Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken

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Think like a publisher

Categories: Articles, Brand Journalism, Cafe Blog, Content Creation, Content Marketing, Content Strategy
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To understand Content Strategy, think like a publisher.

This helps both clients and project teams understand what content is being produced, how it’s being produced, by whom, when, and why.

Thinking this way also helps you consider how the message is best explained—words, image, video, screencast, juggling dog (forget that last suggestion. It’s early morning and I’m just being silly).

“Content strategy helps you strike up a conversation with the  hearts and minds of your audience.” John Richardson, Content strategist and Copywriter

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Plan, develop, and manage informational content—written and rich media. When you think like a publisher you start with content. It’s not some afterthought. And you avoid the common pitfall of building the site and hoping the content will come.

Has that dog been at my content again? Usable, existing content is hard to find. It’s buried everywhere from a leaflet in the back of a Creative Director’s drawer—happened to me—to hidden in the minds of subject matter experts that you’re not allowed to talk with— also happened to me.

Content is political. Content can also be intensely political and needs countless sign offs and, therefore, revisions (we can’t say this). All of which takes time.

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Let’s start at the beginning. If you want your content on time, start the ball rolling in the beginning of the process. And this is just the tip of a very long pencil.

Content strategy helps you plan for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful and useable content (see Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson).

“It plots an achievable roadmap for individuals and organizations to create and maintain content that audiences will actually care about. It provides specific, well-informed recommendations about how we’re going to get from where we are today (no content, or bad content, or too much content) to where we want to be (useful, usable content people will actually care about).”

Critical to content strategy is deciding what you want to achieve with your audience (which might not be content; it could just be an idea). Then decide if your content/idea will help you meet this goal.

 

RELATED: Here is a useful and usable guide on content strategy, created with the collaborative effort of all the global content strategists at Blast Radius —including myself.

 

Talk less about you, but don’t forget to be you.

Categories: Articles, Brand Journalism, Cafe Blog, Content Creation, Content Strategy
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It’s not about you, it’s about being you.

My content marketing mantra is to talk less about you, your products and services, and more about how you can improve your clients or customers lives. Be human, relevant and conversational. But while talking less about you, don’t forget to be you. As Oscar Wilde said: “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken”

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It’s okay to mistakes make. It art leads.

Categories: Content Creation
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I came across this amazingly humble and encouraging speech on mistakes and art from Neil Gaiman, an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. I just had to share. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels StardustAmerican GodsCoraline, and The Graveyard Book. Read more

26 Content Marketing Tools to Use in 2013

Categories: Content Creation
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Content marketing is so hot right now. No, really, it is. According to Content Marketing Institute’s recent B2B Content Marketing report, 9 out of 10 B2B marketers are using content marketing, and 45% plan to increase their spending on content marketing over the next 12 months. More marketers are shifting their content creation efforts in-house, but at the same time, producing enough content is their biggest challenge heading into 2013.

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John the copywriter’s recipe for Kaiseki—Poetry on a plate

Categories: Articles, Cafe Blog, Content Creation, Content Marketing
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Breathtakingly, eye-wateringly, bank-manager-frowningly expensive.

How long is it since you were utterly blown away by a dinner?

Introducing Kaiseki…the ancient Zen art of “eating the seasons”.

A culinary art form that observes the harmony between food and nature and has been adopted among the Japanese elite as the high point of ritualised, no-expense-spared banqueting.

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John the copywriter’s recipe for a new perspective on managing complexity through design

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Managing complexity through design is on of the greatest opportunities of our time. As our world changes, the challenges to business grow. Old ways of thinking are being replaced by open minds and creativity. Design is playing a central role in helping solve problems and drive the future. The biggest opportunity is how we manage this complexity through design.

John the copywriter’s recipe for words as image

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I love this and just had to share it.

Word As Image — a brilliant visualization by Ji Lee, a creative director at Facebook (and formerly Google)

Turn up the volume to 11.

Lee is also the genius behind The Bubble Project, whose manifesto is to transform the “annoying corporate monologues” of public ads in communal spaces (billboards, trains, streets, squares) “into open public dialogues.” It began with the printing of 50,000 “speech bubble” stickers placed on New York City ads, left blank for passersby to fill them in.

See other projects at Lee’s website.