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The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business

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The most important marketing book of the year! Mark W. Schaefer, college educator, consultant, and best-selling author of five marketing books including Social Media Explained and The Tao of Twitter, has delivered a path-finding book exploring the six factors that will help you break through the overwhelming wall of information density to win at marketing now ... beyond co The most important marketing book of the year! Mark W. Schaefer, college educator, consultant, and best-selling author of five marketing books including Social Media Explained and The Tao of Twitter, has delivered a path-finding book exploring the six factors that will help you break through the overwhelming wall of information density to win at marketing now ... beyond content, beyond social media, beyond web traffic and Search Engine Optimization. The Content Code starts where your current marketing plan ends, and provides the launch code for next-level success. The book dives deeply into the true value of social media marketing and the steps companies need to enable to achieve measurable results. A pioneering book that explores the psychology of sharing, it is also highly practical, offering hundreds of ideas that can be used by organizations of any size and any budget. Book highlights include in-depth explorations on the connection between brand and content transmission, a focus on audiences that will move content, practical steps to build "shareability" into all your content, and the new role of promotion, distribution and SEO in a very competitive, digital world. Unlock your business value, unleash your audience, and uncover the six digital secrets of The Content Code.


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The most important marketing book of the year! Mark W. Schaefer, college educator, consultant, and best-selling author of five marketing books including Social Media Explained and The Tao of Twitter, has delivered a path-finding book exploring the six factors that will help you break through the overwhelming wall of information density to win at marketing now ... beyond co The most important marketing book of the year! Mark W. Schaefer, college educator, consultant, and best-selling author of five marketing books including Social Media Explained and The Tao of Twitter, has delivered a path-finding book exploring the six factors that will help you break through the overwhelming wall of information density to win at marketing now ... beyond content, beyond social media, beyond web traffic and Search Engine Optimization. The Content Code starts where your current marketing plan ends, and provides the launch code for next-level success. The book dives deeply into the true value of social media marketing and the steps companies need to enable to achieve measurable results. A pioneering book that explores the psychology of sharing, it is also highly practical, offering hundreds of ideas that can be used by organizations of any size and any budget. Book highlights include in-depth explorations on the connection between brand and content transmission, a focus on audiences that will move content, practical steps to build "shareability" into all your content, and the new role of promotion, distribution and SEO in a very competitive, digital world. Unlock your business value, unleash your audience, and uncover the six digital secrets of The Content Code.

30 review for The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Josh Steimle

    It's a good book. Read it alongside Epic Content Marketing, Everybody Writes, Content Rules, and Content Inc. It's a good book. Read it alongside Epic Content Marketing, Everybody Writes, Content Rules, and Content Inc.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jay Ehret

    More of a collection of tips and best practices then a code. A book that will be more useful for the novice than the experienced content creator. But still a few good ideas and reminders of forgotten practices even for the pro.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Avtar Ram Singh

    I have tremendous respect for Mark Schaefer, someone who's a pragmatic marketing practitioner, but has also become a friend over the last few years. The Content Code needs to be picked up by anyone who has freshly ventured into marketing, is about to start working on content, has been working on content for the internet but hasn't seen success, or students wondering what this whole content marketing business is about. It's an incredibly diverse and vast field, but Mark tackles almost all the sali I have tremendous respect for Mark Schaefer, someone who's a pragmatic marketing practitioner, but has also become a friend over the last few years. The Content Code needs to be picked up by anyone who has freshly ventured into marketing, is about to start working on content, has been working on content for the internet but hasn't seen success, or students wondering what this whole content marketing business is about. It's an incredibly diverse and vast field, but Mark tackles almost all the salient aspects of content marketing and content "ignition" in compact, impactful sections that give you the gist of what you truly need to know. You need to have a little notebook handy as you're going through The Content Code, as you're going to want to make notes of the points being made. While it isn't an instruction manual, it offers you plenty of "action points" that unless you carefully jot down and plan on working on later - they'll slip your mind. And it doesn't need to be said, that the difference between content that spreads and content that doesn't, is that little extra that you have to do in order to make it spread. And all of that is in the finer details.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Syed Irfan Ajmal

