Leaving Out Information – The Creative Elegance Manifesto

What do In-and-Out Burger, the Mona Lisa and the Sopranos have in common? Not an easy one, eh? Well for one, they are all featured in ChangeThis‘ latest manifesto. They are also all consciously missing bits of information.We’re examining today a manifesto called Creative Elegance. This eBook written by Matthew E. May surprisingly examines how missing information and empty spaces can creatively tell a story and engage the reader into a thought process.

Conventional wisdom says that to be successful, an idea must be concrete, complete, and certain. But what if that’s wrong?

Indeed, what if this is wrong? It is certainly not common to include unfinished thoughts into a document, especially a white paper. You may wonder: Will my readers think I was too lazy to complete my project? Well this concern is a valid one. Leaving out information needs to be a conscious decision that was carefully thought-of by the creator. This is not a time-saving measure! Indeed, letting out information means that you have figured out somehow what the outcome of your thought-process is. Actually, you are removing information in order for your readers to come up with their own conclusions or alternatives. Still, it is your job to bring your readers to that point.

A great piece of art is composed not just of what is in the final piece, but equally what is not. It is the discipline to discard what does not fit—to cut out what might have already cost days or even years of effort—that distinguishes the truly exceptional artist and marks the ideal piece of work, be it a symphony, a novel, a painting, a company, or most important of all, a life.

The unusually simple yet surprisingly powerful nature of any elegant this or that gives us pause, and the impact changes our view of things, often forever. Elegance delivers the power to cut through the noise. It can shake markets. It can change minds, and mindsets, as you’ve just witnessed.

Matthew E. May cleverly explains throughout the manifestos how leaving out information is an effective way to capture and empower your reader. He examines the examples of The Sopranos’ ending, In-and-Out Burger in California and the work of Leonardo Da Vinci among others. Ever wondered why the smile of the Mona Lisa is so captivating? According to May, the painting technique used by Da Vinci (called sfumato) blurs lines and edges, adding mystery and, well, life to objects and people. By consciously integrating vagueness and removing details from his work, Da Vinci created intrigue and fascination. The Mona Lisa remains a curious mystery still being studied and examined centuries after its creation.

Would you dare applying these techniques to your next white paper? Would this make any sense within your practice?

The Content Marketers – List of Lists – Part 2

This is the third installment of Content Marketing lists for the month of May. The first installment was The Content Marketers – List of ‘How To’ Blog Posts, and the second installment was The Content Marketers – List of Lists – Part 1.

There is a treasure trove of information in these lists on how to attract customers with good content. I separated the list into three sections:

  • The first section was a roundup of insights into how to leverage Content Marketing for your business – The Content Marketers – List of Lists – Part 1
  • The second section is a list of blog posts on how to attract customers with good content (Published in this blog post)
  • The third section is an assorted list of blog posts related to Content Marketing (Published in this blog post)

How to attract customers with good content

This section is a roundup of insights into how to attract customers with good content. There are many valuable lessons in these blog posts to leverage for creating and marketing white papers and eBooks. Below each blog post, I have outlined one key takeaway from the blog post that is relevant for creating and marketing whitepapers or eBooks.

3 Steps to Initiating a Successful Online Content Marketing Program

How do you provide valuable content that educates readers yet also works to bring in new business? Patsi Krakoff discuss Denise Wakeman’s response to these questions in 3 Ways to Write Content that Brings In Business

Lesson

When creating white papers, connect with your reader and get them to move to a deeper experience. For example, have them try out a demo or do some number crunching on your online ROI(Return on Investment) Calculator for your product.

Everything You Need to Know About Creating Killer Content in 3 Simple Words 

What three words to keep in mind so that anything you publish will get attention and action? Demian Farnworth shares his insights in Everything You Need to Know About Creating Killer Content in 3 Simple Words

Lesson

There are three tips from Demian Farnworth that are applicable to writing white papers. Be Comprehensible, Concise and Compelling in your writing.

