Blogging

Debbie Friez

3 Examples of Brands Using Podcasts to Increase Sales, Offer Value & Build Audiences

Debbie Friez on Jan 28th, 2016     Content Marketing, Podcast Marketing

MIMA Event Podcasting

[Note From Ashley: TopRank Marketing team members Debbie Friez and Joel Carlson recently attended a Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) event in Minneapolis and collaborated to bring you the insights below from the event.]

Long gone are the leisurely evenings and weekends where people disconnected from the outside world and made time to relax. Today’s consumers are ALWAYS connected and constantly consuming information from a variety of sources.

The question for marketers is: how can you capture the attention of your audience while they’re on the go and multi-tasking constantly? One of the solutions that has surfaced in recent years is incorporating podcasts into your digital marketing mix.

Below we’ll dive in to three case studies MIMA social broadcasting event that uncover how different brands are working podcasts into their marketing strategy.

Joshua Nite

How to Write for People: 5 Ways to Create Connections & Personality in Your Content Marketing Efforts

Joshua Nite on Jan 26th, 2016     Blogging, Content Marketing

write-content-for-humans

Greetings, humans. It is I, a fellow human and certainly not a trench coat full of cats posing as human. I would like to tell you how to show personality in your writing so other cats—I mean, humans, like me—will enjoy reading it.

All cats aside, it’s surprisingly easy for marketers to forget that we are writing for people. We write for a persona, a target audience, an industry. When was the last time an industry sat down and read a blog post over their corn flakes? By trying to write for everyone, we can end up writing for no one.

Lee Odden

12 Content Marketing Lessons Learned in 12 Years of Blogging

Lee Odden on Dec 28th, 2015     Blogging, Content Marketing

Content Marketing Lessons LearnedHappy 12th Birthday to TopRank Marketing’s Online Marketing Blog!

In Malcom Gladwell’s book, Outliers: The Story of Success, he mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, which describes the key to achieving world class expertise in any skill as a matter of practicing for a total of 10,000 hours or so.

By many definitions, this humble marketing blog has involved many more than 10,000 hours of practice. While we’ve achieved many milestones from being the only blog ranked the #1 content marketing blog three times by CMI to helping our boutique digital marketing agency reach a worldwide audience, it continues to be a work in progress.

There are multiple dimensions for evaluating a blog’s impact. Here is some statistical trivia about TopRank’s Marketing Blog (thanks to BuzzSumo) representing some of this “practice makes expert” effort.

Ashley Zeckman

Need Help With Content Topics? 5 Places To Find Inspiration For Blog Posts

Ashley Zeckman on Nov 18th, 2015     Blogging, Content Marketing

blog-topics-inspiration

Blogging is a low to no-cost way for marketers to create owned content on a consistent basis. A consistent blogging schedule of high quality information creates a great way for your customers and prospects to gain a better understanding of how you can help them and the smarts that exist within your organization.

In fact, B2B marketers that incorporate blogging as part of their content strategy generate 67% more leads than those that do not. So if you aren’t blogging, it’s time to start.

Joshua Nite

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

Joshua Nite on Nov 17th, 2015     Blogging, Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

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

Joshua Nite on Nov 5th, 2015     Blogging, Content Marketing

4cs

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.”

Ashley Zeckman

The Mortified Marketer: 8 Lessons To Help Evolve Your Content Marketing Strategy

The Mortified Content Marketer

Blogging, Day 1
Dear Diary,
Today I wrote my first blog post. Everyone is going to love it! I am going to blog every day.

Blogging, Day 10
Dear Diary,
I can’t think of anything to write. I’ve published one post, and the only person that read it was my mom.

The format above may sound familiar if you’ve ever heard the Mortified podcast (if you haven’t tuned in, you’re really missing out). In this podcast, adults get on stage and read passages from their journals, plays or fan fiction, all penned when they were children or teenagers.

Their understanding of how the world works (and their place in it) has vastly evolved from the time they wrote these entries, to the time they read them on stage.

Joshua Nite

5 Common Writing Clichés to Avoid for Better Content Marketing

Joshua Nite     Blogging, 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.

Lee Odden

Not Happy With Your Business Blog Performance? Try These 5 Tips:

Lee Odden     Blogging, Content Marketing

business blogging tips

For many companies, blogging is akin to content marketing. Of course there are many other content marketing tactics besides blogging, but because of the ease of publishing, promotion and optimization, it’s one of the more popular ways to connect with customers through content.

And yet there are challenges for many of the businesses that rely on blogging as an essential part of their content marketing mix. If you’re not happy with the performance of your business blog, here are 5 basic, yet often overlooked steps for making your blogging more effective.

1. Revisit Your Blogging Goals

Of course you’ve set goals for your blog. But how long ago was that? When was the last time you revisited those goals?

Jolina Pettice

Is Your Business Blog Running on Empty? Here Are 4 Ways To Fill the Tank

Jolina Pettice     Blogging, Online Marketing

Blog-Out-Of-Gas

I’m a bit of a risk-taker when it comes to my gas tank. If you cared to check, most days you will find me driving around with the gas light on.

In fact, I’ve done this so long that I have it down to an art. I know how many miles I can go, and even how the car starts to drive when I’m operating on fumes.

Why, why on earth would anyone do this, you might ask. The answer is simple … because so far it’s worked. I haven’t found myself on the side of the road unable to keep going.

James Anderson

4 Ways Marketers Can Learn From a Journalist’s Approach to Content Planning

media-journalist-content-marketing

“Be the media” isn’t just a buzz phrase. It’s a live process and philosophy that brings in leads and moves products and services. It’s the concept of content as sales staff. It’s “write it and they will come.” OK, so I got ahead of myself with that last one. It’s not quite that simple.

As marketers have moved to content to help tell their stories that draw in customers, they have brought journalists in to help with the storytelling.  Now that many marketers and journalists are working side by side, they have developed similar processes and have begun to merge cultures. They are finding common ground, overlapping and crossing career paths.

Here are a few areas in which I think that content marketers can learn from journalists:

Lee Odden

How to Be the Best Answer with Topic Targeting

Lee Odden     Blogging

Be the Best Answer - TopRank

This weekend I had the good fortune to present at the Minnesota Blogger Conference where nearly 300 local bloggers gathered to learn, get inspired and network.

For my part, I gave a presentation on how blogs are still an incredibly useful tool for marketing. Keeping the reason for blogging top of mind as well as empathy for reader preferences in how they find, consume and act on information are essential if a blog author expects marketing outcomes from their efforts.

When a blog or any content hub can become “the best answer” for the topics that are important for buyers, the return on blogging goes way, way up. One way to execute a content plan to become known as an authority is through topic targeting.