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Top 10 Forms of Content Marketing

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Content Marketing has rapidly become our go-to method for branding media in an environment where people want their information free and easy to access. If your company isn’t using at least half of these resources or more to brand themselves, consider yourself either in the danger zone or close to it.

10. Microsites

Websites in general are the most common form of content marketing and are a given at this point. At the same time, microsites are just as important to your branding strategy. Mobile marketing thrives on microsites and gives QR codes a reason to exist. Just make sure the microsite differentiates itself from the home site and gives consumers a reason (incentive) to visit it.

9. White Papers

The beauty of white papers is that they are known to be one of the most informative ways for an interested prospect to learn more about you. When I see a white paper with a clear focus in something I’m interested in, I am almost guaranteed to read the entire thing. The simplicity, credibility, and accessibility of white papers make them essential for any business.

8. Webinars

Although they are not for everyone, webinars are fantastic tools for reaching a wide audience very quickly and keeping those prospects. They allow real-time feedback that can still be monitored and controlled, and webinars are ultimately far less costly than conferences while delivering even more effective results and engagement.

7. Podcasts

People love podcasts and RSS feeds for the same reason they love television. Keeping up with an episodic series of interesting content is addicting and satisfying. Creating a quality podcast with a loyal following is one of the best ways to network with people who are the most likely to do business with you.

6. Email

When handled incorrectly, email and newsletters become spam and do a lot of damage (spamage?). The key is to remember that the purpose of email is to share and promote, not enforce. When handled correctly, email newsletters become your trump card for generating reaches and leads for your company.

5. E-books

Basically, an E-book is just a longer version of a white paper. They both set out to do the same thing (inform under the pretense of providing a solution to your problem), but your decision between the two comes down to how much information you are looking to disseminate.

4. Infographics

Most people are visual, which means that your marketing strategy hinges on being just as aesthetic as it is informative. The truth is that infographics end up being one of the most persuasive forms of content marketing just because people are more likely to read through the whole thing and retain more of the information.

3. Video

People don’t want to read paragraphs of text when they can just watch a video that is short, punchy, and to the point. Like infographics, people are more likely to remember more information from video, and high-quality videos lend an enormous amount of credibility to your brand, ensuring trust in what your company can deliver.

2. Q&A Sites

The reason these sites are becoming more popular is because they are essentially a forum for problem solving. Marketers are realizing that they can find interested prospects very easily just by networking on popular sites such as Quora and LinkedIn. Before you begin answering those industry questions, however, make sure you have the sales pitch needed to handle the likely competition.

1. Blogs

Blogs lend a personal touch to an otherwise impersonal slew of communications your company has with its prospects. Unlike Q&A sites, your company’s blog is indirect, in that it is attracting people to your site for content rather than a sales pitch. This makes your company stand out when it comes time for that person to look for the service you’re providing, and bolsters one of the largest audiences you can accumulate online.

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.

Image courtesy of contentmarketingtoday.com

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How Your Manager Views Social Media in the Workplace

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This morning, I had a lengthy conversation with a good friend of mine who is a higher up in the banking industry. We discussed the topic that seems to be ubiquitous these days: social media.

Specifically, we spoke on how social media has affected his workplace…negatively and positively.

On the positive side, he pointed out how channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter have allowed him to create extremely productive relationships with clients and new accounts.

“LinkedIn provides different channels for networking and ultimately allows me to connect with people I otherwise could not have.” (He chose not to disclose his name)

On the flipside, he pointed out how the potential for causing distractions at work has made him and other executives wary about social media usage. Their immediate response has been to block and filter websites, but more and more companies are beginning to realize that this causes a separation in networking opportunity.

“At the end of the day, I feel that if a company has enough trust to hire an employee, they should have enough trust in the employee to do the right thing. In other words, giving them the benefit of the doubt.”

While I agree to an extent, I also find it interesting to note that evaluating your employees based on production is really the measurement of whether or not they can handle the freedom to be able to check their Twitter, and as social media is becoming more integrated with our overall internet usage, is their any real way for us to monitor these distractions?

Like what you read? Connect with me further via twitter @JonNegroni. I’ll follow back if you seem like a real person. You can also subscribe to this blog by clicking the “follow” button in the top-left corner.

Don’t forget to check out THE JON REPORT every day, updated at 8am for a list of today’s main headlines as selected by my editorial team (me) 

Image Courtesty of techinasia.com

Review: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’

Long story short: It’s no Spider-Man 2.

Short story long:

I love Spider-Man. I went into this move stoked to see Spider-Man do spider…well things, and I wasn’t disappointed. The action was superb and the way everything was set up made the reboot do just that: refresh our perception of Spider-Man.

Unfortunately, the movie suffers one major ill: post-production. The whole time I was watching this movie, I couldn’t get over the lack of cinematic flair. From the first time we see Peter Parker dawn his mask to the Lizard’s transformation, there is just a terrible structure to everything, which is typically what you address in editing.

There’s also an underwhelming attention to pacing, resulting in a final product with the right ingredients, minus a cohesive flow.

