Archive for the ‘Content Marketing’ Category

I wrote a guest post that seems to have really resonated with people.  It was called, “The Content Strategy That Made Justin Bieber a Star.”  You can see it on or on

Today I want to continue talking about Disney’s creative use of content marketing to promote their “properties.”

Content marketing isn’t just some new method that current Disney executives are using.  It’s something that they’ve used for 50-60 years.

In fact, Walt Disney himself used content marketing to launch AND FINANCE Disneyland!  I learned this story in a great little book called, “Disney Magic: Business Strategy You Can Use At Work And At Home” by Rich Hamilton.  (Learn more about it here.)

Rich doesn’t mention anything about content marketing directly, but I want to show you the veiled content marketing methods that I discovered as I read the book.

At First Walt Was Against TV

When TV first started out, Walt wasn’t so keen on it.  Why?  Because he was worried it would cause him to lose profits from his movies.  TV execs. kept pursuing him until he finally did a few TV specials, but he was still pretty negative about it overall.

Until one morning that all changed.

He woke up and had this thought: maybe television could be used to finance Disneyland?  This was how he decided to do it.  He offered to produce television programs (content) for the normal payment, PLUS investment in Disneyland.

It was a great idea, but what he did next was ingenious.  He came up with a bold content marketing strategy – before the term ever existed!

His Unbelievably Bold Content Strategy

He decided that one of the shows would be a Disneyland television show that would feature a different subject each week.  This show debuted a year before the park was even open.  The first week’s program was all about the park being built!  It was basically an hour-long commercial broken up with paid commercials from sponsors.

Can you believe he could pull that off?

Critics were upset, but not the viewers.   They loved it.  And the network (ABC) didn’t mind, because they now owned 35% of the park!  Get this.  The show quickly became the first program on ABC to get into the top 20 Nielsen ratings!

Now watch the other ingenious thing that Walt did with content…

He combined new production with old footage to create programs. He was repurposing content, again, before the term was even thought of!  An example of him doing this was when he created a show about the making of the movie 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.  It was basically another veiled promotional program.

The Amazing Results Of His Content Marketing

By the time Disneyland actually opened, there were MILLIONS of people who couldn’t wait to visit!  All of this came from the content of his shows and the PR department of ABC (the partial owner).

If that wasn’t enough, the always creative Walt Disney “flipped the switch” and reversed his promotional influence by tying many of the early rides at the park into his movies, cartoons, and television shows (an early example of experience marketing).

He did this with many rides but some examples are: the ride “Peter Pan Flight” to promote his movie “Peter Pan,” the ride “Snow White’s Adventure” to promote his film “Snow White,” the ride “Dumbo Flying Elephants” to promote his film “Dumbo,” and “Mickey Mouse Club Theater” at Disneyland to promote his TV show “The Mickey Mouse Club.”

2 Lessons For Business Owners:
1. Walt Got Paid For Producing Content That Promoted His Business And So Can You.

If you begin promoting your business using content, and become good enough at content creation, you can be paid for producing your content.

Don’t believe me?  Many top bloggers like Chris Brogan, Jay Baer, Michael Stelzner, and others all produced content that eventually lead them to be paid for book deals by publishers.

You say, “Yeah, but I have a physical business.  That won’t work for me!”  Oh really?  Ever heard of Martin Yan?  Check this from Wikipedia… “Yan began teaching Chinese cooking for a college extension program and appearing on a Canadian, Calgary talk show in 1978 (on CFAC-TV, now CICT-TV). He has hosted over 1,500 episodes of the PBS cooking shows Yan Can Cook since 1982. His shows have been broadcast in over 50 countries.”Yan has opened a chain of Yan Can restaurants and founded the Yan Can International Cooking School in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has written over two dozen cookbooks.[1] TheAmerican Culinary Federation has designated him a Master Chef.”

Yan was just a chef (offline profession) until he started creating content for TV.  That lead to books, other shows, restaurants, and even schools!  You can use the power of content marketing to share your expertise with the world – and indirectly promote your business.

