Content Publishing Operations Blog

  1. Don’t Just Curate Content – Harvest

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       This blog published on the Sandhill.com blog. Content curation today is a severely underutilized tactic. It offers great potential to address many content challenges marketers face. The harvest step is perhaps the most significant part of our curation practice. When curating both internally developed and third-party content, we harvest specific...
  2. Shift from Repository to Content, Communication and Collaboration Ecosystem

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       People responsible for sales and channel enablement, marketing and content operations, or supporting groups that use content, face many challenges. We have identified a solvable challenge that immediately improves productivity, efficiency, and, most of all, business outcomes. Almost every day I have conversations with people in organizations who complain...
  3. Content Management – Aggregate Don’t Upload

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       As a content operations consultancy and service provider we occasionally find ourselves in the embarrassing position of the “cobbler’s children.” This syndrome reared its ugly head when we realized that our spreadsheet based content inventory wasn’t really working as a good way to discover and access the right content...
  4. For Sales Blogging and Social Selling – Think Like a Publisher

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       The practice of social selling has crossed the chasm and entered the tornado stage. (Huffington Post, see Mike Kunkle’s excellent webinar) To fuel this content dependent activity, many are urging sales people to blog, and to become thought leaders. (Lori Richardson, John Jantsch,  ITSMA) This is a logical extension from a...
  5. An Executive Summary for 6 Competencies for Enterprise Content Strategy

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       Enterprise organizations face a serious challenge with the creation and management of content that impacts the success of new customer acquisition and profitable revenue growth, as well as tactical marketing and selling initiatives. The Internet and changes to buyer behavior has made content a strategic imperative and key driver...
  6. Why Google Plus is Our Company Content Hub (and should be yours)

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      This article is written for small and mid-size businesses, but also for groups within larger organizations that are constrained by poor enterprise infrastructure. The points here take nothing away from the fact LinkedIn is an important social platform, especially for personal use and content publishing. Businesses should have strong presence...
  7. 6 Competencies for Enterprise Content Strategy

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      For: Senior Marketing Executives, Content Strategy Professionals Subject: Enterprise Content Strategy for Customer Facing Content Rigor: Comprehensive, not introductory Recommended Pre-reading:  Content Strategy Beyond Marketing and Websites It’s (Past) Time to Make Content Marketing Intelligent Content is a Strategic Imperative for B2B Selling Organizations Blog Purpose: Raise awareness of the...
  8. Content Is A Strategic Imperative for B2B Selling Organizations

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      Most business enterprises engaged in B2B selling have adopted content marketing as “the only marketing there is.” (Seth Godin) It is reported to be the top B2B marketing priority for 2014. They are doing so because effective content is the key enabler for tactics that execute a customer-centric go-to-market strategy, especially: Inbound...
  9. What is Strategy?

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     Lack of clarity about content strategy might have roots in a universal confusion about strategy. (See Robert Rose in Content Marketing Institute.)  In the business world, Michael Porter of Harvard Business School is a preeminent authority of business strategy. He points out “most businesses don’t have a strategy for their...
  10. It’s (Past) Time to Make Content Marketing Intelligent

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      This isn’t just a cute phrase. Long time, serious content practitioners, the technical pros in this business, use the term “intelligent content” deliberately. So much so it’s the name of their conference. They also call themselves “content strategists”. Given the importance – and confusion – of content strategy for...
  11. Beware Out-of-context Content Marketing Prescriptions

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      Post Header Summary: Content marketing advice outside the context of understanding your business, goals, strategies and plans can be misleading, even dangerous. Audience: B2B content, inbound and social marketers; demand managers Topic: Content marketing practices and techniques Purpose: Educate, advice Post I regularly receive calls and emails from clients and colleagues...
  12. How to execute content marketing

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         What would improving the way you execute your content marketing initiative look like? What would it mean to create more and better content faster, on a continuous basis, despite the constraints of your current resources, expertise and budget? What functional and business outcomes would improve? Want some help?...
  13. Before Your Next Content Project

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       This post addresses related, but different, content outsourcing and in-sourcing project best practices. Outsourcing Content Creation I have seen many companies struggle setting up outsourced content creation projects due to inadequate preparation and documentation. Content vendors often prefer it this way. Your inefficiency, or ignorance, is their “value add”...
  14. Avitage Master Content Publishing Briefing

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      Through our consulting projects and content workshops, many people have asked us for copies of our content publishing briefing to share with colleagues and executives. Taking a page from Tom Peters, we’ve published our Master Content Publishing Briefing on our SlideShare channel, and it is available to download. You can...
  15. Real-time Visualization of Online Conversations

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     This is a dynamic visual representation of the online conversations being conducted in conjunction with today’s Marketing Profs B2B Forum in Boston #mpb2b. Keyhole, a provider of real-time tracking of social conversations, makes this possible. When you toggle between hashtage and keyword assessments of the conversation you will see the...
  16. Engagement and Eloqua Experience

