1-1-1 Book Review: Content Rules by Ann Handley & CC Chapman

April 7th, 2011 Karine Joly 2 Comments

I read Content Rules by CC Chapman and Ann Handley earlier this year as I was working on the graduate course on social media marketing campaigns I designed for SNHU.

This book is a great primer on why content has become central to any online marketing efforts and how you can jump into content marketing. While it isn’t focused on higher education, CC Chapman used to work as the Digital Manager at Babson College. So, he’s still family for higher ed (and happens to be a really great guy).

Anyway, now that I’m done with this little introduction, Content Rules by Ann Handley and CC Chapmanlet’s start with this 1-1-1 Express Book Review of Content Rules by Ann Handley and CC Chapman.

  • 1 thing I liked

    There are many things I liked about this book, but my favorite one was the way it’s organized. I love the fact that the authors took the time to share some high-level concepts of content marketing and content strategy, the “Content Rules,” before going into implementation details with the How-To Section and the Success Stories. Chapman and Handley tell you why you should focus on content and, then, they share some really good tactics. The fact that they write in a very conversational tone doesn’t hurt either as it makes the book easy to read and digest. And, this isn’t a book short on copy and full of screenshots either (you probably know what I’m talking about if you read a few social media books).

  • 1 thing I didn’t like too much

    I really like the book, so this is going to be tougher than usual. I’m not crazy about the way some of the text boxes including asides or case studies were laid out. Some of them run over 3 to 4 pages, and break the flow. It didn’t work for me. But, the main culprit in this case is the book format. Some things just work better on the Web, I guess :-)

  • 1 big take-away from the book

    While it’s easy to tell you to create as much new content as possible or to share the same pieces of content all over your social media channels, these can’t be successful strategies. If you do so, you will either overload your target audiences or alienate your most fervent fans with boring repetitions across different channels. Handley and Chapman know it very well. That’s why they lead their readers to a different approach in Chapter 5: “Reimagine, Don’t Recycle.”

    I think this is the best approach, which is why I really wanted to refer to it in my course. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any Web resource referring to it directly. So, I decided to ask CC Chapman if he would record a short video to explain this concept to my graduate students – and he did (told you he was a really nice guy). He also gave me the permission to share it with you, so here’s 1 big take-away from the book explained by CC in this video.

So, have you already reimagined content? Tell us what you did by posting a comment!

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