3 Ways to Get Smart on Content Marketing

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by information overload?  Content is the new black, but the sheer volume can sometimes make it difficult to keep up.  Because there are only so many hours in a day to read all the tweets and posts swirling around in cyberspace, here are three great ways to stay focused:

1.     Scan the Socialscape. The beauty of the web is that you can access great people you may have never otherwise heard of.  The bane of the web is that there are so many of them. Concentrate your time on a handful of experts who continuously deliver great ideas and unique perspective. Here’s a short list of people who add value to our day:

  • @charliecurve Hello Hello, it’s Charlie Wollborg.  He’ll not only share great tips on social media and self-branding, but he also serves up a healthy dose of motivation daily.  A self-proclaimed troublemaker and renowned idea generator, Charlie is also a driving force behind Detroit’s social media scene.
  • @unmarketing Scott Stratten is pretty much awesome covered in awesome sauce. He’s a nationally recognized author/speaker who is known for his sometimes humorous, yet always engaging style.  If you haven’t yet read it, Scott’s book Unmarketing is a how-to guide on integrating social media into your marketing plan.
  • @marketingprofs Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, an info-packed site that consistently delivers great insight, downloads and well, content.  Ann recently launched Content Rules with co-author @cc_chapman – a must read for anyone responsible for producing content.
  • @juntajoe Joe Pulizzi is a content marketing evangelist who founded Junta 42 and the Content Marketing Institute – both valuable resources for all things content.  In his spare time, he also writes one of the subject’s most popular blogs, just authored Get Content Get Customers and speaks worldwide on the subject.  Seriously, you can find just about any content you’re looking for in Joe’s vast resources.
  • @chrisbrogan Chris Brogan is probably more well known for his personal brand than his successful company Human Business Works.  He offers great insight on a variety of topics: business, marketing and the social web.  But more importantly, Chris sheds a bright light on the people side of business and how you can use social channels to build business relationships.

2. Virtual Conferences. Can’t attend every conference?  No problem.  Many are streamed live online or you can follow the event discussion and comments on Twitter by its hashtag.  Some of our favorites include:

  • @futuremidwest is now in its third successful year and it’s the region’s largest digital business conference.   You can expect to learn not only about upcoming trends at FutureMidwest, but how to successfully put them into practice.
  • @tedx events are independent offshoots of TED, a conference that brings together people in technology, entertainment and design.   TED’s mission is to create “ideas worth spreading” and TEDx lives up to that mantra on a local level.  The format is a series of short talks by pretty brilliant folks; you can find many of them on YouTube or the TED website.
  • @sxsw SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST is the annual spring mecca for music, film and interactive devotees in Austin.  This year’s show offered a ton of both professional and social activity on Twitter.  Anyone worth following will be at this conference so look for some great ideas to surface afterward.  Or you can just read SXSWORLD, a great digital publication on their website.

3. Vendors. Social channels offer vendors a new way to ply their wares and many are doing it by spreading their knowledge.  Offering whitepapers, e-books, webinars and newsletters will not only showcase a company’s smarts, but also helps them develop a pipeline of qualified prospects.  Even if you are not currently in the market for their services, you will know who to turn to when you are.  A couple companies we’ve learned from include:

  • @hubspot is a marketing resource that happens to offer a software platform that will help optimize your content.  On their website, you’ll find whitepapers, research, webinars and even free tools to help you evaluate your inbound marketing.  Check out HubSpot’s Website Grader to see how your site measures up.
  • @zmags is one of the leading providers of rich media marketing software.  Their site has insightful webinars, research and whitepapers on how to effectively deliver online and mobile content – Read On with zmags!

What about you?  Do you follow any of these leaders?  Feel free to share who you follow to get and stay smart on content marketing.

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