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The Friday Fix - April 17, 2015

Oh, sweet salvation, it’s Friday!  Aside from being Friday Fix Day, it’s also the Friday after Tax Day, and what better way to unwind from the stress and anxiety of “taxing” matters than with a little content marketing ideology, rhetoric, and forecasting?  Among the highlights this week, we look at video’s role in content marketing (is it really ruining text?), content marketing and love connections, and the future of content marketing (does it even have one or will it end up losing its luster?).

Did Video Kill Text Content Marketing?
We know from what we’ve been told that video is a force in content marketing.  Liraz Margalit analyzes the video phenomenon and ponders whether or not video has killed text content marketing.  For me, I’m still a text girl; this is partially because I’m a writer and partially because I have a toddler who if she hears video and has the slightest inkling I’m using my phone, she tries to take it away like I’m some kind of high school delinquent sending texts in math class (but Mom!).  Thankfully, Liraz supports that text isn’t dead yet and psychoanalyzes the different cognitive functions associated with video and text content consumption and validates when and why content marketers should defer to each.

 
 

How Match + OKCupid are Romancing Singles with Data + Content Marketing
Kylie Jane Wakefield explores on of the country’s most prevalent social media outlets: the dating site.  She reveals that as many as half of Americans are single, which means that dating sites have a pretty huge demographic to appeal to.  While there’s some date-site specific information in this fascinating read, Kylie concludes with a broader take-home for content marketers everywhere.  So, stop looking for marketing advice in all the wrong places and start reading this article today!

3 Ways to Growth Hack Your Content Marketing with Video
Agu de Marco starts this piece by explaining the concept of growth-hacking (even if you’ve never heard of it, chances are, you have or are trying to do it).  Essentially, growth-hacking is trying to grow quickly with a series of tried and true efforts (like content marketing for a start-up).  As discussed, video plays a prominent role in content marketing.  Agu not only explains how videos can be used to “growth-hack” content marketing, he also provides links to tools that will help make it happen.

How to Develop a Content Marketing Rhythm: A Guide for Creating Consistently Great Content
The thing about content marketing is that it’s kind of like constantly being on a first date.  The goal is to  say and do the right things to create the right impression that will ensure the person you’re having dinner with wants to call tomorrow.  It can be exhausting; however, Brian Honigman has taken it upon himself to provide an outline of what you can do to ensure that you’re that consistently engaging and witty date everyone one wants to be on.  From consistently posting to having a buffer zone to knowing when to get intense, Brian explain how to get serious with content.  

A Case for Cost-Effective Content Marketing
So, as much as we all would like to ignore money matters and their relevance to content marketing, the reality is, money matters.  Bigger budgets generally translate to better, more effective, and more consistent content marketing.  While this reality indeed exists, there are ways, according to Rezwana Manjur, to leap over the hurdles a lack of resources causes and to still have a robust content marketing strategy.

The ROI of Content Marketing
Continuing the discussion of content marketing’s value, Sujan Patel explores current modes and reasons for tracking content marketing return on investment (ROI).  The rationale is obvious as you get a realistic idea of what your efforts are doing for you.  To further help assess the value of ROI and how to track it, Sujan incorporates key quotes from industry leaders.  The piece concludes with an explanation on how to do an organic Google Analytics evaluation.

Why Do You Suck at Content Marketing?
John Miller’s article gets at the heart of any content marketer’s insecurities.  Any success feels like luck; you constantly wait for the day that you’ll be called out as a fraud.  If you’ve ever felt this way, you’re not alone.  Keep in mind that content marketing is comparatively new, and even the best of the best are still trying to paint a realistic picture of this animal.  That said, even though you shouldn’t feel bad about off days, you want to make sure that you’re not missing something.  That’s where John’s piece comes in; are you doing everything you can to get right what you can control (i.e., documented strategy, proper focus, etc.)?  Check out John’s article to make sure that you don’t actually (cringe) suck.

When It’s Time to Purge Your Content
Whether or not you have enough content to worry about purging, this is very likely to become an issue at some point in the future, which is why Lane Severson’s article is an important read for anyone in content marketing.  In this savvy piece, he explores the challenges that face those looking to purge their content (monetary issues, location, control, and nature of data storage, and politics).  How these things play a role are explored in detail in this interesting article.

