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Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (New Rules Social Media Series) [Hardcover]

Ann Handley , C.C. Chapman , David Meerman Scott
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)


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Book Description

December 7, 2010 0470648287 978-0470648285 1
Blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other publishing platforms are giving everyone a "voice," including organizations and their customers. So how do you create the bold stories, videos, and blog posts that cultivate fans, arouse passion for your products or services, and ignite your business?

Content Rules equips you for online success with a one-stop source on the art and science of developing marketing content that people care about. This coverage is interwoven with case studies of companies successfully spreading their ideas online-and using them to establish credibility and build a loyal customer base.

  • Learn the art of storytelling and the science of journalism
  • Find an authentic "voice" and craft bold content that will resonate with prospects and buyers and encourage them to share it with others
  • Leverage social media and social tools to get your content and ideas distributed as widely as possible
  • Written by the Chief Content Officers of marketingprofs.com

Boost your online presence and engage with customers and prospects like never before with Content Rules.



Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review




"What To Talk About When There's Nothing to Say," from the authors of Content Rules

How do you create content when you don't have breaking news to share regularly? If you want to remain relevant, you need to find a way to converse much more frequently than when you have big news. Consider these 10 approaches:
  1. Chat with customers.
    Ask customers a single question, such as "What's your biggest marketing challenge?" or "What's a strategy you used to grow your business this year?"
  2. Interview luminaries.
    Q & A interviews with thought leaders, strategic partners, or flat-out interesting creative thinkers make for compelling text, audio, or video content.
  3. Share real-time photos.
    Upload photos from industry events, meetups, or other gatherings. Fresh content matters here, and the faster you can get your photos up, the more likely they will be shared.
  4. Monitor search keywords.
    What keywords are people using to find your blog or website? Those keywords can inform your content stories and suggest new opportunities based on what customers are already interested in.
  5. Trawl industry news.
    Share an opinion about a recent news story that's affecting your industry or audience. Be timely; you could benefit from the extra boost of being one of the first to comment on the topic.
  6. Go behind the scenes.
    Show things that your readers or followers don't usually get to see. Share photos that give an insider's view of your company, or tease some new, compelling content, product or event that you'll be launching soon.
  7. Go to an event.
    Take session notes, conduct interviews, or take photos. Real-time blog or tweet the sessions that offer value to your community, and share with your audience what you learned, enjoyed, or were surprised at.
  8. Share best practices or productivity tips.
    People are always looking for efficiencies, and this type of content is always highly useful and shareable.
  9. Invite guest posts.
    Give your readers or employees or an expert in the industry the chance to guest post for your blog. Don't limit yourself to written content.
  10. Create a regular content series.
    A themed series is a great way to help you create regular content. Pick a day of the week and post the same type of content on that day.




--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

To market your business, reach new customers, and create long-lasting loyalty, you need one indispensable element: CONTENT.

Whether it's bite-sized tweets that allow you to forge relationships on Twitter, blog posts that give your readers must-have advice, ebooks or white papers that engage (and don't bore), videos that share the human side of your company, interactive webinars that deliver a valuable learning experience, or podcasts that can be downloaded and listened to on the fly (and more!) . . . now more than ever, content rules!

Today, you have an unprecedented opportunity to create a treasury of free, easy-to-use, almost infinitely customizable content that tells the story of your product and your business, and positions you as an expert people will want to do business with.

Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman, business writers, speakers, and marketing thought leaders for clients such as The Coca-Cola Company, HBO, and Verizon Fios, show you how to leverage all of today's tools to create content that truly speaks to your audience. They'll show you how to:

  • Understand why you are generating content—getting to the meat of your message in practical, commonsense language, and defining the goals of your content strategy

  • Explore ways to integrate searchable words into your content without sounding forced (or sounding like "Frankenspeak")

  • Write in a way that powerfully communicates your service, product, or message across various Web mediums

  • Create a publishing schedule that allows you to create different kinds and types of content at once

Offering examples of businesses using content effectively across a wide range of industries and fascinating explanations of how you might approach your own content strategy, Content Rules is the essential field guide to creating your story, finding the right balance of humor and humanity in your content, and building a portfolio of value that will keep delivering for the long haul.


Product Details

  • Series: New Rules Social Media Series (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470648287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470648285
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
129 of 139 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insanely Great Look at Creating Content November 29, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I should preface this review by saying I have been podcasting and creating content for the web for over five years now, and that I regularly help clients do the same. This said, I was expecting Content Rules to be a good book on the subject, but perhaps one of those that did not speak to me, because of my experience. I was wrong- Content Rules speaks to everyone- even seasoned content creators, by providing the metrics we may know around content creation, but haven't yet articulated, and helps make the case for content for everyone from people getting their feet wet on the Web for the first time, to those who are looking to raise their game and up their level of engagement with others online.

Content Rules is compelling and honest from the introduction on. It is a book I can hand my clients, friends, teachers- almost anyone who wonders why people need to or bother creating content for the web- to help not only explain why compelling content is important, but how to create it. It helps people break down the barriers that often get in the way of creating compelling content, and instead gives them some parameters on how to make sure your authentic and compelling voice shine through. In addition, the examples and case studies in the book bring the rules to life, in a way that will help folks understand how to find their human voice, and why that is so important to success in contrast to another paragraph of over-polished, sanitized, personality-free "safe" messaging.

