Huff Post Live is up for Mashable’s Innovation Index awards, and I think you should all vote for it. 

Why, you may ask? Because, frankly, HuffPostLive is the coolest thing ever. If you aren’t sure what it’s all about, check out this page which answers any questions you might have about the concept and how it works.

Basically, it’s a website that has 12 hours of live streaming “shows” every day of the week (Monday - Friday) that talk about a variety of issues that are being covered by the Huffington Post that day. So, essentially, it’s a place you can go to watch and partake in discussions with real live people in real time about what’s going on in the world.

If you think that sounds like a boring, online version of HLN or CNN Newsroom, well, you’re wrong. Not only does Huff Post Live talk about tons of interesting topics - I just watched one a few days ago about why men cheat - but the personalities and discussions are different each and every time. When HPL has a new segment planned, it crowdsources possible guests by asking if anyone - that’s right, anyone - has been in a similar situation to the one they’re talking about or is an expert on that topic, and invites them on air.

This brings me back to the “innovation” thing. Not only is Huffington Post Live extremely innovative in the news space, but it’s also one of the most innovative community builders I’ve ever seen. Encouraging everyone to join in on the discussion virtually eliminates every boundary there ever has been to discussing current events. If you have a direct connection to the discussion, you could volunteer to be on air, or if you just want to partake “off air,” you can log in on any computer or smartphone and participate in the live conversation going on on the side. Where else can a community come together and discuss intellectual issues in real time?

The combination of video and comment-based discussion is also awesome. Video, of course, is exclusive as only a certain number of people can be in a Google+ hangout at once. Comments, on the other hand, can get completely out of control, especially without someone or something leading them in the right direction. The combination of the two, though, drives a structured yet open discussion. 

Compared to the other medias in this category (all of which I use and love), Huffington Post Live is without a doubt the most innovative. All of the apps here are awesome, don’t get me wrong, but the way HPL brings together content and community is truly innovative.

Vote for Huff Post Live in Mashable’s Innovation index here.

From My Community Manager:

“As marketer behind successful brands like Givenchy, YSL, Chanel, Lancaster, Jure Klepic looks at products differently to boldly crystallize marketing strategies that strongly resonate with consumers. 

He believes that social media is one of the fastest society-changing phenomenon seen in our lifetime. Through this website and his work, Jure hope to “poke” marketing planners into taking a new look at influence and innovation so they can use social media to get results.”

Last Friday, the enthralling Jure Klepic joined the Community Manager Hangout bunch as a featured guest. One of the most fascinating things that Jure explores and teaches is the impact of anthropology on marketing and community building. He explained early on that he talks with at least five different anthropologists on a daily basis and implements their findings into social strategies.

Not long ago, a few members of the team began discussing the answer to the all too popular question: how do I do content marketing if I’m a startup or professional without a big budget? With that in mind, we created the Lean Content Marketing meetup. 

This evening, we were happy to host the co-founder of the awesome social media tool BufferApp, Leo Widrich (@LeoWid), who shared five awesome lessons that he’s learned over the last two years of developing his very own content marketing strategy.

Two years ago, Leo Widrich and Joel Gascoigne were students in the UK. Who would have thought that Joel’s technical side and Leo’s marketing side would come together to create what we now know as Buffer App in Joel’s college bedroom?

At the time, the new Twitter app they had created didn’t have any users and its two young founders tried relentlessly to get any tech blogs to cover them. When this didn’t work, they asked themselves, “if no one else will write about us, why can’t we just write about ourselves?”

Since Leo was the “marketing guy,” he was charged with putting out as much content as he could to spread the word about Buffer App. Two years and a highly successful social media app later, Leo has learned some of the most important lessons in content marketing:

With big changes at Facebook afoot, what will it mean for marketers?

If you’re a company focusing a lot of your efforts on Facebook, it’s time you rethink your content strategy for this increasingly “pay to play” platform.

Similarly to Google, Facebook’s new algorithm shows only the best/most viral content as well as the content whose creators pay for it to be seen.

For smaller businesses who don’t exactly have the pay-per-click budget, it’s time to get creative. Post the most relevant and interesting images and pieces of content, and encourage engagement by posting “Shareables,” my favorite term for (obviously) content that’s likely to be shared.

See on

[Note: I originally wrote this for the blog.]

According to a recent survey conducted by Econsultancy, 90% of respondents (1,300 marketing professionals) believe that content marketing will continue becoming increasingly important within the next year, but a surprisingly low 38% of them actually have a content strategy in place.

It’s hard to say that a day goes by for marketers without hearing, talking, or reading about some type of content marketing strategy. This is clearly demonstrated by the 73% of respondents who believe that brands are becoming publishers. Why is it, then, that only 38% of companies currently have a defined content marketing strategy and only 55-58% say that they are planning one?

The Content Marketer’s pledge:

I, [Your Name], pledge to create something remarkable. Something that people will love. Something they will want to share. Something I can be proud of. And if it fails to achieve my marketing goals, I won’t give up. I will try again. My failures will be the practice I need to earn future successes and future customers.

-Rand Fishkin

If You’re Not Content Marketing, You’re Not Marketing

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience - with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.