Content Marketing

Lee Odden

Why It’s Time for More Participation in B2B Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Sep 21st, 2015     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

participation b2b marketing

B2B brands are answering the call to become publishers with a significant increase in content hubs exemplified by pioneers like American Express OPEN and Adobe’s and others including:

  • Intel IQ
  • Think with Google
  • Dell’s Power More
  • GE’s World in Motion
  • SAP’s Digitalist Magazine

Content Hubs

While those are all great examples, there’s an important question: Can your business really afford to hire the kind of editorial team to create this quantity of quality content at the cadence of a business publication?

Many practical marketers will say no.

The trend towards brand publishing in combination with self directed buyers guiding their way through the sales process with content creates an interesting conflict between the need for an up level on quality content production with a corresponding increase in content creation resources.

Ashley Zeckman

Win a Free Pass! Get Content Marketing Smart at MarketingProfs University in Minneapolis

Ashley Zeckman on Sep 17th, 2015     Content Marketing, Online Marketing


One of the biggest problems that many marketing organizations are facing today is creating quality content on a consistent basis. It can be a challenge to make sure every piece of content you produce is effective at helping to attract, engage and convert target customers.

In fact, according to research from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, only 38% of B2B marketers state that their content marketing is effective. If you are one of the 62% of marketers that really need to improve content marketing performance, we have just the ticket. Literally!

Our friends at MarketingProfs are hosting a series of workshops focused on helping marketers reach content marketing success. From September 30 through October 2nd, these workshops will be held in Minneapolis.

Ashley Zeckman

TopRank Marketing Top Takeaways & Speaker Quotes from Content Marketing World

Ashley Zeckman on Sep 16th, 2015     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Online Marketing


Content Marketing World is the largest content marketing conference in the world. To say that the team from TopRank Marketing was excited to attend, is putting it lightly. Lee Odden, Alexis Hall, Josh Nite and I made the journey to Cleveland to learn from some of the best and brightest content marketing minds in the industry.

In a perfect world we would have been able to attend every session, but we consumed, live blogged and shared all that we were physically able to do. Below are some of what we considered to be the top takeaways and best speaker quotes from Content Marketing World 2015.

Top Content Marketing World Takeaways

Lee Odden – Participation Marketing Must Have’s


Ashley Zeckman

Break the Cycle of Content Marketing Addiction: Turn Regular Content Into Extraordinary Success

Ashley Zeckman on Sep 15th, 2015     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Online Marketing


“Our content marketing success is not defined by the height of our peaks…it’s defined by the depth of our valleys.” – Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis the author of “Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships” has such an infectious energy that it is impossible not to sit up and listen when he is speaking. Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting front and center for Andrew’s presentation at Content Marketing World. Sadly, none of the Muppets from his previous work made a cameo, but this was by far one of my favorite sessions at the content rich conference.

According to Andrew, companies need to start rethinking the way that they “do” content marketing. This means breaking the cycle of content marketing addiction that plagues many of today’s marketers.

Alexis Hall

5 Tips to Help You Become a Prolific Content Creator

Alexis Hall on Sep 15th, 2015     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Online Marketing


The demand for consistent content creation has forced many marketers to take shortcuts. Shortcuts may enable you to get to an outcome faster, but it is often a worse outcome. Using shortcuts to create more content faster can help you to achieve more volume, but at some point, the quality goes through the floor.

Quantity and quality are not opposites. They can exist simultaneously. In fact audiences today demand that they do. To meet that demand, Jay Acunzo, Vice President of NextView Ventures, identified in his presentation at Content Marketing World 2015, that you must be, or nurture in your organization, the prolific content creator.

Being a prolific content creator doesn’t just mean creating more “stuff”, working faster or tapping into some secrets of the interwebs. Being a prolific content creator is something different. According to Jay there are 5 things which prolific content creators do really well in order to achieve the elusive quality and quantity of content.

Ashley Zeckman

4 Ways Brands Can Use Creativity & Comedy to Create Award-Winning Content Marketing

Ashley Zeckman on Sep 14th, 2015     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Online Marketing


“For those of you that think comedy won’t work for your brand, ask yourself: will it work for your customers?” – Tim Washer

Most the time, if you ask a group of people “do you like to laugh?” 100% of your audience will respond with a resounding “Yes!”. Seeing that, you’d assume that incorporating comedy into your content marketing would be a no-brainer, but that’s much easier said than done.

There is often the struggle between knowing how far to take humor, and incorporating comedy that speaks to your larger audience. Last week, Tim Washer of Cisco Systems provided a giggle inducing presentation at Content Marketing World aimed at helping marketers smartly inject comedy into their content marketing programs. Here are 4 ways according to Washer:

Joshua Nite

How Blackberry is Activating Employees as Brand Ambassadors with Content Marketing

Joshua Nite on Sep 14th, 2015     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World


One of the most important audiences for content–the people who can make or break the success of your organization–is also the toughest audience to impress. They know your company inside and out. They have highly evolved B.S. detectors. They are the ones who decide whether what you say about your brand is true.

