Content Marketing

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?

Brooke Furry

How to Create and Repurpose Content That Customers Really Want

Lee Odden, TopRank Online Marketing CEO

According to Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, 50% of marketers say that producing content consistently is a top challenge. Our clients at TopRank Online Marketing verify this statistic every day – as does our own team. Substantial content that answers audience questions in an authoritative way doesn’t grow on trees. Good content takes precious time and energy to create!

You’ll be happy to hear that marketers don’t need to create more content – they just need to create smarter content. This is where the idea of repurposing comes in – and Lee Odden is a big fan.

If you’ve never abided by the three “R’s” – “reduce, reuse, recycle,” then you might be wondering why would I want to repurpose my content? What good will that do me?

Brooke Furry

How Content Marketers Can Tell Better, More Strategic Stories

Storytelling around a campfire

As a marketer, are you a good storyteller? Do you have a content marketing strategy that guides your storytelling?

Maybe you already know how to build a content marketing strategy, but you’re curious to know how to improve it.

Jason Miller, senior manager of content marketing for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, is a natural storyteller – and he has awesome storytelling tips for marketers. (Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client)

In his session at Social Media Marketing World 2015 in San Diego, Jason kept the audience captive, sharing what seemed like a million excellent insights on storytelling to inspire and motivate marketers.

In addition, he gave key insights on how to better use LinkedIn (his area of expertise) for more effective content publishing and promotion.

Tell stories in your voice.

Lee Odden

5 Steps to Personalize Repurposed Content for Your Target Audience

Lee Odden on Mar 24th, 2015     Content Marketing, Social Media
teamtoprank

Alexis, Kat, Jolina & Evan from #TeamTopRank brainstorming content.

Repurposing content is most often a function of efficiency. Marketers investing in content have always sought to extend the value of their content marketing efforts by repurposing, re-skinning or reimagining content into alternative forms.

In fact, repurposing is so popular, there are over 1 million search results in Google for “repurpose content”. And for good reason:

50% of marketers say producing content consistently is a top challenge. CMI/MarketingProfs

Exploding the eBook. Developing a substantial eBook for example, creates a rich source of information from which many derivative works can be created ranging from blog posts to infographics. The folks at Kapost have promoted the content pillar approach with some great examples of this.

Content Pillar Kapost

Lee Odden

Brand Storytelling in a Digital World – Alix Hart, Acting CMO at Symantec

Lee Odden on Mar 18th, 2015     Content Marketing, MIMA Seminars

Momentum Marketing

Creating demand with content that is relevant to your target audience in real-time is both a challenge and an opportunity for digital marketers. But that is exactly what Alix Hart, Acting CMO at Symantec, is doing with what she calls “Momentum Marketing”.

This post is a liveblog of a presentation Alix gave today on building Marketing Momentum at a MIMA event in Minneapolis.

The official description: As digital expands into every facet of a consumer’s life, marketing strategy and brand storytelling must shift its focus to create content driven by consumer conversations and needs. So how do brands get there? How can a brand leverage the momentum of conversations consumers are already having? Alix and her team at Symantec are taking a new approach to deliver useful and relevant information relating to what consumers are already seeking out. Join us to hear her three-step plan to capitalize on what she calls “momentum marketing”, and find out what’s next in the space.

Lee Odden

New Report: Content Marketing Performance – A Framework to Measure Real Business Impact

Lee Odden on Mar 17th, 2015     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Content Marketing Performance: A Framework to Measure Real Business Impact

It’s safe to say that in 2015, the vast majority of businesses are creating content for marketing (B2C 77%, B2B 86%) 2015 CMI/MarketingProfs.

But to what end?

Content can create impact for a business in many ways, including boosting reputation, increasing revenue, improving operational efficiencies or growing the value of the brand.

Unfortunately, most companies are chasing ROI instead of planning for measuring the full spectrum of value content can deliver for a business.

This is the challenge content strategists and digital marketers are facing in conference and boardrooms all over the world. Business executives are no longer satisfied with metrics around volume and are demanding insight into impact of content marketing investments.

Lee Odden

BADASS Book Review: The Content Code by Mark Schaefer

Lee Odden on Mar 12th, 2015     Book Reviews, Content Marketing

The Content Code

The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business is the latest book from Mark Schaefer and like The Tao of Twitter and Social Media Explained, it’s a must read.

I’ve known and admired Mark for several years. He is a very generous person and that generosity extends to the knowledge he shares in the content and conversations he’s a part of.

Mark has a valuable ability to take the complexity out of marketing and draw attention to the things you really need to know – and in a way that just makes sense. Let’s face it: marketers are definitely living in an age of increased complexity and information overload. The sheer volume of content now being produced has no chance of being consumed, ala “Content Shock” and businesses are hard pressed to find ways to stand out.

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Make Free Stock Images Work for Content Marketing

Nick Ehrenberg on Mar 11th, 2015     Content Marketing, Visual Marketing

stock images, success, content marketing

Visual content is king, but what happens if you don’t have a massive library of brand images to use for your online content? Do you try a simple Google image search and grab something that might be approved for commercial use? Or, do you simply go image-less and rely on your copy to carry the weight?

If you’re pillaging images from Google’s regular search, stop right now. Google might tell you that it’s approved for commercial use, but there are other resources that provide greater assurances (and more relief for your legal team).

In this post I’ll show you where to find (truly) free stock images, and how to use those images for the best visual impact on your content marketing.