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(This is another in a week-long series on forming oneself as a Catholic business person.)

While social media and content marketing strategy ideas benefit from new thinking and approaches, you can also incorporate offline best practices that make sense, even if they may seem old.

For example, one client expressed challenges in refreshing and featuring seasonally-based story ideas year after year. In answer to this challenge related to content marketing strategy, I realized something from my spiritual life demonstrates a great lesson applicable to developing an editorial calendar to take advantage of recurring content opportunities.

An Offline Way to Plan Online Content Marketing Strategy

Lectionary

Attending mass on a daily basis has helped reveal the underlying calendar that plans which Bible passages are read at each Catholic mass. An approved lectionary (in essence, an editorial calendar) sets the direction. For weekdays, some readings are assigned to annual cycles and other to biennial ones. During special liturgical seasons, all daily readings are the same each year. For Sunday services, readings rotate every three years. Specific feasts and holidays during the year may cause the replacement of that day’s passages with other related Bible readings instead.

The end result, beyond emphasizing different messages with varied frequencies, is simple: over the course of the daily and Sunday calendars, approximately 95% of the Bible’s books are included through at least some passages.

If your organization has many stories to tell and needs to reinforce key messages at different times (with varying rates of repetition), adopting a comparable editorial calendar approach could make sense for you. Employing a similar strategy for content marketing strategy requires answering critical questions. These include:

  • What’s the full range of content we want to cover for the organization and target audiences?
  • What content priorities need more frequent reinforcement, and which can be addressed less regularly?
  • What are special events that need coverage and should rightfully interrupt the editorial calendar?
  • What options can be provided to content creators (either in topics, style, etc.) to allow creative flexibility?
  • What strategic links exist between content areas and associated SEO and keyword strategies?

The questions may seem daunting. There is incredible upside in the content marketing strategy opportunities generated from implementing a strategic editorial calendar that reflects both repetitive topics and new twists on old stories.

If the prospect of creating an editorial calendar and collaborative blogging plan seems overwhelming, let us know. We’d love to help streamline developing and implementing your social media and collaborative blogging strategies.

Has your organization done anything like this? Have you tried a similar approach for a smaller organization? How has it worked, and where, if anywhere, have you struggled?  – Mike Brown

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Marianne-Carr-PhotoI am crazy for podcasts. Maybe I am not an early adopter. I don’t care. I love them.

I have always been a big believer that radio advertising – great radio advertising- was the most creative, and most difficult of the traditional advertising formats. Unfortunately there is also a tradition of really bad radio advertising. That’s because it’s hard to do. When done well, audio storytelling uses the theater of the mind, making the strongest audience connection.  When imagining your own pictures, you are engaged and probably emotionally committed. When audio storytelling is good, it works the head and the heart, which is the essence of great advertising.

Which leads me to Content Marketing. In what ways are Podcasts the ultimate Content Marketing tactic? It is a one-way conversation, at first, but the podcasts I listen to suck me in so deeply that I then seek out blogs, Twitter, and Facebook forums to see what others are saying.  I even join the conversation.

However, right now, none of the podcasts I listen to is associated with a brand or some other organization that wants to separate me from my money, or even build its position as an influencer in my professional life.

Could there be a podcast interesting enough to drive this behavior from me? We will see. I hope so. In the meantime, here are my top podcast recommendations.

As always, you can get to the creative clicks via the headlines. Enjoy!Marianne Carr

Creative Clicks for Podcast Listening

The Timbre.com Postmortem XIX Best Podcasts of the Week

This week’s Review of Podcasts on Timbre featured a Freakonomics episode. Not surprising. These guys are clearly masters at creating content. A podcast provides the perfect opportunity to extend a book’s premise, eliminating the wait for creating and publishing a follow up book to keep the message alive.  A comment at the end of this week’s reviews complimented the reviewer and exclaimed that he was not surprised NPR listenership was declining. The commenter couldn’t fathom why ANYONE would listen to Radio anymore.

I know why I still listen to radio. It takes a special talent to curate programming really well. What killed radio was the commercialized programming of music based only on promotion. We, as listeners, fell victim to a B2B model.  Thus we got bored and left as soon as we could. I listen to The Bridge a local radio station that provides unexpected delight through music I would never find on my own all because the DJs are very talented curators.

