Content marketing is not just buzzword, it’s perhaps the only way to build meaningful engagement with prospects and customers over the longer term. Particularly in B2B. In theory it sounds easy – write a lot of content specific to your niche, get the search engines to rank you higher, people will find you, appreciate your thinking and presto – you’ve got a hot lead. Or even a sale. Except that it’s not so easy. That’s why I think this interview between Valeria Maltoni and Kristina Halvorson is important. It hits on the why, what and how do you measure? Yes, content is the way to go, no, perhaps the only way forward for marketers. But you can never under estimate the hard work and long process each week to achieve success.

We’re always looking for examples on how social media can fit into our business. We know all about the shiny new tools – and can easily become overwhelmed by the quantity of new things we’re told we NEED. But hopefully by now you recognize that it’s not about the tools nor is it about you. Or that you need to use all the tools (even if you could). Social doesn’t scale. Having one on one conversations is a lot of work. And limited by the time you and your teams have. So it’s helpful to see how the Fortune 500 use social media to grow sales and revenue. Despite all of these tools, there are just five ways.

Along with all the chatter about social media tools is the push for more followers to build your “influence”. I’ve long concluded that the number of followers doesn’t really add the value for me. It’s who I’m following and who I’m engaging with that counts. And if I can connect with people from which I can learn and be inspired – and who I can also help – then that’s what moves the needle. Same with business. Do you really want to email or direct mail 25,000 people? Many who don’t care about you or your business? Or would you rather find the 250 or 2,500 people who are interested in buying from you or referring you to those who would? Right. Same goes with social media. I thought Francisco Rosales summed it up very nicely in this post on why ”less followers” is the new “more followers”.

Thought green was and is the next biggest thing in design? Sure, we’ve still not realized the full breadth of possibilities in greening everything we make. And there’s still a lot of hype around it – pseudo green because it simply sounds like the right thing to do but may not actually be THAT green. Enter blue – beyond green. It’s about designing products and buildings that give back to the environment and communities in which they’re made and/or used. Good thoughts for pushing ahead and actually making a difference.

I just discovered Edward Boches of Mullen this week and what a treat. I can’t recall how many times I’ve heard from people that they’re not creative. What they don’t realize is that you don’t have to be Picasso to be creative. Nor do you have to have creative in your title. We get hung up on titles and definitions. And for years, there’s been much mystique written on creative genius and the creative process. But anyone can be ‘creative’ if they let themselves. It’s a matter of perspective. There’s creativity in everyday life. His post on how anyone can be creative in the digital age is proof and why it’s a must read for those who perceive themselves the least creative.

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