“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: infographics

11 essential content marketing links from Q4 18

  1. ‘You have to have support from the C-suite’: Brands struggle with moving marketing in-house

The first of three links from those clever people at Digiday, this piece touches on a challenge for big brands. Even as an agency, we’re not against it. But don’t underestimate what it takes to move different kinds of marketing in-house.

 

  1. Inside Sony Music’s in-house creative agency

And here’s just an example, in this case, taking over the work of a creative agency, at a particular creative company.

 

  1. ‘Home run for us’: Inside Chase’s in-house agency

And don’t think this is all about brands and agencies. Publishers – for some time now experts at creating content for other companies as well as their own media channels – are a genuine option too.

 

  1. 9 things I’ve learned about podcasting for B2B

We’re betting big (well, bigger) on audio and voice search in 2019. We liked the practical advice in this piece, and its B2B focus.

 

  1. Ooh, shiny! Stop letting random acts of content derail your content strategy

We wrote a while ago about random acts of capitalisation, but this post is more important, if truth be told. With limited time/budgets, staying focused on your content strategy – and having a content strategy in the first place – is so important.

 

  1. What’s trending: The role of emotion in B2B content marketing

Including this because it’s so often easier to associate emotional content with B2C. But everyone in B2B is an emotional animal too. So here’s some science, and some tactics.

 

  1. The inspiring inbox: Email best practices that encourage opens and clicks [Infographic]

Email marketing is still a must-have for most brands. Here’s how to do it better. (Bonus points for this infographic format too. Agree?)

 

  1. How to use LinkedIn as a brand publishing platform

We’ve taught classes about effective use of content on LinkedIn, having partnered with the company for our largest brand publishing deal a few years back. This piece takes things even further. Don’t underestimate LinkedIn.

 

  1. 5 content marketing strategies for niche B2B industries

Above average, practical advice.

 

  1. No one reads anymore. What does it mean for B2B content marketing?

We would challenge the opening premise here. Many people do still read – and even long-form content does well. But we’ve all met people who say they don’t read. That they’re “visual people”. Where does that leave us?

 

  1. 5 ways fiction writing can help you produce more effective copy

Lastly, with several published authors on the team, this piece caught our collective eye. Find your inspiration where you can. Stay creative. Experiment.

 

BONUS TRACK!

  1. Great storytelling: Why your brand should be the supporting character, not the hero

And we had to include this one. This is so hard to do but at the heart of some of the best brand content. Content shouldn’t be about you but about your customers. Make them the hero of the piece.

 

Why 12 links for once? It’s more Twelve Days of Christmas than Dirty Dozen. Have a good break and see you in 2019.

 

 

Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent

 

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11 essential content marketing links from Q1 18

  1. A Take on 3 Confusing Terms: Content Marketing, Content Strategy, Content Marketing Strategy

This is the kind of foundational piece that everyone in who works with commercial content should read. You’re welcome.

 

  1. Don’t be a stickler: Why good copy often means bad grammar

We like this because it comes back to something we say again and again – consistency is really important… but not as important as pragmatism. You can break the rules. It’s about what works.

 

  1. Are You a Curator or a Dumper?

In a quarterly curated article like this, how could we leave out this piece? It’s a savvy look at the difference between real curation and just going through the motions of link gathering.

 

  1. The One Thing That Can Make a Big Difference in Your Infographics

We’re still being asked about infographics like it’s 2013. This is a handy checklist for constructing them well. Clue: you need more than a great designer.

 

  1. How a Journalist Constructs an Article that Google Will Love

From an agency made up of ex journos, we’d always be partial to a piece that shows our methods. And this article does.

 

  1. The newsroom approach to brand storytelling

Sticking with following how the media goes about producing great content, here’s another piece about newsrooms, which brands are increasingly using, with staff writers, editor-in-chiefs and more.

 

  1. How United Airlines is taking more video content creation in-house

Those brands doing more content in-house? United is an example. This piece looks at the airline’s video output.

 

  1. Evergreen Content Case Study: Why Long Form Content Performs Infinitely Better on Google’s Search Engine

This is a comprehensive guide to long-form content that keeps on giving and giving. Suitably, it’s a long piece – but worth your time.

 

  1. How to Get Huge Fines for Using Images (Do THIS Instead)

Before we wrap for this quarter, here’s a tactical piece on an overlooked subject (which is why we like sharing this). Use images the right way, which includes not getting into trouble over copyright.

 

  1. Five quick content opportunities for time-poor B2B marketers

As 2018 began, we liked this reminder of some useful tactics plenty of content marketers are neglecting.

 

  1. What Do CMOs Predict for 2018? [Infographic]

And finally, we began the year with some general CMO advice. But also dig the way this piece presents a vox pop in a neat infographic format.

 

And why 11 links? Our boss was born on the 11th.

Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent

 

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The powerfully illiterate – the other reason for visual content

Every day you see people writing about why visual content has become important. The crux seems to be that today we are bombarded with thousands of messages and that certain people, especially young people, aren’t inclined to do much reading. So think animations, gifs, Prezis, time-lapse video and infographics, we’re told.

Partial AttentionPut aside the exact number of messages – ads or otherwise – that a modern, internet-using, TV-viewing, not-locked-up-in-their-bedroom person sees every day, where there is some variance in studies. Let’s just agree the number is high.

Now consider whom this refers to. It’s easy for us to settle on the much-maligned Gen Z. After all, aren’t they the ones brought up with YouTube, Instagram and everything on-demand? They’re lazy, right? I’ll leave you to consider whether you see the latest generation entering the workforce that way.

Here’s an alternative: How about this applies just as much or more to those who are so busy or so powerful that they barely have time to read anything that isn’t essential? Or maybe they’ve grown flabby – they have someone else to do all their reading?

We come across this from time to time. Sometimes it’s the people at the top of large companies, inundated with demands on their time. We understand that. Though I’d also say we’re more often encouraged by how often very senior people engage in their organisations’ content programmes. I think they see the value and they bring a lot to the table. (Thank you!)

Other times it’s people with a blind spot. Last year we worked on one small website redesign project, providing a few pages of copywriting, and we’re not sure to this day if the client ever read the final copy. She engaged through the process but nothing has ever been used.

And this is common. Quite often we hear: “Our MD has to sign this off. But he doesn’t read, so we have to be careful how we pitch it to him.”

That’s not the same as “can’t read”. We’re not dealing with business leaders who are illiterate.

But what if we accept some people are ‘powerfully illiterate’, for want of a better expression? How would this change the way we communicate everything, not just our customer-facing content?

To partly illustrate this point consider this: Some years ago I had a new boss in a sizable company. We weren’t that big, but not small enough to move as fast as I’m used to doing now. In month one, every time I was told to submit a written plan, he handed back my proposals – at just four or five pages they were too long for him, he said. In month two, as I gave him some top line bullet points they too were given back to me. “Where’s the detail? Where’s the rigour?” he’d ask.

By month three I realised that every written document needed top line bullet points on page one, then the depth, including repetition on subsequent pages. That worked.

Maybe it’s slightly worse now. Maybe we’re beyond the bullet point stage. Do you work with someone who should always get a diagram or 15-second video instead of words? Perhaps it’s time for us to stop dismissing such people as lazy or uninterested and to start finding new and creative ways to give them the information they need, in a way that’s useful to them.

*photo credit: partial attention via photopin (license)
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Contact us

Contact us to find out how we can help you:

Email:  tony.hallett@collectivecontent.co.uk

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