In what ways might we improve our curation skills to surprise and delight our audience to be better content marketers?

The Secret of the Mystery Show

“It must be quite a trip, to go about the world with this kind of head on. If every person you see is a treasure-chest of stories just waiting for the right question to open up, then you are never more than seconds away from a glittering, life-changing revelation. But of course, they are, and we’re all just too busy power-walking between pointless appointments, listening to podcasts, to notice.

“I wouldn’t have thought it was possible to be so moved by an eighty-year-old Swiss man I have never met, in a town I will probably never visit, rediscovering a long-lost gift. But unexpectedly, I’m welling up. Empathy, like God, moves in mysterious ways.” – Richard Obrien

This review of the Podcast the Mystery Show, by Obrien, is spot on.

How might your target audience member (also known as a person) be a treasure chest of stories you can tap into for your content marketing?

The Art of Storytelling

I just started listening to Lore, a podcast featuring short, dramatic essays about folklore and other mythical longstanding beliefs. It’s a lot of fun. One sponsor is The Great Courses. This organization sponsors several of my regular podcasts; I must be the perfect target audience member. The Great Course featured is always relevant to the podcast’s topic. Sooo smart. I may never want to take a course about The Law as featured on Undisclosed (yes, I am still riding this trend, can’t help it), but I will take this course on Storytelling, particularly since I am offered a listener’s discount.  One missing cross marketing tactic is that of mentions on the websites of each organization. Why not? Integrate!

Content Marketing Institute Podcast List

It wouldn’t be right to discuss podcasts and content marketing without listing a few podcasts featuring content marketing!  Here are several. I have not had the opportunity to listen to them yet, so I would love to hear your critiques. All are produced in conjunction with The Content Marketing Institute.

Podcasts-Bubble

Creative Clicks for Reading about Podcasting

If you’re intrigued by podcasting, here are several articles addressing the fundamentals.

The Power of Podcasts for Content Marketing

This article by the Digital Agency, Koozai, from Across-The-Pond (The UK if you are not one of our US readers), is a KEEPER! Written by John Waghorn, it outlines all the basics of Podcasting for your organization. The section about Creating Your Own Podcast. Makes it seem doable. Dispels some myths. It is further fuel for the fire to create a Brainzooming Podcast. Stay tuned.

Plan the Work, Work the Plan

This article by Sark e-Media gives a great set of questions to ask yourself when deciding to launch a podcast. I am a big believer in strategy, go figure.

Facing the Blank White Page of Podcasting

Wishpond highlights content types and tips for creating a podcast.  The tip to interact with other podcasts is most intriguing. When podcasts I follow mention hosts of others – or topics from other episodes – it makes me feel like part of a very special community. I am in “the Know.” This concept of exclusivity, or being a member of something, is very powerful in marketing, especially content marketing.

So if Brainzooming starts a podcast, what do you want to hear?

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These (para)quotes on innovation, digital marketing, and life were the most memorable ones I took away from Inbound15.

Innovation

  • “Commit to a highly experimental process. Don’t just follow best practices. Experiment to learn.” – Anum Hussain of Hubspot
  • “I don’t know what the question is, but the answer is, ‘Yes!'” – Leonard Bernstein (via Seth Godin)
  • “The only guarantee in living a brave life is you WILL get your ass kicked. If you innovate, you WILL fall down.” – Brené Brown
  • “Bob Dylan wasn’t The Beatles. He reinvents himself every seven years and gets booed off the stage.” – Seth Godin
  • “Every great writer starts with an SFD – shitty first draft.” – Brené Brown

INbound15-Pink

Digital Marketing

  • “SEO (search engine optimization) is anything you can do to influence your score. That involves solving for SEO AND improving the user experience.” – Bill King and Tyler Richer of Hubspot
  • “Great content is topically focused. If you are writing about a topic, other related words should show up as well. It’s about the main topic and all the supporting ‘cast members.'” – Bill King and Tyler Richer of Hubspot
  • “For Slideshare, come up with an AMAZING cover slide.” – Arpit Dhariwal and Taylor Greason of LinkedIn SlideShare
  • “Don’t say ‘Free’ in the email subject line. Please. Ever.” – Tom Monaghan of Hubspot
  • “With the abundance of similar content, it makes you think when you see something new, ‘I think I’ve forgotten this before.'” – Dr. Carmen Simon
  • “If your brand sucks offline, you’ll suck more online.” – Jill Rowley, Social Selling

