CraftofMarketing » Content Marketing Fri, 06 Jan 2017 07:31:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Joe Pulizzi on Content Sat, 27 Feb 2016 23:18:23 +0000

Creating valuable content to inform, connect and motivate your audience is not only conceivable, it may be one of the few remaining vehicles left that allows you to build relationship at scale. The trick is to use a measured approach, focus on understanding your audience and how you can be a part of their journey online and off.

This article explains what it takes to weave content into your marketing strategy. I hope you find a few things here to add to your content marketing arsenal.

 How Content Marketing Can Be Magic For Your Business-2

Successful content marketing depends on how well you know the customer’s needs. Listening is required.

In today’s hyper-connected world, grabbing the attention of potential clients is no simple task. People are literally being bombarded with messages from all directions. The average American spend 70% of their waking hours consuming digital media, not to mention the billions (182 Billion at last count) of emails that hit our inboxes every day, it’s enough to make your head spin.

By now, you’ve probably read enough about why content and content marketing are important for your business. So, I want to answer the question of exactly “what” and “how.” A lot of blogs will say things like “think like a publisher” or “content is king” and while that’s a great general statement I wanted to go a bit deeper and clarify what content marketing is and more importantly what it isn’t.
“No one cares about your special recipe… Find your niche, and then go even more niche” – Joe Pulizzi

To start off my research I decided to go to the mother ship, Content Marketing Institute or more specifically Joe Pulizzi. If there was ever one person to call the ultimate evangelist for content marketing, it would have to be Joe. Some even call him the Godfather of content. Back in 2007, he founded Content Marketing Institute to evangelize and educate on content marketing’s ability to drive business results. Today CMI is one of the most well known resources on the subject.

One of things that Joe said really resonated with me, he said  “Stop Writing about Everything. So many brands create content and try to cover everything, instead of focusing on the core niche that they can position themselves as an expert around.”

My conversation with Joe Pulizzi covers all things content marketing, from what it takes to build a media company to the launching of a successful conference, think Content Marketing World. We follow that up with the highlights of his latest book, “Content Inc,” where he illustrates the consistent success of companies that focus on building a community first before trying to sell a product or service. Make sure you listen to the podcast to get your fill of Joe’s content marketing knowledge. But to stay on track in our quest for understanding content marketing, let’s start with the definition that I prefer from the folks at CMI.

What is Content Marketing - CMI Definition

Content helps you get found on the web

The best brands are built on ever deepening trust and consistently providing value to a targeted audience, it just so happens that as with most brand experiences today, the lion’s share of the trust building happens online long before a anyone meets you in person or consumes what you have to offer.

While it would be wonderful if all you had to do was wait for people to discover your awesomeness, you would miss out on the countless opportunities to be useful to your target audience while they’re not necessarily in the market for what you’re selling. That’s where content marketing comes in, it helps you engage with your audience at every stage of the consumer journey. When they’re not buying, to strengthen ties with the ones you already know, and build relationship with the ones you’ve yet to meet.

So what you need is more than just content. You need strategy. You need a plan for how you will engage with audiences and how to turn that engagement into profit. A starter kit on how to do content marketing right.

The place to start is by asking a few questions.

What do you want to accomplish?

Copyblogger has an excellent post on the 10 Content Marketing Goals Worth Pursuing that will help you define the purpose of your content marketing. Here are some of the outcomes you can achieve.

  • Build trust and rapport with your clients.
  • Establish your subject matter expertise.
  • Attract new prospects.
  • Forge strategic partnerships.
  • Foster your reputation & brand.
  • Create discovery opportunities with SEO.
  • Nurture prospects through your sales funnel.
  • Engage with customers to enable retention, referrals and reviews.

What are the rules of content creation?

If you read the vast majority of articles on content marketing, you may be falsely led into believing that writing blog posts is all there is to it. In reality, finding the right mix of “content” is really determined by your content strategy and the resources you decide to allocate.

Quickly you’ll start to see there is a mix of audio, visual and written information meant to help or enlighten your audience in some way. That content marketing ecosystem can include:

  • Video
  • Infographics
  • E-books
  • Whitepapers
  • SlideShares
  • Blog posts
  • Podcasts

Those, of course, are merely content forms. Within those categories, you’ll have different segmentations, like types (guides, tutorials, tool and templates, etc.) and topics (for me it might be, personal branding, content marketing, public speaking or marketing strategy, etc.).

At it’s core, content can be anything you think could be useful to you clients, partners or leads.

Here are 12 Tenets of content creation we put together at Placester, inspired by my dear friend and mentor, Marcus Sheridan.


What resources are needed to create good content?

This depends on the type of content you want to produce and how large your company is: Are you a soloprenuer or running a business with multiple employees? What does your budget look like? And so on. Regardless of size, however, it’s imperative that you have someone on your team who is a strong writer and editor. If you can swing it, a graphic designer will also do wonders for your business. After all, a picture is still worth 1000 words, actually 60,000 words, as the human eye processes images 60K times faster than the written word.

When you get ready to begin scaling your content marketing team, check out these great tips by Smart Insights on Hiring the Right Content Creator for Your Business. This conversation with Joe Chernov about team building when he was VP of content at Hubspot is filled with insight.

Remember: It’s not enough just to create content. If no one is reading or sharing, you’re simply wasting time and money . Hire great designers, writers and editors who will create click-worthy content likely to represent your brand well and bring in new clients.

How should you think about content strategy?

Content marketing is about creating more content, strategy is about asking a lot of hard questions: why, how and more. – Kristina Halvorson

The moment I realized that simply creating content randomly wasn’t going to achieve the results I had imagined, I started focusing on data.  Getting a real sense of what was converting. What type of content or topic is inspiring current customers and pulling in new leads? It’s rarely the same content.

Here’s a strategy conversation worth listening to with Robert Rose, Chief Marketing Strategist at CMI.

This infographic co-created with Content Marketing Institute & Placester breaks down all the variations and derivatives of content market so you can be selective about what you create and why.


To go even deeper on strategy, listen to this interview with Content Strategist, Micheal Brenner.


How do you measure your efforts?

While we use lots of super advanced tools to measure our success, still one of my go-to tools is Google Analytics. I look at conversion paths, what content is resonating, what pages are getting the most engagement both time-on-site and shares. The numbers can tell you so much, don’t just rely on your gut instinct.

You should also check out this great infographic by Brandpoint, which focuses on awareness, consideration and conversion to determine how well your content marketing efforts are going. Here are some other measurables worth considering

  • Consumption: page views, video views, document views, downloads and social chatter.
  • Sharing: likes, shares, tweets, +1s, and pins, forwards, number of inbound links.
  • Lead generation: form completion and downloads, email and blog subscriptions, blog comments and your conversion rate.
  • Sales: Look at both online and offline sales that are influenced by content.
  • Thought leadership: requests for speaking, blogging and public participation.
  • Loyalty: advocates, referrals and word of mouth.

It’s time to get started!

Here’s the trick – you have to take the time to create content with a purpose.

You have to hustle. You are the special sauce that that will make content marketing a success. – Seth Price

You don’t have to get everything just right to get started, it will be an evolution, a process of determining what works for you and your market. There’s no doubt that content marketing means many things to many people, but at it’s core, it’s about providing value to a target audience in the form of answers and entertainment for a specific business outcome. The best content shows compassion for your audience and serves them in ways that they’ve never experienced before. It surfaces information that they find helpful and in the process it educates them. It’s what good marketing is all about, now get to it.


