With video content continuing to expand and dominate the attention of internet users, content marketers are increasingly turning their focus to video platforms to host their content. What are some options? What is the best video platform for content creators?
This article will showcase the main contenders – and provide links to learn more about content creator resources on each platform.
Whether you are creating long-form or short-form content, YouTube remains one of the biggest and most robust platforms out there in terms of reach (2.7 billion active users), monetization options, viewer analytics, and resources for content creators.
One of the biggest benefits of YouTube content is that these videos can show up in Google searches, greatly increasing the chances a potential viewer will discover your channel.
To learn more about creating content on YouTube, go to YouTube Creators, where you’ll find tons of great information and videos about how to get started.
TikTok is a platform that excels with short-form video content. While uploaded videos can be up to ten minutes in length, the average TikTok video is around 40 seconds – and TikTok users are more likely to watch videos if they are even shorter (15-20 seconds). That makes it great for hot takes – but more difficult if your content works best in longer formats.
One downside of TikTok platform is that it is coming under increased scrutiny by local and state governments in the United States, who consider it a security risk due to its ownership by Chinese parent company ByteDance. The TikTok app is banned on all state-owned devices in Iowa – and state agencies (including UNI) cannot own a TikTok account.
Check out TikTok’s Creator Portal to learn more about creating content on TikTok.
While Instagram started as a photo-sharing social network, it has expanded its offerings to include many different video formats (Instagram video, live video, reels, and stories). The wide number of formats and the large audience on Instagram make it an attractive option.
Instagram is easily integrated into both Facebook and Threads.
While most people think of Twitch as a platform for gamers to livestream their gameplay – they have been making a concerted effort to attract a more diverse range of content creators in the entertainment space. For that reason, perhaps it could be a place to differentiate your offerings?
You can learn more about creating content on Twitch at Creator Camp – a quick guide to getting started on the platform.
If video is a step too far, you might consider an audio-based content creation platform such as podcasts. Podcasts need to be hosted on platforms that audiences use in order to be visible and discoverable.
What is the Best Video Platform for Content Creators?
I hope this article has given you an idea of the various options out there for content creators looking for the best video platform. The best platform for you will depend on your needs. Take a look at the creator resources for each platform and make the call that is right for your brand.
Is there a helpful role for an AI-based technology like ChatGPT for content marketing? This post will explore useful ways you might utilize this exciting new tool as part of your content marketing strategy – and some important cautions and caveats you should be aware of.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI. It uses advanced machine learning techniques to generate human-like text in response to prompts, allowing it to have conversations and answer questions.
The previous paragraph, in fact, was written by ChatGPT based on a prompt that I provided.
It’s a perfectly good paragraph – accurate, descriptive, and concise. From a content marketing perspective, though – I wondered if it just grabbed this text from a different website. I wouldn’t want to use content from a tool that was just copy-and-pasting from a source. So I Googled the paragraph that it wrote to see if it appeared on any other websites. It didn’t.
Additionally, I ran the text through Grammarly’s Plagiarism Checker and it was clean – though it did identify some writing issues that needed improvement.
Refining your ChatGPT result
ChatGPT sessions will remember things that you’ve already asked it. You can build on previous answers to refine them further. For example, in the last example, I asked for a definition of ChatGPT for a general audience. What if my audience were more technical and wanted more detail? Simply ask ChatGPT to revise its previous answer.
I tried to get ChatGPT to write a description of itself that “sounded stupid and was riddled with misspellings” but got the polite response that:
“I’m sorry, but I cannot provide a response that is intentionally written with misspellings or written in a manner that is disrespectful or offensive. As an AI language model developed by OpenAI, my purpose is to assist and provide helpful and accurate information in a professional and respectful manner.”
You can, however, do some funny things with ChatGPT – like ask it to describe something from the perspective of a particular person, character, or ideology:
So Can You Use ChatGPT for Content Marketing?
Let’s try something more detailed. Could we use ChatGPT to write an entire post? Let’s say I was writing a post about installing Google Analytics 4 on your WordPress site. I already did that, but let’s say I hadn’t started writing it yet.
Could ChatGPT competently write such content? More importantly, could it optimize that content for a particulate keyphrase for SEO purposes?
