“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.

Tag: ghostwriting

11 essential content marketing links for Q3 17

  1. Why journalists ditch the thesaurus when it comes to “said” (for new journalism students who don’t) An unusual and simple start to this quarter’s round-up… but it’s important because the use of the word ‘said’ comes up day after day. Take the advice, bookmark this article.
  2. How to… ghostwrite Ghostwriting is an essential part of most content marketers’ armoury. But doing it well isn’t something that just anyone can do. Here’s what we’ve learnt from 20 years of practicing.
  3. 7 things you should know before hiring a content marketing agency We’re big fans of this kind of piece. So we wondered what another content marketer would advise. And we can’t argue with any of the points here.
  4. How Quartz achieved a 90 percent renewal rate for branded content We remain huge fans of Quartz. And, among a sea of other publishers all making money from branded content, Quartz stands out as an innovator with high standards.
  5. Content metrics for content marketing and journalism Which metrics are important to doing journalism and content marketing well? They’re not all the same. But comparing both side to side is useful.
  6. How to curate content: The secret sauce to getting noticed, becoming an influencer, and having fun online We’re fans of curation and fans of comprehensive guides. This checks both boxes.
  7. Content-as-a-service is the next evolution for marketing The first of a two-fer about the future of marketing. But is the as-a-service approach just a good story angle?
  8. Is marketing-as-a-service the future of marketing? And the second of two pieces with very similar headlines takes a surprisingly broad look at marketing, especially for ‘lean, agile start-ups’.
  9. 6 essential types of content for creativepreneurs Yeah, we don’t like ‘creativepreneurs’ either. But stick with this, especially points 4-6.
  10. Hacking your buyer personas: The only 3 questions you need to ask One way to get the best from those you’re working for is to identify points of pain. Often that means asking about their customers’ points of pain. And the ‘one thing that keeps you up at night’ approach really works.
  11. How could the Internet of Things change the game for content marketers? Finally, this looks like a terrible, clickbait-y headline. But think about the different ways we’re going to develop stories and learn. IoT and analysis of its data will affect most things – even content marketing.

Why 11 links? It’s the day of the month when this writer was born. We’ll have more in the way of content marketing round-ups before the end of the year.

Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent

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Forget why your business wanted ‘a culture of content’?

For a time it was very fashionable to talk about a ‘culture of content’. This meant embracing content marketing to such an extent that the whole organisation not only understands its benefits but is eager to make it happen. The era of employee-as-content-creator had arrived. Or so we had all hoped.

Scrabble BuzzBut this is rarely the case. We usually deal with marketing departments and other agencies employed by large companies. Most people we speak to are savvy about content, if not outright experts. What happened to the customer service agent or engineer contributing?

We still think there’s a lot to be said for including them. We’ve written about why your staff can be your secret weapon, as well as some of the reasons why employees don’t participate in content creation. But aside from producing better, more diverse content, what are some of the other benefits of being inclusive? Why, in other words, should you still pursue a culture of content?

  1. Learn about the company. This might not be a priority for the person running a content programme or your average CMO, even. But from our experience, this is vital for CEOs and boards. The views from the shop floor – or manufacturing facility or sales team or wherever – sometimes never reach the top brass. Content is a great communication medium internally.
  2. Content informs strategy. This might seem like the wrong way around but your employees’ ideas around content are also a diverse source of ideas for the wider business. The key here is to have marketing plugged in properly to the wider business. No silos, please. You don’t have to go public with the best ideas – but do feed them to appropriate departments or even up to the C-suite.
  3. Create heroes – and keep them. The best content creators should be celebrated. Content can be shared on internal platforms, as not all your people will see what goes out externally to customers, targets and others. We even know those who make this approach competitive and give out awards. While that might not always work, the act of creating good content should engage and help retain key employees.

This post has been about the ‘why’ of employee content and the culture that fosters it, rather than the ‘how’. But we would like to make one ‘how’ point: Getting this right isn’t easy and it isn’t for every organisation. If nothing else, you need to carefully plan how you will enable employees to do all this, remembering they still have a day job and might not know much about marketing.

How you communicate what’s going to happen, who gets a chance to take part and how they will be helped (coaching, examples, ghostwriting, working out the best medium for each person and so on) is crucial. You might not have more than one chance to get this right.

But knowing the benefits of employees’ contributions to your content marketing can help get programmes signed off or expanded. Good luck.

photo credit: Buzz via photopin (license)

This post was first published 1 June 2016.

Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent

Need a corporate blog but don’t have the time or editorial expertise? Try Speech-to-blog, a corporate blogging service from Collective Content.

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11 best content marketing links (Q2 16)

  1. What is the difference between content and content marketing? Answer: It’s all in the destination…
  1. 11A time when PR and content marketing work together… Our annual research looks at how brand journalists and PRs will interact – if at all. The results may surprise you.
  1. Six ways high-performing CMOs outpace their competitors The CMO usually gets a mention in our quarterly round-ups. Makes sense. Many drive content marketing throughout their organisations. Others are less gung-ho. Not this lot.
  1. Who said long form was dead? Hey, certainly not us. We’ve long talked about the advantages of long form content, when done well. Note: when done well.
  1. Content marketing outsourcing: The agency vs freelancer question This is close to our heart, as seen by how often we talk about in-house or agency. We’re glad to see Jeff give another honest look at the pros and cons of each outsourced approach here.
  1. Will brands fund the next ‘Spotlight’? Our own Tony Hallett was quoted in this piece from the Content Strategist. The prognosis for brand pubs getting pally with Pulitzers…? Don’t hold your breath. But quality work will become more common.
  1. To combat image issues, Walmart bets big on its own newsroom We love a good case study. This one from Digiday shows brand newsrooms – even if not for every brand – are very much on the up, in this case for Walmart.
  1. 7 tips to write the most effective calls to action OK, time for some down and dirty tips, a couple from lesser-known sources. To start, how do you get the humble CTA right?
  1. Buyer personas you want to use: The 9 essential parts Buyer personas are an important part of planning your content. Here’s the breakdown.
  1. The most popular day for B2B webinars and other best practices And 3 of 3, what’s the secret to good B2B webinars?
  1. Why content marketing needs ghostwriters Another subject that is controversial but important to us. Ghostwriting gets a bad rap from some, in this age of authenticity, but content marketing needs it.

OK, enough for now. We hope you enjoy this round-up. These are some of the links that have left the biggest impression on us recently. Why 11?  It’s the best times table. Until next time.

*photo credit: 11 via photopin (license)

Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent

Download our exclusive research and report ‘PR’s acceptance of brand content uneven’.

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Contact us

Contact us to find out how we can help you:

Email:  tony.hallett@collectivecontent.co.uk

Twitter:  @ColContent

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