With spring well underway, it's good to see so many signs of renewal and growth in the economy. We've noticed an uptick in client and new business activity — a sure sign that technology companies are beginning to bounce back from the recession and invest in marketing again.
One particular area of marketing that appears to be growing is content marketing. As you'll read in our feature article, content initiatives are on the upswing as companies look for ways to deliver valuable content to their prospects. To help you get started, we've outlined a few ideas in this issue. If you find our recommendations to be helpful, please share them with your colleagues.
And as always, I'd love to hear from you! Please tweet your comments to me on Twitter @peterbaron.
Content is King: 3 Steps to Becoming Content Marketing Royalty Within Your Company
According to the 3rd Annual 2010 Junta42 Content Marketing Spending Survey, six out of 10 marketers surveyed indicated they will increase their spending on content initiatives this year.
If you haven't already incorporated content marketing practices into your marketing campaigns, there's never been a better time to start. In this article, we'll introduce you to content marketing and offer recommendations for incorporating these techniques into your marketing practices.
According to Wikipedia, "content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases. In contrast to traditional marketing methods that aim to increase sales or awareness through interruption techniques, content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty better than traditional marketing techniques."
3 Steps to Becoming Content Marketing Royalty
1. Assess Existing Content and Content Distribution Channels.
The first step in this process is to take an inventory of your existing content and distribution channels to identify information assets and gain an understanding of what may be missing. For example, content that you'll want to market includes white papers, news releases, customer case studies, articles, blog content, research reports, podcasts, videos, and webinar materials.
Next, consider your channels. What channels are in existence and which ones do you need to build in order to effectively deliver your message? Do you produce a newsletter or magazine? Does your company have a blog or a microsite? Are you on Twitter or other social networks?
2. Get Social.
People are connecting and sharing like never before. And, they trust the social web for decisions. Your goals are to virally connect with audiences, encourage sharing and linking of content, get your company ranked higher in search engine results, and position your company as a trusted, knowledgeable resource – all leading to profitable customer interaction.
Need convincing? Forrester Research's 2009 Social Technographics study found that 91 percent of all IT decision makers are social media spectators, which means they read blogs, listen to podcasts, watch videos, and read online customer forums. Forrester analysts also indicated in their report that IT decision makers are the most participatory on social media of any demographic they measured in the survey.
If your company isn't plugged into popular social networking sites, you need to think about jumping on the bandwagon, as these channels are vital to effective content marketing.
Here are a few articles we think you'll find helpful:
If you're on Twitter, follow @CleverAccounts to learn about interesting uses of Twitter from companies around the world.
3. Disseminate and Market.
After you've inventoried and created content, and established multiple distribution channels, you're ready to begin the process of sharing. Below are a few ways to get started:
Include links to your blog and social media websites in all appropriate corporate materials – including your website, blog, social media profiles, e-newsletters, employee e-mail signatures, corporate magazines, etc.
Post digital content such as videos, podcasts and presentations not only on your own website and social media sites, but on public, searchable sites such as YouTube, Flickr, or SlideShare.
Repurpose and share content including webinars, industry articles, slidecasts, executive presentations at industry events and white papers.
Incorporate "Share This" buttons on your content so readers can easily share with the click of a mouse.
Blog and tweet about newly generated content, sharing links with your readers.
Create an online news room and post all of your digital content to make it easily accessible not only to reporters, but customers and prospects.
Finally, here's an interesting article we found that will help you with other ways to share your microsite content: "3 Tools to Help You Share Microcontent Online".
The ways in which people want to receive information have evolved. It's imperative that your marketing strategies to reach them also evolve. Chances are, you have the appropriate content already, but you just need to build the channels and start sharing. Remember, keep your content relevant, interesting, and valuable, and encourage sharing and interaction.
P.S. In the spirit of content marketing, we've provided you with Share This buttons below. If you've found this article helpful, please share it with your colleagues.
nuBridges' 'Press Suite in a Box' helps overcome the problem of having nowhere to sit at a crowded conference (or coffee house).
Left: Gary Palgon and David Sutton conduct a media briefing at a San Francisco Starbucks.
