custom content

November 2018

The Price of Privacy

We thought we’d offer a break from all the U.S. elections coverage to focus on what some elected officials recently did in our area of expertise: privacy and cybersecurity. Several legislators have introduced consumer data protection laws, but so far only one major bill has passed at the state, versus federal, level. Earlier this year, California legislators passed the nation’s most stringent consumer privacy law to date. It’s modeled in the image of the European...

The Price of Privacy

If you’re spending the majority of your resources writing audacious advertising claims to promote your brand, products and services, then stop. In the age of self-educating customers, you need to be offering high-quality content that’s educational, thoughtful and entertaining. Here’s six tips on how to redirect your marketing efforts for effective results. 1. Know thy brand strategy. Your company’s ultimate purpose for existing (beyond making money) and your target customer are at the core of...

Six Tips to Make Your Content Educational, Thoughtful, Entertaining and Effective

This is Anne’s February installation of what we’re reading, watching and listening to. I recently worked for months on a big project for a client in healthcare IT. It was based on an extensive survey of current, select practices by clinicians, clinical informaticists and IT managers. It involved a lot of data crunching and more than one meeting to go over those data points. What struck me in the course of creating an infographic and...

‘Can We Trust the Numbers?’

I have a friend who routinely keeps her cars in great condition even after they surpass the 200,000-, 300,000- and, once, 400,00-mileage mark. She swears the key to her automobile longevity is maintenance. She routinely gets tune-ups and oil changes on a set schedule – even when a manufacturer’s recommendation seems excessive. A car isn’t the same as content marketing, but they do have something in common: both need routine maintenance to keep working as...

Is Your Content in Need of a Tune-Up?

Everyone working in custom content creation is aware of AI infiltrating the industry. We now have machines that report news and design web sites using algorithms, templates and artificial intelligence (AI) software tools. AI is a way for writers, editors and designers to reduce production costs while raising productivity. It can speed up research, improve accuracy, and refine and track target audiences. But this approach still has its limits. The above paragraph earned high marks...

Creating Custom Content Using AI

  Some people believe great content marketing originates in literary or artistic talent, but it’s actually based on good interviews. The quality of those information-gathering conversations is what eventually elevates custom content from amusing to amazing. So, what constitutes a “good interview”? It depends. What they all have in common though is a lot of positive energy that lasts well beyond the call or in-person talk. I’ve conducted hundreds of interviews as a journalist, corporate...

5 Tips for Conducting Good Interviews

“Oh, not that ad again!” The repetitiveness of advertising is never more apparent than during a televised Super Bowl game. The eagerly anticipated Super Bowl commercials, at first blush, are seen as novel. By the time the same commercial has been countlessly aired over the ensuing months, the audience may feel annoyed, or, if all goes according to plan and science, captured by the advertiser’s message and ready to make a purchase. Rule of Seven...

In Advertising, More Frequency = More Effectiveness

“It’s the most downloaded asset on our organization’s website,” our client proudly stated. He was referencing a membership magazine we create for (ISC)2, the Clearwater, Fla.-based global information security professional organization with almost 125,000 members. The bi-monthly magazine, InfoSecurity Professional, is published digitally and, occasionally, as a print version, and has held this prestigious “most downloaded asset” status for several years. In the most recent membership survey conducted by (ISC)2, the magazine was lauded with pages...

Measuring the Effectiveness of Content Marketing

I took my place at an empty table in the hope other business people would populate its seats after exiting the bountiful buffet line. The reason for our collective attendance to the recent Department of Defense Northeast Regional Council conference was to have a 15-minute audience with a federal government agency, or a prime enterprise that may be offering subcontracting opportunities to small- and medium-sized businesses—in order that they may fulfill supplier diversity quotas. (Twirling...

Making Connections Through Conferences, Content Marketing and…Spam?

One of the biggest benefits of content marketing is providing information consumers can use. Too often, though, such content is written from the vendor’s point of view with few reader takeaways (other than the features and benefits a vendor wants to promote). A better approach to improve readership may be to focus on reader empowerment. For someone to feel more confident in their decision-making, they need information to clarify choices. Well-chosen words and imagery, along...

5 Tips to Empower Your Readers