May 22, 2013

content, content, content

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Think Tank 2013. Through Think Tank, local communicators, marketing specialists, advertisers, developers, etc., have an opportunity to gather together for networking an informative sessions with industry leaders.

This year's theme was "Content is King." As someone who is responsible for a museum's content, as well as an aspiring author building her platform, this talk was perfect.

I am still processing a lot of what was shared and considering how I will use these lessons in everyday applications for both of my careers. But in the meantime, I wanted to share some of my immediate takeaways.

"Contacts and Content: The Changing Role of Marketing" by Porter Gale
  • Technology has changed the marketing game.
  • Technology created stronger connections and only four degrees of separation.
  • More content is coming. Porter says with the number of web pages increasing you have to maximize your SEO.
  • Important to note: 92 percent of people trust recommendations from people they know over any other source.
  • "Power is shifting from the boardroom to the living room."
  • Product will bring people in. Service will keep them coming back. Customer service and marketing work together.
  • Empower people to take risks. Create an environment that encourages innovation and doesn't punish every failure.
  • The person who starts the movement isn't as important as the second, third and fourth that helps create the change.

"Content Strategy and New Brand Realities" by Greg Andersen
  • We've left the age of interruption and entered the age of engagement.
  • The way we approach marketing communication has to start with "How are we going to earn their attention?" Then you have to go about earning it.
  • "The bar for marketing content has to be placed higher than the content we are trying to displace in a media-rich world." 
  • Build new platforms that offer your audience something they want and need.

"Content Strategy for College Websites: Creating and Sustaining Content that Works" by Rick Allen
  • If you're on the web, you're a publisher. Act like one. 
  • People don't come to your website for design or widgets. They come for content, so make it good.
  • Content has so much possibility to reach multiple audiences.
  • Ask yourself: If my brand were a person, what would I be like? 
  • A brand is not just a logo.
  • Your brand should be incorporated in everything you publish -- from books to Tweets.

This only touches the surface of everything we covered. I'm glad my boss allowed me to attend this -- and not just because of the free T-shirt, book and pizza that they gave away. I left yesterday's meeting with a full head (and consequently a bit of a headache), but countless ideas that I can use at my job and in my writing career.

During yesterday's sessions, I also had a chance to sit with an old friend from college who is also now working at a local museum -- small world, ey? We did some brainstorming along with the other people at our table and came up with some great opportunities for working together in the future.

At times, all of this information left me feeling overwhelmed. I kept thinking, "I'm one person. I have limited resources. How can I make this happen?" And then I remembered one of the points each of the speakers made. You don't have to go this alone. Find people to work with and make the change together.

That's a good thought for anyone building a platform, whether you're a writer or a reviewer, an advertiser or a teacher -- enlist support from others.

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