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10 Things You Can Do To Create a Better Marketing Strategy Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:39:21 +0000 Why Your Marketing Strategy Stinks And What You Can Do About It.

The goal of any marketing strategy is to help you increase your brand awareness and grow your business. But in order for a marketing strategy to be successful, it has to be realistic and something you actually implement.  Even with all the information on the web about marketing strategy, content marketing and social media, understanding how to make it work together is a challenge for everyone in business.

I’ve had the feeling that we’ve been thinking about marketing strategies all wrong, missing the opportunity to be agile and flexible in our our efforts. This led me to a conversation with Mark Schaefer about all things marketing, but especially marketing strategy. How to leverage content, social and build a strategy that’s dynamic and executable. If you don’t know Mark, he’s a marketing rock star. He’s written five seminal marketing books including, The Tao of Twitter, Return on Influence, Born to Blog  and most recently, The Content Code. The insights here were inspired from our conversation recorded in this podcast.

10 Things you can do to create a better marketing strategy.

1) Focus, focus, focus.

This is a huge challenge for people in general. We already know that the human attention span is shrinking. One study puts it at 8 seconds! That’s less than the attention span of a goldfish. Our tendency when creating a strategy is to want to do everything. That’s just not possible, no matter how hard you try. I like the restraint that Mark’s builds into his strategy. He focuses on three things, he calls them the 3C’s. #1 Content: Content in the form of speeches, presentations, blogs, books. This is really how he becomes known for what he does. It’s the core of of his marketing and it’s essential to the work he does. #2 Consulting: Where he helps companies rethink their marketing strategies. That effort then influences his content and at the same time, his speaking and content influences his consulting. Lastly #3 Classes: college classes to be specific. He gets to explore ideas in depth, applying real world experience to the rigor of academia.  If something he’s working on doesn’t fall into one of those three buckets, He doesn’t do it. He may find some other way to get it done but it doesn’t get in the way of executing on his strategy.


2) Be opportunistic and agile.

There’s a lot of classic theory on marketing strategy that suggests that you have to pick one of five core strengths and ride that from here to eternity. While you still need an overarching plan, today’s strategy has to be dynamic, then and as soon as you get going, you need to keep your eyes open for opportunities to leverage. Once you identify an opportunity, lean in as fast as you can for as long as you can until it’s no longer effective. Rinse and repeat.

3) Decide on your definition of marketing strategy.

I really like the refinement that Mark adds to his definition of marketing strategy, “something that differentiates you and is sustainable for some period of time to create profitable growth for your business”. This is a definition that I can sign up for. But it doesn’t have to be your definition, you just need to decide what a marketing strategy is and and what it isn’t for your business. This will help you measure your success.

4) Get a marketing mentor.

The Mastery of any skill can be accelerated by modeling great mentors, marketing is no different. Mentors can be a great resource of industry knowledge, a network for talent and an incredible role model to show you what success can look like. Search for an experienced mentor with a background in helping drive business results. You want to create an environment where it’s ok to be wrong, to experiment to challenge the norm.

5) Challenge your mission statement.

Most companies have a mission statement that is pure fluff. Something along the lines of “We provide outstanding values through our service and yada, yada yada…” Which somehow sounded great to those who approved it, but falls short on helping to connect with the consumer. One question you want to ask yourself is “is there anyone of your competitors who can’t say the very same thing?” If the answer to that question is yes, then it’s time to think long and hard about your differentiation. Mark has a great mission discovery process where he asks business leadership to write a finish to the following mad lib “Only we…”. If you ever try this, you will find it one of the most difficult business planning exercises to finish because you have to figure out: What makes you different? Why do people love you? Why do your customers keep coming back? Why do your competitors fear you? What is your place in this ecosystem? Are you a leader? Or a follower? Are you disruptive? What is your source of advantage right now? What do you hope that it will be? It’s hard work, but once you do it, it’s liberating because now you know, you know what you need to communicate, where you need to communicate it and who you need to communicate it to.

6) Ask the hard questions.

We all experience first hand how fragmented marketing channels are today. We have multi screen content channels all competing for attention. And the amount of this information is literally exploding at an incredible rate. So much so that annual global traffic will pass the Zettabyte threshold by the end of 2016, and will reach 2 Zettabytes per year by 2019. Who knew what a Zettabyte was? That’s nearly 5 internets by the year 2020. So now what? What do you do? What is the strategy for the time we’re in? We can’t just keep shouting louder. That just adds to the problem. We can’t just keep building an audience if they don’t mean anything to us and we don’t mean anything to them. Where do we have the opportunity to maneuver in this information-dense world? The hard questions will continue to present themselves, don’t shy away from them. There’s gold in the asking.

7) Forget engagement and think sharing.

We often talk about brand Awareness and engagement as our ultimate goal, but engagement could be something like a “like.” on Facebook, or “infinite like” on Periscope. The problem is that “likes” or their equivalent are just a drive-by or a prom queen wave. You’re patting it on the head saying, “Okay, that’s good little donkey” But when you share something, you’re standing up and saying I believe in this and you should believe in this too, this is important to me. Sharing is the only definition of engagement that makes sense in today’s business climate. It’s a big deal when someone decides to share content or refer a product or service. If you really dive down into the psychology and sociology of what creates the economic value on the social web or in content marketing, it’s not the content, it’s not even the big number of audience members that you might have, it’s what content gets shared. Because 70% of consumers say, “My purchasing decision is influenced by something that somebody shares with me.” This is the biggest economic driver on the internet right now.

Power doesn’t come from content, power comes from content that moves

8) Be humble.

We all want to have the answers, but there’s great power in knowing that you don’t and you can’t have the answer to everything. Real power doesn’t come from having all the best answers, it comes from having the right questions. And approaching a problem, or a marketing team, or a client, with humility and saying, “You know, there’s a lot of opportunities here. There’s a lot of options here. Let’s work through this process together. Let’s figure this out together, and let’s find the right questions to ask.” This is especially crucial in this fast changing world where there are new ways of doing business, being created every day.

Having the courage to be good instead of perfect is a part of blogging success and the trade-off you have to make to be consistent

9) Be a fearless learner.

We’ve all heard someone utter the words “I just don’t know if I can keep up with this technology, when I look at how these young people are using technology today, it’s just intimidating”. That is a theme that resonates at all age levels and it will never go stop. The questions “How do I learn? How do I keep up?” require that you be fearless and determined to say, “I’m not gonna be irrelevant. I’m going to embrace change”. You don’t have to know every single change and every single platform. You just need to be open, willing and eager to learn.

10) Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.

When it comes to personal growth, we are greatly influenced by those around us. They impact our way of thinking, our creativity, and our thought processes. Of course, nature still plays it’s part, but research has shown that we’re more affected by our environment than we think. While it’s great to be closely surrounded by supportive people who want you to succeed, it’s also necessary to be challenged and to have points of view. There’s a tendency for novices to have a preference for positive feedback, whereas experts want negative feedback, so that they can make progress. There is absolutely nothing wrong with projecting confidence and drawing from your intellect. you may even inspire someone. There’s a time and place for everything. The key is to be open to the possibility that another truth might exist.


These thoughts are my own interpretation of the interview with Mark Schaefer, listen to the entire episode to hear what he really said. Read his books, download his podcast, and definitely visit his blog, You won’t be disappointed.

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A Ballers Guide to Modern SEO Sat, 31 Oct 2015 01:44:42 +0000 SEO, that sh*t has changed!

We can all agree that SEO has morphed into a different beast over the past 2 years. From the non-stop changes of Google’s algorithms to the rise and possible overload of content, tech tools and social signals impacting consumer discovery.

