3 Vital Marketing Lessons From the World’s Most Offensive Doughnut Shop

image of Voodoo Doughnuts sign

The line, even on the bitterest winter nights, extends out the door and down the block.

The neighborhood could charitably be described as “gritty” — known for marijuana dispensaries, tattoo parlors, and bars. (And those are the legal businesses.)

The walls are Pepto-Bismol pink, graced with a black velvet painting of a stern-looking Pam Grier. The place smells like … well, like a doughnut shop — that delicious yet faintly disgusting scent of industrial fryers.

The menu on the wall is illegibly tiny (even for 20-somethings on glaucoma medication), but everyone just pulls it up on their phone anyway. They take cash and only cash, and the cute tattooed employees at the cash register are friendly, if not necessarily efficient.

They’ve taken something ordinary (you might even call it a bit boring) and turned it into an enduring craze.

And yet, everything about the place turns off 95 percent of their potential customers.

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What to Do If Your Great Content Isn’t Getting Found

Another well-hidden Menehune statue on the grounds of Disney's Aulani resort in Ko Olina, Hawaii.

Hang out around this place for more than ten minutes and we’ll hit you over the head, telling you to create some high-quality content.

And by “high-quality,” we mean the good stuff. Not spun, fluffed, scraped, or otherwise mass produced for pennies a word.

Something people want to read. (Or listen to, or watch.)

So if you create that kind of content (or hire someone to create it for you), you’re set, right?

When I quoted Robert Rose saying, “Great content wins. End of story,” did I mean that great content promotes itself? That if the content is good enough, content fairies fly down and magically transport it to the eyes of an adoring audience?

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The Astronaut, the Rock Star, and Your Content Strategy

Chris Hadfield juggling tomatoes

20 million views … and counting.

I remember the first time I saw it. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, then commander of the International Space station, had taken his guitar into space. He posted a simple but powerful video of himself performing David Bowie’s classic “Space Oddity” — in space. (Note: Sadly, the license for the video has expired, so for now it’s not publicly available.)

As far as I’m concerned, this pretty well cemented his position as coolest dude there has ever been. I mean, Canadian plus astronaut plus Bowie? That’s the trifecta of cool right there.

(Plus he juggles. In space.)

Like a lot of people, I assumed that Hadfield had an amazing innate understanding of what worked and didn’t work as content. He had been posting neat and interesting content to the web for months —- great tweets and YouTube videos on funny, everyday aspects of life in space.

They were memorable, they were highly shareable, and they paved the way for that 20-million view bombshell.

So imagine how surprised I was when I read Hadfield’s biography — and found out that when he was getting started, he was actually sort of an idiot about content.

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Brian Clark (and Friends) Offer Some Free Fuel for Your Content

Banner for CMI's ContentTECH

Could your content marketing use a little boost? Our friends at the Content Marketing Institute are offering a free one-day event dedicated to the technology that can accelerate your content marketing.

Copyblogger founder and CEO Brian Clark will be there, as well as other leading experts.

Head on over and get registered now (it’s free), and save the date: February 26, 2014 from 10 AM EST – 5 PM EST.

The agenda is packed with value:

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Save $100 on SMX West in San Jose this March

banner for Search Marketing Expo West 2014

Search Marketing Expo — affectionately known as SMX — returns to San Jose this March 11-13.

Our own Brian Clark will be speaking and Google’s search chief Amit Singhal is keynoting — just two highlights of three days of sessions, keynotes, and clinics on paid search, SEO, social media marketing, mobile search and more.

Check out the full agenda here, with thirty new sessions plus brand new social media boot camp and digital marketing summit tracks.

Sign up today to snag the early bird rates, and while you’re at it, save yourself $100 with our discount code smx100copy.

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Surviving “Content Shock” and the Impending Content Marketing Collapse

image of cartoon

I’ll admit it. I was tempted to call this one “Is Content Marketing Dead?”

But you’re too smart to fall for that and would have (justifiably) mocked me for it. Which would be embarrassing.

Within the content marketing echo chamber community, you might have seen some concern about the idea of “Content Shock” — the notion that as content marketing becomes more and more popular, we’ll eventually face a kind of “Content Cliff.” A period where content collapses in on itself as audiences max out on their ability to consume it.

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