By Emily Gaudette
January 16th, 2019
In December, New York Magazine dropped an atom bomb on digital media. And no, I don’t mean this story on Snapchat filters for dogs.
The day after Christmas, tech reporter Max Read analyzed and synthesized reports from the Justice Department, a New York Times report on follower factories, one of many lawsuits against Facebook, a list from MarketingLand, and takedowns of YouTube, Instagram influencers, and deepfakes, all to conclude that digital metrics are fake and overinflated. We’re all just soaked in a seven layer dip of made-up, falsified baloney.
According to the article, roughly half of traffic and engagement is fraudulent. As if that wasn’t damning enough, Reddit’s ex-CEO Ellen Pao shared the article on Twitter, adding, “It’s all true: Everything is fake.” For many of us who make a living analyzing web metrics, it was a confusing time. I stopped checking Twitter for a full week, sitting in my kitchen like Dr. Manhattan on the moon, asking myself why I didn’t just go to law school.
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By Emily Gaudette
June 12th, 2018
Explaining the particulars of your business to someone who doesn’t work there is tricky. But it’s a necessary step if you want to develop effective content.
However, marketers don’t always take this step when working with freelancers. Maybe they don’t want to reveal proprietary data or think goals should stay private. Maybe they aren’t sure how to define their return on investment. Or perhaps, most likely, there are so many other things going on that they don’t even think to do it.
Whatever the reason, withholding information from your freelance talent can backfire in numerous ways. For starters, writers who don’t fundamentally understand their client’s mission won’t pitch as well. If they’re not aware of the criteria you’ll use to judge their work, then they won’t be able to edit themselves or anticipate feedback—both crucial freelance skills. And they’ll react disproportionally to small editorial changes because no one has ever bothered to show them the big picture.
Marketers and brand editors need to meet their contributors halfway, disclosing some basic information about voice, audience, distribution channels, and goals. Because everyone who creates content deserves to know its commercial purpose.
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