SEO is now far more integrated with other aspects digital marketing than it used to be.  What’s become crystal clear is that SEO is now a mix of technical, experiential, content and strategic efforts to get discovered on the screens that our customers are using.

SEO & Technical Marketing - Craft of Marketing

I got a chance to interview Michael King and ask him a ton of questions on the subject. If you don’t know Michael, you should. He runs a team at the digital marketing agency, iPullRank. They go deeper than most to connect the dots on content strategy, audience research, SEO, predictive analytics and conversion rate optimization. Michael is one of the most impressive technical marketers around.

Here are some of the “Truths” that I took away from our interview. There’s so much more in the interview that you won’t want to miss, subscribe to it on iTunes or listen on SoundCloud.

Understanding your audience is paramount to success

Some call this audience research, persona development or consumer analysis. What matters most is the insight gleaned from deeply studying your audience, what’s important to them, the questions they ask and how they consume and share information.

We do a lot of one night stands in lead generation and not enough long term relationships – Michael King

This reminded me about a conversation I had with Michael Brenner, the VP of Brand Strategy at NewsCred, and he responded along a similar vein when describing how to implement a successful content strategy. Customer personas help you speak the right language and build a long term relationship, if you’re not using them, start now!

See a trend here?

Who is your customer - Craft of Marketing

Michael King talks about this from a much more technical angle, referring to data driven personas.

Where you utilize the data from your mailing list, think ConstantContact, Hubspot and MailChimp.

Augment the list data using third party tools like FullContact

Pass that information through a tool like DemographicsPro to provide social and psychographic insight.

Ok, I had to look this up to make sure I wasn’t mis-using the term. So here you are, the definition of psychographics —

psychographics - craft of marketing

Upload your new and improved mailing list data to FaceBook’s Audience Insights. Amazing tool, a bit “big brother” like.

Segment your list based upon the demographic and psychographic insight provide by FaceBook.

 User and Traffic Insight iPullRank - Craft of Marketing

Check against your Google Analytics to see how different users convert at different rates.

User Conversion Insight iPullRank - Craft of Marketing

Voila, deep background on your consumer personas.

Customer Personas - iPullRank Craft of Marketing

Consumers want more from their content

This is only logical. There’s so much content on the web and consumers are downright overloaded. In fact, we’re all overloaded, accessing information using devices in every form factor imaginable during every second of the day.

It was only a matter of time before content shock set in. Mark Schaefer wrote a great post on content shock back in early 2014. It’s worth reading that post, but the key thing to take away is that content marketing, like all marketing efforts, evolves with consumer behavior. As information becomes cheap our willingness to value it diminishes in direct proportion. Only the exceptional has an opportunity to rise above the noise, think Seth Godin’s book, Purple Cow.

Fast forward to today and were getting consistent reports confirming consumer distraction and preference for better experiences with their content. Check out the most recent content study from Adobe.

Time starved consumers wan’t more:

  • Better design
  • Better Content
  • More entertainment
  • Every screen form factor
  • All the mediums
  • Every platform

The bar is high.

Adobe Content Survey 2015 - Craft of Marketing

Keywords still matter for discovery 

Just so we’re all clear, every bit traffic that comes from search engines like Google, Bing & Yahoo begins with the user typing some words into the search bar or speaking those words into SIRI or Google Voice Search. 
Keywords are how your content gets discovered online. 
Of course there are other things that come into play, but the keyword is still at the core of search discovery. 
The easy part is coming up with search terms relating to your industry, consider that table stakes. From there, some of the related phrases that people might use to search for your products or service are a natural progression.
The creative aspect of keyword research that’s worth exploring is when you niche down into groups of “longer tail keywords” closely related to your core business.  These are keyword phrases of two words or more that are often indirectly related to your product or service. 

The value of the niche keywords is that while they get less search traffic per keyword, they usually they have dramatically less competition. That makes them easier to rank for.

My friend Brian Dean of BackLinko calls them niche clouds that he describes as simple mind maps that identify niches that are closely related to your bread and butter niche.


As Brian put’s it, someone interested in buying a basketball hoop may also search for:
  • How to shoot a better free throw
  • Slam dunk highlights
  • How to get recruited by college scouts
  • Nutrition for athletes
  • How to improve a vertical jump

Each of those searches are part of a unique – but closely related – Niche Market.

Here’s the illustration from Brian that highlights his Nine Clouds technique.

Brian Dean BackLinko Nine Clouds - Craft of Marketing


What’s crazy is that many marketers seem to have given up on studying the keywords that their audience is using to ask questions on the web. We’ve all attempted the “build it and they will come” approach of creating content with varying degrees of failure. 

Listening is crucial for any relationship, especially one as hard earned as those forged on the web.

Technical marketing is just the cost of doing business

With the evolution of digital marketing, content, SEO and overwhelmingly big data, comes the need for technical expertise.

From Jan 2014 to Jan of 2015 we’ve seen a 100% increase in the number of marketing technology vendors. 1876 vendors across 43 categories is a staggering number, but likely just the beginning. Scott Brinker, Co-Founder and CTO of Ion Interactive publishes a highly detailed infographic on the marketing technology landscape.”

According to Scott –

The real challenge is changing how firms think and behave in this hyper-connected, always-on, customer-controlled digital world.

I believe Scott when he says –

The bar for delivering great customer experiences is rising faster than our ability to deliver them

“The good news is that most of the marketing technology innovations on this landscape are designed to help marketers conquer that revolution. They’re by no means miracle transformation pills (“instant relief, just add money!”). But when applied in the service of a well-organized, strategically-sound, executive-led digital transformation effort, these technologies are your friend. They can imbue your organization with superhero powers”

Here’s just one segment of the Marketing Technology Landscape

Scott Brinker Marketing Technology Landscape - Craft of Marketing

Even with this overwhelming evidence, there’s been a lot of recent talk about modern SEO not being technical. Clearly, whoever is spreading that sentiment is not running a multifaceted business with varied lead sources, multiple products and varied customer personas.

I love Rand Fishkin’s WhiteBoard Friday video “Why Effective, Modern SEO Requires Technical, Creative, and Strategic Thinking“.  He tackles the subject head on, watch the video for yourself. Also, if you wan’t to know more about Rand, listen to his interview here.

Rand Fishkin Whiteboard Friday Craft of Marketing
To further make the case, all you has to do is sit in on one of Michael King’s SEO talks to grok the enormous potential that search engine optimization has to offer any marketing organization.

Take a look at Michael’s deck from Inbound titled “Technical Marketing is the Price of Admission

Michael King iPullRank - Craft of Marketing

Set some goals and get to work

It seems so simple but somehow quite illusive.

Want SEO results? There’s no silver bullet, it’s a goal driven process, start there and then optimize tactics.

This simple statement is at the core of what modern SEO is all about. Focusing with the end in mind, the consumer, their journey and the rules of the platforms those consumers are using. Once you have that insight, it’s all about leveraging your efforts to make discovery and consumption easier and relevant to all involved.

Thanks for reading, listening, learning and sharing.


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The Influencer Strategy You Should Steal Wed, 26 Aug 2015 22:11:21 +0000 Here’s the thing: We can’t deny that there is more content out there than ever before. But I don’t think the challenge this creates for marketers is any more unique than it was 3 years ago or 3 decades ago.

Some say that we are in the midst of the content shock era  — but I’m convinced that after the shock wears off, we’ll adapt. Because that’s what we do to survive, as humans and as marketers.

