What Geek Culture Means to Your Content Marketing

Some say that the geeks shall inherit the Earth, but I say that we already have.

Geeks have changed the world, and in doing so, have changed the perception of pop culture, fandom, and the way people interact with brands. Understanding this emergent geek culture may have an immediate and lasting impact on the way you develop your content marketing materials.

I’m a geek. I’m into classic science fiction, comics, and other niche media that was laughably out of fashion at one time. Actually, some of it still is, but I love it anyway.

The concept of “geek chic” was non-existent when I was a kid. “Geek” wasn’t a badge of honor. It was something you kept quiet, lest ye be stuffed into a locker by high school bullies.

Fandom was not organized and finding fellow fans was a covert affair. It was also gender based, making it difficult for girls to like “boy toys” and boys to embrace “girly” things. Vintage gender-based advertising guided kids to play with the toys that they were “supposed” to play with.

Geekdom has many meanings, but it is generally associated with niche culture and often clusters around comics, science fiction, fantasy, and technology. In an article in Wired titled “So What Does it Really Mean to be a Geek,” Erik Weks writes:

“One of the great reasons to identify with the word “geek” is that it gives you permission to like what you like no matter what it is. Many of us self-identify as geeks because we have been put down, excluded, and hurt by others due to our interest in “uncool” things like comic books, or board games, or computer programming.”

The majority of us conformed to the rules in public, but privately enjoyed our passions. It was easier to pretend not to like something than to endorse your passions. Continue reading

HIGHLIGHTED: Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

Photo of Ann Handley

Author Ann Handley

Writing is easy. Writing well is hard. (But with some practice, you can do it.)

If you’re a content marketer, you probably spend a lot of time at the keyboard. You may not think of your emails, tweets, and creative briefs as “writing with a capital W,” but it is writing nonetheless. You may as well be good at it.

Ann Handley is very good at writing. So good, in fact, that she can help you become a better writer. Ann’s bestselling book “Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content” is an excellent tutorial for novice and experienced writers.

I read “Everybody Writes” a few years ago when I interviewed Ann at Content Marketing World. I decided that my own writing needed a bit of improvement, so I descended on Ann’s book with my trusty highlighter. Ann’s book on writing is the book that professional writers read for inspiration and instruction. Continue reading

Marketing Tesla & What It Says about Us

2016-tesla-modelsAs if enough praise hasn’t already been heaped upon Tesla Motors, here’s a bit more. This time, it’s not about the car. It’s about the marketing of the car and what it says about us.

The Tesla is just another car. When you get down to it, it’s a manufactured to serve a utilitarian purpose. It gets you from Point A to Point B. All cars are designed to do this, and so is a Tesla. Continue reading

KPIs & User Journey Metrics for Marketers: Part 2

One of the more confusing aspects of content strategy is the marketing analytics strategy. There are a lot of ways to measure the performance of your website, but when it comes to content analytics, I offer the following solution. But before we start, you may want to check out Part 1 of this three-part series.

First, consider the fact that website analytics and content analytics may not be the same thing. For example, websites like Amazon are measuring the shopping cart experience and sites like Google are measuring the speed to deliver search engine results. Both of these are valuable metrics for the performance of their sites and may not have as much to do with content as it has to do with the back-end performance and engineering of the website. Continue reading

KPIs & User Journey Metrics for Marketers: Part 1

In marketing, we can measure so much that in many ways, we aren’t measuring anything. We are drowning in data. And the worse part, it may even be the wrong data.

There are ways to ensure that the data that we analyze is actually useful to the brand. Of course, this all starts with a content strategy. Which, of course, starts with a persona. Which, of course, starts with data and insights about your target user. Of course.

Starting with a data-informed persona, you can determine what actions are important to that user. Remember, if you are marketing your brand to a human, you need to figure out what that human needs from you and your content to complete their own personal user journey. Remember, inside every “persona” is a “person.” Continue reading

600,000 Years of Health Storytelling (Video)

Check out my presentation on content strategy for the web. This one includes Grok the Caveman, who was the world’s first healthcare educator.

In this presentation, I discuss how our ancestors used visual storytelling to communicate health messages. Our DNA is encoded to respond to visual stories, which we should be leveraging to share health information.

This particular presentation was delivered to our internal staff at Ogilvy CommonHealth in the Parsippany, NJ office. If you enjoyed this, be sure to check out my blog post “Epic Tales of Marketing Storytelling.” Continue reading

Comics for Content Marketers

comics-for-content-marketers1-smOver the past three or so years, I’ve been getting up on stage and talking about visual content marketing and what web designers can learn from comic book artists. You can see one of my decks here: “Seven & a Half Tips to Jump Start Your Visual Content Strategy.”