    Most of the content is meant for beginner-level content producers and content marketers. It was less of a 'code' and more of a collection of tips. It didn't really share much on how these tips work to avoid 'content shock'. Still a good read if you are just starting out or if you want to know what some successful people are doing within the content world to advance their personal branding and business goals. Most of the content is meant for beginner-level content producers and content marketers. It was less of a 'code' and more of a collection of tips. It didn't really share much on how these tips work to avoid 'content shock'. Still a good read if you are just starting out or if you want to know what some successful people are doing within the content world to advance their personal branding and business goals.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Schaefer eschews most of the more rigid disciplines of SEO and instead focuses on how to create content that "ignites". Content that not only pleases people, but moves them in a real way. Figuring out a content strategy and how to best take advantage of Google algorithms are essential, but creating content that stands out from the noise of your competitors is another task entirely. This book goes a long way towards figuring out how to do that, at least to the best of your ability (there is some Schaefer eschews most of the more rigid disciplines of SEO and instead focuses on how to create content that "ignites". Content that not only pleases people, but moves them in a real way. Figuring out a content strategy and how to best take advantage of Google algorithms are essential, but creating content that stands out from the noise of your competitors is another task entirely. This book goes a long way towards figuring out how to do that, at least to the best of your ability (there is some debate within the book itself as to whether or not inherent talent is required to fully succeed). If you are looking for technical knowhow this is not the direction to go in, but the book provides something arguably more valuable: building a loyal and trustworthy audience that will keep coming back and spreading your content to others. Overall, a great compliment to the more technical side of content optimization.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joey Patrick

    Provides Good Foundation Mark Schaefer is an excellent resource to learn content marketing from. From his reading, I green his basic tenets are consistency, authenticity, and energy. With those three elements, you'll be able to craft a sound strategy. Mark goes farther with a framework to help you plan that strategy. Along the way, you'll be treated to asides and antidotes from 30 years of marketing experience. My only detracting thought is that some technologies aren't in use anymore but that is Provides Good Foundation Mark Schaefer is an excellent resource to learn content marketing from. From his reading, I green his basic tenets are consistency, authenticity, and energy. With those three elements, you'll be able to craft a sound strategy. Mark goes farther with a framework to help you plan that strategy. Along the way, you'll be treated to asides and antidotes from 30 years of marketing experience. My only detracting thought is that some technologies aren't in use anymore but that is the nature of the beast when you're working in the final frontier of content marketing.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Danilo

    It was an interesting reading although some of the concepts and tips Mark has shown in the book wasn't at all new to me. What I really liked in the book was the way he wrote the book, it was hard for me to put the book down, I was always saying to myself, read a bit more, go at least to the end of the chapter. Not only I recommend this book for those who are into Marketing and have it as their way of living, but also for those who just want to know how it makes an impact on society today. It was an interesting reading although some of the concepts and tips Mark has shown in the book wasn't at all new to me. What I really liked in the book was the way he wrote the book, it was hard for me to put the book down, I was always saying to myself, read a bit more, go at least to the end of the chapter. Not only I recommend this book for those who are into Marketing and have it as their way of living, but also for those who just want to know how it makes an impact on society today.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brendan Ihmig

    This book offers great insight into digital content creation and marketing and makes for a great read for any blogger and/or business/commercial writer. The Content Code is not as extensive as other books on the subject but serves as a good companion read with other books such as Content Inc by Joe Pulizzi (Content Marketing Institute) or Guest Blogging Goldmine by Tom Corson-Knowles

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ryan McClellan

    get in touch with me Mark, great work. I followed you on LinkedIn, please return the favor. I extend this as an offer of appreciation. This and your other books have changed the manner in which I think about my marketing strategies. If no one has yet to say it, thanks for sharing.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Manan Younas

    Practical Insights Author has chosen an analytical approach for arguments as to what works in content marketing and why . The book contains practical advise on where to start and how to "ignite" content . Very insightful and detailed . Practical Insights Author has chosen an analytical approach for arguments as to what works in content marketing and why . The book contains practical advise on where to start and how to "ignite" content . Very insightful and detailed .