My definition of “adapting,” revolves around observation, testing and non-stop iteration to find new ways to reach a desired audience and drive business results. And one way to do that involves something I learned from Lee Odden called “participation marketing.”

Marketing needs to be accountable for content’s ability to attract, engage, and convert consumers. 

We’ve all experienced marketing tactics and strategies that were once super effective but then lost their mojo for one reason or another — think banner ads in the mid 90s, or post Y2K, when SEO in the form of keyword-stuffing and black-hat tactics was the strategy du jour for getting your website and blog to dominate in the world of search. Now, though, that kind of one dimensional marketing effort just doesn’t cut it. The market is demanding that we think out-of-the-box and create well-mapped out, comprehensive “marketing strategies” to make our marketing not only gain the attention of the search engines but more importantly, connect with our target audience through the entire consumer journey. Think marketing chess as opposed to promotional checkers.

And as TopRank Online Marketing CEO Lee Odden says, “If you can’t tell the difference between a simple tactic and a robust strategy, you need some help with your digital marketing.” It’s become very clear that there is no free lunch.

That’s why Participation Marketing is so exciting. It’s a little bit beyond the comfort zone of most marketers looking for quick hits. It’s the next iteration of Content and Influencer marketing which has been written about in almost every marketing publication in the western hemisphere, and any marketer who hasn’t been living under a rock or a management dictatorship has seen it’s effectiveness first hand.

The formula is simple:

You + Brand Partner + Influencers + Co-Created Content = Participation to Reach Newly Expanded Audience



Lee has employed this strategy successfully over the last few years and the name “participation marketing” seems to be sticking. It may be a foreign one to many marketers out there today, but it’s definitely a strategy that can yield results for both brands and influencers.

Brands get the opportunity to leverage an influencer’s knowledge and network, while the influencer gets to share their expertise with an expanded audience, using brands as their medium — a win-win situation that takes little effort to initiate and some effort to orchestrate and follow-through to make sure that everyone participates to the end.

Here are some of the specifics that you should steal from Lee’s playbook. Don’t wait to be the last one to adopt this:

1)  Pick the Right Brand to Participate in Your Content Co-Creation.

Who has your next customer as their current customer?  That’s a question my friend Andrew Davis asks in his book, titled Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships. The upshot here is that there are lots of potential brand collaborators out there that have an existing audience that would be perfect as your next customer. These are your target brand partners.

Some things to note: This seems to work best when you choose a brand partner that has an event where promotion is already built in and there is some urgency to the promotion. But don’t make the mistake of creating dated content. Evergreen content will pay the biggest dividends for all involved.

In this example, Lee and the Top Rank Marketing crew worked with Brian Clark of Copy Blogger to create and ebook and infographic with the goal of building buzz and attendance for his Authority Rainmaker conference and ultimately driving sales for the authority platform. A win-win-win for everyone. The perfect fit for Lee as many potential clients get to see his expertise displayed with a fantastic piece of content and Brian reaps many benefits here as well; exposure, execution, audience and the social proof of the influencer network. More on that later.


Engaging with your audience is one thing, working alongside them can really drive results 


2) Pick a Content Theme that Is A Win For All Involved.

For content co-creation to be successful, the content needs to compelling to the creators, because otherwise, why on earth would they be inspired to do their best work? This is something that many fail to grasp. Creators need motivation to do great work, you need to find out what that is and make sure it’s taken into account when choosing a topic. Next, the content itself needs to be of high value to the target audience. Remember: You + brand + influencer co-creator + audience = success. You need to consider everyones “why.” Why would they participate? What do they have to gain? Why should they care?

You can’t just talk about what you offer — we’re in the midst of the 7th generation of marketing where experiences matter as much as what you sell. As marketing strategist Robert Rose puts it, “Successful content creates a bond with an audience separate from a brand’s products and services.”

You can’t just talk about what you offer, experiences matter as much as what you sell  

Here is an example of an influencer marketing 1.0 piece that we did at my company Placester. I refer to it as 1.0 because I hadn’t included the brand that hosted the conference and that the ebook was slated to capitalize on. The piece was titled “Agent Intelligence 2015: Real Estate Marketing Secrets from The Pro’s.” The formula here is you + influencer + audience = broader reach, which is still quite a powerful strategy as you can see from the over 90k views on SlideShare.

Remember to think about the lifespan of the content. We created this in June of 2014 but titled it “Agent Intelligence 2015″ knowing that we could leverage it for search and sharing in the following 24 months.


3) Identify The Right Influencers and Help Them Shine.

Influencer marketing isn’t new — in fact, Dale Carnegie wrote about it in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” more than 75 years ago. Today’s version is none too different. There are people in the sphere of your customers world that hold great sway on their decision making process. Those “influencers” have the ability to convey trust to anyone that associates with them. Think of all of the famous authors that have their endorsements on the back of other peoples books. That’s a simplified version in action. You don’t need the influencer to be famous, though that may help in some cases. You just need them to move the needle for the customers and prospects that matter to you. Check out Barry Feldman‘s post “30 Action Items to Get Serious About Influencer Marketing” for more actionable ideas.

Influencer marketing works, the key is identify the right influencers and helping them shine  

In the meantime, here’s a few tools to make the process of finding influencers a simple one.

Part of helping the influencer shine is understanding the sweet spot of their expertise. Don’t ask them to participate in ways that are outside of their comfort zone. That will only lead to delays in content production time and quite frankly, will probably get you less than optimal results. Here’s an ebook that Lee did with Ann Handley at Marketing Prof’s for the B2BMarketing Forum. It’s packed with great insight and quotes from a wide variety of B2B marketing influencers.


4)  Content Promotion is Critical for Success

Your co-created content efforts are barely worth the time if they’re only for creating assets on your website. There needs to be a fully fledged content promotion effort across multiple channels with your co-creators and influencers. What’s the point of producing a 5,000-word ebook for your audience if they can only find it in one format or on one platform. The goal here is to coordinate your efforts with your collaborators. Create easy to share images and as my friend and marketer Jay Acunzo says, “Atomize your content” create multiple posts, SlideShares, infographics, podcast, interviews and guest posts to get the highest and best use from your content efforts.

Not everything you create will be aimed to acquire customers, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important to spread awareness and access to that content as far as you can across the web. – Lee Odden

The email outreach feature of is gold for both promotion and influencer outreach.

CM Email Sent


5)  Co-Created Content Requires Implementing The Entire Strategy.

Your co-creators and the brand that you choose to work with can’t execute this in a silo. If one makes a sizable change to the plan, the other needs to be entirely in the know with what alterations were made and given the time to adapt to the adjustments. Without this ability, chaos can ensue: from miscommunication internally, to poor branding and messaging externally.

“The co-created content strategy requires an integrated approach,” Odden notes, “so that all these different participants and different channels deliver a cohesive message and create a valuable experience for everyone involved.”

Consumer experience in terms of information discovery and consumption is more sophisticated than ever 

6)  Set Goals & Measure the Results.

Being results-driven isn’t just something a brand’s executive team needs to be concerned with. Everyone participating in the co-created content is a stakeholder in its success, and with that responsibility, each team member needs to have a part to play in ensuring things go smoothly and that, when they don’t, issues are resolved, poor-performing tactics and techniques are removed or improved, new ones are put into place, and part of the process is audited, assessed, and amplified as needed. 

7) Steal From Lee Odden.

