Why Content Marketers Need Editors

By Stefanie Flaxman

I’m good at math.

If you looked at my standardized test results from when I was back in school, you’d see I scored very high in math and very low in verbal.

And yet, today I’m a professional writer and editor.

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.

Sort of. Your content needs to quickly communicate what your audience wants and needs, so my natural abilities are actually the perfect fit for content marketing.

You probably possess some of these editing skills too, so let’s examine how you can use them to become a discerning content marketer.

Turning a “weakness” into a strength

Most of my English tests in high school weren’t adorned with those coveted “A” grades because timed exams to test reading comprehension didn’t fit my reading style.

I read text passages slowly, studied each word carefully, and analyzed how the writer could have presented his or her message more clearly.

It’s no surprise I’d run out of time before I finished every question. (It’s okay, 16-year-old Stefanie. The future looks bright for you.)

My poor test scores could have convinced me that the English language and reading comprehension were my weaknesses, but instead, I turned my way of reading into a career.

We’re in The Editor Age

The title of this interview on Contently’s The Content Strategist says it all: ‘You Need Editors, Not Brand Managers’: Marketing Legend Seth Godin on the Future of Branded Content.

When asked how he’d build a brand media property, Godin replied that brands often opt for playing it safe rather than thinking, “How can we be more interesting?”

Then, Godin concluded:

That’s not what happens when you want to make a hit TV show or a website that people care about. You need editors, not brand managers, who will push the envelope to make the thing go forward.

Editors produce enjoyable content

“Enjoyable content” sounds a bit weak, doesn’t it? It’s less serious than “effective content” or “content that produces business results.”

But enjoyable content is a prerequisite if you want your content to be effective.

Editors produce the right content experiences with refined messages that help meet your business goals. This meaningful content gives your ideal prospect an enjoyable experience that produces results.

For example, I enjoy painting, but I don’t always have time to paint on canvas, so I frequently paint my nails. It’s relatively quick, and I get to display my work every day for as long as the manicure lasts.

Essie is my favorite nail polish brand and the company’s YouTube channel has a collection of nail art tutorials. To communicate a persuasive message, each concise video required a focused vision and intentional refining.

Here’s a tutorial that has more than one-million views:

Every aspect of the video also forms a seamless call to action — the instructive lesson makes you want to buy the products used in the tutorial so you can try the look yourself.

That is enjoyable content for a nail polish lover. I watched a number of Essie tutorials while researching this article and now have a long list of new colors I’m going to buy. 😉

8 steps to become a content marketing editor

“Egregious grammar errors make your content confusing and typos are distracting,” said Captain Obvious.

There’s more to becoming an editor than aiming to produce error-free content.

Here are eight steps that will help bring your inner editor to the surface during your content creation and production process:

  1. Research. Your content marketing strategy begins with research. In addition to optimizing your chances of connecting with your target audience, research is also the foundation of captivating content. It helps you stand out with unique ideas your audience won’t find elsewhere.
  2. Prepare. I prefer preparing over planning because it allows for more flexibility when unforeseen circumstances arise. If you’re prepared, you can easily adapt. Editors prepare their content schedules in advance and adjust them as needed.
  3. Write. Synthesize your research into a cohesive presentation, whether it’s an article, podcast, or video. “Don’t try to do too much” is my favorite writing advice. While first drafts are certainly the place to let your ideas run wild, stay focused on the message you need to communicate.
  4. Delete. Remove repetitive and excessive content. In the Essie nail art tutorial above, only essential information made the final cut. For example, our guide, Rita Remark, didn’t distract viewers with statistics about how many people give themselves manicures each year. That information doesn’t directly match the video topic or serve viewers.
  5. Push. In the video above, Rita explains that the argyle print she’s creating is composed of diamond shapes. Take a closer look at the bookcase in the background. Notice anything? Yep, it has diamond-shaped compartments. The producers of this video pushed themselves creatively beyond a standard plain background to construct a complete experience for viewers.
  6. Refine. Once your content is complete, how can you make it sharper? Is there a more succinct phrase you could use, or do you need to explain a point with more details? To address a possible concern, about halfway through the nail art tutorial, Rita reassures the viewer, “This may look difficult, but don’t be scared. It just takes a little practice.”
  7. Polish. I’m not talking about nail polish this time! Grammar and spelling lovers rejoice; this is the step where you check for mistakes — large and small. Dedicate time to fact-checking (even if you think you already did) and hold every aspect of your content up to professional standards.
  8. Publish. You don’t have the chance to make a positive impression on your ideal prospects until you release the content you create. Confident editors have overcome the false security of perfectionism and publish their best efforts. They simply stay vigilant about possible ways to improve in the future.

