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How (And Why) To Create Remarkable Digital Content


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This presentation is a primer for content marketing. Best consumed by those new to publishing digital content , those struggling to see results, or if you're just looking for some inspiration.

Published in: Business, Technology, Design

How (And Why) To Create Remarkable Digital Content

  1. How (and why) To Create RemarkableDigital Content<br />››@AdamSinger<br />››<br />
  2. “Without a captive audience, there's no such thing as "advertising" any more. It's just content. And it needs to be good/interesting/relevant content if you want to get anyone to pay attention to it.”-Mike Masnick<br />
  3. <quick intro><br />
  4. Hi, I’m Adam (if we already know each other, you can skip to slide 10 - if we don’t, say hello) <br />
  5. I blog @<br />
  6. Also @ Online Marketing Blog<br />
  7. I’m a digital marketer @ TopRank Online Marketing<br />
  8. And a creative commons artist (visit for free tunes)<br />
  9. </intro><br />
  10. There’s something we should chat about<br />
  11. About that blog you launched, but don’t update<br />Credit:<br />Less than 10% of blogs are active on a daily basis*<br />*source:<br />
  12. About your web site if it’s basically a super-efficient brochure<br />
  13. About your brand’s digital reach, if it isn’t increasing monthly…<br />
  14. Think it’s tough now? 6 in 10* marketers are spending more on content marketing in 2010 - it’s going to get even more crowded<br />*Source: Junta 42 Content Marketing Spending Report)<br />
  15. If you are a digital professional (marketer, PR pro, blogger, etc.) you’re publishing content.But are you unsure how it can provide increasing returns?(if you are lost there is hope – don’t jump off that bridge!)<br />
  16. And for those 4/10 marketers who are not planning to create more content – are you sure?<br />
  17. OK – you’re ready for some tips…<br />
  18. Or, even simpler:Fresh (remarkable) content = winStatic/stale websites = failMake sense? Great, let’s keep going....<br />
  19. First, you need an overall content strategy<br />
  20. All your content should play to the strategy, align to accomplish an objective and enable you to get known for something<br />
  21. “Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion.  Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost.  Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious, than the bland and timid masses.”-Robert Greene, 48 Laws Of Power<br />
  22. So - what should your strategy be?<br />
  23. That all depends…but I’ll share 10 effective tips I’ve learned developing content strategies to get you started<br />
  24. 10 tips for content strategy development:1. Think like an editor, not a writer (so, big picture)2. Don’t be afraid to develop a strategy that creates enemies (enemies are good)3. Give it time – payoff is not immediate (but if you’re smart, you can help speed it up)4. If you don’t understand the niche, don’t be the one to develop the strategy5. Fill gaps in the niche (what’s missing that people are demanding?)6. Realize you can change this mid-stream, be flexible (change is good)7. Position against others, especially those who have detractors (you’ll scoop them up)8. Don’t create a strategy you can’t fulfill content for long term (you’ll run out of ideas)9. The strategy should not please everyone (if it does, it’s not sharp enough) 10. Appear non-competitive to the big players (that way, they’ll link to you)<br />
  25. Once you have your strategy, we’re ready to get rolling. <br />
  26. I know I skipped objectives, measurement, tools, mediums and a tactical plan – I’ll leave that to you. For now, let’s just focus on content.<br />
  27. Before you concept any content, consider these questions carefully:<br />
  28. But that’s not everything…<br />
  29. Q: What’s the real reason most bloggers, PR pros and marketers don’t break through the digital clutter?<br />Image credit:<br />
  30. A: They’re not trying hard enough<br />
  31. If your management team won’t let you put real people behind content<br />
  32. If you can’t get that creative idea approved<br />
  33. If legal doesn’t even think you should be publishing content<br />
  34. If your team won’t give you the resources<br />
  35. These are your problems – solve them!<br />
  36. Further…<br />
  37. You haveto - care about your content - be creative - be passionate - be networkedWhen every company is a media company…it’s far too competitive to be anything less<br />Image credit: Hugh MacLeod<br />
  38. In other words: it takes brain power, creativity and passion more than budget.(hint: passion is a secret of the social web)<br />*source:<br />Image credit:<br />
  39. Making content is easy.<br />
  40. Making content that matters is not – ittakes time, courage and focus<br />
  41. Don’t go cheap<br />
  42. Don’t cut corners<br />
  43. Take pride in your content if you hope to ever have it heard<br />
  44. Let’s look at some examples of good content <br />
  45. First example: being resourceful<br />
  46. Smashing Magazine is a white-hot web publication that frequently publishes lists, which have propelled them to 5 million+ VPM in the last year. Their content is their marketing.<br />
  47. Some success metrics<br />- Their stories frequently go popular on social news sites like Digg- Frequently inspires 100’s of organic comments- Gains insane amounts of reactions/links/refs around the web<br />
  48. Results like this will light up many areas of your programs (and business)<br />
  49. In fact, go check out that article, I’ll wait…<br />
  50. Did you notice it was only ~500 words?<br />
  51. But did you also notice the author Vitaly created something unmissable to his niche?<br />
  52. Imagine the time that went into finding 53 specific examples…For just one article!<br />
