Category Archives: Content Strategy

Why My Content Has a Better Future than Yours

Content Inventory Template

Content Inventory Template

In Content Strategy 101 I mention something called a content inventory. Sounds boring, right?

Don’t tune out quite yet, a content inventory is a tool that most people ignore. And as a result they are ignoring the future of their content.

Content is an asset, and should be treated as such. If you run a store selling diapers, you would keep an inventory of every single stinky (well…hopefully clean…) diaper you have.

You should be keeping an inventory of your content as well.

By keeping a content inventory I know what needs to be edited, deleted, updated, etc.

And that is why my content has a better future than yours. Unless you stick with me that is…

What is a Content Inventory?

A content inventory is simply a list of the content you own.

Why is a Content Inventory Necessary?

A content inventory gives you a visually viable “snap shot” of your content.

This helps you  match your goals with what you actually have.

Millions of people use WordPress to create, manage and organize their content. While it is an absolutely incredible platform, it falls short when you have to take a look at your content as a whole.

Visualizing your content in totality isn’t hard when you have 5 total posts. But what if you have 100? Or 500? It get’s a little harder to decide what needs to be updated, deleted, etc, without a tool to simplify the process.

How Do I Make a Content Inventory?

Creating a content inventory is simple.

For my content inventory I use an Excel Spreadsheet to list all of the data I deem critical about each piece of content.

Of course, creating a content inventory can become a really labor-intensive task if you have hundreds of pieces of content and haven’t even thought about keeping track of them yet.

That doesn’t make a content inventory any less necessary…quite the opposite in fact.

If you don’t want to undertake the task of creating a content inventory for yourself from scratch, check out my services page. We can work together and make it happen for you.

What do I include in My Inventory?

This is really up to you. You know your content best and you are best suited to decide what metrics are important for you.

At the very least you should include the Title, URL and Date of your content. You might also want to include an index # for each piece of content for easy referencing.

For my personal content inventory I include the following:

Content Inventory

  • Index #
  • Title
  • Format (Text, Video, etc)
  • Access (Public, Private, Member, etc)
  • Content Type
  • Source (URL)
  • Date Posted (Original date content went live)
  • Last Updated (Date the content was last updated)
  • Tags
  • Category
  • Internal Links (This is where the Index # comes in handy)
  • Owner (Who is responsible for the content…so far it’s all me :) ).
  • Notes

Giving Away My Competitive Advantage…

To get you started I am giving you as much of an inside look as anyone can possibly give.

Enter your email below and you will get the actual content inventory I use for Content Strategy Hub.

You can use it as a template for your own content inventory, or just to see exactly what I’m doing.

29 Brilliant Minds Share Common Content Strategy Mistakes

Content Strategy

The previous post in the series featured free consulting of sorts – 29 awesome content strategy tips you can implement today. But sometimes it is just as important to figure out what you may be doing wrong as it is to figure out what works. So, in the third and final installment of the interview series I ask…

“What is a common content strategy mistake that business owners make?”

 

David Meerman Scott Best-selling author, speaker and coach. Find him at DavidMeermanScott.com.

Being egotistical and creating content only about what is important to them and not what is important to their marketplace.

 

Mark Schaefer Author, consultant and college educator who blogs at {grow}.

Putting it in the hands of the PR department. I know ownership of strategy is a wearying issue, but it shouldn’t be.  All content — even PR-related content — should be trying to influence some behavior that will eventually increase shareholder value. At the end of the day, that is marketing’s responsibility.  PR can produce the copy … fine … but marketing needs to own the strategy, without question.

 

Joe Pulizzi Author, speaker and founder of Content Marketing Institute.

We love talking about ourselves.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for that…but that time is usually at the end of the buying process.  What about all the other times?  Start making a list of all the questions your customers struggle with and develop a content strategy that can regularly answer those questions.  That way, you start to position yourself as the leading information provider in your niche.  If you can truly accomplish that expert status, your customers will come to you when they are ready to buy.

 

Robert Rose Author, speaker and “Chief Troublemaker” at Big Blue Moose.

Worrying that they’re repeating themselves.  This is especially true with businesses that are establishing a blogging or social Web strategy.  They worry that they can’t post up a new blog post because “they talked about that three months ago“.   So, they quickly run out of ideas and the blog goes stale.    They need to remember that even television networks serve up repeats, and movies are often remade.   Guess what – the chances that your entire audience read your blog post four months go on X topic is about 0.0%.    Now, I’m not suggesting just copying and pasting the old blog (although I’ve actually seen that work just fine as well) but tackling the same subject from a different point of view – or bringing it back because of something topical is certainly a good strategy.   I’ve personally seen a client get 10X better response after they re-wrote an old blog post from a fresh perspective.   Old idea – new execution.

 

Ann Handley Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs and Co-Author of Content Rules.

Oh boy… where do I start? Okay, here’s one: Thinking that your press release makes a good blog post. Also, creating “good enough” content. In an era where everyone is a publisher (see #1), you have to try harder. (Oops. That was two. I have a lot to say on this subject.)

 

Drew McLellan Author, marketing veteran and blogger at Drew’s Marketing Minute.

One of the biggest content marketing mistakes out there is that a lot of people believe the fallacy that if they create content, the right audience will just magically show up.  With all the content that’s out there, I think that’s highly unlikely.  Even if you’re an SEO ninja, you’ve got a lot of competition out there.  So if you want to build an audience — you need to go where they already are and get to know them there.  Once you add value where they already hang out, you’ll get on their radar screen and they’ll follow you back to your home base to see what you’re about.  Most content creators do not have an audience outreach plan and as a result, are disappointed by their audience’s size.

 

Danny Brown Author of The Parables of Business, multiple award-winning marketer and blogger at DannyBrown.me.

They don’t have a follow-up plan. It’s all well and good writing an ebook; or a blog post; or using content across different social channels to grab your audience’s interest. But then what? Where’s the follow-up strategy? Where’s the list-building? Where’s the keyword segmentation to set up alerts for different audiences? Where’s the outreach to others in your niche to help you sell more? So, sure, have great content ready to share – but make sure you have follow-up and complementary stuff in the pipeline to build on any success your initial content brings.

 

Francisco Rosales Coach, consultant and blogger at Social Mouths.

I think number one could be the lack of commitment towards content creation with frequency. Sometimes due to the fact that we are also running a business in the back-end and sometimes because we don’t see immediate results.

Content strategy should have an editorial calendar, regardless of the frequency.

Another common mistake is the lack of a simple plan, specially in cases when content creation is a team effort in-house. Or sometimes we over do things and write a strategy document that looks more like a business plan than anything else.

Write a simple recipe that’s easy for the team to follow, establish an editorial calendar and distribute responsibilities accordingly.

 

Dino Dogan Co-founder of, and marketing genius behind, Triberr.

This one is easy. Businesses are too safe, and driven by profits.