Master the 4 Cs of Quality Content to Create Sparkling Results

What are the 4 C’s of content quality? Sonia Simone discusses this in Master 4 C’s of Quality Content to Create Sparkling Results

Lesson

Effective content must be absolutely clear if it’s going to persuade. Clear, straightforward writing allows your brilliant ideas to shine more clearly. The more focussed your content is, the easier your material is to find, to read and to act on.

Six Benefits of an Integrated Content Strategy

What can a marketer do during times of reduced budgets and nervous consumers? Heidi Cohen answers this questions in Six Benefits of an Integrated Content Strategy and Nine Content Formats to Consider.

Lesson

Customers seek out product-related information before purchase to refine their buying options and after buying to aid and improve usage. Provide appropriate white papers for these different phases.

10 Big Content Marketing Lessons in Get Content. Get Customers.

Newt Barrett covers the 10 Big Content Marketing Lessons in Get Content. Get Customers. Book Get Content. Get Customers

Lesson

Relevant and valuable content is just the first step in turning a prospect or visitor into a customer. You must then make it easy for them to buy. Your white paper should get your prospect interested in your product or service. You should have an appropriate
call-for-action in the white paper to guide your prospect to the next step in the buying process.

42 Content Building Ways to Attract and Retain Customers

How do you create content that will grow your business? Joe Pulizzi discusses this in
42 Content Building Ways to Attract and Retain Customers

Lesson

Create a white paper series. Do research on your customers’ informational needs. Create an ongoing program of thought leadership content. Case studies also help give your customers an idea of your business offering’s value proposition.

Assorted list of posts related to Content Marketing

This section is a roundup of assorted posts related to Content Marketing.

5 Ways to Distribute Your Content for Free


 How can distribute your content so that it won’t cost you anything at all? Joy Duling shares her ideas in 5 Ways to Distribute Your Content for Free.

Lesson

Find several ways of promoting your business by distributing your white papers on blogs, relevant social networking sites and online publications where your prospects and customers go for their informational needs.

Article Marketing Bootcamp: 5 Tips for Creating Content

Soni Pitts shares a list of inspirations and idea sparkers to help you build a large library of article marketing goodness. Article Marketing Bootcamp: 5 Tips for Creating Content.

Lesson

In your white papers, create Top Ten lists and check lists of information that your prospects and customers will find useful. How-to or other instructional articles are easy to write and very valuable to your prospects and customers.

Six Ways to Get People to Say “Yes”

One of the key goals of Content Marketing is to Persuade the reader. Dean Rieck describes lessons from Robert B. Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion in his post Six Ways to Get People to Say “Yes”

Lesson

Leverage principles of Psychology in your Content Marketing. Read more about Influence and Persuasion: How to Trigger the “Yes” Response .

Six Strategies for Keeping Content Fresh

How do you ensure that your content is up to date and relevant to your customers? Read Joe Pulizzi’s Six Strategies for Keeping Content Fresh.

Lesson

Develop at least one “non-sales” white paper or research project per quarter specifically targeting your customers/prospects biggest problem. Position yourself as a thought leader and be the trusted business partner that your customers are looking for. Showcase your white papers on your website and at other blogs and online publications where your customers go to for their informational needs.

7 Top Content Marketing Guides

Terry Dean has a round up of articles at 7 Top Content Marketing Guides.

Lesson

Learn about Content Marketing from Terry Dean’s great compilation of Content Marketing posts.

10 Ways To Put Your Content In Front Of More People

Paul Boag says the website is a tool to showcase our content, but it is not the only tool that does this. Read more of Paul Boag’s thoughts at 10 Ways To Put Your Content In Front Of More People.

Lesson

Leverage multi media and social media to get your content out to more prospects and customers.

Top 10 Reasons Why Great Content Fails on Social Media

How can you overcome the 10 top reasons why great content fails on social media.Tadeusz Szewczyk shares his ideas on Top 10 Reasons Why Great Content Fails on Social Media.

