Join Me As I Explore the 2 Sides of Andy Davis {Author Interview}

Posted May 27th @ 2:32 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Join me next Tuesday, May 30, when I interview Andrew Davis, content marketing author/keynote speaker, and catalyst for urban change.

Andrew Davis is a fascinating exception to the conventional wisdom, which advises experts to “find your niche and dominate it!

I discovered Andy through his frequent, Content Marketing Institute blog posts, blog posts, Claim Your Fame podcasts, and presentations. He is also an instructor for the Content Marketing Institute Online Training and Certification program.

Andy also contributes a provocative Unsolicited Advice feature in the CCO (Chief Content Officer) Magazine. It’s always the first thing I turn to when the latest issue arrives.

Brandshaping

To content marketers, Andy is best known as the author of Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships.

Brandscaping is based on a simple question, Who has your next customer as their current customer?

Brandscaping contains hundreds of case studies and lessons describing how firms, both large and small, out-marketed their competition using content-based partnership tactics.

To help you answer the question, Andy has organized the contents into three parts:

  1. The Paradigm Shifts
  2. Branding in the New World
  3. Content is Currency

The Appendix contains numerous resources, including 27 Questions to Ask Yourself which you can use to facilitate discussion when introducing Brandscaping to your clients and coworkers.

Town Inc.

Andy’s second bookTown Inc., subtitled Grow Your Business, Save Your Town. Leave Your Legacy, is a vital resource for informed citizens concerned about their hometown’s survival and quality of life.

It’s a thoroughly-researched and statistically-based book introduces a new approach that addresses a topic of growing relevance written from a historical, rather than economics and world trade perspective.

Town Inc. is a readable, story-based comparisons of identical towns in adjacent regions, one of which has a vibrant economy and attractive quality of life, the other with a stagnant economy and deteriorating quality of life.

It’s the perfect book to inspire citizens to Stake their Claim! a encourage appropriate action from unexpected community resources.

Why you should attend this call

As always, I want my conversation with Andrew Davis to uncover lessons and tips that all of us can apply to the pragmatics of content marketing and writing books that make a difference. But, that’s just the starting point.

More important, as I talk to Andrew next Tuesday, I’ll be looking for clues that will help all of us “stake our claim” (Andrew’s words) as thought leaders.

To attend this free call

My interview with Andrew Davis takes place Tuesday, May 30, at 4:00 PM Eastern. To attend, dial 605-475-6150 and enter PIN 513391. All Published & Profitable friends and members are invited to attend. You’re invited to pass along this invitation. There will be an opportunity to ask Andy questions at the end of the call.

Free Twitter #Hashtag Tracker Drives Blog Post Traffic

Posted May 23rd @ 6:29 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Discover how Twitter #Hashtags can promote your content and attract new followers.

Click the image to download this free Mindjet MindManager Twitter #Hashtag Tracker mind map template. It contains over 450 Twitter #hashtag links for you to explore.

Use #hashtags to build your list, attract new followers, and discover others to follow.

How #hashtags can boost your online visibility

#Hashtags help you target your marketing messages to those who are looking for content like yours. They can help you:

  • Attract new followers. Include #hashtags when when promoting articles, blog posts, and upcoming events on Twitter. Use them when Replying and ReTweeting others. Use them to attract the attention of others who are looking for specific topics. Use them to boost attendance at your events.
  • Locate new influencers. Discover new sources of ideas, tactics, and tips. Save time by locating subject area experts and respected thought leaders in each area. Search for Twitter #hashtags targeting different writing and marketing-related topics. Gain greater access to more information and build lasting relationships with thought leaders.

Immediate access to specific topics and tasks within categories

You can for broad topics, like #business, #marketing, #writing, and #visualthinking. Or, you can dig deeper and search for specific ideas, tasks, and topics associated within each category.

