Tag Archive: content marketing

  1. 20 Marketing Lessons Learned from “The Story of Content: Rise of the New Marketing”

    I’ve long been a fan of the Content Marketing Institute, an organization whose mission is to advance the practice of content marketing. Watching and learning from the Content Marketing Institute was a part of the inspiration that led me to write Found: Connecting with Customers in the Digital Age.

    The institute just released a very useful documentary for marketers called, “The Story of Content: Rise of the New Marketing.” I would highly recommend watching it, as it does a great job of framing the fact that marketers have to begin to create truly compelling content if they want to stand a chance at connecting with their audiences in a way that matters.

    Less than hour long and containing some very useful content marketing concepts and stories, this documentary is well worth your time.

    I took away 20 key quotes that we can all learn valuable content marketing lessons from:

    1. “Content is really the only marketing that’s left.” — Seth Godin
    2. “[Content Marketing] is really the only way that a business (going forward) is going to differentiate itself in a very crazy, noisy marketplace.” — Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Officer, Content Marketing Institute
    3. “Marketing, for a long time, has been about interruption.” — David Meerman Scott
    4. “Brands have come into their own when they’ve realized, ‘We don’t have to go through a third party to reach this audience; we can actually try to achieve that directly.’” — Todd Wheatland, Global Head of Strategy, King Content
    5. “Instead of having to advertise in someone else’s channel, I have the opportunity to create my own valuable, relevant, and compelling content in our own channels to really create loyalty, build relationships directly with what we like to call subscribers, instead of going out and having to pay for that attention.” — Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute
    6. “I think we have to change the way we think about getting access to the mind of the consumer we want to have a relationship with and one of the best ways to do that today is through content.” — Andrew Davis, Author, Brandscaping
    7. “I think the brands that really get it are focused on being part of the information you want to consume. they’re focused on creating higher quality content that inspires people to buy something they didn’t know they needed.” — Andrew Davis, Author, Brandscaping
    8. “Obviously content marketing has been around forever, but there’s a whole new thing when content marketing collides with the Internet and with digital.” — Doug Kessler, Creative Director & Co-Founder, Velocity Partners Ltd.
    9. “If I’m trying to get their attention, I’d better be creating some pretty fantastic information on an ongoing basis to get their attention.” — Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute
    10. “Content at this point is a form of currency that brands and storytellers use to have a conversation with somebody.” — Katrina Craigwell Director, Global Content & Programming, General Electric
    11. “Search, by definition, doesn’t create demand. It just fulfills demand. Nobody goes to Google and says ‘Hey, I’d like to buy something… I don’t really care what… Just surprise me.’” — Jay Baer, Founder, Convince and Convert
    12. “Nobody cares about your product. They’re trying to solve a problem.” — David Meerman Scott
    13. “The consumer has incredible amounts of information. Marketers are not accustomed to that. Marketers are accustomed to control.” — Don Schultz, Professor Emeritus-in-Service, Northwestern University
    14. “We’re seeing this transformation of marketing departments that were set up long ago in those mass media days. They’ve transformed into publishing departments.” — Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute
    15. “Like a halfway decent human being, brands have to be about more than themselves.” — Kirk Cheyfitz, Co-CEO & Chief Storyteller, Story Worldwide
    16. “We say that if you can’t rely on the media, you have to become the media.” — Lasse Hoegfeldt, Editor-in-chief, Jyskebank.tv
    17. “The content business is the only part of this business that I can see credibly leading this new practice of advertising and I’m moderately upset because not enough of us are trying to do it.” — Kirk Cheyfitz, Co-CEO & Chief Storyteller, Story Worldwide
    18. “Storytelling helps cut through, helps us make sense of the world. Content that has a storytelling backbone to it is just easier to consume, easier to remember, it’s more engaging.” — Christie Poulos, Global Head of Video, King Content
    19. “What brands have to be in this new age, they’ve got to be a coherent, core narrative because that’s the only thing that’s going to remain consistent and distinguishable and differentiating across all kinds of channels.” — Kirk Cheyfitz, Co-CEO & Chief Storyteller, Story Worldwide
    20. “The only way- The only right way to do content marketing is to be a story.” — Kirk Cheyfitz, Co-CEO & Chief Storyteller, Story Worldwide

