TechComm Today
Aug. 13, 2014

Consumers feel the need for speed in Web user experience
Every second a brand's website takes to load may be costing it customers, according to a Limelight Networks report. The report found that consumers value performance (streaming with no buffering, pages loading quickly, etc.) as the most important aspect of the web user experience, even over fresh or personalized content. Sixty percent said they weren't able to wait more than five seconds for a site to load before becoming frustrated and leaving. About 20 percent won't wait more than three seconds. Today's consumer has an average attention span of only eight seconds.More

61 percent of consumers prefer companies with custom online content
Content marketing campaigns have become essential for marketers to engage audiences and generate leads. In fact, more than half of all consumers are more likely to buy from companies that create custom content. But one of the biggest challenges B2B and B2C marketers face is measuring ROI. Only 27 percent of marketers track content metrics effectively.More

Word wranglers: 5 apps that make writing easier
Quick: Picture a writer in your head. An image of a bearded old man, hunched over a clackety typewriter may come to mind. But these days, a writer is more likely to be tapping away at a tablet or even a smartphone, composing anything from a business document to the next great American novel. No matter what it is you're writing, these apps can help make the process a little easier. More

Stop wasting your time on these 3 types of content marketing
Search Engine People
For the last couple of years, we have heard nothing but declarations of the importance of content marketing, and that it really needs to be the driving force behind our SEO campaigns. "Content is King," remember? However, just because content rules all that doesn't mean that all content was created equally or that every single bit of it is worth doing. So do yourself – and your marketing budget – a favor and stop wasting your time with these three outdated content marketing tactics. More

How to create a content strategy
Business 2 Community
Before you can begin marketing your business online, you need to create a strategy that outlines exactly how your marketing will work. Just like any goal, establishing an online presence is a process that needs to be planned out, step by step. This way, you can use the content to spread your business's name and help your business grow. A content strategy is a plan that you can use to determine what content you publish, when to publish it, what platform you use to publish it and what it will achieve. More

The keys to content creation: collaboration and consistency
Business News Daily
The demand for digital content is everywhere in today's world. No matter what industry you're in, consumers expect that your company will contribute to the ever-expanding archive of online content in the form of blog posts, social media updates, photos and videos, on a growing roster of networks and apps. But as many brands have learned, it's not enough to simply produce mass quantities of content; it has to be good, too. More

Hot webinar topics in August and September

New Live Web Seminars have been scheduled for August and September. Join Ellen Buttolph, David Dick, Michael Opsteegh, Alan Porter, Joe Gollner, and Judith Shenouda for topics like Writing for the Web, Designing Documentation with Users in Mind, Wowing Your Audience with Prezi, Building a Business-Driven Globalization Strategy for Content, Adapting to Global Realities, and Closing the Chasm Between the Expert and the Novice. See a topic of interest to you in the list? Register today to learn directly from the instructor and to exchange ideas and tools virtually with the other participants. The link below provides a full list of available sessions, dates, and times.More

Summit@aClick discount extended

Summit@aClick is top tech comm education on demand—a collection of online recordings of the 2014 Summit sessions with audio synched to PowerPoint. The Summit offered over 80 sessions, and Summit@aClick includes almost all of them. This year's sale has been extended through 29 August; members pay just $199 ($249 after) and nonmembers pay $499. Click below for more information and to purchase; you can also see a free sample session on the Summit@aClick website.More

STC renewal season coming and new member tryout launch

STC renewal season is coming! Stand by in mid September for more information on what's new for 2015 and a reminder of all the great benefits you receive with your membership. Not a member yet or want to show someone everything STC has to offer? Check out the STC Tryout! Get Classic membership for the rest of 2014 for just $75 and explore STC without paying a full year's dues. Use promo code TRYOUT14 in your shopping cart. For additional information, click "more" below or contact Stacey O'Donnell at

STC Community Member Balloon Race

The Community Member-Get-a-Member Balloon Race is still on pace! Help your Chapter or SIG win prizes! Every time you recruit a new member, you strengthen STC and your community. And each new member gets your community closer to winning. See the link below for rules, prizes, details, and current standings in the race. Not a member of a community? You can purchase a Chapter or SIG online at any time throughout the year! Log in at and select the "My Communities" tab to update your profile today.More

Save the date: 2015 STC Summit Call for Proposals opens soon

The Call for Proposals for the 2015 Technical Communication Summit opens 18 August. The Summit will be held 21-24 June in Columbus, Ohio, USA. The core content of the Summit's education program comes from submitted proposals that span the profession, such as content strategy and design, content development and delivery, mobile content, professional development, user experience, usability, accessibility, education, and training. This year there will be five newly developed tracks: Art/Design/Visual Communication, Management/Leadership, Writing/Communication, Tools/Technology, Training/Research. Start considering what you'd like to submit today!More

How to move past creating content for early-stage buyers
Two of the biggest issues content marketers face are creating content that appeals to deeper-level leads across the marketing funnel as opposed to early-stage prospects, and creating genuinely interesting, quality content that goes beyond talking about their companies' product offerings. According to a Forrester Research study of 113 B2B marketing executives, "[A] majority of B2B content practices focus too narrowly on early-stage buyer acquisition — which fails to engage buyers throughout their lifetime." More

7 steps to determine content marketing software needs
iMedia Connection
As a content software vendor recently put it, "Most brands aren't yet able to clearly articulate their content marketing needs or end KPIs. This makes creating a request for proposal and asking the right questions incredibly difficult." Brands and their agencies can't frame "what's needed" or how to get to the end goal. More

5 deadly sins of content promotion
Business 2 Community
The long hours of research and writing are over, and your blog post is finally published. Job well done, right? Not quite. Now it's time to use your content marketing strategy to get your post in front of as many eyeballs as possible. A hot way of doing that nowadays is through paid social promotions. Marketers are turning to this tool because their audiences are on social media platforms and they can get their target audiences to share their content with more and more people. Essentially their target audiences are doing most of the work for them, but the marketers are reaping all the rewards. Unfortunately most marketers get it wrong ... horribly wrong. More

32 free (and almost free) content marketing tools
Marketers get by with a little help from their friends — well let us introduce you to 32 new content marketing friends to help make your job a little easier. Note: The aim was to only list free content marketing tools, but there are a few paid ones in the mix as well (freebies only get you so far).More

How to create effective evergreen content
Advertising Age
As of late 2013, there were two blogs being created every second. As if this weren't overwhelming enough, your precious piece of content competes with some 152 million blogs that are now swimming around the Internet.More

The creative writer's guide to content writing
"I hadn't originally considered content writing as a good outlet for my skills. It seemed too far a cry from what I was reading and writing. It occurred to me, though, that while the two crafts are certainly different, well-written marketing content shares many aspects with creative writing," writes Linsey Morse.More

5 myths about mobile content strategies and what you can do instead
Mobile device use is set to overtake PC use in the near future, and companies are being advised to get ready for mobile. Here are five common myths about what it means to optimize content for mobile, and different alternatives to these myths. More

Print reporters: Reinvent yourselves as content creators
Media Daily News
Pink-slipped journalists, here's a hot lead: Start your new job search by re-thinking your role and considering a jump brand-side. While the print industry is on the downswing (the American Society of News Editors recently announced that the newspaper industry lost 1,300 full-time editorial professionals in 2013), the importance of "brand journalism" is on the rise. So, fellow reporters — brands need you more than ever.More