To me this is the highest compliment. When a marketer is doing something worth copying, something that makes you take notice, that’s worthy of diving deeper in an interview. When I suggest that you steal, I mean steal the strategy and the tactics. Don’t violate IP, copyright, or general good manners. If you don’t know Lee Odden, he is gentleman, an experienced content marketer who’s been in the marketing game for the past dozen years. His Minneapolis-based agency, which helps clients like Dell, LinkedIn, and CMI with their content campaigns and customer acquisition, may not be the biggest in the industry, but it’s undoubtedly clear TopRank is on the forefront of leveraging content, SEO, influencer marketing, and digital PR to create marketing strategies that are multidimensional and more like a game of go than a game of checkers.

Content is the chief reason search engines began in the first place  

There’s much more to take into account when initiating a participation marketing strategy, as Odden notes in his Craft of Marketing interview. Listen to the podcast for an honest account of what marketing is all about. The tips, hacks and strategies that professionals share with each other but rarely talk about in public.

Influencer Marketing Participation Guide - Craft of Marketing


  • Prevent disparate, un-unified marketing assets and decisions from being created and made within your organization
  • Each co-creator needs to be aligned to create a joint vision and overall experience
  • If you write a book and want it to be “accepted” (in other words, bought), you need the right partnerships to help bring it to market
  • Content is the chief reason search engines began in the first place, so it has to be optimized well or it won’t earn you online leads


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10 Things I Learned About Website Design and Optimization Tue, 18 Aug 2015 17:20:27 +0000 Why Your Website is The Most Important Digital Asset You Can Have

The desire for a beautiful, modern, sleek website is a lot stronger than the desire for a well-planned and -executed digital marketing strategy — and this has baffled me for years. Sure, an aesthetically gorgeous site may keep visitors combing and clicking through your site for a few extra minutes past your site’s average time on page … but if they’re not clicking through to pages that can transform them into leads and customers, then really: What is the point?

Substance doesn’t trump style, it just won’t matter if your content isn’t right 

It has to be optimized for search and your audience’s interests, needs, and pain points. Speaking with Orbit Media Studios Co-Founder and Strategic Director Andy Crestodina confirms a line of thinking I’ve held for a long time. He’s spent a lot of time exploring website best practices for lead generation and knows first hand the educational process required to get buy-in with the decision-makers in big brands and small team alike.

Optimization Secrets-Craft of MatketingYou may be thinking, “Why does a designer need such a vast knowledge of the underpinnings of a modern online marketing strategy?” The answer is simple: Design is marketing. An elegant typeface and lavish graphic design work will only do so much to enhance brand awareness for any business. What it really takes to “win” with your website, according to Crestodina, is accessibility (in other words, clear messaging,) consistent content creation, and a rich understanding of SEO: what will make your site a champion in search results pages aka (SERPS). The following are 9 modern website design and optimization tenets that I took away from my interview with Andy. Let me know what you think.

10 Things I learned about websites - andy-crestodina craft of marketing dot com

10 Things I Learned About Website Design & Optimization


1. No one really cares about what you have to sell.

Focus on value beyond the product or service you sell, that’s the key to customer loyalty. 

Pitching the features and benefits of your products is all good and well, but the reality is that what you offer is not that different from the business down the street or across the country. If you don’t believe me, listen to Robert Rose break down the future of product differentiation. That reality is harsh for some, as we’ve been taught from childhood that we’re a special snowflake and different from all the rest.  Advances in technology and communication have reduced the once competitive moat of features and benefits to a feeble stream. The sooner we come to understand that the experiences we create for our customers that surround and support our products / services are the real differentiators, the sooner we can focus our efforts on activities that will help scale the effectiveness of our marketing.

2. Solve problems for your customers & prospects

We are quickly coming to an age where the consumer want’s to speak to businesses only in rare instances. 

According to Gartner Researchcustomers will self-manage 85% of their relationships with companies without ever talking directly to a human. That means our sites have to become the subject matter experts that we have historically relegated to individuals on our team. In the short term this can all be boiled down to what my friend and marketer Marcus Sheridan coins as the “They Ask, You Answer” method of content creation on your website. In the long term, this will mean creating real time dynamic website interactions that have our websites delivering unique experiences based on the consumers need at that particular moment in time. No more one size fits all approach to web marketing.

3. Sitemaps are great, but understanding keywords is still king.

If you attempt to create a sitemap without fully understanding the intent of your prospects and customers, you will end up leaving countless dollars and profit on the proverbial table. Keywords are still the defacto representation of what seems to matter to a given audience. In search speak, it’s called semantic search and the impact it’s had on search engine optimization over the last few years has been nothing short of transformational. Search engines are smart enough to determine a searcher’s intent by understanding the relationship between the words used in the search queries and the searcher previous actions. Our job as a marketer is to predict how and where we can be competitive for the right terms in the right context, then build our site structure to support that.

4. Your website is your best unpaid sales person.

A website should mimic the sales discussion you have with potential customers. 

Make the value proposition known. Too often we create marketing materials, websites and advertisements without listening intently to the conversations that our sales and support teams are having with prospects during the buyer journey. This is mission critical work. With 70-90% of the buyers journey happening online, a website needs to serve as a “uber-proxy” (pun intended) for phone and face to face interaction. This is not just highlighting the words and features that the sales team may be into to hit quota,  this is about empathetic listening with the goal of addressing problems like a trusted consigliari, before they come up, using the language that the customer uses to describe their issues. (oh yeah, had to reference Tom from the God Father). Your communicating online via words, images, multi-media and calls-to-action in the ways that make the viewer feel like the site was designed specifically for them to serve their needs and solve their problems is the future of website marketing.

5. Get comfortable with serving multiple masters.

While we want to use our website to address the needs of our primary customer, humans come in all shapes and sizes, let’s call this multi niche marketing for now. Great tools have long existed that allow us to segment our mailing lists, hyper target our advertising and utilize custom variables (url, name, location etc..) to present a unique experience based upon the data we glean from our customers. Your website is the next phase in the evolution of using data to present custom pages and content to consumer who might benefit the most. We’re talking about increasing click-throughs, reducing bounce rates and creating relationships at scale one-to-one-to-many. The holy grail of real time marketing: right content and the right time for the right person.

7. Don’t just use social media as a place to dump promotional links.

I’ve come to view social is a veritable playground. While we may not always love it, there’s no denying that For research and experimentation it’s one of the cheapest customer listening mechanisms ever devised. where else can you identify people who may have interest in your products and services, listen to what they have to say, observe everything they choose to share publicly, gather demographic and psychographic information on them and then make calculated guesses by placing appropriate content in their path to see how they respond? Then.. measure the results, rinse and repeat. This is why I love social media marketing. The problem is that many marketers look at social as one dimensional, thinking only about how they can use it to promote themselves. That’s all fine and dandy. And to be honest, I highly recommend using automation / social sharing tools to help promote content in the right places to the appropriate audience. But… Social is also a tool for networking, much like the phone, or text, or saying hi to people in a coffee shop. Don’t miss the forest by focusing on the trees.

8. Plan to learn, learn to iterate.

Andy reminded me about something that took me decades to accept, it’s the guarantee that what you set out to build will not end up exactly how you imagined it nor will it keep pace with technology or your customers. The nugget of learning here is not thinking about that fact as a negative thing, but using it to shift your mindset to one of a ‘Beginners mind“.  Your website and all of the activities that surround it’s successful operation are just a non-stop experiment to see what works and what doesn’t, much like life itself. The biggest trap that business owners, marketers and entrepreneurs fall into is the checkbox mentality where launching a website or signing up for a new marketing automation tool seems like the end goal. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those tools are just like the shoes you put on before you run a marathon, quite critical no doubt, but they don’t run the race for you.