    Though the “content is key” maxim is often scoffed at as cliché, it’s important to remember just why it’s cliché to begin with: It’s true. Watch this video and see if you become inspired, just like I was. There are always new lessons to learn and stories to tell in the world of content marketing.

  2. What Can CrossFit Teach You About Growing Your Business?

    It is hard not to notice the phenomenal growth of CrossFit, the international fitness movement that has taken the world by storm as of late. If you’re not familiar, CrossFit is a global network of independent gyms (called affiliates) that focuses on group exercise. You’ve likely seen these gyms (referred to as boxes because of their raw nature and simplicity) in different cities and neighborhoods. Orlando alone has seven or eight CrossFit locations. The concept is growing like a weed across the globe.

    If you ask anyone why they like CrossFit, they usually say that the alternating nature of the workouts (the sessions tend to focus on variety and muscle confusion) keeps things interesting. There is often a competitive component as well, which adds something. But the element you hear most about is camaraderie and community. CrossFit effectively combines exercise with teamwork in order to foster something unique. Naturally, the community component spills over online with social media. Most CrossFit affiliates leverage Facebook to bolster the community component, taking advantage of the network effect.

    Why does this matter to me?

    As a business, CrossFit has exploded. Recently, CrossFit and its founder Greg Glassman were profiled on 60 Minutes in a piece entitled ‘The King of CrossFit.” The 60 Minutes segment was interesting in many respects, but the biggest take-away for me was the part about CrossFit’s use of content marketing: creating and publishing brand-related content in an effort to inform or influence instead of advertising or selling.

    Founder of Cross Fit

    CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman in a recent 60 Minutes segment and referenced content marketing.

    Reporter Sharyn Alfonsi was particularly interested in Glassman’s use of of giving away free online video to users to help them learn more about fitness. CrossFit has a “media office” in Silicon Valley whose primary purpose is to create and distribute free educational content to affiliates and participants.  

    Baffled by the thought of “giving away” educational content that participants should seemingly pay to receive, Alfonsi posed the following question to Glassman: “How does that make sense?” After all, why wouldn’t customers just perform the exercises on their own at home (for free) instead of visiting the gym and paying for them?

    Glassman’s simple yet profound answer was, “it didn’t until we did it. The more video we give away, the more money we make.” That statement bears repeating: “the more video we give away, the more money we make.”

    Cross Fit-Videos

    The CrossFit website features a ton of free videos and instruction guides for users to learn how to get in better shape.

    Why does this work?

    It does seem counter-intuitive for this to actually work, but it does. Here are a few reasons why:

    1. Providing all of these videos positions CrossFit as knowledgeable experts, thereby enhancing the brand.
    2. Incorporating updated video and content helps to keep the CrossFit website fresh and dynamic.  This gives users a reason to return to the site frequently.
    3. Online videos are great for sharing on social media to keep users engaged and involved in the community.
    4. Fresh content (especially video) helps users find the website on Google and other search engines.
    5. Consuming and sharing the video is essentially free advertising for CrossFit. True, there is a cost to creating video, but the media cost is next to nothing compared to running television ads.

    How can I put this idea to work for my business?

    With a little effort and creativity, any business can put this lesson to work. Here are a few simple steps you can take to use content like CrossFit does:

    1. Let go of the fear that publishing content is going to (a) make customers steal your advice and not pay you or (b) give your competitors your playbook. While there may be some of either, the benefits will far outweigh the costs
    2. Think about what specific areas you know something about and publish. That means write, draw, film, animate and/or photograph your expertise in action.  
    3. Solve your customer problems with your content. If you are not sure of topics to use as the subject of your publishing, start with the questions your customers ask you. It’s a great place to begin.
    4. Be consistent and patient. This approach takes time, so don’t expect results overnight. Give it 4-6 months of consistent publishing and sharing. With a little patience, you’ll start to experience the snowball effect. Content that you created months earlier will begin to produce results far into the future.

