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.

 

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.

Amy Higgins

Stop the Marketing Killjoy: 5 Ways You’re Turning off Audiences with Bad Video

Amy Higgins on Sep 11th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Online Marketing, Video

It might only be 1pm in the afternoon, but it’s five o’clock somewhere – a perfect time for a great dry martini.

Research “how to make the perfect dry martini”, and you’ll get over 1,560,000 results. Ask a content marketer “how to tell a good story”, and you’ll get about the same quality of results — except when you ask the fabulous Tim Washer. Like the perfect dry martini, Tim’s strategy for how to tell a good story is simple, neat, and well…perfect.

In his session at Content Marketing World, Tim not only shared how improv can help your B2B marketing, but he shared the five ways you can kill the joy in your videos.

What are his simple rules of how to stop the marketing killjoy?

Joshua Nite

How adidas Put Culture at the Core of Their Content Marketing Strategy

Joshua Nite on Sep 11th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Frank Thomas of adidas

Jean Giraudoux once said, “The secret to success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

It’s a funny indictment of how to take exactly the wrong approach to authenticity. But too often, brands and marketers miss the sarcasm. We target an audience, then carefully cultivate an image to appeal to them. We create the appearance of a culture that matches theirs. And then we’re surprised when our target audience sees right through it.

What if we stopped trying to fake sincerity and turned the whole process inside out? Instead of crafting a culture to match an audience, why not attract the audience that matches your culture?

Caitlin Burgess

5 Radiant Writing Secrets Inspired by ‘Charlotte’s Web’

Caitlin Burgess on Sep 11th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Some pig. Terrific. Radiant. Humble.

In the classic E.B. White novel, Charlotte’s Web, these simple yet impactful words save a life and make another better. And for prolific writer, marketer and speaker Ann Handley, these words also make the title character the best content marketer in the world.

“In just four [phrases] she had to make her case. Wilbur was her product.” Handley passionately told Content Marketing World attendees last Thursday. “I mean she was looking to save this pig’s life people. … And Zuckerman was her audience.”

Handley’s passion for Charlotte’s marketing abilities stems from her “literary crush” on author E.B. White. She even attempted to purchase his Maine estate where we wrote 12 of his 14 novels, including Charlotte’s Web.

Tiffani Allen

The Secret to Achieving Enterprise-Wide Content Marketing Buy-In? Understanding Your Cast of Characters #CMWorld

Tiffani Allen on Sep 7th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Online Marketing

It’s certainly no secret that quality content is the foundation of every marketing strategy. And you may think the success of your content marketing initiatives rests in the capable and creative hands of your marketing team members. But you may be missing out on a big internal opportunity.

During her session titled “Driving Content Marketing Success in Your Organization: Sales, Product and Global-Regional Collaboration,” Jillian Hillard, the Director of Brand and Product Marketing for Electrolux Home Care and SDA, North America, emphasized the importance of enterprise-wide buy-in.

Using three rebranding case studies as examples, Hillard walked us through her process for getting key players from multiple departments to buy-in, get excited and see the value in content marketing.

Ashley Zeckman

An Ode to Content Marketing World: A Look Back at Some of Our Favorite #CMWorld Moments

Ashley Zeckman on Sep 6th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Can you imagine life before Content Marketing World?

I can’t, and I will only be attending my third year of this information-packed conference this week.

What Joe Pulizzi, Cathy McPhillips and the rest of the team at Content Marketing Institute have built over the past 7 years is truly amazing. Each day is filled with learnings from top content marketers, fun games and lunch and learns and awesome after-parties.

Below you’ll find fun some highlights from our involvement from Content Marketing World’s inception, to happenings at the conference this week. Enjoy!

Lee Odden

50 Influential Women in Content Marketing 2017

Lee Odden on Sep 5th, 2017     Content Marketing

50 Influential Women Content Marketing

With over 200 speakers, moderators, panelists and workshop leaders at the 2017 Content Marketing World conference, it is a substantial task to investigate the influence of so many accomplished marketing professionals.

For this year’s list of influential content marketing speakers, I went a step further and took into account those who have presented at Content Marketing World over the past 3 years. That’s 392 speakers in all!

content marketing influencer network visualization traackr

We’ve been publishing lists like this for years and with the help of Traackr for assessing topical influence, relevance, resonance and reach, I think we have another great group of content marketing smarties for you to follow.

Steve Slater

Give Influencer Content Programs a Promotional Edge with Digital Advertising

Steve Slater on Aug 31st, 2017     Content Marketing, Digital Advertising, Influencer Marketing

It happens almost every single time. I’m finally settling in to stream a few episodes before I go to bed for the day. I fire up the old Netflix machine and there it is… options… lots of them.

There are shows I’ve seen before that I might want to watch again. Genres that I’m interested in. Highly rated shows. Maybe I watch one of those trending shows that everyone is talking about? I mean I’ve never seen that Making a Murderer show… did I miss out on that one? My mind continues to jump around with the unlimited options in front of me.

When you have virtually unlimited options in front of you it’s almost impossible to make a choice. This is probably why I’ve watched the American version of the Office about one million times (either that or it’s a really good show).