Working with a large mind map

The first thing to do after downloading and opening the Twitter #Hashtag Tracker mind map is to select the center topic, and collapse it. The easiest way to do this is to use the Windows CTRL+D keyboard shortcut. At this point, you can breathe easier because all that’s visible are the 12 primary topics, i.e., #Business, #Marketing, #VisualThinking, #Psychology, etc.

From this perspective, we can see how mindmap topics logically relate to each other, making it easy to locate desired information.

Step 1: Locating #Hashtags

To better understand how topics relate to each other, let’s explore #marketing #hashtag.

Select the #marketing topic by clicking on it, then expand it by clicking the + sign.

The #marketing topic expands, revealing 14 subtopics related to marketing, each with its own #hashtag.

Each time you expand one of the 14 subtopics, it  reveals more resources for you to explore.

Step 2: Select the contentmarketing #hashtag

For example, let’s explore the various subtopics associated with #contentmarketing.

When you select it, 7 content marketing #hashtag categories appear, i.e., #blogging, #branding, etc.

Numbers follow some of the #hashtags. These numbers display the number of other #hashtags associated with the topic.

Note: when you create #hashtags, do not include spaces between words. Only the first word counts.


Step 3: Explore with greater precision

To dig deeper, let’s assume you’re looking for #hashtags appropriate for promoting a blog post you recently created or curated. Select the #content #hashtag. This will reveal 14 #hashtags for content related topics.

The ability to target specific topics can enhance the effectiveness of your content. The more specific you are, the more likely your content will resonate with your readers. This will pay off by increasing your followers. Using the appropriate #hashtags also makes it more likely to be noticed by the content creation or curation leaders you’re looking for.

Leveraging what you’ve just learned

The above provides just an example of how much easy-to-access on a mind map.

I created the example with Mindjet’s MindManager. MindManager has been the most popular mind mapping software program for several years.

Mindjet offers MindManager for smartphones, iPhones, Macs, and Windows computers.

If you’re new to mind mapping…

Discover for yourself how easy it is to manage ideas and information in a visual environment.

  1. Download the free 30-day trial version of Mindjet’s MindManager.
  2. Then, download  the #Hashtag Tracker Mind Map template. Download the template from Biggerplate, the world’s largest library of mind mapping templates

Working with the Twitter #Hashtag Tracker as an example, you’ll become comfortable navigating a mind map by selecting topics to expand or collapse. You’ll also be able to adding and deleting #hashtag topics and dragging them from location to location.

Contact me for additional mindmapping resources and training.

3 Important Content Marketing Lessons from The Content Formula

Posted May 16th @ 6:35 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

The Content Formula, by Michael Brenner and Liz Bedor, is a “must read” for content marketers.

It does more than just share valuable advice on an often ignored aspect of content marketing.

It can also help content marketers enjoy greater publishing success and return on investment.

Here are three of the The Content Formula’s most important lessons.

Lesson 1: Start with a short title and a long subtitle

A short title permits the use of a large type size. This attracts the reader’s eyes and immediately communicates what the book is all about. Titles containing a few, short words are best.

This works especially well when the two words in the title are of similar length, as in The Content Formula. (Both Content and Formula contain 7 letters.)

Notice that the least important word, i.e., The is smaller than the other words in the title. This places more emphasis on the more important words.

Why subtitles matter

Subtitles are as important as titles to a book’s success.

The Content Formula, by itself, doesn’t tell enough of a story to “make the sale.” The subtitle, Calculate the ROI of Content Marketing & Never Waste Money Again provides more information. It describes the book’s approach and the benefits readers will gain from the book:

  1. What’s the book about? Calculating ROI (return on investment)
  2. Who are the intended readers? Content marketers
  3. How will they benefit? They’ll never waste money again

Subtitles do more than reinforce titles, of course. Subtitles provide space for inserting search engine friendly keywords and phrases. These help readers locate your book when searching online, looking for blog posts and reviews.

“Magic” words and phrases

Effective titles and subtitles do more than just communicate the facts. The best titles use emotion to reinforce facts and turn interest into desire.

