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Ryan Hanley

Ryan Hanley

Loudonville, New York

Ryan Hanley is founder and president of Hanley Media Lab, an advanced digital marketing agency helping companies grow their audience to grow their business.

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About the author

Ryan also produces Content Warfare TV, a Google Hangout/Podcast where every week he interviews the Internet's most prolific content creators to exact their secret to winning the battle for attention online.

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Thomas S. "Tom" Owens is author of more than 50 books for children and adults. He writes two weekly blogs, and





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Success! Content Warfare has already sold 418 pre-orders , and is in discussions with publishers .

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Content Warfare

How To Find Your Audience, Tell Your Story And Win The Battle For Attention

There is a battle taking place online every day. It's not a fight for the fate of the world... just the future of your business. Content Warfare is a work in defiance of mediocre content marketing.

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Content Warfare is a work in defiance of mediocre content marketing.

For too long, I've watched successful offline companies step into the digital world and implement traditional interruption marketing strategies with boring content and gimmicky sales funnel techniques.

These techniques may have worked in 1999, but this 2014. The digital world and the consumers in it have evolved. The online and offline worlds are converging. We can no longer be one thing in the physical world and another online.

Connected Generation consumers want to know who the human is behind the corporate logo. Content, in the form of media such as blog posts, video, podcasts and images, allows us to tell our story and connect with our customers in ways that were impossible 15 years ago.

We must be authentic, transparent and honest. Abstract concepts, but when harnessed with quality content creation, yield incredible results (as you'll see).

Click to Tweet this quote: "Defy mediocre content marketing and win the battle for attention!"

We need more than attention.

There is a new generation of consumers that exists today - The Connected Generation.

These consumers are demographic agnostic… not defined through traditional marketing personas but rather their willingness to communicate, build relationships and make buying decisions online.

Where once we as brands and marketers choose our audience, today our audience chooses us.

As the web evolves, it's only natural for it to become less mechanical. Marketing tactics, such as search engine optimization, social media distribution, email capture and sales funnels, are losing their glitz and glamour and becoming just another tool in a marketer's tool belt.

Much like we assume the mundane necessity of swinging a hammer in building house, the tactics of marketing your business online will become mundane as well.

Content Warfare is a work in defiance of mediocre content marketing.

Quality offline businesses, from Main Street, USA to 5th Avenue in Manhattan, are still forcing traditional interruption marketing tactics down the throat of Connected Generation consumers.

There is no doubt well-timed, well-positioned interruptions generate lead to attention.

But attention alone has little value.

There is a piece missing from the equation.

Attracting attention is easy. Any marketing firm with an adwords account can draw in attention.

This isn't a book about simply attracting attention. It's about winning the battle for attention.

Sticky, consistent, profitable attention.

The kind of attention that salivates at the opportunity to review your business on Google or your latest product on Amazon.

The kind of attention that doesn't just share your latest article on Facebook, but creates a conversation about it at the next family BBQ.

The kind of attention which eagerly trades their email address for early notification of your next product.

What's this missing piece?


Trust ignites the value locked within attention. Attention combined with trust is sustainable... bankable... renewable.

But trust takes time and time is a resource most companies don't have.

It isn't just under resourced small and mid-size businesses that are struggling to capture consistent attention and build trust. Fortune 500 brands are just as guilty of chasing the next dopamine rush of attention their latest marketing campaign provides.

It's time to stop chasing our own tail and build for the future.

Content Warfare marries the creative and emotional obstacles we face everyday as executives, business owners and marketers to the solutions held within the core principles of profitable content marketing.

Click to Tweet this quote: "Attention without trust has no value."

We must prepare for the emotional obstacles of content marketing.

We don't prepare for the emotional obstacles of content marketing. When things get tough, when we start to struggle for new ideas, we turn to mimicry. Worse, we give up.

We look to those we perceive as successful and try to copy their activity, dulling our voice and diminishing the value or our content.

We seek out best practices which only serve to commoditize our business.

Indistinguishable from our competition, consumers unconsciously put our business in a tidy, neat little box, stacked right next to our competitors. We forgo authenticity, transparency, honesty and originality for tactics and trends.

We fear doing it wrong, of looking different, of having to explain why our content sounds different and our web design looks different.

