Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (New Rules Social Media Series)

The guide to creating engaging web content and building a loyal following, revised and updated

Blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other platforms are giving everyone a “voice,” including organizations and their customers. So how do you create the stories, videos, and blog posts that cultivate fans, arouse passion for your products or services, and ignite your business? Content Rules equips you for online success as a one-stop source on the art and science of developing content that people care about. This coverage is interwoven with case studies of companies successfully spreading their ideas online—and using them to establish credibility and build a loyal customer base.

• Find an authentic “voice” and craft bold content that will resonate with prospects and buyers and encourage them to share it with others
• Leverage social media and social tools to get your content and ideas distributed as widely as possible
• Understand why you are generating content—getting to the meat of your message in practical, commonsense language, and defining the goals of your content strategy
• Write in a way that powerfully communicates your service, product, or message across various Web mediums
Boost your online presence and engage with customers and prospects like never before with Content Rules.


“What To Talk About When There’s Nothing to Say,” from the authors of Content Rules

How do you create content when you don’t have breaking news to share regularly? If you want to remain relevant, you need to find a way to converse much more frequently than when you have big news. Consider these 10 approaches:

  1. Chat with customers.
    Ask customers a single question, such as “What’s your biggest marketing challenge?” or “What’s a strategy you used to grow your business this year?”
  2. Interview luminaries.
    Q & A interviews with thought leaders, strategic partners, or flat-out interesting creative thinkers make for compelling text, audio, or video content.
  3. Share real-time photos.
    Upload photos from industry events, meetups, or other gatherings. Fresh content matters here, and the faster you can get your photos up, the more likely they will be shared.
  4. Monitor search keywords.
    What keywords are people using to find your blog or website? Those keywords can inform your content stories and suggest new opportunities based on what customers are already interested in.
  5. Trawl industry news.
    Share an opinion about a recent news story that’s affecting your industry or audience. Be timely; you could benefit from the extra boost of being one of the first to comment on the topic.
  6. Go behind the scenes.
    Show things that your readers or followers don’t usually get to see. Share photos that give an insider’s view of your company, or tease some new, compelling content, product or event that you’ll be launching soon.
  7. Go to an event.
    Take session notes, conduct interviews, or take photos. Real-time blog or tweet the sessions that offer value to your community, and share with your audience what you learned, enjoyed, or were surprised at.
  8. Share best practices or productivity tips.
    People are always looking for efficiencies, and this type of content is always highly useful and shareable.
  9. Invite guest posts.
    Give your readers or employees or an expert in the industry the chance to guest post for your blog. Don’t limit yourself to written content.
  10. Create a regular content series.
    A themed series is a great way to help you create regular content. Pick a day of the week and post the same type of content on that day.

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3 Responses to Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (New Rules Social Media Series)

  1. Whitney S. Hoffman

    Insanely Great Look at Creating Content I should preface this review by saying I have been podcasting and creating content for the web for over five years now, and that I regularly help clients do the same. This said, I was expecting Content Rules to be a good book on the subject, but perhaps one of those that did not speak to me, because of my experience. I was wrong- Content Rules speaks to everyone- even seasoned content creators, by providing the metrics we may know around content creation, but haven’t yet articulated, and helps make the case for content for everyone from people getting their feet wet on the Web for the first time, to those who are looking to raise their game and up their level of engagement with others online.Content Rules is compelling and honest from the introduction on. It is a book I can hand my clients, friends, teachers- almost anyone who wonders why people need to or bother creating content for the web- to help not only explain why compelling content is important, but how to create it. It helps people break down the barriers that often get in the way of creating compelling content, and instead gives them some parameters on how to make sure your authentic and compelling voice shine through. In addition, the examples and case studies in the book bring the rules to life, in a way that will help folks understand how to find their human voice, and why that is so important to success in contrast to another paragraph of over-polished, sanitized, personality-free “safe” messaging.I’m really excited by Content Rules as a book I can enthusiastically pass on to friends, colleagues, clients and more. If it’s between a more generic book on social media or online marketing and this one, you need Content Rules because it will help you understand the fundamental approach you need to take regardless of the tool, platform, network or marketing plan- you need to concentrate on your Content first.

  2. David H. Deans

    Effective Content Marketing: Easier Said Than Done The forward of this book states that “Marketing is about creating great content” – but that the art and science of producing that superior material has been a mystery to many. David Meerman Scott, the author of the book’s forward section, suggests that the answer to the question “what exactly, should I do?” is to tell stories. Granted, that’s one important aspect of a forward-looking plan of action.However, perhaps it’s essential to fully understand why most businesses tend to create poor content. In fact, much of the business communication that’s being produced today clearly doesn’t meet the needs of its intended target customer. To the vast majority of marketers, the task of creating content is still centered upon explaining what their product or service does.In contrast, great content — from the customer’s point of view — should provide meaningful and substantive insight or guidance about what products and service will do for them. As I concluded reading this book, it occurred to me that the authors had not made this point in the most compelling way. I was somewhat disappointed.That said, Ann Hadley and C.C. Chapman have written a very comprehensive guide about how to develop a content marketing strategy and construct interesting information for your intended recipient — utilizing a variety of digital media in the process.Chapter 6, “Share or Solve; Don’t Shill” is — by far — the most useful section of this helpful guide. It shares the six characteristics of a good idea or a story. What’s missing, in my opinion, are examples of how companies typically fail to incorporate these basic principles.Why is this explanation needed? Because this is a crucial concept and it should not be open to interpretation — meaning, many marketers must essentially unlearn the common practices of legacy corporate marketing communications organizations.Content Rules includes ten case studies — what the author’s refer to as success stories. I found some of these examples to be very insightful. In summary, the authors have tackled a subject that is very problematic, since knowing what to change is only part of the equation. Executing on that required behavioral transformation, having the will to discard bad habits, has proven to be very challenging.Moreover, for those marketers who find it difficult to adopt these new practices themselves, the likelihood of being able to outsource this task is not promising. Finding an appropriately skilled consultant, a practitioner with proven results, will be equally challenging.

  3. The Why and How of Using Content for Customer Engagement Not for the faint of heart…this book is a meaty look at why content has become such an important tool for businesses to engage their customers, as well as how to go about creating the right type of content for you.Packed with real-world examples, this book teaches you (as noted on page 24) to go for consistent doubles and triples instead of always swinging for the fences- consistent doubles and triples wins games.I personally was able to take away a lot of specific tips, including methods to re-imagine content (instead of just plain old repurposing it). I also liked that the authors kept the focus on the customer perspective (so critical) and demonstrated how to use content to create trust instead of just using it to shout (or “shill” as they call it).My favorite part is the case studies/examples that line the back of the book. Not only did C.C. and Ann do a great job in featuring a wide variety of companies, they included ideas that you can borrow (they says steal, but I am a more of a fan of inspiration instead of imitation) and a section they call “Ka-ching”, which demonstrates how each company actually derived value from the example.With strong content itself, written in a colloquial and easy to read manner and with solid examples, this is definitely one to dog-ear/markup and reference on an ongoing basis. A strong value.

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