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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very basic, but there are helpful hints for beginners, 3 Mar 2012
By 
A. Byrnes "Andie" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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The early chapters, on developing content offer some good advice concering how you could go about deciding what sort of content you should develop to support your business as a form of value-added marketing. Most of it is common sense, but is surprising how difficult it is to apply common sense to something new, so these chapters will probably help those who really are beginners. If you have some basic knowledge, which you will do if you have developed any web content or are an active social network user, you will be able to speed-read these sections.

A lot of the chapters are very brief and only touch on the topics in the chapter headings.

The chapter on content curation, which I would guess is a major problem for many businesses, was surprisingly short (7 and a half pages) and I don't think provided sufficient coverage on the subject. Similarly, the chapter on Finding a Voice emphasises that this is an important aspect of content development but gives very little practical help, over the 5 pages, on how to achieve this.

One of the longer chapters, the Overview of Digital Content Channels, provides a summary of the types of digital marketing channels now made available, usually via web-based providers. Various digital content channels are given a few paragraphs each, which will offer the reader some idea of what to explore next. A vast number of available content channles are, for reasons of space, ignored but there is a list of some of the most interesting others at the end of the book for readers to explore on their own.

If you know nothing about search engine optimisation there are a couple of pages with some useful hints, but if you take SEO seriously you would be better off buying a book dedicated to the subject. The same can be said of the short chapter on Customer Service, which woefully understates the potential of getting it right, the risk of getting it wrong and fails to touch on the numerous approaches to this difficult area - again, I would recommend you get a book dedicated to this topic if it is important to you.

The chapter on PR offers an interesting insight into how press releases have changed and how some of these changes could be implemented. The chapter on advertising is similar in this regard, exploring the relationship between advertising and content provision.

I enjoyed the chapter on reuptation management, mainly because of the excellent examples of how the web allows disgrunted customers to really express their dissatisfaction graphically and virally.

The question of Whose Job is Content? is an important one, but is not answered by the 4-page proposed job description. Skills can be learned and content management is not just a matter of skill-sets but of personal involvement and genuine interest.

The chapter on Listening and Responding highlights an important aspect of content marketing - the risk of sitting back and relaxing when the content is out there rather than seeing content provision as the first step of a very long process of evolution informed by the users of that content.

The book is quite repetitive, but that's probably a good thing as it reinforces some of the more important ideas.

The style of writing is open and articulate, and easy to digest.

In conclusion, this book offers glimpses into various ways in which you could develop content and market it to support your business, but there is not enough detail to avoid you having to do a lot of research on your own, either via the web or by buying books in areas that interest you particularly. Most of the advice about content marketing is common sense and if you already familiar with basic online marketing and social networks you may not learn much. If you are looking for a book to help point you in the direction of areas that you will want to go on and research in depth, this could be a very useful book, but it is certainly not an end in itself. Perhaps its most helpful feature is that is that it provides the reader with an idea of how different digital channels can be used in an integrated approach.
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