    In the end, remember that your customers’ eyeballs are on social media. If you want to reach them, you need to be there. And if you want to make a good impression, your content ought to be strong. Creating content that helps customers learn and/or solve problems is your ticket to building a relationship with them.

  3. Does Your Website Content Have a Purpose?

    Update 10/24/18: Though I wrote this blog post some three years ago, these fundamentals of writing for websites are just as important today. There is something to be said about the aesthetics of a site (who doesn’t like a cool design?) but it should never be forgotten that a site’s content does a lot of heavy lifting to drive user action. Every page, every paragraph and every word should have purpose and strategy behind it. Even through the never-ending Google algorithm updates and web design trends, one thing will never change: content is king.

    -Copywriter, Adam L. Rodriguez


    To stay in and study for that big exam, or enjoy the kegger down Greek Row; Yes, we go back to the university days (daze?) to show a prime example of why prioritization is key to success in anything you do. As anyone worth their salt in the professional world will tell you, great work is often a result of a laser-targeted focus and the ability to deal with the most important things first — a virtue that also rings true for your website. Focus on what you want your website to accomplish first, then spend some time dressing it up.

    Priorities

    In the SEO world we live in, content has always been king, but more so now than ever. Creating user-friendly content is a strategy that will never become obsolete with Google algorithm changes or stylistic fads. So how can you make your website focus on the important things? Before all else, define what you want your users to accomplish. A vital step to take before creating content or while evaluating your current website is to go through, page-by-page, and define some key factors.

    What is the purpose of the page?

    It’s a common mistake often made during the planning process of a website’s creation: creating pages with good intentions but never stopping to reevaluate and ensure that each and every page is serving a specific purpose for your audience and your business. Pages should not exist if content is redundant or unhelpful to your audience.

    What do we want users to do?

    A great method for sorting out exactly how effective your website is is to create what’s called a “Content Purpose Map.” This strategy has you map out exactly what actions are most important for your audience on any given page. Most importantly, it puts creators in the shoes of consumers. This top-down perspective makes strategy all the more simple.

    Queue

    By David Shankbone – David Shankbone, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4631356

    Erika Napoletano, Columnist for American Express OPEN Forum, recommends creating a spreadsheet with what she calls “Olympic Moves.” This method of content purpose mapping involves assigning a Gold, Silver or Bronze hierarchy of moves that you’d like users to make on your site, Gold being the main one, Bronze being a more latent goal. For example, the Olympic Moves for Nike.com’s homepage may look something like this:

    Gold: Get users to the “Store” page to complete order on a new pair of sneakers.
    Silver: Direct users to subscribe to a monthly newsletter to stay informed on the latest releases and sales.
    Bronze: Create awareness of the latest sneakers to hopefully lead to a future purchase.

    Once purpose is established on every page of your website, you’re on your way to sharing strategic, helpful and relevant content with your audience and the world. Much like the aforementioned college conundrum of concentration, staying focused on the important things is often the way to a website’s success. Simply stated, strategic content makes your website work for you, instead of you working for your website.

  4. How To Write A Good Email Subject Line

    Editors Note April 19th, 2016:

    Taking a look back at this blog, the reasoning and algorithm suggested below still pertains to current best practices in subject line strategy.  Creating an engaging subject line is one of the only ways you can truly get your audience to open the email you designed, wrote and worked so hard to craft. Putting all your time into writing your email, blog or book could be wasted if the subject or title doesn’t intrigue anyone enough to actually read it. Consider spending significantly more time on strategizing how best to entice your audience into opening your work; it’s time well spent to avoid missing out on precious potential readers.


