Archive for January, 2014

The Future of Content Marketing – 2014 Trends and Predictions

January 27th, 2014

Business has never been about “keeping up”. If you intend to simply pace the pack, then you are in for a rocky 2014. Innovation never rests and content marketing is home to a great deal of innovation as businesses discover its ROI and long-term potential for audience engagement and sales conversion. The question on everybody’s mind as the year draws to a close is, “what’s next?”

The simple answer: more. But how much more? More of what? How will consumers respond to more? These are all questions receiving a great deal of analysis by industry leaders and professionals. Through their insights and some knowledge of our own, 2014 can be the year where your business sees the value of content marketing.


Content marketing shows no signs of slowing down. According to a recent study, as many as 27 million pieces of content are shared every day. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to determine that this is a pie worth grabbing a piece of. But the equation is not as simple as doubling the number of Instagram pictures your company produces. Savvy consumers are looking for more rewarding content that enriches their lives.

The axiom “quality over quantity” remains just that, an axiom. As a bevy of content marketing pieces flood available distribution channels, separating yourself from the background noise with high-quality, engaging content is paramount. Regardless of your marketing strategy, engagement metrics, and ROI, failing to recognize the importance of quality content in the New Year will be met with disappointing, though expected, results.

The issue with this, of course, is that quality is not something that is capable of measure. The intangible characteristic can be frustrating for data-driven businesses, but hiring quality writers should be your guidepost. You run a business with aplomb and they carry that same acumen to their respective arena, so trust their instincts and skill.


While “quality” itself is intangible, the range of topics emphasized by your business is not only understandable, but also malleable. Whether you are a B2B or B2C organization, data has shown that current trends in content topics are not cutting it anymore. B2B blogs are guilty of proffering generic industry profiles and parroting industry trends, while B2C organizations are on the hook for pandering based on engagement metrics instead of value.

Luckily, either case has a straight-forward solution. For businesses, utilize case studies that examine the sources of success that propelled industry leaders to their lofty position. In addition, hold live, area events that focus on the consumer instead of the characteristics of your business. Customers are less interested in what makes you tick than they are in what insights you have to give from your position of authority.

For B2C companies, focus on value. If a customer cannot identify what they stand to gain by reading your publication or viewing your video, then you have fallen short. Consumers are inundated with media. Viral videos, news reports, texts, phone calls, and music barrage eyeballs on a constant basis. This scarcity of time should play a part when you shape your content topics. An article can be deemed “useless” before the first word is read, and this would constitute an unfortunate loss of opportunity and a sometimes costly waste of time.

Technically Speaking

Content receives the bulk of emphasis here due to its importance. However, the method of distribution of such content is as important as ever. Furthermore, understanding the changing trends in distribution can help once again differentiate your marketing from the chaff that fills Facebook feeds every day.

Most importantly, businesses will need to determine how to track their ROI on content marketing response in the year 2014. Research has shown that as little as 25% of marketers actually measure this key metric on their efforts, effectively blurring the line between discussion and noise. The actual return on Facebook likes, shares, and comments will be an area of intense development in 2014, and businesses that adopt this technology will see dividends as a result.

Beyond tracking the return on marketing efforts through analytics, businesses will need to understand the changing distribution platforms of the New Year. Until recently, businesses placed emphasis on “destination” sites; central hubs of interesting content that could deliver value and engage customers. However, this method puts a lot of eggs in one basket. The new model? Integrated, distributed content across earned, owned, and paid properties. Developing marketing efforts across all of these avenues will see better results than the consolidated approach largely due to the distributed nature of our digital lives.

This distribution does not lie simply in the formats through which we consume our content, it also resides in the platforms we use for access. According to data, mobile web will overtake desktop traffic in only two years time. This involves changing screen resolutions, readability, and access that necessitate creating content that spans all platforms gracefully. In all content, consider how the page, material, and layout will be viewed across myriad platforms and utilize practices that bridge the gaps.

