Content is Currency

Developing Powerful Content
for Web and Mobile

by Jon Wuebben - Founder and CEO of Content Launch

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As of today, May 26th, I’m happy to announce that my new blog, Content is Currency, is live and open for business. The blog replaces Content Rich Book.com, which was the online site for my previous book, “Content Rich: Writing Your Way to Wealth on the Web”, which was published in 2008 and went on to sell thousands of copies. Content is Currency represents the next evolution of my work in the content development, content strategy and content marketing spaces and also will be the online home for my new book, “Content is Currency: Developing Powerful Content for Web & Mobile”, which is being published in September, 2011 by Nicholas Brealey Publishers.

Moving forward, (and not surprisingly) this new blog will be a powerhouse of content, featuring compelling and thought provoking pieces on the current state of web and mobile content, interesting interviews of the movers and shakers in the industry, product and services reviews, book reviews and much more. I’m excited to get started!

I look forward to building a large and trusted blogging community here at Content is Currency and welcome your feedback, opinions and advice as we discuss and debate the finer points of web and mobile content right here on the blog. Thanks!

 

 

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So, to round out my trifecta of Spring trade shows was the Ad Tech event in San Francisco 2 weeks ago. Like the Web 2.0 Expo two weeks prior, this was my frist time at the show. In a word…INCREDIBLE! This show is good on every level – sessions, keynotes, trade show and parties. Its clearly one of the best online marketing events of the year and one of the best I have ever attended. My company, Content Launch, did not exhibit at the show. Instead, I simply walked the trade show floor and did some high powered networking. On day one, I worked the floor from noon-4pm solid without taking a break. I think I had at least 100 conversations and handed out over 100 business cards. That’s the kind of event it is…shoulder to shoulder with people, lots of energy and excitement and a ton of business going down.

The best part of the event was the trade show I think. There must have been over 300 exhibitors there, representing every facet of the web world. But one thing i did notice were lots of affiliate marketing – ad/publisher implies “Ad-Tech”…there were lots of advertising related solution providers in attendance. All in all, I would say its hands down one of the best uses of time from a guerilla marketing standpoint. For $50 airfare from San Diego (I went for 1 day), I was able to meet a ton of folks and network like crazy. Highly recommended for all online marketers. Go in 2012…you won’t regret it.

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Last month I attended the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. Held at the Moscone Center right in downtown, this was my first time attending this “must see” web marketing event. My company, Content Launch, opted not to exhibit at this event. Instead, I simply walked the trade show floor and attended the keynote presentations. This year, they opened up the keynotes (and some of the parties) to “trade show only” attendees. So, for $50, I was able to get a whole lot accomplished. The trade show itself was not that impressive, with what seemed like maybe 100 booths..and quite a few foreign/European based companies as well. I made a few good contacts, but nothing like the Ad Tech show 2 weeks later or even SXSW Interactive in Austin, both of which were phenomenal.

I think one of the most important parts of attending this show were the keynotes on the opening night. I listened to an incredible Welcome keynote by Kevin Kelly from Wired magazine, which was one of the most compelling, forward thinking and interesting talks I have heard this year. To look into a crystal ball and try to understand what the web will look like in 5, 10 or 20 years seems an impossible task, but I think he did a great job attempting to do just that.

I didn’t attend any of the sessions, but based on what I heard from others, they were very good. So, I would chalk this event up as a “high value” educational type event, one for the thinkers and futurists out there for sure. I will definitely attend again in 2012.

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Now that I’ve completed my 3 trade show travel schedule (and time consuming follow up) over the past 6 weeks, I can finally sit down and provide my thoughts and feedback on the events. The first one I attended (and exhibited at) was the SXSW Interactive show in Austin last month. In a word…WOW…this event was “off the hook”. Thats really the best way to explain it. Thousands of people and lots of cool music. A great “work hard-play hard” type of week. It was our first time at the event and we decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and purchase booth space as well. At $1800 for the booth space, it seemed like a great value. It ended up being a good decision. We made a ton of contacts at the show and have already closed a few new partnership arrangements, so for us, it was a great ROI.

