Content Strategy, Power Planning and Creation with Ben Cook and Michael King – #BWCBend

October 15th, 2013

We have a content double-header — presentations by Ben Cook and Michael King.

How to Create Immortal Content

Ben Cook @skitzzo can take you to a mildly successful viral campaign to a wildly successful one. His presentation is available here:

Create with an Audience in Mind

  • Don’t try to “go viral.”
  • Target your customers
  • Showcase your skill

Never Waste Content

  • Create with an eye on repurposing
  • Use graphics from video for an infographic
  • Top 10 lists > 10 post series > 10 videos

Crafting the Content

Pull the Triggers

  • Useful
  • Remarkable
  • Funny: The creators of the Old Spice campaign still give talks
  • Social currency: If someone gave me something that helped, I’d thank them, not necessarily not the original creator


  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
  • Predictably Irrational
  • Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Choose a Medium


  • Infographics: If your space isn’t saturated this is a good medium
  • News-jacking: Avoid tragedy
  • LEGO: For whatever reason the Internet loves LEGOs. Because Skitzzo created a LEGO mosaic of Pres. Obama, the image spread. If you can work in LEGOs somehow…
  • Controversial interviews: It can cause blowback to say something controversial on your site, but if you can get someone else to say it, hosting the rumble, you can get credit and publicity without the blowback.
  • World records
  • Contests

Keep the brand image in mind! Don’t damage your brand while doing these kinds of things.

Make It Shareable

  • Ask
  • Make sharing the call to aaction
  • Proide quotes to tweet
  • Proide thumbnails for Facebook
  • Provide embed codes for images
  • Only include buttons your audience will use

Launching Content

Infect lots of patient zeros. You have to seed the content in front of people. Facebook boosting, Twitter sponsoring, promoted pins. StumbleUpon paid discovery. You have to do the initial push and it may snowball. Reach out to influencers. Consider hiring a PR pro; don’t short yourself at this level.

Coordinate Your Attack

  • Create a launch sequence
  • Simultaneously attack multiple fronts
  • Time the campaign based on when your audience is online
  • Have resources available so you can pull the rip cord when a story presents itself

launch plan of attack

When You Fail

  • Try a different medium.
  • Try a different location, like a different blog or different social network.
  • Add value. Maybe make it interactive, provide more info, or go “bigger”
  • Alert fans of previous attempts. Those who liked it last time may like the new version too. If you do try to make a different version, leave some time in between when you try again.
  • Try a different idea

Scaling Quality

Michael King @ipullrank is next and his presentation is available here:

Over time content marketing has a lower cost per lead (CPL) than paid search. At the same time, you’ll get more leads for the same spend with content marketing compared to paid search.

But today there’s no excuse for bad content. There are so many great content creators, unemployed journalists and out of school designers.

There’s also more data than ever. Find real niche-specific interests and the data around that to serve that audience.

We conflate content strategy with content marketing. Content strategy is a process, how do we create guidelines, maintain it, who owns it. Content marketing is basically just publishing stuff.

Content strategy is the answer. Start by understanding what kind of content you already have. If you know you have white papers, you can figure out how to re-purpose it for a specific audience.

content strategy workflow

Diversify Content Types

Blogging? Video? Okay, but there are so many kinds of content. An API. UI elements. Plugins…

Focus on the ROI. Map content to KPIs. Certain content types work better in different parts of the funnel. Don’t make an infographic tied to sales. Infographics have an effect to someone high up the funnel. Here’ a preso:

Content Planning Tips


  • Storyboard That
  • Balsamiq
  • Trello

Great content has great structure. A blog post with the same quality but one had images, bullets and headings in text resulted in more time on page and more links.

Finding Good Ideas

  • Build personas: Nielsen and Experian have social PPC inventories that can be used to build audience and buyer personas.
  • If you don’t want to go through all that info, use Followerwonk’s word clouds of all the bios of your followers on Twitter to help you draw up personas. You can also use this technique on your competitors to draw personas.
  • Social Trends will show you other words that happen with your keyword. If you sell flowers and “flowers” in this tool, you’ll see people are also using “Bradley Cooper” and “New York Times” and now you know more about your audience
  • Quora: People ask questions and then other people give more in-depth answers. Search for what’s relevant to your business and see the fascinating info that people are sharing on the site. You also see who’s interested in the topic so when you have content on it you can reach out to them and ask them to share.
  • Keyword research: We can look into the collective consciousness. Using tools like Ubersuggest give you long-tail searches and permutations of a given keyword. You can use Google Trends and Keyword Planner for volume of search to validate your idea.

Data Collection Sources

  • SurveyMonkey Audience: Select a demographic and ask that audience directly questions to see if a piece of content resonates.
  • Google Consumer Surveys: Google infers who the users are based on affinity segments whereas with SurveyMonkey people report who they are.
  • Marketing Charts
  • Consumer Barometer
  • Zanran: SE for statistics
  • Datahub
  • Data Market

Quality Outsourcing

If you don’t have the resources in house…

  • 99Designs: People compete for the business
  • Dribble: Find people in your area, look at their existing portfolio, reach out to them and ask for the design fee
  • Contently: Writer Access gives you low-quality garbage. Contently has professional writers that you can choose from and assign tasks to. These writers also have ratings, and a calendar is built into the project. This is limited to big agencies with a lot of work.
  • Skyword
  • Plagtracker: Check if the content you purchased is original
  • Grammarly

Example Outsource Workflow

content strategy workflow with tools

Can you write? Can you take and upload pictures? Can you make spreadsheets? You can make content.

Other tools for creating content:

  • Piktochart
  • Google Fusion Tables
  • iCharts
  • Dipity
  • PressBooks
  • Storybird
  • Kuler
  • Adobe Edgefonts

Communicating with Creatives

It’s difficult to communicate with creative people. When you get the content back you may see you didn’t get what you wanted. He wrote a post, “What It Takes to Get Remarkable Content Done” –

The Data Viz Brief is the solution they came up with to communicate an idea to creative. Everything they need the creative to know is in one document.

Data Viz Brief

Making a Scroller in 5 Minutes

Paralax scrollers is the new thing everyone’s doing. Here’s how you can do it.

“The ability to write code is pretty much a super power in today’s society.” – Matt Cutts

  • Find an image
  • Save as .svg
  • Use the link setting
  • Put Skrollr in your HTML
  • Open your .svg file
  • Add the CSS to path tags
  • You now have a path drawing scroller

Comments are closed.