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New Trend, Same Revolution

It’s funny how we as community feel compelled to recreate the same trend over and over again as a new revolution. Consider how the same audience centric principles become repackaged over and over again during the past eight years. We have moved from Web 2.0 to social media to social business to content marketing to the trend of the immediate future, context marketing (user experience). In all of these cases, while the technology evolves, the general revolution is the same: Customers have control of their media and experience. Brands need to listen and serve them conversations, er content, er, customized web pages, er, awesome experiences that are relevant to them. With each year, evolving technology creates evolutions. Customers gain more […]

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Image by Mukumbura

Google Author Rank and the Have Nots

The rush to become officially integrated into the Google Author Rank system or has begun. It’s unfortunate, because Google Authorship forces weighted search rankings that favor popularity and SEO skills over substance. If content creators want to optimize our chances of being read, what choice do we have but to implement the system? Our search results depend on it. There have been many blogs about how to implement Google’s Author Rank system, but this isn’t one of them. Geoff Livingston on Google+

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Customer Experience Trumps Content Marketing

Image by MindMapInspiration More and more voices state that content marketing overhype has jumped the shark. They’re right. As a primary strategy content marketing is overhyped. Instead, brands should focus on customer experience marketing. Before we go too far, let me say I love content, all forms of it, too, not just online, but events, print, and music, just to name a few. Brand developed content (cough, advertising) offers a great tactical toolset, one of my favorites. That doesn’t necessarily mean content marketing should serve as every company’s primary outreach strategy. Why not just make Facebook your primary strategy? Should we have that conversation again? A better strategic approach focuses on marketing tools as extensions of the brand experience. Geoff […]

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A Content Marketing Debate

Image by Peter Hutchkins The coupling of the words “content” and “marketing” creates a debate centering on the differences between publishing and selling. By its very nature, marketing is a function of sales. As such marketing communications activities, regardless of form — search, email, publicity (on behalf of a company), content creation, social, events, etc. — all represent activities to engage people in a sales process OR support brand reputation, which in turn, increases the likelihood of further sales, recruitment or investment later in time. I can see why content purists, particularly those with a journalism background, flip their fricking lids at the very phrasing of “content marketing.” After all, they publish quality content. Geoff Livingston on Google+

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Posturing Wastes Corporate Content

Image by lululemon athletica Sometimes moving to a conversational medium can be hard. Transitioning style — blogs, videos, social networks updates, etc. — to serve stakeholder groups can be extremely challenging. This is a legitimate challenge of moving from traditional to conversational marketing. But some marketers ignore the relational value of social content, and abuse these media to posture, positioning for influence and popularity rather than serving. Posturing wastes corporate content. Fellow blogger Rich Becker recently discussed the Fifth Estate, and how the PR blogosphere doesn’t act responsibly. That’s because many PR 2.0/social media influencers, just like their predecessors, believe that PR and marketing is about posturing. They are more concerned about looking good and maintaining influence than building real […]

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Four Storytelling Methods

Image by Gaelic Arts Moving from marketing to an entertaining delivery of useful information creates a much higher likelihood of successful communications between an organization and its stakeholders. Like gamification, storytelling entertains the online reader/viewer/listener, earning their interest. Compelling stories convert dry boring content into worthwhile time expenditures. Success assumes a few of things: 1) That the storyteller understands what compels its stakeholders; 2) the information presented in the story is useful; and 3) the return on investment for an organization is asked for in a tasteful manner. Meeting those three fundamental building blocks empowers an organization to make storytelling work. There are many approaches towards storytelling. Personification, third person storytelling, embedded journalism, and metaphors are just four ways to […]

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Vocus Marketing Blog
(2012-present)

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