At the end of my presentations, there are always a few people who talk about how they’d like to check out a few comics, but they don’t know where to get started. Or that they’ve walked into a local comic store, were overwhelmed by the choices, and left without buying anything.

Hence, I’ve compiled a list of a few comics that curious, intelligent adults may want to explore. All of this is based on my personal preferences, so your actual mileage may vary. Oh, and none of these have anything to do with content marketing, except that you probably saw me speak at a marketing conference.

Or maybe it’s brain candy that will help you become more effective at visual storytelling.

Continue reading

Video Roundtable Discussions on Content Strategy

Buddy Vimeo

Buddy Scalera on the CMW B2B panel

Buddy Scalera was a featured guest in the Content Marketing World B2C Roundtable discussions.

These conversations featured Karen Budell (moderator and host), Michael Weiss, David Germano, author Andrew Davis, and Julie Fleisher of Kraft. The roundtable team discussed a variety of content marketing, content strategy, and social media issues. The videos were shared on Vimeo.

Buddy was also a featured speaker at the Content Marketing World event.

To learn more about the Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland, go to: http://contentmarketingworld.com/.

CMW B2C Research Roundtable: LinkedIn for B2C from Content Marketing Institute on Vimeo.

Part 1 of 3
Continue reading

Epic Interview with Content Marketer Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi at window

Joe Pulizzi, the godfather of content marketing

He’s been called the “godfather of content marketing” and with good reason. Long before we were attending content-themed conferences, Joe Pulizzi was trying to convince his clients that content was the next big thing in marketing. It took a few years, but he’s convinced large and small companies to hire Chief Content Officers (CCO) to manage their content marketing efforts.

In a world where the loudest, brashest voices seem to get the most attention, Joe Pulizzi has be spreading the word in his own polite, friendly Midwestern way. He’s a power player in marketing, who hasn’t moved to one of the coasts to work at a power agency. He embraces the town of Cleveland, and if you’ve been to one of the conferences he hosts, you’ll see that Cleveland embraces him right back.

From his early days in custom publishing all the way to being a publisher, Joe Pulizzi is living his craft. He heads the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), which was named one of the fastest growing companies by Inc. magazine. CMI is an emerging media powerhouse with a voice in every channel. And consistently, that voice sounds a lot like Joe Pulizzi.

His collaborators and partners, including celebrated speaker Robert Rose, are a who’s-who of marketing gurus. His Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland is one of the must-attend shows for anyone in marketing, not just in the vertical of content marketing. It’s a fun, smart event that reflects the collective charm of the entire CMI staff.

As an author, Joe Pulizzi has published three smart, actionable books on the topic of content marketing. Each is fresh and vital, but Epic Content Marketing is the work of a mature, intelligent ambassador for the entire industry. If you haven’t read it yet, order it from Amazon and put it on the top of the stack on your nightstand.

If Johnny Cash was The Man in Black, then Joe Pulizzi will surely be known as The Man in Orange, due to his citrus-inspired wardrobe. If nothing else, he is consistent in his visual branding.

The book is as unique, colorful, and quietly awesome as Joe Pulizzi himself. It further cements his position as one of the most influential thought leaders in marketing. And if you know this business, that’s saying a lot.

Joe shared some thoughts in an email interview about content marketing, publishing, and the future of content marketing. Continue reading

Upcoming: Content Marketing World 2013 in Cleveland

Poster promoting Content Marketing World 2013 featuring Buddy Scalera, Tim Washer, Sarah Skerik, and Jeff Rohrs

Poster promoting Content Marketing World 2013 featuring Buddy Scalera, Tim Washer, Sarah Skerik, and Jeff Rohrs

In a few days, I’ll be presenting at Content Marketing World in Cleveland, one of the premiere events in marketing and content strategy. If you work in content, content marketing, content strategy, analytics, or social media, this is the must-attend event of the year.

Joe Pulizzi and the conference planners have created and shared some clever materials, including a series of posters featuring different speakers. Of course, we love to see our names, so everyone on the poster is sharing it on their social channels. My poster in the series has a disco theme and includes Jeff Rohrs, Sarah Skerik, and Tim Washer.

I talk to my clients a lot about social and viral assets. This is an excellent real-time example of how to create content assets that travel through sharing and endorsement.

They’ve also created a SlideShare presentation that included quotes from many of the speakers. And, of course, the views and likes for this thing are impressive as hell.

The original PowerPoint asset was posted August 14, 2013 on SlideShare. As of this writing, it’s already at 34,819  views. Remember, this is a deck leading up to a business conference. This isn’t some goofy pop culture thing from MTV or People magazine, so you don’t usually see view rates like this on business content.
Continue reading