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.

 

Joshua Nite

Do You Really Need Another Blog Post? Why Content Marketing Needs More Flexibility

Joshua Nite on Nov 13th, 2017     Blogging Strategy, Content Marketing

For at least a decade, the 500-word blog post has been the atomic unit of content marketing. Marketers like Joe Pulizzi and Marcus Sheridan built their entire careers on blogging. In Joe’s case, he started the blog without a business plan or a product, and developed both after building an audience through insightful, valuable blog posts. Even TopRank Marketing relied on blogging as a tactic for building thought leadership and establishing authority.

When new clients partner with our agency, they’re frequently looking to follow in Joe and Marcus’ footsteps. They’re likely to request 15-30 short blog posts a month as the foundation of their content efforts.  But we’re more likely to think in terms of content units—the amount of effort the content team will put in, rather than the specific output.

Caitlin Burgess

Report: What Marketers Need to Know About the ‘State of Video Marketing’

Caitlin Burgess on Nov 9th, 2017     Content Marketing, Video

These days, there’s little doubt among marketers that video content is an incredibly powerful content marketing tool. After all, humans are visual creatures by nature, so it stands to reason that video often satisfies our content appetite. In fact, according to a Think With Google study, 50% of internet users said they’ve looked for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store.

But as more brands and marketers jump on the video content marketing bandwagon, it’s more important than ever to examine your strategy to ensure you’re getting the most out of your efforts. And a great starting point is to get the lay of the current video marketing land and emerging trends.  

Lee Odden

Be the Best Answer: 5 Steps to Grow Influence for Your Brand

Lee Odden on Oct 30th, 2017     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

Be the Best Answer Grow Influence
“Be the Best Answer” is an expression my team and I have used many times in client strategy planning, training, presentations, webinars, blogging, and in my book Optimize about the intersection of search with owned, earned, paid and shared media.

Being present in a relevant, credible and useful way on all the channels where buyers are looking is a powerful (but often difficult to execute) way to provide the kinds of customer experiences that greatly differentiate one brand from another.

Influence plays an important role in a “Best Answer” marketing strategy. Click To Tweet

Influence plays an important role in a “Best Answer” marketing strategy as buyers pay less attention to ads and brand content, and more time listening to peers and industry subject matter experts.

Lee Odden

Content Marketing Tactics for Search Marketers – International Edition #SMXLmilan

Lee Odden on Oct 26th, 2017     Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

SMXL Milan Content Strategies

Content is both king and kingdom in a digital world full of stories. Brands and consumers alike are experiencing and publishing content on a daily basis. Between information overload, increased complexity of search engines and changes in consumer search behaviors, many marketers are less than confident about how to optimize their content marketing.

How can marketers best use content marketing to improve search marketing? How does search inspired content affect content, PR and marketing programs across channels?

At SMXL in Milan, Italy this November 15th, that’s exactly what a panel of experts will be answering. I will be moderating Content Related Strategies for Search with Ken McGaffin, Lexi Mills and Jey Pandian where we’ll be discussing strategies to help identify new opportunities to develop content based on business intelligence, competitive research and historical performance.

Anne Leuman

How 7 Brands Connect With Audiences Through Long-Form Video Content

Anne Leuman on Oct 25th, 2017     Content Marketing, Video

Content comes in many forms, including social media messages, blog posts, video, and more. But video is largely ignored with only 30% of B2B marketers believing video will be critical to their content marketing success.

Considering video accounts for 74% of all internet traffic your brand cannot ignore video marketing. With audience’s having an average attention span of only eight seconds it’s one of the best ways to hold attention and increase audience engagement. This is especially true for long-form video—videos that are roughly 10 minutes in length or longer. In fact, audiences engage in more long-form videos accounting for 63% off all time spent watching videos across devices. Long-form video is a proven and effective way of capturing and engaging audiences, but where do you begin?

Joshua Nite

B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks: How We All Can Do Better

Joshua Nite on Oct 24th, 2017     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

B2B content marketing is having a moment—a moment that’s rapidly becoming a movement. We’re finally breaking free of the idea that “professional” means “boring.” Transparency and authenticity are becoming more than just buzzwords. Unique, emotionally compelling content used to be the outlier; soon it will be the norm.

It’s thrilling to see B2B content marketers find a new groove. As a creative, comedic weirdo myself, it’s a great time to be in the business. However, these industry-wide changes do come with significant challenges. As B2B marketing evolves, we need to continually adapt our procedures, KPIs, even our philosophy of marketing.

