, advertising, and sales. We’ll uncover the deeper meaning behind the headlines and analyze what it means for real companies and their marketing, advertising, and sales efforts. SmarketSights will cover everything from Tech to Design to Sports and everything in between. Join us weekly for a new edition!

If you have a topic or question you’d like us to cover in SmarketSights, please feel free to email or comment below!


Content Marketing has been one of those big “buzz words” in the marketing industry for a few years now. At Cowley, I like to define Content Marketing as “publishing information and knowledge for the sake of just helping someone else while subliminally helping yourself at the same time.” Content Marketing can be anything, blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, e-books, videos, podcasts, etc, but not all Content Marketing is created equal. There is one subject of content that is head and shoulders above all else, and that is the concept of “How-To’s.”

How-To’s are nothing novel and they’ve been around practically forever (same with Content Marketing, even though the industry recently started calling it that). The concept of a How-To is what we call “evergreen,” meaning that it can last over longer period of times. Think of things like “How to Write a Blog a Post,” or “How to Write a Marketing Plan.” These are topics that people will always be looking for answers on. And, a How-To isn’t restricted to just a blog post. It can be a video, a whitepaper, or practically anything you can think of.

What This Means for You:

Almost every company in any industry needs to think about a Content Marketing strategy. There’s been so much emphasis on becoming a thought leader within a respected field and no one wants to be sold something anymore. Customers/clients want to feel like they came to a decision or choice on their own accord, even though you’ve sublimely pushed them to choose you.

So, for your Content Marketing strategy, try to incorporate more How-To’s. Not only will it have better long-term SEO value for you, it will also be a tool for you to use and send out to your current and prospective clients. I’m not saying stop doing current and trendy articles, or solely do How-To’s, because both are valuable and give you the opportunity to mix things up, but think about what will be most helpful for your audience base.


Unless you live under a rock, you know that former gold medalist, Olympian, and reality TV star Bruce Jenner is going through a gender transformation from male to female. And, earlier this week he completed that transformation emerging as Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair. There was so much hype about this, that Caitlyn actually broke President Obama’s recent Twitter record for the fastest person to gain 1 million followers. POTUS took just about 5 hours to gain 1 million and Caitlyn achieved it in just over 4 hours.

What This Means for You:

On the outside, this doesn’t seem much more than a publicity stunt, but this is actually a very well crafted, strategic decision…on Vanity Fair’s part. Forget about Caitlyn Jenner for a moment, and think about what Vanity Fair did. They tied themselves to one of the hottest topics, if not the hottest, in the world and now their name is being mentioned thousands of times (over 164,000 on Twitter in the past 7 days according to Topsy). Compare that to a People Magazine, which has only been mentioned 20k+ times in the past 7 days on Twitter.

So, when you think about your marketing, think about what you’re tying yourself to. I don’t think companies do enough of co-branding and linking themselves with certain topics or events. Sponsorship dollars, when wisely spent, can make a huge splash, like it has for Vanity Fair. As a marketer, you should always be astute to opportunities to associate your name with something that is “hot” and buzz worthy in a community.


The long-awaited release of the movie Entourage hits the box offices this weekend, and it’s projected to make buckets of money. But, revenue at the ticket stand isn’t the only thing bringing the cash in. Entourage placed a heavy emphasis on product placement for its big screen debut. With the likes of Apple products, GM cars, and Johnnie Walker getting cameos in the film, there’s plenty of time for viewers to catch a glimpse of these products.

What This Means for You:

This concept ties in nicely with the above-mentioned Content Marketing and slightly with the Vanity Fair situation. Product placement is another idea that has really been around for a long time and it’s nothing new, but because of the rise in Content Marketing, and the fact that reaching target audiences is so much harder nowadays, brands really want to hit people where they spend their time. Not everyone sees a traditional advertisement, but you better believe a majority of people seeing Entourage will notice Ari Gold use his Macbook a few times.

So, similarly to co-branding and Vanity Fair, as a marketer, think about where your product can go or what it can be used in. Consumer goods especially, try to exploit opportunities where your target audiences see other influential people using the product. Even for B2B companies and services, try to engage your clients who are community influencers or have some clout to promote your product in a natural way. You don’t need a formal spokesperson, but you need someone to use what you have a on a daily basis that’s willing to talk about it.


It wasn’t too long ago that Facebook implemented auto-playing video onto its user’s timelines. This allowed advertisers to upload videos and have it immediately play for someone increasing the likelihood that a person would watch it. This strategy has worked, and to prove it Fortune reports that Facebook’s video traffic has reached 4 billion daily views, rivaling that of YouTube (who has just about 5 billion video views a day).

What This Means for You

Video is a white-hot medium for content. More video is being consumed than anything else and advertising platforms are taking advantage. Companies are recognizing that Facebook is a legitimate platform for their video advertising and YouTube in not the only player in town.

So, if you aren’t on the video train yet, you might want to consider purchasing a ticket. Be weary, though, of producing videos. Although video is so hot and people are watching, you need to actually produce high quality content. Recording from the camera on your computer is not going to cut it, and you’ll need to invest in some HD quality equipment (which nowadays isn’t even that expensive). You’ll also need someone who is “camera-ready.” I’m not talking about looks, but someone who when they speak sounds intelligent and can articulate thoughts. 

Side Note: Go back and read that Fortune article I hyperlinked above. It has some really interesting statics about how Facebook is starting to dominate mobile advertising.


This does it for our second edition of SmarketSights! I hope you’re finding these podcasts/posts interesting and insightful as you think about your own marketing, whether personally or for a company. As always, please feel free to share with me your thoughts and/or questions you want me to cover in a future edition. Thanks for reading/listening and until next week!

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