    “What’s all the fuss in creating a nifty subject line? I’ve written creative content, and I think that my subject line will make my audience want to read my piece, plus, why wouldn’t they want to anyway?”

    In any piece of writing, whether that be a blog or an email newsletter, the subject line or title is the key for someone to want to read your content.

    “Think of your subject line as the title of your book.”

    The statement you’ve heard is true: You should spend more time creating an engaging subject line than it takes to actually write your content. It makes sense; others won’t read your story unless you create a compelling title that MAKES them want to read it. Map it out, play with different words, ask for advice, and try using the algorithm I break down, below.

    Subject Line Algorithm:

    Use a Trigger word or Number + Adjective + Keyword + Value

    Trigger Words: 

    “What, “Why”, “How”, or “When.” You can also use a number as a trigger as well. Trigger words are typically used to create purpose of what the subject will reflect.

    Adjectives:

    Think engaging. Some examples would be:

    • Addicting
    • Energetic
    • Successful
    • Rare
    • Lucky
    • Tasty
    • Incredible
    • Awesome

    Keyword:

    Think of one item that you want your email to focus on. There may be many aspects that are included in your email, but create one that sticks out the most.

    Value:

    What purpose and benefit is your reader going to get from opening your email? Ensure that your subject line represents a statement or question that your reader is going to want to know more about.

    You can move around the algorithm as well to better situate your subject line. For instance, if you were to send an email talking about cooking string beans, a subject line of “Cooking String Beans” could be:

    “12 Awesome Ways To Cook String Beans” or “Why Cooking String Beans Is Fascinating”

    Recently, our monthly newsletter, “HOT AIR” (we’d fancy you for signing up), focused on our 20 Year Anniversary. We could have used a subject line such as “Our 20 Year Anniversary,” however this wouldn’t be enough to make a reader say “YES. I WANT TO READ THAT.”

    Instead, we used “20 Years and Still HOT.” You can see our trigger was a number, “20,” “Years” was our keyword, and “HOT” was our adjective. We wrote a statement that engages the reader to want to know what “20 Years and Still HOT” means.

    Don’t let all that hard work you put into writing your masterpiece go unnoticed. It’s time to step it up and show that your content is worthy.

  5. 3 Digital Marketing Tips from YouTube’s Biggest Stars

    Ah, YouTube — that venerable bastion of cat videos and fail compilations. A place where you can learn how to play Oasis’ hit song “Wonderwall” (on ukulele, no less!) and watch Neil DeGrasse Tyson discuss supermassive black holes. Readers, we are truly living in the future. Come to think of it, the fact that you are even reading this instead of simply watching a clip of me saying these words is becoming a bit of a rarity in its own right. Put down your pitchforks and torches, though — I’m not here to announce the end of the written word. I just think that advertisers can learn a lot about branding and digital marketing from YouTube’s biggest success stories, especially with media consumption steadily moving from the living room to the laptop.

    Who Is Felix Kjellberg?

    If YouTube was a country, Felix Kjellberg would be king and court jester. The young, Swedish YouTuber is beloved by millions worldwide for his commentary on video games and goofball humor, but don’t let the levity of his content fool you. Felix, known on his channel as “PewDiePie,” is clearly a shrewd businessman and master of self-marketing. In fact, the 25-year-old has become, arguably, the biggest name on YouTube, grossing millions of dollars a year with over 34 million subscribers. But what can a twenty-something millionaire Swede and his fellow successful YouTubers teach us about digital marketing? Quite a bit, actually.

    Felix Kjellberg YouTube Video

    1. Know Your Audience

    Knowing your audience may be the single most important step to creating effective content and building a fan base in anything you produce. Felix’s channel is not for everyone, and it doesn’t have to be. Content is crafted specifically for his teen and young adult fan base, dominating the demographic. If you want to effectively craft copy or create content for your business, you can’t go in with a scattershot approach and expect to find much success. If you don’t know who your audience is, chances are they won’t know who you are either. Direction is key to crafting an effective digital marketing plan and your business’s creative roadmap is highly influenced by who your targeted audience is.