Why SEO is Sabotaging Your Content Marketing
John Rampton starts this article by noting that SEO and content marketing make beautiful music together and truthfully, can’t really be without one another; however, despite their ability to be a total power couple, when they aren’t balanced, SEO has the ability to color your content marketing 50 shades of unimpressive.  John provides five important ways that being superficial or focusing too heavily one way or another can be extremely damaging. 

The S-Curve of Content Marketing: A Futurist’s Take on Story Growth
Ted Karczewski’s article starts by referencing a two-part piece he read on Wait but Why (if you haven’t heard of it, check it out) regarding how human progress occurs in S-curves, which are alternating series of slow and rapid growths and leveling out.  In Ted’s exploration, he looks at the slow, fast, and the leveling of storytelling in content marketing.  It’s a very interesting take that leads you to wonder when we’ll plunge into the next S-curve.


Amy Delcambre is a freelance content and travel writer from Mobile, Alabama with a Master's in Creative Writing. When she's not painting the page with nouns, verbs, and adverbs, she's slaying grammar beasts as a freelance editor and saving the world one sentence fragment at a time teaching university writing classes. In her free time, Amy enjoys cooking, traveling, and testing which plant species best survive prolonged neglect.

Connect with Amy:  LinkedIn

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The Friday Fix - March 27, 2015

Given that it’s the last Friday in March, I feel it’s time to stop being blown away by the fact that it’s 2015 (What!? When did this happen!?) and instead to just be thrilled by the fact that it’s Friday…Friday Fix Day!  There was music and strobe lighting in my head when I wrote “Friday…Friday Fix Day”…did it translate? No?  Hmmm…maybe it’s my storytelling?  Or, perhaps I’ll take a word of wisdom from the “37 Tips for Writers” we cover this week.   I definitely plan to apply the tips on getting into giving audiences what they want (hint: it’s not more cow bell) along with other essential wit and wisdom for standing out from the content crowd.

blogging for content marketing

When Does Blogging Become Content Marketing?
While Mark Hillary’s article, which is actually a book excerpt, has more of a pedagogical approach, the essence of the message is the same.  This (when blogging becomes content marketing) is important because we currently function in a climate where organizations have and use blogs as do bloggers but both seem to blur the lines and occasionally cross entirely over into content marketing.  So, where does the transition occur?  Read on to clear things up.

Steps for Successful Social Contests
Not only is Brad Kuenn advising on how to fill a void in content marketing staff capacity, he’s also providing clever insight on how to use contests to light a fire in your content marketing if you will.  Contests can be cheesy, but they can also be clever.  Here, Brad guides you on using hashtags, appropriate branded-prizes, and other things (what, I’m not giving away the whole article here) to create a contest that will simultaneously bolster your content marketing strategy. It’s a #winwin.

One Colossal Content Checklist: 37 Tips for Writers
I’m attracted to Mindy Weinstein’s article for two reasons: one is the stock image that kind of looks like Harry Potter being attacked by dementors through a tablet (can someone get J.K. on writing that short story for Pottermore?  Okay, thanks.); two is that it’s a list for writers that Mindy promises isn’t like other lists (“That’s what all of the lists say,” I cry as I slam my locker and run to Social Marketing 101).  Mindy’s list is the real deal as she implores real writers to do what they do best: be honest and dig deep. Obviously, the details provide better direction; this is a list that won’t break your heart or leave you two-stepping all alone at the prom.

How and Why Content Marketing Will Build Your Business
In this piece, Amy Power (great name!) goes beyond the typical list of what you must do to succeed or get started or reinvent the wheel in content marketing; she delves into the how and why of what works explaining how and why you can expect certain results with certain approaches.  For those who are new to content marketing and are learning the ropes or who aren’t quite sure of what outcomes they can expect with a given strategy, this piece is for you.

what is social listening

Social Listening and Analytics: The Key to Improving Content Marketing
I love that Jeff Zabin starts his piece with a quote.  He uses the quote, “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink” from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner to describe the conundrum that occurs when content is produced, but it fails to satiate audiences’ thirst.  Jeff goes on to explore social media’s role in rectifying this situation, so everyone can eat, drink content, and be merry (hmm…I think I botched that quote a bit).