Life

  • “Nine a.m. is VERY early for an Aziz event.” – Aziz Ansari
  • “Can we start by acknowledging that golf is a really bad spectator sport. Nothing good ever happens, and when it does, you have to clap in such a wimpy way.” – Seth Godin
  • “If people know their problems, they don’t need sales. Salespeople should identify latent and hidden problems; they need to anticipate problems.” – Daniel Pink
  • “Once you give the brain a reward, it habituates and wants a newer, bigger reward.” – Dr. Carmen Simon
  • “We are all we have today.” – Brené Brown
  • “Sarcasm . . . it’s not just for relationships anymore.” – Tim Washer

Mike Brown

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Suppose you are a marketing professional or a non-marketing leader wanting to go deep in learning about what digital marketing should be doing for your organization’s success. Further, suppose that with fourth quarter coming, professional development budgets are tight – or maybe non-existent.

If this describes you, AND you are in and around Chicago, Kansas City, Austin, Miami, Raleigh, Atlanta, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, here is a fantastic learning opportunity.

Heck, if you are in Reykjavik, London, Paris, Berlin, or Amsterdam, the same opportunity is available to you, too!

Realtime-Marketing-Lab-Tour

Digital Learning and the Realtime Marketing Lab Tour

The Realtime Marketing Lab 2015 Fall Tour is an international touring digital-social-online marketing event where you can find the newest ideas to address your digital marketing challenges. Through a variety of brief, focused talks from award-winning industry experts, you’re go deeper into how C-Suite networking, social storytelling, social word of mouth marketing, lead generation bootstrapping, advanced digital marketing, and sophisticated LinkedIn B2B messaging secrets can deliver results for your business.

The format for the Realtime Marketing Lab 2015 Fall Tour involves a day’s worth of high quality, thirty-minute presentations delivered via an amazing team of award-winning industry experts from around the globe. Rather than sticking to coast cities, the Realtime Marketing Lab tour brings intimate learning and networking opportunities to multiple metro areas across North America and Europe. For a limited time, you and a business associate can both attend for what is the already incredibly low price of $99.

Kansas-City-Skyline

If you are in the heartland of the United States, I especially invite you to attend the September 23, 2015 Realtime Marketing Lab tour stop in Kansas City. I will be presenting that afternoon on “Making Social Strategy Understandable – Even for the C-suite.”

The Realtime Marketing Lab Tour in a City Close to You

Interested in learning more and registering for this exclusive offer?

You can use these links to see who is speaking at each of the Realtime Marketing Lab stops and register to attend.

With no large travel bills, exorbitant registration fees, or time away from home, you need to grab this digital learning opportunity as it rolls through your town in the weeks ahead! – Mike Brown

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Spending the week at the Hubspot Inbound15 conference was intense – for various reasons. The experience could yield a month’s worth of Brainzooming posts filled with content marketing strategy ideas from Inbound.

Inbound15-ClubInbound

Nine Time-Saving Content Marketing Strategy Tips from Inbound15

As a start, here are nine time-saving tips for content marketing strategy I took away from Inbound15.

Some are credited to specific speakers; others were general takeaways from the conference.

  1. When you have older, evergreen content that has more mileage left in it, take the opportunity to refresh and optimize the posts. Then, republish the posts as new content for those readers that haven’t seen these posts previously. (Pamela Vaughn of Hubspot)
  2. Instead of launching a brand new LinkedIn Group, explore taking over a LinkedIn Group that is in your topic area that has gone dormant. Even though it might not be as active as it once was, you’ll be starting with a built-in audience that you can re-engage. (Viveka Von Rosen, Linked Into Business)
  3. When you create an eBook, think through all the other content bits and pieces you can pull out of it. These include blog posts, short-form status updates, infographics, presentations, etc. (Amanda Sibley, Hubspot)
  4. Do more curation and less creation. Save time by turning your reading and learning time into curated content posts for your blog. (Ginny Soskey, Hubspot)
  5. If you’ve written multiple posts on a related topic, combine them into one comprehensive, be all and end all post on that particular topic. (Ginny Soskey again)
  6. Use humor more, even in business content, to make your communication crisper and to help it communicate more efficiently. (Tim Washer)
  7. Instead of creating highly specific and custom slides for presentations, create fewer slides with more general messages and images. You can use these for multiple presentations, telling multiple and different stories over the top of these slides. (From a conversation with author and speaker, Pam Didner)
  8. Make sure to stay current on all the integration opportunities across social networks that allow you to seamlessly feature one piece of content in multiple places, i.e., LinkedIn and LinkedIn Slideshare integration. (Arpit Dhariwal and Taylor Greason of LinkedIn Slideshare)
  9. Incent attendees at events to share their notes and photos of presentations in order to build a content archive. (What Hubspot did with Inbound.org)