    2. Listen To Your Fans and Critics Alike

    Everyone's a Critic

    Photo credit: Brett Kiger via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND Photo credit: Brett Kiger via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

    Anyone who’s been on the Internet for more than, oh let’s say five minutes, knows it can be a cruel and highly-critical venue. Much like any producer of creative content, even the most successful YouTubers face criticism — both constructive and not. Though it’s far easier to throw out the fair critics with the malicious, an experienced creative knows that sometimes criticism is the only road to growth. In the case of YouTubers, many look at analytics such as downvotes and views when assessing how successful their work is. On a more visceral level (and perhaps more applicable to other businesses), many simply head to the comments section to dissect exactly what their fans thoughts are on any given piece of content.

    Social media, for better or worse, is a fantastic litmus test for most businesses and can offer your company many of the aforementioned “comments section” feedback and analytics. Many make the critical mistake of simply ignoring their brand’s detractors. Since social media is, by and large, meant to be a conversational channel, wishing a negative comment away through inaction or (gasp) deleting said comment will only highlight an unwillingness to accept criticism or lack of sympathy, whether that criticism is founded or not. It’s also important to reach out to those with positive things to say, commenting with thanks in order to let them know your brand is listening.

    3. Don’t Be Afraid of Change

    If a YouTuber’s fans don’t like the content, the video has received fewer views, or the audience makes suggestions for improvement, a change must happen to keep the channel afloat and growing in popularity. You must be willing to change strategy if your current plan is proving ineffective. These principles are no different for your brand’s digital marketing plan. If you see that certain approaches are garnering less engagement than you would like, try a different approach. Change it up, try different channels of marketing, reach your audience in different ways. Just because one thing didn’t work doesn’t mean they all won’t.

    Take It From the YouTubers…

    A commonality among some top YouTubers is their fan base cultivation. They are often able to preserve their community through knowing and nurturing their audience, crafting a strategy with them in mind, all while taking constructive criticism in the hopes of producing a better product or service. These are all factors to consider in your business’s advertising efforts — yes, even if you’re not in the business of filming yourself playing video games on the Internet.

    Statler and Waldorf image courtesy of Brett Kiger

  6. Do Keywords Really Matter?

    SEO Blogging 101 Series: Part One

    Writing a blog post may be pretty straight-forward, but making it SEO friendly is another story entirely. If you have a great topic that you think your audience will be interested in, then it’s a good idea to go ahead and write it!

    However, it’s also important to make sure that as many users as possible see the content you took the effort to craft. That’s why using an SEO strategy and different content marketing tactics is so important, and why we’ll be exploring the different tactics and strategies that should be applied throughout this series.

    What Role Do Keywords Play?

    To begin with, SEO is not just about the keyword in a topic.  Since Google periodically makes updates to its algorithms that changes how it crawls, indexes, and determines what should appear on search engine result pages (SERPs), knowing how to make each blog post count is important. However, focusing only on a keyword or keyword count won’t get you the ROI you’re looking for.

    Why? Because Google – and even more importantly your audience – doesn’t consider just one specific word when they’re trying to find an answer to something. SEO is an all-encompassing strategy now and takes many factors into consideration. Yes, engaging content is still a driving force and factor, but long-gone are the days of keyword stuffing to get a website to rank as the number one search result. The emphasis now is quality – not quantity.

    HubSpot shares the following,

    “It’s not about choosing the right words anymore — it’s about providing context. Google doesn’t want to return results anymore; it wants to return answers. So, if you’re not doing a good job of answering your prospective customers’ questions, it doesn’t matter what keywords you choose — your SEO will suffer.”

