Content Marketing

Ashley Zeckman

Why Your Approach to Digital Marketing Should be Crafted Like a Well-Balanced Breakfast

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 10th, 2016     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Online Marketing

well-balanced-digital-marketing-strategy

I start each morning the same way: After feeding my spoiled dog his morning delicacy of premium dog food, hamburger, rice and veggies, I go about making my morning meal. I know that this is a luxury that many people will say that they don’t have the time to do and are instead getting ready, herding children and grabbing a pastry on the way out the door. However, I’m one of those people that loves a hearty, flavor-filled meal to start my day.

Many Americans skip breakfast saying they don’t have time or don’t need it, while foregoing what is arguably the meal that gives you fuel for the day, can seriously hinder your ability to be productive during the workday.

Joshua Nite

Is Content Marketing a Viable Lead Generation Tactic?

Joshua Nite on Feb 4th, 2016     Content Marketing

Does-content-marketing-lead-to-sales

Hi, I’m Josh. I’m a content marketer and proud to be one.

Content marketing is unique among marketing tactics. It aims to accomplish business goals by offering people something of real value that can make their lives better.

It’s not, “you are lacking something in your life, so buy our product.” It’s not, “Read these exaggerated claims about our product and buy it.” Content marketing (as part of an integrated digital marketing strategy, of course) only works if you provide value to your audience. How cool is that? You provide value, they buy stuff, and everyone goes home happy.

As nice as it sounds, though, the previous sentence is missing a sizable chunk in the middle. Without lead generation, this is your content marketing plan:

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.

Ashley Zeckman

How to Decode The Connection Between Organic & Paid Content Promotion

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 27th, 2016     Content Marketing, Online Advertising, Online Marketing

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We often have new customers ask us what the best approach is for breaking the code of content promotion. Is it purely organic reach, social amplification or is paid promotion the way to go?

The short answer is, all of these and more.

When content marketing first hit the market, brands used it as an opportunity to follow a formula for something they already knew, online advertising. Banner ads, spam emails and other forms of advertising were a precursor to the more recognized forms that we see today. In the mid-nineties, brands were spending upwards of $11,000 a week for banner advertisements.

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.

Caitlin Burgess

Content Marketing Tactics: Real-Time Video Pros, Cons, Examples & Best Practices

Caitlin Burgess on Jan 20th, 2016     Content Marketing

Real-Time-Video

As the digital world we live in becomes increasingly cluttered, marketers are constantly refining their content marketing strategies and embracing new tactics to stay competitive. And Real-time video is one of those tactics that is allowing marketers to reach new audiences and increase customer engagement.

Video has been viewed as an effective marketing tactic for a number of years. However, the time and resources needed to create quality video had many marketers focusing on other things. Fortunately, the introduction of real-time video platforms and applications such as Ustream and Meerkat now presents marketers with some fairly easy and cost-effective video content marketing options.

And the launch of real-time video applications could not have come at a better time. Why?

Ashley Zeckman

5 Opportunities to Tell Stories & Touch Hearts with Visual Content Marketing

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 12th, 2016     Content Marketing

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Do you remember when great content marketing meant your copy was properly optimized for search engines so your customers could find you when searching?

Today’s customers have raised the bar, and it’s time that content marketers follow suit. As marketers, we have a unique opportunity to create a more one-to-one experience with our customers and prospects through the use of compelling visuals.

Recent research from Content Marketing Institute has found that content containing relevant images gets 94% more views than content without. Additionally, social content containing visuals typically receives 150% more retweets when scheduled using tools like Buffer.

Joshua Nite

5 Digital Marketing Tactics to Help Your Brand Stand out in 2016

Joshua Nite on Jan 7th, 2016     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

5-digital-marketing-tactics

It’s tempting to think of your brand as a beautiful and unique flower. You believe in the work you do, you take pains to know your audience and craft messages that should resonate with them. So you bring your exquisite rose to the world—only to find they’re standing waist-deep in a flower garden.

In the crowded content market, it’s entirely possible to do everything right and still struggle to capture attention. Knowing your audience, doing the research, and making great content are the new table stakes. To really get noticed, you must be exceptional.

Here are five digital marketing tactics that can get your brand noticed, with examples from brands that are doing it right.

Ashley Zeckman

How An Integrated Approach Can Help You Become Content Marketing Royalty in 2016

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 6th, 2016     Content Marketing

content-marketing-royalty

The stories that we are told as children are largely focused around kings, queens, princes and princesses. These characters are beautiful, intelligent and live a life that others can only dream of.

Today’s royalty take somewhat of a different form. They are marketers that inevitably stand out from the crowd due to their digital marketing creativity, smarts and success. But what is it that makes these marketers royalty?

The key to becoming content royalty in 2016 is taking an integrated approach to content marketing, or a “content plus” model. This approach shows a level of content marketing maturity and looks beyond content as a singular element, and combines it with other digital marketing services and best practices.

Caitlin Burgess

7 Ways to Optimize Your Web Content for Humans & Search Engines

Caitlin Burgess on Jan 5th, 2016     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO, SEO Tips

optimize for humans

In case you haven’t heard, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not dead. In fact, SEO is an absolute must for successful content marketing, but gone are the days where the first two words dictate how you execute the third.

Ever since Google dropped its Penguin update in 2012, user experience has become the primary focus of good SEO. Yes. Today’s SEO is about finding the perfect balance between user-centric content and convincing search engine crawlers that your content is supreme.

Now, I’m pretty confident that everything I just said isn’t news to you. However, actually accomplishing that perfect balance may be something you’re still working on. And that’s where I aim to help.

Below are some best practices and tips for optimizing your on-page content for human users and search engines:

Caitlin Burgess

Content Marketing Tactics: Earned Media Pros, Cons, Examples & Best Practices

Caitlin Burgess on Dec 29th, 2015     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

content-marketing-earned-media

For any brand, reputation is everything—and reputations are often built (or torn down) with earned media. From a glowing news article about one of your products to that horrific Yelp review, every brand experiences the benefits and drawbacks of earned media.

And in today’s socially connected world, marketers are increasing their use of earned media as a contact marketing tactic as it continues to be a crucial factor in consumer decision making.

In fact, a study by Nielsen and InPowered shows that expert content—credible, third-party articles and reviews—is the most effective source of information in impacting consumers along all stages of the purchase process across product categories. The study also showed that earned media is 88 percent more effective than owned media content alone.