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.

 

Caitlin Burgess

We Answer the Top 5 Questions People Have About Content Marketing

Caitlin Burgess on Nov 29th, 2016     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

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As marketers, it’s our job to know our audience. To understand their pain points. To empathize. To provide them with the answers or solutions they’re looking for.

So how do we do all these things? One way is through content marketing.

Over the past few years, content marketing has been increasingly embraced by marketers. In fact, this year 88% of B2B marketers and 76% of B2C marketers said they used content marketing, according to the 2016 Benchmark, Budgets & Trends—North America reports from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

But there are still a lot people out there who are searching for some of the content marketing basics.

Caitlin Burgess

10 Kick-Ass Cyber Monday & Holiday Deals for Digital Marketers

Caitlin Burgess on Nov 28th, 2016     B2B Marketing, B2C Marketing, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

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Digital marketers everywhere—especially our friends in the B2C marketing world—have spent the last weeks and months perfecting their marketing strategies for the holiday season. Now that the most wonderful time of the year is officially here, we want to make sure our fellow marketers don’t miss out on deals that can help them perfect their craft.

So, in the spirit of the holiday season, we’ve put together this handy list of Cyber Monday and holiday deals that any marketer would absolutely love to scoop up. From books and conference tickets to free tool trials, you’ll find a variety of great deals.

Digital Advertising

#1- $100 Bing Advertising Credit

Bing Ads Cyber Monday Deal

Joshua Nite

Why Most Content Doesn’t Get Social Shares–And How to Get Yours Seen

Joshua Nite on Nov 23rd, 2016     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

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It’s been a little over a year since Buzzsumo’s Steve Rayson dropped a bombshell on content marketers. After his company analyzed over one million blog posts, it was Steve’s sad duty to inform us that:

  • 75% of posts received zero domain links
  • 50% of posts received 8 shares or less
  • 75% of posts received 39 shares or less

In other words, that beautiful content we spent so much time crafting? Half of it didn’t attract enough people to fill a baseball roster. Three quarters of it didn’t attract enough people to fill a school bus.

It’s hard to feel good about numbers like that. But you don’t have to feel hopeless and you don’t have to take it lying down. Your audience is out there, waiting for great content to rise above the swelling tides of mediocrity.

Joshua Nite

7 Steps to Documenting Your Content Marketing Strategy

Joshua Nite on Nov 9th, 2016     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

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There is one thing that nearly 2/3rds of top-performing content marketers do, but only 13% of the least successful do. It’s a clear driver of content marketing excellence. Yet only 37% of all B2B content marketers are doing it.

That one thing is to developing a documented content marketing strategy. It’s that simple. Lay out your strategy, write it down, and you’ve drastically increased your odds of running a successful content marketing enterprise.

Documenting your strategy prevents random acts of content. It helps get buy-in from your whole team. Most importantly, it starts your content initiative with measurable goals and a plan to achieve them. It just makes every aspect of creating content and distributing it easier and more effective.

Joshua Nite

Content Marketing: 10 Daily Habits to Create More Powerful Content

Joshua Nite on Nov 1st, 2016     B2B Marketing, B2C Marketing, Content Marketing

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Marketing is a game of inches. We tweak a headline to get fifty more clicks. Add visual interest for ten more subscriptions. Change the button on the landing page to get five more conversions. All the little gains add up over time to generate real results.

Writing more effective copy is a game of inches, too. You don’t write Twilight one week and Moby Dick the next. Instead, every day you can work to be a little bit better than the day before.

The tricky part is if you’re not steadily improving your writing, you’re actively moving backward. There’s no such thing as maintaining the status quo—it’s self-improvement or bust.

The following ten daily habits can help you make steady incremental improvement. Try as many as you can for 28 days, and be amazed at how those daily inches add up.

Joshua Nite

20 Jokes Only a Marketer Could Love

Joshua Nite on Oct 27th, 2016     B2B Marketing, B2C Marketing, Content Marketing

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It’s well past time for marketers to get serious about comedy. The best way to connect with an audience is by authentically appealing to them on a human level. Adding humor to marketing is one of the most powerful ways to make that appeal.

Telling a joke does more than provide a moment’s diversion. When people share in a joke, it creates a sense of belonging. If you’ve ever sat around trading in-jokes with your friends, you know what I mean.

Humor can be a way to draw a circle around a group and pull them in—to say, “If you understand this joke, we’re in the same tribe. You get me and I get you.” That’s a powerful message to send to your potential customers. And it’s a good way to get the less relevant folks to opt out, too.

