Are “Made Up” Buyer Personas Costing You? (and What To Do About It)

buyer persona interviewTell  the truth — how good are your buyer insights?

“Made up” buyer personas can be very alluring … and dead wrong.

Before you base your content strategy on educated guesses (as I once did!), consider the alternatives …

Maybe it’s time to scrap the made up stuff. There’s something much more useful. Continue reading

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6 Ways to Create Compelling Content for Boring Brands

6 Ways to Create Compelling Content for Boring BrandsFrom manufacturing to IT, some industries lack the style and excitement associated with many of the world’s leading brands.

But the truth is, there’s no such thing as an unimportant topic within any niche.

After all, in the event of a spilled bottle of Merlot, even humble carpet cleaner becomes the world’s most important product. 

As long as you’re able to  present helpful information and address pain points, you’ll create relevant content for your buyer. Continue reading

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Content Creation Strategies: Be Fearless! Share Your Secret Sauce

CREATIVITY.Content Marketing Fail: “We Don’t Want to Give Away Our Secrets”

Have you ever said (or thought):

“I don’t want to share the details of my expertise … competitors might be listening … they might copy my solutions!”

One of the biggest objections I get about content marketing is not wanting to provide too much information.

Let’s first acknowledge the obvious: your competitor most likely already knows what your secret is, just like you know theirs. After all, there are only so many ways to accomplish successful results.

If you just wait to share your ideas in a one to one conversation with a prospect, you could be missing a lot of qualified leads …

Share your secrets – thought leadership builds trust, and strengthens your competitive position. Continue reading

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Living Proof: How Content Marketing Works for B2C/Ecommerce

Living Proof: Content Marketing Works for B2C/EcommerceWhat are the odds that I would wake up on Day 1 of the #cmworld content marketing conference, and see proof of content marketing in my email?

Sometimes, you just have to believe in fate.

Here’s the email I woke up to, from a  consumer: Continue reading

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Read It! The Little Black Dress of Content Strategy Books

content strategy for the webIt was pure chance that I came across the book Content Strategy for the Web.

Surfing, procrastinating, and suddenly … there it was, beckoning.

This little black dress of content marketing books is 187 pages of smoking hot strategy, with a sexy red cover and a no nonsense title …

I had to read it.

And with #cmworld right around the corner, it seemed like a good time to write a review, so fellow content marketers could add it to their reading list … and attend Kristina Halvorson’s session on Tuesday, to hear her advice directly. Continue reading

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8 Essential Strategies to Create Content That Converts

Create Content That ConvertsWhen it comes to “feeding the content beast”, it can be a challenge to create fresh content that breaks through the clutter.

But in my last post, I showed how it’s still possible to move the needle, when your fresh content truly resonates with your audience.

By sticking with a few simple strategies, we can up the chances of success. Continue reading

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Content Marketing Case Study: How a Motorcycle Blog Spiked Sales

How 1 Blog Post Got 2,414 views &Have you ever published a blog post you thought would catch fire, only to hear crickets? That happens all too frequently.

So when a blog post that I wrote for a client went “viral”, I decided to analyze why it worked.

Last month,“26 Tips to Reduce Hand Numbness for Motorcycle Riders” got 2214 visits, 140 social shares, and dozens of new customers for a 75 year old glove manufacturer.  Here’s why. Continue reading

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7 Easy-to-Fix Content Marketing Mistakes Your Company Is Probably Making

Content Marketing MistakesOne of the biggest benefits of content marketing is the exposure your company gets from being a source of valuable information.

The art of content marketing, however, is in deciding what content to create, who to write it for, and where to deliver it.

Unfortunately, many content marketing mistakes are made by simply misunderstanding how to optimize each of these areas.

Let’s take a look at some of the common mistakes companies just like yours are making – the fixes are easier than you think! Continue reading

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Are Your Marketing Tactics Getting Prospects Pissed Off?

Outbound marketing vs. inbound marketing

I spent last week at a digital marketing conference in Boston, called INBOUND.

This conference is sponsored by Hubspot, a company that advocates a process that enables more lovable marketing, and smarter decisions.

Today I want to ask a question:

With the rock solid tools at our disposal … and a good understanding of how buyers make decisions … why do we still resort to cold calls and other ill-fated sales techniques? Continue reading

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Why I Wrote A Social Media “Dear John” Letter To My Insurance Agency

Social media dear John letterCall me crazy, but I just broke up with my insurance agency over irreconcilable social media differences.

Truth is, I had been lusting in my heart after another insurance agency for awhile … since Hurricane Sandy, in fact.  But last month, when another agency owner shared some upbeat agency news on Google Plus (Google Plus!),  I decided to do the right thing and end it.

Like any breakup, there is anger on his end, a tinge of sadness on mine, especially at the end of a 23 year relationship.  But business is business, right?

Here’s the letter I wrote him.*

*names changed to protect the business owner Continue reading

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