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Stec

    The content code is a pillar in my marketing strategy and Mark does a terrific job of addressing challenges and sharing ideas of how to ignite your content. A great read for any marketer. One I will read again for sure.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Winsor

    Lots of practical tips and tricks to creating and igniting your organization’s content. From gathering an alpha audience to creating shareable content, this book will give you LOADS of ideas for giving your content legs and giving it a shot to reach the world.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Hansen

    I'm a fan of Mr. Schaefer's ideas (though I wouldn't recommend his podcast - too much him trying to be funny and not enough sharing interesting ideas). And this book is filled with helpful ideas. I will keep it on my shelf for reference. I'm a fan of Mr. Schaefer's ideas (though I wouldn't recommend his podcast - too much him trying to be funny and not enough sharing interesting ideas). And this book is filled with helpful ideas. I will keep it on my shelf for reference.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Santo Po

    Nice book. The content isn't revolutionary or special. Just a simple book with solid tips and tricks teaching you how to gain followers and customers ultimately. I specially liked the pages telling about how to engage and nurture a fan base. Gonna test some of the advices eventually. Nice book. The content isn't revolutionary or special. Just a simple book with solid tips and tricks teaching you how to gain followers and customers ultimately. I specially liked the pages telling about how to engage and nurture a fan base. Gonna test some of the advices eventually.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Zakur

    Ignition. It’s all there is. A must read for all those trying to demystify the building blocks of content marketing. Mark breaks it down into practical steps.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sandi Lard

    Solid info. Nothing more to be said.

  17. 4 out of 5

    سارة shaalan)

    2 stars for little points. This book is disappointed me. 😢😢

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dimi

    A solid take on modern content marketing and the way "noise" content is flooding the communication channels right now, and some solid strategies on keeping it real. Recommended readng. A solid take on modern content marketing and the way "noise" content is flooding the communication channels right now, and some solid strategies on keeping it real. Recommended readng.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chris Syme

    The Future of Social Media: The Content Code [Book Review] I have seen the future of social media, and it is bright. Mark Schaefer’s new book, The Content Code, is the answer to a conundrum that most social media managers are facing today: lack of content engagement. Too many voices are clamoring for a limited online attention span. Schaefer’s new book provides a road map for not only breaking through the noise, but building a long-term Alpha Audience that can help ignite your content regularly. I The Future of Social Media: The Content Code [Book Review] I have seen the future of social media, and it is bright. Mark Schaefer’s new book, The Content Code, is the answer to a conundrum that most social media managers are facing today: lack of content engagement. Too many voices are clamoring for a limited online attention span. Schaefer’s new book provides a road map for not only breaking through the noise, but building a long-term Alpha Audience that can help ignite your content regularly. I have the pleasure of working with people from many sectors: higher education, college athletics, nonprofits, and authors. Finding good resources that hit the mark for everyone is sometimes a challenge. But The Content Code, is a top shelf book. It’s one I will grab time and time again and recommend to everyone. The dilemma: adults in the western world consume content an average of 10 hours per day. Schaefer says, “This intersection of finite content availability is creating a marketing industry tremor I characterize as Content Shock. Content demand is flat as volume increases.” Social sharing becomes more important as brands struggle to be heard. The bottom line, according to Schaefer: content that is not discovered has no value. So how do brands build that discoverability and create ignition? By being a BADASS. The acronym defines the six elements of the code: -Brand development -Audience and influencers -Distribution -Advertising, promotion, and SEO -“Shareability” embedded into each piece of content -Social proof and social signals The book connects some important dots that are missing in today’s marketing practices. Our focus today is on creating content that catches people’s attention, but not on audience development. Without audience development, our content continues to float in space, hopefully getting snagged by an interested passerby. As Schaefer reminds readers: “Business results on the web don’t come from content, they come from content that moves.” Much of the meat of the book comes in the chapters on developing what Schaefer calls an Alpha Audience. Content ignition depends on a loyal, invested, and cultivated group of advocates. “A brand’s advocates account for a significant amount of its earned media: Brands with high advocate populations generate up to 264% more earned media impressions per campaign than brands with fewer advocates.” Some of my favorite quotes from the book: “What every organization needs before conquering a digital strategy is a human strategy.” “Anybody can figure out ways to generate short-term web traffic. But that’s simply a battle for attention you can never win.” “Traffic alone will never, ever create an Alpha audience.” “Don’t confuse activity with audience.” “Find your ‘it’ factor. To stand out on the web you need to be an original…and to be original you have only one choice—find the courage to dig down deep and infuse your content with a bit of your personality , a bit of your own creativity. You have no competitors, there is only one you.” Another paradigm shifter is the chapter on building a Heroic Brand. On today’s internet, you can’t just post content and forget about it. “To be more effective at promoting your content, you first need to become more effective at promoting other people’s content. The internet is a relationship economy.” I don’t have space enough to touch on all the highlights—this book is packed full. It is not just theoretical, it is practical. As I mentioned earlier, it is a road map. And the path is clear, but it will take new thinking and a lot of work. Those that commit to do the work will rise. I highly recommend the read—get it now and get going. Now is the time to get your BADASS on.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Vaishnavi

