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HOW TO RUIN YOUR CONTENT MARKETING,
ONE REVIEW AT A TIME
By Derek Slater, Content Director
“HAVING YOUR BOOK TURNED INTO A MOVIE IS LIKE SEEING
YOUR OXEN TURNED INTO BOUILLON CUBES.”
John le Carre
CHIPPING AWAY WITH THE VERY BEST INTENTIONS
The first rule of good content marketing is to put the audience first.
People ...
Excerpt from the article draft
...But the eight-member Technical Committee’s proposed approach
was subject to vigorous deb...
Review by the source
...But the eight-member Technical Committee’s proposed approach
was subject to vigorous debate.
“We f...
Review by MegaCorp’s legal and compliance department
...But the eight-member Technical Committee’s proposed approach was
s...
Review by MegaCorp PR/comms team
...But the eight-member Technical Committee’s proposed approach was
subject to thorough e...
Final review by Tyrell marketing department
All products used by MegaCorp are subject to a rigorous safety review.
“After ...
WHAT’S THE CUMULATIVE EFFECT?
Before reviews
...But the eight-member Technical Committee’s proposed solution was subject to vigorous debate.
“We fought ...
HOW DOES THE TARGET AUDIENCE REACT TO THE FINAL VERSION?
“Whatever. We could never do that. It would have to go
through our technical committee and our finance guys, and
we’d prob...
WHAT DO ALL THESE REVISIONS HAVE IN COMMON?
They’re about making the sources or the companies look good.
Instead of being about serving the audience.
The review proce...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Prior to joining Ready State, Content Director Derek Slater spent two
decades in B2B technology journalis...
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How to ruin your content marketing, one review at a time

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Conventional marketing reviews may in fact harm your B2B content, chipping away reader value by removing details and reducing candor. Think reader first, not company first.

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How to ruin your content marketing, one review at a time

  1. 1. HOW TO RUIN YOUR CONTENT MARKETING, ONE REVIEW AT A TIME By Derek Slater, Content Director
  2. 2. “HAVING YOUR BOOK TURNED INTO A MOVIE IS LIKE SEEING YOUR OXEN TURNED INTO BOUILLON CUBES.” John le Carre
  3. 3. CHIPPING AWAY WITH THE VERY BEST INTENTIONS The first rule of good content marketing is to put the audience first. People are pretty sophisticated; they can tell whether you are trying to help or entertain them, or just pushing your company, product, or marketing message. Most marketers and business executives get this concept. But often, when they’re asked to review a piece of content marketing, old habits take over. Let’s watch the overall effect in a fictional B2B example. Here’s a snippet from an article about an enterprise technology project at MegaCorp, which uses software from Tyrell. The target audience for the article is CIOs.
  4. 4. Excerpt from the article draft ...But the eight-member Technical Committee’s proposed approach was subject to vigorous debate. “We fought like cats and dogs, honestly,” laughs MegaCorp’s CIO. “The finance guys were focused on performance, because they want to do their jobs faster, but ultimately we realized the API features mattered more than that 10% performance boost.”
  5. 5. Review by the source ...But the eight-member Technical Committee’s proposed approach was subject to vigorous debate. “We fought like cats and dogs, honestly It took careful review to arrive at consensus,” laughs said MegaCorp’s CIO. “The finance guys were focused on performance, because they want to do their jobs faster, but ultimately we realized the API features mattered more than that 10% performance boost.”
  6. 6. Review by MegaCorp’s legal and compliance department ...But the eight-member Technical Committee’s proposed approach was subject to vigorous debate thorough evaluation. “It took After careful review we arrived at consensus,” said MegaCorp’s CIO. “The finance guys were focused on performance, because they want to do their jobs faster, ensuring 100% adherence to regulatory requirements, but ultimately we realized the API features mattered more than that 10% performance boost. we could also have robust API features.”
  7. 7. Review by MegaCorp PR/comms team ...But the eight-member Technical Committee’s proposed approach was subject to thorough evaluation. All products used by MegaCorp are subject to a rigorous safety review. “After careful review we arrived at consensus,” said MegaCorp’s CIO. “The finance guys were department was focused on ensuring 100% adherence to regulatory requirements, but ultimately we realized we could also have robust API features. and our customers come first in everything we do at MegaCorp.”
  8. 8. Final review by Tyrell marketing department All products used by MegaCorp are subject to a rigorous safety review. “After careful review consideration we arrived at consensus made the obvious choice, Tyrell,” said MegaCorp’s CIO. “The finance guys were department was focused on ensuring 100% adherence to regulatory requirements, Tyrell™ is No. 1 in the industry because of its awesome Widgetifier© technology. It’s a great match “because customers come first in everything we do at MegaCorp.”
  9. 9. WHAT’S THE CUMULATIVE EFFECT?
  10. 10. Before reviews ...But the eight-member Technical Committee’s proposed solution was subject to vigorous debate. “We fought like cats and dogs, honestly,” laughs MegaCorp’s CIO. “The finance guys were focused on performance, because they want to do their jobs faster, but ultimately we realized the API features mattered more than that 10% performance boost.” After reviews All products used by MegaCorp are subject to a rigorous safety review. “After careful consideration we made the obvious choice, Tyrell,” said MegaCorp’s CIO. “Tyrell™ is No. 1 in the industry because of its awesome Widgetifier© technology. It’s a great match “because customers come first in everything we do at MegaCorp.”
  11. 11. HOW DOES THE TARGET AUDIENCE REACT TO THE FINAL VERSION?
  12. 12. “Whatever. We could never do that. It would have to go through our technical committee and our finance guys, and we’d probably fight like cats and dogs.”
  13. 13. WHAT DO ALL THESE REVISIONS HAVE IN COMMON?
  14. 14. They’re about making the sources or the companies look good. Instead of being about serving the audience. The review processes chipped away all the details that would have resonated with the reader. As a result, the reader gets no value, and the content has no impact. FOCUS ON THE READER AND GOOD THINGS WILL FOLLOW.
  15. 15. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Prior to joining Ready State, Content Director Derek Slater spent two decades in B2B technology journalism. He was editor in chief of award-winning security publication CSO for seven years, and he previously held editorial leadership positions with CIO and with the Enterprise IT and Finance media groups at FierceMarkets. He wrote the book Content Marketing in 30 Minutes and has special interest in two areas: the use of analytics and SEO data to inform content creation, and content reuse and recycling. On Twitter he’s @derekcslater. Originally published as How to ruin your B2B content marketing (one review at a time) on the Ready State blog. http://www.readystatements.com/ http://readystate.com/

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