Content Marketing

Lee Odden

If You Want Your Content Marketing to be Great, Ask Influencers to Participate

Lee Odden on May 27th, 2015     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

participation marketing with influencers

With ubiquitous internet connectivity and billions of people empowered to create and publish online, digital marketing competition is greater than ever. Companies are increasingly challenged to create quality content that can stand out to attract and engage new customers.

How can businesses grow their reach and improve content quality in such a market?

Through participation marketing with industry influencers.

Over the past year, the expression “influencer marketing” has exploded in popularity and many marketing communications professionals are continuing to see influencers in the light of “celebrity endorsements”.

There’s more to influencer marketing than advocacy.

But there’s more to influencer marketing than advocacy and all influencers are not created equal. With participation marketing, companies can take a view of working with influencers of different types to produce a variety of benefits – all through content.

Ashley Zeckman

B2B Content Marketing Playbook: Tips to Prepare You for the Big Content Game

Ashley Zeckman on May 21st, 2015     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

B2B-CONTENT-PLAYBOOK

The 2015 B2B Marketing Report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs sheds a pretty bright light on the true state of B2B content marketing. While 86% of B2B marketers are using content marketing, only 8% rate their content marketing efforts as “very effective”. It’s not so different than teams participating in sports like football. Sure, everyone is playing, but who is actually really good at it?

Fundamental blocking and tackling are key for a winning football game. The same can be said for implementing a successful B2B content marketing program: mastery of the fundamentals is essential. With B2B content creation in particular, marketers must be prepared for everything from understanding the voice of the customer to developing the right mix of content assets.

Evan Prokop

Content Marketing: 6 Steps for Building a Massive Audience

Evan Prokop on May 18th, 2015     Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi has been a content marketer before content marketing had a name. While working at a media company in the Custom Publishing department, he had dreams of starting a small business, which he eventually did in 2007 by starting a blog about content marketing.

Fast forward 3 years later and he had built Content Marketing Institute, which is well-known today as a source of content marketing thought leadership, training, events and consulting.

Today, Joe is joined by many other companies who built their businesses aided by the power of creating an audience first through content marketing, such as CopyBlogger Media, Social Media Examiner, Moz and even our very own agency, TopRank Online Marketing.

Lee Odden

The Art of Repurposing Content – 5 Creative Tips for Content Marketers

Lee Odden on May 13th, 2015     Content Marketing

Painting by Boyan Dimitrov via Shutterstock

Many companies chasing the “brand publisher” approach to content are running out of steam and troubled by their inability to tie content to marketing ROI.

The most recent B2B content marketing study from from CMI and MarketingProfs shows the biggest challenge with content marketing is measurement (51%) followed by not being able to produce engaging (50%), consistent (44%), or a variety of content (40%).

At the same time, there are numerous B2B content marketing case studies here, here and here of companies succeeding with content marketing programs.

But let’s face it: Even with many success stories (including ours and those of our clients) B2C and B2B Content Marketers alike are challenged. Creating a variety of engaging content on a consistent basis is the bane of many marketing managers world-wide.

Ashley Zeckman

Content Marketing Rescue: 4 Tips for Saving Your Brand’s Content Marketing Strategy

Ashley Zeckman on May 11th, 2015     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

TR CM Rescue 2

Sometimes it takes an outsider’s perspective to give us the reality check we need when it comes Content Marketing strategy.

Popular shows such as Bar Rescue, Restaurant Impossible and Kitchen Nightmares feature industry experts that come into a business, determine the issues hindering success and help the business turn it all around.

When you boil it down, brand-side Content Marketers are facing many of the same issues as these failing bars and restaurants. It often doesn’t matter if you’re a team of one or twenty, sometimes it’s time to bring in the experts. Budget, time and resources can often hinder a brand’s ability to call in for the big guns. Luckily, we’re here to help give some tough love and sound advice for brand marketers looking to revive their Content Marketing strategy. Of the many things you need to keep in mind, here are four high level priorities.

Ashley Zeckman

Book Review & Interview: Social Content Marketing for Entrepreneurs by Dr. Jim Barry

Ashley Zeckman on May 5th, 2015     Book Reviews, Content Marketing

Social Content Marketing Book Review

How many times have you wished that someone would create a textbook filled with why’s and how to’s of digital marketing? If you’re like me, the answer to that is “Too many times to count!”.