Present a refined message to your audience

Think like an editor to become a more persuasive content marketer.

And, as you adopt the perspective of an editor who critically evaluates every aspect of his content, recognize your opportunity to take any supposed “weakness” you have and turn it into your winning difference.

What do you do differently that you can harness as a strength?

Additional reading

About the author

Stefanie Flaxman

Stefanie Flaxman is Rainmaker Digital’s Editor-in-Chief.

The post Why Content Marketers Need Editors appeared first on Copyblogger.

Source: Copy Blogger

    

Celebrating the New Year with Twitter

By Andrew Hutchinson Excitement’s building, anticipation’s rising. A new year is only hours away. And if you’re like a great many social media users, you’ll no doubt turn to Twitter to share your best wishes and get a sense for the global celebration. Twitter sees massive fluctuations on New Year’s, and this year, they’ve introduced a seasonal emoji to help people welcome in 2016.

Source: Social Media Today

    

how can we create partials in active admin for index panel

By Mukesh

I want to create a partials to render some data in index panel for different namespaces for DRY

I am currently writing

 index do
    render 'index', user: :user    
 end
//_index.html.arb
column :id
column 'Customer Name', :name
column :mobile
column :recipient_number    
column :cash_in_hand do |customer|
  number_to_currency(customer.cash_in_hand, unit: "u20B9", precision: 2)
end
column "Due Balance" do |customer|      
  number_to_currency(customer.due_balance, unit: "u20B9", precision: 2)
end
actions

Source: Stack Overflow

    

Swift — Need to click and drag a UIImageView inside a Custom TableView Cell

By Rick Segrest

I am trying to create a custom TableViewController with a custom UITableViewCell class. I need to be able to drag and drop a photo inside the cell to a panel at the bottom of the view. I have tried a few ways to do this, but I am running into a couple of problems and haven’t found a complete solution online:

First of all, after dragging and dropping I would like to return the UIImage view to the cell it came from.

Secondly, I am not able to cast a ‘view’ to my custom UITableViewClass outside the ‘cellForRowAtIndexPath’ method (so I will have access to the outlets I have set up.)

Here is my relevant code:

override func tableView(tableView: UITableView, cellForRowAtIndexPath indexPath: NSIndexPath) -> UITableViewCell {
    let thisCell:MealPlanTableViewCell = tableView.dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier("mealPlanCell", forIndexPath: indexPath) as! MealPlanTableViewCell

    let meal = mealPlanElementArray[indexPath.row]

    thisCell.postTextLabel.text = meal.2
    thisCell.foodImageView.image = meal.4

    let gesture = UIPanGestureRecognizer(target: self, action: Selector("wasDragged:"))
    thisCell.foodImageView.addGestureRecognizer(gesture)
    thisCell.foodImageView.userInteractionEnabled = true

    return thisCell
}

func wasDragged(gesture: UIPanGestureRecognizer) {
    if calendarIsUp == calendarIsUp {
        let meal = gesture.view! as! UIImageView
        let sview = gesture.view!.superview!.superview!
        // CAN'T DO THE FOLLOWING -- CAN'T CAST TO CUSTOM CELL
        let mptvc:MealPlanTableViewCell = gesture.view!.superview!.superview! as! MealPlanTableViewCell

        if beginningDrag == true
        {


            beginningDrag = false

            // Move
            meal.superview?.superview?.superview?.superview?.superview?.superview?.superview?.addSubview(meal)

            beforeDragX = (meal.center.x)
            beforeDragY = (meal.bounds.maxY)

        }
        let translation = gesture.translationInView(self.view)

        meal.center = CGPoint(x: beforeDragX + translation.x, y: beforeDragY + translation.y)


        if gesture.state == UIGestureRecognizerState.Ended {

            beginningDrag = true
            // NEED TO ADD BACK TO custom UITableViewCell class.
            sview.addSubview(meal)
            meal.center = CGPoint(x: beforeDragX, y: beforeDragY)

        }
    }

Thanks for the help…

Source: Stack Overflow

    

Could Trump Actually Win the 2016 US Presidential Election? An Analysis of Social Media Data

By Andrew Hutchinson Could Donald Trump really become the next US President? Using social media data and previously published academic research, we can get some sense of that possibility – and the results show he probably could, and probably is winning at the moment.

