Content Marketing and Advertising Meet in a Dark Alley: Who Wins, and Why?

Traditional advertising pretty much had its way with the 20th century.
Big campaigns with big budgets from big companies influenced the things we did, said, and thought. And it’s safe to say that influence continues into the 21st century.
But content marketing is starting to make some noise of its own. In fact, interest in content marketing has risen rapidly in the last five years.
What are the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of both? When should you use advertising, and when should you use content marketing?
And which method is better?
We’ll answer those questions and more in this article.
What is advertising?
Advertising is a direct form of marketing communication where companies, political parties, religious institutions, government agencies, and interest groups build awareness of their products, services, events, and ideas.
To accomplish this task, advertisers run campaigns with a limited, but focused, use of media that may include:

Banner ads
Radio spots
Television commercials
Print magazine ads
Pay-per-click ads
Product placements

The job of advertising media is to convince people that a product, service, or idea will solve their problems or satisfy their wants.
Here are four ways you could look at advertising:

A company runs a six-month advertising campaign announcing the launch of a new product through a series of television commercials, banner ads, and staged product demonstrations in select cities.
A political party launches a tour of lectures, public service announcements, and emails to inform voters about where their candidate stands on the issues.
A city government purchases newspaper ads and mails out flyers to announce a new recycling program.

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Mad Marketing 90: Jon Nastor on Absolute Confidence, Overcoming Procrastination, and More

It’s podcast time my friends, and in this version of The Mad Marketing Podcast, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jon Nastor, author of the new book “Hack the Entrepreneur: How to Stop Procrastinating, Build a Business, and Do Work that Matters” Jon has interviewed over 200 incredibly …
The post Mad Marketing 90: Jon Nastor on Absolute Confidence, Overcoming Procrastination, and More appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.


Rainmaker Rewind: 12 Tips for Creating Calls to Action that Work on LinkedIn Pulse

This week’s edition of Rainmaker Rewind features our own Sean Jackson and Mica Gadhia on The Missing Link.
The dynamic duo welcomed John Nemo, bestselling LinkedIn author and trainer, to discuss calls to action on LinkedIn Pulse.

John Nemo is not only personable and an absolute pleasure to listen to, he also knows LinkedIn inside and out.
John is a bestselling LinkedIn author and trainer who helps small business owners, coaches, consultants, trainers, and sales and business development executives use LinkedIn to generate more sales leads, clients, and revenue for themselves.
He takes Sean and Mica through the step-by-step process of giving readers everything they need to take the action you want them to take.
Click here to listen and learn from The Missing Link.
Have time for a couple more? Check out these great episodes …

In this episode of Youpreneur, Chris and Brian talk about what it takes to be a digital entrepreneur and what that means for brand-building business owners.
Youpreneur:The New Future of the Digital Entrepreneur, with Brian Clark

In this episode of Hit Publish, Amy asks the question: “When it comes to marketing, what’s in a name? Does it really matter what you call your products and services?” Well … yes it does. And Hit Publish is here to help.
Hit Publish:How to Generate Powerful Product Names That Don’t Sound Gimmicky
And one more thing …
If you want to get my Rainmaker Rewind pick of the week sent straight to your favorite podcast player, subscribe right here

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Online Courses: 5 Steps to Mastering this Digital Education Powerhouse

Online courses are one of the most popular forms of web-based business today.

They’re in-demand, which makes them easy to market
They support premium pricing, so they can quickly become profitable
They’re a smart way to leverage the time you put into product creation

Those are all great reasons that developing a digital course might be a smart idea for you and your business.
But if you start from there, you’re going to have a hard time.
Because, just like any business (online or off), your business needs to serve the needs of your audience and customers if it’s going to survive … and thrive.
The best online courses have their success “baked in.”
Start with thoughtful preparation to craft the exact educational experience your audience wants to buy. And then, of course, deliver that experience.
You might be tempted to skip these planning steps. But if you do, your digital education business will take much longer to get traction.
Pave the road to a successful course with these five steps.
Step #1: Find your market of hungry learners
You may be familiar with the old marketing “riddle” that copywriter Gary Halbert liked to ask:
What’s the most important success factor for a restaurant?
No, it’s not the menu, the service, the quality of the chef, or even the location.
It’s a starving crowd that will show up to buy what’s being sold.
Finding that “starving crowd” will make everything about your business so much easier.
The same is true for all businesses. Your online course needs to find its “hungry

