Creating content simply because you (or your boss) think you should will keep your site or blog or Twitter feed full but may not satisfy your readers. Frank Reed, owner of FT Internet Marketing, argues that it’s more important to create content your readers actually look forward to receiving.
Statistically speaking, the number of people who really look forward to your next installment likely represents only a fraction of your total traffic. But Rich notes, that fraction comprises the true believers, the true fans – think the 80/20 rule.
But they tend to be overlooked in the drumbeat to peg SEO goals – which is a sure way to squelch their interest. “They are your most valuable customers yet they are sacrificed in most marketers’ attempts to get bigger numbers rather than a better (albeit smaller in many cases) audience of true fans,” Rich writes.
So, Rich says, hone your content creation to cultivate that loyal fan base. “The old axiom of ‘Quality beats quantity every time’ holds true in the content world as well,” Rich concludes.

At Hammock we work with clients to create content that works–content that solves specific business challenges. But how do we know what content will work for each client? There are some universal content marketing rules to follow, as Rex points out in his “Content That Works” series, but sometimes learning what not to do is just as helpful to guiding strategy decisions.
Here are five areas where sees marketers make mistakes when it comes to their content marketing plans:

How do you view your newsletter—whether e-mail or print? Do you see it as separate from your website? If so, you’re potentially overlooking a huge opportunity to maximize your content marketing impact, says Newt Barrett on
In his post, Barrett shares seven ways to get more for your newsletter buck. Depending on your business, all seven of his ideas might not apply, but on his list are a few must-dos to make your newsletter work harder for you:

  • Link each newsletter story to a page on your website. “You want your readers to find their way easily to your online home so they can discover lots more about your company, its products and its people,” he says.
  • Be sure to make RSS feeds available for your newsletter and for all of your web content. “This is an easy and free way of syndicating your news stories that will extend your newsletter subscriber base dramatically,” Newt says.
  • Be sure each article integrates social media sharing capabilities. “If you’re lucky, a great article may go viral and be spread across the web by enthusiasts who value and want to share your content,” he says.”

Valentine’s Day is over, but if you’re looking for a good content marketing strategy, you could probably take a few lessons from the best Valentine’s cards and gifts you’ve received through the years. According to the Idea Launch blog, effective content marketing is like a valentine. It is:
•Keeps things fresh and exciting
•Thoughtful and considerate
Your blog, e-mail newsletter or Web site can be well-written and come with the best “packaging” in the world, but remember: If it doesn’t have heart and connect with the audience, you won’t make an impact.

Your customers are busy. Preoccupied and stressed. They feel the strain of the economy. Despite the many distractions they face, you have to find a way to successfully connect with them. The key to that connection is content–but not just any content. By creating relevant, engaging and informational content you will find that not only will your prospects become customers, but also that you will build loyalty with your existing customers.

Are your content marketing efforts hitting a wall? Does it seem like your e-mail blasts and newsletters disappear into cyberspace? Do your carefully crafted Tweets, status updates and posts feel like a waste of time?
The truth is converting content into cash is easy, but it takes getting into the skin of your readers and winning their trust and friendship. Here are secrets on how to do this from online business blogger Dan Ohis:

Whether it be for the blogs we maintain or the magazines we publish, we get lots of press releases and “pitches” at Hammock, so we appreciated — and wanted to pass along — these tips for online publicity from writer Lindsay Robertson. Her post goes into detail on each one, but here are the highlights:

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I can remember watching political conventions from gavel-to-gavel as a child. In hindsight, I’m sure that wasn’t a common behavior for someone in elementary school. But, I must admit, it has provide me with a tremendous backlog of political trivia I carry around in my brain.

At Hammock, we’ve got plenty of political junkies who watch debates and channel surf during the conventions. And while we have supporters of both parties on our staff, we tend to be equal-time observers when it comes to learning how the different campaigns reach out and embrace their supporters.

I recommend to anyone who is in a field involving relationship marketing to sign up for e-mail from both the Obama and McCain campaigns. It is fascinating to observe their use of e-mail, video and a wide array of online conversational tools. In 2004, the Presidential campaigns online were all about the introduction of blogging and the organization of meetup types of events. This year, it is fascinating to see how willing the campaigns are to try new tools and approaches.

This year, the way the Internet is being used is as historic as some of those conventions I saw when I was a youngster.

Email marketing continues to be a powerful part of most companies’ strategies, but many factors can contribute to the success of an email program (text vs. email, time of day, day of the week, etc). It can be overwhelming at times to pinpoint the ideal email for your organization, and testing different combinations is often necessary.
The good news is that the London company Alchemy Worx has solved one piece of the email puzzle for us—subject line length. According to their research, response rates are highest when the subject lines are in the 50-character range or 80-character range, but they fall in the middle when the length is 60 or 70 characters. To increase open rates, keep these magic numbers in mind next time before you click send.