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This online content thing is not as hard as everyone thinks. Don't get me wrong...it can, at times, be tough. Tough to get traffic. But I recently learned a universal law from my last post: the more you give, the more you get. In that last column, "8 Things I Learned from Analyzing My Tweets", I learned this incredibly valuable lesson. By simply relaying to the audience what I learned from a basic Twitter analysis (which provided tactical value and actionable content), I was rewarded with over 900 shares. More plainly put, I took the modest information from my head and shared it with an audience hungry for tips and tricks.

Posted Nov 25, 2014

I get a lot of emails from public relations professionals hoping to get my attention. More often than not, I cannot use the pitches I receive. And, increasingly, I am baffled by the emails I get. It's clear that many of these people either have no idea who I am and what EContent covers, or they're just "spraying and praying." Either way, there is pretty much no excuse for this. The truth is, though, that this is the way many content professionals are still doing their jobs. Despite all the analytics capabilities available to us, we're still just going with our gut, relying on the pitches that come into our inboxes, and generally winging it.

Posted Nov 25, 2014

Native advertising is having its big moment. When done right, it has tremendous pull with consumers. According to Nielsen, native ads produce as much as an 82% in brand lift. An infographic from MDG Advertising says 70% of individuals reported that they would prefer "to learn about products through content rather than through traditional advertising."

Posted Nov 21, 2014

According to a new survey from Brainshark, Inc. nearly half of training professionals (48%) say their organization's sales training content isn't engaging enough to work, while 25% say the materials created don't match sales teams' needs. Perhaps it's no wonder that only 32% describe their organization's current sales training programs as "effective."

Posted Nov 18, 2014

Whether you make widgets or wine, sell consulting services or software, deep down inside of you, there's an author waiting to come out. Regardless of your writing skills or lack thereof, you and the business you represent have a story to tell-not a fairy­tale, thriller, romance, or science fiction adventure, but a nonfiction narrative that shares your unique knowledge and expertise with others who are hungry for it.

Posted Nov 17, 2014

In a new study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, conducted in partnership with SAS, 61% of marketers surveyed reveal they have deployed some form of mobile engagement. Furthermore, 54% of respondents say the mobile channel has become critical to customer interaction, retention, and brand differentiation.

Posted Nov 11, 2014

Thousands of years have done very little to change the design of the ax. A list of commoditized tools would have the ax right at the top. But, somehow, a small company in New York has managed a rebirth of this simple hand tool. And the difference has had everything to do with the storytelling and lifestyle. You can buy a $40 ax at your local home improvement store or you can pay $350 for the Lincoln from Best Made Co. Both axes will chop firewood, but that's where the similarities end. The Lincoln is backed by stories about quality, made in the U.S.A., and a campfire surrounded by friends sipping whiskey and swapping tales. With a simple approach of honest storytelling, an ax has been transformed. A commodity has become something unique.

Posted Nov 04, 2014

Quality is paramount to the success of content marketing; as opposed to older and more traditional forms of marketing, successful content marketing is entirely dependent on good ideas, true originality, and most importantly, giving something of value to your audience. Fantastic content grows organically, gaining exposure and momentum through coverage on blogs, websites, and social media platforms, meaning that companies don't have to spend thousands of dollars to reach huge numbers of potential customers.

Posted Oct 31, 2014

Jay Izso, a psychological business consultant known as the Internet Doctor, has a new book on the way called Got Social Mediology? Using Psychology to Master Social Media Without Spending a Dime. Izso says that rather than engaging in paid-for, broadcast-style advertising, companies must understand the importance of understanding the psychology of the user, respecting the cultural nuances of each social media platform, and focusing on creating authentic relationships. EContent interviewed Izso about his approach to social media marketing.

Posted Oct 24, 2014

I recently took a look at my Twitter analytics to understand what's working and what's not. I don't do this as much as I should.It turned out to be an extremely helpful exercise, and I learned a few things. Now I am sharing what I learned with you in the eight findings below.

Posted Oct 23, 2014

Content marketers are tasked with delivering clear, concise, and relevant content to the right prospect at the right time--content designed to convert prospects into customers. And, for the most part, marketers have absolutely no idea how to do this.

Posted Oct 21, 2014

Brainshark, Inc., delivering content-driven sales enablement solutions, announced the launch of the Brainshark Sales Accelerator. This sales enablement platform provides centrally accessible solutions for sales onboarding and continuous training, prospecting, coaching, and engagement. The platform also helps managers better understand what their best reps are doing, so managers can coach more effectively and know how prepared their teams are to sell.

