10 Most Popular Content Marketing Today Posts of 2008

applauding business people Our readers flocked to a broad range of content marketing-related issues over the past 12 months. In fact, the breadth of topics surprised me. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of what you can find:

  • Unlearn Traditional PR
  • Transform website into sales machine
  • The Secret to Online Marketing
  • Authenticity at Starbucks
  • Sexy Headline Secrets from Cosmo
  • A Really Bad Website Concept
  • 6 Reasons to Publish an eNewsletter
  • 5 Reasons to Launch a Blog-powered Website
  • 6 Ways to Survive the Recession with Content Marketing
  • Is it Time to Abandon Yellow Pages Advertising

Read on for a quick take on the posts that readers like you made made most popular.

1. To Succeed Small Business Marketers Must Unlearn Traditional PR

business page close up Don’t get me wrong.  Public relations is still a critical component to any marketing strategy for companies of all sizes. 

Nonetheless, I am convinced that we need to turn our notions of public relations upside down so that it functions within a content marketing context.

I was inspired to think again about the transformation of public relations by a recent post from David Meerman Scott in his WebInkNow.com blog.  He was sharing some top of mind ideas relating to successful public relations strategies for small businesses. Read entire article

2. How to Transform Your Brochure Site into a Round-The-Clock Sales Machine

natalie currie mindmap If you are a solopreneur, you certainly have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Imagine how much more you could accomplish if your website was actively selling for you 24 hours a day seven days a week!

That’s exactly what Stephanie Diamond is helping solopreneur, Natalie Currie, to accomplish using a custom MindMap. Natalie provides training and consulting in the pharmaceutical and biotech fields. Because she is so busy working in her business, she has been challenged to work on her business.

That’s where Stephanie came in. The MindMap she created served as a kind of mini–business plan. It enables a Natalie to see visually exactly what she needed to accomplish to take her business to the next level. It helped her to think through both of this strategy at the 30,000 foot level–and the on the ground of tactics she needs to implement ASAP. Read entire article.

3. The Secret to Online Marketing in the 21st Century : It’s the Content, Stupid!

billboard being obnoxious Billboard marketing is fine on Route 66, but it’s all wrong on the information superhighway

Your job as a marketer is to make it easy for your buyers to buy from you. But making it easy for them may be hard for you, unless you can execute an effective content marketing strategy.

Content marketing is the art of understanding exactly what buyers need to know and delivering it to them in a relevant and compelling way.  This extends way beyond product information into the realm of best practices, case studies, success stories, and more.

Why?  All the rules have changed.  You will need to relearn the marketing game with a brand new marketing mindset.  Those that can adapt will flourish.  Those that don’t…well… think of the fate of the dinosaurs. Read entire article.

4. Authenticity at Starbucks: Coffee and People, Yes. The Corporation, No!

starbucks barista Bureaucrats are bouncing baristas, as they move to shut down 600 Starbucks stores.

It may not be the same everywhere, but in our Southwest corner of Florida, Starbucks is shutting down nine of their stores.  This is likely to have an impact on their local reputation that may well be replicated around the country.

As far as I’m concerned, the Starbucks experience is as much about the people who look after you as it is about the coffee. 

I might be wrong, but it looks to me like faraway bureaucrats have made decisions about their customers and about their employees that might have a short term positive affect on their stock price, but is not going to endear them to the communities in which they operate. Read entire article.

5. Sexy Headline Secrets from Cosmo!

Cosmo April 2008 Cover What your blog should borrow from the classic woman’s mag and their newsstand cousins.

Sex sells.  And so do great headlines.

Imagine for a moment that your blog is on a giant newsstand something like what you might find in a Manhattan Barnes & Noble.  As a magazine you are competing with hundreds of other magazines for the attention of prospective readers who are browsing quickly through the racks. The right headline can make all the difference. It sure does for Cosmo!

As a blogger, you are competing with hundreds of thousands of other bloggers for the attention of online visitors with very little time to spend on any one article.  Thus, your article headlines are every bit as important as those of Cosmopolitan magazine. 

