Author: Katie McCaskey

Katie McCaskey is Content Director of SixEstate, a content marketing firm powered by professional journalists and editors in New York City. Connect on Google+ or follow her on Twitter @KatieMcCaskey.

By katie-mccaskey published October 10, 2011

Tech Tools that Social Influencers Use

Tools social influencers use to launch words off the page and into social streams.

Optimized Copy

InboundWriter.com

Natural language programming, or NLP technology, is the behind-the-scenes science that evaluates your content’s context. Inbound Writer’s interactive editor lets you experiment with different words and content structures, and observe in real time how your content score changes based on your choices. Use it to increase the popularity and competitiveness of a piece of online content.

Presentations

SlideRocket.com

SlideRocket allows you to build slide presentations collaboratively, share them publicly or privately online, and track visitor analytics. If a slide is updated, it automatically updates every presentation that references it, too.

Magazine Creation

Issuu.com

Your challenge: produce a slick online magazine that retains a print feel. Add direct links to product and service sites and distribute that bad boy online via social circles and search discovery: that’s the concept behind Issuu. The site recently was featured in The New York Times because it is the platform used by Lonny, the home decor magazine distributed in virtual format but earning big-time brick-and-mortar advertisers.

iPad Ready

Onswipe.com

Jason Baptise, CEO of Onswipe, says “apps are bullsh*t.” He believes publishers spend too much on apps and compromise control of their content. Onswipe provides an app-like touch-screen experience for tablets and phones, without all the development costs. The service makes your digital content accelerator-aware (so visitors can view horizontally or vertically) and visitors can comment and share content socially.

By katie-mccaskey published September 7, 2011

Emotion and Storytelling: Growing Your Small Business/Non-Profit by Pulling Heartstrings

Is your content worthy of your life story? The life stories of your audience?

You are quite literally spending your life creating content, so ask yourself: Does it enhance the world it lives in? Does it enrich the lives of others? What is your role? To borrow the phrase shared by Cleveland, Ohio, author, journalist, and Content Marketing World presenter Regina Brett, you need to find an opportunity to create content at the intersection of what makes you happy and what the world’s “deep hunger” is.

This inspiring session provided tips for telling emotionally-driven stories:

  1. Aim high: What are your goals and missions? What would your one word be to summarize them? Choose your bulls-eye, pick your target, and create content to serve this.
  2. Be original: Dig for the story within the story. (Does the content support your mission?)
  3. Get very specific: Collect information with an eye to the most important details.
  4. Find the right voice to deliver the content – your genuine voice: Circle the wagons to determine how donors/ customers/ supporters see you (e.g., ask people who actually know, not just the CEO). Then, put a face on that voice with your content.
  5. Choose the right words: As Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
  6. Listen wholeheartedly: This may be the hardest step!
  7. Stories keep people alive: Know your audience. Think of one person that you’re writing for.
  8. Use all of your senses: For instance, even video on its own doesn’t engage all the senses (e.g., smell). Get involved and feel the story, then present that richness to your audience using as many senses as you can.
  9. Show me: What are the rich details that show through the content?
  10. Ideas are everywhere: No editing when you brainstorm.
  11. Tell the big story small: What is yours? Is it memorable, like the story of a 14-year-old buying a home? And leave out the parts that others will most likely skip. Instead, go straight to the essence of the story (e.g., pick one angle to begin and end with).
  12. Who tells great stories? Identify these people beforehand.
  13. Create a story box: This is like a suggestion box to encourage stories.
  14. Reward your storytellers: Find ways to incentivize your readers for sharing their stories.

Your story should change people

Finally, Regina offered this reminder: “Don’t allow anyone to prevent you from telling the story you need to tell the world.”

Incidentally, Brett is author of God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours — a book that came from a series of newspaper articles her editors didn’t initially want. Since publication, the book has been translated into a dozen languages.

By katie-mccaskey published July 10, 2011

Tech Tools

SOCIAL INFLUENCERS SHARE THE TOOLS THAT HELP THEM KEEP THEIR EDGE

Faster, Leaner Productivity.