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      For the Eloqua Experience preparation webinar sponsored by Televerde, I was asked to speak to the topic of Engagement. This is one of six topics that comprise the agenda for Eloqua Experience. As a concept, engagement means something a little different to everyone. I often hear clients talk about...
  17. 12 Demand Management Competencies for Success

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     Too many companies struggle to realize their demand management improvement expectations from investments in marketing automation. Marketing automation initiatives are often considered the next step beyond email marketing. As a result, campaign oriented thinking carries forward and limits the approach and results. Have we not learned from CRM and other...
  18. IDG On Connecting the Dots Between Content and Sales

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     The opening lines, and most of the lines that followed, really grabbed my attention: “Marketers spent more than $40 billion on custom media in 2011. B2B marketers are allocating one-third of their budgets to content marketing, and more than half plan to increase content marketing spending in 2013. However, as...
  19. Continuously Acquire Customer Stories, Insights, and Ideas

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     If content is the fuel for inbound marketing then customer stories or insights are the active performance enhancing ingredients.  Well-developed messages targeted to address key buyer questions are better understood when contextualized with customer stories. This is particularly important with innovative products that buyers don’t have any experience buying. Capturing...
  20. I Need 200 Videos for the Channel, Chapter Four

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     Initiative Investment Decision   The executive team at WE-CAN Technologies is considering investing in the development of videos to drive growth through its channel partners.  They asked Max Wilson, Director of Marketing, at WE-CAN Technologies, to develop an execution plan, (Chapter One). Max has already sent an email that validates the number...
  21. Who’s going to stock the (content) pond?

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     I love to look for paradox in life. Take content, for example. Content creation is undergoing a major shift from a few, centrally managed professionals, to many people, through out the organization, with varying skills, process understanding and techniques, who aren’t often managed in this process at all. And yet,...
  22. Rethinking Video

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     When you think about video, do you consider it predominately a visual or audio medium? I suspect most people would say visual. When we think video, we think camera. We think motion (video). But I have come to think of it as predominately an audio medium, albeit with important visual...
  23. Theory of Postponement and Content Marketing

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     The theory of postponement is well understood in the supply chain and manufacturing world.  With solutions that have several variants, or that require customization, the process is designed to postpone adding variant features or customizations until the last possible moment.  Common sub-assemblies may be built to stock, but variants are...
  24. 7 reasons an internal slide share library is an imperative

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     Where are slides created in your company? Marketing (marcom, product marketing, field marketing), multiple vendors or contractors, training, field sales and pre-sales, executives — almost everyone creates slides. How well are they shared? How easily can you find the slide(s) you need. Everyone manages PowerPoint. Most manage it poorly. PowerPoint...
  25. No Marketing Momentum? What Now?

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      Competitive athletes know that momentum can make all the difference in winning games.  You develop momentum by either executing a well thought out strategy or making a spectacular play that shakes up the competition.  When you have momentum you play your game and emphasize your strengths.  When you lose...
  26. Got content challenges? Apply the problem-cause model.

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     Serious practitioners of content marketing inevitably face significant content challenges. Surveys, as well as client discussions about top content challenges, reveal the operational nature of the underlying causes of many of content related problems. Operational Issues However, I seldom see content strategy guidelines address operational issues. This is a major...
  27. Four Lessons You Should Learn from Publishers

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     Content marketing would be easy if it didn’t require a steady stream of fresh, engaging, relevant content.  It’s not that developing great content is new.  It’s creating the volume and continuous development required that is new. A number of companies confront this problem by hiring a staff of writers.  As...
  28. Content Marketing Discussion With Marketing Made Simple TV

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     This week I had the privilege of joining Joe Pulizzi of Junta42 and Doug Kessler of Velocity Partners on an online video discussion hosted by Jeff Ogden‘s Marketing Made Simple TV online show. Takeaways and Insights Content Strategy — This is the starting point and essential first step for an...
  29. New Thought Leadership Metric for Buyer Driven Markets

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     The new realities of B2B marketing has made thought leadership, and the development of big ideas, an important differentiator.  The new realities are also driving a change in buyers’ expectations.   Buyers want relevant and actionable content that enables them to turn big ideas into operating realities. The traditional role of...
  30. Video — the second best way to create for content marketing

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     Content marketing has created a content conundrum. Content marketing is fundamentally about creating buyer relevant, education oriented content, that supports the buying team as they progress through a buying journey. With this shift from vendor to buyer orientation comes great pressure on traditional content production methods and costs. Blogs have...
  31. Create (More) Video Without A Camera

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     The traditional video production process and techniques have a clear role for many video purposes. This approach requires specific skills and tends to be inherently expensive, time consuming, and doesn’t scale efficiently. When you shift the purpose for video from entertaining or promoting to explaining, proving and educating, different criteria...
  32. Best Practice B2B Resource Center as a Hub for Relevant Content Delivery & Lead Nurturing

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     A B2B web site resource center is a key hub for any B2B marketer looking to transform their web site from a billboard which prospects view but bounce off – never to return again – to a trusted resource where prospects engage over time as they move through their buying...
  33. 35 Days to Great First Sales Meetings

