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.

 

Caitlin Burgess

How We’re Building a Content Marketing Dream Team

Caitlin Burgess on Oct 19th, 2017     Content Marketing

A few members of the TopRank Marketing content marketing dream team.

As the digital landscape continues to grow and shift, digital marketing — particularly content marketing — has a majority stake in most brands’ marketing strategies these days. After all, nearly half of the world’s population now uses the internet, and we want our content to meet people where they are and when they’re searching.

As a result, brands and agencies alike are on the lookout for savvy, driven content gurus with proven writing, planning and strategy skills to add to their marketing teams — including TopRank Marketing.

Joshua Nite

How to Choose Dynamic Images for Your Blog Posts

Joshua Nite on Oct 17th, 2017     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

I’m a content writer, not a graphic designer. My job is to make the words dance, to convey useful information in an entertaining way.

As such, for a long time visuals were just an afterthought for me. Yeah, a blog needs a header image. So after I’m done writing I’ll slap something on there, check that box, and send it off to the client.

As content continues to proliferate, though, that laissez-faire approach isn’t enough. Your potential audience has far more content available to them than they’ll ever be able to read. That means they’re actively looking for reasons not to read your content. A weak—or worse, missing—visual is a perfect excuse to move to the next thing.

Caitlin Burgess

How to Make the Switch to Content-Driven SEO #MNBlogCon

Caitlin Burgess on Oct 16th, 2017     Blogging Strategy, Content Marketing

TopRank Marketing’s Joshua Nite made his debut on the speaker circuit this past weekend at the 8th annual Minnesota Blogger Conference held at Concordia University in St. Paul.

Charming the crowd with his unique brand of wit, creativity, mad content marketing expertise, and numerous “cats with hats” references, Josh delivered a The Good Place-themed presentation titled: “The Good News About Creative Content: From SEO-Driven Content to Content-Driven SEO.”

As someone who spent 12 years as a creative comedy writer for a video game called The Kingdom of Loathing, Josh said he was terrified by the concept of SEO-driven content when he made his transition into content marketing.

“The worst content to write, and the worst content for people to read, was the stuff that [search engine] robots liked to read to most,” Josh said.

Ashley Zeckman

If You Only Had $1k to Invest in Content Marketing, How Would You Spend it?

Ashley Zeckman on Oct 9th, 2017     Content Marketing, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

Budget is always top of mind for content marketers, but especially this time of year. In order to get even close to the budget that you want or need, you have to justify the spend.

Unfortunately, we’ve been ineffective at content for a while. But the question is, can we change the narrative?

In his presentation last week at the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, GE Digital’s Chris Moody gave the audience insights into why we’re ineffective, and what we can do to improve, without having to spend a significant amount of money.

Where Are We Failing?

While approach and hurdles will vary from brand to brand, there are three key reasons that content marketing isn’t working today. Below are three stats that paint a very clear picture of where we’re going wrong:

Alexis Hall

The Netflix Experience: Create Binge-Worthy B2B Content with Ardath Albee #MPB2B

Alexis Hall on Oct 5th, 2017     Content Marketing, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

73% of Americans have binged on content. If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking of those rainy Sundays spent on a Netflix bender. Netflix, Hulu, HBOGo make it so easy to continue the binge. One more episode, you think, as the next installment automatically queues up. Finished Stranger Things in one weekend? Here are 6 new, easily clickable suggestions to start a new binge.

Now what if that same principle could apply to your content marketing?

In fact, 93% of B2B buyers want bundled, bingeable content (Content Preferences Survey, 2017) , but only 42% say it’s easy to find the next piece of relevant content (Why Your Website Fails Buyers, 2017).

Ashley Zeckman

2018 B2B Content Marketing Report Indicates Marketers are Finding Content Marketing Success

Ashley Zeckman on Oct 2nd, 2017     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

As a community, content marketers have experienced some significant ups and downs over the years. For every step forward we take toward content success, it sometimes seems like we take a couple backwards.

But perhaps, this will be the year that changes.

Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs just released their annual report–The 2018 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends.

We’ve come to rely on this report to be a definitive content marketing guide of sorts that provides a finger on the pulse of our industry and shows how we align (or don’t) with our content marketing peers.

In order to move forward, we have to know where we are today, including what is working and what is not. Below are what I consider to be some of the top learnings from the report.

