5 Timeless “Rules” of Social Media and Content Marketing

social media rules of the road are similar to those for content marketingThe rules for social media engagement really haven’t changed much in the last 9 years. True, there are different mores and ways to navigate the various social channels, but the basics are pretty much same same.

From whence does this mind-bending observation cometh?

I was weeding through some old notebooks before tossing them (for those few of you who know me and read this – Yes, I do throw things away. Now and then.). I came across my “rules of the road” draft for commenting/engaging on the AIIM Community.

Because of my career step-to-the-right into doing content marketing, there’s plenty that can be applied there too. Continue reading 5 Timeless “Rules” of Social Media and Content Marketing

Thinking Boxes and Bleeding Ears

thinking cats backgroundFingernails on a blackboard.

That sound foam makes when it’s just creaking and on the edge of snapping.

Gum smackers.

And anytime someone says “Let’s think outside of the box.”

These are all things that make my ears want to bleed.

Continue reading Thinking Boxes and Bleeding Ears

Fear of Writing – The Typo and the Typo Pointer-Outer

typo-assholesTypos (and grammar concerns) terrify folks into paralysis when it comes to writing. What if I make a mistake? Use the wrong word? I don’t know where the commas go. Semi-colons?!?!? OMFG, kill me.

This fear keeps many folks who would otherwise be fantastic contributors to blogs, social media sites, and elsewhere from sharing insights and knowledge that others would find useful. I’ve seen people who successfully started and then ran large IT implementations run in fear from the idea of writing a 500 word blog post about their experience.

In so far as you only get better writing by writing (a lesson I’ve lived this past 18 months), fear of making a mistake is bad enough.

Worse is some pedantic ass munch pointing it out to you. Continue reading Fear of Writing – The Typo and the Typo Pointer-Outer

“The Chair” and Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing and George Strait's song, The Chair.
Brian and Tonya’s engagement portrait. No idea who these people are, but it’s a lovely photo.

One of my favorite explanations of old school, interruption marketing is when Gary Vaynerchuk talks about buying someone a drink in a bar and then asking them to go to bed with you immediately after.

A little more seduction is in order.

So when I heard George Strait’s “The Chair” while bringing teenage daughter number 1 to school this morning, I started thinking that’s about the way an inbound campaign should start.

“Well excuse me, but I think you’ve got my chair,
No that one’s not taken, I don’t mind if you sit here,
I’ll be glad to share.”

Ah, the website – your chair. A nice, inviting website that answers customer’s and potential customer’s questions will make strangers come in, have a seat, and look for the bartender. Continue reading “The Chair” and Inbound Marketing

Marketing: Always Be Human

Human to human in inbound marketing
Marketing is about connecting and being a real, live human — not a droning corporate tool.

Marketing can become a self-consuming and navel-gazing perpetual motion machine. If you aren’t tying your marketing to achieve direct sales results, then I have a hard time figuring out why you’re marketing. Grabbing attention, engagement, personality, aren’t ends in and of themselves, they’re stepping stones to get to someone buying something from you.

But that doesn’t mean you have to be an asshole. Or sound like a lifeless corporate drone. Continue reading Marketing: Always Be Human

The Problem With Great Content

Nearly every piece of advice you read about content and inbound marketing includes the words “great” and “content” in sequence or at least in close proximity. I am all for great content – great content whether whimsical or serious or funny or informative or entertaining or whatever is, well, great.

And great is good. It’s the goal. Right?

Well, I’m starting to think maybe not entirely.

Here’s the problem as I see it. Continue reading The Problem With Great Content

Whining Is Not a Strategy

Whining is not a strategy for inbound marketing
This is Oscar’s “but you aren’t doing exactly what I want you to do” face. As a marketer, this is a face you should never wear.

I’ve spent my fair share of time at trade shows and conferences over the years – attending, covering, and staffing. I’ve read, and written, a fair number of reports from these events. As I was thinking about personas for a client yesterday, I recalled a sponsor wrap up that had struck me as clueless at the time.

After looking at my notes again – yep, as clueless as I recall. And that gives me an excuse for a short rant.

The wrap up started with “My customers are worried.” From there, the post went on to bemoan continual confusion amongst the professionals this company targets about the possibilities presented by the technology the vendor offers.

To be fair, there is a percentage of this target customer base that remains locked in a decades-past mindset.

But still.

My initial thought when I read the post was “well, then, maybe you’ve just done a shit poor job of overcoming customer fears.”

Don’t complain and whine that your target audience “just doesn’t get it.” They don’t give a damn about you. It’s your job to make sure they care by providing a kick-ass product and then shouting from the (right) rooftops about it (in the context of being a trusted partner, of course). Bitching that your target audience is “worried” about how your product fits technologically and within regulatory regimes is just stupid, blind, short-sighted, and self-defeating.

Maybe your product is THAT ADVANCED that it is all that AND a bag of chips.

Awesome.

You still need to educate your audience about both the product and the context so that they’ll buy it.

Whining about your customers ain’t gonna get that done.

Your customers are worried. I’ve got an idea: figure out why the hell they’re worried and then address that in your marketing and educational efforts.