Businesses are not driven to create content the way John Lennon, Bob Marley and Bob Dylan were driven to write songs.

Businesses are steeped in procedures, legalities, and stifling guidelines. It’s much safer to create boring content than to risk getting fired.

On the other hand, big businesses use extremely effective but manipulative marketing practices on the other side of ethical.

Cigarette companies creating cartoon spokesperson (Joe Camel) to indoctrinate kids into the smoking culture.
Fast food companies creating playgrounds on premises to attract kids to more than just processed food (McDonald’s).
There are millions of these examples unfortunately.
So the two biggest mistakes companies make are being too boring and putting profits above global human interests. And neither sin is sustainable.

 

Marcus Sheridan Speaker, coach and inbound marketing specialist. Find him at TheSalesLion.com.

Most business owners don’t realize content is the greatest ‘sales tool’ in the world today. Without question, if a company uses content the right way, sales cycles will be shorter, margins will be higher, and life will be much better. :-) Content isn’t just about SEO. That’s only a small part. But sales? Oh yeah, that’s the core of content’s value to a business.

 

Gordon Plutsky Chief Marketing Officer of King Fish Media.

Producing or obtaining low quality content just to get something up on their site, or because they think it will help them with search engine optimization. For content marketing to work, the content needs to be authoritative, authentic and credible. Without those attributes, you won’t create a relationship of trust that leads to action. To develop quality content you need to work with subject matter experts (SME) and someone with a background in professional writing and proofreading. There are many places to obtain cheap content, but that is generally not written by a SME with years of experience in the field, but rather a generalist who cranks out cheap copy by the word. The cheap route may get you clicks and traffic, but don’t count on it transforming your customer relationships. Like anything in life, you get what you pay for.

 

Danny Iny Author, strategist, serial-entrepreneur and co-founder of Firepole Marketing.

Just one mistake, huh? But there are so many… ;) I think the biggest and most common mistake that business owners make with content marketing is buying and taking a “one-size-fits-all” approach to building an audience, without realizing that there are differences across industries, markets, and most importantly, stages of growth; the actions that you’ve got to take when you’re just starting out are very different from the ones that will work best when you’ve already got a loyal following. Think through whatever plans you’re making, and ask yourself if your current infrastructure is enough to make it work.

 

Joe Chernov Vice President of Content Marketing at Eloqua.

They create content that they *want* their audience to consume, rather then creating content around what their audience’s needs, interests or struggles. Content marketing is all about value transfer — the publisher delivers value and the viewer rewards the effort with attention, and, if it’s truly remarkable, word of mouth. It’s a simple arrangement. But a flawed content strategy is one in which there’s no true value transferred to the consumer. Content should be reverse-engineered off of the customer’s need, not the marketer’s want.

 

Peter Vogopoulos Business and marketing coach, guerrilla marketing specialist, and co-founder of Firepole Marketing.

They are too scared to have personality in their content. They act like their business “ought” to act, thereby getting lost in the sea of properly-behaved businesses. Isn’t it interesting that we barely remember the classmates who behaved, but we always remember the class clown? Now I don’t mean to suggest that you should become the spitball-spewing, paper-airplane-building misfit of your industry, just please don’t be so darn tepid with your stuff. People want something different, exciting… colorful, even – not something that reads like it was written by a committee. You have to *inspire* people to come back again, to add you to your reader, and to download your stuff. If that means being more outspoken, being a bit of character, or even rattling a few cages, then so be it. Don’t piss off anyone if you can avoid it, but don’t be boring either.

 

Rahel Anne Bailie Principal of Intentional Design and Senior Content Strategist for the City of Vancouver.

The common mistake that business owners make is to treat content publishing as a reactive activity. Content is a valuable corporate asset, and deserves to be considered as part of the larger strategic plan. Content props up every organizational activity, and it needs to be considered in the greater context of an organization’s operations.

 

Scott Abel  Content management strategist and blogger at TheContentWrangler.com.

Talking about tools.

 

 

Adam Helweh CEO of Secret Sushi Creative.

Focusing too much on themselves instead of their customers. Content marketing and social media is not just another broadcasting platform to tell the world how cool you are. It is hard for businesses to shake that old mind set of telling people how great they and their product/service are. Once they do they are better off for it.

 

Paul Wolfe Teaches people how to play bass and blogger at One Spoon at a Time.

A comment mistake that I see with content strategy is to publish irregularly.  Set up a publication schedule and stick to it – that way your audience knows when to expect new content from you, and will look forward to it.  This is even more important if Video is part of your content schedule.

 

Robert Dempsey Direct response and social media marketing expert. Founder of Dempsey Marketing.

Giving up before it works. I have a client that, after 7 months of continuous effort, is now starting to reap the rewards. We redid her site, put an SEO and content strategy in place, and started cranking out the content and building her social networks. Thanks to all that she is now positioned much better in her industry and is getting quite a few solid leads each week as well as being noticed by the media.

If she hadn’t stuck with it none of it would have happened. You must be persistent.

 

Jon Buscall Head of  Jontus Media, a full service online marketing and communications agency.

Rushing to publish content without ensuring it’s quality content. There’s no point starting a blog if you’re just waffling away. You need to have a specific goal in mind and you need to create content in accordance with that. Working with an editorial calendar is essential, not only because it helps you know what you have to produce next; it also gives you an overview of the direction your content is going in. This is an important way of ensuring your content stays on target and doesn’t just wander off into what you feel inspired to write on the day of publishing.

It takes time to craft informative posts, videos, podcasts, etc. You don’t just bash them out on a wet and windy Wednesday afternoon, although many of the top business blogs make it looks like this. Top notch content marketing online might look easy, but an enormous amount of strategic thinking, time and development goes into it. Business owners often make the mistake of just rushing to get out there, and then wonder why they don’t get noticed. Genuine quality content rises to the surface and succeeds.

 

Brendan Schneider Social media, inbound marketing, and branding specialist for independent schools. Blogger at SchneiderB.

A common mistake that I see is that business owners spread themselves too thinly and launch and try to maintain too many social media channels. They quickly realize that they can’t maintain everything and then quit. My suggestion is to only create what you feel you can support and make successful and then add more when you are ready.

 

Steve Scott Affiliate marketing expert and blogger at SteveScottSite.

Being too aggressive with their marketing.

You shouldn’t be hitting an audience with offer after offer. It’s actually not that hard to make money online. Just give away piles of great information and then make the occasional offer for a premium product.

Even better – Give away all your stuff for free and then demonstrate a step-by-step solution using a premium tool.

Ultimately it’s best to focus on building trust with an audience. It’s human nature to not trust anyone who is a marketer. So don’t start a relationship by hitting people with an offer. Instead show that you’re that rare person who is concerned with helping people first.

 

Murray Lunn Entrepreneur, freelance writer and founder of PLR Articles Now. 

