Goodbye Public Relations, Hello Content Marketing (Content Marketing, Part 1)

April 21, 2014

Today, content marketing rules.  We create content, manage content, share content and even try to amplify content.  Content is being promoted, optimized, aggregated, repurposed and even curated.

So what is this thing called “content marketing” and how can it help your business?

The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

The CMI provides plenty of free information, but it could use some help with its content, which is loaded with marketing clichés, so allow me to translate that definition for you.

Technology Makes Life Easier - Especially If You're A Criminal

April 21, 2014

It would be nice if we could use technology without worrying about being hacked, losing our life’s savings or having someone steal our identity.

Unfortunately, we can’t.  Identity theft is a big crime and it’s becoming bigger.  The 2013 Identity Fraud Report from Javelin Strategy & Research found that identity thieves stole more than $21 billion from 12.6 million U.S. victims of identity fraud in 2012.

As Steve Viuker wrote in his article, “TalkING about DATA SECURITY,” in Banking New York, Target’s reputation took a big hit when its security was breached over the 2013 holiday season.

The cost for Target to restore its tarnished reputation will be much greater than what it would have cost to protect customer security and prevent the breach.  Other companies should learn from Target’s mistake and do their best to secure customer information before a breach takes place.

And, just in case, they should be properly ensured and should have a crisis communications plan in place.  Even companies that do the right thing are at risk.

Becoming Your Own Publisher (Content Marketing, Part 2)

April 22, 2014

Content marketing is a form of self-publishing.

Instead of publicizing company news, publishing articles in media or arranging interviews on newsworthy topics, content marketers typically write and post content on a blog, then “amplify” their message by tweeting it, and posting on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and elsewhere.

Blogs are the media and social media are the channels for distributing your news.  An e-blast can serve both purposes.  In either case, you get to control your news, develop your messaging and target your audience as narrowly or as broadly as you’d like.  However, you also have to develop your own audience.

Creating a Content Marketing Plan (Content Marketing, Part 3)

April 23, 2014

For content marketing to succeed, the Content Marketing Institute recommends using seven “building blocks.”

They include plan, audience, story, channels, process, conversations and measurement.

As with the definition of content marketing that CMI provides, this is marketing basics disguised as something new.  Missing from the mix is research, which is necessary when developing a plan and identifying the needs of the “audience” (i.e., potential customers).

Your “story” is your marketing message, told through a variety of “channels,” which distribute the message using a “process” that should change as social and other media evolve.

Don’t Forget the Content (Content Marketing, Part 4)

April 24, 2014

While companies are increasingly devoting resources to content marketing, they’re spending so much time managing, sharing, amplifying, promoting, optimizing, aggregating, repurposing and curating content that they’re not putting much thought into creating content.

Many companies treat “content” as a commodity, as though it matters little what’s in it, as long as it’s updated regularly.

Not all content is created equal, yet many companies are simply grabbing content from other blogs and websites and presenting it as though it were their own (i.e., they’re using content aggregators to repurpose content).  Others are presenting original content, but it’s often produced by attorneys, accountants, investment managers and other specialists who are not necessarily people whose writing anyone would want to read.