Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business / Edition 1

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Overview

The guide to creating engaging web content and building a loyal following, revised and updated

Blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other platforms are giving everyone a "voice," including organizations and their customers. So how do you create the stories, videos, and blog posts that cultivate fans, arouse passion for your products or services, and ignite your business? Content Rules equips you for online success as a one-stop source on the art and science of developing content that people care about. This coverage is interwoven with case studies of companies successfully spreading their ideas online—and using them to establish credibility and build a loyal customer base.

  • Find an authentic "voice" and craft bold content that will resonate with prospects and buyers and encourage them to share it with others
  • Leverage social media and social tools to get your content and ideas distributed as widely as possible
  • Understand why you are generating content—getting to the meat of your message in practical, commonsense language, and defining the goals of your content strategy
  • Write in a way that powerfully communicates your service, product, or message across various Web mediums

Boost your online presence and engage with customers and prospects like never before with Content Rules.

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  • Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman
    Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman  

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470648285
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/7/2010
  • Series: New Rules Social Media Series , #5
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 7.34 (w) x 11.66 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Handley (annhandley.com) is the Chief Content Officer of Marketing Profs, a rich and trusted resource that offers actionable know-how to its 365,000 subscribers. As a thought leader and writer with a passion for good content, she writes and blogs extensively about online business, marketing, and sometimes just life.

C.C. Chapman (cc-chapman.com) is a media creator, entrepreneur, and online marketing expert. He recently launched DigitalDads.com—a site where a dad can be a guy—to serve as a cornerstone of the online parenting space.

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Table of Contents

Foreword David Meerman Scott ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Big Fat Overview (Sometimes Called an Introduction) xv

Part 1 The Content Rules 1

Chapter 1 The Case for Content 3

Chapter 2 The Content Rules 14

Chapter 3 Insight Inspires Originality: Who Do You Want to Attract? 18

Chapter 4 Who Are You? 28

Chapter 5 Reimagine; Don't Recycle: Anatomy of a Content Circle of Life 54

Chapter 6 Share or Solve; Don't Shill 70

Chapter 7 Stoke the Campfire 96

Chapter 8 Create Wings and Roots 102

Chapter 9 The Care and Feeding of Fans 114

Chapter 10 Attention B2B Companies: This Is the Chapter You Are Looking For 120

Part 2 The How-To Section 139

Chapter 11 A Blog as a Hub of Your Online Content 141

Chapter 12 If Webinars Are Awesome Marketing Tools, Why Do Most of Them Suck? 153

Chapter 13 What's the Difference between an Ebook and a White Paper? (And When Should You Use Them?) 170

Chapter 14 The Single Biggest Secret to Creating a Compelling Customer Success Story (Formerly Known as a Case Study) 182

Chapter 15 From Dumpy to Sexy: A FAQs Makeover 187

Chapter 16 Video: Show Me a Story 195

Chapter 17 Podcasting: Is This Thing On? 206

Chapter 18 Photographs: The Power of Pictures 210

Part 3 Content that Converts: Success Stories (with Ideas You Can Steal!) 215

Chapter 19 Reynolds Golf Academy: Greensboro, Georgia 217

Chapter 20 The Cool Beans Group: Greensboro, North Carolina 222

Chapter 21 U.S. Army: Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Monroe, Virginia 227

Chapter 22 AskPatty.com, Inc.: Thousand Oaks, California 231

Chapter 23 Kadient: Lowell, Massachusetts 236

Chapter 24 HubSpot: Cambridge, Massachusetts 240

Chapter 25 Kodak: Rochester, New York 248

Chapter 26 Boeing Company: Chicago, Illinois 253

Chapter 27 Indium Corporation: Clinton, New York 259

Chapter 28 PinkStinks: London, England 263

Part 4 This Isn't Goodbye 267

Chapter 29 This Isn't Goodbye, and a Gift for You 269

Index 273

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 4, 2011

    "Content Rules" is Almost Perfect!