I'm really excited by Content Rules as a book I can enthusiastically pass on to friends, colleagues, clients and more. If it's between a more generic book on social media or online marketing and this one, you need Content Rules because it will help you understand the fundamental approach you need to take regardless of the tool, platform, network or marketing plan- you need to concentrate on your Content first.
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109 of 120 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Effective Content Marketing: Easier Said Than Done March 25, 2011
Format:Hardcover
The forward of this book states that "Marketing is about creating great content" - but that the art and science of producing that superior material has been a mystery to many. David Meerman Scott, the author of the book's forward section, suggests that the answer to the question "what exactly, should I do?" is to tell stories. Granted, that's one important aspect of a forward-looking plan of action.

However, perhaps it's essential to fully understand why most businesses tend to create poor content. In fact, much of the business communication that's being produced today clearly doesn't meet the needs of its intended target customer. To the vast majority of marketers, the task of creating content is still centered upon explaining what their product or service does.

In contrast, great content -- from the customer's point of view -- should provide meaningful and substantive insight or guidance about what products and service will do for them. As I concluded reading this book, it occurred to me that the authors had not made this point in the most compelling way. I was somewhat disappointed.

That said, Ann Hadley and C.C. Chapman have written a very comprehensive guide about how to develop a content marketing strategy and construct interesting information for your intended recipient -- utilizing a variety of digital media in the process.

Chapter 6, "Share or Solve; Don't Shill" is -- by far -- the most useful section of this helpful guide. It shares the six characteristics of a good idea or a story. What's missing, in my opinion, are examples of how companies typically fail to incorporate these basic principles.

Why is this explanation needed?
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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Why and How of Using Content for Customer Engagement November 28, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Not for the faint of heart...this book is a meaty look at why content has become such an important tool for businesses to engage their customers, as well as how to go about creating the right type of content for you.

Packed with real-world examples, this book teaches you (as noted on page 24) to go for consistent doubles and triples instead of always swinging for the fences- consistent doubles and triples wins games.

I personally was able to take away a lot of specific tips, including methods to re-imagine content (instead of just plain old repurposing it). I also liked that the authors kept the focus on the customer perspective (so critical) and demonstrated how to use content to create trust instead of just using it to shout (or "shill" as they call it).

My favorite part is the case studies/examples that line the back of the book. Not only did C.C. and Ann do a great job in featuring a wide variety of companies, they included ideas that you can borrow (they says steal, but I am a more of a fan of inspiration instead of imitation) and a section they call "Ka-ching", which demonstrates how each company actually derived value from the example.

With strong content itself, written in a colloquial and easy to read manner and with solid examples, this is definitely one to dog-ear/markup and reference on an ongoing basis. A strong value.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Content Rules is Almost Perfect February 4, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I teach online public relations at Tulane University, so I constantly keep watch for new books in the field. Along with my own mammoth how-to book, Complete Guide to Internet Publicity (now out of print) or the stiff but good British book, Online Public Relations, by David Phillips and Philip Young, I like to assign one book that is fresh, hip, current, and relevant.

This year, I picked Content Rules even before reading it, because I love the title concept and I know one of the authors, Ann Handley, from when I used to write articles for ClickZ (back in the day, as they say).

Content Rules is a relentlessly upbeat guide to developing content for the Internet. The authors not only stress that "content is king" online; it's also queen, jack, ace, and most of the rest of the deck. Content Rules will show you how to find content in every corner of your organization, package it in every conceivable format, and syndicate it throughout the universe. Pretty impressive.

The Theory

The authors begin by laying out 11 "content rules," then expanding those in the following nine chapters. This is the "theory" portion of the book; as theory goes, it's very easily digested. The authors stick to the conversational tone they advocate in Rule #4: Speak Human:

"It's not just about getting more traffic; it's about getting more traffic that gives a s**t." The authors quote social media consultant Jay Baer. That's human enough for me.

Highlights in the theory section of the book include:

1) Creating a content publishing schedule, especially the checklist for things to do each month on page 60. It's a good template by itself for an online marketing game plan.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of great information
This book is very helpful if you are a blog newbie and need help getting your voice heard online. I wanted my "content" to be significant and make a difference. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jabwil Company
4.0 out of 5 stars good book
good information for a newbee. This is all new to me. this book is a good starting point, to learn from.
Published 3 months ago by Anne Rinehart
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read for social media professionals
Ordered this book through work, but it's really all mine. I have enjoyed the revised and updated information. Very easy to read and comprehend. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Veronica Lozano
2.0 out of 5 stars Good content but way too technical and boring
The contents of this book are truly inspiring for those who work with web content, but the authors have failed to make the writing more engaging and exciting.
Published 4 months ago by Fabio Isidori
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource!!
I've already started reading it for a second time. Great book, great advice, and very specific efforts to drive a content marketing strategy. Really good read.
Published 5 months ago by khottie
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read. Good Ideas.
Contains good content, examples, and ideas for creating content that rules. Not quite finished yet so can't give a full review but I know I've marked quite a few pages and made a... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Shimska
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read Marketing Guide to the Digital Age
I cut my teeth in the print publishing world and am now navigating the constantly-changing world of the Digital Age. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mari L. Rydings
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of money
This books seems to be a collection blog posts from the author's blog. Very disappointed with the quality of the book. There is nothing new in this book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by uml_zepho_com
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Brainstorm Book
Engaging, thought provoking, will give you some good ideas about how to create content and what kind of content to create
Published 8 months ago by Vincent Bataoel
5.0 out of 5 stars great advice
I learned a lot from this book and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in producing killer content!
Published 10 months ago by Brandon Franklin
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