I don’t feel that a lot of people that are using content are really driving home the fact that it still needs to make a sale. After all, if you’re writing content for your business, you need to stay in the business mindset – you have to remember that the content piece needs to promote your business but also encourage people to become a customer.

Anyone can easily make a top 10 article about something in their industry but if there isn’t a clear call-to-action and general helpfulness, people are just going to read and then be on their merry way.

Additionally, not setting aside enough time for creating content is a biggie too. Instead of spending the $1,000 to buy an email list – maybe dump that money into a hundred articles or a dozen BIG articles that is going to get you notice well beyond that initial blast. I always tell people to think of content as a salesperson that works 24/7/365 (and you never need to pay them) – your content sits out there, on the web, to be discovered and bring people into your business – I find that way more effective than just doing a one-off campaign.

 

Marlee Ward Entrepreneur, marketing expert, business coach and speaker. Find her at MarleeWard.com.

The most common mistake I see business owners make is lacking consistency. Using content marketing to grow your business takes a lot of time, energy, and effort. Results from content marketing usually aren’t immediate. I think business owners don’t commit to using content marketing for the long term and give up too quickly. Or, they pick too many distribution channels and can’t keep up with what’s needed to make using those channels effective. In other cases, they use the strategy infrequently and find themselves frustrated with the results. Pick a content production schedule you can stick to, and execute it long-term. That is the only way you’ll truly reap the benefits.

 

Amy Harrison Professional copywriter for entrepreneurs and coaches. Find her at HarrisonAmy.com.

They don’t do it long enough or enough of it.  Writing 10 blog posts and seeing no increase shouldn’t mean you stop. Not every content marketing strategy will be right for your business and that’s another mistake. Just because you “can” do it, doesn’t mean you should. Article marketing won’t be for everyone, guest posting won’t be for everyone. The trick is to analyze what can put you in front of the right people, and sticking with it long enough for you to evaluate whether or not that is working (which will be longer thank you think).

 

Samir Balwani Digital communications, online marketing and new media PR expert. Find him at SamirBalwani.com.

Writing content for no other reason than to write content. Business owners need to be strategic about the content they write. Is the piece targeting a specific keyword that your consumers search for online? Does it answer a question your consumers ask? Will it increase your business’ reputation with your consumers?

 

Nate Riggs Entrepreneur, consultant and professional speaker. Find Nate at NateRiggs.com

One and done.  I see a lot of small and large business get stuck in the mindset that if they create and distribute one piece of content, they will win the game. In truth, it’s an on going challenge to constantly produce fresh content that’s relevant and interesting to the audience.  That’s what transforms the ADD online passer-by into an loyal subscriber. To accomplish this, small businesses are going to have to get creative with production, their partners and what pieces of content they can learn how to produce in house at a lower cost. Stretching the content marketing budget to reach the right frequency will always be a challenge.

 

Pawan Deshpande CEO of HiveFire, Inc and Founder of Curata.

Too many marketers rush to see how much promotional content they can create to push their product or service out.  But simply creating promotional content on one’s own company is not going to keep an audience engaged, or even attract them in the first place. A more successful strategy is to consider the importance of relevance, timeliness and topic choice, and select content with that in mind—regardless of whether that content is developed internally, comes from a competitor or was first published in a trusted media outlet.

Often marketers are not purposefully making this mistake but rather just do not have the understanding of how to operate in this new environment.Contentcurationmarketing.com is a great resource for marketers to find best practices, tips and news on content marketing and curation.

 

Corbett Barr Founder of ThinkTraffic and Traffic School.

If you’re going to engage in content marketing, you have to give it the high priority it deserves within your overall marketing strategy. If you create content as an afterthought, it won’t attract the audience you’re looking for.

 

Your Two Cents:

So there you have it. 29 brilliant people sharing their thoughts. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Have you fallen victim to any of the mistakes described above? Do you have a common mistake you want to share? Leave a comment below! And don’t forget to sign up for updates :)

29 Brilliant Minds Share Uncommon Content Strategy Advice

Content Strategy Tips

Time for part two of my interview series with some of the brightest minds in content strategy. And when you have the attention of such people, there is one thing you absolutely have to ask. So I did…

I asked our esteemed guests to “Share one uncommon piece of content strategy advice.”

 

David Meerman Scott Best-selling author, speaker and coach. Find him at DavidMeermanScott.com.

Nobody cares about your products except you and those in your organization. What people care about themselves and solving their problems. The best content focuses on buyers, not you.

 

Mark Schaefer Author, consultant and college educator who blogs at {grow}.

Throw out your content schedule.  I see too many companies missing opportunities to be topical and timely because they are following a schedule that was established at the beginning of the quarter.  I recognize the value of a calendar to keep organized, especially with multiple content producers, but don’t lose sight of what you’re trying to do in the name of sticking to a schedule.

 

Joe Pulizzi Author, speaker and founder of Content Marketing Institute.

Think like this – what if you were the leading trade publication in your industry?  What would you say?  How would you involve employees in your story?  How would you organize and curate your content?

How do you get there?  Do an audit of your content?  If you are honest about it, you will realize that the majority of information you send out to your customers is product related and doesn’t necessarily “help” your customers.

 

Robert Rose Author, speaker and “Chief Troublemaker” at Big Blue Moose.

From a marketing perspective (and there’s certainly a distinction here in the overall “content strategy”) this feeds into what I was just talking about.  Too many times we publish content (any content) just because we can.   We’ve had this mindset for ten years that says we have to build big Web content properties.  ”Search will save the day” or “search is the new navigation” has been the rallying cry.   Now, while I would generally agree that making your content findable is good – it’s even more important to tie it into the narrative that you are trying to create.   Putting up data on your site to make it optimal to answer a question posed in a Google query is all well and good.  But what do you want them to do once they get that answer?  Is your story about settling bar bets or answering quick questions put into Google – or is your content’s purpose to tell your brand story.   I’d argue it’s the latter – and so taking the time to figure out how to make that content fit into a larger narrative or story you’re trying to tell is MORE important than making it optimized for search.

 

Ann Handley Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs and Co-Author of Content Rules.

Reimagine your content; don’t recycle it. I see companies all the time creating content and cross-posting it all over the social web, on various channels. But instead, think about how you might take that content asset and create it in different formats, for different audiences. The key to spreading your message widely isn’t cross-posting and recycling on various channels; it’s about communicating with various audiences with engaging stuff.

 

Drew McLellan Author, marketing veteran and blogger at Drew’s Marketing Minute.

I’m not so sure how uncommon this advice is — but I believe many content producers overlook podcasts because they’re afraid of the technology side of it.  They think they need a sound studio or a professional sound editor to put a podcast together.  The truth is, they probably have most of what they need on a standard laptop.  With some simple instructions, they could be producing audio content in no time.  There are some unique advantages to podcasts that are worth exploring.