Suppose the subtitle read: Calculate the ROI of Content Marketing & Save Money. The title communicates the same information, but doesn’t resonate on an emotional level.

But, substituting Never Waste Money, reinforced with Again, generates urgency for action.

Lesson 2: Choose a simple structure and be concise

The Content Formula’s structure simplifies the topic to a few steps makes it appear more manageable.

The route to “never wasting money again” involves just three steps:

  1. Part One: Build the Business Case
  2. Part Two: Find the Budget
  3. Part Three: Measure the Business Case

Note the comfortable “logic” to the process.

In addition, short, imperative verbs, Build, Find, and Measure, introduce each step. This “tone of voice” reflects confidence and commands respect.

Selectivity

Selectivity is the key to a book’s effectiveness. There’s virtue in selectivity and conciseness.

What you leave out is as important as what you include.

If you include too much information, readers may overlook your book because it appears too long and will take too much time to read.

There’s no need to communicate everything about your topic or addressing a market niche.

There’s a lifetime ahead of you to share more information. You can provide more details blogging, speaking, or during interviews. The book is your opening act; there’s more to come!

A forty dollar, 300-page book may not help you achieve your goals as well as a twenty dollar, 110-page book

Lesson 3: Provide a complete solution

The Content Formula’s most important lesson is to not just write a book, but create a tool, like a workbook.  A workbook bridges the gap between information and reader action.

Many share helpful information, but few make it easy for readers to use the information. As a result, after reading the book, readers don’t pick it up again until they return it to the office bookshelf.

The Content Formula is a welcome exception. It contains tools that reinforce its message and encourage immediate action. The tools include:

  • Detailed instructions. The Content Formula outlines the steps Michael Brenner followed at a leading software provider. The subdivisions within each chapter describe specific tasks for you to perform. The text that follows explains the importance of each step and the goals you hope to achieve.
  • Space to take notes within each chapter. It’s one thing to read a page or two of text. The Content Formula provides space to take notes while you’re reading. Handwritten notes summarizing important points increase comprehension and retention.
  • Formulas for calculating specific costs. Content marketing success involves numbers based return on investment. These numbers are necessary to justify investment and to make informed decisions. You’ll understand the true costs and benefits of Brand Awareness, Brand Health, and Conversions. Many content marketers approach these topics from a subjective point of view.

Content Formula Cheat Sheets

The Content Formula ends with a Summary that guides you as you craft your own content formula. There are there are 10 Steps and 10 Calculations. Each contains space for you to immediately take action.

10 Steps

The 10 Steps starts with a two-page review of The Content Formulas’s key ideas. There is a one paragraph overview of each step, often stated as a question. The next sentence or two describes its relevance and suggests a next step. For example:

  • Question 4. What percentage of the traffic on your website comes from early-stage search? What percentage of the content on your website answers early-stage customer questions?
  • Question 7. How big is your content subscriber list? Every subscriber to your content marketing program provides reach, engagement, and the potential to convert to real sales.

The following ten pages provides space for you to address each topic, one topic per page.

10 Calculations

The 10 Calculations follows the same format. There is a two-page review of key questions, followed by space for calculating to address each question.

At first glance, the questions appear easy. But answering them requires the calculations introduced in earlier chapters. (Luckily, the calculations follow each question.) For example:

  • Question 5. What is the Value of Our Repeat Visitors? (Website Advertising Dollars Divided by Ad-driven Traffic) times Repeat Visitors.
  • Question 8. What is the Content Marketing Cost Per Lead? Content Marketing Costs divided by Content Marketing Leads.

Again, there are ten pages for you to start assemble the data needed for the calculations.

Takeaways

The Content Formula describes how to make better decisions based on return on investment.

It also  shares engagement ideas and tools you might consider for future books or white papers.

To learn more, visit www.thecontentformulabook.com. You can follow Michael Brenner on Twitter and the Marketing Insider Group. You can also follow Liz Bedor on Twitter and her Liz Bedor website.