Ten Reasons Your Content Marketing Campaign Isn’t Working
So, I started running again to lose the last 1,500 lbs (not a typo), and I feel like despite my dedicated efforts to a regimen of coffee, exercise, and negative thoughts, I’m not getting anywhere.  If you feel about your content the way I feel about my abusive partner, the scale, then Adam Roseland’s incredibly well-spotted advice is for you.  Relative to content, he points out some common yet crippling flaws from a failure to outsource blog writing to overly broad content topics to a failure to post regularly.  Being as busy as you are, you might think these things aren’t hurting you (just as I feel that skimping on the Pilates isn’t hurting me), but they are.  Read Adam’s article for the details on where to tighten up.

Jeff Israely: Good Content Marketing Benefits from a Smart Publisher’s Touch
Former Time magazine foreign correspondent, Jeff Israely, continues what is apparently a series of commentaries on Nieman Lab’s startup.  In this piece, Jeff uses a few anecdotes to analyze and explore the publisher / advertiser relationship.  It’s a compelling read particularly as Jeff suggests that perhaps content marketing isn’t so new after all (just the modes in which we go about it).  Jeff concludes poignantly with the point that what’s novel in content marketing will work well for those who do it properly and will be detrimental to those who don’t.  

3 Paths to Involve Employees in Content Marketing
The majority of the rhetoric relative to content marketing in the workplace has been pertinent to getting senior company members on board; however, Jonathan Blank flips the coin and ponders the other side, which is getting employees involved in content marketing.  Among the challenges are getting employees to understand content marketing and what’s important such as the ability to identify audiences and goal planning (to name two).

A Decade of Content Marketing
You know when you are speaking to someone with a little grit under their nails; they’ve been in the trenches, and they know what they’re talking about.  In this piece, Peter Himler exudes the air of a wizened battle-worn trooper as he details his days from being a PR strategist and how that label and profession saw a sweeping transition into content marketing over the course of a decade.
 

You’ve Heard of Banner Blindness; Get Ready for Content Blindness
Mark Bergen brings the latest from Austin’s 4A Conference in which a topic of discussion was content blindness.  To explain, Mark compares to banner blindness, which is where consumers literally become blind to advertising banners.  It’s like living next to the airport or the train station.  Eventually, you don’t even notice when a 747 whizzes overhead or the F-train rattles your windows.  Well, the same thing is happening in terms of content.  As noted by other pundits, there’s an oversaturation of content, which leads to consumers overlooking it.  While Mark doesn’t attempt to resolve this complex issue, he does contribute positively on how to address it in this piece.


Amy Delcambre is a freelance content and travel writer from Mobile, Alabama with a Master's in Creative Writing. When she's not painting the page with nouns, verbs, and adverbs, she's slaying grammar beasts as a freelance editor and saving the world one sentence fragment at a time teaching university writing classes. In her free time, Amy enjoys cooking, traveling, and testing which plant species best survive prolonged neglect.

Connect with Amy:  LinkedIn

 

 

 

 

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The Friday Fix - February 27, 2015

Can you believe that this time next week, it will be March and that we will already have completed two months of 2015?  I guess what they say is true…time flies when you’re creating content.  Be that the case as it may, how about we slow things down for a little bit and kick it with the Friday Fix, yeah?  If you’re new to the Friday Fix, what we do here is curate fantastic content marketing pieces from the previous week, so it’s a great excuse for you to grab a cup of coffee and kick back like you’re reading the paper (like you did back when the paper was actually on paper).  What’s making front pages this week?  We have more on audiences (oh, those Millennials!) and the video takeover, as well as some nice advice for those new to content marketing. 

The Beginner’s Guide to Podcasts
From their origins to where they are today to best practices, Brad Kuenn covers the bases for understanding, creating, and using Podcasts in your marketing.  For example, while many times when we talk about creating video content, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of having a quality professional product; while you definitely want to have a great quality video podcast, it’s okay if there’s room for improvement. Also, you might find that your podcasts will appeal to a different type of audience than your other content.  The helpful information aside, this trivia about the length of Joe Rogan’s podcasts make this article well worth the read.

