“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: media-grade

Don’t let perfection be your content marketing enemy

Practice makes perfect, as they say. But how do you define perfect when it comes to content?

Here’s why I ask. You know that old schematic, much loved by project managers and all prod dev types? It’s a kind of Euler diagram, as seen here.

venIt shows you can pick any two out of Fast, Good and Cheap.

Depending on your needs, perfect can mean flawless quality – though may take time and cost a lot.

Perfect may mean cheap – though most people in marketing, perhaps B2B marketing especially, don’t operate like that.

And then sometimes perfect means fast – or at least in good time.

So it would seem the trade-off is often between great quality and speed, at least in terms of B2B content marketing. And, as per the model, you can have both… if you have the budget.


Sophie’s Choice?

So what’s the problem? It’s that more often than not we see marketers choose precision over speed, when they need to make a choice.

Marketing, like most things worth doing, should be done to a high standard. Slapdash is certainly not the way to go.

But we’ve heard examples – a story about one of the biggest tech companies in the world comes to mind – of a single white paper taking 18 months to be signed off. By the way, we looked into that and were eventually told by someone close to the work, but in no way an official spokesperson, that it “only took 12 months”.

For that kind of company, an executive being targeted will be concerned if quality doesn’t hit a certain threshold. The good news is that it’s possible to be at least as good as the professional media today. That’s what we mean by ‘media-grade’ content.

But it is unforgettable to be behind the times. We have heard CIOs, as a desirable type of target for B2B technology vendor, say: “They’re not talking about it.”

The “it” there can be anything. It’s some subject that is on their radar and that they’re hearing about elsewhere.

The point is that they expect their supplier to have a view on a development but instead they’re on version eight, moving around page furniture. “Will be a few weeks yet,” you might hear someone say.

What we’re saying is that in today’s world of B2B content marketing, cost and quality are pretty much a given. But increasingly too will be operating at the speed of your target audience. Anything less looks bad.

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What does Collective Content stand for?

If you’re thinking of committing to working with us – as a client or a contributor – then, ‘What do they stand for?’ is a totally valid thought. Every company stands for something, even if they hate the idea of spelling it out.

CollectiveContent_iconSo I had to think hard about clearly explaining what makes Collective Content who we are. I want this post to go a little further than what people have found to date on our website or in past blog posts or on social media.

We publicise the idea that we happily work with the best writers to suit projects. Our flexible ‘collective’ model allows for that and was something I wanted to bake in from the beginning. (Our name shows I didn’t just make that up.) But there’s a lot more than that.

We’ve also openly talked about two sides of sourcing creative input in content marketing: organisations usually need to tap external expertise (see In-house or agency?) but, when using external pros, an agency trumps individual freelancers (see Agency or freelancer(s)?).

The reason for the latter is layers of quality control. We think that way for a good reason, one that is seen in nearly everyone who works for us. We think there’s a great example of how to do content well. It’s called the media. Now commercial models in the media might be debatable but the quality of output, honed over decades, isn’t.

If I’m going to create a video, I’d like the help of a film-maker or someone who has produced for a nightly news programme. If I want deep expertise about cloud computing, I’d like to choose someone who has written professionally about the area for a decade. (And knows it wasn’t always called ‘cloud’ back then.)

In other words, we stand for quality and doing things the right way. As far as I know, we’re the only agency that bangs a drum for ‘media-grade content’. It’s not that I don’t want others to raise the bar on what counts as good but I’m also aware that it’s a point of differentiation, especially against those who have never come close to environments like newsrooms or cannot answer the simple question, ‘What’s your best story?’

Away from the content, we also believe in treating people fairly. That means how we interact with clients. But it also means how we pay and work with those collectivists who work for us independently. For example, we don’t think it’s the hardest thing to pay people promptly. In fact, if we’re smaller than competing agencies, this marks a strong competitive advantage. I know we certainly don’t mind others taking that approach to our invoices.

We don’t have a written mission statement. That’s one of the few things I don’t have stuck to my office wall. But these themes of quality content and respectful, quality interaction with clients and contributors – they are real, simple and make sense. They seem both good for business and the right way to operate.

*photo credit: Newsroom 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

Twitter:  @ColContent

Facebook: facebook.com/CollectiveContent

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

Phone:  0800 292 2826