Here is the ChatGPT-generated text that I got from the prompt: Write a blog post about how to install Google Analytics 4 onto a WordPress website optimized for the keyphrase “install google analytics 4”
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of the popular analytics platform and provides a more advanced tracking system for website owners. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to install GA4 on your WordPress website.
Create a Google Analytics Account: If you don’t have a Google Analytics account, go to analytics.google.com and create one.
Get the Tracking Code: Once you have created an account, navigate to the GA4 property and click on the “Setup” button. You will then see a tracking code that you need to copy.
Install the Google Site Kit Plugin: The Google Site Kit plugin makes it easy to install GA4 on your WordPress website. Go to your WordPress dashboard, click on “Plugins,” and search for “Google Site Kit.” Install and activate the plugin.
Connect Google Analytics to WordPress: Open the Google Site Kit plugin and connect your GA account to your WordPress website.
Add the Tracking Code to WordPress: Go to the GA4 property in the Google Site Kit and paste the tracking code you copied earlier into the “Tracking Code” field. Save the changes.
Verify Installation: To verify that GA4 is properly installed, go to your WordPress dashboard and check the Google Analytics report. You should see data in the report within 24 hours.
In conclusion, GA4 provides more advanced tracking and analysis features compared to its previous versions. Installing it on your WordPress website is straightforward and can be done in a few steps. If you encounter any issues, consult the Google Analytics support page or reach out to the Google Site Kit support team.
How did ChatGPT do?
I’d say the article is decent – but it is pretty short and definitely needs improvement and more detail. However, when I ran the post through the Yoast SEO plugin for analysis, it was not impressed. There were many things to improve. ChatGPT had not even used the focus keyphrase “Install Google Analytics 4” anywhere in the article. The readability was not strong, either – sentences were a bit long, passive voice used a little too often, and more transition words were needed.
Lastly, there is a lot of specific details missing that would be important to a user following along. And of course, a content marketer would want to add visual content (screenshots, for example) as well. As of yet, ChatGPT does not do image content.
Overall, as a final piece of optimized content, I’d say it’s a clear fail. That said, having this content as a starting point or first draft to develop this article further would probably be very helpful and would save time.
One Good Use of ChatGPT for Content Marketing
Based on my initial toying around with ChatGPT, I’d say it is useful as a writing assist for first drafts of content.
It is a lot easier to write if you have an organized structure – and some of the legwork done for you. ChatGPT’s first draft of a post could be seen as a starting point from which you could build on. Frankly, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by its efficacy. It’s just good enough that it serves a purpose by saving a little time and effort, but still needs some human finessing to add detail, give it some personality, and most importantly, fact-check for accuracy.
As a writing assist, here are a few other ways I’ve found it handy:
For writing concise descriptions of things (e.g. “Write one paragraph that answers the question ‘What is ChatGPT?'”)
For finding better word choices or phrasing options (“Re-write ‘[insert sentence]’ to be more descriptive with more detail.”)
Getting feedback on sentences or paragraphs. (“Analyze this sentence for spelling, grammar, and accuracy: ‘[insert sentence]'”)
At this point, seasoned copywriters are likely rolling their eyes and groaning – Is this really easier and faster than just having a smart human being write content? I’ll leave that question unanswered until a John Henry-inspired writing competition between ChatGPT and a human word czar can settle this matter once and for all.
However, content marketers should exercise caution about incorporating AI content generation into their workflow, as there are some pretty serious limitations.
What are the Limitations of ChatGPT for Content Marketing?
ChatGPT can sometimes generate incorrect information. For example, I’ve seen it make factual errors that are easily shown false. It may be the case that for certain usages of ChatGPT, you may save time writing the post only to spend an equal (or greater) amount of time fact-checking the information.
ChatGPT can sometimes produce biased content. Since it is being trained on content humans generate, which may contain cognitive or cultural biases, it is no surprise that some AI-generated content may suffer from the same bias.
ChatGPT does not have uniquely personal opinions or feelings – so content that requires persuasive language about a particular viewpoint may be hampered. You can somewhat get around this by asking questions like “From the viewpoint of x, argue in favor of y”.
The Dealbreaker: SEO
The biggest reason to exercise caution using ChatGPT for content marketing is that search engines (like Google) have issued public statements that they consider AI-generated content to be against their guidelines and (worse) outright “spam”.
