“We wrote our first blog post before we wrote our first line of code.”
- Jon Miller, founder, Marketo

Blogging is important for every business. So we don’t just offer ghostwriting services for others. We blog for ourselves. Why? To discuss big issues such as content strategy, commissioning and ROI, as well as tactics for effective copy creation or editing, not to mention news about Collective Content.

Remember, over a third of marketers say blogs are the most valuable content type. Let us know what you’d like to read about here.

How to show you’re a reliable source

Want to cultivate a reputation as a reliable, credible organisation? Give some thought not only to what information you provide, but to how you provide it.

If you regularly publish information online – whether in the form of blog posts for a general audience, media materials for the industry press, or research notes and white papers for customers and prospects – you invest a lot of effort and time into those resources. And you’ll maximise the return on those investments by presenting that information in the right way.

Whoever your audience is, your goal should be sending a message that says: “You can trust what you hear from us.” And you do that in part by presenting information that’s clear, honest, vetted and easy to find:

  • Be transparent – Schoolteachers regularly instruct their students to “show your work”. That’s good advice for enterprises too. By showing how you calculated certain statistics or arrived at certain findings and conclusions, you bolster the case you are trying to make.
  • Be open – You’re a business. Of course, you’re going to try to persuade prospects and customers to do business with you, rather than with a competitor. Acknowledge this and don’t try to pretend otherwise. But also make it clear you aim to be honest and helpful in your efforts to persuade people that you’re their best choice. The next point relates to this.
  • Acknowledge the inconvenient – Not every study or news story will be favorable to the case you’re trying to make to prospects and customers. Don’t ignore inconvenient truths. (People are certain to hear them eventually anyway.) Address bad news and negative developments upfront, and say how you’ll work to make things better.
  • Choose your sources carefully – The internet is an invaluable tool for research. But it can also be a swamp of misinformation – one where you can find a source to validate any argument, no matter how awful and untrue. When looking for online allies to support your claims, always dig a bit deeper to make sure those sources are themselves reliable.
  • Make information easy to find – When you provide data from surveys or studies, include a link to those sources, whether they’re on your site or someone else’s. And be sure the link you use goes to the actual data you’re citing, rather than to a home page or press page. People find it annoying to have to hunt for information that should be readily available.
  • Be consistent – If you can establish a track record of providing good, reliable information on a regular basis, people will know to come back to you as a source time and again.

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Stock images, authenticity and journalism

I was looking at a photo of a local park the other day – actually from a Twitter feed for that particular place – and was struck by how great the photo was. Then something else hit me. Everything was green. It hadn’t been taken recently (you see, we’re going through a very hot, dry spell).

Then I thought of pics of the same place that I’d see online, taken today or recently. They might not be to the same high, pro standards, but they felt… well… real.

And isn’t that much of what we want in our content? That things resonate as real.

It also made me think about how journalism works. Newspapers have thousands of pictures of Harry Kane or Meghan Markle, but they rarely use a stock photo, even if a famous person is in the same place as a previous event. Even if they’re wearing the same clothes (more likely for the footballer than the royal).

The mindset of reportage, about being true to what’s just happened, is therefore closer to the ‘authentic’. That could mean authentic images or all kinds of other content that we hear so much about.

Now there’s a whole other conversation around authenticity, ghostwriting and especially social media. That’s for another time (or see what we said back in 2013, complete with strong divides between journalists and others). But even though plenty of news publications also use stock images, we can’t help but think that those schooled in journalism generally have a better chance of creating work that resonates with readers.

Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent

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Contact us

Contact us to find out how we can help you:

Email:  tony.hallett@collectivecontent.co.uk

Twitter:  @ColContent

Facebook: facebook.com/CollectiveContent

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/collective-content

Phone:  0800 086 9333