We keep learning all the time, in many different ways: The key to success for any collaborative project is to start out with a clear understanding of the objectives.
And the more complex or important a project is, having a common understanding of what the objectives are and knowing the hierarchy of those objectives (from “most important” to “least”), is the best way to help make sure you get it done.

If you need any more convincing that great online content telling your story’s brand or describing the importance of your service is an essential form of marketing, consider this. According to a recent survey from Pew Research, almost 60 percent of U.S. adults say they conduct research online about products and services they are considering purchasing or using. Don’t miss your opportunity to connect with this group of existing customers and prospects by having an online content marketing strategy in place that ensures your site is easy to find and is rich with the type of content researchers are looking for.

Wausau Paper, one of the leading producers of paper in the country, has named Rex’s Rexblog.com to their top 10 list of blogs for printers and publishers. Here is what Wausau Paper’s blogger Patrick Henry wrote about Rexblog:
Rex Hammock started a custom publishing company in 1991. His focus as a blogger is content as it’s deployed across the full spectrum of publishing media—a concept that many printers and publishers, tied mostly to one medium, are still struggling to understand. Hammock is a prolific poster who has taken maximum advantage of the self-promotional tools now available to bloggers. His links (“Rex Connections”) are worth a visit to the site by themselves.

Content marketing is part of the marketing mix for nine out of 10 B2B marketers, but these same marketers are uncertain about the effectiveness of these channels. These findings are part of the recent “B2B Content Marketing: 2010 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” report developed by MarketingProfs and Junta42. The report identified that marketers are facing a confidence gap—between the content marketing tactics they employ and their ability to measure their effectiveness. While 79 percent of marketers surveyed are using social media tactics (excluding blogs), only 31 percent of those who use social media tactics rate the tactic as effective.

In most cases, a client’s website plays a big role in their overall content strategy. But how many companies take the time to think about the goals of their website and how they fit within their overall content marketing strategy? Not many, based on our experience. The good news is that it’s never too late to stop and rethink the purpose of your website.
Patsi Krakoff, content marketing specialist and co-founder of The Blog Squad, shares recommendations for five content marketing goals for websites:

Custom publishing has changed significantly since Rex created Hammock Inc. 19 years ago. While the “custom” part remains, “custom content” rather than “custom publishing” is a more accurate way to describe what we do and the work we create for our clients. Custom content is published in print, online, on websites or via social media. The platforms and the methods of distribution and syndication are varied based on the goals of our clients.

This week the Custom Content Council (CCC) along with its magazine ContentWise released their 10th annual “Characteristics Study: A Look at the Volume and Type of Content Marketing in America for 2010.” In addition to covering print media usage and spending, this year the study included questions about marketers’ use of digital media as part of their content marketing efforts. Here are some of the highlights from the report:

It’s impossible not to get hooked on Zillow.com. The site provides historical data on housing purchasing prices and allows you, with a few clicks, to discover not only what your neighbor paid for his house, but also the purchase price of every house on your block. You can further feed your curiosity with the “Zestimate” feature, which provides an estimate on the value of your house today. It’s not hard to see why its site traffic last month was more than 10 million unique monthly visitors.

Did you know that the average visitor to your website spends less than two minutes on each page? So you better get to your point—and fast. Writing for the web is different from writing for print, and so it’s important you adapt your content for those who skim, because the reality is that most of your visitors will only scan your content, rather than read it word for word. Ginny Redish’s book “Letting Go of the Words,” focuses on how to create content that will “answer people’s questions and let them get on with their lives.”

“I want a magazine.” “I want a blog.” “I want a newsletter.” Those are some of the most common needs expressed to us by new clients. More often than not, clients come to us with the media they want already in mind.
Rather than immediately moving forward, we prefer to start the process with a conversation about a client’s content marketing goals, then let those goals guide a custom media platform selection. We’re looking for the platforms that will work most efficiently, rather than the trendiest or flashiest. We won’t recommend a client invest in a custom magazine, for example, until we are clear about what he or she wants the magazine to do. With such an array of media choices to choose from, we realize the decision can be difficult. That’s why we draw on our years of experience—and tons of research—to craft the most appropriate media for each client.