 

Danny Brown Author of The Parables of Business, multiple award-winning marketer and blogger at DannyBrown.me.

Hmmm, is there such a thing? ;-)  I guess it’d be, “Share your best stuff.” I know a lot of agencies, consultants, bloggers, etc, keep “the gold” and “the secrets’ to themselves, and their paying clients. Understandable – it’s how you make money, right? But I’ve always found (so far) that I get the best lead inquiries when I’m completely open about a strategy, or how to use content for campaigns, outreaches, traffic driving, etc. Besides, you only need to do a bit of digging on the majority of businesses and their clients, and see how they do things anyway. Be upfront, share your insider stuff – you might just be surprised!

 

Francisco Rosales Coach, consultant and blogger at Social Mouths.

I don’t consider myself to follow rules or even proven practices in some cases, I sometimes find myself telling clients they don’t have to do this and that in order to be successful. There are a couple of pieces of advice I do emphasize, don’t know how unconventional they are tough…

-When writing content try to tell a story instead of just listing facts

-If we’re not providing our own perspective on the subject at hand then we’re not adding value

-Even tough content marketing is not a direct sales approach, always have a conversion mentality, all paths should lead to an offer

 

Dino Dogan Co-founder of, and marketing genius behind, Triberr.

One content strategy that I have employed that has been very effective, plus I don’t see many folks using it, is to take something that is distinctly from my own life and my own environment and present it in a way that talks about tried and true marketing principles.

One example of that is when I do break-down analysis of billboards. http://diyblogger.net/two-important-lessons-your-business-can-learn-from-a-failed-metropcs-marketing-campaign

Similarly, a very personal anecdote from my own past can be employed in a very similar way as well http://diyblogger.net/what-makes-people-buy-rejection

Another content strategy that I love using is presenting marketing principles by reverse engineering commercials. Examples: http://diyblogger.net/reverse-engineering-deadspace-commercial , http://diyblogger.net/reverse-engineering-mgd-64-beer-commercial and  http://diyblogger.net/reverse-engineering-a-state-farm-commercial


Marcus Sheridan Speaker, coach and inbound marketing specialist. Find him at TheSalesLion.com.

Consumers, when serious about a product or service, often times search for negative phrases in relation to said product. Words like ‘problems’, ‘negative reviews’, ‘issues’, etc are all common phrases.

This being said, if a company wants to really be awesome at content, they need to be willing to talk about everything a consumer could possibly be searching online for. I’ve built entire blogs around these ‘negative’ keyword phrases and the results, as well as financial benefits, have been astounding.

 

Gordon Plutsky Chief Marketing Officer of King Fish Media.

Every content plan should have an overarching goal that ties back to a sales and marketing objective. While you don’t want the actual content to be too promotional or self serving, it is important for the content to lead the customer or prospect to a specific action. That action could be anything to opting into an email list to an actual purchase. The main point is to have a clear goal and path for what you want the content strategy to accomplish, and measure it. No company should be creating content just for the sake of jumping on a trend. It has to fit with your overall integrated marketing and sales goals.

 

Danny Iny Author, strategist, serial-entrepreneur and co-founder of Firepole Marketing.

Hmmm… an uncommon piece of advice… I guess that means “produce great content”, “talk about what your audience wants to hear” and all of that is off limits, right? ;) I guess my uncommon piece of advice would be to realize that the job of a content marketer isn’t really to create content, it’s to build an audience, and content is just a part of how that gets done; you’ve still got to know who the audience is, you’ve got to find them, and especially in the early stages when you don’t have that traction yet, you’ve got to work really hard to get your excellent content in front of them – otherwise you’re just a billboard in the desert; if great content is produced in a forest and nobody is there to read it, it doesn’t make a sound.

 

Joe Chernov Vice President of Content Marketing at Eloqua.

Find a villain. Seriously, everyone says content marketing is the art of storytelling. It’s the new battle cry of the emerging sector. Well most good stories have a hero and a villain. The villain might be “the old way of doing things,” it might be a competing product, it might be consumer fear. But it needs to be something. I am not talking about selling fear. Marketers have always (over)done that. I am talking about having some fun tussling with an enemy, even if it’s just for sport or show. Your story will benefit from it.

 

Peter Vogopoulos Business and marketing coach, guerrilla marketing specialist, and co-founder of Firepole Marketing.

You’ve got to keep your eye on the ball. In the rush to launch a content strategy it’s easy to forget why we want to build engagement to begin with: we want to make some money. Since we desperately don’t want to come off as “money-seeking” in our content (a common mistake made by content marketing newbies who don’t know better – I call it “Buy my Stuff!!” syndrome) we often tend to swing too far the other way. My advice is to focus on your awesome content in the early stages, but remember that eventually you need to integrate “activation” avenues. Activation is the step in the conversion process where you present your audience with an offer. By activating them, you want a certain percentage of them to convert. It doesn’t have to be overt (“Buy my stuff!!”), nor should it be at every communication, nor does it need to be complicated. Inviting them to start a consultation process after reading an interesting case study, is perfect. Hubspot (*the* content marketing solution, in my opinion) does this well, as you’d expect — they offer a ton of value, but once in they’ll try to activate you, e.g. with an invitation to try their solution for free for 30 days.

 

Rahel Anne Bailie Principal of Intentional Design and Senior Content Strategist for the City of Vancouver.

Start with content from the technical, outward to the editorial. To be able to leverage content to its best advantage, there are a number of technical aspects that need to be decided upon, in order to build a strong foundation. That foundation determines a lot about how the editorial content will work within your publishing system, and right now, it’s technologists who are left to their own devices to decide how this happens. Owning this piece allows you to have more control over the editorial; once you’ve taken control over the technical side of content, you’ll never go back.

 

Scott Abel  Content management strategist and blogger at TheContentWrangler.com.

Content strategy is lost upon those who think in terms of deliverables.  Don’t think about the containers of content or information products you produce, but instead, think about how you will use your resources to meet your business goals.

 

Adam Helweh CEO of Secret Sushi Creative.

Your content should make your customers better, faster, stronger and smarter. If you can keep that in mind when you create and share content with them then you will be successful.

 

 

Paul Wolfe Teaches people how to play bass and blogger at One Spoon at a Time.

Don’t create the kind of content you like and hope you’ll build an audience – create the kind of content your ideal audience would like.  And put it in the places that they frequent online.  The combination of content they like in the places they go will ensure that you start building an audience.

 

Robert Dempsey Direct response and social media marketing expert. Founder of Dempsey Marketing.

No need to go with the uncommon as people don’t pay enough attention to the basics. Here’s the key – put out content on as frequent a basis as possible, measure everything, adjust according to what the numbers tell you.