Ashley Zeckman

Insanely Effective Content Marketing with Limited Resources, Budget & Time

Ashley Zeckman on Oct 25th, 2016     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

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Marketing departments typically have unlimited resources, astronomical budgets and more hours in the day than your average person. Wait, that doesn’t sound right.

If the statement above sounds right to you, congratulations!

For the rest of us trying to find a way to do more (quality and quantity) with less, this is a topic that is typically top of mind, every day.

In his presentation at MarketingProfs B2B Forum, Chris Moody, Content Marketing Leader at GE Digital helped ease the pain for B2B marketers. Chris shared insight into some concepts that can you do more with less, as well as some tips and tricks to get you on the right path.

What is the Current State of Marketing?

He opened with a quote from one of my favorite shows, Silicon Valley.

Ashley Zeckman

Think Like A Rockstar: How to Build An Owned Media Empire With Epic B2B Content Marketing

Ashley Zeckman on Oct 25th, 2016     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

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True to form, LinkedIn’s Jason Miller rocked his presentation at the MarketingProf’s B2B Marketing forum by opening up with some inspirational words from The Clash:

If you don’t like the world, then change it.”

As Jason shared, the Clash changed the world, and so can today’s B2B marketers. But they’re facing some interesting challenges such as the fact that:

  • 60% of B2B content goes unused (Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs)
  • 44% of consumers consider ending a brand relationship because of irellevant promotions (Chief Marketing Officer Council)

How can marketers overcome these challenges? Below are a few ways that LinkedIn built their content empire.

Focus on Goals, Objectives, Strategy & Tactics

When starting down this journey, LinkedIn had a singular goal:

Caitlin Burgess

6 Truth Bombs Every B2B Marketer Needs to Hear About Creativity

Caitlin Burgess on Oct 24th, 2016     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

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“Do you want to be creative?”

Jay Acunzo, founder, host and writer of Unthinkable.fm, asked marketers this question as he kicked off his session Unthinkable: Content Creativity For The Hopelessly Uncreative at MarketingProf’s B2B Marketing Forum last week in Boston.

Acunzo acknowledged the question was a bit silly. It’s like asking if you want more time in your day or more resources for your team. The answer is always an unequivocal “yes.”

But while this may seem like a weird question to ask marketers, it actually gets to the heart of the creative struggle we all feel: Of course we want to be creative; creativity is necessary and intertwined with everything we do. But we often find ourselves aspiring to be more creative than actually harnessing what’s already inside us as creators.

Caitlin Burgess

9 Sizzling Influencer Activation Tips from Lee Odden #MPB2B

Caitlin Burgess on Oct 21st, 2016     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

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Influencer marketing is an incredibly hot topic in the marketing world—and it’s not hard to see why. Influencers add insight, credibility and authority to the content they help create, and they also have the potential to bring that content to a new audience.

But what makes someone influential? Is it popularity? Is it celebrity? Is it the fact that they have niche expertise? And how do you identify, activate and continue to build on your relationships with influencers?

During his Sexy Hot B2B Influencer Activation session at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden delivered a presentation packed with actionable tips, tools and examples that answered all these questions and more.

Caitlin Burgess

The Importance of Storytelling in Content Marketing #MPB2B

Caitlin Burgess on Oct 20th, 2016     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

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Once upon a time …

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …

There once was …

These aren’t just classic fairy tale or movie beginnings. They represent memories. They evoke feelings. They get our minds churning. They signal that an exciting story is about to unfold—and those stories are powerful.

As content marketers, we need to be in the business of storytelling if we want our content to resonate and inspire. As Shane Snow, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of Contently, said during his session Create, Connect, And Optimize Through Storytelling: The New Formula For Content Success at the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum.

“When you engage in a story, your brain lights up.”

Caitlin Burgess

Marketer or Mind-Reader? 3 Ways to Find Out What the B2B Buyer is Thinking #MPB2B

Caitlin Burgess on Oct 20th, 2016     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

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When it comes to creating quality content that informs, entertains, engages and inspires action from our target audience, we marketers wish we knew one thing: exactly what our audience is thinking.

Unfortunately, that’s not exactly possible. While we’d all like to believe we have amazing mind-reading capabilities, most of us really only have the informed assumptions we’ve built with research and data.

But what if I told you there were a few things you could do to get closer to savant status? Well, it just so happens that I received some nuggets of insights today on that very topic.

During their session Are You A Marketer Or A Mind-Reader? How To Know What Your B2B Buyer Is Really Thinking at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum in Boston, Aberdeen Group’s Director of Content Strategy Matthew T. Grant and Research Analyst Andrew Moravick shared three options for getting deeper into the minds of B2B buyers.