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Using Technology to Close the Loop on Engagement - 2/26/2014 -

Monica Bussolati
Get to know Monica Bussolati, content marketing interventionist for BUSSOLATI Associates, a marketing and design firm serving associations and other organizations for more than 25 years. Always a forward-thinker, here Bussolati previews her upcoming Lunch & Learn, "The Epic List of Content Marketing Tools" (March 20, 2014 @ 12 pm, National Guard Association), and talks about the importance of keeping up with the latest technologies and her tips on how to do it.

By Carla Kalogeridis

Sidebar: So letís figure out first who should be coming to your Lunch & Learn on content marketing toolsÖIs it mostly for the tech-minded members?

Itís for anyone on a content team thatís looking to stay current on tools and technologies. In some organizations, thatís someone called the chief content officer, but in other associations, it could be the editorial, marketing, or event teams. They may not self-identify this way, as content marketers, but all of these teams can use the tools we are going to talk about.

We are definitely going to talk technology, but we will group the tools into different categories ó like web marketing tools, editorial calendar tools, key word tools, and so forth ó to make it easier to understand the scope of whatís out there.

Sidebar: How did Bussolati Associates get so involved in content marketing? Werenít you a design firm?

Bussolati: We still are. Weíve always been a design and marketing firm, but we definitely have deep roots in design. We are not content marketers per se ó we work with organizations that are doing content marketing, and we help them do it better. We provide inbound marketing for clients, but we spend a great deal of time helping organizations perform as world-class marketers and improve their in-house content marketing results.

The funny thing is, the heavier we get into content marketing, the more design work we get. Once you help an organization with marketing, they often want you to make their design consistent with their content strategy.

A lot of really wonderful design firms have come and goneógroups who did great work and always pushed us to be better. I think the one reason we are still here is because we are constantly evolving. Associations know the importance of that, too.

Sidebar: Is it hard for most associations to digest content technology and what can be done with it?

Bussolati: Itís hard for any organization ó itís a full-time job to stay updated on all the tools available. We have people at our firm who devote most of their time to simply researching whatís out there. Thatís why we recently formed the new Tools of Content Marketing LinkedIn Group, which is designed to help organizations share their content technology wins and losses ó to help us all learn and make us stronger.

Sidebar: Who can participate in this LinkedIn Group?

Bussolati: Pretty much anyone who wants to know more about content marketing technologies. Itís a moderated group, so you just apply and get approved. Vendors and suppliers are welcome, tooóas long as they are truly helpful and donít bore with just trying to sell us.

Sidebar: Will you do a deep-dive into these technologies or talk strategy at the Lunch & Learn?

Bussolati: Not so much a deep dive as more of a list and categorizing of whatís available. We will provide links on where to go for more information, and information about a live list of technologies that is always growing and changing.

We will also give some context for each category. For example, we will talk about why an editor needs to be aware of keyword tools. So many editors are starting to understand that they really are content marketers. Weíve finally arrived there ó itís exciting.

Sidebar: Is there a particular category of technologies that you are most excited about?

Bussolati: Iím greatly enamored with what I call listening tools. These are tools that provide analytics that connect content to actual members gained or event attendees registered, for example. Itís about closing the loop on your marketing so that you can connect results with your content efforts. Are we getting any new members or conference attendees as a result of this content? 

Sidebar: What can a participant in the March Lunch & Learn expect to gain?

Bussolati: People interested in tools and technologies will be really comfortable. For those who donít always stay abreast of technology, they will be exposed to a list that will change the way they work, starting tomorrow.

Visit the AM&P website to learn about additional education opportunities.

Carla Kalogeridis is editorial director of Association Media & Publishing. If youíd like to be interviewed for Sidebar ó or know of someone else who always has an interesting perspective or opinion on association communications and publishing ó send us your suggestion.


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