Joshua Nite

Joshua Nite

Creating Chemistry: Our Top 5 Content Marketing Posts of 2015

Joshua Nite     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

top-content-marketing-posts

Great content marketing is like chemistry: If you combine the right elements with careful timing and measurement, you can get a positive reaction. Get the formula wrong, and you could get no reaction at all. Or you could find yourself standing in a crater, smoke wafting up from your eyebrows.

According to the Content Marketing Institute and Marketo’s 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, 76% of B2B and 77% of B2C marketers plan to produce more content next year than they did in 2015. But as the volume increases, effectiveness is still lagging. Buyers faced with an onslaught of information are opting out of all but the most exceptional content.

Joshua Nite

Back to the Lab: Our Top 5 Social Media Marketing Posts of 2015

Joshua Nite     Online Marketing, Social Media

Top-Social-Media-Marketing-Posts-of-2015

Marketing is a science as much as an art, and the TopRank Online Marketing blog is an ongoing experiment. We’re constantly going back to the lab to try new approaches, research new topics, and refine our writing skills. As 2015 draws to a close, we’re taking a look at our most popular posts to see which ones you thought were the most shareworthy.

Social media marketing was a big topic for marketers this year. Facebook changed its algorithm to limit organic reach to as little as two percent. Twitter removed share counts from its API, taking away a powerful tool for marketers to provide social proof to their audience.

Joshua Nite

How to Create Content that Abides, Dude: Content Marketing Lessons from the Big Lebowski at #MNBlogCon

Ashley-Zeckman-Creative-Content-Marketing

Does pondering content marketing strategy make you feel a little out of your element? Are you missing the key components that really tie a strategy together? Do you sometimes feel like stepping away from the laptop, pouring a White Russian, and zoning out to Creedence Clearwater Revival?

You’re not alone. Only 30% of B2B marketers believe they are effective at content marketing, and more than half don’t know how to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. And as buyers are inundated with more and more content, it can be difficult to get your message out there.

Fortunately, when it comes to content marketing success, there are rules. And at the 2015 Minnesota Blogger Conference, TopRank Marketing’s Directory of Agency Marketing Ashley Zeckman laid down the law, Big Lebowski-style. Here are the key takeaways:

Joshua Nite

Content Marketing: Make Your Content Shine with These 4 Editing Tips

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A few years ago, best-selling author and wizard-ninja hybrid Seth Godin said, “content marketing is the only marketing left.” The industry took him at his word. Over the last decade, marketers have devoted ever more time and energy to creating content.

This year, 76% of B2B marketers plan to produce more content next year than this year. Only 2% plan to produce less.

As someone who creates content for a living, I find this trend encouraging. As a marketer who wants my content to be seen, the content explosion presents a challenge.

Seth expanded on his statement in an interview with Contently this year: “Real content marketing isn’t repurposed advertising; it is making something worth talking about.”

Joshua Nite

A Digital Marketing Odyssey: 20 Essential Lessons I Learned in my First 6 Months at TopRank Marketing

Joshua Nite     Digital Marketing, Online Marketing

toprank-marketing-team

I used to be famous on the Internet. Now I’m writing content for TopRank Marketing. This is better.

Before starting at TopRank Marketing, I spent a decade working for my best friend from high school. We ran an online game, a passion project that somehow turned into a full-time gig for both of us. I made a comfortable living working from home, writing puns and pop culture references for an appreciative worldwide audience. I went to comic conventions, did interviews, traveled to London and Paris and was occasionally asked for my autograph in public.

Then the money ran out. I was 37 years old, with one kid in kindergarten and a second on the way. My unconventional resume made looking for work a tricky prospect. I signed up as a writer on freelance sites and balked at ads like, “need 30,000 word romance novel in which protagonists are sentient airplanes. $150.”

Joshua Nite

How Blackberry is Activating Employees as Brand Ambassadors with Content Marketing

mark-wilson-carla-johnson-cmworld

One of the most important audiences for content–the people who can make or break the success of your organization–is also the toughest audience to impress. They know your company inside and out. They have highly evolved B.S. detectors. They are the ones who decide whether what you say about your brand is true.

This crucial audience is your organization’s own employees. Enthusiastic and engaged employees can boost revenue, increase job creation, even increase the appreciation of your stock. Are your employees passionately bringing your story to life?

Type A Communications President Carla Johnson and BlackBerry’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Mark Wilson took the stage at Content Marketing World last week to discuss how we can bring the skills and strengths we have as marketers to address our internal audience. Mark used examples from BlackBerry’s internal marketing program to illustrate how to turn employees into brand ambassadors.

