Category Archives: contentmarketinginstitute

10 Commandments to Create Compelling Content


Compelling content – everyone talks about it, yet it is as difficult to articulate as it is to create. Seminar after seminar, blog post after blog post, content marketers provide the same trite advice: Create compelling content.

This is usually followed by examples of compelling brand content in various mediums – videos, infographics, memes, e-books, podcasts, etc.

It’s as though the answer to the million-dollar question of how to compel people with content is – make the content compelling.

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Beyond the PDF: How Alternative Content Marketing Formats Improve the Customer Experience


I’m usually an even-tempered person, but a few topics get me riled up.

  1. The Oxford comma. (It has semantic meaning! Everyone should use it!)
  2. Low-fat baked goods. (Just … no. I’m sorry if you’re on a diet, but that doesn’t give you permission to ruin cookies for the rest of us.)
  3. Firefly. (Why did Fox cancel it? Why? It had such potential!)
  4. The overuse of PDFs in marketing.

The fourth item is the one I’m confident pertains to you, fellow marketer, and the one I want to explore with you here.

Exploring the PDF universe

My first career was in publishing. Science textbook publishing, to be precise. In my six years as an editor, I spent thousands of hours meticulously reviewing PDF book manuscripts and printer proofs.

I learned that PDFs work well for certain applications, like preparing press-ready files that a printer can use to run off 50,000 copies without having them look like cheap Xeroxes. PDFs are also good for showing you exactly how a print piece is going to look in its final format with nifty things like crop marks, spread layouts, and gutters.

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