    I rarely read on my Kindle because I start way too many books that I never end up finishing. "The Content Code" was an exception. I paced through it in 2-3 sittings. Here's the problem this book will help you solve. How do you as a business or brand actually get found? Algorithms keep changing. The "build it and they will come" era and waiting for search engines to deliver your content era seem like the good old days at this point. Today, brands still have to publish great content but the concept I rarely read on my Kindle because I start way too many books that I never end up finishing. "The Content Code" was an exception. I paced through it in 2-3 sittings. Here's the problem this book will help you solve. How do you as a business or brand actually get found? Algorithms keep changing. The "build it and they will come" era and waiting for search engines to deliver your content era seem like the good old days at this point. Today, brands still have to publish great content but the concept Schaefer empasizes in this book is all about igniting content. There's a phrase he keeps coming back to: BADASS. No major spoilers but he sums up content ignition in a fun acronym: Brand Development Audience and Influencers Distribution, Advertising, Promotion, and SEO Authority Sharability embedded into each piece of content Social proof and social signals There's a lot of good insight into digital content creation that makes for a great read for any blogger/brand writer. What I love about this book is that it's sprinkled with useful suggestions and tips throughout. Schaefer's solution revolves around creating quality content that appeals to people's natural desires to be perceived as helpful, entertaining or smart, among others. Verdict? This is a fairly quick and insightful read that’s easy to wrap your head around.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Terry Freedman

    Something that concerned me for a long time was the fact that it seems to be getting harder and harder to generate much obvious response to blog posts or other content I published. I say "obvious" because after a while I realised two things. First, my content was being shared, but privately. And secondly, that most other people were finding it hard to generate "shares" as well. You can tell that that second one is the case, and probably the first one too, by looking at the number of shares enjoyed Something that concerned me for a long time was the fact that it seems to be getting harder and harder to generate much obvious response to blog posts or other content I published. I say "obvious" because after a while I realised two things. First, my content was being shared, but privately. And secondly, that most other people were finding it hard to generate "shares" as well. You can tell that that second one is the case, and probably the first one too, by looking at the number of shares enjoyed by famous people in your niche. I looked at one the other day: someone who has been on the scene for decades, has thousands of Twitter followers, and is a well-known face on the speaker circuit. Last time I looked, a video of him being interviewed had been shared 15 times. Why is this the case, especially considering the fact that, in percentage terms, I had a much higher response rate to my articles 16 years ago than I do now? Mark Schaefer puts this phenomenon down to what he calls 'Content Shock'. In a nutshell, there is now so much content out there that it's becoming increasingly difficult to make oneself heard above the cacophony. The conventional wisdom espoused by many well-known bloggers is that content is king. Well, yes, but if hardly anyone sees that content then you might as well not bother. I found Schaefer's book very reassuring, because it helped to convince me that the problems I've just outlined aren't necessarily a reflection on me or my writing skills. I had been wondering if I'd lost my touch in some way, but most people are in the same boat. Even the percentage aspect is reassuring. Schaefer relates an anecdote in which he tweeted to raise some money for a good cause. Despite having the tweet retweeted by people with masses of followers, the number of people who responded by giving some cash could be counted on the fingers of one hand; if memory serves me well most of the money came from a single donor -- and that was someone who knew him. Basically, the avalanche of content has made the old rule book about content, if not obsolete, at least inadequate. The Content Code aims to rectify this, and provides several strategies you can try in order to get your stuff noticed. I enjoyed reading the book. Not only is it highly practical, it's written in a very lively and humorous manner. If I have one mild criticism it is that there is so much information here that it is sometimes hard, despite the promise of the subtitle, to discern a clear strategic approach. Nonetheless, this book is essential reading for anyone who not only produces content, but would quite like it to be consumed as well.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Missy Reid

