The other day one of our sales managers sent the first draft of a letter to me with this self-conscious disclaimer: “This is why I am on the sales and not the editorial side.”
But in this age of blogs and social posts, it seems we’re all expected to be editors, aren’t we? Lately there have been several viral articles circulating which debate whether or not to use two spaces after a sentence. As marketers first and foremost, these grammatical quandaries appeal to our insecurities. I fretted over this myself. Because I was taught to use two spaces after a period and my fingers just automatically do it. Then I read an article that called the practice of double-spacing “a quaint Victorian habit.” I immediately decided that since this is most certainly the only “quaint Victorian habit” I’ll ever be accused of, I’ll just keep it.
In a way, this month (Feb 2014) marks the point a decade ago where we all became both editors and publishers. Facebook is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. We each created an audience of our friends, colleagues, acquaintances and former classmates, and we had an instant platform to deliver our thoughts. Sometimes poignant; often trivial. People began to deliver whatever was in their heads. Some without filter. Seventeen years ago, George Carlin wrote a book called “Brain Droppings.” (That title totally cracks me up.) The cover describes the book as: ”jokes, notions, doubts, opinions, questions, thoughts, beliefs, assertions, assumptions, and disturbing references.” Although this book was written before social media hit mainstream, it pretty much sums it up doesn’t it?
Here’s an interesting thing though. Along with the anniversary celebration, Facebook also announced a new app ironically called ‘Paper.’ And much like Flipboard or Zite, it uses professional journalism as the hook for sharing and discussion. So although we are all editors now, much of the conversation revolves around the content created by professional journalists. Even the big mamma jamma social star understands that as fun as our individual “brain droppings” are, content from a trusted brand is very engaging to us humans.
For the record, I believe Facebook is only a small part of most marketers’ strategy. Especially in this space we’re in, and in light of the way they are limiting access to your own brand fans lately. Delivering content to your opt-in audience via email, for example, is still the bomb in BtoB.
But whatever channel you use to deliver it, using content to keep readers interested, to keep the conversation going, or to educate your clients, is undeniably a super smart move. At Insurance Journal, our primary mission is content delivery. Whether that delivery is via digital, print, mobile, video or app. So as you might expect, one of the most frequently asked questions we get is whether it’s ok to use our content on other websites and in emails. Here are some great ways that you as marketers can add IJ content to your marketing mix:
Link to Us
We do have some specific guidelines about how you use it, but as a general rule, we’re delighted when you share and link back to our site. You can check out the guidelines here: http://www.insurancejournal.com/linkto/
Use Our Free Newsfeeds
Like hundreds of insurance companies, associations, wholesalers and agencies across the U.S. already do, you can also get the latest insurance news on your own websites or intranets. Send your IT/web/geeky person here and they’ll get this function on your site in a flash: http://www.insurancejournal.com/newsfeed/
Embed IJ Videos
InsuranceJournal.tv houses the largest collection of insurance-related video and audio in the world. Using the share feature at the upper right corner of each, you can get a quick embed code to use anywhere you like. Bam! Instant content. Or if you want your own video, IJ’s talented new media team can put together a professional video in our studio or on location, complete with a promotional package. You can see some samples of the team’s work here: http://www.wellsmedia.com/creative-services/video/
Get the Rights to Distribute Full Versions of Articles
If you’d like unlimited marketing and educational use of one of our articles, you’ll need to purchase a copyright. We make that very easy to do. You can find out about that and get cool ideas for content distribution to the insurance industry right here: http://www.insurancejournal.com/reprints/
If you have questions about content use, or would like ideas about distributing your own content in the insurance industry, let us know. We’d love to help. I suppose that’s all the brain droppings I have at the moment.