4 Things Brands Must Do to Ensure Their Content Marketing Remains Relevant
One of the biggest mistakes brands can make is “slapping on” their content in terms of quality, distribution, and audience outreach.  Consumers can tell, and they don’t like it.  For example, have you ever told someone about a problem only to have them start telling a story about themselves?  Don’t you check out at that point?  Well, as Diane Charton explains, you content can have the same effect; however, she provides four smart, easy ways to be relevant and not oblivious.

cell phone

Mobile Apps and Content Marketing – A Match Made in Heaven
The amount of time people spent using mobile apps is steadily increasing.  We’ve posted before on how important mobile devices and web apps are for content marketing, and Lin Pophal’s article drives it home.  On thing Lin makes sure to point out is that mobile apps aren’t just for short-form content; they’re a perfect place for long-term content as well.  For example, have you ever been at the doctor’s office and idled the time away reading on your phone?  Lin illustrates this as well as several other astute points relative to bringing content marketing and mobile apps together.

What You Don’t Know about Millennials and Content Marketing
A couple of weeks ago, we talked about the Millennials and the challenges many find they are having in reaching out to them.  Shafqat Islam explains the predicament nicely pointing out that Millennials are smart; they’re savvy, and tricks don’t work for them; there’s been too much exposure.  So, you’re not going to get them by trying in a formula and hitting ‘go’.  What should you do?  Start by checking of Shafqat’s article and getting to know your audience a little better.

Porter Proves that Clever Content Marketing is Still in Vogue
Every so often, it’s fun to conduct a little brand analysis and to see who is doing what and how what they are doing it (or isn’t) working.  In this case, everything Net-a-Porter / Porter Magazine is doing is so right it hurts (competitors).  Essentially, Porter allows users to access and purchase the fashion they see in a seamless capacity (get out of my dreams and into my iPad). Though it’s targeted toward a higher-income luxury consuming market, article author Michael Temprano points out that the strategies employed –consistency, service, quality, etc. are things anyone can do. 

Content Marketing Personalization: Build Relationships at Scale
If you’re in content marketing, then there’s a chance that Michael Brenner’s article reads like the story of your life, so you may or may not be shouting, “Yes!” so loudly by the time you finish reading it (I’ll have what he’s having).  I won’t go into details because this is one of those articles you just need to read, but I will say that Michael Brenner makes the key point that several pundits have made this week and lately, which is that there is (and must be) a major shift from product to audience in terms of content marketing.

How to Structure a Killer Content Marketing Campaign
As we have said before and as author Sean Smith points out, content marketing is easier said than done, plain and simple.  When you start to add up all of the components –audience, story, quality, authenticity, outreach, optimization, assessment, you start to realize that it’s a harder shot than Luke had with the Death Star (I mean, anyone can bullseye a womp rat, Luke).  Starting with a focused, goal-oriented approach, Sean walks you through the steps for (at least getting started on) becoming a content Jedi (just maybe not overnight).

video for content marketing

Video is the Future of Content Marketing
John Huber shares Cisco’s statistic that in two years, 69% of Internet traffic will be video.  While that might seem unrealistic, the evidence is stacking up; as noted in other posts in this week’s Fix, podcasts are almost exclusively video now and the second most popular app on mobile devices is Facebook.  If you’re still reluctant to ride the video wave, read John’s article for five more reasons why your business needs video. 

10 Content Marketing Benefits, Challenges, and Tips
Small business owners, this one is for you.  While many tips and insights on content marketing definitely apply to anyone willing to play ball, there are some things that aren’t as feasible for you simply due to budget constraints if nothing else.  Hence, Debra Murphy provides a total of 30 benefits, challenges, and tips applicable to small businesses relative to content marketing.

Getting Started with Content Marketing
When I started in grant writing, I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, and there was so much that I needed to learn in a short period that the crunch was overwhelming.  I expect that’s how folks new to content marketing feel as well.  Gyles Seward throws out a lifeline with this article on getting started with creating a content marketing plan.  It’s a well-organized stepping-stone that will have you blasting womp rats with confidence in no time (that’ll make sense if you read the entire Fix).  


Amy Delcambre is a freelance content and travel writer from Mobile, Alabama with a Master's in Creative Writing. When she's not painting the page with nouns, verbs, and adverbs, she's slaying grammar beasts as a freelance editor and saving the world one sentence fragment at a time teaching university writing classes. In her free time, Amy enjoys cooking, traveling, and testing which plant species best survive prolonged neglect.

Connect with Amy:  LinkedIn

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