3 Ways to Extract Brand Stories from Inside the Company

brand-stories-345x230You’ve done it.  You’ve developed why you need the content, created and vetted the buyer personas, and  identified the buying stages where this essential content will have impact on the business.  As you start to dig into your content marketing channel and workflow strategy, you realize that you simply don’t have enough brand stories to meet the demands of the content marketing initiative.

In many content marketing programs, the core brand stories have to deal with transforming an employee’s, customer’s or stakeholder’s passion and expertise into one or multiple brand stories or story elements.  How many times have you heard the following that have stopped you in your tracks?:

  • Our [CEO, EXECUTIVE OR ENGINEER] doesn’t write – in fact, no one in our organization writes (almost certainly not true).
  • Our [CEO, EXECUTIVE OR ENGINEER] can’t write (okay, maybe this one’s true).
  • How are we going to get all this content created? – I just don’t have the resources (almost always true to an extent).Continue Reading

3 Tips for Increasing Your Content Productivity

Productivity is a universal challenge in content marketing, where success often depends on consistent performance, not isolated genius.

Under the right circumstances, many professionals are capable of preparing great content for blogs, books, and online sign-up incentives. But only a few can consistently produce quality marketing content on a daily basis.

Those who do usually have a system or process in place to help them meet the daily deadline challenge.Continue Reading

Dos and Don’ts for Keeping Control over Your Social Media Content

control social media, CMIHave you experienced trouble with the social media side of your content marketing? Are you worried that you can’t maintain controls over the content produced under your company’s banner? Does the thought of using blog posts, Facebook, Twitter, or other forms of online conversation starters strike fear in your heart?

Not every content marketer is comfortable with all the media we have to deal with these days. This is partly due to the fact that we all want to maintain control of our content, which isn’t always possible. So how about settling for some assurance instead? Quality assurance, that is.Continue Reading

6 Amazing Retail Content Marketing Examples

In doing some research for a retail-oriented content marketing workshop, I learned one thing: retail content marketing case studies and examples are hard to find.  That said, I was able to find a number of print and digital content marketing examples that impressed me.  Here are six of them.

…and, if you have some you’d like to share, please add them to the comments below.

Lifetime Fitness – Experience Life

Experience Life is the lifestyle print and online magazine developed by Lifetime Fitness, the billion dollar health and fitness company with over 100 centers around the US.  Experience Life is now published 10 times per year and has a circulation of more than 600,000 subscribers (as well as newsstand distribution).  Here is a great article on the evolution of the magazine and how it serves both members and readers to grow the Lifetime Fitness brand.

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The DNA Code for Building Great Content

As content marketers, we are all looking for formulas that will make our content sing and stand out from the rest. Many of us are practiced at creating content, but can we be sure that it’s valuable and appreciated by our users?Continue Reading

Ideas for Kick-Starting Your Content Marketing with Video and Social Media

Video and social media have experienced tremendous growth in the last few years — in terms of technological capabilities, as well as in usage rates. For example, according to the B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends study, marketers’ use of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn grew by up to 20 percent between 2010 and 2011. In that same time period, video usage increased from 41 percent to 52 percent among marketers.Continue Reading

5 Tips for Finding Your Perfect B2B Content Partner

For the past six or so years, I’ve worked exclusively as a business writing partner with some great companies in the Asia Pacific region. My customers span a variety of sectors, with a focus on IT, digital media, and professional services. It’s a lot of fun, wonderfully challenging, a great professional evolution, and I am very passionate about it — it’s all I want to do.Continue Reading

How Content Marketers Can Reach a Larger Audience by Redefining the eBook

It is impossible for a week to pass without an important news story about eBooks. Of course these stories are about the “other” eBooks — the ones sold by Amazon and Barnes & Noble and read using Kindles, Nooks, tablets, and smartphones.Continue Reading

Thinking of Changing Your CMS? Consider These Tips First

Can you answer “yes” to any of these statements?

  • You are considering changing content management systems.
  • Your current system doesn’t meet your needs.
  • You are stuck with a legacy CMS solution that refuses to evolve.
  • You are not engaging visitors with your content.

Whatever the reasons you have for looking farther afield, here is some guidance for embarking on a search for a new CMS.

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3 Rules for Creating Effective Infographics

Humans have been using visualization tools to communicate information for millennia. We continue to rely on charts, maps, signs, and blueprints every day to rapidly convey critical knowledge and data.

Today’s digital infographics trend represents an evolutionary step in the development of visualization tools. By incorporating stunning images, 3-D representations, and interactive features, infographics can provide a tremendous amount of information in creative, engaging ways. Continue Reading