The goal of content marketers is to rank highly in natural search results. Suffering penalties for using AI-generated content – or potentially getting a site delisted entirely – is not an acceptable outcome.
Many AI-detection tools are based on word predictability patterns. AI-generated content generally write sentences in predictable ways (think Google’s auto-complete feature). While human writers generally are less predictable and repetitive with their word choices. AI-generated content can be “humanized” by making changes in word choices – as well as making SEO-focused changes based on the target keyphrase for a page.
While most predict that AI-generated text will eventually become nearly impossible to detect, for now it is safest to not use raw AI-generated content. This is why I find it useful primarily as an assist during initial draft writing rather than a one-step means to effortlessly create finished content.
The goal of content marketing should be to create high-quality relevant content that is useful to your audience. Where ChatGPT and AI can help achieve that goal – it seems to me that there is a place for it as a tool for content marketers who take the necessary steps to fact-check, humanize, and further improve the content.
Google Analytics is one of the most widely-used web analytics platforms in the world – used by 56.8% of all websites globally as of today. In 2019, Google came out with a new updated version referred to as Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This post will walk you through how to install Google Analytics 4 on your WordPress site.
Before you begin
If you are signed in to multiple Google accounts (A UNI account, your personal account, etc) this can cause issues when you are creating these accounts. To avoid problems, open an Incognito window in Google Chrome. Using this window, you’ll be signed out of all accounts and can proceed intentionally, only signing into the one Google Account you wish to use.
1. Create a Google Analytics Account
(If you already have one, skip to step 2)
Creating a Google Analytics account is quick, easy, and free. You’ll need to navigate your browser to the Google Analytics website and log in using your Google account.
You’ll have to enter a name for your account (like… “Matthew’s Personal Account” or “My Digital Advertising Account”). It will then ask for permission to share data – only sharing with “Google products and services” is necessary – the other options are up to you.
2. Create a Property to Manage
Once your account is set up, Google will ask you to set up your first property.
You’ll need to give your property a name – I’d use the name of your website. Then set the time zone and currency.
Google will then ask some general questions about your “business” – don’t be alarmed – just select a category that describes your website, put that you have one employee, and check any boxes that sound like they’d be useful.
Next, you’ll want Google to know the type of property you want to manage.
Since we want to use Google Analytics 4 on your WordPress site, select “Web”.
Type in your Website URL and give your stream a name (“My Website Stream” is fine). Be sure “Enhanced Measurement” is enabled. Then click “Create stream”.
Great! You’ve created a Google Analytics account and a web property for your website! Now – keep this window open and open a new tab in your browser to complete the next step.
3. Create a Google Tag Manager Account
Now that you have a GA4 account and web property, we need to get you set up on Google Tag Manager so you can connect your GA4 web property to your WordPress website.
Let’s head over to tagmanager.google.com to create our GTM Account. Log in with the same Google Account you used to create your Google Analytics account. Click “Create Account” to get started:
Once you’ve given your account a name and country, you can set up your first container:
Be sure to check that your Target Platform is “Web” – since your WordPress site is a website, not a mobile app.
4. Add a Google Analytics 4 Tag to your Container
Now that you have created your container, you’ll want to add a GA4 tag to your container and set it to fire every time a page on your website is loaded.
We’ll want to give our tag an identifiable name (like “GA4 Tag”) and select a tag type. Choose the tag type: “Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration“.
Next, you’ll need to add your GA4 property’s Measurement ID so that Google knows which Analytics property to use. You can find your Measurement ID in your Google Analytics web stream details.
Now we’ll select a firing trigger that will determine when to run our code. In our case, we’ll want it to run on All Pages.
When finished, your tag should look something like this. Save this tag configuration and click “Submit” to publish your tag.
5. Last Step: Configure the Google Site Kit WordPress Plugin
Ok, you’re nearly there! One last thing to do: Log in to your WordPress Dashboard and click on Plugins. If you don’t yet have the Google Site Kit plugin downloaded and installed, you’ll want to quickly do that.
Go to Site Kit’s Dashboard to set it up – first you will need to authenticate with your Google account by clicking on the “Sign in with Google” button:
You will need to give Google Site Kit access to data from your GTM, GA, and GSC accounts.
