5 Ways Notes Strengthen Your Content Marketing

When you work on content marketing, do you take notes? I find that taking notes makes your content marketing stronger. That’s why I always bring a notebook to work.

Here are 5 ways notes can improve your content marketing:

1. Notes assure accuracy. Ask your information sources to check over your notes before writing a draft, especially on highly complex or technical topics.

2. Note enable you to attribute information to exact sources (including who said what and when). That helps you retrieve related information later on.

3. When you need ideas for the blog, turn to your notes. Think of notes as the raw materials for content marketing.

4. Use notes to co-create visual ideas. Invite subject matter experts to “draw a picture” in your notebook. If they’re reluctant, sketch something anyway. Probe what’s right or wrong with it, in real time. Sketches help you (and your audience) understand complex topics more clearly and quickly. Sketches can become the basis of illustrations for a magazine article, a white paper, an infographic or video animation.

5. Use notes to hold people accountable to their commitments (including yourself).

Form a habit of taking notes. I formed a note-taking habit in school and developed it as a newspaper reporter. Thanks to my former boss Rita Wilson, who took thorough notes in every meeting and phone call, my notes got even better.

Rita used notes to hold people accountable for what they said. Over time, people noted that behavior. Her notes pointed out “disconnects,” places where people reported different approaches or cited conflicting facts.

While I love my tablet, smartphone and Mac for most work tasks, for taking notes I prefer paper — especially unruled notebooks. With no lines, it’s easy to note words or pictures, and to change the scale as needed. Notes can unlock your creativity.

Recently I worked with a manager who showed up for meetings, sat mostly silent and contributed little. Worst of all, he took no notes. Then, a few days after the meeting, he’d call around to “double-check” on what people committed to in the meeting.

Don’t be that guy! Take notes.

The trouble with notes. Notes can lead you into, or out of, trouble. In fact, they can land you in court.

Once, during the course of a shareholder lawsuit, I had to testify in U.S. Federal Court about my notes. It turned out that I’d made the only contemporaneous notes in a crucial executive staff meeting.

My notes proved, in writing, that the company’s revenue forecast was truthful, based on the best information we knew at that time. Ultimately the company prevailed in that case.

Want to create even better content marketing? Always, always, always take notes.

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