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

In-Flight Content Guide: Making the Most of Your Content Journey

Ashley Zeckman on Jun 22nd, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

What does content marketing success look like to you? Is a healthier pipeline? Increased client retention? Or something completely different? While every marketing team might have a slightly different goal for content, the message is the same: You have to create a predictable way to gauge the impact of your content.

The content marketing journey can be perilous at times. At every turn there is a new competitor, shiny object or new “best practice”. This can cause teams to get so caught up in the creation of a quantity of content, that content amplification strategies are an afterthought, or even worse, not executed at all.

Ashley Zeckman

Interactive Quiz: 5 Steps to Creating a Stellar Content Experience for Your Audience

Ashley Zeckman on Jun 20th, 2017     Content Marketing

This month marks exactly 181 years since the first advertisement was ever published. The ad in question appeared in the French newspaper, La Presse, and other papers quickly began following suit. For the first time in history, businesses were using “content” distributed to a large audience to formally promote their products and services.

Clearly a lot of time has passed since that initial ad in 1836, but has our approach to content evolved at a similar pace? True, many advancements have been made in the way we deliver content and marketers have gotten better at attempting to deliver meaningful insights to their audience. But, one thing that many marketers still haven’t been able to nail, is creating a great content experience.

Joshua Nite

Don’t Skip Leg Day: 7 Content Marketing Must-Haves for Healthcare Marketers

Joshua Nite on Jun 15th, 2017     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Never skip leg day.

That is, when you’re working out, it’s important to change it up. Vary your routine and work different sets of muscles. It’s the difference between looking incredible, and looking like Mr. Incredible.

Your healthcare marketing needs just as much variety as your fitness routine does. Different types of content will appeal to different audiences, or the same audience in different ways. Stick with a single content marketing strategy—whether it’s white papers, webinars, or trade events—and you may see gains in one area. But you’re skipping leg day, and you’re going to end up top-heavy.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of variety to be had in healthcare content. With the content types below, you can build a well-rounded workout that will improve your content marketing’s overall fitness.

Ashley Zeckman

CMWorld Interview: Ian Cleary Talks Technology & Engaged Online Audiences

Ashley Zeckman on Jun 13th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Successful marketers aren’t born overnight. It takes grit, determination and hard work to navigate your way from noob to expert.

Additionally, the experiences that you have and the lessons you learn outside of the marketing field can impact how you look at and approach your marketing. A shining example of someone that has built a successful marketing career after working in a vastly different field is none other than RazorSocial Founder, Ian Cleary.

Like many speakers at Content Marketing World, Ian is a delightful mix of marketer and technology expert. I was able to catch up with Ian recently and gain some insights into his past in the software industry, his favorite marketing tools and his taken on building an engaged community.

Emily Hinderaker

Cozy Up With Your New Company: 7 Tips to Transition Into Your New Marketing Role

Emily Hinderaker on Jun 12th, 2017     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Think back to your first day of school (that you can remember), and take a moment to relive some of those feelings: excitement, worry, happiness, fear and maybe a little nausea. There were a lot of new faces and some familiar ones which helped ease the initial panic.

Now, fast forward to “adulthood”. You’re starting a new marketing position at a new company, and the “first day of school” feelings are resurfacing. Only this time, there are no familiar faces. It’s mentally and physically exhausting wondering if you’re going to fit in, wanting to make a great impression and also exciting because you have a lot to offer, you’re smart and your new company goals align with your career path.

Joshua Nite

The Big Top: A New Model for SEO-Driven Content

Joshua Nite on Jun 8th, 2017     Content Marketing, SEO

For over a decade now, the fundamental unit of content marketing has been the blog post. Your post may be a block of text, an infographic, or a listicle about memes, but the underlying structure is the same. A regular cadence of posts to the company blog is the foundation of most content marketing strategies.

The problem is, each individual blog post has only a small window of effectiveness for SEO. A post might go viral, get hundreds of shares, and then sit in your archives for eternity. Identifying and promoting evergreen content can get more mileage out of a good post. But by nature and design, these posts aren’t built to be an enduring SEO resource. Think about it: When was the last time you clicked through on a blog post that was over a year old?

Ashley Zeckman

CMWorld Interview: Ann Handley Shares the Secrets to Her Success (with Sass)

Ashley Zeckman on Jun 7th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

We all have the same number of hours in each day. But every once in awhile you find someone that come across a content marketing maven that seems to have the amazing ability to slow down the clock. It’s amazing to witness the things they are able to accomplish before you’ve even finished your morning avocado toast.

