The Point

Archive for April, 2015

Apr

Is the Wrong Department Creating Your Content? [Video: Interview with Marcus Sheridan]

Marcus Sheridan creating content

Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion, always calls me “brother.” Though I’m way older than him, I see him more as a “father” than a sibling.

You see, it was just four years ago when I read “Inbound Marketing” by the founders of HubSpot. I thought, “I get it. This is how marketing works now.” Then I thought, “I want to learn more about it from someone that’s actually done it,” that is, drive mountains of traffic, leads and sales by creating content prospects seek and pulling them into your website to devour it.

I went to a conference to hear Marcus speak. He blew me and everyone else in the room away.

Then I got to know him. We became friends. I did what Marcus said to do, which essentially was blog. Answer your prospects’ questions. It worked.

I continue to pay close attention to what he teaches. I continue to learn. And now, I bring you some very special lessons from a cat that teaches and preaches content marketing like no one else.

Marcus wants you to understand something immensely important… (more…)

Apr

Infographics 101: The Big Idea (The Great Big List of Infographic Ideas)

Great big  list of infographics ideas

Infographics continue rocking. And rolling.

See, you may knock one out of the park with a blog post or another content type and earn links and social media shares, but something unique happens with a killer infographic …

It not only captures attention, it gets reposted. All over the place. And your brand goes with it, rolling across the social web like tumbleweed. Of course, it’s gratifying, but it’s also great for extending the reach of your brand and its message. (more…)

Apr

Your Guide to Mastering the Most Critical Content Marketing Skill

Content marketing skillYou’ll need a number of skills to master content marketing. The most important of them is teaching.

Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi hit the concept squarely with his post “Why Education is a Powerful Content Marketing Strategy: 17 Examples.” As usual, Joe’s lesson was off-the-charts. I also loved the commentary stream that followed, especially this:

Content marketing is education

The post inspired me to write a “how to teach effectively” article featuring the ideas of two experts on the subject of learning: my daughters. The article details five lessons for earning an A in education. If you fear your content may sometimes lull readers to sleep, check it out.

Tapping into the minds of expert educators (and students)

In an effort to explore the topic further, I pecked my way around the web, digging up insights from a variety of experts qualified to opine on the qualities of the best teachers.

I wasn’t surprised to find a number of the themes my kids hit on re-emerge—especially humor, interaction, and unpredictability. It’s kind of a lesson within this lesson: Want to know what works best? Ask your audience.

You follow me, right? I’m saying if you want to know what makes a great teacher, ask the students. This simple principle applies to your content marketing in the biggest way. Are you in the habit of asking your customers how you can best school them? (more…)

Apr

20 Signs Your Web Content Writer Won’t Cut Through the Crap

Web content writer

I was on vacation in Vancouver with my family last week. We went to the famous public market on Granville Island. There’s a lot to see and do there. The market seems to offer every flavor of everything.

I would have enjoyed it more if my sinuses were not a stuffed-up mess. When I decided to give my throbbing head a break and sit down and listen to a busker play guitar, my family headed back into the market for tea.

When they came to rally me again, they presented me with a tea specially blended to kick colds. The concoction included ginger and cayenne pepper. I took a sip, gagged, and tossed it in the trash. The tea was nastier than my head cold.

It wasn’t the highlight of my trip, but it’s not an experience I’ll soon forget. I’ll remember where I got it and how it made me feel.

Who the hell puts cayenne pepper in tea?

The answer is a tea specialist, a tea specialist who wants to make someone feel better… a tea specialist that wants to make a bold statement… a tea specialist aiming to get a response from her customer.

For all the same reasons, I submit great copywriters mix in cayenne pepper too. They may not use pepper in every paragraph they serve. They may choose to forgo the pepper in favor of different flavor. But trust me on this: they shan’t shy away from peppering their prose with spice.

Everyone’s a web content writer now

The gold rush of 1849 produced the term 49er, meaning a person who had gone to California to mine gold.

I just did a Google search for “web content writer.” In a half-second the search engine returned 115-million results. From my POV, it seems today’s mother lode is content marketing, the treasure trove that connects customers to companies.

Will the legions of new web content writers earn the nickname 15ers?

I’ve written this post to help you understand wordsmiths are cut from different cloths. I hope to tool you with insights to spare you from the headaches symptomatic of hiring the wrong writer. (more…)