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Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business Paperback – May 2, 2012
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"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:
- 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?"
- Interview luminaries.
Q & A interviews with thought leaders, strategic partners, or flat-out interesting creative thinkers make for compelling text, audio, or video content.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Share best practices or productivity tips.
People are always looking for efficiencies, and this type of content is always highly useful and shareable.
- 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.
- 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.
From the Back Cover
The one-stop resource for creating irresistible content and building a loyal following, revised and updated
How do you create the stories, videos, and blog posts that cultivate fans, arouse passion for your products and services, and ignite your brand? Content Rules equips you for online success as a go-to guide to the art and science of developing content that people care about. Case studies show how companies have successfully spread their ideas through blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other platforms—and used them to establish credibility and build a loyal customer base.
This revised and updated edition shows you how to:
Find an authentic "voice" and craft bold content that will resonate with prospects and buyers and encourage them to share it with others
Use social media to get your content and ideas distributed as widely as possible
Get to the meat of your message in practical, commonsense language, and define the goals of your content strategy
Powerfully communicate your service, product, or message across various web media and mobile platforms
Boost your online presence and engage with customers like never before with Content Rules. Find out more at ContentRulesBook.com.
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Even though Content Rules is a few years old, I'd argue that it's more relevant now than ever before, as we have more tools for creating and repurposing content from channels that weren't as established when the book was first written (think social, but even through marketing automation and new publishing channels like LinkedIn and Medium).
If you're new to content marketing, start here. If you've been at it awhile, come back to this book for a refresher on ways you can repurpose and reconnect with your customer base.
I loved one of the foundational premises of the book: "marketing can learn a lot from the art and style of storytelling (literature) and the fundamentals and science of good reporting (journalism)" (loc 314). This is a book after my own heart-introducing literature in the marketing mix.
The book is geared towards businesses and brands, not personal bloggers, but I did get a lot out of it anyway. As I'm trying to get up to date on web marketing and content management, I found the 11 rules the authors lay out simple and comprehensive:
Embrace being a publisher
Insight inspires originality
Reimagine, don't recycle
Share or solve, don't shill
Show, don't just tell
Do something unexpected
Stoke the campfire
Create wings and roots
Play to your strengths
The rest of the book is devoted to explaining and demonstrating these 11 rules, first through theory and practical advice and then through several case studies.
I appreciated the tutorial style of the book. Instead of focusing on why marketing has changed (a role fulfilled by The New Rules of Marketing & PR), the authors decided to discuss the how: the basic rules to create great content that supports your brand and brings you traffic.
Something I found especially useful was the bare bones of an editorial calendar-what to post every day, every week, every month, every quarter and a few times a year. This will come in handy as I work on Molives` content strategy. In fact, most of the book is useful: it lays out in simple terms the different ways to produce good content without being prescriptive or preachy. The authors believe that there's no one-stop solution and that every content strategy must fit the business's goals.
This is not a marketing theory book but rather a how-to. If you're interested in the theory behind the practice, look at The New Rules and other books about the same topic. There's plenty of them out there. But if you're looking for hands-on, practical tips that you can implement right away, Content Rules is a great choice to get started.