I did a video recently that talks about why I removed the sidebar from our blog and the very positive results that have come out of it. That was a purely data and insight driven decision that’s turned out very well. All of the important metrics on our blog are up, including number of leads captured on a daily basis.

Here’s the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhJxdtSJxxM

 

Jon Buscall Head of  Jontus Media, a full service online marketing and communications agency.

My advice is to start an audio or video podcast. Podcast’s are incredibly useful because they show who you are create closeness with your audience and that’s an important stage in the purchasing process.

As a business owner myself I decided to invest in creating a podcast instead of an iPhone or Android app because it’s just as portable, sits on someone’s phone and allows me to speak directly to them. Sure, an app would be great but for the work I do podcasting has been THE biggest form of lead generation.

The entry level to audio podcasting is getting steeper because of the necessity of having better audio quality, but the benefits outweigh the learning curve. I’ve not found a better way to take online relationships to the next level. Twitter helps build contacts, but the podcast is a great way of speaking with my network.

 

Brendan Schneider Social media, inbound marketing, and branding specialist for independent schools. Blogger at SchneiderB.

Less is more. I primarily deal with content marketing for schools and when we launched our Facebook page we automatically posted as much content to our Facebook wall as we could. We began to see less and less engagement because I think we were overwhelming people with information. We disabled all automatic posting and now post about 2-3 times a day and have seen our engagement rise – even above our previous levels.

 

Steve Scott Affiliate marketing expert and blogger at SteveScottSite.

My answer definitely comes from the slant of a blogger. For many years, people recommended the idea of creating lots of content. Their viewpoint massive amounts of articles will help you get more traffic from search engines.

I completely disagree with this notion.

Right now, it’s more important to stand out in a market than publish lots of content. Sure you might be proud that you have 1,000 articles on your site. But in actuality, people might think of you as that guy (or girl) with “1,000 crappy articles” on your website.

My content strategy is one that people love to talk about, but rarely put into action. Once a week create one great article. I like to call them MVPs (massive value posts.) These are the articles where you go in-depth into a niche and give information that most people would sell. Instead you give it away for free.

Bottom line…Make your audience feel guilty about getting all the good stuff for free.

 

Murray Lunn Entrepreneur, freelance writer and founder of PLR Articles Now. 

I like to think of content as a series of pillars (hence why you hear pillar content quite frequently). What I do, when creating content, is to try to find ‘bridge’ content to keep things congruent.

For example, if I’m writing about something related to online business, I’m generally working on a project that is giving me the real-world experience to talk about it rather than just research. During that time, I’m also challenging myself to try things that I’m not seeing others talking about so then that becomes another supporting piece of content.

In a lot of ways, content becomes symbiotic to what you’re working on (the bigger strategy). I would say that if you want to be very effective with delivering content, you need to first find where your audience is, on the web, and then get yourself highly involved with their interests – make it your business. Work on things that are going to directly benefit you because this will turn into great content pieces that will also open up a lot of dialog and exposure to your projects – it’s a win/win for productivity, content marketing and social proof.

 

Marlee Ward Entrepreneur, marketing expert, business coach and speaker. Find her at MarleeWard.com.

This might not be uncommon advice, but I think it’s becoming increasingly more important. Diversify your content delivery channels. Different people like to consume content different ways. Not all of your ideal customer’s will find you via Google. Consider podcasting, video, social media, photo blogging, and mobile apps in addition to your content hub (your website) if you want to maximize your reach.

 

Amy Harrison Professional copywriter for entrepreneurs and coaches. Find her at HarrisonAmy.com.

People often feel you need to cast a net of content and wait to catch people, and with a lot of content marketing that’s true. But I still use the “spear” approach if there’s someone I really want to work with. I once designed and wrote a web page specifically for one person knowing that eventually their name would pop up in Google Alerts. It did, they found the page and it showed an effort that was different to email, blog posts or Twitter. I was hired to write copy for them, and from that one relationship I’ve earned thousands of dollars through new referrals.

 

Samir Balwani Digital communications, online marketing and new media PR expert. Find him at SamirBalwani.com.

One of the best pieces of advice I can give when publishing online is to create a content calendar. Use the WordPress Editorial Plugin to visualize when you have articles set to publish. Identify which types of articles you want to publish and when. Consistency makes sure your readers understand what you’re writing about, but also helps you stay focused on what you’re publishing.

 

Nate Riggs Entrepreneur, consultant and professional speaker. Find Nate at NateRiggs.com

If content is king, then consistency is definitely queen. As I mentioned in above, being able to set expectations with your customers is critical in terms of keeping their attention.  They way to solidify that share of mind is by never missing a beat and delivering your content when your customer expects it, every time.

 

Pawan Deshpande CEO of HiveFire, Inc and Founder of Curata.

Find the right balance between original content and curated content. 

Striking a balance between original content and third party content is key in any content marketing strategy.

Curation—the process of finding, organizing and sharing online content—is increasingly becoming a core part of most content strategies. Curation provides readers with the latest and greatest content on a particular issue of interest without causing a burden on the marketer to regularly generate it themselves.  Marketers cannot forget, however, to insert their own perspectives and expertise through original content. This solidifies a company’s position as a thought leader and ensures the brand’s position is not lost in the third-party material.

Every business calls for a unique equation between original and curated content.  Our free eBook  5 Simple Steps to Becoming a Content Curation Rockstar is a good place to start when determining what that unique equation may be.

 

Corbett Barr Founder of ThinkTraffic and Traffic School.

Try harder. Most people don’t realize how difficult and time intensive it is to produce outstanding content. If your content isn’t receiving the warm response you were hoping for, it’s probably because you’re not trying hard enough.

 

Your Two Cents:

So there you have it. 29 brilliant people sharing their thoughts. What do you think? Do you use any of the tips that were shared? Did you learn something new? Have advice to share yourself? Let me know below! And don’t forget to sign up for updates :)

Google Changes the Game of Influence

Google Social Search

Google Social Search

How would you like to be everywhere? Your business so omnipotent that every time your customer looks up something relating to your industry they see your face or company logo.

How much business do you think that would bring you? How much social proof and authority would you gain? A lot.

Of course, you can’t really be everywhere, right? Well, the trick isn’t to be everywhere…just everywhere your customer is.

While this may seem like a tall order (which it is :) ), Google has inadvertently made it easier for marketers to target their audiences.

How? By gaining influence through influencers. Read that again: gain influence through influencers.

That means you don’t actually have to build up your reputation by pumping out quality content for years until people notice you. You don’t have to go out there and locate your target audience either. By targeting a small group of individuals, Google will find your target audience for you.

…Huh?

Google Gets Social 

The algorithm now takes into account your social interactions online, and the interactions of those you are connected to. That means if I share a blog post on Twitter, my contacts are more likely to see it if they are logged into Google.

Logged in to Google? Yep…how many people have Gmail accounts? A lot.

Google’s new integration of social metrics into their algorithm has actually provided influencers with more influence than they already had!