2. Even If You Don’t Get Paid, Many People Need & Want Your Content.

Getting paid isn’t the point.  It’s just a nice side benefit if you can pull it off.  There are so many “channels” that exist that have a never-ending need for content.  They are looking for people to create it for them.  And when I say “channels”, don’t get locked into the idea of only TV channels.

The channels that need your content are everywhere: local newspapers, local radio, local tv, blogs, youtube channels, local or online magazines, even local associations and clubs (speaking is content).

These “channels” all have one thing in common: they constantly need content.  In the same way that Walt Disney was able to create content for a channel and use it to promote his business, you can do the same thing.

You might not be able to be as bold and blatant as Disney and just create hour-long commercials, but you can create content that will clearly promote you and your business.

It All Starts Here

It all starts with you beginning to create content.  You have to start.  You have to begin writing or recording your ideas.  Put them on a blog.  Do something!

Until you start, it’s hard to get a chance to produce it for someone else.  And if you never start, it’s going to be even more difficult to get paid for your content.  It takes practice to become good at anything and content creation is no different.  

Want To Learn How To Create Better Content?

I have 21 years of experience in creating content on a regular basis, so I know it’s much easier for me to create content than it is for you.  I realize that I know methods that you don’t.  I know techniques for how to present my content that you don’t know.

Because of that fact, I want to teach you what I know.  That way you can have a head start on creating compelling, engaging content.

If you are interested in this, I’d like to send you some free lessons, which are excerpts from my upcoming e-course.

These free lessons will teach you:

  • 4 little-known “contact points” to use in your introductions
  • How to judge the results of your content with the “Change The World” Acid Test
  • Lessons from the world’s greatest story teller.
  • The lesson Rick Warren learned as a consultant for Dreamworks that can improve your content
  • Using the ingredients of emotion and pathos in your content
  • The power of “cliff hangers” to keep people’s attention
  • Why it’s important to know when to speak to “the Heart” or “the Mind” when creating your content
After you receive those lessons, you can decide if you want to take my online paid course called “Content Boosters: My Personal, Hard-Earned Recipes For Creating Successful Content.”  In this e-course, I’ll share with you what I’ve learned about content creation, over the last 20 years of trial and error.



Famous Wall Street Journal Sales Letter

Content marketing is very popular nowadays and it should be.  I believe it’s one of the most powerful ways to market in our current climate.

But the more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve realized there is a little-known, or discussed similarity between content marketing a successful salesletters of the past.

What is similar between these two things that, at first glance, seem to be polar opposites?

Let me give you an example and see if you can see the similarity I’m thinking of.

The Wall Street Journal Letter I have here is one of the world’s most famous copywriting pieces around.  It ran non-stop for 28 years without them being able to find another letter that was more successful.

Click on the letter to enlarge it.

Notice something?  It starts with story.   

What do content marketing and successful salesletters have in common?
Here it isSuccessful, classic sales letters use stories and content to lead to a sale.

People don’t usually think of them this way, but successful, classic salesletters used a TON of content.  It wasn’t just about pitching their products or services.

They engaged the reader.  They educated the reader. And only when they were done doing all of those things did they ask for the sale.

That’s why classic salesletters were so many pages long!  Sound familiar?

Effective content marketing does the same thing nowadays.  It just does it over time, over a series of published chunks of content (blog posts, videos, audio, whatever), instead of trying to accomplish it in one letter.

It’s like a salesletter broken apart and delivered overtime!

So before you go thinking that these old forms of marketing have nothing to teach you, think again.  And realize they’re distant relatives.  

If you want to see the second page of the Wall Street Letter, then go here.
Andrew Cavanagh also has a Wall Street Letter that many people have never heard of that you might want to see here.  (Both are found on Andrew Cavanagh’s blog.)