This crucial audience is your organization’s own employees. Enthusiastic and engaged employees can boost revenue, increase job creation, even increase the appreciation of your stock. Are your employees passionately bringing your story to life?

Type A Communications President Carla Johnson and BlackBerry’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Mark Wilson took the stage at Content Marketing World last week to discuss how we can bring the skills and strengths we have as marketers to address our internal audience. Mark used examples from BlackBerry’s internal marketing program to illustrate how to turn employees into brand ambassadors.

Joshua Nite

John Cleese: Creativity, Imagination & Tortoise Enclosures #CMWorld

Joshua Nite on Sep 11th, 2015     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World


The incisor growth rate of an average beaver is 32 feet per year.

The hatchet fish is the only creature with eyes on its wrists.

And now for something completely different…

John Cleese–actor, comedian, and 1/5th of Monty Python–started his presentation with the preceding two useful facts. Having armed the audience with knowledge, he proceeded to disarm us with his wit and wisdom.

“If you listen to what I’m going to say,” he began in earnest, “I guarantee by the end of this you will be more creative than you are now.” It was a bold statement, but entirely believable (far more so than the hatchet fish claim) from the man who gave the world the Ministry for Silly Walks and the Dead Parrot Sketch.

Alexis Hall

Creating a Content Galaxy: How to Save Time and Improve Quality with Repurposing from Amy Higgins #CMWorld

Alexis Hall on Sep 10th, 2015     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Online Marketing

Amy Higgins ImageOn the second day of Content Marketing World, it is apparent that one of the huge pain points of this industry is the struggle between quality and quantity of content. We all seem to feel the need to create more content and publish more often, in order to be seen. However, we also feel the squeeze of resource and time constraints.

Given this struggle, it is no surprise, that the room is packed front to back for 101 Ways to Repurpose Content, a session from Amy Higgins, Senior Manager of Social Media for Zendesk.

Amy opens by assuring the room that with proper planning you can have it all, quantity and quality of content. She shares three primary ways to gain efficiency to ramp up volume and create better content.

Ashley Zeckman

Incorporate Participation Marketing for More Scalable Content Marketing – Lee Odden #CMWorld

Ashley Zeckman on Sep 10th, 2015     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Online Marketing


“The best should win, but creating the best is a challenge.” – Lee Odden

Yesterday at Content Marketing World, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden delighted a packed room of marketers by providing inspiring and actionable advice on how to successfully approach participation marketing. Lee assured marketers that if they wanted to produce quality and scalable content, without having to scale marketing budgets, this was the place to be.

So, how can we get some relief from all of the hard work it takes to create a truly impactful participation marketing program?

Among the many things covered in his session were:

  • A methodical approach for deconstructing and repurposing marketing to make it more useful.
  • How to integrate influencers, social and SEO into your content plan.
Joshua Nite

Michael Brenner’s Tips, Tools, and Templates to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy #CMWorld

Joshua Nite on Sep 10th, 2015     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World


“The world has changed. Most content stinks. Attract people through stories they love.” –Michael Brenner

NewsCred Head of Strategy Michael Brenner knows the challenges facing content marketers. Consumers no longer accept that content has to be ad supported. They–or, rather, we, since we’re all consumers–no longer tolerate interruptions. Not only that, but the best content we as marketers create still has to compete for attention with pictures of babies and puppies.

Michael’s solution? Create content your customers will love. Talk to them, understand their questions, and leverage the intelligence your organization already has. Michael estimates that “50% of the content you need is already present in your organization.” Auditing your existing content, and tapping your knowledgeable co-workers, can get your content hub off to a roaring start.

Joshua Nite

Break These 6 Bad Content Marketing Habits to Set Your Content Free

Joshua Nite on Sep 8th, 2015     Content Marketing


It’s a feeling that all content marketers have experienced, and it’s not a pleasant one. You research your audience, you create content that speaks directly to their needs, and you say “Fly and be free!” as you release it into the world.

And then it falls flat on its metaphorical face. If this has happened to you, you’re not alone: Over half of marketers say they struggle with making their content effective.

There are chains that keep content marketing from soaring. They’re bad habits that you might not even know you’ve developed. Let’s shine a light on these chains and break them—with light? Special chain-breaking lights? Maybe lasers. Lasers break chains, right?

We’ll address the perils of mixed metaphors in another post. For now, let’s focus on breaking six bad content marketing habits to help your content soar.