9. Content promotion for a brand isn’t (and shouldn’t be) an afterthought.

If you build it they won’t come… at least not without promotion. 

We are in the age of content overload where there is way more content than any human could consume in their lifetime, just ask Joe Chernov, of Hubspot fame, or Chad Pollitt, the content promotion sage at Digital Relevance. Content promotion is the gasoline that helps your content creation get found and everyone needs to help promote their content. For many marketers, content promotion is the last thing on their mind, because let’s face it, content creation is hard work. There are many ways to think about content promotion, from choosing content that is exactly in line with trending topics that are important to your audience, leveraging influencers to help spread your message and leaning into personal branding to build trust and awareness. If you wan’t to learn how a small marketing team makes it happen, listen to the content promotion playbook of Brian Dean at, he’s exceptional at it.

10. Invest in your online presence and domain authority.

There doesn’t seem to be a shortcut to establishing a powerful online presence and domain authority. There are ways to do it quickly, though spoiler alert: they all involve hard work and the right marketing strategy. Consumer behavior has forced our hand as entrepreneurs, our prowess on the web is directly related to our business success today and if all indicators remain, it will be mandatory in the years to come. (if that isn’t clear, do not pass go and take a moment to reflect on the plight of traditional newspapers, travel agents, bookstores, taxi’s and hotel rooms). Building a website and all of the content that goes with it is an investment in asset creation. Each piece of content, each landing page, every keyword that becomes part of your online discovery machine is asset in your online marketing portfolio that will reap benefits for years to come. Don’t think you can wait untl later to start filling your online piggy bank..

Three Questions to Ask When Choosing a Website Partner

Crestodina has provided his insights into the world of web design — and industry he has flourished in during the past 15-plus years — to hundreds of companies and organizations in need of a more substantial web presence. When hiring a website design partner & platform, Crestodina notes, there are three very important questions you need to ask:

  • Can I meet the team?
    Think of it this way: Would you rather have a dedicated team of professionals who are easily accessible and whom you can meet with regularly? Or would you be fine with a firm outsourcing the work to a third party with whom you never connect with? I think I know what most brands and marketers would prefer.
  • How have similar sites performed after you designed them?
    You may love the aesthetics of the sites a potential firm you may hire has completed … but have those sites actually generated positive results? If not, your best bet is to move on with your search and find an agency that’s actually accomplished work that made a difference for its clients’ bottom lines.
  • Can I see your portfolio?
    You need to know that any designer you work with has completed work for companies they actually understand — whether they specialize with 10 industries or one, just make sure yours is one of them before signing on the dotted line with a firm.

There are plenty of other factors to consider, according to Crestodina, but at the end of the day, your website’s success boils down to working with people who comprehend your vision down to the most minute details — from the logo placement at the top of a site to the co-alignment with other branding collateral offline.

it was clear in speaking with Crestodina he knows the intricacies that go along with an award-winning online marketing campaign, not just the design work that can help get one noticed more. In this episode, he expands upon the marketers who’re currently doing it the right way, how social media is under-utilized (still) by so many marketing pros, little daily tricks that can augment your promotional strategy, and much more.

If you haven’t yet subscribed, Listen to the podcast in for an honest account of what marketing is all about. The tips, hacks and strategies that professionals share with each other but rarely talk about in public.


Things that Andy’s Mentioned in The Interview


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6 Ways to Get "Buy-In" For SEO & Content Marketing Wed, 05 Aug 2015 06:53:55 +0000 Even with all the information on the web about SEO, it’s still one of those mysterious disciplines that leaves many marketing professionals scratching their heads. I hear lot’s of folks say SEO is dead or that all you need to do is create exceptional content and people will show up at your door.

The truth is, all those are sort of true. Marketing is nuanced, complicated and an ever changing endeavor.

Everyone who has a business wants to get their message found online – the trick is getting yourself and your company discovered by the right people during their online journey.

I’ve talked quite a bit on this blog about the importance of SEO, content strategy and personal branding. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done and even more difficult when you work in an organization where you need BUY-IN to execute effectively, which is why you’ve got to take some time to formulate a strategy to market your marketing.

Grow your influencer network long before you need them. The day to develop an army of influential advocates isn’t the first day of the war. Find common interests and develop rapport.

Author's image
Lee Odden

Marketing your marketing and helping others execute: A pretty meta job, but one that Stone Temple Consulting Senior Director of Online Marketing Mark Traphagen seems to enjoy thoroughly. Helping other brands both mid-size and large start, develop, and hone online marketing strategies is Traphagen’s bread and butter. The trick, he notes, is getting buy-in at the top of the companies he assists. There’s a ton of content on the web that outlines the value of having a digital strategy and that certainly makes it a little bit easier to justify the resources for digital marketing, but for many it’s still an uphill battle. Not enough resources in the right places in time to make a difference.

Marketers looking to convince their bosses likely know the struggle that can sometimes (or often) ensue when they bring up the value inbound marketing can bring to the bottom line. The best ways to go about getting founders, executives, and organizations at large to “buy-in” is relatively straightforward:

  1. Find plenty of examples of brands knocking it out of the park with their online marketing strategies
  2. Pack plenty of figures and data points in your presentation to higher-ups that show the ROI digital marketing can generate
  3. Be as specific as possible with your plans for your brand’s inbound scheme: from the content you want to create, to how you’ll promote it, and how it will be discovered in search.
  4. Set realistic expectations as to how long it can take to see measurable results. (Remember, this is about creating long term destinations that are assets, not short lived campaigns)
  5. Make sure you include sales leadership in the process so that the assets you create, align with the long term growth goals of the business.
  6. Set up mechanisms to include the entire organization in the process. Understanding the key stakeholders needs (and desires, which sometimes aren’t the same) Creating feedback loops so that your marketing strategy is not in a silo and as closely aligned as possible with with the different areas of your organization.

All of the above apply to an organization of one or a million.

One thing we often forget is the importance of making friends and being nice. You need real collaborators and allies to do great work.

A major selling point in persuading execs and managers to give the thumbs up for the development of an online marketing strategy needs to be how much time, energy, resources, and money can be saved by shifting a brand’s promotional efforts not only to being predominately online but from an mindset of broadcast marketing (we’re frickin awesome, buy from us) to consumer centric marketing (let me help you by paying it forward) which is all about providing value above and beyond your products and services.

“SEO used to be ‘the game’ for marketing — now it’s just one big part of the game.”
Search engine optimization is one of the core elements of any successful inbound marketing blueprint, according to Mark — and he should know, given he was one of SEO’s earliest adopters. But it’s not just mastering the art of search that will take brand recognition and sales to the next level. A broader SEO plan is needed — one that includes:

  • Guest blogger outreach: Don’t find just any Joe or Jane Influencer to write for your company’s blog. Reach out to those who know your industry and products/services inside and out and can provide unique value that will hit home with your audience.
  • Creating lots of valuable content: Have as many brand employees as possible contribute content in some fashion to your brand’s online marketing efforts. This help’s with buy-in as well.
  • Experiment with all content types: Publishing in-depth blog posts and witty status updates is great and essential to succeed online … but don’t forget to play around with other distinct content types, including emerging social networks and longer-form content, like podcasting, ebooks, live streaming, webinars, infographics, events and even print.

No one tactic will ever be a silver bullet, at least not forever. One of the things that can be frustrating is that what works for others won’t always work for you and your audience.

