If you were following tech in the past week or so, you’ve probably seen Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2016 report. It was covered by TechCrunch, Recode, Adweek, Mashable and every other online publication worth its salt.
As usual, the insights and stats from the annual report grabbed the attention of business execs, entrepreneurs, marketers and tech geeks. Internet Trends has become a masterclass to superb marketing.
If you work in content marketing, you NEED to pay attention to Meeker’s approach. Here are five lessons worth noting.
- Turn your content marketing campaigns into an event.
There is a reason why Internet Trends have become somewhat of a rite to summer: people have come to expect it around late spring/early summer. This expectation amps up the excitement, fueling speculation of what will and will not make the report a few weeks before its release.
Of course, it helps that Meeker reveals the report at a highly influential event: the Code conference. That doesn’t mean you need to score a speaking gig at a big conference (although that would help), but the lesson here is that you need to build buzz for your content marketing campaigns.
Another lesson is to publish a recurring content on a regular basis. Take a page from Meeker’s playbook and release an annual report on your industry’s top trends, for instance.
- Think big when it comes to your content.
At 213 slides, this year’s Internet Trends report is the biggest one yet. And indeed, from the original 25 slides, Meeker’s report has grown year after year. In the age of Twitter and Snapchat, Meeker shows that big content still rules.
If you invest time, resources and money into quality, long-form content, the ROI could be huge.
- Make your content shareable.
The Internet Trends report is available on Slideshare, but Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the company where Meeker works, also created a landing page where this year’s report as well as slide decks from previous years are posted. The company also provided an ungated PDF that people can download.
To top it all off, Meeker’s presentation from Code was made available online—for free—via YouTube.
If you’re one of those companies super obsessed about gating all your content, it might be time to rethink that. Meeker demonstrates that ungating some of your content is critical to building your brand awareness, establishing yourself as a thought leader and building significant buzz for your company.
Find the right balance between your need to generate leads the need to maximize the reach of your content.
- Prioritize content over design.
Let’s face it: The Internet Trends report is not exactly a work of art. It violates at least a hundred design principles.
The charts are simple at best…and hideously ugly at worst.
But that isn’t stopping people from reading, sharing and analyzing the report. That’s because of the amazing info in it. Meeker and her team have put in a lot of effort in researching and analyzing many, many stats and facts to make Internet Trends happen. People appreciate the actual content of the report and turn a blind eye to its basic design.
If you have to choose between spending money on research and content versus investing in design, choose the former.
- Cite your sources.
Meeker does a great job of giving credit where the credit is due. If her stats came from a study, she’ll mention it on the slides.
Citing your sources has one big benefit: it gives your work credibility because people know that you just didn’t come up with the stat out of thin air. Mentioning and linking to your sources is the right thing to do.
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