Joshua Nite

John Cleese: Creativity, Imagination & Tortoise Enclosures #CMWorld

john-cleese

The incisor growth rate of an average beaver is 32 feet per year.

The hatchet fish is the only creature with eyes on its wrists.

And now for something completely different…

John Cleese–actor, comedian, and 1/5th of Monty Python–started his presentation with the preceding two useful facts. Having armed the audience with knowledge, he proceeded to disarm us with his wit and wisdom.

“If you listen to what I’m going to say,” he began in earnest, “I guarantee by the end of this you will be more creative than you are now.” It was a bold statement, but entirely believable (far more so than the hatchet fish claim) from the man who gave the world the Ministry for Silly Walks and the Dead Parrot Sketch.

Joshua Nite

Michael Brenner’s Tips, Tools, and Templates to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy #CMWorld

Michael-Brenner-NewsCred

“The world has changed. Most content stinks. Attract people through stories they love.” –Michael Brenner

NewsCred Head of Strategy Michael Brenner knows the challenges facing content marketers. Consumers no longer accept that content has to be ad supported. They–or, rather, we, since we’re all consumers–no longer tolerate interruptions. Not only that, but the best content we as marketers create still has to compete for attention with pictures of babies and puppies.

Michael’s solution? Create content your customers will love. Talk to them, understand their questions, and leverage the intelligence your organization already has. Michael estimates that “50% of the content you need is already present in your organization.” Auditing your existing content, and tapping your knowledgeable co-workers, can get your content hub off to a roaring start.

Joshua Nite

Ian Cleary Discusses Essential Tools to Optimize Your Content Marketing #CMWorld

Joshua Nite     Content Marketing World

ian-cleary-cmworld

RazorSocial Founder Ian Cleary is passionate about using tools to make content marketing better. At RazorSocial, he trains companies to use technology to increase their reach, search ranking, and audience relevance.

Ian took us on a whirlwind tour through 15 common content marketing problems and the tools he uses to solve them. Here are my picks for the top five:

Problem #1: Blog Posts Don’t Get Ongoing Organic Traffic

After the initial post-launch spike, you may find your traffic results dwindling. In most cases, organic traffic dies off completely.

Solution: Create Content Designed for Continued Visibility

Use a tool like InboundWriter to see what topics will be more successful in the long term, and what keywords to use that will keep your content visible to search traffic.

Joshua Nite

Break These 6 Bad Content Marketing Habits to Set Your Content Free

Joshua Nite     Content Marketing

content-marketing-bad-habits

It’s a feeling that all content marketers have experienced, and it’s not a pleasant one. You research your audience, you create content that speaks directly to their needs, and you say “Fly and be free!” as you release it into the world.

And then it falls flat on its metaphorical face. If this has happened to you, you’re not alone: Over half of marketers say they struggle with making their content effective.

There are chains that keep content marketing from soaring. They’re bad habits that you might not even know you’ve developed. Let’s shine a light on these chains and break them—with light? Special chain-breaking lights? Maybe lasers. Lasers break chains, right?

We’ll address the perils of mixed metaphors in another post. For now, let’s focus on breaking six bad content marketing habits to help your content soar.

Joshua Nite

5 Common Writing Clichés to Avoid for Better Content Marketing

blogging clichesEvery piece of content we produce as marketers makes an implicit promise to our audience. From beginning to end, each asset that is researched, created and published should be interesting, relevant, help solve a current pain point. The content will be informative, easy to read and provide value.

We must honor that promise to hold the reader’s attention and provide them with useful information. As Copyblogger founder Brian Clark says, “A great headline mixed with a lame opening is like inviting someone into your house, only to slam the door in their face as they approach.” Once you slam the door in a reader’s face, they’re not going to accept future invitations.

Joshua Nite

Content Marketing: 4 Tips for Creating B2B Content When You’re at a Loss for Words

Joshua Nite     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

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Content marketing has rapidly become an essential piece of the B2B marketing puzzle. Buyers are more connected and more self-directed than ever before, and informative, engaging content is key to making sure your organization becomes part of the buyer journey.

Creating a steady stream of quality content can be challenging for any marketer, but especially for those in B2B marketing, where buyers expect to be informed and entertained at the same time. So it’s no surprise that Content Marketing Institute’s latest report found that 54% of B2B Marketers rated producing engaging content as a top challenge, and 50% said producing content consistently is a challenge.