Whether you’re striving to get buy-in and budget approval for your online marketing plan or are already embedded in a fleshed out digital strategy for your brand, staying up to speed on the latest stats and trends for inbound marketing, including SEO updates from Google and other experts, is how you’ll strike gold with your buyer personas — not to mention make some headway in your efforts to build a great marketing portfolio.

All of this (and much more) is discussed in this episode of the Craft of Marketing, so if you want to learn how to advance your marketing agenda and career and see how Traphagen has done so over the past 15-plus years, pop in the earbuds and get ready to take some notes.

Listen in for an honest account of what marketing is all about. The tips, hacks and strategies that professionals share with each other but rarely talk about in public.

There is no silver bullet in marketing. You need to be impatiently patient. Always experimenting and asking questions. If you don’t hypothesize, test, measure, rinse and repeat. You can forget about being part of your customers journey.

Author's image
Seth Price


  • Showcasing the real people behind your brand instills trust and helps with reputation development
  • SEO used to be the main focus of online marketing — now it’s just one component, but an important one
  • If you’re going to put yourself out there as a personal brand, you better know your stuff or you’ll get called out
  • Build lots of relationships! No connection is too small, so attend meetups and conferences regularly
  • People don’t want to consume content from just anybody — they want to hear from likeable personalities
  • The biggest mistake people can make is pushing their personal brand-building too soon. Don’t force it — let it grow organically
  • Marketers look at Google+ and say, “It failed,” but in reality, they just haven’t realized it’s just not Facebook or Twitter
  • Before establishing your social media profiles, ensure you have actual content to share and a strategy for each platform
  • Word to the wise, young marketers: Work only for brands that don’t restrict your role or responsibilities



The feedback is super helpful for me and helps other people find the show. I actually read them. —- Thank You!

This is a labor of love, something I’ve done offline for decades and now get to share my curiosity with you. Thanks for reading and listening to the show and to Mark for being an amazing guest! Oh yeah, thank Mark on Twitter, I know he’d appreciate it.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions about this episode, let me know, and if you like what I’m doing here, please share generously via the social media buttons on this page!      — Warmly, Seth

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Building a Career with Content Marketing Sun, 12 Jul 2015 19:48:28 +0000 A Step by Step Guide to Building a Career with Content Marketing

The traditional resume is dead — at least that’s the case for aspiring content marketers, according to NextView Ventures Vice President Jay Acunzo. “The rules changed right before our eyes, now if you want to be successful in the marketing space you don’t need a fancy degree, though that might get you in the door. you just need the talent to create the remarkable and deliver measurable results with your efforts.” Jay’s has been working in the field for a half-dozen years, including for two of the most prestigious names in content/inbound marketing, Google and HubSpot, and will be the first to tell you that, of all of the marketing-oriented roles you could apply for, content marketer requires more than just a standard cover letter and the prototypical “I’m-the-right-person-for-the-job” pitch. Nope, it requires a hefty portfolio that shows expertise in various facets of digital marketing and attention-grabbing copy.

Success comes from focusing on customers. Search for them, talk to them, then shut up and listen! 

Jay will also be the first to acknowledge this is something few hopeful content creators and strategists understand well and know how to execute — and that was one of the reasons behind his decision to co-found an exciting young community of burgeoning marketing professionals in the Boston areas through his Boston Content group. The faction serves as an optimal outlet for eager and involved marketers to share advice and ideas, build upon their skill sets, and even find applicable job opportunities nearby.

Aspiring marketers today have no excuse not to have a substantial portfolio 

It’s his seemingly endless energy supply that keeps Jay moving his career along at a steady clip and working tirelessly to help those just like him make the right career moves in what has become an exciting yet difficult industry to navigate. It’s wonderful to see Jay and the team behind Boston Content take time out of their busy schedules to aid others whom share similar interests in all-things marketing.

How Jay finds time to conduct his actual day-to-day marketing activities at his venture capital firm makes one want to learn to emulate his work ethic. Whatever the methods are that he implements to accomplish ostensibly everything he wants to, it’s evident Jay is supremely passionate about the marketing world and is driven to help steer the industry in the right direction (and, to some degree, keep learning new techniques and methodologies on the fly).

Focus less on a volume of content and more on getting the most out of your existing content 

If you want to glean insights from someone who’s practically been there and done that for every major marketing role there is in marketing, this is the essential Craft of Marketing episode to check out. Jay and I hit on a variety of intriguing subjects, including how VCs are finally coming around to content marketing, the new perspectives he’s gained from starting his evolving marketing community (1,000+ members and growing daily, by the way), areas even the best marketers can improve, and several other topics. Also, check out Jay’s latest content effort, Traction, the Podcast about the creative & unusual ways entrepreneurs make progress.

Listen in for an honest account of what marketing is all about. The tips, hacks and strategies that professionals share with each other but rarely talk about in public.


  • Venture capital firms are finally seeing the light and hiring content marketers to bolster their brands
  • Bringing together likeminded, driven marketers leads to in-depth conversations and connections
  • Strategy is an inherent need for marketing to work, whether you’re an early-stage startup or corporation
  • You’d be amazed how much time marketers ask “What should we build?” instead of engaging customers
  • Knowing where your audience “lives” online takes guesswork, but test often enough and you’ll find them
  • Building a foundation of content one piece at a time provides you with long-term traffic and lead gen



  • Launch a Beautiful Real Estate Website in Minutes for Only $10 Per Month
  • Contactually The Social CRM That Helps You Track All of Your Conversations on the Web

If you like this this show, subscribe to it on iTunes, and leave a review.

The feedback is super helpful for me and helps other people find the show. I actually read them. —- Thank You!

This is a labor of love, something I’ve done offline for decades and now get to share my curiosity with you. Thanks for listening to the show and to Alessandro for being an amazing guest! Oh yeah, thank Jay on Twitter, I know he’d appreciate it.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions about this episode, let me know, and if you like what I’m doing here, please share generously via the social media buttons on this page!      — Warmly, Seth

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Chad Pollitt on Content Promotion Sun, 05 Jul 2015 16:24:03 +0000 How to Get Started with Content Promotion

There are plenty of marketers that understand how to create good content, there are far fewer who understand the ins and outs of content promotion. In this episode we chat with Chad Pollitt, he’s is a master of leveraging content as an asset to drive measurable business results. He’s the co-founder of Relevance a publication dedicated to content promotion and a digital agency that helps companies big and small create strategies that bring together content, SEO, PPC, paid media, digital PR, and the analytics that help create repeatable success. Few people (if any) are more proficient in the art of content promotion than Chad.


Mastering the art of content promotion inst.2

Relevance isn’t just what experienced marketing professional Chad Pollitt aims for with his content creation — it’s also what he’s trying to achieve with his work in the marketing space. And in this case educating and informing marketers on the best ways to make the most of their content: promoting it through the right channels, sharing it with the right influencers and media outlets, and, simply put, using it to increase awareness and sales for their brands.

There are plenty of websites out there devoted to the “how” behind marketing, but Chad and his team at Relevance recognized the significant need on behalf of many marketers to learn what they need to do with their collateral — something that shows in his own content marketing efforts, which he’s been regularly introducing to the world since 2004.

On top of publishing in-depth blog posts and ebooks to help guide enterprise marketers with their online marketing, Chad and Co. also offer consultation to brands looking for digital promotion assistance and conduct live and virtual events to teach the modern tactics and techniques required to survive and thrive and today’s business landscape.

As Chad puts it, “Many marketers still ascribe to the ‘build-it-and-they-will-come’ philosophy, and I want to change this mentality and make them realize what the reality of modern marketing is.”

