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Pssst. Want to hear a secret?

Our Content Marketing focus continued this week, with many opinions on what is and isn't working including a tip on what could be marketers' new best friend: word of mouth.

We also witnessed the end of a SharePoint era this week with the posting of the final installment of The Art of SharePoint Success, 20 articles and nearly one year after the series began. Perhaps a follow up series on The Art of SharePoint 2013 Success is in order?

All Eyes on Content

Word of Mouth: Content Marketers' New Best Friend

Chelsi Nakano (@chelsi): In addition to a seemingly countless number of other changes, social media usage has lent the volume and visibility needed to include peer-to-peer recommendations in today’s lineup of viable content marketing strategies. In fact, because many (if not all) of today’s marketing shifts are consumer-centric, word-of-mouth (WOM) could very well wind up being the most effective piece of the puzzle.

Eloqua's Joe Chernov Discusses Content Marketing's Potential

Siobhan Fagan (@smg_Siobhan): Joe Chernov, VP of content marketing at Eloqua, knows of what he speaks. He is an award-winning content marketer in business-to-business marketing, having created with his collaborator JESS3, content such as The Content Grid and The Blog Tree infographics; The Future of Revenue animated video; and The Social Media Playbook and Social Media ProBook e-books.

Joe recently took some time out to answer questions about his field and where he sees it going.

Content Strategy: Why Review and Remove Are Such Critical Web Skills

Gerry McGovern (@gerrymcgovern): In the history of evolution it is generally better to complicate than to simplify. But complication can hit a wall.

You Can Never Create a Predictable, Unified Customer Experience

Scott K Wilder (@skwilder): Think about two little toddlers playing, and imagine giving them some toys. For example let’s say we give them a Thomas the Tank Engine. Even if you instruct them how to play with the trains, kids will design their own routines and come up with their own stories.

Marketing departments should approach content in a similar manner. 

Adventures in Creating Successful Country Sites

Simon Lande: Poor usability, inappropriateness, cultural insensitivity: such are the issues that can characterize country sites of all types, often reflected in poor feedback from users. Frequently, such sites have a spare, clinical, sanitized feel that discourages a real connection with the target audience -- a grave problem in a space where experience is becoming the most important element of a website.

Content Value Index for Localization: Not All Content is Created Equal

Rob Vandenberg (@robvandenberg): So how does your organization categorize the relative value of its content for translation? How, what and when do you translate specific types of content? I propose we look at this in terms of a “Content Value Index.” Content can be divided into three levels to help distinguish the relative value and the appropriate method to translate it. These levels are automatic, community and professional.

Delivering What the Customer Really Wants

Social Media ROI: It Doesn't Really Matter (Really!)

Jim Belosic (@shortstacklab): Is it possible to measure the return on investment (ROI) for social media? This is a question that every person who works in social media, or uses social media as a business marketing tool, has wondered at some point. But trying to measure social ROI is sort of like trying to measure the effectiveness of a billboard.

Chatter - Eloqua Integration Sneak Peek

Ashley Furness (@crmadvice): Eloqua yesterday announced plans to integrate popular enterprise social network Chatter into its on-demand marketing automation platform. Though the offering won’t be publicly available until next quarter, I was granted a sneak peek earlier this week.

Two Eloqua executives walked me through a demo of the new offering, dubbed “Chatter inside Eloqua.” This gave me a chance to see how the offering would work in a real marketing scenario.

The Bigger Social Picture

What it Takes to Do Good Work and Where Social Business Fits In

Deb Lavoy (@deb_lavoy):There is much said about employee engagement these days — how it is essential to great business outcomes, and how it is often shockingly low. Gallup’s 2009 statistical analysis across multiple studies show pretty radical correlations between having engaged employees and corporate outcomes.

The True Drivers of Creativity and Collaboration

Billy Cripe (@billycripe): There is an unseemly hubris in content and collaboration software.

