I’m a big believer in content marketing. I’ve produced content to help market and promote my own business, and I’ve seen it used successfully by others as well. One of the biggest challenges with content marketing is that the barrier to produce content online is so low, everyone can do it. As a result, the quality of content online has dropped significantly. Noise goes up, signal goes down. Such is life. As a result, the bar is continuously being raised on the expectations that your audience has in terms of content quality and delivery.
Here’s a free e-book that can help — ClickPredictions: Key Content Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2010 (PDF download)
The e-book was produced by ClickDocuments. It’s a good refresher on the key content and social media marketing trends for the coming year. ClickDocuments and Ambal Balakrishnan collected predictions and thoughts from 39 top B2B content marketers. Folks like Gordon Graham, Rick Liebling, Michael Stelzner, Doug Kessler, Dave Fleet, Sunil Malhotra and many more. The e-book was also sponsored by Marketo. So there’s a great collection of people who participated, and a lot of actionable content to share.
Full disclosure: I’m not published in the e-book but I did help with its production. I work from time to time with a great digital design and development agency, Stresslimitdesign. They recently did a kick ass redesign of Julien Smith’s blog. Stresslimitdesign did the e-book design (which I think is beautiful) and then I helped them out with a couple of cool (hopefully!) marketing ideas:
- Customized toolbar. We created a custom browser toolbar for the e-book that kicks in whenever you click a link from within the e-book itself. The toolbar will show up at the top of your browser window. I’ve included a screenshot below. The purpose of the toolbar is to introduce you to other valuable B2B content (from Marketo) covering email marketing, demand generation and lead management. You can minimize the toolbar if you like, but when you click on the buttons, you’re taken to a landing page for more content. We’re using the ClickPredictions e-book as a content marketing test itself by implementing the toolbar. My hypothesis is that it will be better appreciated than the popups that we often see on sites asking you to join a newsletter (although I know they’re very effective), and a great way to stay connected with people who download the free e-book. But we’ll have to wait and see what happens.
- ReTweet This to Slideshare. Of course, we want people to share the e-book as much as possible. And there’s a very nice page halfway through that provides readers with some options on how to share the content. But we also wanted to give as much credit as possible to each individual contributor and give readers as much flexibility as possible in terms of what content they wanted to share. So we implemented “ReTweet This” buttons for each prediction in the e-book. What’s cool is that each one of these will retweet a link to the actual page of content in question on Slideshare. The entire e-book is available on Slideshare. But you can also just retweet a specific prediction and it will link to the specific page inside the e-book on Slideshare. I’ve never seen that done before, but I think it’s a very smart way to let readers retweet pieces of content they particularly enjoy and highlight each contributor just a little bit more.
It was a fun project to work on, and I hope you enjoy it.