Can’t see the video? Click here: Business Book review – Content Rules
If you’re a content producer of any flavour, you need to read Content Rules by CC Chapman and Ann Handley.
If you’ve read part of this book, perhaps the first chapter through Amazon or the like, and dismissed it as more fluff and cheerleading over content marketing – you obviously didn’t read the entire book.
If you’ve read the entire book, and haven’t done anything with the massive volume of information in it, you’re obviously missing the boat.
Content Rules is making me reconsider some of my personal content strategy.
It’s also making me rethink the advice I give to clients – not only about blogging, but about creating other content as well. I’ve never produced a podcast, written an eBook or a white paper, or created a Webinar. I’ve done video – as above – but I’m not the best at it yet.
The Skinny on the Book: You need to diversify your content.
As I said in the video – barriers to entry for business on the web are falling at an alarming rate. It’s easy enough to set up a Blogger or a WordPress.com blog – or even a simple WordPress.org website and start tossing up content about your business. Getting images on the web is really easy with Flickr, Picasa and other photo sharing services. The ease of use of current web tools have made the idea of “having a website” more of a stepping stone than a destination for most businesses.
And, when everyone’s got something, how does getting that thing help your business? It doesn’t – unless you’re using it better, and doing more interesting things with the tool.
By all means – get a good looking website, have a great design, match your web branding to your other branding. These are givens. What isn’t yet a given (meaning you can win if you do it) is having better content than your closest competitor. Having a more interesting blog, better videos, more engaging webinars, and more entertaining and informational ebooks and white papers.
Building a business position on the web involves some consideration.
Not every tool in this book will help you in every aspect of your content marketing work – some businesses just aren’t right for webinars, or white papers. Some are perfect for it. What Content Rules will help you do is identify which cases fit which content type, and what to do with the content you’re producing to make it more effective in those perfect-fit cases.
The Skinny on The Authors: Why you should care about them.
C.C. Chapman has been doing content work for a number of years – he’s produced a variety of podcasts, worked on interactive marketing campaigns, and delivered some great talks. If there’s a better advocate for content marketing and strategic content creation, I don’t know who they are.
But wait – there’s also Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at Marketing Profs, who produce a massive volume of information aimed at helping marketers do a better job on the web. Ann’s a fantastic resource for content marketing information on her own – nothing said of Marketing Profs as a group. The online seminars they produce are some of the best available, and everything from their blog to their ebooks shines as examples of content done right.
I’ll be keeping Content Rules as a reference book – and I think every web content producer ought to have their own copy as well.
Content Rules is part of the Connected Commerce 101 Book List
A few months ago, I built a social media study curriculum called Connected Commerce 101. Content Rules is part of that curriculum, in the section on New Media Production and Publishing. The books I mentioned in the review video are also all part of Connected Commerce 101 – check out the book list, more reviews will follow to fill out the remainder of the list and – of course – if you have any recommendations to add to the course (or, which might become part of a new course), send them my way by way of comment on either this blog post, or on the Connected Commerce 101 page itself.