Let’s face it, the work that we do and how we do it evolves so quickly it can be hard to keep up. Unfortunately, that leaves room for us to get swept up in “shiny object syndrome” and lose sight of what is really important; creating quality content that resonates with your audience and helps solve a business problem.

Dr. Jim Barry’s new book, “Social Content Marketing for Entrepreneurs” helps marketers realign their focus to some of the most impactful inbound marketing strategies.

Lee Odden

2015 Enterprise B2B Content Marketing Report: More Isn’t Better

Lee Odden on Apr 27th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

enterprise b2b content marketing overload

Companies in the B2B space from IBM to HubSpot have been actively and effectively engaging prospects with longer sales cycle content for years. Like many competitive environments, a lot of emphasis for marketers has been about creating “more” content. More blog posts, videos, infographics, social messages, emails, and so on.

But here’s the thing about “more content” when it comes to enterprise-sized organizations. There’s a nearly unmanageable degree of added complexity when you start involving a matrix of customer segments and buying journeys across different product offerings, company divisions and geographies.  How are large, enterprise B2B marketers responding to this challenge? There’s a new report that sheds (some) light on that.

Ashley Zeckman

4 Essential Tips for Content Marketers to Survive Mobilegeddon, Google’s Mobile Friendly Update

Ashley Zeckman on Apr 23rd, 2015     Content Marketing, Mobile, Online Marketing

Accessing content on mobile device

Internet users are spending more time than ever on their smartphones, which means Content Marketers must adjust their strategies to create a better user experience for those drawn to the small screen.

The release of Google’s new mobile-friendly update, aka “mobilegeddon”, has drawn a firestorm of attention to the need for improving website responsiveness and user experience on mobile devices.

There’s a good reason for this: A recent study by ComScore and Millennial Media found that approximately 56% of digital content is now consumed via smartphones. Knowing that a large portion of your audience likely searches, consumes and interacts with content on their mobile device should inform how you execute on your Content Marketing initiatives.

The good news is, despite the apocalyptic headlines on many blogs, Google has stated that the new mobile-friendly update only affects:

Lee Odden

Four Ways CMOs Can Differentiate & Optimize Their Content Marketing Strategy

Lee Odden on Apr 15th, 2015     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

CMO content marketing

Content isn’t King, it’s the Kingdom

Taking inventory of the content we’ve produced over the past 10+ years, I realized we’ve collectively written 1.6 million words on this blog. There’s also numerous guides, articles, social messages and emails as well as a book and numerous contributions to industry publications.

Looking to the future of our own content marketing strategy and the need for more visually creative, data-informed and cross platform content that’s highly specialized for our audience, it’s clear that simply creating “more” content isn’t the answer.

I’m not alone in that assessment after having the opportunity to discuss pressing content marketing challenges with a group of CMOs and senior marketing executives recently. Thinking about some of these key issues, I think there are 3 key trends in the content marketing world to be aware of:

Lee Odden

Content vs. Advertising – Is There Really A Debate?

Lee Odden on Apr 13th, 2015     Content Marketing

content marketing advertising

Recording last night’s BeanCast, Altruism or Consumerism, hosted by the talented Bob Knorpp brought up the topic of Content Marketing and whether paid placement of content is just advertising – among many other topics from Dove to Amazon Dash.

This content vs. ad question was inspired by commentary from Mitch Joel in his post, Your Content Is Kidding No One where he states, “if you have to pay to have it placed, it’s not content. It’s an ad.”

While I agree with what Mitch says in the post in terms of brands failing to create engaging, share-worthy and conversation-starting content, I’m not on board with the pay to play statement.

Lee Odden

Content Marketing Tools A to Z That You Can Use in 2015 and Beyond

Lee Odden on Apr 8th, 2015     Content Marketing

content marketing tools 2015

Tools are only as effective as the skills of the person using them.

In a world of digital marketing that’s 24/7 with ubiquitous connectivity from anywhere, anytime, marketers’ need for tools is greater than ever. Content Marketing in particular offers a competitive landscape where the effectiveness and efficiency offered by the right mix of tools can make the difference between feast or famine.

There are many categories for content marketing tools since content and consumer pursuit of information are the backbone of the web experience. Here are some of the content marketing tool categories that come to mind (not too different than a high level list of marketing tools actually).

  • Content Planning
  • Content Research
  • Content Creation
  • Content Curation
  • Content Distribution
  • Content Promotion
Lee Odden

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

Lee Odden on Apr 6th, 2015     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?