A Social Example

With the launch of Content Strategy Hub, I published a post with whole slew of awesome people talking about business publishing.

The post has been shared a lot. And rightfully so, the post is great. The people I interviewed are absolutely brilliant, so I can’t take credit for the quality of the post :) .

When I search for “business publishing” on Google, this post shows up on the front page of my results.

But as much as the post has been shared, it only shows up on my first page of results because I shared the post.

To double check if my theory was correct, I asked a friend of mine (who has nothing to do with marketing and has no connections to any of the people I interviewed) to run the same search. Again, my post was on the first page of his results…because I shared the post.

When I ran the same search in an “incognito” window in Google Chrome (meaning no cookies), the post was nowhere in sight.

More Leads through Incestuous Content?

Google loves to effect people’s businesses, doesn’t it? And again, it didn’t fail.

The new social search feature has a huge implication on how businesses can be found on Google. And it doesn’t have to be a bad one if you know how to work it.

I mentioned before that you should focus on your ideal customer and avoid incestuous content  (or content that is targeted at other industry companies/leaders rather than the customer).

While you should still focus primarily on creating content directed at your customer, creating some content directed at influencers in the industry can go a long way.

WTF is an Influencer?

Traditionally, an influencer online is someone who has a huge following. This is someone that effects the way people see a subject, or even behave.

…In the realm of social media, this is someone like Gary Vaynerchuk.

…In the realm of professional blogging, this is someone like Darren Rowse.

…In the realm of dog training, this is someone like Cesar Millan.

You get the idea.

But Google just flipped tradition on it’s head. If your neighbor has Gmail, Twitter and is connected to you, they can influence your search results (even if your neighbor isn’t one of the people mentioned above).

Target the Industry Influencers

So what happens if an influencer in your industry shares your post on Twitter? You are going to show up higher in the search rankings for people who follow that person (and traditional influencers have a lot of followers).

Influencers also get Re-Tweeted…a lot.

This creates a trickle-down effect of influence. If someone else in your industry shares your awesome post because it was shared by an influencer, eventually that person’s neighbor can see your post ranked highly if they search for related keywords.

Whoa.

Wouldn’t it be nice to intercept your competitor’s neighbor? :)

One More Thing…

You don’t have to be a well-known individual with a huge following to get influencers to share your content. Want to know how? More on that coming soon. But first…

I would really appreciate it if you help me out by using your influence and sharing this post on Twitter, Facebook or both.

Also, if you haven’t done so yet, sign up for updates below to get information on content strategy. All sorts of good stuff to come :) .

29 Brilliant Minds Discuss Business Publishing

Publishing

With the launch of Content Strategy Hub I had the honor of asking some very smart people a few questions. The topic of discussion for today: businesses and publishing.

Marketing is an essential part of any business. But I wonder: has publishing become an essential part of any business as well?

I decided to go and ask some experts. These are definitely worth going through…and when you’re done, I’d love to hear your comments!

“I’ve always aligned with the idea that all businesses are in the business of marketing. Are most businesses now in the business of publishing?”

 

David Meerman Scott Best-selling author, speaker and coach. Find him at DavidMeermanScott.com.

Yes. But it is not just all businesses. It is all people, nonprofits, rock bands, churches, schools, politicians. On the web, you are what you publish. If you publish nothing, then on the web you are nothing.

 

Mark Schaefer Author, consultant and college educator who blogs at {grow}.

One of my favorite Peter Drucker quotes is “a company is all about marketing and innovation — everything else is just overhead.” Now that might seem extreme, but the point Dr. Drucker was trying to make is that we need to be focused on serving our customers and innovating in a very customer-centered way. That can come in many forms. Perhaps a new WAY to sell. Perhaps a new PLACE to sell. Or it might involve social media content marketing. That is simply a subset of marketing. Every customer needs marketing. They may or may not need content marketing.

 

Joe Pulizzi Author, speaker and founder of Content Marketing Institute.

Today, publishing is marketing and marketing is publishing.  In order to attract and retain customers in this messy word of marketing messages, brands need to develop stories that are relevant and compelling to their customers and prospects.  They need to think and act like publishers, and even think of their customers as if they were subscribers.

Content marketing has been going on for hundreds of years.  The difference today is that the barriers to entry into the publishing space are gone (technology, access to talent, etc.) and that the consumer is in complete control, with literally hundreds of options to gather information.  Although traditional marketing will never die (think megaphone), thoughtful stories that truly help our customers with their lives and careers are a must for today’s brands.

 

Robert Rose Author, speaker and “Chief Troublemaker” at Big Blue Moose.

I would, as you suspect – agree with both. I think I’d enhance that just a bit to say that businesses are now in the business of creating subscribers.  This isn’t a new idea – certainly. Guy Kawasaki says “enchantment” and Seth Godin calls them your “tribes” etc.. But as Joe Pulizzi and I describe in our book – content is becoming as – or in some cases more – important to the business than the product or service itself.  So, beyond “publishing” – businesses are now “story tellers”. Beyond just publishing “data” to serve the master of long-tail search optimization or providing for yet MORE information on a well-covered topic – businesses need to differentiate by producing content that engages and continues to keep their consumer engaged well beyond the initial “buy” decision.  I call this creating a brand “subscriber”.

 

Ann Handley Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs and Co-Author of Content Rules.

Absolutely. Any business with a web site is, in fact, already in the business of publishing, whether they realize it or not. The challenge, of course, is really grokking what that means. While a lot of businesses are nodding their heads like car dashboard doggies when they hear that mantra “Everyone is a publisher,” the truth is that many aren’t truly embracing it, and most aren’t doing it particularly well.

 

Drew McLellan Author, marketing veteran and blogger at Drew’s Marketing Minute.

Most smart businesses are now in the business of  demonstrating and sharing their expertise, which of course is not new.  Newsletters and sales sheets have been around forever.  What is new are all the digital platforms that companies can take advantage of to share their content.  But the fact that you are putting something on the web is not the sole criteria.  I wouldn’t call every utterance of a person/company to be publishing.  Is a 140 character tweet publishing?

Publishing in my mind implies a frequency and consistency, as well as enough meat on the bone to be of real value to the consumer.  Tweeting out your specials is advertising.  Publishing a blog with how to articles and other useful information is publishing.

So with those boundaries in mind, I would say that quite a few companies are using content marketing tactics but far fewer are actually publishing.

 

Danny Brown Author of The Parables of Business, multiple award-winning marketer and blogger at DannyBrown.me.

I think all businesses have always been in the business of publishing, if they’ve ever run any ads; or created a media pack; or sent out a press release, etc., then essentially they’re publishers. It’s something we tend to miss, or forget about, in our rush to declare social media as the instigator of content marketing – after all, email marketing has been around a long time prior to what we class as social media today. However, I do think that the web version of content marketing – and how many “competitors” businesses are up against – makes it even more important to have not just great content, but great strategy.