If you’ve already read The Content Formula, share your comments below or on Amazon.

Content Marketing Creativity from an Artist’s Point of View

Posted May 9th @ 5:44 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

At a time when the role of content marketing creativity, craftsmanship, and strategy are being discussed in blogs and podcasts like Jay Acunzo’s Unthinkable.FM and Jason Miller’s The Miles Davis Approach to Content Marketing Strategy, I was reminded of the words of photorealism painter Richard Estes, quoted in Richard Estes’ Realism:

I think the popular concept of the artist is as a person who has this great passion and enthusiasm and super emotion. He just throws himself into this great masterpiece and collapses from exhaustion when it’s finished. It’s really not that way at all. Usually, it’s a pretty calculated, sustained, and slow process by which you develop something. The effect can be one of spontaneity, but that’s part of the artistry.

I think the real test is to plan something and be able to carry it out to the very end. Not that you’re always enthusiastic. It’s just that you have to get the thing out. It’s not done with one’s emotions; it’s done with the head.

As someone who has been inspired by Richard Estes’s paintings throughout most of my life, I find both inspiration and peace in his words.

The context of the words

What’s fascinating about Richard Estes’ paintings, as you can explore in the above book, or at numerous locations online) is the relevance of his words in the context of the intricacy of his images, which often include reflections and reflections of reflections.

  • What is his message to you?
  • How do you feel about his words?
  • What is he saying about deadlines versus “minimal viable product” and topics like “getting it shipped?”
  • Is content marketing a form of art?
  • What do these words mean to you, if you’re an author writing a book?

Share your comments below. Is this a content marketing creativity or productivity topic you’d like to see addressed more often from an artistic points of view?

How Newsjacking Lead to Content Marketing Success

Posted February 1st @ 6:06 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

One of the Content Marketing Institute’s most popular SlideShare presentation was based on one of my guest posts–a success I now credit to David Meerman Scott’s Newsjacking.

Click the image to view the SlideShare presentation based on my post, 12 Months of Content Marketing Ideas for SlideShare Presentations which appeared February 19, 2013.

For two years, it was the Content Marketing Institute’s most viewed SlideShare presentation.

And, out of the Content Marketing Institute’s 135 SlideShare presentations, it’s still their 8th most popular!

Only recently, however, do I recognize the role that David Meerman Scott’s Newsjacking played in the article and presentation.

I now realize that I was an “Inadvertent Newsjacker.”

My success was based on techniques that David Meerman Scott described in his 1911 Newsjacking ebook!

Newsjacking was the catalyst

After watching David’s recently-released Mastering Newsjacking video training program, I suddenly realized that Joe Pulizzi’s Feb. 2, 2013 blog post, 24 Top Content Marketing Questions Answered in Less than 140 Characters, was the catalyst that inspired me to write my original post, which appeared on two weeks later.

In his post, Joe Pulizzi, the Content Marketing Institute’s founder, called SlideShare, “the most underutilized content distribution tool—and it’s not even close!”

Joe’s words were my catalyst to action.

I had recently discovered SlideShare, thanks to Todd Wheatland’s game-changing book, The Marketer’s Guide to SlideShare:  How to Build Your Brand, Generate Leads, and Create Opportunities.

I was so impressed by how Todd’s book showed me how I could leverage my PowerPoint skills and existing content to reach a new audience that I immediately reviewed it on Amazon and followed up with several posts on SlideShare topics:

  1. Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Success with SlideShare. Amazon.com review, September 28, 2012.
  2. 11 Ways to Use SlideShare for Content Marketing Success. Content Marketing Institute, October 26, 2012, relates SlideShare to 4 stages of author publishing success.
  3. Why SlideShare is a Content Marketing GameChanger for Authors.  This Published & Profitable post shares specific tips for using SlideShare to sell more books. October 29, 2012.
  4. Content Marketing Checklist: 22 To-Dos for SlideShare Success, Content Marketing Institute post contains 2-page presentation content and design checklist. November 16, 2012.

