Content Rules: A Crucial Resource for Your Marketing Strategy
This article was originally written for ArrowQuick Solutions, a technology consultancy for small businesses.
Customer behavior is changing. Thanks to the internet, there is more competition than ever for people’s attention. Direct mail, telemarketing, and traditional advertising is simply not enough anymore.
Luckily, these new platforms — your website, services like YouTube, and social media like Facebook — also let you publish your message and let your customers find you on their own terms. This so-called “inbound marketing” lets you engage customers and “pull” them toward a purchase, rather than you “pushing” your product or service on them.
The book Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman covers this “soft sell” technique in 3 parts. It is a helpful guide for any marketer, whether your organization is consumer/retail, business-to-business (B2B), non-profit, a church or other membership, or a government.
Part 1 takes up the bulk of the book and discusses content strategy — guidelines on creating and managing the information you provide:
- Deciding on the types of content you will create
- Finding the right tone of voice to use
- Reusing content across channels
- Creating a publishing schedule
- Ideas for topics
- Making your content easy to find and share
- Engaging in a conversation with customers
- How to measure success
Part 2 contains advice for specific types of content: blogs, webinars, ebooks and white papers, case studies, FAQs, video, podcasts, and photos.
The book runs out of steam a bit in Part 2. For example, the podcasting chapter is just 4 pages. But these chapters still have good tips if you’re just getting started, and you can find more detailed resources elsewhere. (The book also directs you to additional resources.)
Part 3 wraps it all up with examples from a variety of companies (large and small, B2C and B2B, and various industries). It discusses their content strategies and includes key takeaways.
By the last chapter, you can’t help but feel motivated. For those new to inbound marketing, or entrepreneurs, it’s a great introduction to this side of marketing. For the rest of us, it’s a good refresher and great source of ideas. It’s an easy read, and at less than $25, it’s a valuable addition to your library.