Joshua Nite

Funny Content, Serious Business: How to Use Humor in Content Marketing

Joshua Nite on Sep 28th, 2017     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Everyone likes a good joke. Everyone wants to be entertained. But when it comes to using humor in content marketing, people still hesitate. We are, after all, not here purely to entertain. Our content needs to serve a business purpose, inspire action, and rack up the sweet, sweet conversions.

Can potential buyers really take your brand seriously if you make them laugh?

I call this the Roger Rabbit/Goodfellas conundrum, best expressed by these two quotes:

How do you get the Roger Rabbit benefits of making people laugh, without becoming a Joe Pesci-esque laughingstock?

It can be done. You can still be funny and do serious business. The question is not whether to use humor in your content, but how you use it.

Ashley Zeckman

Top Insights, Takeaways & Favorite Moments from #SocialBrand17

Ashley Zeckman on Sep 20th, 2017     Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

For the past six years Nick Westergaard has brought speakers from around the United States to the good people of Iowa for his annual Social Brand Forum.

This event has drawn speakers like Lee Odden, Ann Handley, Joe Pulizzi, Jay Baer, Tim Washer, Scott Monty, Mitch Joel, Chris Brogan and many more!

This year, I was lucky to join some amazing speakers including Robert Rose, Melissa Agnes, Jason Falls and Marcus Sheridan as one of the speakers at this premiere Midwest event.

Since I know that many of you weren’t able to attend this awesome event, I’ve taken the liberty of pulling some of my favorite takeaways and moments from #SocialBrand17.

Nick Westergaard – The Man Who Made it All Happen

Anne Leuman

The Mighty Cheeseburger: How to Construct Your Content for the Perfect Bite

Anne Leuman on Sep 18th, 2017     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

You might not know this but today, Sept. 18, is a national holiday to remember: National Cheeseburger Day. We know, we know, everyday now has an arbitrary national holiday that has little to offer outside of free food or funny tweets. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth celebrating.

For our own National Cheeseburger Day celebration, we took a look at what makes a great burger. From a perfectly toasted bun to secret sauces, there is a lot that goes into creating the perfect staple of American food. And as content marketers, we could relate to trying to find the perfect mixture of ingredients and techniques to create something that people love.

Caitlin Burgess

Our Top 11 Content Marketing Takeaways from #CMWorld 2017

Caitlin Burgess on Sep 13th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Last week, thousands of marketers from all over the world descended on the Rock N’ Roll capital of the world, Cleveland, OH, for the seventh annual Content Marketing World Conference and Expo.

Featuring more than 130 speakers, keynotes and panelists, dozens of different tracks, and a whole lot of orange, the four-day event was exciting and inspiring. And the TopRank Marketing team was out in full-force, providing live coverage, learning from some of the best in the business, dancing to 80s classics and making new connections.

While it’s nearly impossible to distill all the inspiring insights we collected during the event into this one post, we’re going to try. Below we share a handful of insights that really resonated with our team.

Ashley Zeckman

4 Tips to Stop Killing Your Content Team from Workfront & Nordstrom

Ashley Zeckman on Sep 12th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

The pressure is on! Content marketers are being expected to create more with less. And often, that means creating more content without adding additional team members.

Unfortunately, the content copywriters are often the ones that bear the brunt of these situations which can be exhausting and cause content burnout.

To help ease the pain, Workfront’s Heather Hurst and Nordstrom’s Erica Gunn shared some great tips to help you scale work with the resources you have in their presentation at Content Marketing World.

Want to keep your content team happy and productive? Here’s what to do:

#1 – Build a Business Case

Ok listen up, this part is important:

Before you start anything, you need to understand why you’re doing it and whether it rolls up to the most important goals of your company.

Caitlin Burgess

12 Questions You Need to Answer if You Want to Launch a Video Content Strategy

Caitlin Burgess on Sep 12th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Video

There’s no question that video is an increasingly important digital marketing tactic. Humans are visual creatures by nature and, when done right, video allows brands to tell their story and create meaningful, emotional connections with their audience.

For California-based Jordan Vineyard and Winery, video content has become a central piece of their marketing strategy. Lisa Mattson, Director of Marketing & Communications, shared how they’re winning at video during her Content Marketing World session “How Jordan Winery Crushed Content Marketing With a Video-Centered Strategy.”

For a little background, Jordan Vineyard and Winery has been around since the early 1970s, and until Mattson came on board, they’re marketing strategy hadn’t changed in more than 40 years.