Once you have given access to Site Kit, you should see Tag Manager appear with a green check mark in “Connected Services” in your Site Kit Settings.
This should be all you need to get started – however, if you’d like to view your Google Analytics data in WordPress itself (without having to log into Google Analytics) – you’ll also need to connect your GA4 account.
Once you have Tag Manager, Search Console, and Google Analytics connected, you should be all good!
I Lied – There is One More Step!
We need to confirm that everything is working properly!
The easiest way to do this is to load your website in a Google Chrome Incognito window and while leaving that open, check your Google Analytics Realtime Report to see if you show up.
Once you have confirmed that Google Tag Manager has fired your GA4 tag from WordPress – you truly are done and should remind yourself how awesome you are!
You Have Now Installed Google Analytics 4 and Google Tag Manager on your WordPress site!
As a content marketer, you’ll need to constantly come up with content ideas to build, maintain, and grow your audience. This article will give you a couple of tips and tools to help you brainstorm great content ideas for your website or channel.
Use Google Intentionally
When doing Google research to find content ideas, always pay attention to the “People Also Ask” section in the search results. This might give you a new or different direction for your content.
Also, don’t forget about the “related searches” at the bottom of each Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Google uses its historical search data to give related searches that might be more specific than your original idea. Being specific is generally a very good thing – as it allows you to create more focused content that may stand a better chance of being ranked.
These will often give you very relevant and specific ideas for content that Google users are searching for.
Google Trends will allow you to search historically for terms to see how the search volume has changed over time. This will give you a good idea about what terms to use and which to avoid. You can also compare two different terms to see which is more frequently searched for on Google.
Answer The Public
Answer The Public is a site that also uses Google search data – but ATP uses this data to show you questions that Google users ask that are related to your topic.
ATP gives you a detailed report with many visualizations related to key questions, prepositions, and comparative words.
It also breaks results alphabetically for another way of brainstorming.
Getting content ideas on Twitter: Trending Topics
Twitter trending topics always can give you a finger on the pulse of what is being talked about right now. Get the most up-to-date and current content ideas by visiting trending topics often.
Getting content ideas on Instagram: the Explore Page
The explore section of Instagram has collections of content that Instagram believes you will be interested in. If content appears on your explore page, chances are good that the content is popular among others like you.
Now that you have spent a semester working hard to create content marketing content on your branded website, you will want to archive your WordPress content for future reference.
Why Archive Your WordPress Content?
There are many reasons to archive your WordPress site and its contents. The top three are:
1. Use in your Portfolio
Many employers hiring for content marketing positions will ask for work samples or writing samples to show that you can create content. This is a good reason to spellcheck your posts, as typos in your portfolio content are a definite dealbreaker for employers!
2. Indulge your Inner Archivist
If you’re the type that likes to save and archive your creative efforts – having these saved in a format you can easily view in the future will give you great satisfaction.
3. Keep your Personal Brand Active
Some of you may even want to transfer your WordPress content to a new server with your own domain name that will allow you to keep your site going into the future.
Methods to Use to Archive Your WordPress Posts
Take “full page” screenshots
Use a Chrome extension like GoFullPage to take large screenshots of your entire posts. Then download and save as large PNG image files or PDF files.
Saving your content as large image files or PDFs will give you lots of flexibility – however it should be noted that if you were to ever need the text / copy of your posts, saving as an image format will not allow you to select or copy the text itself.
Print Your Pages and Posts as PDF Files
PDF files are ubiquitous – everyone can view them regardless of the operating system they use. PDFs can also be easily printed
Most browsers and systems allow users to print webpages directly to PDF files using the “Print” command.
On Macs, this is as simple as selecting the PRINT command, and going to the drop-down menu at the bottom left of the print dialog box:
Transfer Your Entire Site to a WordPress Installation on a New Server
This is the best option, as it preserves the native format of your content, saves your SEO work, and preserves the visual design of your site. It also gives you the option to continue your website into the future!
To do this, follow these instructions on how to export your WordPress site, secure a web hosting plan with your very own custom URL, install WordPress, and import your site to its new home.