Right: Gary Palgon heads to the conference, ready for meetings, at the drop of a table.
nuBridges knows all too well how difficult it can be to find a place to sit at a crowded conference (even Starbucks fills up fast). To avoid the time-wasting exercise of walking around a busy conference to find an open table, the company created a branded "nuBridges Press Suite in a Box." As nuBridges spokesperson Gary Palgon blogged about the creative approach to thinking with a box in mind on nuBlog, the solution turned into a life-saver at the recent RSA Conference:
"With a table for four from our customer, Cabela's, and a little nuBridges branding, we're never without a place to sit and visit with media, analysts, prospects and customers. No more wasting precious time looking for a place to sit ... Simply find a nice spot within the restaurant, especially when it's raining ... and off you go."
Venture Atlanta Conference Seeks Presenters for National VC Audience
Venture Atlanta, Georgia's technology innovation conference, has issued a call for presenters for its annual investor gathering to be held October 12 - 13, 2010 at the Georgia Aquarium. Organizers are seeking technology or technology-enabled businesses in all stages of growth that are currently raising or looking to raise capital within the next 12 months.
Go here for more information on presenting or attending.
Welcome New Carabiner Clients!
We're thrilled to welcome these companies to Carabiner:
An independent, objective consulting and program management firm exclusively focused on capital project planning and delivery for healthcare systems and the health sciences.
An integration as a service provider with on-demand and on-premise applications for small and mid-size businesses.
One of the world's largest solar photovoltaic (PV) development companies, specializing in the finance, design, construction and operation of solar solutions.
Five x Five
An advanced analytics company that leverages mathematical methods and technology to help companies solve their most complex marketing problems.
An Atlanta-based private equity firm focused on providing expansion capital to rapidly growing companies.
JouleX is leading the way in sustainable energy management systems for the enterprise.
Providers of bot detection and elimination software.
Carabiner Ranked Eighth Largest PR Firm in Atlanta
In the May 14, 2010, edition of the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Carabiner Communications ranked as the eighth largest PR firm in Atlanta, up from its fifteenth spot in 2009. Out of the top 20 agencies, Carabiner is one of the youngest PR agencies on the list. Thanks to our clients, partners, friends and associates for your support over the years.
Client Video Spotlight
JouleX CEO Tom Noonan discusses the company's green IT mission.
Carabiner Spotlight: Jan Sisko
Jan Sisko at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver
Jan Sisko: Multi-talented Marketer and Multi-sporty Athlete
Jan Sisko approaches her professional life much like she approaches sports: exercising one skill set and muscle one day, while completely switching gears and strengthening an entirely different set the next. In the same way that Jan expertly switches from an agile media and analyst relations strategist to an engrossed whitepaper writer, Jan just as easily jumps from a tennis court one day into a kayak the next.
Although Jan grew up in coastal Charleston, South Carolina, she spent much of her formative PR career in Dallas, Texas and later, Atlanta, Georgia. In both cities, Jan represented technology, financial services, telecommunications, health care and retail clients at national and independent firms. For as much as she enjoyed working in both landlocked cities, she couldn't resist the call of the coast when the opportunity arose for her to move to a waterfront home in St. Augustine, Florida, where she currently works in PR by day, while maintaining an active sports lifestyle by night and on weekends.
"We originally looked to St. Augustine as the location for a second home several years ago. We thought we'd only spend a few months out of the year here. But, after we visited one New Year's weekend and I discovered how much it was like a smaller version of Charleston, I just fell in love with it, and we made it our permanent residence," said Jan.
In addition to acing her serves on the tennis court, Jan has aced a few competitions in her professional life as well. She's earned seven Phoenix awards from the Public Relations Society of America, Georgia Chapter, one AMY award from the American Marketing Association and a MAX award for marketing excellence from Georgia State University. Her love of tennis started when she was a teenager, and she was ranked as high as No. 3 in South Carolina as an adult.
Recently, Jan jumped at the opportunity to be near the world's best athletes when she traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia right ahead of this year's winter Olympics to ski down Whistler Mountain, the Olympic venue for alpine skiing competitions. Jan's son, Brooks, shares her love of adventure and travel. He earned his commercial pilot's license and now flies for Delta Airlines. Today, Jan enjoys being settled on the waterfront in St. Augustine with her husband Bernie and their three kittens: Dallas, Maggie and Lewis. If you ever find yourself in St. Augustine crossing the historic Bridge of Lions, you just might see Jan kayaking on the Matanzas River.
About Carabiner Communications
Your high-tech business needs help scaling today's competitive markets. Carabiner Communications is a technology PR firm that helps you connect. With 80-plus years of high-tech PR and marketing experience and over 500 product launches under our belt, we can hook directly into the core of your business, without the learning curve of other agencies.