Content Marketing

Content marketing is the planning, creation, promotion and measurement of content for a specific audience and intended to inspire a business outcome. With over 90% of B2B and B2C marketers engaging in content marketing, it’s more important than ever to make sure your content stands out from the crowd.

 

As the only blog to be named #1 content marketing blog three times by Content Marketing Institute, TopRank is dedicated to helping marketers understand the opportunities, best practices and current trends in the world of content marketing.

 

Browse our content marketing articles to find tips, guides, expert interviews, conference liveblogging and best practices.

 

Joshua Nite

How to Inspire Your B2B Audience with Killer Content Marketing

Joshua Nite on May 25th, 2017     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

B2B content marketers: It’s time to get over our inferiority complex.

Yes, the B2C folks are over there marketing cool stuff like basketball shoes and energy drinks, while we’re stuck with cloud software solutions and medical imaging machinery.

Yes, we’re marketing to business professionals on a buying committee that has to commit to million-dollar deals. Which would buy a lot of basketball shoes and energy drinks.

But that does not mean B2C has more fun. It doesn’t mean B2B is boring. It doesn’t mean we have to play it safe.

Can B2B content be as compelling, as emotional, as vibrant—let’s face it—as cool as B2C?

As we say in Minnesota, yabetcha.

Ashley Zeckman

CMWorld In-Flight Content Guide: Creating a Memorable Content Experience

Ashley Zeckman on May 24th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Today’s modern customer is OBSESSED with experience. Everything from the ability to quickly order an Uber through a mobile app to spending hard-earned money on trips and adventures, not your typical investments.

The customer expectations for content marketing experiences are no different. In fact, a recent study by  Kampyle found that 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience.

So now that you’ve prepped for your content marketing journey by diving into our first eBook, In-Flight Content Guide: Prepping for Your Content Marketing Expedition, it’s time to create a great experience.

To help set you down the path to creating a great “in-flight”content  experience for your customers, TopRank Marketing and Content Marketing Institute have partnered to bring you yet another go-to-guide from some of the brilliant minds speaking at Content Marketing World in September.

Lee Odden

The Secret to Creating Scalable, Quality Content and Better CX – Infographic

Lee Odden on May 22nd, 2017     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

Content Experience Influence

A woman walks into a retail store and looks around, not finding what she’s there for. She approaches a sales associate and asks, “Excuse me, can you show me where the top of the funnel is? I need to be confronted by every touchpoint of your predetermined sales process before I can purchase something”.

Not one of your customers is doing this.

So why do brands continue to drive content marketing programs based on a linear, sequential buying journey? With so many consumers numb to brand messaging and increasingly blocking advertising, how can marketers do a better job of connecting with and engaging customers with content?

Ashley Zeckman

#CMWorld Interview: Amanda Todorovich Dishes on Creating Impactful Content for Healthcare

Ashley Zeckman on May 15th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Online Marketing

Each year, Content Marketing World receives hundreds of nominations for the coveted Content Marketer of the Year award. Past winners include Vishal Khanna of Wake Forest Innovations (2015), Bryan Rhoads, Intel Digital Media Labs (2014) and Julie Fleischer of Kraft Foods Group (2013).

In 2016, this award went to another truly deserving content marketer, Amanda Todorovich Director of Content Marketing, Cleveland Clinic. Amanda and her team at the Cleveland Clinic have proven that content marketing really works for healthcare organizations. In fact, their blog has been named as the most visited hospital blog in the entire country!

If you’re like me, you likely wondered “How does she do it?”. Fortunately for you (and myself), I was able to steal away some of Amanda’s valuable time to gain insights into everything from how her team has managed to develop such a successful content strategy to what an average day looks like in her world.

Knute Sands

#CMWorld Interview: Adele Revella Weighs In On Connecting B2B Content to Customers

Knute Sands on May 11th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

The 2017 Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs B2B content marketing research uncovered some fascinating insights this year. One of the most interesting aspects of this research was the techniques B2B marketers are leveraging to better understand their target audiences.

And the techniques they aren’t using.

When asked which techniques they used to better understand their target audience(s) for content marketing purposes, “Auditing Existing Buyer Data” didn’t even crack the top ten (at 24% of respondents). Now there’s a real head-scratcher.

So what were the top 3?

  • Website analysis (58%)
  • Keyword search (57%)
  • Employee feedback (50%)

While all of these techniques are wonderfully helpful, I’d gamble they aren’t giving B2B marketers the ammunition they need when it comes time to flesh out an editorial calendar.

Joshua Nite

New eBook: 30 Essential Ingredients to Stock Your Content Marketing Kitchen

Joshua Nite on May 10th, 2017     Content Marketing

My mother was the chief cook in our household. It was a thankless job. Her customers were three kids with radically different ideas about what was edible and what was, like, totally grody.

When we asked what was for dinner—one of her least favorite questions—she would frequently answer, “Well, we could make peanut butter sandwiches, if we had any bread. Or any peanut butter.”

In other words, regardless of what your diners are craving, you can only make what you have the ingredients to make.