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10 Ways Digital Marketing Conferences Can Dramatically Improve Their Events in 2016

  I love conferences. I really do. I love them as a speaker. I love them as an attendee. And this year, I’ll be speaking at a bunch of them—Social Media Marketing World, Content Marketing World, Inbound, and others. Having attended so many of these events in the past, I’ve see a whole lot of…
The post 10 Ways Digital Marketing Conferences Can Dramatically Improve Their Events in 2016 appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.


Get Instant Access to Proven Advice for Digital Entrepreneurs (No Charge)

Do you want to build an amazing business and lifestyle? Well …

Listening to theorists, rather than practitioners, isn’t going to get it done.
Reading a few articles isn’t going to get it done.
Daydreaming, without actually doing, isn’t going to get it done.

If you want to build the business and lifestyle of your dreams, then you need to take the first step.
You need to take the first step toward learning from people who are actually out there building amazing businesses and lifestyles through the scalable power of digital products and services (and not just talking about it).
Which is why we’re inviting you to come take one very easy step with us over at Digital Commerce Institute, to get a sample of how we’re able to help you build the business of your dreams.
No charge. Registration is free. And the value we’re offering might surprise you.
Although, if it does surprise you, then you might have not been paying attention to our decade-long philosophy of sharing great content for free.
What’s included
Here is what you’ll get instant access to with your free registration:

4 free lessons from the paid course “Build Your Online Training Business the Smarter Way”
3 free lessons from the paid course “How to Create 
Automated Marketing Funnels 
that Work”
2 Case Study webinars on building a digital business
1 “Cutting Edge” webinar on using Periscope for content marketing
Plus, one new episode every week of The Digital Entrepreneur — the new podcast I’m hosting with Brian

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How to Save and Use Your Content Ideas

You know those blog posts that share 267 topic ideas for your next piece of content?
This is not one of those posts.
There are lots of posts with topic ideas. But how — and where — do you keep track of those ideas?
That’s what today’s post is going to cover. Because what’s the use of saving content marketing ideas for a rainy day if you can’t find them when the storm starts?
The cursed cursor
We’ve all been there. It’s the day before your post is due. You’re staring at your screen as sweat beads on your upper lip.
“What should I write about?” you wonder.
Those “topic idea” blog posts are only partially useful when you need something to write about, because random blog post ideas may not resonate with your audience.
Your job as a content marketer is to make the connection between the conceptual approach of a topic idea and what your audience needs and can use.
In other words, make sure your approach to the information you’ll share will resonate with the readers you’re trying to attract before you blindly adopt a topic idea.
It usually works better to generate ideas yourself. There are a handful of dependable sources for post ideas:

Read your blog or podcast comments. Readers and listeners will share their questions and let you know if they’re confused about anything. Answer their questions in your next piece of content.
Read comments on social media platforms. Study your own company accounts or accounts that belong to

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Why Haters Are the Petri Dish of Great Content Marketing

Haters are the early warning detection system for your business, much like a canary in a coal mine. Haters are not the problem … ignoring them is.
In fact, haters are your most important customers because when they complain, they provide free market research about what you can improve and how you can use content marketing to prevent future complaints.
The real problem for your business isn’t the haters; it is the people who have a poor experience but are not passionate enough about you and your company to take the time to say something about it. They are the “meh” in the middle, and they are what kill businesses.
And the people who love your business aren’t all that useful either. Praise is the most overrated commodity because when someone tells you what you’re great at, it teaches you nothing.
The best business lessons are born from criticism, not pats on the back.
Negativity is a great teacher
One benefit of paying attention to and embracing negative feedback is the ability to glean insights about your business that can improve your operations and processes.
Frank Eliason understands how this works and has captained these programs for very large companies that attract a high volume of customer feedback, including the television and Internet access company, Comcast, and Citi, where he served as the global director of the client experience team. Eliason is also the author of the excellent book @ Your Service.
“The best dollars and cents come when

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