Live from Congility: We are all Content Marketers Now

We are all content marketers now, by Charles Cooper

Congility2014We’ve used many techniques, but it’s all communication. The content is the same; it’s how we display it that changes. The Bible, for example, has been on everything from handwritten to typeset to printed to tablet.

People remember more if they’re engaged

  • The mindset hasn’t changed – we’ve focused on what we’re sending out
    • We need to change the mindset – it’s a 2-way conversation
  • We get more feedback face-to-face
  • If we focus on output, we don’t engage people.  It’s just a broadcast.
    • People fear trolls
    • Who Cares?!
    • We lose when we don’t get feedback
  • Actors and comedians work with feedback from the audience
  • Electronics and human resources request feedback
  • This is why we need to do content marketing, not just marketing/sales

What is content marketing?

  • Information that benefits the user and meets the business’ needs
  • Bring writers and readers together to share information
  • How do we do this as tech writers?
    • Understand the customer needs
    • Leave the customer satisfied (through manuals, help text, etc)
    • Tell a story
    • Make it shareable
  • Most of all: TALK to each other

When writing complex technical documentation, make sure you’re not causing more problems than you’re solving.

Key things to keep in mind

  • Titles are important
    • Technical communicators keep things short and task based
    • Marketers go for inviting and memorable
    • It all depends on what the purpose is
    • Titles identify what the user should expect when they click
  • Make it shareable
    • Marketers and branding people are good at this
    • Technical communicators – ask for help! get advice! it’s their job!
  • Rich media
  • Tell a story
    • For marketers it’s content + brand
    • For technical communicators, it’s often just information (just content) with no context (brand)
    • Not everything needs to be a long story. Some things are just enough to provide context.
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