I won’t even complain about the web shooters or off-putting glow-lights appearing out of Peter Parker’s wrists. These lore updates are welcome to a worn franchise. The only re-imagining that I had any real issue with was how they dealt with the death of the Uncle Ben (played well by Martin Sheen), arguably the most important character in the Spider-Man mythology for how he prompts Peter Parker into a life of superhero servitude. Unfortunately, the execution of this arc and others was sloppy to a fault.

The love interest, Emma Stone performing admirably as Gwen Stacey, will be most folks’ favorite aspect of this film. The rest of the supporting cast, including a weak-willed Flash Thompson, standard police captain antagonist, and an even less interesting antagonist in the form of “The Lizard,” bring The Amazing Spider-Man down to earth from its web slinging heights.

Grade: C

Extra Credits:

  • Five years is far too short to reboot a film franchise, especially if we’re doing another origin story.
  • The mystery surrounding Peter’s parents doesn’t amount to as much as the marketing would have moviegoers believe. This isn’t necessary a flaw of the film itself, just a missed opportunity.
  • Another key difference that seemed inevitable: No Mary Jane or Harry Osborn, though I doubt that will remain the case with future installments.
  • Amazing Spider-Man certainly excels at core characters, but if I had to put my finger on the key difference between both franchises, it would have to be the absence of any style here compared to the straight-out-of-a-comic-book approach of the Sam Raimi films.
  • Thankfully, they didn’t do a poor job with the Stan Lee cameo.

 

 

Tweeting Influence: Should You Share More Than You Consume?

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What does every truly influential person have in common when it comes to, say, Twitter? If you just look at celebrities, one very obvious trait their profiles all share is that they have vastly more followers than people they follow.

What does that mean?

Well, they share more than they consume.

Sure, it’s their celebrity status that has elevated them to the point where people want to follow them because of their name, not their content, but that does not change the fact that the influential Tweeter in question is sharing content much more than they are consuming it.

In no way am I downplaying the importance of consuming content. That is how we gain the knowledge and insight that foster our creative, industrious minds. There is no reason why my retweeting an insightful article makes me any less influential, but the dirty secret is that retweets and reblogs alone do nothing to make you influential. They just make you a reference.

How else do bloggers, vloggers, and Tweeters rack up followers without being a household name? They’ve figured out how to create content that people like-that people have a demand for.

The next time you are looking for a way to bolster your own influence, whether it be online or even in the workplace, take a good look at how much you share and create, not just how much you consume.

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.

Social Scoring Is Not Obsolete

ImageIt’s just getting better.

People don’t like Klout. That’s fair. Klout contains an unknown algorithm that no one outside of the company has truly figured out, making Klout’s credibility that much more uncertain.

People don’t like uncertainty.

That said, measuring influence online has to contain some uncertainty, lest we are left with scammers who manipulate the system. I like the fact that my social score can’t be measured against someone who achieved theirs unfairly.

In the meantime, competition is rising with Klout, forcing the brand to innovate and make our social scoring something we love not just because we’re addicted to it (and we definitely are), but because sites like Klout constantly make us better at being influential. Who doesn’t love that?

If you want to beef up your Klout score the fair way, use timely.is. This nifty site schedules post by when your audience is at peak interest and gives pretty awesome statistics on the performance of your tweets or posts.

My gift to you!

-Jon

Image courtesy of wired.com

A Different Way to Approach Feedback and Criticism

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Too often we fall into the trap of measuring the value of what we create based on others’ perceptions. I do this when I write a blog post and eagerly wait to read the feedback and see what people think. I consider it success when something I create is popular and accepted.

That’s doing it backwards.

If I am creating content that is inherently mine, then I shouldn’t be terribly disappointed if someone else doesn’t value something that isn’t inherently theirs. That means I can celebrate doubly when something I write or create has been accepted and shared by someone else.

It means that I’m becoming more insightful, gaining more empathy, and learning from what I’ve done correctly.

Once you’ve made something to the best of your ability, you’ve created good content. Use feedback  to measure how influential and insightful you are, not how good you are at what you love to do. That’s what criticism is for.

Of course, your content connecting with someone else is a huge indicator of how valuable it is, but at the same time, something superficial and soulless can do the exact same thing.

Like what you read? Connect with me further via twitter @JonNegroni. I’ll follow back if you seem like a real person. You can also subscribe to this blog by clicking the “follow” button in the top-left corner.

Don’t forget to check out THE JON REPORT every day, updated at 8am for a list of today’s main headlines as selected by my editorial team (me) 

New Infographic Highlights The Strengths of Hiring Millennials

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A new infographic courtesy of UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School has given employers another reason to take a close look at what millennials can contribute to the workforce. As Forbes puts it, this new research data gives us a reason to shed previous stereotypes of millennials that focus on them being apathetic.

The research gives us new light into just how large the millennial demographic is, how many will be in the workforce and just how ambitious and diverse these young professionals are.

Gen Y In the Workplace Via MBA@UNC

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.

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