    So what does this mean when it comes to your blog content? Keywords still matter, but they shouldn’t be the focus. In Part One of our SEO Blogging 101 Series, we’ll cover the role keywords play and why they’re still important to consider, but shouldn’t be the sole focus behind online and digital content.

    What’s Your Topic?

    Do you know what you’re writing about? SEO experts have different schools of thought on how valuable a keyword is and what the optimization percentage should be – or if there should be an optimization percentage at all. There is one new update that most SEO connoisseurs agree on: content should be developed with the intent of the searcher in mind.

    I recommend that writers try to optimize the content with a percentage of 1.5% for the keyword in mind, using the following formula:

    SEO Keyword Optimization Formula

    The reason for this is because at the end of the day, there’s no hard and fast rule for how often a keyword should be included in content. Writing with a keyword in mind, though, helps keep the main topic and intent of the searcher as the focus.

    This way the blog post will be included in search results for not just the individual keyword, but also long-tail queries such as: “How can digital marketing for restaurants help me get more customers?” or “What is social media marketing?”

    Remember to keep your writing, keyword phrases, and terminology natural as well. SEO has evolved from focusing on ranking and singular keywords to the overall intent of the searcher and user experience. So yes – write with the keyword “digital marketing” or “seafood for sale” in mind. But also write for what your audience wants to learn and know about. Is your audience really looking for seafood for sale, or are they trying to find a recipe that has seafood in it?

    Keywords have a role and a place, but be careful not to focus so much on one word or phrase that you completely miss the point of posting content in the first place: to engage with your audience. 

  7. LinkedIn Blogs: Why The Cool Kids Are Doing It

    If you’ve logged into LinkedIn within the past year, you’ve been greeted by Pulse news recommendations customized “just for you!” as the featured content in your LinkedIn feed.

    How to blog on Linked In

    What began as a digital publishing platform for news sources and exclusive LinkedIn “Influencers” (see what they did there?), is now one of the most effective yet under-utilized social media tools for positioning yourself as a subject matter expert.

    Our Experiment: Publishing on LinkedIn

    As a digital marketing agency, we like to testdrive new techniques on ourselves before making recommendations to our clients.

    In September, we published Principal Kelly Lafferman’s blog on both our website and as a LinkedIn post as an experiment. We wanted to know how much farther our reach would extend by adding this platform to our posting regimine.

    Boy, were we happy!

    Repurposing and publishing the post for LinkedIn took less than 15 minutes (Geico, LinkedIn is coming for you) and garnered fantastic results. Not only did the post earn syndication in the “Marketing & Advertising” Pulse channel and an additional 1.6K views for our content, nearly 300 LinkedIn users engaged with the post through comments and Likes which created additional awareness-generating news feed stories. Kelly’s LinkedIn connections and Twitter follows, mentions and shares also reaped positive results.

    That success left us asking, why wouldn’t we recommend this to everyone we know?

    How to Blog on LinkedIn

    There are already fantastic tutorials available that can help you publish your first post on LinkedIn, so I won’t re-invent that wheel.

    What I do want to stress is how easy and effective it is to repurpose your existing blog content as a LinkedIn post to position yourself as a thought leader. (If you need a refresher on why content marketing and blogging are essential to your digital marketing mix, feel free to peruse the rest of our blog.)

    Your blog post may need a minor facelift before you copy and paste into the LinkedIn publishing tool (especially if you’re following SEO best practices), but I promise it’s worth your while.

    Here are the top 4 changes to consider:

    1. Post Title – Most SEO-friendly blog titles are keyword rich, but may lack a strong literary hook. Jazz up your post title to something eye catching or slightly controversial to snag as many readers as possible.
    2. Links – SEO standards suggest balancing external links (those outside your website) with internal links in your blog content. However, if your goal is to drive people back to your website from LinkedIn, it’s ok to tip the scales in your favor. Consider integrating more relevant links to your website and blog when possible. It’s also good form to set all links to open in a new browser tab or window from your LinkedIn post.
    3. Add a Closing Question – Update the last line of your post to a question that invites feedback. Similarly to Facebook, the more comments (and other engagements) the post receives, the higher its ranking.
    4. Add an Author’s Bio – Most WordPress blogs integrate your author bio outside of the post itself. Dont’ forget to add this back into the content of your post when sharing on LinkedIn. Give your readers the opportunity to learn relevant or interesting details about you in 30 seconds or less. (Don’t include a full CV here.)

