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Content Marketing


Lee Odden

10 Must Read Content Marketing Posts for 2015

Lee Odden on Oct 29th, 2014     Content Marketing

must read content marketing posts

Over the past 5 years we’ve published over 380 articles about content marketing here on Online Marketing Blog. It’s a big topic after all – with plenty of opportunity to help marketers better understand the planning, creation, management, promotion, measurement and performance optimization of content.

After digging in to our web and social media analytics, I’ve identified 10 of the most popular posts on content marketing that I’m sure you’ll find useful. From our Content Marketing Maturity Model to tips, tools and measurement – the 10 posts summarized below will help you finish off 2014 in style and put your planning for 2015 in the right direction.

TopRank Content Marketing Maturity Model

Lee Odden

New Report: How Content Co-Creation With Influencers Beats Information Overload #MastersofCX

Lee Odden on Oct 16th, 2014     Content Marketing

Influencing Influencers Co-Created Content

Creating remarkable marketing isn’t just about the flash and dazzle of big ad spends. It’s about creating great experiences for your customers whether they’re early stage prospects researching solutions or satisfied clients looking for ways to better engage with the brand.

One of the best marketing investments a company can make is in the experiences they create through content. The challenge is, we live in an age of information overload where there’s more information created every 2 days than since the dawn of time to 2013 (Eric Schmidt).  While content plays an increasingly important role for attracting, engaging and converting prospects to buyers, content competition has created challenges few companies are prepared to overcome.

Lee Odden

When do B2B Tech Companies Need Content Marketing? Inspiration for 2015 Marketing Planning

Lee Odden on Oct 14th, 2014     B2B, Content Marketing

B2B technology content marketing

Speaking at both a B2B Marketing and a Public Relations conference in the space of a week has yielded some insightful discussions. Many of those conversations have focused on the transition from where the B2B companies are today – a mix of tactics directed squarely at the C-level customer – and where a content marketing strategy might take them.

With my involvement in the B2B marketing space, I get to talk to a lot of marketing and PR professionals about marketing and communications programs. The desire to “do more” and innovate marketing isn’t unique – it’s pretty common across the board, especially with 2015 planning under way.

Lee Odden

What is the Future of Content for B2B Marketing? Find out at #MPB2B

Lee Odden on Oct 8th, 2014     B2B, Content Marketing

B2B Content Marketing

Content makes the B2B marketing world go round in so many ways. But will content of the future be as important as it is today?

According to the “hot of the press” report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America, 86% of B2B companies are using content marketing. That’s actually down from 93% last year. The definition of content marketing has evolved as well and I suspect, so will the nature of content in the coming years.

But what do those changes mean for you, business marketers trying to create a variety of engaging content on a regular basis without blowing your budget into space? Luckily we have thoughtful insights from 3 people who know from companies that are growing and selling to business customers. These B2B content marketing insights come from none other than Moz, SnapApp and our very own agency, TopRank Online Marketing.

Andy Thomson

Ruthless Pragmatism: Kevin Spacey’s Approach to Content Marketing

Andy Thomson on Sep 24th, 2014     Content Marketing

Kevin Spacey Content Marketing

In case you missed it, the ‘ruthless pragmatism’ approach to politics of House of Cards’ Frank Underwood has stretched far beyond Capitol Hill to the world of content marketing. With the lessons learned about the changing media landscape, Kevin Spacey, Underwood’s real-life actor alter-ego, is becoming influential in Marketing as well as Hollywood.

The success of House of Cards for Netflix is unlike any previous television show and has become a symbol of the online content movement. Since the show’s release, Mr. Spacey has spoken at several conferences urging journalists and broadcasters to follow the Netflix model of producing in-depth content with a great story, yet­ he still surprised people by giving a keynote speech at the recent Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland.

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Make B2B Marketing Stories Bigger With Social Media Microcontent

Nick Ehrenberg on Sep 17th, 2014     B2B, Content Marketing

storytelling in b2b marketing

Storytelling is a fundamentally human experience. We love to tell stories, ranging from whimsical fantasy to tense political thrillers. Some psychologists believe storytelling is actually necessary for human survival — we are hard-wired to respond to compelling narratives.

Storytelling is frequently cited as a best practice for content marketers, but what happens when your publishing space is limited? B2B social media marketers only have enough space for 1-2 sentences per post, so how can they tell a story with such little space?