I was lucky enough to get an hour of Chad’s time to explore an assortment of marketing-related subjects: other marketers he routinely gleans insights from, the premier way to get influencers on your side, getting people to listen to you above other industry voices, and the value of personal branding in scaling a business online and off.

Listen in for an honest account of what marketing is all about. The tips, hacks and strategies that professionals share with each other but rarely talk about in public.


  • If you can’t find the time to write, have a freelancer interview you to get a starting point for your content plan
  • It’s great when bosses, colleagues, and clients say “Good job with content,” but it’s far better when the world says it
  • The best PR professionals are the ones who have big (and continually growing) books of media contacts
  • Getting great content placement in search engine results pages is “a trailing indicator of success in marketing”


If you like this this show, subscribe to it on iTunes, and leave a review.

The feedback is super helpful for me and helps other people find the show. I actually read them. —- Thank You!

This is a labor of love, something I’ve done offline for decades and now get to share my curiosity with you. Thanks for listening to the show and to Chad for being an amazing guest! Oh yeah, thank Chad on Twitter, I know he’d appreciate it.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions about this episode, let me know, and if you like what I’m doing here, please share generously via the social media buttons on this page!      — Warmly, Seth

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Turning a Celebrity Blog Into a Publishing Powerhouse Tue, 09 Jun 2015 18:16:00 +0000 India is not only one of the world’s largest economies, but also one of the fastest-growing cultural centers around the globe. The digital revolution continues to make its way into more Indian homes by the day — and it’s clear where many of the nation’s residents’ cultural interests lie: keeping up with the latest trends in Bollywood, fashion, and lifestyle … and no one has helped meet this desire for such news than internationally acclaimed media empire MissMalini.

One of the core team members behind the blog-turned-pop-cultural-phenomenon is Nowshad Rizwanullah, the CEO of MissMalini Publishing Pvt. Ltd. and husband to the star of the business, Malini Agarwal. Together, and with a team of roughly a dozen others, the couple has created a media conglomerate that provides a much-coveted service — one that India has really never had before.

Looking to other successful digital media companies internationally has aided Nowshad and Co. in their quest to develop a truly original brand that not only builds but also sustains a devoted following. You would think a business with their substantial popularity would have a significant investment in a detailed marketing strategy, but that wasn’t the case — well, not to start, at least. Focusing nearly all of their initial energies on getting found organically was the real reason MissMalini went from small-time blog to universally esteemed media enterprise.

The MissMalini site secures roughly 1.5 million unique visitors, Nowshad notes, while its social media following sits a 4 million, but continues to balloon at a rampant pace — something Nowshad acknowledges wouldn’t be possible without the woman at the center of it all who puts herself out there daily.

In this episode of the Craft of Marketing, Nowshad explains his measured approach to attaining steady business growth, the state of internet usage and digital marketing in India, why nailing the right voice on the blog was a must from the start, and much more.

Listen in for an honest account of what marketing is all about. The tips, hacks and strategies that professionals share with each other but rarely talk about in public.


  • Thinking of starting a company? Find an underserved audience and figure out how to meet their needs
  • Developing a worldwide brand around one person’s celebrity makes for a unique business-building experience
  • Writing in the voice that most identifies with an audience doesn’t come easy — in fact, it’s very difficult to nail down
  • India is primed to experience vast amounts of growth in terms of big online voices making names for themselves
  • Most TV-oriented brands are trying to get online, but Nowshad’s company has found itself in the opposite position
  • Not spending any money on marketing to start helped Nowshad understand his brand’s true popularity



  • Launch a Beautiful Real Estate Website in Minutes for Only $10 Per Month
  • Edgar Automate Your Social Media Marketing with Ease and Maximize Your Content’s Reach

Music & Production

Sound Engineering by Johnny Ronci

FreeSpit (Instrumental) by The Impossebulls

Live dublab “Sprout Session” by Puro Instinct

Hallon by Christian Bjoerklund

If you like this this show, subscribe to it on iTunes, and leave a review.

The feedback is super helpful for me and helps other people find the show. I actually read them. —- Thank You!

This is a labor of love, something I’ve done offline for decades and now get to share my curiosity with you. Thanks for listening to the show and to Sujan for being an amazing guest! Oh yeah, thank MissMalani on Twitter, I know he’d appreciate it.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions about this episode, let me know, and if you like what I’m doing here, please share generously via the social media buttons on this page! —- Warmly, Seth

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The 4 Pillars of Growth Hacker Marketing Fri, 29 May 2015 10:38:35 +0000 “Growth hacker marketing” may just seem like another one of those trendy business terms that doesn’t really mean anything and dwindles in discussions among marketers and other professionals over time. The truth, however, is that growth hacking — the setting up of long-term systems and processes that help brands systematically attract and acquire customers — has been around for ages. There simply wasn’t a term for it.

While many have adopted the growth hacking methodology and philosophy for their companies, organizations, and institutions, few do it better than When I Work Vice President of Marketing Sujan Patel.

Sujan is one of those rare marketing pros who has a knack for taking a step back to truly comprehend what a business needs to succeed: from how to hear the voices of its primary audience, to providing value for that audience in the form of useful tools and content marketing.

Over at When I Work (and even at his earlier ventures, like Single Grain), Sujan has made it his mission to grow his brands at organically without relying on paid customer acquisition techniques, ensuring they don’t fall victim to downturns and missed opportunities or end up developing at an unsustainable pace. His aim has been to nail down marketing methods that enable his fellow team members while also making sure all marketing activities have a distinct purpose in the grand scheme of their brand goals.

Calm, cool, and collected can aptly describe Sujan and his desire for marketing, but so too can ambitious, determined, and resourceful.

How do you know if your brand is growing in the ways and at the rate it needs to on the marketing side of things? What can be done to improve your day-to-day activities and processes?

Find out about Sujan’s vast experience in the world of marketing, how he ended up running the small (but quickly growing) employee scheduling SAAS company, When I Work, why social media is a supremely underrated facet of any marketing strategy, and a variety of other topics covering details small and large about the industry and his role in it.

Listen in for an honest account of what marketing is all about. The tips, hacks and strategies that professionals share with each other but rarely talk about in public.


  • Test, scale, learn, repeat: This is the winning formula to grow your brand and bottom line
  • Be authentic with your marketing — it’s the only way you’ll really connect with and influence them
  • You may not be able to tie social media marketing to ROI, but it’s still indispensable
  • Think of your personal blog as an extension of your personality and premier networking tool
  • Don’t consider yourself a writing wiz? Record your thoughts to help spark your blogging efforts
  • Embrace the mindset of customer support reps when brainstorming content ideas for your audience
  • Live and breathe your products and services to improve your marketing day by day



  • Launch a Beautiful Real Estate Website in Minutes for Only $10 Per Month
  • Edgar Automate Your Social Media Marketing with Ease and Maximize Your Content’s Reach

Music & Production

Sound Engineering by Johnny Ronci

FreeSpit (Instrumental) by The Impossebulls

Live dublab “Sprout Session” by Puro Instinct

Hallon by Christian Bjoerklund

If you like this this show, subscribe to it on iTunes, and leave a review.

The feedback is super helpful for me and helps other people find the show. I actually read them. —- Thank You!

This is a labor of love, something I’ve done offline for decades and now get to share my curiosity with you. Thanks for listening to the show and to Sujan for being an amazing guest! Oh yeah, thank Sujan on Twitter, I know he’d appreciate it.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions about this episode, let me know, and if you like what I’m doing here, please share generously via the social media buttons on this page! —- Warmly, Seth

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