But let me throw a word of caution out there — its not for every marketing firm or technology company. Because SXSW is a music, film AND interactive festival, you get a lot of bleed over from the other groups that are attending. For example, on the first full music day, we only had a handful of people come by the booth. The reason? Well, they weren’t our target market and didnt really care about web content services. But, regardless, the first 2 days of the show (the Interactive part) were great. and because my wife and I are HUGE music fans, it was a lot of fun for us as well. I saw Duran Duran at a tiny club and stood in the 5th row. For an 80’s child like me, that was almost as cool as signing a new deal with a new web hosting provider!

So, all in all, I would say that anyone interested in web or mobile marketing, online technology, etc should at least come next year to walk around and meet people on the show floor. Its a very inexpensive way to market your business. And for all those who think “old school” marketing tactics like trade shows are a thing of the past…not true. don’t make that mistake. There is nothing like a face to face meeting to build instant rapport. My overall review? SXSW is a phenomenal event and is a must see! Mark your calendars for 2012 now.

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With information overload being the standard for our daily lives its critically important to find shortcuts, quality curation and thorough “wrap ups” so we can spend our time more efficiently. I  don’t know about you, but I think one of the biggest problems out there…whether you’re working on a project for a client or trying to find something on the web, is that there is simply too many options and too many choices available. People are telling us everything instead of telling us everything we need to know. There is a huge difference, right?

Of course, a big responsibility in disseminating and finding the best stuff lies with us. But it can be very difficult sometimes. I know I’ve spent hours upon hours trying to find exactly what I was looking for on the web…many, many times. So, it helps when we finally find something that really works…or cuts down on the work anyway. 😉

So, the reason for this post was to generally rant about the issue, but also to share with you what I believe to be the best weekly recap of the Web 2.0 World. What is it? The recap on the Search Engine Watch blog. I absolutely love this thing, and I bet you will too. This weeks recap: http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/110326-125956

Enjoy!

…oh and let me know if you have other weekly recaps (or other time saving search tips) that are worth looking at..thanks!

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A World Gone Mobile (Content)

There’s no doubt about it: “Mobile” content is hot. and yes, mobile is the future.

From the very beginning of the computer revolution, it was always about freedom and empowerment. When Steve Jobs talked about revolution, he was serious.  And this is the promise that mobile computing and mobile content gives us. Like nothing else before it, it is the power that will enable us to finally reach every place we ever wanted to go in business – and in the social world as well.

Of course, the proliferation of mobile phones, especially smartphones, is driving the revolution and gives us the chance to connect in powerful interactions that line up with our customers preferences and location, in real time. And because we can connect with them wherever they are, it makes the connection super efficient and actionable. Content that is mobilized becomes turbo charged and highly relevant.

Your mobile phone is very personal. Unlike your regular phone or desktop computer, it is rarely shared. Mobile phones have cameras, play videos and capture voice recordings.

Like the web itself, mobile is a transformative technology; it can create meaningful one-on-one opportunities to truly engage new audiences. A multi-channel mobile strategy will be important now and forever more.

And what’s the latest data telling us?

According to the Nielsen Company, smartphone users are projected to account for more than 50% of U.S. wireless subscribers by the end of the year.

According to Gartner, worldwide mobile application sales will increase to 21.6 billion by 2013, up from 4.5 billion in 2010.

According to Kelsey Group, U.S. mobile advertising revenue will be $3.1 billion by 2013, up from $160 million in 2008.

And here is the real kicker: Gartner estimates that by 2013 more people will be accessing the Internet via mobile phones than personal computers. That’s pretty incredible.

Mobile content also gives your company the ability to collect powerful analytics data unavailable anywhere else. It is the most personal, targeted, and actionable marketing available today, but of course; there are issues that need to be addressed. All of these will be addressed in due time.

So, how is your company using mobile content?


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Most of us still recall a few good childhood stories. Whether it was our teachers or parents telling us them, one thing was clear: they fired up our imaginations and provided great satisfaction.  I know it was true with me. From “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” to “Peter Pan”, “Where the Wild Things Are” to “The Giving Tree”, these indelible stories will be with me forever.