Posted Oct 14, 2014

The word "tribe" has become all the rage in marketing circles. Let's first start with the technical definition according to Google Dictionary: A social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.

Posted Oct 14, 2014

American Express, which operates the OPENForum.com website, has informed the National Advertising Division that it has modified its native advertising practices to assure that consumers who click on OPENForum images-plus-text "ad units" are aware that the content is sponsored by American Express.

Posted Oct 02, 2014

Marketers don't have to actually use a pen and paper just as long as they document their content marketing strategy in some form, they'll be more successful, says the new B2B content marketing research published by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs.

Posted Oct 02, 2014

There is large chasm between the people we know, like, and trust in this world versus everyone else. This is the same with brands. Let's look at a couple examples to expound upon these important human emotions, ones that drive not only our affection for each other, but for the people and brands we follow. Take our families for instance. Our families are people we trust. If I wander out into traffic, my brother will jump in front of the car to save me. I trust that. We know them, and their darkest secrets. Their hopes and dreams. And in most cases, we like them. We enjoy their humor, their hugs, and their smiles. Brands fight for this same sort of neurological real estate.

Posted Sep 25, 2014

Content creators--especially content marketers--are often complaining about the effectiveness of their content. An IMN study showed that "46% of respondents feel that their content is OK, but leaves room for improvement to position their company as an industry thought leader." But research from InboundWriter looked deeper into what makes content successful or not--and then put that into action.

Posted Sep 10, 2014

Joe Pulizzi is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and the author of Epic Content Marketing. As an outspoken evangelist for content marketing, Pulizzi is one of the key figures in the industry and has made it his mission to train and educate brands about the importance of content to their marketing strategy. EContent interviewed Pulizzi as he prepared for the annual Content Marketing World conference, which takes place Sept. 8-11, 2014, in Cleveland.

Posted Sep 05, 2014

The results of a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Conversant were announced. The study, entitled "The Personalization Imperative," found that marketers have great belief in the power and benefits of personalized marketing but need additional help to overcome internal challenges as they work to deliver on their visions.

Posted Sep 04, 2014

When a radio station wants to broadcast a program that reaches as many ears as possible-even remote listeners in the hinterlands-it amps up the signal. But when content marketers with branded content to promote seek to swell their audience, it's not as simple as cranking up a dial. Wider distribution of content that's created to grow affinity and brand consideration-and not necessarily to hawk a product or service-requires careful research, planning, and execution to overcome the significant challenges today. Smart publishers, content providers, and marketers need to recognize these challenges and develop effective strategies to connect with the crowds in a landscape that's already overcrowded with competitors.

Posted Sep 01, 2014

IMN, a digital marketing company that delivers branded newsletters and content for vertical markets, unveiled the results of its third annual multi-industry content marketing survey. IMN polled marketers to understand the current state of their content marketing programs and how those programs fit into their overarching marketing strategies.

Posted Aug 26, 2014

There's been a long-standing rule in content marketing that 90% of your budget should be focused on promoting content and the remaining 10% of your budget should be spent producing the content. This rule came about during a time when there were limited distribution channels, and promotion was expensive.It's time to rethink the ratio. In the traditional media world, advertising was often broadly applied and expensive. Now, as media spends are cheaper, content must become richer and better targeted. It's time for a 60/40 split.

Posted Aug 25, 2014

Although there is some debate about just how many freelancers there are in the U.S., everyone agrees that the number is rising. Writers, graphic designers, photographers, videographers, and other professionals are choosing to work for themselves even as the demand for creative content increases. Meanwhile, brands, non-profits, and small businesses need content for online platforms and other communication channels. The "freelance economy" is creating a new problem: How do organizations that need content find the professionals to create it?

Posted Aug 20, 2014

Many marketing professionals operate under the assumption that their business-to-business (B2B) content marketing practices are up to snuff. But a closer look reveals that these pros often suffer from tunnel vision in that their practices are too narrowly focused on early-stage buyer acquisition and fail to create content that engages buyers over the long term.

Posted Aug 13, 2014

In the creation of content, storytelling is a valuable and necessary skill. For those who consume content, a good story makes consuming the content that much easier. It is often assumed that simply having good content or having a good idea will translate into good stories, though this is often far from the truth. Indeed, the ability to tell a good story can be an extremely useful tool.

Posted Aug 11, 2014

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