Content Brief: cybercrime, email marketing, and more content marketing news

Thanks to Victoria Day and Memorial Day in Canada and the U.S. respectively, it’s unofficially summer. May, we hardly knew ya! From phishing scams to email marketing, here’s the content marketing news you need to know this month.

Email marketing need to adapt to cybercrime

Cybercrime had a big month this May. First, there was a massive Google Docs hack that spread like wildfire. The phishing scam—in which hackers disguised their buggy email as an invitation to join a Google Doc from someone they know—compromised thousands of email accounts. Then a global ransomware attack affected more than 100,000 organizations in 150 countries. The repercussions are still unfolding.

How does this relate to brands? Well, not only are brands at risk for being impersonated and compromised by hackers, but the email practices they use may contribute to the culture. According to the blog Security Affairs, cyber criminals borrow a lot of the same methods email marketers use to convince people to open emails and click on links. And phishing scams have become so advanced that approximately 97 percent of people globally cannot identify an advanced phishing email.

But what are email marketers—and content marketers—doing about it? There haven’t been notable reports of brands adapting to cybercrime in some time. But perhaps brands should stay away from using employees or surrogates as the initial sender instead of the brand name. And brands should adopt protocols to protect themselves from scamming, like stronger email security and contingency plans for if they do get hacked.

Who’s in the content game this month?

The biggest news from May comes not from brands making big plays in the content world, but the platforms that host content. Medium has already been in the content game for years now, but is jumping into a new medium: audio. The popular blogging platform, which recently revamped its business model to paid memberships, is offering an audio version of every story created specifically for members. The audio isn’t just text-to-speech; Medium is counting on their publishers’ editorial staff and professional voice talents to segue into audio.

Quora, the Q&A forum site, is no longer limiting itself to letting users answer with text, natively hosted photos, links, and embedded videos. It wants to add video answers to the site, in which users can upload video solutions, opinions, tutorials, and so on. The move to video signals that Quora is serious about siphoning off the “how-to” traffic from competitors big (YouTube) and small (Whale or Yam).

Image credit: wk1003mike via Shutterstock

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