Check them both out.  You might learn something about effective content marketing from a surprising source!  🙂


*P.S. If you’d like to sign-up to be informed whenever I write a blog post and you’d like to hear more ideas and info from me, then sign-up here…


P.P.S.  If you liked this post, please click the appropriate button below to share it with others.  And as usual post any comments, questions, etc. below!

I posted on my Google+ stream an interesting article on about AT&T partnering with the British TV show “Doctor Who.”

What they’ve come up with is very interesting.

It’s not just another “hybrid commercial” like Bing and other companies have done where the commercial promotes their product and ties in with the show.

AT&T’s commercial actually adds to the plot!  It’s a chase sequence starring lead characters Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill).

The interesting thing is that the commercial is written by “Doctor Who” executive producer Steven Moffat and the episode’s director Richard Senior!

The scene is something that the producers couldn’t have done without AT&T (cost being one reason), so it’s actually a benefit to the show itself.

Do you see what AT&T has done with this one move?

They have stopped people from getting up for a bathroom break – or switching channels – by adding content the fans of “Doctor Who” will want to watch.

They’ll make people think twice about skipping the commercial on their DVRs.  AT&T did this by creatively using content marketing.

I think this is a pretty cool idea considering how crowded and noisy the world is with ads nowadays.

2 Quick Lessons For Business Owners:

1. Content marketing is something that you need to use to get attention and build a relationship with your prospects and customers.

When you provide helpful content your prospects will “discover” you, others will promote your content (and indirectly your business) and your prospects and customers will remember you when it’s time for them to buy what you offer. (See “60 Minutes” Creator And An Effective Content Marketing Formula” and my other posts under “Content Marketing” for tips on creating great content.)

2. Think of other businesses (and maybe non-profits) that you can partner with and provide content that supplements what they are doing while subtly promoting your business.

This reminds me of one of Michael Stelzner‘s concept in his book “Launch“.  Michael talks about the idea of partnering and amplifying others in your industry as a way to gain greater access and attention in your market.  (I’ll post a review about Michael’s great book soon.)

What do you think?

  • Do you have any comments about what AT&T has done (positive or negative)?
  • Do you have any ideas on how businesses can apply this? 
Post your thoughts in the comments below or on my Google+ plus stream.

I created a slide show that was originally created to teach business owners how to create an information product that their customers would like and that would establish them as an expert.

But you need to understand that what this is really teaching you is how to create content you can use to promote your business.

Don’t Limit Yourself In How You Apply What I Teach You:

  • The ebook you create could be given away for free or even sold.
  • It could also be made into a physical book.
  • The same basic advice could be used to create a teleconference.
  • It could be used to create a series of posts on your blog.
  • Be creative in how you apply the 9 steps!

NOTE: There is no sound.  All the info you need is written on the slides.  You can go through the slides at your own pace and even go back through any section.

What You Need To View It:

  • You can view it right here on my blog.
  • You will just need the link to the “secret” page on this blog where I have the slideshow.
  • You will also need a password to access the page.

You can get access to the secret page and the password by clicking the link below and signing-up your first name and email.

You’ll automatically be emailed the info to access the slideshow.

Click here to sign-up:
How To Get Experts To Create Content That Promotes Your Business”

Click the TWEET button below to share on Twitter.
Click here to post this on Facebook.
Here’s the link you can post on your blog:

Scott @rampbusinesses


Today, I’m going to continue the story I’ve been telling you about how I got experts to create content for me, just after we had our first son.  (See  Part 1 & Part 2)

This will show you a way to create content for marketing and connecting with your prospects and customers, for those of you who want to, but you don’t have the time or desire to do it.

Alright, where was I?

Oh yeah!

I sent the email out to something like 10 or so experts, early in the morning (around 2am) and the next morning, I couldn’t believe what happened!

I had emails from around 3 people with their interviews already sent back and COMPLETED!!!

My ebook was already starting to form and all I did was send one email!

Guess who one of these first guys was?
It was best-selling marketer who many people quote.  (He’s the one “mystery contributor” in my ebooks, because he asked me not to mention his name on the site..)

