Sword and the Script

Reading: Why Librarians Make Good Content Marketers



by Frank Strong

Why Librarians Make Good Content Marketers

Reading: There’s no shame in taking care of an itch.

The more I read, the more I find it I have to read.  Here’s some goodies I’ve come across this week:

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What If Warren Buffett had a YouTube Channel?



by Frank Strong

Fortune 500 Blogs

34% of Fortune 500 companies have blogs, which means 66% do not.

Warren Buffett doesn’t have a YouTube channel.  Or more accurately, his company Berkshire Hathaway, doesn’t have a YouTube channel.  One might credibly argue, the holdings company, which has recently, if not oddly, gone on a strange buying binge of print newspapers, doesn’t have much of a website either.

The venerable Mr. Buffett apparently prefers the nostalgia, and perhaps information, of newspapers over cat videos.  And who can question him? Preferred stock in Berkshire Hathaway is trading for just shy of $180,000 per share. Can you imagine?

The holdings company is alone among the top 1o companies on the Fortune 500 list that does not have a YouTube channel. This is according to a report published by UMASS Dartmouth titled: 2013 Fortune 500 Are Bullish on Social Media.  The school’s Center for Marketing research has a long tenure of such studies, including this one on the Inc. 500.

Among the findings include: Read More…

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Book Review: 7 Takeaways from Jay Baer’s YOUtility



by Frank Strong

YOUtility-Jay-Baer

One audiobook that deserves a spot on your summer reading list.

Every now and again a book comes along with the potential to change minds.  Though I pour through dozens of books every year — often “cheating” by listening to audiobooks on long drives, those that really capture my mind are far and few between.  The audiobook YOUtiliy by Jay Baer however, is certainly time well spent.

He breaks down the concepts of content marketing with a simple elegance that crystallizes why this is so important.  It’s a style he’s perfected on his blog, Convince and Convert, and it came through in this work.  His mantra of “hype free” will not disappoint.

Whether you are a novice or an expert that already knows everything, I can promise that YOUtility will give you something to think about.  And here are my 7 take-aways. Read More…

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Why Google+ is a Better Place for Brands


Google+ for brands

Google+ is the #2 network according to eMarketer

by Frank Strong

“Google+ is like a gym,” began the Facebook status update. “Everyone joins it but only few use it. [sic]”

Lately, I’ve noticed people that make such broad statements have weak or little activity on the social network, but there’s little doubt it has grown.

Recently eMarketer published a post with a headline that stated Google+ had topped Twitter as the #2 social network in a survey of 2,500 U.S. Internet users conducted in March 2013:

The site had the second-highest number of account holders among both men and women, leading Twitter by approximately 10 percentage points for both genders. – eMarketer

Google+ hasn’t existed long enough to reach toddler status, yet the critics have already marked it as a failure. It’s amazing, really, because if a startup social network gained such traction it would be a media darling. However, since it’s Google, the standards, vague as those might be, are set higher. Invariably, it always returns to a Facebook comparison.

Read More…

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Two Marketing Vendors that Do a Bang Up Job with their Blogs


marketing vendor blogs

There’s only a couple of marketing vendor blogs that burn it up.

by Frank Strong

The challenge for a vendor selling tools to the marketing or PR space is that they’ve got to be experts.

Why is this such a challenge? This is because most vendors are technology companies first, which means they are people that may be good at writing code, but not necessarily great at marketing. It’s a law of nature that often gets overlooked by customers and prospective customers because the juxtaposition of tool and space is a powerful persuasive leap.

There are a dozen vendor blogs I read regularly — which means I check in on them about twice a week.  Of course, I manage a good old fashioned RSS reader (Netvibes is my preferred reader) so I’m continuously adding and removing vendor blogs to keep current. As of the moment, my list has vendors that make tools for blogging, SEO, email marketing, marketing automation, social media management, and a couple that pitch themselves as all-in-one.

Of this list, there are just two vendors that I think do a really bang up job with their blogs. Read More…

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Tapping White Space for Creative Blog Ideas


creative blog ideas

A handful of the audio books that are often the catalyst for creative ideas.

Everyone has their methods for coming up with blogging ideas — or in screwing up their blog strategy.

Some prefer a strict enforcement of an editorial calendar, while some prefer to simply wing it.  There’s a good case to be made on either side, but for me, what works best is a little of both:  dance like nobody’s watching and keep a running list of creative ideas.

That’s all fine and well, but the key is getting those ideas and the secret to that is to expose yourself to ideas:  reading, or better yet, listening.


A Shift in Information Consumption

There was a time when I devoured books…the printed kind. While I still keep many of them as references, my reading habits have largely shifted online.  Books are hard for me to get through these days, but I’ve discovered a little secret:  audio books and podcasts. Read More…

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The End of Free


The End of Free

The End of Free

by Frank Strong

Free.

It was a model championed by websites, let alone social networks, for nearly a decade. Offer a service for free, build the user base and then sell ads on the platform.

With the possibilities of the Net, Free was a disruptive model, that worked a bit like a forest fire:  it ignited, burned fast, but ultimately died of natural causes while also leaving fertile ground for new growth.

Napster arguablly set the conditions for .99 cent download on  iTunes. It costs us a $1.29 today. Perhaps $1.99 tomorrow.

“Ideas are the ultimate abundance commodity, which propagates at zero marginal cost,” wrote Chris Anderson in his book Free. Anderson was right.  But he was also wrong.  Free is a lifecycle. Read More…

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Spam Two Saturday: Louis Vuitton and What?


Spam Two Saturday

You will die if you try to consume spam like this. Photo credit: Flickr

I’m starting a new series about spam comments.  As this blog has grown, the bad PR pitches — from my peers I might add — has grown exponentially.  So too have the spam comments.

The difference? Spam emails are a hot button but spam comments are humor. Because spam comments are captured in Akismet I can review them at my leisure…when I need a chuckle.

Here’s the Spam Two Saturday: Read More…

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Autotweets Are Not Comparable to TV or Radio Ads


autotweets, schedule tweets

Photo credit: Flickr

There’s a debate over autotweets, or scheduled tweets during times of tragedy

This post kicked it off: Guy Kawasaki is too ‘popular’ to stop autotweets during Boston bombings. This post reinforced the point, with kinder language, but with words that bite: A Letter To Those Of You With 1,500 Twitter Followers Or Fewer.

And we’re off.  Knock down.  Drag out.  Online scrap.  It’s not productive.

The point of the post?

While the news about the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon was just being broken, and for several hours afterwards, most companies shut down their promotional efforts on Twitter and other social media.

Most people and organizations rightly came to the conclusion that to continue to hawk their wares while a national tragedy was unfolding (and people were using Twitter to get and exchange news) was a little insensitive, to say the least.

Most brands stopped. And while I generally dislike the term “personal branding” because I believe within a company — that is a team environment — it is divisive  some people have become brands. In a company, this means there’s an inverse correlation between productivity and ego.   Read More…

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Three Observations the Morning After Tragedy


Thinking of Boston.

Thinking of Boston.

by Frank Strong

I first heard about it on Facebook.  A friend had posted this link to The Atlantic. Initially, the article simply had a couple lines of text and a few screenshots of tweets.  The site has since updated it to provide more complete coverage.

Senseless killing. Tragic. Incomprehensible.

My first reaction was: this is terrorism.  The last time we had a terrorist attack we went to war for a decade. In fact, we are still fighting it.  However, it’s worth noting, before 9/11, the predominant form of terrorism was from domestic lunatics, like the duo from Oklahoma City.

As of the time of this writing, no suspects have been identified and officials have simply said, they currently do not know. Read More…

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