Content Marketing and Publication Planning: Two Peas in the Same Pod


Everybody in marketing today knows that Content Marketing has become central to reaching audiences across multiple channels and platforms. That is because it is comprehensive, strategic and multidisciplinary. But despite what some communications agencies might be saying, it certainly isn’t new. In fact, Content marketing has been around since the 1800’s. With the advent of digital, and the proliferation of social media, what is new is that there are more channels than ever before to market content.

Continue reading

Never Underestimate the Power of Humor in Content Marketing


Source: Buzzfeed

Today there was news about a viral video of president Obama on Buzzfeed. The video is very funny, and the message is about enrolling in a healthcare plan. 

This blog has nothing to do with politics. Whether you support our current president our not is entirely your business. We are very interested in corporate storytelling and content marketing however, and this video is an excellent example of the power of humor in storytelling. As the leader of a country or an organization, having a sense of humor about yourself, even being able to use self deprecating humor in the right way, can be an extremely effective tool in marketing. And let’s not be naive. Our presidents have always needed to be very good at selling their ideas and programs to the American people. In other words, they’ve always needed to be good marketers and storytellers.

Continue reading

Map Your Content for a Successful Content Marketing Strategy


Crikey. It’s hard to believe that another year is coming to a close. This year has been a great one for us, and I hope that for all of our friends, clients and colleagues it has been just as good. MANA is now firmly established, serving clients in multiple innovation-focused industries, and working hard to change the agency business model. And our work is just getting started.

This time of year has always been my favorite. Probably because it is always filled with optimism. As we plan for the year ahead, we look forward to new strategic directions, new programs and new clients. And for the clients we work with who are focused on content marketing, this time of year is the time to engage in content mapping for the year ahead. Continue reading

Top 10 Reasons to Stop Writing Blogs with Titles Like “Top 10 Reasons”


Like all good content marketers, writing is at the core of what we do at MANA. And as somebody who has been blogging consistently for around ten years now, I’ve observed and learned a great deal. I read blogs–all kinds of blogs–voraciously. How else can you improve your own work? And while there are many very good blogs out there, sadly I think there are also more than a few very bad ones.

So, as the holiday festivities begin to kick in here at MANA HQ and the kiddies get ready for a visit from the fat man in a red suit, I thought I would take a break from the usual seriousness to espouse on a pet peeve of mine.

With tongue firmly in cheek, here goes.

Continue reading

Corporate Storytelling as Art: Sainsbury’s Hits a Home Run

WW1_Christmas_TruceYesterday, I saw it. For the first time this year. That’s right folks, Christmas lights! It seems that each year, the great engines of commerce fire up a little earlier to make the most out of the holiday season. Given the economy over the past five years, I can’t blame retailers for wanting to get an early start. And my biggest hope for this year is that it is the best we’ve seen in a long time.

Continue reading

A No-Nonsense Approach to Content Marketing

Create_More_ContentIn the world of strategic communications, some content marketing “gurus” running communications departments and agencies like to position themselves as knowing the “secrets” of content marketing, which they will introduce to you, The Client, if you’d just provide them with a budget and pay their fees. My advice to prospective clients is this: if you hear that from an agency or a marketing person, what you should do next is slam the door in their face, and put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign until they go away.

There are no “secrets” to content marketing. It starts with objectives, and a clear strategy. It requires a clear understanding of your story, your audience, your communications assets and how best to deliver them to your audiences. Here is a no-nonsense approach to creating an effective, coherent strategy. Don’t let an agency try to over complicate things as a way to sell you what you don’t need. Continue reading

Content Marketing Facts of Life

Content_Marketing_2Content marketing is enjoying a resurgence, and rightly so, as these days people are inundated with promotional messages, digital and social media advertising and noise. In an environment that is cluttered and filled with distractions, people want to connect on a deeper level with the companies, social organizations and products they choose to have in their lives. And it is in making that deeper connection–where you are really adding value to people’s lives–that content marketing, when done effectively, really stands out among marketing and communications disciplines. Continue reading

Content Marketing White Paper: SEO Myths to Leave Behind in 2014

The world of search engine optimization (SEO) has changed beyond all recognition. And for the better, I’m pleased to say. Because, thankfully, gone are the days when the “SEO Cowboys” at various agencies roamed free and preyed upon unsuspecting marketing directors, convincing them that they alone had the secret sauce that would boost Google search results and put them at the top of the list. Thanks to the smart people at Google, today search results are all about high quality content. Yet many myths about SEO refuse to die. That’s why we’ve partnered with HubSpot to bring you a free white paper, “17 SEO Myths You Should Leave Behind in 2014.” I encourage you to download it. You’ll find that there is a lot of useful information in there about the many changes in SEO best practices that have occured.
Continue reading