Lesson

Social media is a great tool to distribute and promote content. The key is know how to use it appropriately to reach customers and prospects.

I hope you have found this list useful. No list is by any means exhaustive.  Please add to this list.

6 C’s of Content Marketing

Marketing 101 taught you the The 5 C’s of Traditional Marketing are Company, Collaborators, Customers, Competitors, and Context. What are the 6 C’s of Content Marketing?

* Customer
* Community
* Content
* Conversation
* Continuity
* Consistency

Best Quotes from the Content Marketing Experts – Bob Gilbreath

Welcome to our amazing recap of some of the best quotes from Content Marketing experts! We have spent quite a bit of time reviewing influential blogs and articles from the past few years, gathering some great marketing gems along the way. Content and marketing go hand in hand; developing quality, meaningful and unique content is a sure way to growing a fan base, strong link equity and to generate discussions. Intrigued? Just listen to what the experts have to say! Today is all about Bob Gilbreath.

Bob Gilbreath

Blog Name: MarketingwithMeaning
Twitter: Mktgwithmeaning

Marketing with Meaning is less about “context” – or finding the best time to get in front of a consumer’s eyeballs – and more about “content” – or creating something that people find valuable in itself. By definition, a good “Content Strategy” must be meaningful and is judged by consumers’ engagement level rather than eyeball impressions.

Bob Gilbreath pinpoints here a critical element that underlines how marketing is undergoing a metamorphosis. Indeed, to gain customers’ engagement and their business nowadays, you need to provide them with quality and meaningful content. Traditional marketing’s model is all about having your product seen by as many people as possible through massive campaigns on multiple platforms (TV, billboards, magazine ads placement, online advertising, etc.). Its logic is: The more people will see my ad, the more customers I’ll gain.

Is this still true?

Of course full-blown marketing campaigns succeed at getting your products seen, thanks to their sheer volume and presence. But do they generate engagement? The way people consume your products and brands is changing. We’ve examined previously how social media and content marketing is changing the way we do business. The proliferation of social tools means a dialogue can be enabled between brands and consumers. People want to engage with the brands they enjoy – this happens on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Bedo, forums or other platforms and communities. People gather in communities of interests, also called niche.

Niche Communities and the Importance of Content

Having your ads seen by lots of unqualified people is inefficient. First, it costs plenty of money to organize multi-platform campaigns. Second, how many of the people you’re serving your ads to would actually be interested in your product? Google, with its ad platform (Adwords and Adsense), actually serves ads through relevancy. For instance, ads served on Ravelry, a knitting and crochet community, might have more to do with textile materials than, say, video games. Your textile ad might not be seen by as many people on such a forum than it would be in a national newspaper, but the eyeballs that will encounter your campaigns are definitely more targeted and qualified.

Providing high quality content to people is another important element in order to turn qualified consumers into engaged consumers. Moo.com is a great example of a successful brand that engages people. Along with its service offer, Moo has a veryinteresting blog written by its factory employees. You get to know how the company operates and the people behind it, which puts a human face on its business. They also feature how creative their customers are with their products, showcasing their work and offering inspiration for potential customers at the same time. The blog creates engagement, people return to it. When people engage with you, they’re more likely to become loyal to you. Converted customers will eventually give you their business, and might even convert their friends and families when sharing on social networks.

Good, quality content attracts customers – it’s a Content Revolution.

Bob Glibreath has a new book coming out soon called The Next Evolution of Marketing: Connect with Your Customers by Marketing with Meaning. Make sure to check it out!

The 4P’s of Content Marketing

Marketing 101 taught you the 4 P’s of Traditional Marketing – Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Do these fundamental pillars still hold for all types of marketing? Certainly not.

Let us take a look at the 4 Ps of Content Marketing.

  • Purpose
  • Plan
  • Persuade
  • Presentation