I couldn’t believe it!! I remembered this guy co-authored a book with the marketing guru Jay Conrad Levinson (Guerilla Marketing best-selling author).

I knew Jay was considered by marketers as almost a living legend. (He oversaw the Marlboro Man campaign and many famous marketing campaigns.)

I sent Jay an email telling him what I was doing and then at the end of the email I just said, “These people have already sent in their interviews…” Then I listed the names of the people who sent me there interview answers — with the name of the person he co-authored a book with at the TOP!

If I was shocked when the first guy sent in his interview answers, I almost had a heart attack when JAY turned around and sent his in!!!

I knew having these two marketing experts a part of the book would inspire other experts to be a part too, so I just kept sending out more emails, to more people, and my list of people kept growing!

Towards the end, I had experts THANKING me for being a part of MY ebook!

It made me want to laugh, because  I couldn’t believe they were thanking ME for letting THEM be a part!  🙂 (Sorry for all my exclamation points, but I still get excited thinking about it!)

By the time I was through, I had 20 business and marketing experts who gave me interviews. I then wrote the intro and conclusion to share my knowledge and to psychologically associate myself with these experts.  (I later dropped two of these first 20 experts when I republished the first volume with the second one.)

I started selling the first volume in 2002 and later created the second volume and began selling it at the end of 2008.

Helped Established My Expert Status
But beyond the money, I ended up boosting my visibility in this “internet marketing” arena. I went from a complete unknown to only a semi-unknown! 🙂  You need to remember.  In 2001, I had already been studying and been involved with online marketing for 2 years or more.

In that time, I had:

  • Already built up a website that was one of the top 5 in its niche
  • Built a website that had 5,000 unique visitors a month
  • Had a forum with 1200 members.

But my problem was that after all of this, no one had still ever heard of me!  🙂

You see by creating this first ebook, it validated my expertise and showed people that I knew what I was talking about.

Because of this first ebook, I ended up getting interviewed on a teleconference that was put on by Alex Mandossian (one of the guys in my ebook).  I was also interviewed for an information product with some top name experts.  And since I have now put together two volumes, with 38 different experts,  I’ve been interviewed on the radio and asked to share the methods I know to help businesses survive in a recession, etc…

You can type in my name in Google and you can see ezine/online articles I’ve written.    But putting together this content was the first step of establishing myself as an expert. (That’s one of the reasons why it’s important for you to create content… so you can establish yourself as an expert in your niche/field!)

And the cool thing is that it all started with one idea.

Not only that, this same idea is something I have used over and over again! (I put together another ebook in a small niche that has done really well and this was also created by having experts in that niche create the content.)

By the way, when I say, “How I GOT…Experts To Create Content For Me,” I DON’T mean that I tricked or manipulated them to do it.

I would never do something like that or encourage others to do this.

This Is The Most Important Thing For You To Understand
of the experts (and experts who have done this for me in that small niche) have GLADLY created content for me.  They did it because of the benefit it would be for them and what they are trying to accomplish.  And some even did it for the honor of being associated with other experts in their field.  I used a method that created a mutually beneficial situation for the experts and myself.

You have to realize this, I used this method to create a written ebook, but the same method I used can be implemented to create content for a website, a blog, or even an audio interview!

Why am I telling you this story? Here’s why…

If you are interested in learning more about how I was able to get these experts to give me interviews – if you want to know why they’d do it for you, then I am going to give you access to listen in to a webinar that will teach you…

“How To Get Experts To Create Content That You Can Use To Promote Your Business”

Stay tuned, because I’ll be posting more details about how you can listen to it.  Subscribe to this blog now, by email or RSS, so you’ll know when I post the info.

Get Updates Through Facebook & Get My Two Ebooks For FREE.
You can also “like” my Recession Solution page on the new “fan page” I created on Facebook.  When I post updates on this blog it will show up on my fan page and in your Facebook news feed.

