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6 posts from January 2012

Planning to share ideas in a sustainable way #li

Do you ever wonder if an idea is worth tweeting about? Wonder if you should spend more time saying something more original? Well, the answer is Yes and No. 

Here's an excellent way to plan your marketing communications, regardless of which media channels you use. I discovered this idea with Noah Brier, but the Robin Sloan article he mentions is also excellent. 

Ad Age Digital Next: How Mastering 'Stock and Flow' will Boost your Content Strategy, 2011-Nov-14, by Noah Brier

...The current state of content on the web: [moving] to "stock and flow," a metaphor coined by Robin Sloan, formerly of Twitter (and the blog Snarkmarket). Stock, Sloan explained, "… is the durable stuff. It's the content you produce that's as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today. It's what people discover via search. It's what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time." Flow, on the other hand, " … is the feed. It's the posts and the tweets. It's the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind people that you exist."

Scoops and great storytelling are stock: They bring in new audience.

But days need to be filled and audiences need new content or they'll find somewhere else to do their refreshing. That's where flow comes in. Flow is pieces of content, produced rapidly and at a low cost.

Curated content is flow: It keeps people coming back and keeps a publisher, or brand, front-of-mind.

Lead generation is not about flashes of brilliance. #li

When people ask about the secret of lead generation, I know they are looking for a silver bullet, to be shot one time, making all the prospects flock to them. Not happening. Lead generation is about slog, slog, slogging consistency and persistence. 

Hubspot: Sustainable Lead Generation, 2011-Dec-23, by Corey Eridon

1.) Blog, blog, blog. If you haven't already started a blog, do it. If you have one, write for it consistently. If you're not sure how often you should blog, take a look at your organic competitors. If they are blogging twice a week, outdo them and blog four times a week. Just make sure you're not winning the quantity game by sacrificing quality.

2.) Keep other web pages up to date. The frequency with which you post and update content matters in search engines, and to people. Blogging is a great solution to this, but don't neglect the rest of your website. Update your event pages, news pages, product and service pages, and 'about us' pages to stay up to date with the pace at which your industry moves. No, you won't update these as much as your blog, but keeping the content fresh and timely is crucial to maintain relevancy.

Write like you know you'll need help #li

The most interesting thing about David Ogilvy's approach to copywriting is that he assumed that he would struggle and need the help of other people. It's humbling to realize that we shortchange ourselves when we just write something off the top of our head. 

Letters of Note: I am a lousy copywriter, 2012-Jan-24, by David Ogilvy, via Shaun Usher


5. Before actually writing the copy, I write down every concievable fact and selling idea. Then I get them organized and relate them to research and the copy platform.

6. Then I write the headline. As a matter of fact I try to write 20 alternative headlines for every advertisement. And I never select the final headline without asking the opinion of other people in the agency. In some cases I seek the help of the research department and get them to do a split-run on a battery of headlines.

7. At this point I can no longer postpone the actual copy. So I go home and sit down at my desk. I find myself entirely without ideas. ... 

Finding an audience that cares #li

Building a great list of people who await your messages is very challenging, but in the end, it's the only way to have a marketing system that's sustainable. 

Blog: Trap of Social Media Noise, 2011-Dec, by Seth Godin

The game theory pushes us into one of two directions: either be better at pump and dump than anyone else, get your numbers into the millions, outmass those that choose to use mass and always dance at the edge of spam (in which the number of those you offend or turn off forever keep increasing), or

Relentlessly focus. Prune your message and your list and build a reputation that's worth owning and an audience that cares.

Real change in tempo of marketing communications #li

When I started off in the advertising world, we spent months developing campaigns. Now marketing communications is more about responding to signals. 

Only Dead Fish: Slow Fast and Spiky Communication, 2011-Nov, by Neil Perkin

A key element of this for me is linked to timing. Shiv mentions that media planning will change as social signals will heavily influence planning decisions, but I think this stretches into creative production as well, as decisions about when to create different elements of a narrative, and when to take them to a wider audience are impacted by the way in which people are involved with different parts of the story. It's kind of like the 'user-led advertainment' idea (in which ads become stories that unfold at the users pace)....

A loyalty marketer asks herself 'what makes me loyal?' #li

Over at The Hub, a loyalty marketer observes the brands and loyalty programs that fuel her behavior. While incentives can temporarily increase her purchase frequency, it's the stories that win her heart. She has a suggested process.

  1. Discover the brand's journey and why customers should join it.
  2. Invest in customer intimacy.
  3. Make sure your touchpoints are connected. 
  4. Provide a place for your customers to commune.
  5. Partner with other brands to serve your customers more completely.
  6. Keep testing yourself and evolving.

The Hub: The Loyalty Curve, 2011-Dec, by Lauren de Simone