Diary of a Content Pimp 1 – The kick-off

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Doug Kessler

21. 06. 2012 | 4 min read

Diary of a Content Pimp 1 – The kick-off

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Diary of a Content Pimp is a new series of blog posts – starting today – that tells the story behind our B2B Content Marketing Strategy Checklist campaign.

We did a similar thing in Project Open Robe, the ‘living case story’ of our B2B Marketing Manifesto campaign and it was so rewarding we knew we had to chronicle our experiences with the Checklist campaign, too.

Why we want to do this

  • To capture and share what we learn – despite doing content marketing for years, we’re still on the same steep learning curve that the entire B2B world is on. And we find that if we don’t actively capture stuff we’ve learned… we forget we learned it.
  • To foster a spirit of experimentation – if we know we have to report our experiences with you, we’ll need to make them interesting experiences.
  • To give an honest picture of a real campaign – most case stories are bathed in rosy light, as if nothing ever went wrong. We all know that’s bullshit but very few companies want the world to see them groping around in the dark. We don’t mind – and the result may be a real case story for fellow B2B marketers.
  • For fun – content marketing in the digital era is a blast. You get to try new things, test your hunches and see the results almost instantly. When things work, it’s a shot of adrenalin. When they flop, you get to analyse why. And blame Neil.

Why you should want to follow this

  • To avoid the mistakes we make – and have a good laugh at our expense
  • And seize the opportunities we discover – if you haven’t already discovered them
  • And contribute your thoughts, hunches and ideas – because, hey, we’re all in this together

That last bit is kind of important. We’d love you to join us on this one — to suggest ideas for tests, or share your analysis or challenge ours.

So use the comments section of any Diary of a Content Pimp post to add your thoughts or ideas.

How would you promote the Checklist if it were yours?

What do you think we’re doing wrong?

What would you like to test or know more about?

In the next post, we’ll share our goals (in some detail) and our fears (this thing could flop and if so, it will be a very public flop).

Why we gave the Checklist that funny name

It was originally called The Big Fat Content Marketing Checklist and we really liked that name.  But one thing we noticed about the B2B Marketing Manifesto was that, since it has an SEO keyphrase in its title (B2B Marketing), every backlink has Google-juice.  That seemed like such a good idea that we decided to sacrifice a bit of the fun of the Big Fat title and get the phrase ‘Content Marketing Strategy in the title.

We may end up regretting this. Neil makes a strong argument for evocative interesting, human-friendly names in a recent blog post.  But in this case, we decided the SEO value was pretty strong. Especially because we really believe that we’re entering the era of Content Strategy right now.  When we published the Content Marketing Workbook back in 2008, we were trying to evangelise the whole principle of content marketing so marketers would give it a try.

Most marketers are past that now. They’ve done a few pieces of content and they’ve worked a treat. Now they need to prioritise their content marketing efforts, focus their budgets and target specific goals, audience and buying stages.  So we believe there will be a hell of a lot more searching for ‘Content Marketing Strategy’ in the coming year and we want to hoover up that traffic, filter out the blue-chip tech clients with money seeping from every pore and spit back the deadbeats (I mean ‘nurture the rest’).

So that’s how we ended up with an 11-syllable mouthful like The Content Marketing Strategy Checklist with its slightly more fun sub-title: A Big, Fat, Roll-Up-Your-Sleeves Guide for B2B Marketers.

So here’s the first question in Diary of a Content Pimp

Were we right to chase the SEO keyphrase or should we have stuck to the original title?

Your thoughts below would be to us as the first drops of rain after a long drought are to a guy crawling across the dessert on his knees, wearing a torn loin-cloth-like-thing in a New Yorker cartoon.

Other Diary of a Content Pimp posts:

2) Goals, metrics and fears – what we think we’ll achieve; why we fear we won’t

3) The Promo Plan – how we’ll promote the Checklist

4) Forms or No Forms – that is the question

5) The Power of a Blog Series – why multiples are better than singles

Published in:

  • B2B Content Marketing

  • B2B Content Marketing Strategy

  • content-marketing-strategy

  • Diary of a Content Pimp

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  1. Neil

    June 21st, 2012

    Nice one Doug. Here we go again.

    The name is good for me. My point was more that you can mix evocative names with SEO power if that’s what you want. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. But sometimes you need to take a side and go for it. Look forward to seeing the results.

  2. Eric Wittlake

    June 27th, 2012

    Doug, looking forward to seeing you chronicle your experience again. The ongoing case you published around your Manifesto was even better than the Manifesto itself.

    I definitely understand your concerns on the Google front. Particularly since you publish these as what I call content events (versus an ongoing stream), getting and maintaining a position in Google over time will be more valuable than the additional social kick of a great headline that then quickly fades.

    So did you pick the right direction? I say Yes. Now I’ll wait to read the results.

    — @wittlake

  3. Doug Kessler

    June 27th, 2012

    Thanks Eric. I think this is going to be a really fun one.
    We’ve already got some great posts in the works.

    I agree on the title front — on balance, it feels like going for the keyphrase trumps the kick of a more evocative title.

  4. Mark McClure

    July 26th, 2012

    The title seems fine to me. Maybe you can have fun with supporting post titles and see how social sharing of these shakes out.

  5. Andrew Leon Walker

    August 15th, 2012

    Hi Doug,

    I think you got it right. Down here in the South West many companies are just waking up to the benefits offered by Content Marketing and it’s a phrase most people would pick up on.

    Looking forward to read the rest of the posts.


  6. Doug Kessler

    August 17th, 2012

    Thanks Andrew — so far so good.
    We’re really ranking well on ‘B2B Content Marketing’ and doing far better than expected on ‘content marketing strategy’ (still lots of work to do to rank well on that one).

    I think having the keyphrase in the title was probably right.

    Ironically, the word ‘Checklist’ may be the one I’d re-think. There are lots of marketing checklists out there right now. And ours is more than a single checklist…

  7. rhonda hurwitz

    September 22nd, 2012

    I agree that strategy better than checklist. and BTW, love your writing style, it has me hooked, for ex. the phrase (spit back the deadbeats (I mean ‘nurture the rest’) got a much needed laugh after a looong week.

  8. Doug Kessler

    September 23rd, 2012

    Thanks Rhonda — much appreciated.
    I now kind of wish we’d thought of something better than Checklist — it undersells it a bit and there are dozens of checklists out there right now…

  9. Chris Hellowell

    October 16th, 2012

    I am very interested in what you are doing and admire your approach. However I do have a bad reaction to you using a picture of an old man in extreme poverty as part of your promotion

  10. Clive Hornsby

    January 20th, 2013

    I think the SEO title is more likely to be picked up by people searching for information on this subject and is what got me here.

    Your comment “despite doing content marketing for years, we’re still on the same steep learning curve that the entire B2B world is on” hits the nail right on the head as the rate of change is almost impossible to keep up with. Therefore the more we can help each other the better services we can provide to our clients.

    This story is very familiar because at the risk of giving my age away, I can remember when the UK was in the process of closer integration with Europe, the accountancy and legal professions had armies of staff just trying to keep up with all the legislation being generated. Meanwhile the UK courts still stuck to the principle “ignorance of the law is no excuse”. So many businesses would have had to double their staffing levels to even get a basic understanding of the legal changes and bankrupted themselves in the process.

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