The Cosmo folks need to sell zillions of copies from newsstands.  Great headlines do the trick for them and they can do the trick for you. Read entire article.

6. Really Bad Online Marketing Concept: Refuse to Tell Your Visitors How You Can Help Them Solve Their Problems

avail tech Give the home page of this website a 10 second review (no cheating–you can’t look at any interior pages). Then answer the following questions:

  1. Who are their target customers?
  2. What product or service are they selling?
  3. How can those products or services solve customer problems?

Here’s the best I could do:

  1. Somebody in public transit
  2. Some kind of technology relating to transit operations management
  3. I have no idea.

Actually, I was probably cheating because I spent more time looking at the site before I decided to write this post.  So I might not have picked up both one and two in a quick look at the site. Read entire article.

7. 6 Reasons You Should Publish an eNewsletter

cmt clydesdale enewsletter If you aren’t delivering a regular eNewsletter to build your business, you should ask yourself why. You are probably missing the biggest and best opportunity to communicate in a consistent and meaningful way with your customers.

Of course, you need to generate regular content that brings value to your customers. But, with that basic proviso, an eNewsletter should become an integral part of your content marketing arsenal. Here’s why:

An eNewsletter is one of the most effective methods of delivering content to your customers. Think of it as the logical successor to traditional direct marketing. You might think that with all the spam on the Net that email and eNewsletters are no longer effective. Not so, Adriana Iordan, Web Marketing Manager at Avangate points out, citing recent research. Read entire article.

8. Five Essential Reasons to Launch a Blog-Powered Website Right Now

content robot-12-08 Too many people–and I used to be one of them–think of a blog as an out-of-control rant by a fanatic about some topic or other. Sure there’s plenty of that. However, today, business blogs are pervasive. They provide enormous value by delivering relevant content on a myriad of topics.

But, more importantly, an increasing number of what have been termed ‘blogs’ in the past are really websites. They are full-featured websites with as much capability is anything that could be built from scratch by talented programmers.

You no longer have an excuse to stick with the brochureware website that your sister’s cousin’s nephew built for you in some kind of JavaScript that nobody knows how to modify. Read entire article.

9. 6 Ways Content Marketing Can Help You Survive the Recession

runner crossing finish line Crank up your communications now.  Don’t dial back your efforts.

The knee-jerk reaction for most companies when faced with the recession is to reduce their marketing efforts. However, decades of research show that those who maintain or increase their marketing will blow past their peers once the recession is over.

If you accept this reality, you still may be faced with a shortage of spare cash to invest in marketing–particularly in traditional advertising.  What to do? You can and should focus on a content marketing strategy that will require a whole lot of thought and effort, but will not require a lot of money.

Here are 6 ways that content marketing will help get all of us through the recession.  Read entire article.

10. Is It Time to Abandon Your Yellow Pages Advertising?

yellow pages into dumpsterFundamental changes in buyer behavior suggests that, at a minimum, you should be reevaluating your print Yellow Pages advertising.

You may very well want to apply those marketing dollars to creating outstanding online content on your website or on a related blog.

I’ve been researching lately whether it makes sense today to invest marketing dollars in the Yellow Pages, particularly when you have a limited advertising budget.

This decision is critical because a strong Internet presence is fundamental to successful marketing strategies for even small businesses. If you have limited dollars, you must choose wisely by understanding some powerful trends that are rearranging the Yellow Pages landscape.  Read entire article.

This entry was posted in Blogging, eNewsletters, Examples of Bad Content, In person, In Print, Marketing Basics, News, Online, Public Relations, Success Stories, Tips & Mini-Guides, Trends, Websites, WordPress. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

One Comment

  1. Posted December 16, 2008 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    This post is a great resource for anyone interested in current trends and social marketing; it’s a portal to a lot of valuable information.

    Thanks for sharing: I will share this post with Published & Profitable friends and members. And, thanks again for your great interview!

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