Some of these content marketing strategy tips are new, and others are simply good reminders of great ways to get more done with your content in much less time! – Mike Brown

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Our cat, Clementine, passed away this weekend, just shy of her seventeenth birthday.

While I haven’t shared much about her on the Brainzooming blog, I discovered over the weekend how many people she had touched as the only bona fide social media celebrity at The Brainzooming Group.

Clementine was a beautiful and unique looking cat. She resembled the original Gremlin in the movie of the same name. After our last “my cat” passed away in 2010, Clementine attached to me. She was the first one I’d typically see in the morning. She hung out with me when I got ready each day. She’d be in the home office as soon as I was, jumping up on the desk to see what was going on, and typically to take a nap. During my last milestone birthday, Clementine was the only one in the house who spent time with me. She frequently provided the only greeting I’d receive when coming home, especially when it was a late flight returning from a business trip.

Clementine Facebook Photo Montage

The Director of Enthusiasm

One day, I think it was on Twitter, I posted something about Clementine being in the middle of things on my desk. Someone (I SO wish I could remember the person), said it was obvious Clementine was our “Director of Enthusiasm.” Trust me, I am not the kind to think of giving a cat a title. But I started referring to Clementine as the Director of Enthusiasm (or “DOE”) on Facebook when posting funny pictures of her; she became a mini-celebrity. Clementine was not in Grumpy Cat’s league (although people thought she had a grumpy look despite being anything but grumpy). Her social media presence, however, added a lighter and more personable stream of content to our brand. People seemed to be interested in her; when I went to events, I can’t tell you how many questions I’d receive asking how the Director of Enthusiasm was doing.

99-PROBS-Clem

Heck, Karen Harrison of FullyFeline.com even requested that Clementine write a blog post about her life as an executive cat. Karen also ran a tribute to Clementine on the very popular Fully Feline Facebook page on Sunday.

Taking a Blog Break

Because of all the time she spent with me the last few years, her passing has hit me hard.

The weekend is usually my main blogging time. Quite honestly, I was NOT in a mood for writing this weekend. I wasn’t in a mood for doing much of anything other than reading the incredible comments on Facebook about how much Clementine meant to people. Those comments created both incredible joy and many tears. I guess it’s all part of working through the emotions.

Anyway, that break from writing this weekend means a blog hiatus this week. I’ll be at a conference through Friday, concentrating on learning, so not trying to get the blog written will provide focus. It will also offer an opportunity to reflect and get to a happier place since for the foreseeable future, I’ll have to generate my own enthusiasm.

Because while The Brainzooming Group might have a DOCAP (Director of Creativity and Purring) in the future, there will never be another Director of Enthusiasm. Mike Brown

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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A solid social media strategy can do many things for your brand’s results.

Social-network-icons

At the same time, there are many things social media won’t do for a brand.

Social media WON’T:

  • Deliver business results if you can’t articulate a business objective you expect it to support
  • Fix a brand problem – in fact it will call attention to a brand problem
  • Make your brand suddenly intriguing to its audiences
  • Stop talking negatively about your brand if you decide to retreat and not participate in the conversations
  • Let you get away with the same poor customer treatment your brand could get away with twenty years ago
  • Give you more points for the quantity of content than it will take away for poor quality content
  • Tell you what content topics to address . . . but it will give you all kinds of hints
  • Make sense if you can’t stop talking about yourself all the time
  • Ever completely ignore the things you hope it will ignore
  • Automatically make the things you want to go viral go viral
  • Change the world as we know it . . . even though it will shake up a lot of things beyond recognition

If your brand is still on the social media strategy sidelines (or is in the game without a strategy), these are all reason it is better to create a solid social media strategy first before just starting and seeing what happens. – Mike Brown

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