Podcast: Co-Authors Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman
In this podcast, I had the pleasure of interviewing two of the most experienced and passionate content marketers. Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman just launched their new book Content Rules : How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and more) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business. Ann is Chief Content Officer at Marketing Profs. C.C. is a content creator, speaker, author, consultant, photographer, motivator and founder of Digital Dads.
The Rules Have Been Written
This isn’t your average rules book. Content Rules outlines the “rules” of content marketing for marketers. The premise is that every marketer, whether an individual, a for-profit business, a church, a band, or any other marketer needs to be a content creator as a cornerstone of their marketing! This book is a how-to on content marketing and doesn’t bother trying to convince you that content is critical to marketing. It contains nine new case studies across many industries with “ideas you can steal.”
Who Are You?
This book points out that all brands must know who you are before defining your content strategy. Once you understand who you are as a brand, then it’s easy to figure out what stories you should tell through your content. Ann and C.C. point out that this isn’t rocket science, but still some people jump to the tools before going through this exercise. They advise marketers to create content that reflects who you are.
Stoke the Campfire
The book describes how to literally build a campfire as an analogy to building your content. A campfire is a shared experience. The analogy starts with the actual components of building a campfire. Then, you want to stoke the campfire to thrive. That’s what content should do for a marketer. But, it takes some ingenuity to get it started. Marketers need to play to their strengths. Use the equipment you have. Use the people you have.
B2B Content Marketing
Although Content Rules is a book for all kinds of organizations there is a dedicated chapter for business-to-business (B2B). Many B2B marketers think of themselves differently. But, at the end of the day it’s people dealing with people. The authors wrote this chapter for those B2B marketers who say, when learning of certain social marketing strategies, “that’s great, but what about B2B?” The B2B content rule is to produce content that matches your customer’s interests throughout their entire buying cycle from awareness to purchase and in between. There are several success stories in this book which are B2B examples. They are all poster children for content marketing.
Use Various Content Formats
Marketers need to consider all the available content channels depending on their audience’s preferences. Content Rules has a dedicated chapter on each content format including video, podcasting, photos, webinars and others.
Reimagine Your Content
Your content should not live in just one platform. If you have a white paper, think of ways to reimagine (not recycle) your content so it can be populated on another channel appropriately for that audience. For example a brand can reimagine white papers into videos, podcasts, blog posts, etc. Each occurrence should be uniquely tailored to that audience.
The 3 E’s of Content
I’ve spoken of the 3 E’s of content since my book, Marketing 2.0, came out in 2009. But, everyone’s taste in enlightenment and entertainment is unique. Education is straight forward. Entertainment in business content is not meant to be a hit movie, just enjoyable in a human way that connects. Ann and C.C. reinforce the importance of connecting with your content in a human way.
Content Rules has a dedicated chapter on podcasting. Many marketers overlook this medium for lame excuses. Too many people are scared to “hit the record button.” Every marketer has the equipment needed for podcasting in a laptop and a microphone. Recording and sharing podcasts is easy. Getting people to subscribe is not so easy. Podcasting really delivers on the human touch through the voice recording. Marketers can use podcasting as a way to interview influential people and build relationships. Ask someone “can I interview you” and you’re likely to get a positive response.
Content Rules Book Tour
Ann and C.C. are hitting the road. You can catch them at a city near you. You can even arrange to bring them to your city for a book signing event.
My Take on Content Rules
You know the cliché “we’re singing from the same sheet of music!” That’s what this book is for me. Content marketing has arrived. In short, any marketer who doesn’t understand that needs to. Content Rules is a book that will help you understand how to do content marketing. Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman make a great team on this how-to book for content marketing. The case studies alone are worth it. I highly recommend you listen to this podcast and that you read Content Rules.
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