The whip-smart marketers at Kapost just published their 2017 B2B Content Strategy & Operations Benchmark. They surveyed hundreds of B2B marketers in diverse industries, from small businesses to enterprise organizations. Here are the challenges their research identified, and how B2B marketers can adapt to thrive.

Caitlin Burgess

How We’re Building a Content Marketing Dream Team

Caitlin Burgess on Oct 19th, 2017     Content Marketing

A few members of the TopRank Marketing content marketing dream team.

As the digital landscape continues to grow and shift, digital marketing — particularly content marketing — has a majority stake in most brands’ marketing strategies these days. After all, nearly half of the world’s population now uses the internet, and we want our content to meet people where they are and when they’re searching.

As a result, brands and agencies alike are on the lookout for savvy, driven content gurus with proven writing, planning and strategy skills to add to their marketing teams — including TopRank Marketing.

Joshua Nite

How to Choose Dynamic Images for Your Blog Posts

Joshua Nite on Oct 17th, 2017     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

I’m a content writer, not a graphic designer. My job is to make the words dance, to convey useful information in an entertaining way.

As such, for a long time visuals were just an afterthought for me. Yeah, a blog needs a header image. So after I’m done writing I’ll slap something on there, check that box, and send it off to the client.

As content continues to proliferate, though, that laissez-faire approach isn’t enough. Your potential audience has far more content available to them than they’ll ever be able to read. That means they’re actively looking for reasons not to read your content. A weak—or worse, missing—visual is a perfect excuse to move to the next thing.

Caitlin Burgess

How to Make the Switch to Content-Driven SEO #MNBlogCon

Caitlin Burgess on Oct 16th, 2017     Blogging Strategy, Content Marketing

TopRank Marketing’s Joshua Nite made his debut on the speaker circuit this past weekend at the 8th annual Minnesota Blogger Conference held at Concordia University in St. Paul.

Charming the crowd with his unique brand of wit, creativity, mad content marketing expertise, and numerous “cats with hats” references, Josh delivered a The Good Place-themed presentation titled: “The Good News About Creative Content: From SEO-Driven Content to Content-Driven SEO.”

As someone who spent 12 years as a creative comedy writer for a video game called The Kingdom of Loathing, Josh said he was terrified by the concept of SEO-driven content when he made his transition into content marketing.

“The worst content to write, and the worst content for people to read, was the stuff that [search engine] robots liked to read to most,” Josh said.

Ashley Zeckman

If You Only Had $1k to Invest in Content Marketing, How Would You Spend it?

Ashley Zeckman on Oct 9th, 2017     Content Marketing, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

Budget is always top of mind for content marketers, but especially this time of year. In order to get even close to the budget that you want or need, you have to justify the spend.

Unfortunately, we’ve been ineffective at content for a while. But the question is, can we change the narrative?

In his presentation last week at the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, GE Digital’s Chris Moody gave the audience insights into why we’re ineffective, and what we can do to improve, without having to spend a significant amount of money.

Where Are We Failing?

While approach and hurdles will vary from brand to brand, there are three key reasons that content marketing isn’t working today. Below are three stats that paint a very clear picture of where we’re going wrong:

Alexis Hall

The Netflix Experience: Create Binge-Worthy B2B Content with Ardath Albee #MPB2B

Alexis Hall on Oct 5th, 2017     Content Marketing, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

73% of Americans have binged on content. If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking of those rainy Sundays spent on a Netflix bender. Netflix, Hulu, HBOGo make it so easy to continue the binge. One more episode, you think, as the next installment automatically queues up. Finished Stranger Things in one weekend? Here are 6 new, easily clickable suggestions to start a new binge.

Now what if that same principle could apply to your content marketing?

In fact, 93% of B2B buyers want bundled, bingeable content (Content Preferences Survey, 2017) , but only 42% say it’s easy to find the next piece of relevant content (Why Your Website Fails Buyers, 2017).

Ashley Zeckman

2018 B2B Content Marketing Report Indicates Marketers are Finding Content Marketing Success

Ashley Zeckman on Oct 2nd, 2017     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

As a community, content marketers have experienced some significant ups and downs over the years. For every step forward we take toward content success, it sometimes seems like we take a couple backwards.

But perhaps, this will be the year that changes.

Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs just released their annual report–The 2018 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends.

We’ve come to rely on this report to be a definitive content marketing guide of sorts that provides a finger on the pulse of our industry and shows how we align (or don’t) with our content marketing peers.

In order to move forward, we have to know where we are today, including what is working and what is not. Below are what I consider to be some of the top learnings from the report.