    Now get out there, and start sharing!

  8. Book Review – Contagious: Why Things Catch On

    Contagious: Why Things Catch On

     

    As a digital marketing manager specializing in social media, I’m like a proud parent with the “My Child is on the Honor Roll” bumper sticker: I love social media and it’s easy to idolize. But a book I read recently gave a practical reminder that social media is a supportive communications vehicle, rather than a marketing strategy. For true success, a great social media presence requires contagious content!

    Book Review | Contagious: Why Things Catch On

    Jonah Berger’s book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On is a must-read for anyone seeking to differentiate their product or service in the marketplace and gain viral exposure through customer referrals.

    In the opening, Berger hooks every reader with this stat from a study by the Keller Fay Group: only 7% of word-of-mouth happens online.

    Now, before you throw your MacBook out with the bathwater, reconsider this surprising information through another lens – there is not a lack of valuable opportunities accessible through online marketing, but rather there are even more opportunities to trigger off-line conversations about your brand through strategic digital marketing. A key take-away from Contagious is this:

    Social media should be designed to support off-line conversations for maximum impact.

    Contagious breaks down the author’s six driving principals (STEPPS) uncovering why and how content becomes viral and, well, contagious.

    1. Social Currency – People care about how they look to others. Help them feel smart and appear in-the-know by giving them something they can share with others that will boost their social IQ. Whether it’s a funny video that just broke on YouTube or the phone number for the best tax pro in town, find a way to be their next bit of social currency.
    2. Triggers – As Berger says, “top of mind means tip-of-tongue”. By creating a context for your product outside its typical space, you’ll be thought of by your audience when they least expect it. (Try going just one Wednesday without being reminded that it’s Hump Day a la the Geico camel and tell me that triggers don’t work. I dare you!) 
    3. Emotion – “When we care, we share.” Emotional content reaches a place deep inside us that begs us to share it. Case in point? Every mom who’s watched this Publix Valentine’s Day commercial.
    4. Public – “Built to show, built to grow.” When your product or service leaves visible behavior residue, it’s more likely that it will be imitated by  others. Whether it’s the orange Cheetos dust (literal residue), a Bloomingdales big brown bag, or a yellow LIVESTRONG bracelet, find ways to help your products or services advertise themselves.
    5. Practical Value – Want your content to spread like wildfire? Berger shares the most simple solution of all: offer content with incredible value and package your knowledge and expertise so people can easily pass it on. From infographics and handy “how to’s”, people love sharing tools to simplify and solve everyday problems. Help them be a hero!
    6. Stories – Everyday brand stories travel under what seems like idle chatter. Berger stresses that stories are vessels, just like the famous Trojan horse. A narrative or story that people want to tell will carry your idea long for the ride. (Example: Think Jared from Subway.)

    Can’t imagine how to incorporate all of these principles in one Facebook post? Fear not! Try adding even one or two of these ingredients to your brand’s story and you’ll see a big impact.

    Keep this diagram handy after you read the book and remember to add some contagious content into your marketing mix to give both your social media and off-line communications a boost!

  9. What a 109-Year-Old Brand Can Teach Us About Content

    There are many things we can learn from Rolex- from how to maintain a luxury brand to how to keep that brand relevant throughout the years. What’s interesting now is that the brand that once used to balk at the idea of having a Facebook page and other social sites is now the one to teach us all a thing or two about content.

