Content marketing has an opportunity, should you decide to take it. Instead of going the route of old marketing, you who create content with the intent of building business relationships could try going the route of being honest, being genuine, being human. It’s no more difficult than the alternative: crafting something that’s dishonest but perhaps shinier. The thing is, if you start with honest and genuine, there’s a chance that people will give you extra points for it, in the longer run.
In a recent post, Seth Godin offers some storytelling suggestions, and the best of it is at the bottom of the post:
You need better time management. You’re looking for time saving tips. Whether you’re in a huge organization, a team of 30, or a solo practitioner, it’s fairly guaranteed that you’ve got more work to do than you have time to complete it. Further, the effort it takes to keep up with people in social media and do it like a human being takes some time. In this post, I’ll talk about how to do more with less time. Part of this will be about the philosophy behind it, and the next part will be about the tools. In a subsequent post, I’ll talk about my social media workflow.
How to Do More With Less Time
I’m finding that there are two keys: have a simple system, and automate everything you can. In both cases, this allows for more time to do the work that matters to you. Remember, a good chunk of our day is spent doing things that don’t really pay us back (in any sense of the word). Part of this comes with a philosophical perspective to consider, and the other is pure business reasoning. Let’s talk about the mindset stuff behind a simple system first.
Back in May 2006, I wrote that content networks are the new blogs. With all kinds of great information out on the web, I posited that people would start needing aggregations of content. Though many of us on the web know how to roll our own collections of reading material, the general public doesn’t want to go through all the work. Content networks cover more than just blog networks, and there are a few other ways to slice the pie than just thinking about blogs as ad platforms. Here are some quick thoughts about content networks and storefronts.
On one side of the equation are content networks. These include things like Weblogs Inc, Gawker Media, and some of the other larger media creations. They include new offerings like Stowe Boyd’s /Edgewards (congrats, Stowe). In a way, Alltop can be seen as a content network (though it is mostly an aggregator pointing to the individual sites. Even I had a stab at it back in 2006, with the help of Kevin Kennedy-Spaien and Whitney and Becky and Megin and some others.
Brian Carroll gave some interesting advice in an interview with Chris Coch at ITSMA. He talked about creating a marketing funnel, and how this differed from a sales funnel. In brief, his interview covered five points:
- Create a marketing funnel.
- Create a universal definition of a lead.
- Use the phone.
- Ask about goalsâ€”donâ€™t sell.
- Define lead nurturingâ€”and the right people to nurture.
The full interview is here.
I was speaking to one of the best upcoming tech bloggers the other day about LinkedIn, and how I view it. To me, LinkedIn isn’t a place to dump a snapshot of where you’ve been. It’s an opportunity to stay connected to people, and to demonstrate where you are now, and where you plan to go next. To that end, I’ve got a little advice for you to consider applying to your own profile.
Content marketing, in my definition, is the ability to produce useful and entertaining information that is worthwhile on its own, but that might also be useful towards a sale or subsequent action. For instance, a really good review of a product from a trusted source is content marketing. Every time Paisano writes about an amazing piece of software that he loves, it’s a kind of content marketing that I’d call reputation- or authority-based content marketing (meaning, maybe he’ll get consulting work based on someone feeling he’s a thought leader).
Before I go further, I should say that there are variations on the theme. I was speaking with Todd Defren of Shift the other day about content marketing, and this was his take on it. That’s another great way to look at it. I spoke a few weeks back to Francois Gossieaux about another variation that he’s done for years. It’s all in the same ballpark. This is essentially what Brian Clark has talked about for two years and counting.
Some days, it feels like more and more people have abandoned their regular blogs and podcasts and have run off to tools like Twitter and Friendfeed. I just stopped by a friend’s blog, worried that I had a bad RSS subscription, only to discover that he hadn’t blogged since June. Another of my friends only blogs Twitter links now. What happened? Why are all the bloggers and podcasters going to Twitter or Seesmic or other temporal moment-in-time platforms?
One reason is that products like Twitter and Seesmic and uStream.tv all give us even faster, simpler conversations. We don’t have to synthesize information, compose a position, and build a post. Instead, we can talk back and forth about things we like. Another reason is that the feedback loop is so much tighter when doing a ping pong game of ideas instead of the blogger-to-comments model.
Since quite a number of people who swing by my blog are either in marketing or public relations, I wanted to address you specifically for a moment. I’m writing to you as part of this new version of media, one blogger not paid to blog, not working for a newspaper or magazine outlet, not especially beholden to the traditions that have come before. I’m writing to you as a human being who likes people, community, innovation, and business, not to mention art, creativity, play, and many other things. I want to tell you a few things for you to consider.
This was requested by GirlPie
We talk about how social media like blogs and podcasts and social networks will help us grow our business, and yet, there are several ways in which we’re hampered. Some of our customers won’t provide testimonials. Others will take a while to actually execute a project. Still others have stumbled onto your site, and it’s up to you to keep them. Let’s talk about these prospects, first.