Content Marketing Strategy: Steal This Model

Confession time: I used to suck at content marketing. Don’t get me wrong, I was good at writing blog posts, even finding pretty interesting topics to cover and having my own take on them. But that’s kinda where it ended. Write what I think is cool stuff, create some level of value for my audience, then blast the link on Twitter, LinkedIn, and my email list. It wasn’t good enough back then, and it’s definitely not going to cut it today. A while back I committed myself to improving my game, and that culminated in a new content marketing strategy that was easy to model, easy to execute, and easy to measure. Here are the basics of my set-up. Yours might, and probably should, differ based on what it is your ultimate goal for creating content is. But this is a good start.

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Selling a solution when there is no problem

What do you think ranks as the most under-publicized mistake most marketers and sales people make? From my purview, it’s assuming I give a shit about your product, service, or pitch. But this goes deeper than the general public’s aversion to ads or distrust of traditional sales tactics. There exists a fatal flaw in many marketing strategies out there, and it’s hamstringing your results.

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[Previous Versions: One, Two, Three, Four]

What better way to cap off the year than some partnership examples? Here’s ten fresh ones involving both startups and big brands. I’m always happy to see the convergence of offline and online products and services. Several examples in this deck include some sort of digital-meets-live scenario, such as the Headspace meditation app as part of the the programming during Virgin Atlantic flights.

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What Defines A Media Co.? Here’s A Formula To Help.

People don’t always immediately “get” what BoomboxFM is from a business standpoint. An email newsletter? An indie blog? A music discovery service? Well, yes. But the long-tail can be summed up by labeling us a media company (or “platform” if you like). We serve an audience specific types of content and hang our hats on affinity and engagement. Okay, great. But in today’s environment of multi-channel networks, blog companies, ecomm lifestyle sites, themed video creators, and even gender-specific curated daily emails, what exactly makes a media company what it is? That’s what I set out to answer by breaking it all down to a relatively simple formula.

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5 Practices All DIY Musicians Should Borrow From These Startup Founders

[This was originally written for and published on SonicBids]

You’ve all heard of startups, right? They’re kind of everywhere right now; from Uber to PledgeMusic to Dropbox to Audiokite, startups touch our lives in innumerable ways. It’s not exactly a stretch to make heavy comparisons between startups and musicians, both standing at the foot of a similar mountain – creating something from nothing, trying to get people to care about what you’re doing, and fighting to survive another day… every day. We think that’s a valuable connection to make and enlisted some industry friends to help share five practices you should borrow from the way startups do things today.

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The Centerpiece Conundrum

How do most decisions get made? Seriously, I’m asking because I don’t actually know the answer. Particularly when designing something primarily for the use or benefit of others. Like a website, or a bicycle, or a party. You have to deal with dozens of micro choices that have a much greater effect on the entirety of an experience than their individual parts. Like the always-crucial dining table centerpieces at weddings. The bigger, the bolder, the better, right?

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Layups [or] Your “Hacks” Are Shit

My longtime friend and former YMCA league basketball teammate, Dave F., used to bust my chops during games for seemingly always making shots more difficult than they needed to be. I’d choose a 15-foot jump shot over a guy six inches taller than me instead of opting for driving the wide open lane. Reverse layups even though I could have just gone with a traditional off-the-glass shot? Sure, why not! But many of these attempts, as you probably assumed, fell short. Some could even be labeled disastrous. An inefficient use of time and energy combined with a miscalculation of proper skills application that I’ve seen off the court as well (I’m looking at you, early stage startups). Why are we searching for shiny new “growth hacking” tactics when the easy, tried-and-true marketing stuff that works is often overlooked?

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Show, Don’t Tell

Don’t ever underestimate the impact that powerful storytelling techniques can have on your product / brand messaging hitting its target in the most effective manner possible. I feel like messaging – copy, creative, and distribution vehicles – doesn’t quite get enough love in the average startup shop.

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