By emphasizing quality over quantity, basing content ideas on customer needs, and exercising the appropriate technical practices for seamless distribution, your company can see improved sales, engagement, and customer relationships in the New Year. Content marketing has become an inarguably powerful medium, and failing to utilize it to its full potential would be an exercise in corporate seppuku. Fortunately, a little knowledge, created and used, can go a long way in 2014.

Do you need a Content Marketing plan? Contact WebInteractive  today for a free no obligation analysis of you current situation. We guarantee that we can increase your visability and results on the web.

TCC Web Interactive
A Division of the Computer Company, Inc
(860) 635-0500




Email Encryption – Solutions for Small Business

January 6th, 2014

Communicating by email has become second nature for most of us. Only a decade or so ago, it was a strange and new activity that we viewed as a novelty. It is now an indispensable part of our personal and business lives. Unfortunately, as the use and acceptance of email has grown, so have the number of ways in which itcan be used for criminal or just plain evil, purposes. For this reason, we suggest looking into utilizing email security in the form of email encryption rom The Computer Company.

Corporations and governments are using encrypted email technology because of the sensitive nature of their communications. Typically, this type of security is very expensive and technologically advanced. Certainly, for the average personal user of email, it is not practical. More and more, we are seeing this type of email encryption being developed in simpler and much less expensive formats, targeted at the small business user. But is something like this appropriate for you? Let’s take a look at the risks of using unsecured email.

We all know and receive spam messages on a daily basis. For the most part, we employ spam filtering tools to block these messages and they work pretty well. We have become trained to see spam as potentially dangerous. It may simply be an annoying ad offering us designer watches for $15 or it may contain malware, viruses or worse, which is why we are happy that the spam blocker prevents it from entering our inbox at all.

Look at how your spam filter is configured. There usually is a setting to have it permanently remove spam messages as soon as they are identified. This is effective, but if a message from a safe sender gets identified as spam, it will be destroyed along with the junk. The trick is to label all safe senders as such and tell the spam filter that they are OK to receive emails from. However, without much sophistication, bad guys can intercept an email in transit, change the content and even the sender, and then let it continue its journey to your computer. In this case, the safe sender might actually be an email you don’t want to open, particularly if it contains an attachment. In this case, you can only hope that your anti-virus software is going to intercept any threats that might be contained within the innocent-looking email.

Remember that every email you send is like a postcard. If someone wants to read it, all they need to be able to do is access one of the mail servers that it will be routed through on its journey, and this is not as difficult as it sounds. Emails can travel around the globe even if the destination is across the street. It can be routed through servers in faraway countries where sniffers may be installed to detect and read the email. Police and security forces are constantly monitoring our email, searching for keywords that might alert them to the possibility of terrorist or criminal activity. Generally, the content of our emails is pretty benign and of little value to the bad guys, but occasionally, they hit the jackpot and intercept really valuable information in an email, like a password, account number, username or PIN (personal identification number). When you need to communicate such information to someone (which you should really never do anyways), use the telephone.

Email encryption software will actually re-write the content of your email in code, making it difficult for the email to be read by anyone other than the intended recipient. You may already be familiar with a common form of encryption used on web-based HTML pages. This is a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate, which is identified by the page address having the prefix https instead of the regular http. Never enter credit card or banking information or conduct any type of financial transaction on a site that doesn’t start with https! The SSL certificate is a form of encryption that the web site uses to scramble the information, protecting it from prying eyes.

Email encryption technology is even more sophisticated than SSL, but as we rely more and more on email and criminals become more ingenious and clever, it may be wise to look into the different options available. In the meantime, practice safe email usage, use common sense and avoid the headaches that many people have experienced by having their sensitive information compromised

For a free evaluation of your circumstances or a demonstration of our email encryption solution please contact us today.

The Computer Company

800 418 2358






By Jack D Carmichael