It is the assumption that knowledge and innovation can come out of them. As if our companies were some sort of orange to be squeezed into a pitcher and served up as a healthy and tasty accompaniment to breakfast.

The trend has a long history that is still being played out today, though we see some hints of change. ERP, MRP and Supply Chain systems took the principles of the assembly line and applied them to business processes — from how things are made to how they’re transported from here to there. These gave rise to HCM systems which took the same fundamental approach and applied it to how people (human beings) are managed and placed and categorized and “quality assured” in an organization (that last part being your annual review).

Mobile Technology and That Nasty Law of Diminishing Returns

Barry Schaeffer: Technology has found its wings with unprecedented advances in devices for use anywhere, by anyone, for virtually any purpose. But as we await that next round of wow technology, there appears on the horizon a specter that may blunt our enthusiasm and impede technology’s climb.

That old law of diminishing returns is set to make the next big product release slightly less dramatic and worth dumping our current devices for. With an iPad less than half an inch thick, connectivity virtually instant and compute power rivaling mainframes, how do improvements continue to become must-haves? For a hardware industry based on ever increasing volume and a market hungry to upgrade, that could spell trouble.

Building the Social Layer

Tom Petrocelli (@tompetrocelli): The Social Enterprise and its supporting technology is being adopted broadly by all types of organizations. In a recent ESG survey of IT professionals in mid- and large-sized enterprises, 74 percent of respondents reported that their organizations had deployed some type of social collaboration or communication tools, with the majority reporting implementation of both. Social tools are a mainstream part of the corporate experience.

Microsoft and Yammer: A Fresh Take

Kevin Conroy (@seattlerooster): Now that Microsoft’s long-anticipated US$ 1.2 billion acquisition of Yammer has finally been announced and the dust has settled a bit, it’s worth taking a fresh look at what can be seen both as one of our industry’s most fascinating transactions and one of its worst-kept secrets.

End of a (SharePoint 2010) Era

The Art of SharePoint Success: Epilogue - The Call to Action

Symon Garfield (@symon_garfield): I’ve been writing the Art of SharePoint Success for about four years (seriously). The framework is intended to be a way of structuring thinking and knowledge. It’s not a methodology or process, but knowledge that doesn’t enable action is pretty useless. Therefore, to round off the series I thought you might be interested to hear how I use the framework in consulting engagements.

SharePoint 2010 Composites: Do-It-Yourself Business Solutions

Jennifer Mason (@jennifermason): This is the final article in this series “What is this SharePoint Thing All About Anyway?” and in this article we are going to be looking at the concept of SharePoint Composites. Composites are a type of solution that allows you to pull together items from multiple applications to build a complete solution. In this article we are going to highlight some of the various types of things you can build using composites as well as provide an overview of the tools you will utilize.

Never Mind Microblogging, SharePoint Needs to Support Plain Old Blogging

Chris Wright (@scribbleagency): In case you missed it, Microsoft bought Yammer. We await the results of this acquisition within SharePoint (we might be waiting some time), but it is certainly a clear admission that SharePoint doesn’t currently do "social" very well. Yammer is primarily a microblogging platform, albeit with a lot of other features thrown in, so it is fair to say Microsoft will use it to beef up this side of SharePoint — user profiles, activity feeds, microblogging, status updates and so on. But what about good old fashioned standard blogging?

Microsoft and Big Data at TechEd Europe #TEE12

Christian Buckley (@buckleyplanet): While attending TechEd Europe in Amsterdam last month, I was able to attend a session on the topic of big data by Gert Drapers, a principal software architect on the SQL Server team at Microsoft. His session, entitled "Big Data, Big Deal?" was based on content by David J. DeWitt and Rimma Nehme from their SQL Pass 2011 keynote, and sought to clarify the definition of big data and Microsoft's role in the space.

Still hungry for more content marketing insights? That's good, because we've got them coming up next week, as well as a look at the future of Drupal.

Title image courtesy of Sukhonosova Anastasia (Shutterstock)