When it comes to effective B2B social storytelling, it’s not about shrinking the story to fit within character limits. Rather, it’s about using social tools to make the story bigger. Here’s how you can make your story bigger on social networks:

Visualize the message

social media marketing, star wars, cisco

Andy Thomson

A Writer’s Guide: Calls to Action – Tips Inspired by Tweets from Content Marketing World

Andy Thomson on Sep 15th, 2014     Content Marketing

Writers Guide Calls to Action CTA

Note from Lee: Please welcome Andy Thomson from TopRank in his first post to Online Marketing Blog:

In managing the content marketing for a brand, you have to focus on the bottom line. You have to push sales to help you reach growth goals for the business. But in reality, most people who encounter your brand (especially in B2B) aren’t going to buy right away. The sales funnel has to attract, engage and convert people in a way that makes sense for them.

As content creators and marketers, knowing how and when to use calls to action to move prospective customers from awareness to purchase can be tricky. Luckily, last week’s Content Marketing World offered a flood of great content advice on the interwebs including insights on follow throughs and calls to action (CTA). Here are a few of those nuggets and some perspective:

Lee Odden

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content – Interview with Ann Handley

Lee Odden on Sep 15th, 2014     Content Marketing, Interviews

Ann Handley

The bell has rung and class is in session.

The topic? Creating content. In particular, ridiculously good content.

Your professor for this essential business skill is none other than Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, the largest marketing community on the web. During the incredibly busy week that was Content Marketing World, Ann took the time to exceed my expectations (once again) and shine her bright light of wisdom on the power of good writing.

In business and in life, writing is an essential part of communications – no matter how digital, virtual and science fiction we get in our communications. That’s why Ann’s new book launching today, Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content, is so timely.  From Twitter to White Papers to books in print, Ann has smart, actionable advice for us all.

Jesse Pickrain

Creating Content That Drives Revenue: Jason Miller and Shafqat Islam

Jesse Pickrain on Sep 11th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Online Marketing

Jason Miller and Shafqat Islam

It’s another packed house in the ROI track with LinkedIn’s Jason Miller and NewsCred’s Shafqat Islam taking the stage after Shane Snow’s inspiring session. The duo did not disappoint. When it was over, the gentleman seated behind me said, “that was the best presentation I’ve seen yet.” The gentleman next to him concurred.

Shafqat kicked it off with a fantastic segue from Shane Snow’s Che Guevara story, telling the crowd about the Che poster he proudly displayed on his wall when he was younger. He then cited the following George Bernard Shaw quote:

If at age 20 you are not a communist then you have no heart. If at age 30 you are not a capitalist then you have no brains.

Jesse Pickrain

Three Stories That Will Help Content Marketers Win With Storytelling

Jesse Pickrain on Sep 11th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Shane Snow

Back in August of ’13, Contently co-founder Shane Snow wrote the following in a LinkedIn Influencer post:

“Every few minutes, a new buzzword rips through the business world, skids, gets a few books written on it, and ends up in a pile of tired terms next to ‘synergy.’ Today, one of the biggest corporate buzzwords is ‘storytelling.’ Marketers are obsessed with storytelling and conference panels on the subject have fewer empty seats than a Bieber concert.

Funny thing is, storytelling has been the buzzword off and on since advertising became a thing. It’s always coming out of the buzzword pile because, at the end of the day, storytelling is a skill. Stories have been an essential driver of change throughout human history. For good and for ill.”

Jesse Pickrain

TopRank’s Lee Odden Tackles Influencer Marketing in 5 Simple Steps

Jesse Pickrain on Sep 10th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Lee Odden

At the largest content marketing conference in the world, over 2,500 attendees from 50+ countries converged on Cleveland, Ohio this week to learn about all things content marketing. Our agency, TopRank Online Marketing, has been involved with CMWorld since day one: presenting every year for the past 4 years as well as helping to market the conference through influencer eBooks. Saying we’re big fans of the event is an understatement.

As it happens, my first session at Content Marketing World was presented by our CEO, Lee Odden on the topic of influencers and content marketing.

What is an influencer? In a recent interview featured in Ann Handley’s Entrepreneur Magazine column, Lee described influencers as having “subject matter authority, credibility amongst a network and most importantly, the ability to affect actions amongst a network.”

Lee Odden

Actionable Content Marketing – Interview with Heidi Cohen

Lee Odden on Sep 4th, 2014     Content Marketing, Interviews

Heidi Cohen

Whether you’ve been in the digital and content marketing game for just a few years, or since before the expression “content marketing” was popular, the tools exist for bright minds to create a brand and communicate their thought leadership. Powered with experience, great ideas and a passion for knowledge attainment and sharing, people like Heidi Cohen have walked the talk with content marketing by using content to advance their position in the digital marketing world.

As the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies and the Chief Content Officer of the Actionable Marketing Guide, Heidi Cohen‘s content marketing experience ranges from being a long time direct marketer for companies like The Economist, a columnist at ClickZ for many years, and past adjunct professor in the Masters in Integrated Marketing program at NYU. Based in New York City, Heidi publishes a very popular blog on all things marketing: Actionable Marketing Guide.

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