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     35 Days to First Conversation — do the math For prospects who actively engage your content, assuming a two day lag in viewing, here is a possible sequence to your first call appointment (elapse time not work days) (“your mileage may vary”): Day 1 – send initial invitation touch with...
  34. Move Beyond Concept to Create Content Like a Publisher

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     For marketers who have embraced the publishing mindset in support of inbound and content marketing strategies, execution has emerged as the new barrier to success. You understand the need to think like a publisher. You have shifted content focus from vendor and product collateral, to customer educational content. You blog,...
  35. Content Publishing vs. Traditional “Point Production” Process

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     People regularly ask me to clarify the differences and reasons for adopting a content publishing  process rather than the traditional “point production” process. Here is a simple list of reasons. We believe organizations face new content requirements that a publishing oriented  creation process best addresses because: Content must be relevant...
  36. Ready or Not, Here’s Your Content Challenge

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     To capture attention and deliver value, your content must be relevant to your buyers and readers. It might be cliché to say buyers are inundated with information, but I don’t see organizations really committing to strategies that deal with this reality. While many have changed the way they market over the last three...
  37. Content Governance in the Content Marketing Era

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     Today’s content marketing requirements and opportunities are straining traditional corporate thinking, policies and processes. How has your company adapted policies and procedures to accommodate the “democratization of content creation” with the shift from centralized, “professional” production processes, to a distributed or (hopefully) agile creation process? A common occurrence we experience...
  38. Customer Interviews for Marketing and Selling Content

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     At our recent SMEI breakfast we had an excellent conversation on customer — and video — interviews. As a result, I suspected that most B2B marketing professionals don’t have a successful framework for thinking about, much less acquiring, effective customer interviews for marketing and selling content. Follow on conversations with organizations large and...
  39. Content Marketing Best Practices from Joe Pulizzi

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     Hubspot Inbound Now Video Interview also a Case Study In Creating Like a Publisher Whether you are new to content marketing or an advanced practitioner you can learn something from the recent Hubspot Inbound Now interview with Joe Pulizzi of Junta42 and founder of the Content Marketing Institute. Anytime I can...
  40. What “Job” Do You Want Content to Do?

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     Marketing professionals who are trying to understand the principle behind content marketing can take a lesson from Clayton Christensen of the Harvard Business School and his “jobs-to-be-done” marketing ideas. This core Christensen idea is presented in a recent HBS Working Knowledge article, Milkshake Marketing. The article describes a fascinating study his...
  41. Why Create Content Like a Publisher?

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     We are told, “think and create like a publisher.” (Pulizi, Meerman Scott, Albee) What does this really mean? Why is this necessary? Traditionally, business content creation occurred in a centralized, marketing directed, professional creation organization and process. Today, creation has disbursed to front line creators in the executive ranks, marketing,...
  42. Content and Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2011

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     I’ve just read this compilation of insights and predictions published by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). Two strategic insights I found especially helpful: Must have a real-time mindset (David Meerman Scott) The “consumerization” of B2B marketing (Tom Pisello) This summary of especially salient points looks like a pretty good content checklist: Content...
  43. Content Marketing Principles and Practices

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     Subtitle: Lip Service or Disciplined, Consistent Execution? A research briefing on Focus Marketing website called Best Practices in Content Marketing presents summary recommendations, a set of principles really, for conducting content marketing. Executive Summary “A content marketing strategy involves the creation of content for the purpose of engaging and establishing relationships with current and...
  44. Content Strategy for the Web

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     If you’re accountable for creating content for marketing and sales I encourage you to immediately get copies of Kristina Halvorson’s Content Strategy for the Web for everyone on your team. There are many parallels and insights that apply to building non-website content. The core premise, that organizations must take a...
  45. Keeping PowerPoint in Perspective

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     A recent New York Times article — We Have Met the Enemy and He is PowerPoint – is the latest in a (seemingly) never-ending series of articles deriding the tool. This is a good opportunity to move from the “cool” perspective of bashing PowerPoint, to consider it’s significant possibilities —...
  46. Second Voice Vignettes for Telesales and Prospecting

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     As a sales professional, telephone selling is a key element of my sales job, especially in the critical, initial stages of prospecting and engaging new customers. For many sales people this is a frustrating, time consuming, low probability of success activity. Here’s an approach that significantly improves your odds, provides...
  47. Avitage POV on Marketing and Sales Communication

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     My company, Avitage, has recently updated our point-of-view. Over fifteen years the core vision has not changed: to enable front line business communicators to assemble and deliver multimedia (aka video) programs, that can be easily tailored to each audience — even an audience of one. But the delivery methods have...
  48. Inside Sales Need Visual Support

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     In the B2B complex sale, more selling is occurring over the telephone than ever before. Whether part of a formal inside selling function, or as direct sales people working in the early stages of the customer engagement process, phone meetings and conference calls are the norm, not the exception. Phone-based...
  49. Improve Your Connect Rates

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     I continue to hear from sales people who still try to use email as a prospecting tool. I contend email is no longer a communication tool — especially when unsolicited — it’s primarily a delivery vehicle. Those who use marketing automation to track email open rates know it’s probably on the low...

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