While this year’s Content Marketing World conference is filled with amazing marketers that can do just that, there is one content captain that sticks out in particular.

This marketer is one of my favorite speakers (and humans) of all time and is none other than the amazingly talented Ann Handley.

Joshua Nite

How to Inspire Your B2B Audience with Killer Content Marketing

Joshua Nite on May 25th, 2017     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

B2B content marketers: It’s time to get over our inferiority complex.

Yes, the B2C folks are over there marketing cool stuff like basketball shoes and energy drinks, while we’re stuck with cloud software solutions and medical imaging machinery.

Yes, we’re marketing to business professionals on a buying committee that has to commit to million-dollar deals. Which would buy a lot of basketball shoes and energy drinks.

But that does not mean B2C has more fun. It doesn’t mean B2B is boring. It doesn’t mean we have to play it safe.

Can B2B content be as compelling, as emotional, as vibrant—let’s face it—as cool as B2C?

As we say in Minnesota, yabetcha.

Ashley Zeckman

CMWorld In-Flight Content Guide: Creating a Memorable Content Experience

Ashley Zeckman on May 24th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Today’s modern customer is OBSESSED with experience. Everything from the ability to quickly order an Uber through a mobile app to spending hard-earned money on trips and adventures, not your typical investments.

The customer expectations for content marketing experiences are no different. In fact, a recent study by Kampyle found that 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience.

So now that you’ve prepped for your content marketing journey by diving into our first eBook, In-Flight Content Guide: Prepping for Your Content Marketing Expedition, it’s time to create a great experience.

To help set you down the path to creating a great “in-flight”content  experience for your customers, TopRank Marketing and Content Marketing Institute have partnered to bring you yet another go-to-guide from some of the brilliant minds speaking at Content Marketing World in September.

Lee Odden

The Secret to Creating Scalable, Quality Content and Better CX – Infographic

Lee Odden on May 22nd, 2017     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

Content Experience Influence

A woman walks into a retail store and looks around, not finding what she’s there for. She approaches a sales associate and asks, “Excuse me, can you show me where the top of the funnel is? I need to be confronted by every touchpoint of your predetermined sales process before I can purchase something”.

Not one of your customers is doing this.

So why do brands continue to drive content marketing programs based on a linear, sequential buying journey? With so many consumers numb to brand messaging and increasingly blocking advertising, how can marketers do a better job of connecting with and engaging customers with content?

Ashley Zeckman

#CMWorld Interview: Amanda Todorovich Dishes on Creating Impactful Content for Healthcare

Ashley Zeckman on May 15th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Online Marketing

Each year, Content Marketing World receives hundreds of nominations for the coveted Content Marketer of the Year award. Past winners include Vishal Khanna of Wake Forest Innovations (2015), Bryan Rhoads, Intel Digital Media Labs (2014) and Julie Fleischer of Kraft Foods Group (2013).

In 2016, this award went to another truly deserving content marketer, Amanda Todorovich Director of Content Marketing, Cleveland Clinic. Amanda and her team at the Cleveland Clinic have proven that content marketing really works for healthcare organizations. In fact, their blog has been named as the most visited hospital blog in the entire country!

If you’re like me, you likely wondered “How does she do it?”. Fortunately for you (and myself), I was able to steal away some of Amanda’s valuable time to gain insights into everything from how her team has managed to develop such a successful content strategy to what an average day looks like in her world.

Knute Sands

#CMWorld Interview: Adele Revella Weighs In On Connecting B2B Content to Customers

Knute Sands on May 11th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

The 2017 Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs B2B content marketing research uncovered some fascinating insights this year. One of the most interesting aspects of this research was the techniques B2B marketers are leveraging to better understand their target audiences.

And the techniques they aren’t using.

When asked which techniques they used to better understand their target audience(s) for content marketing purposes, “Auditing Existing Buyer Data” didn’t even crack the top ten (at 24% of respondents). Now there’s a real head-scratcher.

So what were the top 3?

  • Website analysis (58%)
  • Keyword search (57%)
  • Employee feedback (50%)

While all of these techniques are wonderfully helpful, I’d gamble they aren’t giving B2B marketers the ammunition they need when it comes time to flesh out an editorial calendar.