October Meeting:
Learn to “Power Network”

 RSVP by October 7 

October 12, 2016, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Holiday Inn, Route 306

Marilee MacAskill

Marilee MacAskill

We all know that networking is crucial to success, so join us in October to hone your skills. Marilee MacAskill from Dale Carnegie Training will lead us in a workshop that will give participants an opportunity to:

Marilee MacAskill has been a training consultant with Dale Carnegie Training since 1995. She is a certified instructor of the Dale Carnegie Course and the advanced High Impact Presentations Program. She holds two international sales awards from Dale Carnegie & Associates and is regularly among the top in sales in Ohio for the company.

Make reservations by October 7 on www.lakecommunicators.com. Guests are always welcome. The cost is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Lunch meetings are held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. and include networking, a buffet luncheon and a half-hour program.

Thank you to our sponsor, Lakenetwork!

Register Now…

A View from Inside Content Marketing World 2016

by Frank Vaccariello

It is becoming more evident that Content Marketing is an important strategy for the future of any size business or organization. Content Marketing World 2016 continued to prove that point.

Since this was my second year in attendance, I was more prepared to take on the onslaught of information that was about to come my way. I was not disappointed in what I was able to learn and bring back to several organizations I service.

Three speakers inspired me to do better with specific changes to my general outlook that I could start using every day.

Marcus Sheridan talked about hanging on to your principles, which could always be adapted for any platform. Social media and blogging platforms will come and go. But if you are using the same principles to engage your audience on any platform, including print and live events, then you should be able to make the jump to the next social media/blogging platform du jour.

I guess this is one of the reasons I like this form of marketing so much. Content marketing relies on the principles that I adhere to as a public relations professional yet uses the latest in technology and other advancements to distribute my message and enhance the conversation.

Part of my job is also to convince executives to spend time, money and resources on this kind of marketing. Marcus pointed out that 70 percent of people make the decision to buy before they contact your company. That was only 15 to 20 percent 15 years ago. Our customers are buying from us before we even know they exist. That’s a figure that points out how important good content marketing has grown to be.

Jay Acunzo encouraged us to take our content strategies and tactics to the next level by breaking away from best practices. Jay said, “Good marketers follow best practices. Great marketers create their own.”

He’s right. I went to CMWorld trying to learn from the best. Here’s an example of one of the best practitioners saying that I should think of my own way to do things. He concluded with, “Because we’ve been exposed to all those best practices, we are better prepared to create our own.”

Jay also spent time on the creativity aspect. He said, “You have to make creativity a priority. Schedule time to create.” So true. How many of us decide to create “when the mood strikes” or are forced to because of an impending deadline? When you schedule that time you help with consistency of content that is so important for a successful strategy.

I walked out of Jay’s presentation truly inspired by what he unveiled to the room. It was one of the most entertaining and educational presentations of the week and I wish he could have talked for another hour.

Andy Crestonia spoke at a keynote and one of the sessions. He really helped us understand the connection between what we write and what people search for.

Andy had an interesting message to start his keynote, “Those who give away the most useful information win more attention.” He shared interesting ideas and data about gated content that will make me think about how we are currently handling it. He also showed us many tools within Google Analytics that will really help my topic research.

His two lines that had the biggest impact with me from his session were; “Many people will never see your homepage if your site is built right. They will go directly to a relevant page.” and “Nobody is searching the word ‘solutions’.”

It’s difficult sometimes to hear something that is as counter-intuitive as what Andy sometimes spoke about, but when it is backed up with hard data, it’s tough not to change your mind or at least think very hard about doing so.

There were two other themes that seemed to have risen as they were mentioned in several sessions and keynotes.

We’ve heard for years that content needs to be consistent and relevant. This year we talked about if your content resonates with your audience. We need to create content that people not only want to read/watch/listen to but content where they look forward to hearing from you in order to consume it.

When your content resonates with an audience, they share. When you tell stories others can’t resist, others tell stories about you.

We’ve been talking about and using personas for years because they are great to help us understand more fully who our audience is. But there was always one thing missing in the construction of one. How much do we talk about WHAT makes them take the action you are looking for them to take? How do you get this group to do what it is you need them to do for you? It’s a subtle, yet important, nuance that also needs to be in place when creating personas.

So I am now looking for that trigger and what will best resonate with my audience.

Content Marketing World is a week-long intense education that can absolutely be overwhelming when you see the scale and magnitude of what they truly do there.

It was worth every second and dollar as I see how content marketing can propel any organization farther than even they thought possible.

Save the Date for the November Meeting: “Leadership: what the good ones do and don’t do.”

Wednesday, November 9, 2016
The Holiday Inn, Mentor, Ohio

Leadership in many cases has been defined in terms of charisma, intelligence, line of business knowledge and of course, character. All choices on the part of the audience, and most of them subjective.

Robert Schepens will cover the fundamentals of organizational leadership he discovered in first researching and then writing The Great Workplace 2.0, published by Smart Business in Northeast Ohio. For that work, Schepens personally interviewed over 500 owners, top executives and Human Resource professionals in small to medium sized organizations (including non-profits) in Northeast Ohio.

Schepens is a 40 year veteran of the Recruiting, Staffing, HR and Sales/Marketing professions, and is the second generation owner of Champion Personnel System, Inc, founded by his father in 1964. The company is a multiple year recipient of the Weatherhead 100 Award, North Coast 99 Award, Excellence in Business Award and most recently the Business Longevity through innovation award.

RSVP details will be available in an upcoming e-blast.

Submissions for the November VOICE newsletter are due October 19.