Three key take-aways from Andy Crestodina's "Content Chemistry"

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Content Chemistry by Andy Crestodina is a 100-page handbook, which not only tells how to create and repurpose content, but also illustrates how content plays a critical role in SEO, email campaigns and social.<

If content marketing is new to you, this book is a must-read. If you create content and are interested in learning to write better and promote your content better, this book is for you.  Overall, the book is a quick and pleasant read.  I learned something new, and brushed up on a few previously learned lessons as well.

Keyword research before writing

Andy researches key phrases before writing almost anything. Google Keyword Tool is a simple and quick way to understand the key words and phrases that better align with your topic. He states, "Rather than simply writing content on a topic you find interesting, you can write content on a topic you find interesting and people are looking for."  

In addition to finding search-friendly keywords, he also suggests validating those keywords/phrases using Google Trends. When I type in "content marketing," I can see how the phrase has been picking up momentum in the past several years:

My action: Use Google Keyword Tool and Google Trends before I write. Non-negotiable. I actually utilized both tools for this post!

Email is not dead

I am in agreement with Andy that email is still an effective way to promote content and convert leads. Andy spends a good chunk of his book talking about email campaigns. For your content to go the extra mile, you need to "promote" your content. He stresses that social media and email marketing are cost-effective tactics. Setting aside marketing automation tools and processes, compelling email design, catchy copywriting with clear call-to-actions and rich content links with images are key contributors to a successful email campaign.

My action: My weekly blog posts have been sent out via Google tools. It's time to explore monthly email campaigns to aggregate relevant content for targeted audiences. Andy also recommends sending content directly to specific contacts.  They don't need to be subscribed to my email list. Source individuals who could be a prospect, such as a journalist or an industry thought leader, and share relevant, high-value content along with a personal note. Great suggestion!

Repurpose content

I love the Content Periodical Table that Andy created to illustrate the various different formats of content with ideal length (word accounts or length of videos).  It's easy to understand and catchy.

His point of repurposing content into a presentation can morph into a podcast or a webinar. Several blog posts can be aggregated into a short e-Book.  A white paper can be broken down into multiple tweets. I stressed a similar point of view for a previous speech of mine, "Think Big, Distribute Small." Create content within content! 

My action: Even though I agree with him wholeheartedly, as a one-woman show, it's very time-consuming and expensive to create multiple different formats of content on the same topic. I will put this recommendation on hold and continue to focus on blog writing and speaking engagements.

This book is full of tips on improving content writing and promotion, but light on the specifics of content measurements. Overall, I still enjoyed the book very much. It was a wonderful read on a sunny afternoon in a local Portland coffee shop. 

So, what marketing books have been you reading lately?  Share your favorites with me on Twitter, Facebook, or on Google+. Love to hear what you learn.

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