    What I love about this book is that it's useful. The entire fourth chapter provides quick tips—things you can implement today—for igniting content. Aside from that section, there are other suggestions sprinkled throughout and loads of examples, many of which are taken from the author's personal experiences (and he's had plenty). But Schaefer does more than tell you how to ignite your content; he tells you why it's necessary. We all know about information overload and the importance of standing o What I love about this book is that it's useful. The entire fourth chapter provides quick tips—things you can implement today—for igniting content. Aside from that section, there are other suggestions sprinkled throughout and loads of examples, many of which are taken from the author's personal experiences (and he's had plenty). But Schaefer does more than tell you how to ignite your content; he tells you why it's necessary. We all know about information overload and the importance of standing out in a digital crowd, but that's not enough anymore. Smart differentiation won't compel people to share our content, and if they don't share it, we may as well not produce it. Content shock will keep it buried it forever. Schaefer's solution is to create quality content that appeals to people's natural desires to be perceived as helpful, entertaining or smart, among others. By exploring the psychology behind social sharing (and not just in the digital landscape, by the way), Schaefer offers an insightful book that's easy to wrap your head around. I'll read it again. No doubt.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Schmelzle

    Writing a blog post just isn't enough anymore. With so much content vying for attention, creators have to have a strategy for getting their message to their intended content consumers. I've gone back to this book multiple times; it has tips on getting better reach with content - with a manageable amount of work. He sums up content ignition in a hilarious acronym: Brand Development Audience and Influencers Distribution, Advertising, Promotion, and SEO Authority Sharability embedded into each piece of c Writing a blog post just isn't enough anymore. With so much content vying for attention, creators have to have a strategy for getting their message to their intended content consumers. I've gone back to this book multiple times; it has tips on getting better reach with content - with a manageable amount of work. He sums up content ignition in a hilarious acronym: Brand Development Audience and Influencers Distribution, Advertising, Promotion, and SEO Authority Sharability embedded into each piece of content Social proof and social signals BADASS - you won't forget it!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gordon Diver

    As with Schaefer's other works, there is much to like about this effort. The book is accessible to any skill level and addresses one of the greater issues with content creation today; how to get your audience to find your work. Highly instructive and useful. The reader has the opportunity to make immediate strides by implementing the tips included. A must have on the bookshelf for any community manager, social media professional or those interested getting their message heard. As with Schaefer's other works, there is much to like about this effort. The book is accessible to any skill level and addresses one of the greater issues with content creation today; how to get your audience to find your work. Highly instructive and useful. The reader has the opportunity to make immediate strides by implementing the tips included. A must have on the bookshelf for any community manager, social media professional or those interested getting their message heard.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kerry Broussard

    Maybe because the book was about content, but I felt like I was reading a long blog and not a book at all. It is also written like a blog with short spurts of context. AND the book, as Schaefer mentions, essentially the long version of a popular blog he wrote in his recent past. With that being said, the book delivered some great advice and a solid platform for starting content creation.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Good stuff. Mark is a smart dude. Nice blend of strategic thought and tactical suggestion. This book may not be the greatest fit for you if you work within the Enterprise, as the ideas he presents are comprehensive and work best in an un-siloed, integrated communications ecosystem.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Ratermann

    I would highly recommend to content marketing amateurs and professionals alike. Mark Schaefer brings content full circle, giving his insights and aggregating other thought leaders into key points. Book was an easy and interesting. I will continue to use it as a reference book in my industry.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy Allee

    It sat on my desk waiting to be read for a while, but once I started it, I read it pretty quickly. I took pages of notes, and will use a lot of the information found in the book in my strategies at work.

  29. 4 out of 5

    August

    I'll definitely have to re-read because I need to take notes, but I really enjoyed this. Some of it feels a bit repetitive, but that's probably for the best. If you're going into marketing, communications, PR, copy/content work, social media, this is required reading. I'll definitely have to re-read because I need to take notes, but I really enjoyed this. Some of it feels a bit repetitive, but that's probably for the best. If you're going into marketing, communications, PR, copy/content work, social media, this is required reading.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey N. Hora

    Outstanding! While finishing this book I resolved to go through it again much more slowly and incorporate the concepts into a more personalized business plan. It's that good. Outstanding! While finishing this book I resolved to go through it again much more slowly and incorporate the concepts into a more personalized business plan. It's that good.

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