Source: Social Media Today

    

Are You Creating Meaningful Content?

By Brian Clark

Everyone’s creating all this online content, but does it matter?

More importantly, are you accomplishing your goals with the content you deliver, or are you simply spinning your wheels?

Well, if you’re doing it right, your content is highly effective and tightly tied to your ultimate business objectives. Otherwise, you’re just filling up space on an ignored web page.

Content marketing is the most effective and lucrative form of online marketing, because it not only works, it also builds a media asset at the same time. So it makes sense to understand exactly what makes content effective, right?

The key is meaning.

Effective content is meaningful

The simple definition of content marketing is giving away valuable information in order to sell something related.

Value is a function of perception. You want the people you’re trying to reach to perceive your content as valuable, even if people you’re not trying to reach perceive it as worthless.

This is an important point, even though it seems simplistic.

The snarling enemy of meaningful content is the urge to water it down for the lowest common denominator, in hope to either:

  • (A) Reach an unreasonably mass audience, or
  • (B) Not offend anyone

The result of that approach is content that means very little to anyone.

Meaningful content is an experience

As Sonia Simone has discussed over the years:

Content (what you say) without copywriting (how you say it) can be a complete waste of otherwise valuable information. But no matter how you say it, what you say has to have meaning to the right people.

Meaning is a function of what people believe before you find them. What people believe is how they view the world, and your content has to frame that view appropriately to be effective.

As a function of belief, meaning is derived from the context in which your desired audience views your content. From there, your content has to provoke a desirable reaction.

For example:

  1. Content: 10 Tips for More Productive Writing
  2. Context: Your ideal prospect believes productive writing is important
  3. Reaction: Your ideal prospect believes he can now write more efficiently

While everything we perceive is technically an experience, experiences begin to become meaningful at the reaction stage. It’s at that point that your content is good.

But is it great (meaning highly effective)?

No.

Meaningful experiences involve action

A higher grade of experience involves active participation from that ideal prospect. So, beyond the belief that your advice is beneficial, your ideal prospect actually acts on your advice.

  1. Content: 10 Tips for More Productive Writing
  2. Context: Your ideal prospect believes productive writing is important
  3. Reaction: Your ideal prospect believes he can now write more efficiently
  4. Action: Your ideal prospect implements your productivity tips

The action taken can vary. It can be acting directly on your advice, sharing your content, buying your software that helps implement the advice, buying your book for more details, or hiring you as a personal productivity coach.

At this point, your content is truly meaningful and truly aligned with your objectives. There’s only one level that’s better.

The content holy grail: results

What’s better than action? It’s action that leads to beneficial results.

Now, this won’t happen with every piece of content. In fact, it’s safer to say that reader (or viewer or listener) results happen thanks to the totality of the story you tell over time.

But let’s look at it in its simplest form:

  1. Content: 10 Tips for More Productive Writing
  2. Context: Your ideal prospect believes productive writing is important
  3. Reaction: Your ideal prospect believes he can now write more efficiently
  4. Action: Your ideal prospect implements your productivity tips
  5. Result: Your ideal prospect is a more productive writer

It doesn’t matter whether or not you know about these results — you’ve now earned a true fan. Odds are, a true fan is going to tell someone.

That’s the fantastic last part of a cycle that repeats itself over and over in social media, all thanks to content marketing.

And all the while, you’re building a media asset on your own domain that has independent value beyond the cash flow you pull in every month.

You are building that asset, right?

Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on January 12, 2011.

About the author

Brian Clark

Brian Clark is CEO of Rainmaker Digital, founder of Copyblogger, host of Unemployable, and evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform.

The post Are You Creating Meaningful Content? appeared first on Copyblogger.

Source: Copy Blogger