[Part 1 of a Series: See: Introduction. See: Links to other posts in this series.]
Business people do lots of things on the internet other than read or watch or listen to content. So when I say that only two kinds of content matter to them, I don’t mean web-based applications and email.
I mean the kind of content we typically think of as news and information and advertising and the stuff now called “post-advertising” — the kind of content that marketing people and journalists and bloggers and Twitter users create and add to the internet. The kind of content that companies hand over millions of dollars to Google so that business people will click through to see it.
I’ve given these two kinds of content that matter most to business customers the following names:

The following are links to a series of posts written by Hammock founder Rex Hammock in which he explores the various kinds of content that is being used by companies, associations, and other organizations and institutions to build stronger relationships with their customers, members, etc.
The posts also examine ways in which different types of content and different communications channels and platforms can work independently or in a complementary, integrated fashion to help companies reach specific business objectives.

[See also: Table of Contents for this series.]
Over the coming months, I will be writing a series of posts that focus on the role of “content” in how companies and customers connect with one-another. (Of course, when I say “companies,” I also mean associations and governments and churches and schools and candidates. And when I say “customers,” I also mean members and alumni and supporters, etc.) But first, I thought I’d provide an introduction.

I’ve been in several meetings with marketers recently in which one person at the table will say something like “our digital strategy” and then, in a few moments, someone else at the table will start talking about “our internet strategy.” Now you may think “digital” and “internet” mean the same thing, but consider this: If two people are having a conversation and there is a word that could be interpreted two ways, then the chances are one-in-four that they will understand what each other means.*

(A similar post appeared on RexBlog this morning, but I wanted to share it here, as well.)
This morning, I ran across one that is not only interesting — it’s inspiring. It’s inspiring because it underscores the dramatic opportunities that exist when a content company doesn’t let its legacy get in the way of its opportunity.

The word content today means many things: Writing, photography, video, illustrations, design, interactive games, apps and data. Content can refer to a wide variety of media, also, from beautiful coffee-table magazines to how-to videos appearing on the web.
Because marketers are discovering that the difference between success and failure is often the quality, strategy and measurement of an organization’s content, we’ve decided to more clearly define our services by using the term “content marketing” to stress the solutions and support we can provide our clients.

Is your company doing a good job executing your content marketing strategy? Are you struggling to find the resources to carry out all of your plans? Are you unsure about whether your content strategy is effective?
Today companies who provide relevant and engaging content for their customers and prospects are positioning themselves ideally to retain and attract new sales. That’s why it’s not a surprise that according to the results of the recent Junta42 Content Marketing Spending Survey, content marketing accounts for one out of every three marketing dollars spent. Having a content marketing strategy is important, but execution is key. Here are five tips on how to improve your content marketing implementation from interactive marketing strategist Heidi Cohen:

Still relying on old forms of media to get the word out about your business? If so, your content marketing strategy needs an update.
The mindset of prospective customers and buyers is evolving, says content marketing blogger Bernie Borges. An integrated approach of old and new is needed to get this audience to fully connect with your brand.
So, what exactly would such an approach look like? It could mean forging ahead with a brick-and-mortar trade show, while using blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube to engage an audience before, during and after the event. (Hammock managed a similar old/new media blending with Association Media & Publishing last year.)
For more practical ways to take these old media formats–phone, print ad, tradeshows and direct mail–and convert them to new media marketing, read more of Borges’ article here.

A recent Deloitte & Touche study found that 75 percent of consumers in the U.S. think of Internet ads as intrusive, and some estimates say that more than 90 percent of Internet advertising is totally ignored.
So what’s a company to do to get their message out online?
Adotas says that a good content strategy may be the way to go:

“More and more marketers are re-allocating some of their interactive advertising budget to create articles, posts, tweets, videos, contests, social networking pages and other content to engage customers in an ongoing dialogue — informing and entertaining them instead of marketing ‘at’ them.”

Written and Doodled by Rex

Earlier this summer, at the annual conference of our client, Association Media & Publishing, I enjoyed a presentation on “visual thinking” by Dan Roam, author of the best-selling book, Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures. As you can see in the photo on the right, I got into the spirit of the presentation and took notes about his presentation on the back of a napkin — more on that in a minute.

At Hammock, we’re constantly challenging ourselves — and the photographers, illustrators and videographers with whom we work — to tell stories visually, not just to think of their work as something to support the words in our stories. It’s true what they say about pictures and a thousand words — but for some reason, people don’t feel comfortable with trying to solve problems and develop strategies with pictures.