  53. Creating content that awesome is what you have to do if you want to grow.<br />
  54. By creating content like this, Smashing Magazine has built:- 5,000,000 million+ visitors/month- 200,000+ subscribers- 107,105comments as of Feb 2010- Leverage to sell a book- Enough attention to sell ads- Enough attention for a job board<br />
  55. Next content example: A clever video to promote a book<br />
  56. YouTube’s fact sheet states every minute, 24 hours of video is uploaded to the network<br />
  57. And the truth is most videos that promote books suck<br />
  58. If you’re going to do this or create any type of video, think critically about it first<br />
  59. Book promotional video for Erik Qualman’s book, Socialnomics<br />Click the link if you haven’t seen the Socialnomics video - is your video this cool? If not, don’t ask your PR people to promote it. Buy ads.<br />
  60. Some success metrics<br /> - Video generated 2 million+ views- Has been referenced/ embedded across the web (18K results in Google just for “Socialnomics Video” as one example)- Video has been a factor to help put Erik’s Socialnomics blog, on the map – his traffic spiked when the video was released and never let back down.<br />
  61. Of course, Erik’s objective is about more than buzz – those could all be KPIs (key performance indicators) to an end objective…<br />
  62. But without buzz, he wouldn’t have the results he does…<br />
  63. Video objective = awareness for the book, <br /> (and ultimately sales)<br />
  64. The book is also popular enough to show up in the top results of an Amazon search for Social Media<br />
  65. Next example:Visual representation of data<br />
  66. As part of their marketing, OKCupid, a free online dating site publishes compelling statistical data on dating. Except, instead of just sharing the numbers – they are known to visually represent the data in a compelling way.<br />
  67. Growth<br />Content is a part of their mix to market their brand, just one more element helping them achieve hockey-stick growth<br />
  68. Another example:“ego bait”<br />
  69. At the end of 2008 I compiled a list of 22 blogger quotes….<br />
  70. Then mashed up the quotes with images and made a slideshare<br />
  71. A few success metrics…<br />- The slideshare has nearly 20K views- Achieved links from ultra-authoritative blogs - The twoquotes postson the blog generate consistent traffic (for content I just gathered). - Total original content created by me: nothing. All from getting creative with other people’s ideas, who were fine with me sharing them(free promotions for them, it’s win-win)<br />
  72. As a byproduct, I received web ink from the A-list….<br />(Posts from Chris Brogan, Brian Solis, Leo Babautaand Eric Friedman to name a few)<br />
  73. I experimentwith ideas like this all the time – and it’s surprising how often they work. Not to mention how easy and fun getting creative with web content is. (you should experiment too – make the web your scratchpad)<br />
  74. These are just a few examples - there is no limit to what you can do with digital technology + creativity.<br />
  75. Great content amplifies your KPIs<br />
  76. But the true objective should be to grow a community<br />
  77. Who else is doing this well?<br />
  78. Google takes their content directly to consumers<br />
  79. If the Official Google Blog was a newspaper, its subscriber numbers would put it in the top 10 for daily circulation (hat tip Noah)<br />
  80. Google breaks their own news. They have a blog for literally everything they do.Then, the rest of the industry propagates it for them.<br />
  81. The Pro Blog Design team literally gives away their design secrets. By doing that, they have not only built a massive following, they instill confidence in prospects and win business.<br />
  82. Mike Masnick, CEO of Techdirt/Floor 64 built an entire business around content though his tech news blog<br />
  83. With 600,000+ subscribers, they had more than a sufficient group to launch their insight community product<br />
  84. Eric Friedman’s blog content at a factor in helping him get a position with top VC firm Union Square Ventures (and he’s actually now working at Foursquare)<br />
  85. Online Marketing Blog, published by the TopRank Marketing team has a thriving community, and is the #1 source of new biz(we walk the content marketing talk)<br />
  86. I’ve hired SEO designer/technical guru Steven Bradley to help out on several projects (and he rocked at all of them). I never even read his services pages and I knew he was a fit. I didn’t need to, his content all goes into my RSS reader.<br />
  87. What is your content doing for you?<br />
  88. Bonus: Confused by all the strategy talk? Here are some basic steps to start with<br />1. Spend a lot of time making and promoting awesome content. The content you create should do all the “heavy lifting” – if done right, each bit should become a high-value entry point for your brand and provide consistent returns. As you create more hits, they build upon each other giving the rest of your content more visibility.2. Always be forming connections with others, whether it’s through your content or personal. It’s amazing how few people realize the web is built on human connections. BTW, I said connect, don’t spam. 3. Work hard up front to reach a point you need little to no push marketing of your content, and let your community be the judge of what spreads.4. Learn from your community’s feedback by watching how they react. 5. Measure, iterate and refine.<br />
  89. Ready to learn more?Subscribe to The Future Buzz and join more than 7,000 digital professionals today.Just follow one of the links below (it’s free, and never any spam)Click to subscribe via RSSClick to subscribe via email(or follow @AdamSinger on Twitter)Credit to for all un-cited presentation images <br />