I've been meaning to post about this since last week, but here you go: Tomorrow, December 16th, Jeremiah Owyang, Senior Analyst for Forrester Research, and I will collectively present on "Content and Conversations: Engaging Your Customers Online" in an online seminar scheduled for 2 PM ET/11 AM PT. The webinar is sponsored by Powered, and my good friend Aaron Strout convinced me to do it.

You might not know this -- but I don't speak much. The truth is: I've always considered myself more of an editor and a writer than a marketer. Certainly -- I play a marketer on the internet (ha!)... but in truth I'm not totally comfortable passing myself off as one, at least when it comes to teaching or lecturing or speaking about marketing topics.
I do, however, know content. For 11-plus years (-ish), I've been developing and managing digital content to build relationships for organizations and individuals, and I have a demonstrated ability to develop content strategy and to fully execute on it -- often, in the marketing space. I know what resonates with audiences, and know the steps necessary to create compelling stuff. Aaron -- that sneaky dog -- clued right in on my expertise.
"But Ann," he said a month or so ago, on the phone from Austin to Boston, "you know content. You have a unique perspective. You understand how content serves as the foundation of any good online engagement strategy like no one else does."
Or something like that. The bottom line: He convinced me. I'm in. And so tomorrow, come hear Jeremiah and me. I'll be giving you my approach to developing good content ("Creating Content People Care About"), which in truth has all kinds of lessons for marketers who want to reach customers in this "new marketing" environment, where it's more important to act as a "trusted resource" for your customers and prospects than it is for you to chat up your own products and services.
In my mind, when companies create content and execute on it well, it can significantly help their businesses build brand, increase retention and deepen loyalty. (Am I sounding like a marketer yet?)
For his part, Jeremiah will parlay my bit into the next step: Conversation, or creating an environment where social tools and strategies allow customers to have meaningful conversations with representatives from your company AND with each other.
This not only makes your customers feel like your brand is more approachable, it can also help your business gain valuable insight about your customers with the potential to turn them into brand ambassadors. At least, that's the idea.
So -- see you online at 2:00 PM ET/11:00 AM PT tomorrow? If you're planning on it, you have to sign up: Here's the link to the registration page.
And -- did I convince you? Are you in, too?

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image of Ann Handley

Ann Handley is a Wall Street Journal best-selling author who recently published Everybody Writes 2. She speaks worldwide about how businesses can escape marketing mediocrity to ignite tangible results. IBM named her one of the 7 people shaping modern marketing. Ann is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, a LinkedIn Influencer, a keynote speaker, mom, dog person, and writer.