“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: LinkedIn

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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Copy-wise: You’re using these words incorrectly – or are you?

This post was first published on 7 October 2014.

We spend a fair amount of time both blogging and talking to clients about style, grammar, tone of voice and so on. But it can be a moving target.

Why? English, like most languages, evolves. What we sometimes complain about as made up words, imports, slang or new meanings for old favourites become tomorrow’s staples. Meanwhile we use words today that our grandparents wouldn’t recognise.

Take the following three examples: presently, disinterested and refute. This writer has spent at least 20 years witnessing their misuse.Words jumble

Presently strictly means soon but people more often use it as a synonym for now.
Disinterested means impartial or unbiased but people often use it to mean not interested.
Refute means to rebut or to prove something false but people often use it to mean reject.

But is the joke on me? Look them up and the ‘wrong’ meanings I just mentioned are often cited alongside the traditional definitions.

This isn’t to say that any one of us on our own can bring about a new meaning for a word. Trust me, I’ve met people who thought that possible.

But it does mean that over time even the nit pickers among us have to reassess what’s appropriate to use.

As we’ve said before, the best option remains to keep it simple and keep language direct.

If you want to write that a company ‘must reject the idea’, stay with that. Don’t feel tempted to say ‘they must refute the idea’ – unless of course you mean disprove it.

LinkedIn recently did some research about which posts by its users get read the most. There are various readability tests out there (most famously the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease test) and LinkedIn’s finding was to pitch posts at the reading level of an 11-year-old.

I think we can all understand that.

*photo credit: surrealmuse via photopin cc

 

 

 

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Selling yourself or your company? Same golden rule applies

I was speaking to a friend about how he goes about getting a new job. The talk inevitably turned to LinkedIn and I brought up an evergreen post from this blog: The one secret to a LinkedIn profile that works for you – and your employer. That secret, in a nutshell, is that you focus on your team and organisation’s achievements. You concentrate on results and the big picture. You don’t bore the world about you.

Now you might not agree with that approach. Ninety-nine per cent of LinkedIn profiles will sell an individual’s achievements, education, career history – the usual things.

LinkedIn cushionThat’s both hard – because it relies on people selling themselves – and makes employee/employer feel queasy because the assumption is that the person is always in the shop window. What are you supposed to do if you love your job? Put up a crappy LinkedIn profile? (Some people actually do that, by the way. Want an example? It’s just too embarrassing to single one out.)

But then last week I saw something related to a job search that totally nailed how we must go about selling ourselves and – arguably, at least as important – how we should always pitch or market companies.

The story was about someone applying for a job at Airbnb (which also happens to have launched an interesting brand publication). Nina Mufleh must have been joining a line of tens of thousands of people speculatively approaching this fashionable and high-growth company. Her secret was to give the company some advice on how they should expand.

In short, her approach was all about Airbnb, not about her. Only it helped her. The replies she received included this one from Airbnb’s CMO:

Here was someone saying not, “Hey, I’m great, hire me”, but, “Here’s how you become more successful”. That’s what companies care about.

Here’s the takeaway: Don’t say you’ll be useful; demonstrate your usefulness.

I was working with some people at a marketing agency about a year ago and every pitch they made had hardly a slide or section about them. They led – always – with information about the company in the room with them: “This is what we know about you”, “Here’s how your market is changing”, “This is what you should do”. Finally – only after all that – did they get to, “Here’s how we can help”. Maybe only the very last slide is about their agency.

Does this all sound obvious? Then you’re probably part of that 1 per cent on LinkedIn and in meetings who already takes this approach. The rest of us, though, might benefit from a “demonstrate-your-usefulness” reminder.

*photo credit: Linkedin via photopin (license)

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Need to know about events? Buy the e-book, Everything In Moderation: How to chair, moderate and otherwise lead events, by Collective Content (UK) founder Tony Hallett

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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

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Phone:  0800 292 2826