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Content Marketing


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.

Lee Odden

Content and Influencer Marketing is A Powerful Way to Grow Your Business

Lee Odden on Sep 3rd, 2014     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

influencer content marketing

A never ending stream of high quality content simply isn’t sustainable for most organizations. But what if Marketers could tap into a rich source of content optimized for engagement, sharing and action?

This is the promise of co-created content and participation marketing. Not limited to influencers, participation marketing is to partner with others to create content that the community they are a part of would find useful. These co-creation partners might be existing customers, industry influentials, other connected businesses and individuals or even prospective customers.

A brandividual is popular. An influencer is effective at creating popularity.

While many see influencer marketing as a way to simply gain entry to an influencer’s network, there are many more dimensions to it than that. We’ve been experimenting with numerous influencer content projects over the past 3 years and have developed some exciting strategies and processes around influencer engagement and content co-creation.

Lee Odden

Interview with Content Curation and Marketing Software Guru Pawan Deshpande of Curata

Lee Odden on Aug 28th, 2014     Content Marketing, Interviews

pawan deshpande interview

In the world of content marketing, curation plays an instrumental role for companies that want to become a single source destination for industry news and information related to their area of expertise. Interest in curation has grown significantly and to meet demand, a number of software companies have emerged.

Curata is one of the leaders in the content curation and content marketing software space, lead by Pawan Deshpande.

As the founder and CEO of Curata, Pawan is responsible for the company’s vision, management and advanced development initiatives. His work at Curata has been recognized through the 2010 Boston Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Award, and through the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council’s 2012 Sales & Marketing Technology of the Year Award. Before founding Curata, he held software engineering positions at Microsoft, Google.

Lee Odden

Infographic: Achieve Real Content Marketing ROI – 10 Tips from CMI, Dell, Kraft Foods, Curata, NewsCred

Lee Odden on Aug 27th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Content Marketing ROI

Understand Why Before ROI with Content Marketing

The rush towards the content marketing bandwagon can seem as chaotic and nonsensical as most of the adventures of Alice in Wonderland. There are Cheshire Cats offering ambiguous advice and Red Queen business managers demanding results now or, “off with their heads!”

There is no satisfaction from investing in creating more content if the purpose (or porpoise) is not clear. This is why “the why” of content marketing is so important.  Joe Pulizzi makes this quite clear with his recommendations in the Content Marketing ROI eBook:

To see if you’re on the right path, use the Why? Exercise:

Lee Odden

How to Show Real ROI for Your Content Marketing eBook

Lee Odden on Aug 25th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Content Marketing ROI

We must hold ourselves accountable to higher level KPIs so we can stop fighting for our discipline and start fighting for more budget. Julie Fleischer @jfly

The most elusive of white rabbits in the content marketing world seems to be the question of how to best measure ROI. According to a study by CMI and MarketingProfs, over 50% of marketers are investing more budget in content marketing and the most effective marketers spend more than double than the least effective marketers. While budgets are moving in the right direction, measuring ROI still has some progress to make. According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing study, less than 50% of marketers can confirm content marketing’s positive ROI.

Lee Odden

Lessons on Marketing Strategy and Content Marketing ROI – Michael Brenner Interview

Lee Odden on Aug 21st, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Interviews

Michael Brenner interview

One of the key players and innovators in the world of content marketing is Michael Brenner. During his time at SAP as Vice President of Marketing & Content Strategy and the Managing Editor for the SAP Business Innovation site, Michael also co-created one of the most popular B2B marketing websites, Business to Community.

Today, you’ll find him working as Head of Strategy at NewsCred as well as writing for his B2B Marketing Insider blog. We’ve covered Michael’s B2B marketing presentations in the past and it was great to catch up with him for this interview.

In the lead up to Content Marketing World, our discussion with Michael touches on some of the key questions marketers are trying to tackle, from developing a strategy to growing an audience to the importance of measuring content marketing performance. Michael also shares a business lesson from one of his favorite childhood stories.

Lee Odden

Infographic: Create Better Visual Content – 10 Tips from EMC, Cisco, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Tumblr

Lee Odden on Aug 20th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Visual Content Marketing Infographic

“And what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversation?”  Alice in Wonderland

Tell me something. When you look at your email inbox, feed reader or favorite social network, are you underwhelmed with information?

I didn’t think so.

It’s funny to think that way back when, you could get up and grab a cup of coffee while your email downloaded though a dial up connection. Today, it’s all information overload wherever you go: laptop, tablet or smartphone. The Cheshire Cat would probably like being able to blend in with all that information noise but we have businesses to run and customers to attract!

That’s why visual content is so important. Content with images gets noticed, is more interesting and people engage with visual content more. But how?

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