Most WordPress themes allow for posts to contain a featured image – which appears at the top of the post. In this article, you’ll learn how to create a featured image for your WordPress post using a cool online design tool called Canva.
Why Create a Featured Image at All?
A featured image will give each post more visual impact – and also a clear recognizable header. By including the title of your post in the featured image, you can also use your featured image as a preview image when sharing your post on Twitter or Facebook.
1. Get a Canva Account
Canva is free to use and available online – so there’s no software to download and install. You just navigate your web browser to canva.com and click on the “Sign Up” button.
You can quickly login to Canva using a Google account – that way there’s no password to remember (or forget!).
2. Create a New Design (with Custom Size)
To Create a Featured Image in WordPress, you’ll want a design that is 1200 x 630 pixels. This size will also work well as a Facebook and Twitter preview image.
3. Add Elements to Your Featured Image Design
I’d suggest keeping your featured image simple – containing a few distinct elements:
Background (color, texture, or photograph)
Clearly legible headline consisting of the title of your post
One or two eye-catching elements (photos, graphics, emoji, logos, or symbols)
There are many apps and integrations with Canva to find graphic elements to use in your design.
For example – Canva allows you to use royalty-free images from Pexels directly – you can even search the Pexels site directly from Canva – this makes finding the right image fast and easy. In my case, I was trying to find a good image to use for my post on “How to find Content Ideas” so I searched for “binoculars” to metaphorically illustrate someone searching for content ideas.
Once I had a nice background image – I decided to look for a graphical element to add a little more depth to the visual metaphor of “searching” for content. I clicked on Canva’s “Elements” menu and searched for “content” on a whim, to see what I might find – luckily, there were some icon designs I liked and I added them to my design.
After adding some headline text and a drop shadow, I was ready to call the design “done.”
4. Download Your Design
Once the design is done, you can click on the “download” button on the upper right of screen to see your options. Use the JPEG (JPG) option to keep your image file size small.
5. Add Your Featured Image to Your WordPress Post
Log in to your WordPress dashboard and edit the post you’d like to add your featured image to. Once in edit mode, click on the gear icon on the top right and select the “Post” tab.
Finally, just click “Update” or “Publish” to make your change. When you go to preview your website, you should see the featured image added on the home page – and (depending on your theme) possibly at the top of your post.
You can also use the Yoast SEO plugin to set your featured image as your Facebook and Twitter preview images under the “Social” tab.
That’s it! See how easy it was to create a featured image for a WordPress post using Canva?
The Google Ads Search Certification is a professional credential that showcases your understanding and mastery of Google Ads paid search campaigns. Since you’ve already successfully run a Google Ads search campaign – a little more study will prepare you to take this certification exam.
Your final certification exam taken during finals week will use your non-UNI Google account – since you will keep that account after graduation. As you prepare for the final, you can use your UNI Google account to take practice exams.
How to start preparing for the exam
Go to the Skillshop website and log-in with your UNI Google account. Then navigate to the Google Ads Search Certification section. You will find a number of study modules to work through that will cover what you need to know to successfully pass the certification exam.
Each section contains study and review materials to get you up to speed on different aspects of Google search advertising. Work through this material at your own pace – we will also discuss these modules during our final week of class.
How to take the search certification assessment
Finally, when you are ready to take the certification assessment, be sure you are logged in with your UNI Google Account and click on “Google Ads Search Assessment”.
You’ll have 75 minutes to take the 50 question assessment – that’s a little over a minute per question. You’ll answer one question at a time and once you answer, cannot go back to change your answer later. Don’t let time run out on you – because if the timer runs out you will automatically fail the assessment. A score of 80% or higher is required to pass and become certified.
If you fail the assessment (or just want to re-take it for practice), you can re-take the assessment after 1 day. Just remember to always use your UNI Google account when taking practice exams.
During finals week – you’ll take this same assessment in class under proctored testing conditions. For your final, you’ll use your non-UNI Google account. Only your score on the proctored final will count toward your grade.
Certification is good for one year.
Add Your Google Ads search certification to your LinkedIn profile
Once earned, you will receive a credential that can be proudly added to your LinkedIn profile under “Licenses & Certifications”.