    Content Rules is a relentlessly upbeat guide to developing content for the Internet. The authors not only stress that "content is king" online; it's also queen, jack, ace, and most of the rest of the deck. Content Rules will show you how to find content in every corner of your organization, package it in every conceivable format, and syndicate it throughout the universe. Pretty impressive.

    The Theory

    The authors begin by laying out 11 "content rules," then expanding those in the following nine chapters. This is the "theory" portion of the book; as theory goes, it's very easily digested. The authors stick to the conversational tone they advocate in Rule #4: Speak Human.

    Highlights in the theory section of the book include:

    1) Creating a content publishing schedule, especially the checklist for things to do each month on page 60. It's a good template by itself for an online marketing game plan.

    2) Six characteristics of a good case history, signature article, or customer success story (pages 72-73).

    3) What to look for when hiring a writer (pages 85-88).

    4) A terrific business-to-business (B2B) chapter with a concise list of questions to ask about your customers on pages 125-126, along with a table used to analyze the results on page 128.

    The How-To

    The second section of the book is labelled "How-To," but in one of the few weak spots, it starts off very badly with the Blogging chapter. How can you get through a blogging how-to without mentioning WordPress once?

    But the authors immediately rescue the how-to section with a great chapter on Webinars. It's full of details, software recommendations, examples, and sage advice. I love the tip, for example, that putting a video on the registration page for a seminar increases conversion five-fold.

    Most of the rest of the how-to section is good, especially areas where the authors shine: ebooks and case studies. I really like HubSpot's Rebecca Corliss' top 10 tips for producing a Web TV show (pages 203-205).

    One Big Caveat

    I started by saying that this book is almost perfect. The biggest oversight is the mainstream media. Almost all the content is aimed at consumers, yet many of the best results the campaigns pull are when they get picked up by the major media.

    Page 20 lists four objectives for an online marketing campaign. It needs a fifth: to engage in dialogue with the mainstream media in your field. How to attract and dazzle the media should be considered in all the content programs covered in the book.

    The major media still has major impact. One of the most important results from a blog is not the loyal following it builds, but how that following gives the blog the voice of authority with the major media, leading to coverage, which supercharges results.

    Conclusion

    With that one exception, "Content Rules is excellent." Hopefully, this book will convince many senior executives that online PR is about content, not traffic tricks or SEO gimmicks. Hopefully, readers will invest in a long-term strategy of accumulating a wide variety of compelling content rather than using stunts to briefly spike their numbers. Congratulations to Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman on a significant contribution to the canon of online marketing.

    Steve O'Keefe is co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of SixEstate Communications. He has taught Internet PR at Tulane University since 2001, as well as courses for Stanford University, UCLA Extension and PRSA, among

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Good enough for audio and ebook

    I am a through about 75% of the audio book. It has helped generate enough ideas that I decided I need the nook version for reference.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2011

    What is wrong with the pricing model on this book?

    A hardback copy at $14.55 and the NookBook price is $14.97? I do not understand how a product with no manufacturing and minimal delivery cost is higher than the hardback version. When I contacted B&N Customer Service, I was told "Barnes and Noble does not control the pricing of ebooks. Publishers control the pricing of digital books." But when I called the publisher, Wiley, I was told (multiple times) that Barnes and Noble is responsible for setting their own prices on ebooks. All the while, if I was a Kindle customer, I could buy the ebook for $9.99. What's up Barnes and Noble? Are you trying to take advantage of the very customers that hitched their horse to your wagon with the Nook? Argh!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Smart guidebook on how to create quality online content

    On the Internet, a brand new start-up, even a one-person shop, can compete directly and quite favorably with the biggest Fortune 100 companies - as long it offers superior online content. Today, consumers find the products and services they want by using search engines. Your goal is to create engaging, compelling, and memorable content - blogs, videos, podcasts, and websites - that people like, link to, and pass on to others. This can help your material show up on the first page of search engine results - even ahead of material from huge corporations. Internet content expert Ann Handley and online marketing expert C.C. Chapman use helpful guidelines and detailed case studies to teach you how to plan, create, and publish online content that will engage your prospects. getAbstract recommends this straightforward, informed explanation of what makes online content great, how to produce it and where to publish it in cyberspace.

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