Mom’s little proverb holds true for content marketing, too. We have finnicky readers to please, people who won’t settle for filet mignon when they really want a classic PB&J. They’re increasingly demanding a more personalized menu: Research shows that over 200 million people use ad blockers to cut out content that isn’t to their taste. To make a crowd-pleasing recipe, you have to stock the right ingredients.

Ashley Zeckman

New Content Planning Report: Is Your Content Planning a Smashing Success or Misadventure?

Ashley Zeckman on May 8th, 2017     Content Marketing

It wasn’t too long ago that many brands were hesitant to truly incorporate content into their marketing mix. Instead, they focused solely on website copy, SEO, PR and Digital Advertising.

Today however, if someone told you that they aren’t “doing” content, they’d likely receive a befuddled look in response. Content (and especially great content) have become the cornerstone of most digital marketing programs.

But even though brands have jumped on the content bandwagon, that doesn’t always mean that they’re successfully incorporating content into their marketing. The cause? What it really boils down to is a lack of planning.

In order to tackle some of today’s top challenges and opportunities head on, our client DivvyHQ recently conducted a survey of marketers to uncover what’s working, and what’s not.

Ashley Zeckman

In-Flight Content Guide: Prepping for Your Content Marketing Expedition to #CMWorld

Ashley Zeckman on May 3rd, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Content Marketing World is closer than you might think and there are so many items to plan for before jet setting to Cleveland in September. Are your bags and business cards packed? Got snacks and supplies for the flight? Uploaded a new oh-so-dapper Twitter photo? And what about picking a track, and some favorite speakers?

To help you prepare for the what you’ll learn (or give you some helpful insights if you’re unable to attend), TopRank Marketing and Content Marketing Institute have partnered to bring you insights from 14 of our most talented “content crew members” that will be speaking at this years conference.

Why?

Well, according to the latest joint CMI and MarketingProfs research, a full 89% of B2B marketers, and 86% of B2C marketers utilize content marketing.

Joshua Nite

Feeling Stuck? 5 Tips to Restart your Content-Creating Brain

Joshua Nite on May 2nd, 2017     B2B Marketing, B2C Marketing, Content Marketing

Blank space: Great when it’s a song by Taylor Swift, not so great in content marketing.

No, wait. I already used that analogy. Now I need a clever new intro to this post about overcoming writer’s block and resetting your content brain. I’m staring at a white screen, trying to put words together, intimidated by all that blank space.

Hey, that’s like the Taylor Swift song… no, wait.

If you’re a content creator, the previous two paragraphs likely sound familiar. There are few things more intimidating to a writer than an empty page. Sometimes, despite your best efforts—the caffeine, the snacks, the just-right Spotify playlist—your content-creating brain just won’t turn over.

It’s almost like humans weren’t meant to sit at a desk in front of 1-3 huge monitors all day long, isn’t it?

Joshua Nite

20 Awesome Healthcare Marketers to Follow on LinkedIn

Joshua Nite on Apr 26th, 2017     Content Marketing, LinkedIn, Online Marketing, Social Media

Marketing is a challenging profession, full stop. But some flavors of marketing are trickier than others. Healthcare marketers have the same obstacles and issues other marketers do, and they have to contend with strict brand guidelines and stricter federal regulations.

It’s like the old saying: “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, only backwards and in high heels.” These healthcare marketers may or may not know how to tango, but their hard work deserves our recognition.

Here are just a few of our favorite healthcare marketers.

Rob Birgfeld, AVP, Chief Digital Marketing Officer, Inova Health System

Rob is a talented marketer who came to the healthcare field four years ago, when he took on the CDMO role for Inova Health System. He’s a jack of all trades: From social media to blogging to product development, Rob keeps Inova’s marketing strategy sound in the short and long term.

Caitlin Burgess

A Day in the Life of a Content Marketing Manager at TopRank Marketing

Caitlin Burgess on Apr 25th, 2017     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

These days, workplace culture is becoming a defining characteristic for most companies—as well as a marketing tool to retain and attract top talent. As a result, I’m often asked by industry peers and hopeful job seekers what it’s really like to work at TopRank Marketing.

The honest truth? It’s hard work. But, that’s the nature of the marketing agency beast. But at TopRank Marketing it’s also in our nature to nurture—and that’s evident in the culture we’ve built; a culture of support, understanding and teamwork to help ensure every individual and every client thrives.

Of course, things aren’t always perfect. But as author, researcher and speaker Brené Brown once said: “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”

Joshua Nite

How Does Your Garden Grow? How to Create and Maintain Evergreen Content

Joshua Nite on Apr 24th, 2017     Blog Optimization, Content Marketing

Every good gardener knows there are two types of flowering plants: Annuals and perennials. Annuals bloom once and have to be replanted the next growing season. Perennials stick around; they continue to flower year after year.

Most blog posts are annuals. You publish them, they generate views and shares for a while, and then they basically go dormant. Readers might happen across them occasionally. But think of it this way: When was the last time you went through your favorite blog’s archives? Or clicked on a search result that was over a year old?

Rarely, though, you will find that a post has perennial appeal—what some marketers call “evergreen content.” Even though you published it in 2012, it still gets liked and shared. That’s a clear sign the content is still relevant to your audience.