Marketing Book Review: Next-Level Content Marketing

One of my core principles is to Always Be Learning. It’s a little bit like Always Be Selling. but much more manageable to someone like me, who has difficulty actually asking for sales! By the way, that isn’t a fantastic trait for a marketer, but fortunately we have sales-oriented people who cover my weakness in that area!

In the spirit of Always Be Learning, I do a lot of reading in various fields, and love to share interesting information. When you are beyond busy — as I know most of you are! — it is sometimes helpful to know whether or not a book is a good fit for your time investment. So I am launching a series of short reviews of interesting books I’ve read and found helpful, along with some great quotes from each author.

NEXT-LEVEL Content Marketing: Advanced Tactics For Today’s Content Marketers, by Ted Box

Next-Level Content Marketing  by Ted Box is not for the beginning inbound or content marketer. It is, as its title implies, about moving to the next level in your presentation of content. The author assumes that you already know how to create content your target audience will want to consume. His focus is on challenging marketers to find new ways to present that content so that its form is equally appealing.

Quotes to Consider

  • What is dynamic marketing? It is content and collateral that leverages all the power of technology now available on the social Web.
  • Dynamic marketing is up-to-date, interactive, and sharable, so it’s appropriate for consumers who are plugged in and connected 24/7.
  • The challenge, then, is two-fold: first, to be able to arouse emotions without appearing manipulative, and, second, to know which emotions are most effective to engage your particular audience.
  • Evoking emotions in your marketing works immediately, driving engagement and sales, and for the long term, breeding branding loyalty that keeps customers coming back for more.
  • That level of passion is contagious. It shines through your words and adds vitality to your videos. It also attracts your ideal customers like bees to a field of clover. This is where magnetism starts. If you aren’t passionate about your product, you may as well lock up and shut down. You won’t be able to cut through the clutter, because your message will fall flat.
  • Not only do stories engage people emotionally, they create a framework for people to remember your message. As content creators, we aren’t just marketers. We’re also journalists, looking for a story to tell. Because people love a compelling story.
  • Right now, what I want to call out is the need for content delivery to get the same focus as content creation
  • It is a misunderstanding, prevalent among marketers, that if you share the recipe to your secret sauce, people will stop buying your sauce. Nothing could be further from the truth. Telling people how you do what you do builds credibility and often increases sales.
  • The marketing that gets noticed has several key elements. It’s engaging. It’s different. It addresses something that matters to your audience.
  • First, getting our content in front of our ideal audience is a bigger challenge than ever before. And second, when we do get it in front of them, we struggle to keep their attention. Unless we can overcome these two obstacles, we can’t gain all the benefits content marketing promises.
  • Grabbing the attention of today’s “reader” requires that you digitize your story and make it stand out from everything else competing for attention.
  • Next-level content has two components: magnetic content and sophisticated delivery.
  • Magnetic content attracts your ideal prospects while turning away tire-kickers and people who aren’t a good fit for your products.
  • Write to one person, your ideal customer. By narrowing your focus, you actually change the quality of your writing, replacing broad generalizations with specifics and providing information that’s actually useful rather than tossing around industry catch phrases and jargon.
  • Your audience judges your content by its appearance even more than the headline. In a split second, they take in your layout, color choices, and general appearance. The quality of this first impression determines whether or not you get those few second to wow them with your headline and lead.
  • According to a McKinsey study, [the sales funnel] isn’t an accurate image. They believe the decision-making process is circular, rather than linear, with four phases.
  • What’s the difference between fresh content that sparkles with personality and unique ideas? In a word, energy. To be more specific, kinetic energy.
  • As you can see, your brand is the unique expression of who you are and how you can make your customers’ lives easier. It captures the idea of how you fit into your customers’ lives, who they become when they are part of your ecosystem (think Harley Davidson and Apple).
  • Power branding isn’t for big companies only. Every company (yes, even yours) has the power to create a brand that resonates. You simply have to uncover that single idea that communicates what you stand for and how it makes things easier for your customers. The key is communicating it well, so people can easily see how you fit into their world.

The Actionable Big Idea

Next-Level Content Marketing inspires two big ideas:

Put passion and energy into your content to make it stand out.

Deliver your content using the highest production qualities and delivery mechanisms

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