    Here are five of what I deem to be Rolex’s top content tips:

    1. Don’t publish content for content’s sake. Constant content is great, but just because it’s National Hot Sauce day does not mean that you should post to Facebook, Twitter and Google+ about it. This would only make sense if you were Tabasco or a food-based company.

    The content you post should always be relevant and serve your audience.This idea often gets lost when content is posted simply for content’s sake.

    2. Select which media channels tell your brand’s story best. Content comes in all forms, but the form you pick matters. If you are trying to convey an in-depth story about your company’s history, video will most likely be your best bet. Video is engaging and a great way to truly show your company’s history and culture. Try telling an interesting, but lengthy story via Pinterest or an Instagram post…it just won’t work.

    3. Creating buzz is not the intent. Craft content thoughtfully, privilege quality over quantity, and talk only when you have something to say and when you feel it’s right. Buzz is fleeting. Yes, it is good in certain cases, but what you want to share is content that has legs to it and can stand the test of time. Not only does this give your brand value, but it also gives you the SEO benefits we’ve all learned to love.

    4. Listen socially, i.e. scrape brand mentions from social networks and use that data — what people are saying and how they’re saying it — to identify what consumers want to see from the brand on social media. Who best to tell you what to say than your audience? They are the ones interacting with your posts and providing free feedback without you prodding for it. Use this data to your advantage and sculpt your messaging to fit, not only your needs and wants, but your audience’s too.

    5.  Identify what will matter to customers not tomorrow, but ten years down the road. Yes, customers are concerned with what’s going on in the immediate future, but when it comes to content that has longevity to it, think beyond today. What will your customers be searching for and talking about in the next month, 2 years, or 10 years? Your content should be relevant to your followers, but it doesn’t have to apply only to current events.

     

    Source: http://mashable.com/2014/04/17/rolex-marketing-strategy/

  10. Show AND Tell: Why Visuals are Key to Finding & Winning Audiences

    Content_Plane Visual

    Let your content fly high!

    If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know why content marketing is vital for your business. If not, welcome to our snazzy blog! You’ll find everything from posts on digital marketing and business strategy to even such fascinating topics like “Pink Monkey Butt.” Trust me, it’s a worthwhile post, so check it out if you’ve got a couple of minutes.

    For the new visitors, here’s a quick breakdown on why content marketing is important:

    • Content marketing is key to driving an audience to your website.

    • Interesting content is one of the top three reasons people follow brands on social media.

    • Blogs are exceptionally useful for SEO, as they give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.

    • Blogs allow brands to provide audiences with longer, more useful content that other outlets are not meant to provide.

    Now that we’ve got that brief recap out of the way, powerful content marketing is more than just text; it takes visuals too. According to Robert E. Horn, professor at Stanford University, “Visual language has the potential for increasing human bandwidth—the capacity to take in, comprehend, and more efficiently synthesize large amounts of new information.” When brands seek to share intriguing and inspiring content (and who isn’t?) adding photo and video to the mix is essential.

    Just in case you aren’t a believer yet, here are 8 handy reasons to be mindful of visual content marketing:

    1. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. {Source: WishPond}

    2. 65% of people are visual learners, so there will be an industry-wide shift toward to employing visual content in marketing initiatives. {Source: Panorama}

    3. By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco.

    4. Seven in 10 people view brands in a more positive light after watching interesting video content from them. {Source: The Guardian}

    5. Publishers who use infographics grow in traffic at an average of 12% more than those who publishers who don’t. {Source: AnsonAlex}

    6. Videos on landing pages increase average page conversion rates by 86%. {Source: WishPond}

    7. 60% of consumers are more likely to click on a business whose images appear in search results. {Source: WishPond}

    8. Visuals show your products without telling people about them. This allows viewers to make their own decisions without feeling pressure from your business. {Source: WishPond}

    And because everyone should do as they say, here is a sweet infographic that showcases why visual is vital. Enjoy!

    Sweet infographic courtesy of Matter Communication