Like a good song, stories are mesmerizing because they touch us in lasting ways. In business and specifically content marketing, the power of story telling is lacking. I think there are huge, undiscovered opportunities to weave stories in and around your brand to build rock solid identification and loyalty in your customers.

And you know what? People never out grow their love of good stories. The key is finding a way to tell a story with your products, services and company as a whole. What are the values that drive your business? How can you connect to your target market is emotionally enriching, mutually beneficial ways?

With all the “noise” and interruption, we need a way to break through the clutter. A way that will impact people and help them understand where you are coming from, to appreciate the authentic space that you live in within your industry, to present it in a way that will absorb them and get them to want more.

In the business environment, and specifically with content marketing, storytelling should be embraced and nurtured. When you do, your audience will feel like they are a part of your story. And since you took the time to connect with them in a unique and sincere way, the way that they remember from stories of long ago, they will find ways to connect with you in meaningful, long lasting ways.

Why are executives like Steve Jobs and Walt Disney so legendary? In large part because they were able to engage peoples emotions. Within the confines of your online and mobile content, the same thing can be done. Creating scenarios of possible future events, using personal anecdotes and telling about experiences can truly get people – your potential customers – to stand up and take notice.

So those “run of the mill” products and services you offer? They will be much more interesting and engaging when used within the context of a story.

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I would love to get your thoughts and opinions for my new book, “Competing in the Content Age”

Take the survey here

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LFSTCD6

Thanks so much!

– Jon Wuebben

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A good friend of mine recently turned me on to a very interesting and forward thinking article on web content in the Huffington Post, “Content is King No Longer” by Steve Rosenbaum from Magnify.net.

Steve makes the strong case that content and content strategy is evolving before our very eyes. Some companies get it. Others don’t. and a handful of others are wrestling with it. Everyone is now a content creator. He says, and I agree that quality content is determined by “context”. Finding, sorting, endorsing, sharing — it’s the beginning of a new chapter. Content Curation is becoming the new hot term.

In the article, Steve says, “Content is King” — no longer. Today, the world has changed. “Curation Is King.” Ok, I hear all the content-makers sharpening their knives to take me on. I’m ready.

First, why content is dead: Content used to be the high quality media that came out of the very pointed end of the funnel. Articles in the New York Times. Movies from Miramax. Thursday night comedy from NBC. Books published by Simon and Schuster. Creative folks wrote pitches, treatments, sample chapters, pilots, but only the best of the best got published.

Then, the web came along and blew that up. Kaboom! Now content has gone from being scarce to being ubiquitous. Bloggers make content. Flickr photographers make content. Facebook posts are content. Tumblr publishers make content. Content isn’t king because it isn’t scarce. It’s everywhere, it’s overwhelming, and it’s gone from quality to noise.”

The article is great…but the title is a little misleading. After reading it I thought, “ok, content isn’t just king, it’s the kingdom!”

The fact remains: Everything is changing when it comes to how we communicate. Time to get on board and see where it takes you!

Read the entire article now!

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Recently, I was approached by Ramon Dees, a well known small business marketing coach in the Atlanta area, to do a teleseminar on my book, Content Rich.  Ramon is one of those guys whose enthusiasm and passion for marketing and small business just drip from his voice. Although I’ve only known him for a few weeks, I am convinced we’ll be hearing some big things from him for many years to come. He is a real asset to the small business community everywhere.

In fact, he is the only small business marketing consultant in Atlanta licensed to implement a marketing system proven to increase sales and revenue of small business owners 19.8% or more for the last 20 years. He is in business because he loves to help business owners realize their dreams and become more profitable. And I think that is fantastic.

He has three objectives he tries to achieve for his clients: help them jumpstart sales and revenue, increase the number of prospects they see and increase their conversion rate of prospects who become customers. If you’re in Atlanta and need some consultation, I highly recommend Ramon Dees!

Listen to the interview now.

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