Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

How to Tell Your Company’s Story: The Reimagined Remix

There’s nothing I like better than when good content begets other good content. After all, producing content is a relative cinch. But producing good (or even great!) content? That’s a lot harder.

Which is why you’ve got to make sure you squeeze every last drop of engaging goodness out of every piece of content you generate. Or, as C.C. and I write in Content Rules, think REIMAGINED, not recycled.

How might that ebook become a series of blog posts? How about interviewing the ebook author for a podcast? How about mining the best questions from a webinar Q&A for a tip sheet you publish on your blog? How might parts of that white paper become an infographic? Or a video infographic? (My friend Tim Washer is a master at this.)

A few weeks ago, I presented an online seminar for Radian6. (Note to conference organizers: Radian6’s David B. Thomas brings something special to the role of moderator.) As part of my presentation — and I mean one SMALL part! — was about how to tell your story: How do you pull the stories out of your own brand or company? To assist, I created a series of prompts for marketers and content creators — almost like writing prompts from my j-school days.

My MarketingProfs colleague Veronica Jarski created this below based on that part of my talk — a so-called “infodoodle” of How to Tell Your Company’s Story. Part doodle, part… well, info!… I love how it’s a reimagined remix of part of my presentation. Take a look and tell me what you think:

Rotterdam Loves Content Rules

The team at Coopr are big fans of the book and invited me over for their annual An Evening With event.

They surprised everyone with a free copy of the book. Of course I signed all of them.

Here is a highlight video from the event. Talk about reimagining instead of recycling!

And yes I can now confirm that the importance of content crosses borders and language!

The Promotional Video: Create Awesome, Not Meh

If we were playing a word association game and I said “B2B webinar promotional video,” what’s the first word that might come to your mind?

“Boring?”

“Dreary?”

“Ho-hum?”

In most cases, you’d be right, I’m afraid. Most companies create promotional videos that are all of those things, plus maybe “mind-numbing” and a “waste of time,” too.

But every once in a while, someone decides to have a little fun. I’ve talked about this before: ExactTarget brought a sense of energy and fun to its Connections 2010 promotional videos, too. And here, FOCR (Friend of Content Rules) DJ Waldow brings more of the same energy to a promotional video we shot for an upcoming webinar C.C. and I are doing in a few weeks with Blue Sky Factory.

If you watch closely, you’ll see that this video has all the hallmarks of a solid promotion.

Short? Yup.
Tie-in to live event? Check.
Call to action? You bet.

But what it lacks is something valuable, too: That deadly boring bit.

What do you think?

The Book Tour Begins

I’m writing this post within hours of speaking to a packed theater for Social Media Breakfast Ottawa 20.

With my first event behind me, the book tour is officially underway for Content Rules and I know that Ann and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

#SMBOttawa @cc_chapman's first stop in his book tour

There was something perfect about the indie theater vibe, complete with set pieces around me on stage. Some speakers would freak at the set up, but I actually thrived in it. Being someone who loves to act and doesn’t get to be on stage nearly enough as I’d like (in the acting sense) I think I might have had a permagrin on my face the whole time.

I’m still digging through the tweets, but it looks like people left inspired, energized and ready to tackle the content beast and that is what I had hoped for.

Thank you to Ernst & Young for sponsoring the event and a special thanks to SMB Ottawa organizers Rob Lane, Ryan Anderson, and Simon Chen for making this event happen. The hospitality (and campfire building skills) of the people in Ottawa really shined through and it is a city I hope to return to again.

Photo Credit: Alexa Clark

What Does Storytelling Have to Do with Business?

A few weeks ago I gave a presentation at ExactTarget’s user conference called Content Rules: What Stories, Blogs, Video & More Should Be Doing for You (and Your Clients).

The upshot was how content (like stories, blogs, videos, and so on) should be a cornerstone of any brand’s marketing, and I talked to an audience for the first time about some of the concepts C.C. and I explore further in our book. (Which was cool, by the way.)

The following day, a panel of marketers representing companies of all stripes—from the long-established (Kodak) to the hip upstart (Threadless), and a few in between (Virgin America, Benchmark Brands) offered up their take on trends in marketing and business, like: What’s the role of a marketer in an organization? How have social media and technology altered the evolution of that role? And how do you get your customers (and would-be customers) to engage with your brand and the products you sell?

One of the major themes that emerged there was (surprise!)… Content! And specifically, what stories, blogs, video and more should be doing… Yeah. Like I said.

It was gratifying to hear some of the same themes I talked about the day before reinforced by the CMOs of some pretty smart companies. I’d like to think it was just because they all attended by presentation the previous day (ha!), but the truth is that producing great content is something so many companies are increasingly embracing; I loved the panel’s comments around the idea of “storytelling” as a cornerstone of what they’re doing to market online.

So what does storytelling have to do with business?

“Storytelling” is one of those works that I always find impossibly squishy in a business context. For me, it always conjures up more performance art than industry.

But the idea of storytelling as it applies to business isn’t about spinning a yarn or fairytale. Rather, it’s about how your business (or its products or services) exist in the real world: how people use your products—how they add value to people’s lives, ease their troubles, help shoulder their burdens, and meet their needs. Think in those terms when producing customer stories, case studies, or client narratives—so that people can relate to them. In that way, your content is not about “storytelling,” it’s about telling a true story well. (more…)