2013 Halloween Marketing Methods: The Amazing and the Plain Terrifying

Every holiday of the year essentially opens the floodgates for marketing madness – including the good, the bad and the very ugly. As children anxiously wait for night to fall so they can go door to door to collect their sweet treats, content marketers are gearing up to send out their holiday-inspired messages, which, as we all have witnessed year after year, either hit the nail directly on the head or completely miss the mark. The former is a fulfilling victory while the latter is awkward, unwanted and unrelatable.

Content marketing is all about creating unique, custom-tailored content – not content that stretches things too thin and, in doing so, makes readers question why it was created in the first place. Let’s take a look at some marketing ploys that are fresh off the press as we enjoy Halloween this year (a.k.a. eating way too many munchkins, candy and cookies that are sporadically spread around the office).

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New Content Marketing Study Reveals Astronomical Growth of LinkedIn

social mediaIt’s always a good fight in the content marketing arena; in one corner we have the blog and in the other the eNewsletter; while video is getting prepped for the next round, the infographic is making its way into the boxing ring; meanwhile, whitepapers and case studies have been duking it out to no end. Between all of these messy matches, though, appears to be one consistent winner—one content marketing tactic that remains triumphant over all: social media.

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Top Five Content Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

mistakesThere’s no doubt that content marketing is the most popular inbound marketing strategy on the block. In fact, 93 percent of B2B marketers utilize content marketing, while 58 percent plan to increase their spending in this area in 2014, according to Content Marketing Institute’s “B2B Content Marketing 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” report.

Although this burgeoning strategy has shown no signs of slowing down, there are still many mistakes being made by companies big and small. Below are the top five content marketing mistakes and ways in which businesses can avoid them. Continue reading “Top Five Content Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them”

The Walking Dead: Content Marketing Edition

Horror drama series The Walking Dead transports millions of viewers each week into a post-apocalyptic world seen through the eyes of a group of Southerner survivalists as they deal with flesh-eating “walkers.” The show is widely known and well-received for its portrayal of an exponentially disruptive second world – and how one group of strategic individuals makes it through day-by-day.

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Getting a Handle on Your Pumpkin Pie, Apple Cider and Content Marketing Ingredients

pumpkin pieCan I just say fall is my most absolute favorite season? For all you beach-going, BBQ-obsessed people out there, this may come as a shock, but honestly, if I lived in a land that was 68 degrees and sunny every day, I would be as happy as a clam. From the beautiful foliage to the bumpy hay rides to the autumn sweaters, fall is my nirvana.

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Content Marketing Lessons from ‘Roseanne’

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s been 25 years since America first met the Connors.

October 18 marks the silver anniversary of “Roseanne,” the comedy television show about a dysfunctional working-class family from the Chicago suburbs starring Roseanne Barr and John Goodman.

Roseanne_CastIn celebration of this classic television program, here are some lessons that we can learn about content marketing:

Don’t Be a Couch Potato—You Have to Produce  

Fans of Roseanne will remember the classic ongoing battle between the father, Dan Connor (played by Goodman) and David, his daughter’s lazy teenage boyfriend. Just like Dan constantly harped on David for not getting off of the couch, he would also harp on you if he caught you slacking with your content production. In order to establish yourself as a thought leader and engage consistently with your audience, you need to produce fresh content on a consistent basis if you want to succeed.

Be Loud and Outspoken, like Roseanne

Roseanne’s character was a bold woman, and when she spoke everyone within earshot paid attention. While this was partially due to her shrill yet charming voice, it also had to do with the fact that she never beat around the bush. Content producers can learn to speak clearly, boldly and plainly. If your content sounds different than the way you speak in real life, you might be trying too hard.

Balance Your Content with Humor

Part of the reason why Roseanne lasted nine seasons was that it had a steady mix of serious and funny overtones. Fans knew that any given episode could either make them laugh or stress them out and teach them an important life lesson along the way. Your content should work to keep readers guessing, yet at the same time it should be consistent. Don’t be afraid to use comedy to enhance your articles as long as your readers know that the content beneath is full of relevant and useful information.

Cinnabon, Breaking Bad and Pure Content Marketing Magic

Full disclosure: I’m only in season three of Breaking Bad.

There are a few times in a company’s existence – if any – where the stars align just so, inviting the pearly gates of content marketing heaven to thrust open and outpour a surge of selling genius upon those who lie in waiting. This doesn’t happen often; however, the rare – and extremely profitable – occurrence came to fruition for one very lucky Omaha, Neb.-based Cinnabon.

That’s right – the sickeningly sweet treat that all of us hate to admit we eat when we stop at the mall (don’t deny it) has hit the content marketing jackpot thanks to an offhand mention on AMC’s critically-acclaimed crime drama series, Breaking Bad.

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Is Your Content Making a Point?

349497988_fb751a5e3a_oHave you ever read through an article only to walk away asking yourself what the real point was? If this sounds familiar then you’re not alone. I recently read what I thought was going to be a compelling article judging by its witty title, however, when I finally got to the end I thought to myself, ‘Wow I didn’t learn a thing I didn’t already know.’

In content marketing, you hear the word storytelling a lot. While every story needs a beginning, middle and end, it also needs a point. As a business, your goal is to persuade a customer to take action, whether it’s downloading your latest whitepaper or ebook or leaving a comment on your latest blog post. Continue reading “Is Your Content Making a Point?”

How to Build Your Content Marketing A-Team

blog pictureAssembling a department of workhorses who bring out the best in each other—and possess an uncanny ability to work cohesively as well as independently—is certainly no small feat. But those are exactly the ingredients you need to create your content marketing A-Team because anything less will be of grave disservice to your brand and its messaging. So how do you even begin putting together your industry-leading content marketing team? By making sure you have the following team members on board:

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Customers Will Judge Your Content Marketing by its Cover

Readers are constantly warned about the pitfalls of judging a book by its cover. But let’s face it: everybody does it. Just like a book needs to sell itself to a customer walking through an isle full of other novels, your content has to do the same thing to someone who is browsing the Web.

Domesday-book-1804x972Are you having trouble keeping your readers glued to the page? Here is a look at some strategies that authors employ to keep their readers moving along from the title to the last word:

You Need a Beginning, Middle and End

When it comes to sound content marketing production, your best bet is to avoid experimental strategies. Your content should be easy to navigate, like a Stephen King novel—not meandering, like Dickens. Set your reader up with a beginning, have a middle to flesh out your ideas and end it by backing up the point you were originally trying to make. Keep it simple, and remember that you are trying to sell a product or service. While content marketing can be edgy and different, it’s not a platform for an existential rant.

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