There is no pain associated with fitting in, no ridicule, no questioning. When you fit in, you don't have to explain yourself. No one second guesses your decisions because they seem safe. "Everyone else is saying it, so we should too."

So your content marketing isn't as successful as you thought it would be?

You've read all the list posts and free eBooks. You're following the path.

Where is your success?

The way we dress, the way we talk, how we introduce ourselves, the way we describe our skills and accomplishments, our attitude… all these factors are processed and categorized in a heartbeat by every single person we come in contact with every day. The same goes for your content marketing.

Your tone, your design, your typography, your imagery, your call-to-action...

Connected Generation consumers are attempting to put your business in a box to be easily stored away in their mind and ultimately dismissed.

It's hard to achieve success as a stacked box.

Commodities get put into boxes. Is your business a commodity? You better say, "No!" Maybe even, "Hell No!" Then why do you create content that allows potential customers to put your business in a box?

It's time to take back the attention your business deserves.

You went into business for a reason. I'm sure that reason wasn't to be like everyone else. You had a mission, a value you wanted to share with the world. But, somewhere along the way that mission didn't translate to the online world.

Today is the day you stand up and break out of the box.

I've written Content Warfare to be your content marketing battle plan. Within the pages of this book is the strategy to find your audience, tell your story and win the battle for attention online.

Who Shouldn't Read Content Warfare

I'd so much rather you didn't waste your time reading Content Warfare if it's not a good fit. To help you determine if reading Content Warfare is a good use of your time, I created the following list of reasons you SHOULDN'T read this book:

1) You're looking for a quick fix and instant results.

This is NOT a book filled with tactics to launch your next six figure product in 10 days. By implementing the advice and strategies I've outlined in Content Warfare you will see short-term improvement in your business. But the true value in this work is setting you up for success in the long-game.

2) You're afraid to step out from behind "Corporate Speak."

You believe every piece of content created from within your business must pass dulling, vanilla drudgery of the legal filter then you will NOT appreciate my advice. I understand there are regulated industries, (cut my content marketing teeth in the insurance industry), but to stand out, build trust and attract attention that will grow your business you'll have to toss away this crutch.

3) You're looking to be convinced content marketing can grow your business.

I'm officially NOT in the convincing business. Though we will briefly highlight how content marketing is helping businesses grow, Content Warfare is not built to convince, but rather to be used a roadmap for long-term success online.

4) You're unwilling to create content from within your own business.

If you're looking to outsource your entire content marketing effort than you may find Content Warfare lacking in guidance. Authenticity, transparency, honesty, these are the human qualities out of which we'll generate content to grow your business. You and your staff must be part of the process.


Table of Contents



How to Read Content Warfare

The Currency of the Internet

  • What Digital Attention Looks Like
  • When Attention Has No Value
  • More Isn't the Goal
  • Attention is Not Zero-Sum Game
  • The Golden Age of Attention

Section 1 - Find Your Audience

  • The Connected Generation
  • Why Build an Audience?
  • Difference Between Audience and Visitors
  • The Perfect Audience
  • Audience Building as a Daily Practice
  • An Audience of Humans
  • Where Your Audience Lives
  • Your Valuable Asset

Section 2 - Tell Your Story

  • Storytelling and Content Marketing
  • Expertise Will Not Grow Your Business
  • Creativity and Commoditization
  • Storytelling as a Habit
  • Digitizing the Soul of Your Business
  • Motivation. Inspiration. Success
  • Business Storytelling
  • 7 Secrets of Storytelling Success
  • Where You Do Your Best Work

Section 3 - Win the Battle for Attention Online

  • The Battle for Attention
  • Who Has the Attention Now?
  • We Can Buy Attention
  • The Work Isn't Sexy
  • Capturing the Mature Web Audience
  • The Art of Professional Content Marketing
  • Developing a Culture of Content Marketing
  • Loving the Grind
  • Knowing When to Downshift

Get to Work

  • Permission to Start
  • A Golf Lesson in Content Marketing
  • Completely Mad Strategy for Selling Online


About the Author

Source Index

Want a taste of Content Warfare?

FREE CHAPTER DOWNLOAD: Digitizing the Soul of Your Business <- Click the link to download

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