 

Francisco Rosales Coach, consultant and blogger at Social Mouths.

All companies and organizations from enterprises to micro business have the potential to become their own media company. If they’re not, they’re missing on a great marketing opportunity.

We are all self-publishing every time we publish a post, an ebook or even post a tweet. This is not limited to personal brands. What some businesses need to realize is that this is not done with the purpose of having an online presence but as part of an inbound marketing strategy.

 

Dino Dogan Co-founder of, and marketing genius behind, Triberr.

Not only are all companies in the business of publishing, but I would go as far as saying that all people are now in the business of publishing.

There are 7 Billion people on this planet. 2 Billion of them are already online. A doubling is expected to occur within one to two years. Within 10 years, the whole planet will be online.

We are all in the business of publishing. When my mom updates her Facebook page she is publishing content. Businesses have to go a step further however, and become content presenters. There is nothing new under the sun, and the only difference between you and countless others is how well you’re presenting the same content everyone else is presenting.

To present well, you have to be compelling, lead with emotional intelligence, be funny, shocking, more informative than the next guy, be unique, and most importantly, do something nice for this world.

 

Marcus Sheridan Speaker, coach and inbound marketing specialist. Find him at TheSalesLion.com.

As most folks know, I used to be a ‘pool guy’. In fact, I’ve owned my swimming pool company for 10 years now. But the biggest problem with our success (or lack thereof) for the first 7 years of the business was the fact that we saw ourselves as just that—Pool Guys. In 2009, when we started with the process of content marketing, we had a general epiphany in our business model—We realized we were actually a marketing company that happened to be installing swimming pools. See the difference? In our case, this shift of thought made all the difference, and has lead to a mountain of success.

So to answer your question, YES, we’re clearly a publishing company. Content is the soul of our entire business. It drives everything.

 

Gordon Plutsky Chief Marketing Officer of King Fish Media.

Yes, that is true. Every company is now a media company in the sense that they need to produce credible, original content to attract new customers and retain current ones. Content is now being used as a vital customer relationship management tool in many venues: on company web sites to enhance SEO, through social media channels and via mobile apps and web sites. To build a true interactive relationship with a customer, content is far superior to traditional advertising. Content allows a company to build a relationship of affinity and trust with customers, and is actionable.

 

Danny Iny Author, strategist, serial-entrepreneur and co-founder of Firepole Marketing.

Yes, all businesses have to do marketing – that’s what gets their leads in the door (or on their site), and works the wheel of turning them into hot prospects that are ready to make a purchase. Whether or not most businesses now are in the business of publishing… that really depends. I mean, yes, of course, businesses need something to represent them, whether it is a website, a brochure, business cards, some kind of informational giveaway, or whatever – but that isn’t new… that’s been true forever. When we talk about publishing, what we really mean is producing content on a regular basis, as part of a marketing strategy (a “content strategy”) – in that case, it really depends on the business’ strategy. Is content a good strategy? Yes, in many cases it is, because it is effective, affordable, and creates stable results over time, which leads to stability and security for the business. But is it the only way? No. Is it the best way? That has to be answered on a case-by-case basis for each business.

 

Joe Chernov Vice President of Content Marketing at Eloqua.

No. I would say that a rising number of companies *think* they are publishers, and, to be fair, some are. But turning marketing collateral into a blog post isn’t publishing. It is, however, a step in that direction. It shows that the marketer is trying to learn a new skill, but has to kick a little more dust off the old machine. Being a publisher is a major shift — operationally, tactically and, most of all, culturally. I think we’re seeing more companies becoming aware of the need to change. They are just struggling to learn a language in which their product isn’t the most commonly used word.

 

Peter Vogopoulos Business and marketing coach, guerrilla marketing specialist, and co-founder of Firepole Marketing.

All businesses are in the business of marketing. You are not just in the advertising/consulting/renovation/insurance/whatever business — you are also in the business of marketing your advertising/consulting/renovation/insurance/whatever business. The faster business owners embrace this, the better off they will be.

I’ve always looked at marketing with its broadest definition — it encompasses all the activities that you do that create and maintain a customer relationship. Under this definition, sales, customer service, and of course, publishing all fall under “marketing”. Not to diminish the growing importance of content and publishing in our day and age, but they are only a piece of an overall marketing machine that must work in concert to create great results. For example, you can have great publishing (blogging, websites, articles, podcasts, books, white papers, you name it), but it will be for nothing if your order-takers/closers are poorly-trained. I can’t resist this gag-inducing cliche, but it works: the sum of a business’ marketing activities are like an orchestra and the boss is the conductor. Swing the baton to the right rhythm and you’ll make beautiful music. Swing it without purpose and everyone will cover their ears and head to the exits.

 

Rahel Anne Bailie Principal of Intentional Design and Senior Content Strategist for the City of Vancouver.

Most organizations are definitely in the publishing business, one way or another. In the days of bricks and mortar, there may have been less publishing, because people came into the store or office and might have been handed a brochure to supplement a person-to-person conversation. Today, it’s a web page-to-person conversation, and because organizations don’t know exactly how the conversations will progress, they write the scripts for many conversations, and publish that material on their websites. It may not seem like publishing to some people, and in those cases it shows, but make no mistake, the act of putting information on a website is publishing. Keep in mind, of course, that corporate publishing is just the means to an end. It’s publishing as an activity in the course of marketing.

 

Scott Abel  Content management strategist and blogger at TheContentWrangler.com.

All businesses, whether they make soda or space shuttles, are publishers. And, all content, is irrelevant if it is not marketed to its intended audience. The field of content marketing is focused on helping organizations get the right content to the right people at the right time in the right format and language increasingly on the device of the consumers choice.

 

Adam Helweh CEO of Secret Sushi Creative.

Well publishing in this case is still marketing right? The root of it all is to create a connection (grab their attention) and nurture that connection by being a valuable resource (keep them coming back).

It is definitely true that the shift in marketing is towards companies and brands becoming more like publishers, but whether it’s publishing, hosting an event, or engaging with folks on Twitter… it’s all marketing.

I would also add that I don’t think businesses are “in the business of marketing”. They should be in the business of serving their customers and understanding that every touch point they have with their customers is marketing whether intentional or not. Consider them opportunities and take advantage of them.

 

Paul Wolfe Teaches people how to play bass and blogger at One Spoon at a Time.

Few businesses understand the power of content creation and how easy it is to publish optimized and useful content that will attract people to your business.  So the answer to your question is No – but it would be yes if more people understood how powerful a well thought out and well executed content strategy is.  What this means is that if you DO understand how powerful this is, and are executing it, that you are creating a market advantage over your competitors that due to the effects of compound interest will be hard for them to claw back.

 

Robert Dempsey Direct response and social media marketing expert. Founder of Dempsey Marketing.

