October 24th, 2012
The good folks at LaunchGrowJoy have put together a great infographic on how to promote your blog post for maximum effectiveness. One of the key things that we spend time thinking about here at Movable Media is how to help authors to promote their content, thereby building their audiences (and moving them, when appropriate, as our name implies). So when we saw the infographic, we were intrigued, to say the least.
There’s often an inverse correlation between the amount of time that an author or content creator can spend ensuring that the biggest possible audience sees their content, and the expertise that the author brings to the table. That’s why this infographic is so great: it boils down many (30, in fact!) ways of promoting a piece of content into discrete, actionable steps.
Enjoy it, and if you’d like to repost the graphic yourself, please visit www.launchgrowjoy.com yourself!
October 18th, 2012
As we noted last week, we had the fantastic opportunity to participate in Pitney Bowes’ Entrepreneurial Competition. We’d like to share the post from Pitney Bowes’ blog where they share their viewpoint on the finals of the contest, written by Brian Romansky, one of the organizers. His post, The Next Evolution in Open Innovation: Pitney Bowes Entrepreneurial Competition – Finalists Presentations, lays out their motivations for holding the Competition, and explains how they evaluated the balance between the risks and rewards.
Like our assessment of the Competition last week, this post provides a great example of how to get the most out of content marketing. Last week, we pointed out how Pitney Bowes’ content efforts provided value for the audience that’s viewing it. This week, Brian answers questions that people have about why Pitney Bowes would hold such an event, and does it in an authentic and responsive way.
Brian’s post has a special resonance for us, since we’re working with another client who is hosting their own business plan competition. (Stay tuned for more details on this client…) The content that this client is producing is equally exciting, because it’s equally focused on providing value for the audience. By keeping a determined eye on who they are trying to speak to, and what that audience wants to hear, this client has found a unique niche that they intend to own.
So: again, please check out Brian’s post. And like Pitney Bowes, please stay focused on your audience as you create content!
October 14th, 2012
Over the last few weeks, the Movable Media team has been privileged to participate in the Pitney Bowes Entrepreneurial Challenge. It’s been a great experience, and we’re grateful for the opportunities it’s presented already. We were selected as finalists in the competition, and Movable Media founder and president Andrew Boer presented our vision for “unlocking the author channel” for author-driven content. Here’s a pic of Andrew and the other finalists with Challenge coordinator Ivy Eisenberg:
Andrew Boer of Movable Media with the other finalists at the Pitney Bowes Entrepreneurial Challenge
But leaving aside the chest-thumping, the experience that Pitney Bowes assembled has been a phenomenal example of alternative ways that enterprises can leverage the activities they’re already engaged in to create compelling and highly differentiated content.
Before discussing the Challenge, it’s appropriate to detail some of the players who helped it come to fruition. We were introduced to the Challege by the excellent team at the Stamford Innovation Center, a new hub of entrepreneurial activity in the Stamford, CT area. Led by Barry Schwimmer, the iCenter has quickly become the focus of a lot of activity in the area that previously did not have a proper home: meetups, coworking space, and of course challenges like this. (Despite formally launching only in September, the iCenter has already played host to another Challenge by local manufacturing giant Sikorsky.) Helping Pitney Bowes and other regional enterprises to expand their innovation efforts through connections with the local entrepreneurial community is right in line with the iCenter’s mission.
To get the challenge off the ground, Pitney Bowes hosted an introduction to the competition and to their technologies at the iCenter on August 22nd, 2012. After light refreshments and a networking session, the iCenter staff and Pitney Bowes got right into the details. They gave an overview of the competition, and then experts from each of the three technology domains that Pitney Bowes is promoting with the content gave 10-minute overviews of the overall value proposition and differentiation for each area. Participants were then invited to break-out rooms for hands-on sessions with the technologies.
After initial submissions were whittled down, each finalist was given one-on-one coaching with Ivy and participants from Pitney Bowes’ srategic technology and marketing teams. Finalists were then assembled at Pitney Bowes’ world headquarters on Friday, October 12 2012 to present to a panel of judges. Judges included not just members of the strategy, techonology and marketing organizations, but also Pitney Bowes’ CFO, Michael Monahan, who sponsored the competition. Members of the Pitney Bowes and Stamford Innovation Center communities, as well as members of the local private equity and venture capital community, also participated in the presentations.
So, why is this such a great example of content creation by an enteprise marketing organization?
Critically, Pitney Bowes has made a conscious effort to document all aspects of the program. The competition has a well-defined web presence, on both the Stamford Innovation Center and the Pitney Bowes websites, with clear guidelines for participation and good collateral material. Perhaps more impressive, Pitney Bowes has made a conscious effort to document the entire challenge, from start to finish, including high-quality video recordings of both the introductory sessions as well as finalist presentations last Friday. Pitney Bowes’ site on the competition can be found here. And the videos that have already been made available, of the introductory sessions, are hosted on Pitney Bowes’ YouTube page.
Second, Pitney Bowes adhered to one of the cardinal maxims of content marketing: provide value for your audience. They refrained from using the competition as just another opportunity to share their traditional collateral. Instead, all of the content was provided to educate the entrepreneurial community about Pitney Bowes’ assets. For instance, the overview presentations on August 22nd were pointed sessions on the technologies that Pitney Bowes was centering the challenge around, but rather than being pure marketing fluff, they were targeted educational sessions about specific markets, and related assets that Pitney Bowes possesses.
Third, they used the content, in a meaningful, timely and appropriate way. Far too many companies and enterprises keep this type of stuff on ice, meaning to “get around to it some day.” (Movable Media is as guilty of this as anyone: we have about five half-drafted blog posts sitting on ice.) Pitney Bowes started posting videos on their page as early as the end of July, and had the edited and fully produced videos of the introductory sessions live on August 26th, just 4 days after the event was held.
Perhaps most critically, none of this means that Pitney Bowes has gone to extraordinary lengths, or expense, to create this content. Rather, perhaps the most important lesson to be drawn is simply that they paid attention to making the Challenge “content enabled” from the start. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if appropriate documentation of the process was one of the guiding principles of the Challenge from the outset.
Congratulations to the other finalists. And congratulations, and thank you, to Pitney Bowes and the Stamford Innovation Center on running a great program. We hope other enterprises can learn from this great example!