If you’re one of the first 100 people to do this, then I’ll email you copies of both of my ebooks, “How Your Business Can Survive And Prosper In A Recession”.  (That’s a retail value of $47.)

People have already started “liking”, but you still have a chance to be one of the first 100 and get my ebooks for free.  Go here to become a Facebook fan a “like” it!

NOTE: After you “like” my page, then message me on Facebook and send me the email address you want me to send your free copies of my ebooks to.  (They are .PDF files.)

Until then…

Spread the word! Link to it.  Tweet about it.  Blog about it. Send smoke signals.  Whatever!  Here’s how…

Click here to tweet this (make sure you’re already logged in to Twitter).
Click here to post this on Facebook.
Here’s the link you can post on your blog:

Scott @rampbusinesses

Today I want to continue my story…

Where I left off:
It was 2001 and I was trying to come up with an idea to make money online and make extra money to support my wife and new son while living on the S.F. Peninsula (Silicon Valley).

I finally came across an idea I thought I could do.

The idea was in an ebook I got for free and that I then later forgot about.  (Anyone else ever do that?)

The idea in the book was this…

It said that info-products (books, workbooks, etc.) were a good thing to sell.

The guy who wrote the ebook said an easy way to come up with a book (think “content“) was by interviewing experts on a topic and then compile the interviews and you have an INSTANT book! (Again think “content”.)

My Idea
It was not long after Sept. 11th and I realized that the Recession was going to get worse and that business owners would want to know how to survive and prosper in a recession.

I decided that I could interview some of the experts I read online and off, because they would all know methods to help businesses.

I got a business license, but kept stalling on doing anthing else.

One night in October 2001, I decided that I always had these ideas, but I never did anything about them!

So, at around 1am in the morning I put together an email to send to these experts. I told them I was putting together an ebook called “How You Can Survive And Prosper In A Recession” for business owners and I wanted to interview them for it.

I had 3 questions for them:

1. What are the common mistakes most businesses make during a recession?
2. What are 10 steps/methods they’d use to survive and prosper in a recession?
3. What are some little known ways to make money during this time that businesses could use?

I sent the email out to something like 10 or so experts, early in the morning (around 2am).

The next morning, I couldn’t believe what happened!

I’ll tell you more of the story in my next postStay tuned.

Until then…

Spread the word! Link to it.  Tweet about it.  Blog about it. Send smoke signals.  Whatever!  Here’s how…

Click here to tweet this (make sure you’re already logged in to Twitter).
Click here to post this on Facebook.
Here’s the link you can post on your blog:

Scott @rampbusinesses

I was going to continue my story today, but I decided to post this today and part 2 of my story tomorrow.

I’ve been talking recently about this here in this recent series of posts… 

Small businesses need to stop relying solely on traditional marketing and begin using content to connect and bond with their prospects.

Well, has just published an article by David C. Edelman telling you some similar ideas.

It’s actually a really good article that brings in some important views and concepts. 

David says…

“For all their investments in video Web ads, sponsored content, user tools, micro-sites, search terms, etc., most companies have not made the strategic commitment required to get the full benefits of digital marketing.

“The shift in mix from ‘paid media’ to ‘owned’ and ‘earned’ media that occurs with digital marketing is more than a budgeting exercise. It is–or should be–the manifestation of a massive shift in perspective, from being a brand that pushes ads and promotions to one that publishes content and applications that help consumers buy and bond with the brand.”  (*Bold emphasis mine)

And later it says, “This new perspective determines how we invest in content, how we manage that content, and finally, how we harvest the information that is generated when customers use our content.”  (*Bold emphasis again mine)

David also talks about how one consumer goods company won against  a leader in their category by shifting it’s budget from paid advertising to content. 

He explains budgeting under this new paradigm and other important ideas. 

Read the whole article here:
“Perish Or Publish”

Stay Tuned:
Tomorrow I’ll continue my personal story of how I discovered how to get others to create content for you.  (And gladly do it!)