SCHEDULING

Rachel Foster
Fresh Perspective Copywriting
@CopywriterTO

I use TimeTrade to schedule appointments. The software lets you place a link on your website or in an email to direct people to your calendar so they can schedule an appointment with you. TimeTrade notifies you when someone schedules an appointment and puts it in both of your calendars. I conduct lots of interviews when I’m writing case studies and white papers for my clients, and TimeTrade saves me up to two hours a week in back-and-forth coordination. http://dlvr.it/T6hjQ

MEETINGS

Russ Henneberry
Tiny and Mighty
@russhenneberry

GoToMeeting has literally changed the way I work. I am able to create meetings for up to 15 people with a conference line and it gives me the ability to view anyone’s computer screen. I use it for demos, training, marketing webinars and troubleshooting clients websites. While I realize that it is still critical to meet with people in person, I never realized how inefficient it was to travel for meetings. In my estimation, GoToMeeting has doubled my output.  http://dlvr.it/T6hp5

PROJECT TEMPLATES

Doug Kessler
Velocity Partners
@Dougkessler

Econsultancy’s project templates are fantastic. For anyone who doesn’t know this digital marketing community, you’re in for a surprise. It’s packed with great content and reports, including pre-built templates that detail all the components of a successful web or digital marketing project (examples include web development, email marketing and brand analysis, among many others). I use them to guide my client agreements and to document our internal processes.  http://dlvr.it/T6j9H

FASTER ALL OVER

Katie McCaskey
Katie McCaskey LLC
@KatieMcCaskey

TextExpander ($35) gives Mac users the ability to set keyboard shortcuts for phrases you type frequently. For example, “Please review the attached proposal,” can be reduced to characters you set, such as “prp”. TextExpander measures how many hours you’ve saved, too.  http://dlvr.it/T6jC3

By katie-mccaskey published May 20, 2011

Microsite Yields Big Results for PTC

Microsites may be small, but they sure are mighty!

Microsites are particularly well-suited to content marketing endeavors. Three reasons:

  • A microsite focuses tightly on a narrowly-defined topic. The concentration of information is a boon for people and search engines alike.
  • Microsites tend to attract thought leaders and influencers who are passionate about a particular topic.
  • The smaller scale of a microsite lends itself to shorter development and launch timetables.Continue Reading
By katie-mccaskey published April 29, 2011

Diving into Content Marketing: How Dive Rite Engages its Prospects

Scuba divers everywhere remember that first breath underwater.

If you’ve never experienced it, the moment feels strangely magical. Your brain asks, “how is this possible?” despite the gear you’re wearing. Then, with the next breath, you’re ready to explore brand new territory.

Similarly, marketing professionals are turning their attention to the power of content marketing. At first it seems strange. (“What do you mean my customers can talk back to me? Discuss my product publicly?”, etc.) Soon, it feels exhilarating.Continue Reading

By katie-mccaskey published February 17, 2011

Internal Conversations + Social Media = Sales Conversations

“Bring on the ping pong tables and pizza Fridays!”

Incept - How to Make Content Social

Oh, how quaint that dotcom management rallying cry sounds today.  Back then, it was all about creating internal “company culture.”  Now, managers are abuzz about something else:  sharing company conversations externally via social media. Today’s winners are the companies who realize the value of sharing (some) internal conversations publicly.  In fact, this approach can provide the trust necessary to build a solid sales foundation.

A great example is Incept, an Ohio-based contact center to recruit blood donors.Continue Reading

By katie-mccaskey published January 17, 2011

Warning! SEO Copy Bubble Bursting

Warning! The SEO web writing bubble is about to burst.

Yes,  just like the housing bubble, the student loan bubble, the bubble in your champagne bath. Why?Continue Reading

By katie-mccaskey published November 1, 2010

QR Codes: 4 Tips to Release Content to the Wild

Where are the wild things? Not always on your website – which is why it’s important to release your online content into the wilds of the “real world” with mobile tagging.

What’s your tagging vehicle? QR codes! QR, shorthand for “quick response,” are bar codes applied to physical objects in the world and decoded quickly using a smart phone. QR code use is approaching a popular tipping point as more people adopt smart phones and discover the “hidden” rich media (website content, video, rss, etc.) embedded.Continue Reading