Absolutely. There are three things a business today must do:

1. Have people say they are the authority on their topic

2. Show that they are the authority – through content (text, audio, video) and other means such as publishing a book

3. Be able to deliver on that reputation

The way to do this today is to create a massive amount of content and syndicate it as far and wide as possible. Thankfully we have the Internet to do that.

But it’s not as simple as it may seem. People are inundated with information today so to cut through the crap, and there’s a lot of total crap out there, you have to stand out. How you do that is different for everyone but a great way to do is through the continuous publishing of multimedia content covering every aspect of your industry, products and services.

Of course publishing without being able to capture leads is a huge fail, so having lead capture and nurture systems in place is an absolute must.

 

Jon Buscall Head of  Jontus Media, a full service online marketing and communications agency.

I don’t think every business has to be a publisher now, but it certainly helps many businesses. A restaurant or café doesn’t really need to invest masses in online content marketing. Sure, recipes, customer reviews, stories from the business, photos, etc might generate some interest but I don’t see it as essential. Twitter can help, say, if you’re tweeting out specials or offers, but I don’t really see that as publishing.

For many businesses though it is important to think like a publisher because content is an important way of building trust and sharing knowledge. Many customers like this. For example, if you manufacture a video recorder it’s in your interest to put a couple of How Tos up on your site. No one reads instruction manuals. If something doesn’t work, you get online and look for the video or quick tips.

 

Brendan Schneider Social media, inbound marketing, and branding specialist for independent schools. Blogger at SchneiderB.

Yes – the successful businesses are! An integral part of content marketing is creating great content and if a business hopes to be successful in this current climate they need to adopt content marketing principles. As a result, they will begin to publishing more and more.

 

Steve Scott Affiliate marketing expert and blogger at SteveScottSite.

I’d say any business who wants an online presence is in the business of publishing. Even if you’re a small company who wants to gain attention through social media (ie: Facebook or Twitter.)

You build a brand by doing things that are extraordinary. Unfortunately most marketing isn’t able to do this. That’s because marketing usually comes across as marketing.

Publishing is about knowing what your audience wants and giving to them for free!

As an example, let’s say you want to gain attention for your local surf shop. Your goal is to find people in the area and get them interested in your brand. You do this by publishing helpful information and content that engages an audience. This doesn’t happen by aggressively trying to get people to buy stuff!

 

Murray Lunn Entrepreneur, freelance writer and founder of PLR Articles Now. 

Although I would like to believe so – I can’t say this is for certain. Why? Well, look at how businesses have progressed over the years. In the 90′s, everyone knew they needed a website but businesses are still having trouble getting themselves online. Just recently, businesses were told to get on board with social media but they’re still being resistant. I think, no matter what platform, most businesses will have trouble adapting but what we’re seeing is a great push toward content marketing as a whole because many big online businesses are showing it to be extremely effective.

I think, in time, you will see a lot more businesses with a content department along side a social media department or perhaps both of them will be integrated in some way so that you will simply have a “content marketing” department.

I know, for a fact, that content marketing is extremely effective for online business. I happen to have worked at a company that “gets it” and gave me the flexibility to write blog posts, participate in social media and create Youtube videos. The result? Our sales began to climb like madness because people weren’t just getting hammered with a marketing message – they were receiving information that the competition was too afraid to talk about.

So, I guess, yes, we’ll see a lot more businesses become publishers because they’re not just creating products – they’re creating a unique experience and the best way to do that would be through a new vehicle they may not be on board with (just yet) which is content marketing.

 

Marlee Ward Entrepreneur, marketing expert, business coach and speaker. Find her at MarleeWard.com.

This is a really interesting question. I think the answer is something like: Businesses are not in the business of publishing. They are still in the business of marketing. But now, they need to think like a publisher when they market their business.

 

Amy Harrison Professional copywriter for entrepreneurs and coaches. Find her at HarrisonAmy.com.

I guess it depends on your definition of publishing, but publishing content is one of the easiest entry points to market your business. Even before the Internet, businesses were doing content marketing with leaflets, direct mail and adverts, but they were (and still are) quite expensive to do. I think most businesses that place an importance on their online presence recognise that publishing content is an incredibly valuable strategy in terms of getting the attention of the right customers, so more people are leaning towards publishing content. It’s still marketing, it’s just the execution is slightly different to what we expect as “marketing”.

 

Samir Balwani Digital communications, online marketing and new media PR expert. Find him at SamirBalwani.com.

I think that businesses still should focus on marketing. Publishing just happens to be a marketing tool that businesses can turn to.  Not all businesses need to publish content, especially if they don’t have the resources to maintain a blog or publish online.

 

Nate Riggs Entrepreneur, consultant and professional speaker. Find Nate at NateRiggs.com

I believe yes, and to couple that, I’d argue that they are also in the business of “programming”. In new marketing and especially when using more social internet channels, frequency and consistency are critical factors to successfully staying top of mind with your customers.  Publishing comes into play in a big way when you are looking at how to offer additional value to your customers without braking your bank on discounting strategies. Programming, on the other hand, is more aligned with consistency and being able to set expectations in the minds of your customers so that they know when to come back to your online properties to get the next episode, download, video, etc.  Television and radio has built an entire industry that survives on the programming model. Now that businesses can essentially build their own communication channels on a Facebook page, the same rules can apply.

 

Pawan Deshpande CEO of HiveFire, Inc and Founder of Curata.

It is true that marketing through original content is on the rise, especially in the B2B sector.  In fact, a recent survey that my company conducted found that twice as many marketers now implement content marketing as they do print, TV or radio advertising. Why? It’s likely because there is a major void in the market. Publishers simply cannot develop and circulate content on every niche topic out there. This is why businesses have stepped up to fill the void that exists and write about the subjects on which they are experts.  This kind of publishing—or as we call it, content marketing—is successful because decision makers need this kind of relevant information and have no other source from which to get it.

The challenge this creates, however, is that there is a great deal of clutter on the web which can lead to information overload.  Now more than ever it is important for brands to help their customers and prospects navigate through the noise.  Of course this is why I saw an opportunity in a product like Curata, which I created for marketers to utilize in finding, organizing and sharing the best, most timely content that exists on the web from trusted sources, augmented with original, published content.

 

Corbett Barr Founder of ThinkTraffic and Traffic School.

In a sense yes, businesses now are all in the business of publishing. Any communications you have with your customers, any advertising you do, any press you seek, all of it can be considered publishing because that content can live forever online. The better your business becomes at solving problems or addressing the needs of your customers through content (publishing), the more effective your marketing will be.

 

Your Two Cents:

So there you have it. 26 29 brilliant people sharing their thoughts. What do you think? Are all businesses in the business of publishing? Or should they be? Leave your thoughts below. Let’s discuss! And don’t forget to sign up for updates :)