At the same time, of course, others were writing about SlideShare’s marketing power, notably Greg Ciotti’s fine 10 SlideShare Strategies that Will Boost Your Content’s Value.

Newsjacking turned interest into action

But, it wasn’t until I read Joe Pulizzi’s words, the most underutilized content distribution tool,” that my interest turned to passion!

Joe’s words were the catalyst I needed; they challenged me to ask myself, “Why aren’t more content marketers taking advantage of SlideShare?”

This lead me to explore the underlying causes. This lead to the conclusion, “a lack of content ideas!”

A lack of content strategy and content ideas is the usual cause of procrastination, lost opportunities, and last-minute frustration and stress.

Once I had identified the problem, the solution, 12 Months of Content Marketing Ideas for SlideShare, immediately occurred to me because it provided a year-long formula, or content strategy, for monthly blog posts and SlideShare presentations.

The big lesson…

Newsjacking works–even when you’re not aware it’s working!

Instead of trying to recreate the wheel with fresh content, do what David Meerman Scott shared in our recent interview, Newsjacking Tips for Authors and Content Marketers:

  • Start each day with a cup of coffee, reading every page of the top national newspapers and checking the trending topics on Google, Twitter, and elsewhere.
  • Look for breaking news stories where you may be able to inject your firm’s story into the topic in a helpful, relevant way.
  • Take immediate action; act sooner, rather than later. Be the first, and be scrupulously prompt in responding to comments and media requests for more information.

The only thing I can add to David’s advice is:

  • Be on the lookout for words and phrases that challenge you, or arouse your curiosity and passion for solving problems and helping others.

My pulse rate increased when I read Joe Pulizzi’s words, “SlideShare is the most underutilized content distribution tool — and it’s not even close!”

Joe’s words galvanized me into action. I hope you will allow yourself, or train yourself, to be constantly on the lookout for similar catalytic moments.

David Meerman Scott’s Mastering Newsjacking can be the missing link in your content marketing strategy.

I encourage you to share your Newsjacking questions or content marketing success stories below, as comments!

How to Use Newsjacking to Promote Your Book

Posted January 25th @ 6:30 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

David Meerman Scott’s blog post the day after President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union Speech shows how to use Newsjacking to promote your book or latest content.

Click the image to visit David’s original blog post and observe how David skillfully discusses the context and contents of President Obama’s speech, which he calls “a communications triumph.”

America’s Next Moonshot

In the next section, however, David picks up on one of the President Obama’s best lines in the speech and uses it to build a bridge between the State of the Union address and Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program that he co-authored with Richard Jurek.

Success involves bridging, not selling

Notice that David doesn’t “sell” Marketing the Moon; he merely describes it.

He subtly promotes his book by drawing a parallel between the need in the 1960′s to build public support for the Apollo Lunar Program and the equally important need to build similar public support for a “program of discovery” to cure cancer.

Newsjacking in a nutshell

A careful reading of David Meerman Scott’s blog post, and the links to recordings and transcripts of President Obama’s State of the Union Speech, provides an excellent introduction to the power of  Newsjacking.

As a bonus, while you’re there, be sure to read the comments and David’s responses to them. They contain good examples of dealing with alternative viewpoints. 

Afterwards, you may want to visit David’s Mastering Newsjacking site where you can learn more, download a Newsjacking infographic, and review the course contents and the way the various lessons build on each other.

Related Newsjacking posts

Here are a few other resources you may enjoy:

  1. Mastering Newsjacking interview. Recent recorded interview with David Meerman shares origins of new Mastering Newsjacking training video and important lessons for authors.
  2. Elements of Infographic Success. If you’re interested in using infographics to share your story, you may enjoy my analysis of David’s original Newsjacking graphic, and compare it to the latest version.
  3. How David Meerman Scott Newsjacked Amanda Palmer. Another case study of Newsjacking in action.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions!