Content Bureau teammates share their secrets for writing top-quality marcomm and other practical missives.
B2B eBooks are in vogue–and starting to replace longer B2B marketing white papers. (I haven’t written a white paper of more than eight pages in ages.) Are marketers just calling “white papers” eBooks? Maybe. Is there anything wrong with that? Yes and no. Readers may have more patience with an eBook than a white paper. […]
Thought leadership can take many forms—byline articles, white papers, keynote PowerPoint presentations, and more. One of the biggest trends in thought leadership is the blog post. Blog posts can highlight a point of view in a brief, easy-to-absorb format, using links to direct readers to more detailed information on your website. Here are five useful […]
You’re tasked with creating solid and rich marketing messaging. Suddenly, everyone around you wants to weigh in on content—and the “messaging madness” ensues. Whether you’re developing the foundation for a multiproduct campaign or creating detailed product descriptions to support your latest release, the most time-consuming aspect of the process is getting agreement around central themes. […]
What can you do with 25 words? Write a note to your kids about how to reheat dinner. Make a grocery list. How about tell a complete, compelling story? It’s possible to finesse about two dozen words into a product description that’s not so high-level it glosses over everything, but also not so detailed it […]
In May the Content Bureau blog turns to a subject that we can all enthuse about ad infinitem: food. To kick off the May food raptures, Stacy interviews Amanda Haas, the lovely and talented founder of the acclaimed website and food blog, One Family One Meal. Stacy: Bless you, Amanda, for helping me with this […]
Ho-hum. Another white paper. Most clients struggle to turn this staple of the high tech industry into something exciting, engaging, and most important, actually read. An edgy white paper is refreshing. Challenges your thinking. Shows true zeal. We’ve written hundreds of white papers. Though often few and far between, the edgy ones are my favorite. […]
Your annual user conference starts in two weeks. You’ve packed glossy brochures in cozy boxes. Printed thousands of badges. Reserved buckets of ice for your nightly foot-soaking. And to chronicle the big event on your company blog, you have your very own ghost eager to haunt the conference halls. Let’s call him Bob. To be […]
I have mixed feelings about valentines. Here’s why: A college friend’s boyfriend presented her with the creepiest Valentine’s Day gift ever: a clear wine bottle, label scrubbed off and replaced with his own charming creation entitled, “100 Mini Love Notes.” YES! This is true! Inside were…. one hundred itty bitty teeny weeny hand-inscribed love notes, […]
Writing a thank-you note has long been perceived as a chore, especially painful for children, who don’t understand that civilization just might fall apart without such social niceties. It can seem like a race to get to the part where you sign your name (with great flair and panache, of course). Phew, you think, one […]
We all love our holiday traditions, be they Black Friday sales, polishing up the menorah, or, as in my household, trudging into the Bureau of Land Management forest up in the foothills to find the perfect tree, only to forget the tree-cutting permit and get the truck stuck in the icy mud. As dedicated traditionalists, […]
As we mentioned in a recent post, a little search engine optimization (SEO) goes a long way. Yet many smaller B2B companies pay little or no attention to writing for SEO. If you haven’t given much thought to search optimization in the past, you should. Even basic SEO copywriting can help your company rise to […]
If your writers have ever written a wiki, they’ve probably done battle with the wiki editors. I’m convinced they post their objections gleefully. Writing wikis for a company or a product is particularly tricky—if your writers don’t tread carefully, they’ll likely get whapped with “This article is written like an advertisement. Please help rewrite this […]
Like it or not, the 140-character tweet is today’s version of the boardroom speech. Read about execs who have mastered the art of Twitter.
The trouble with writing blog posts is you need to unlearn some of the skills for creating polished written communication that have taken you years to hone. A sense of casualness, or a bit of an “I just dashed this off on my way to a meeting” mood, is what readers expect from blogs. Posts […]
Like cars and movie stars, different types of marcomm assets fall into and out of fashion. Really long white papers? They’re so Hummer. Customer case studies? A perennial favorite, like Harrison Ford. Sales playbooks? Very hot at the moment. Why? In a tough economy, it’s only natural that smart marketers are placing more emphasis on […]
White papers get a bad rap. Dull. Long. Overly-complicated. Anything but sexy. But they’re still one of the highest-impact marcomm assets you can create. Give your customers what they yearn for—variety, visual interest, and bold content—and they’ll fall in love with white papers (and your company) all over again.
When we’re aiming for highly readable text, we should use words with fewer syllables and write sentences that don’t ramble. Here’s how to follow the stats to top readability.
Terry is the consummate interviewer. As marcomm professionals, I think we can all take a page from Terry’s book to help us conduct great interviews.
Staying late at the office one Friday night, you take a casual look at the list of quarterly deliverables your boss is expecting from you. Produce a new 500-page microsite. Check. (Thanks, Content Bureau!) Update all marketing collateral with screen shots of a yet-to-be-built middleware platform. Check. (Thanks, summer intern!) Write a 400-word review of […]
Crafting a compelling direct appeal letter is all about timing, tone, and attention to detail. Take your basic Letter to Santa. Sure, you could crank it out on mom’s PC to show St. Nick how clever you are (and, therefore, worthy of his attention) by: Ramping your wish list up visually with your fave font, […]
At their best, customer case studies provide compelling proof points that support your message. And at their worst, they read like messaging documents sprinkled with stilted quotes. Yawn. So how can you make sure your customer case studies compel—not repel—readers? With persuasive quotes from actual customers. I’ve been writing case studies with Content Bureau for […]