You should also post your achievement to your LinkedIn network to let everyone know how awesome you are (and to let prospective employers know about your marketable certification)! I know I’ll be telling my LinkedIn network about you and your achievement!
If you are running campaigns using Google Ads, you’ll want to link your Google Ads acccount with your Google Analytics account to get full analytics on the activity of the clicks you pay for coming from your Google Ads campaigns. To do this, follow the instructions on this Google Analytics support page.
Or watch this short video:
When you link your Google Ads account to your Google Analytics account, there are a couple of important settings to make sure you get right.
Import Site Metrics
When you link your Google Analytics account, you’ll want to make sure that you have the option to “Import site metrics” turned on. If you’re not sure if this is turned on or not, go to Linked Accounts and find your linked Analytics web property – click on your “view”.
You should now be able to see if “Import site metrics” is turned on.
Auto-Tagging is an essential feature that allows Google Analytics to import important Google Ads data such as conversion, cost, and campaign data into Analytics reports.
Unfortunately, auto-tagging is turned off by default! You’ll need to enable it to turn it on. You can do this in Google Ads left hand navigational menu under Settings/Account Settings
What If I Can’t See My Google Analytics Account To Link To It?
Make sure both accounts share a common Google account. If your Analytics account was created with one Google account and your Ads account was created with a different one, you will not be able to link your accounts.
Once you log in, you’ll need to fill out a short form with your preferred Site Title, Username, Password, and Email address.
Step 3: Celebrate Your Success!
You did it – You’ve installed WordPress!
Step 4: Choose a URL
Go to http://weblab.uni.edu/ and sign in with your CatID. You should see a page that shows your website plus a few options on the right hand menu.
For this class, we’re going to use a specific subdomain called buzz.uni.edu. This will allow us to have a shorter URL and a cooler domain than “We Blab”. You’ll need to choose a URL ending that matches your blog title and personal brand. It should be relatively short – omitting words like “The”, “and”, and “blog”.
This will be your “canonical” URL that you will use to promote your blog.
Step 5: Log In
You can log in by going to your buzz URL and clicking on “log in”. You should see a screen that looks like this:
Postgraduate study in Advertising can be a good way to develop as a professional and be better-prepared (and better-connected) for your career in the advertising industry. The top graduate programs in Advertising offer priceless access to plum internships and positions at large global agencies and cutting edge boutiques.
However, these programs are not for everyone – they require a serious time commitment to complete. To get the most out of them, you’ll need a focused mental attitude and disciplined work ethic. Get ready to handle some real challenges, high expectations, and tough feedback. They are also not cheap and are located in major metropolitan areas where the cost of living will be higher.
That said – let’s take a look at my shortlist of some of the top graduate programs in Advertising.
VCU Brandcenter is a highly-competitive graduate program at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond that is consistently ranked as one of the best graduate advertising programs in the country. With tracks in Art Direction, Copywriting, Creative Brand Management, Experience Design, and Strategy – VCU offers a Masters degree that you can customize to your interests.
Because of its selectivity, reputation for excellence and rigorous curriculum, graduates of this program are highly sought-after by the best agencies in the industry.
Informative videos about the program and examples of student work (and alumni work) can be found on their YouTube channel.
Miami Ad School is one of the larger programs, with locations all around the world. Miami Ad School offers a full Masters degree, five portfolio programs, and a couple of shorter immersive bootcamps.
They are best known as a portfolio school, where students work in small teams to build an exciting portfolio of work in the focused disciplines of Art Direction, Copywriting, Creative Technology, Design, or Photography & Video.
Second-year students intern at well-known agencies as part of this program – providing great experience and networking opportunities.
The highly-regarded M.A. program at the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations at the University of Texas at Austin offers three areas of focus: Media Insights, Planning and Strategy, and Creative.
UT Austin is one of the few universities to offer a Ph.D. program in Advertising, making it a great option for students desiring to pursue academic research related to advertising who have the goal of someday teaching advertising at the college level.
The University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana offers an M.S. in Advertising or Strategic Brand Communications. UI has a well-regarded undergraduate program in Advertising that boasts the largest AAF college chapter in the country. With Illinois just a short drive from Iowa, this could be a good option if you don’t want to stray too far from home.
Know of other postgraduate study in Advertising programs? Let me know in the comments.