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

Is Your Content Marketing Designed for the New Customer Journey?

Caitlin Burgess on Jan 10th, 2017     B2B Marketing, B2C Marketing, Content Marketing

Thanks to the rise of the internet, the explosion of social media and the development of mobile technologies to feed these two innovations, the customer buying journey has become much more self-directed. According to a Forrester, 74% of business buyers say they conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline purchase.

As a result, content marketing has emerged as an incredibly effective way to arm consumers with the information they seek and need, increase brand awareness, enhance engagement, and ultimately inspire action and conversions.

But content marketing isn’t about creating and sharing as much content as possible. It’s about creating quality content that allows you to be the best answer, whenever and wherever your audience is searching. And understanding today’s customer journey will be paramount to your content marketing success. Below is a great illustration from Forrester on the many intricacies that journey can entail. As you can see, it’s not an easy, neat sales funnel these days.

Caitlin Burgess

6 Influencer Marketing Lessons Marketers Can Learn from Journalists

Caitlin Burgess on Jan 5th, 2017     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Influencer Marketing

As some of you regular TopRank Marketing Blog readers may know, before making my way into the world of digital marketing, I was a journalist covering the wild news happenings in a handful of Twin Cities metro towns.

While I wore many hats during those days—from reporter to managing editor to social media maven—building strong community connections was probably the most important hat of all.

Truly, the people I engaged with were more than connections. They were lifelines. They represented untold stories, interesting perspectives, inside scoops and friendly gateways to new sources, allowing me to craft quality news pieces that people actually wanted to read, share and talk about.

Now as a digital marketer, my community connections and sources often go by a new name: influencers.

Lee Odden

2017 Trends for CMOs: Ignite Content Performance with Influencers

Lee Odden on Jan 2nd, 2017     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

Companies launching into new markets often spend substantial budgets on advertising and PR in order to create awareness. These investments can be significant when there is no existing affinity between the brand and the solution in target markets.

For example, Orange France faced this challenge when launching Homelive, a connected home management platform for IoT devices. Turning to their influencer marketing platform, Traackr, the company identified and engaged influencers in new communities outside of high tech and marketing to include lifestyle design and connected home. These influencers were engaged to create reviews on their blogs and inspire social traffic.

Caitlin Burgess

Content Curation 101: 7 Best Practices, Helpful Tools & Great Examples

Caitlin Burgess on Dec 26th, 2016     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

content-curation-101

In today’s digital world, marketers know that creating quality content is key to informing, engaging and inspiring action, as well as building authority and rapport with their audiences. And oftentimes that means creating original pieces and assets that tap into their audience’s interests, address pain points and answer burning questions.

But let’s face it: marketers are busy—and creating quality, original pieces that get results and position your brand as having the best answer is incredibly time intensive.

However, there is one tactic that can come to the rescue: content curation.

What is content curation?

Simply put, content curation is all about finding, gathering and sharing the best and most relevant content the web has to offer on a specific topic that your audience cares about.

Joshua Nite

A Day in the Life: Time Management for Content Creators

Joshua Nite on Dec 21st, 2016     Content Marketing

time-management-content-creators

Don’t you hate the days where you’re busy all day with nothing to show for it? Maybe you started three projects and hit roadblocks on all of them. Maybe you kept getting interrupted every time you got up to speed.

However it happens, it’s a lousy feeling. There’s panic as the clock seems to pick up speed. How is it 3:00 already? And now it’s 4:30! ARRRGH! And then comes the emptiness, the realization that everything is getting pushed out to tomorrow.

It’s no fun. But it happens. Especially to content creators/copywriters/writers of any stripe. We have to balance the really interesting projects, the research-intensive maybe less-interesting projects, the “delightfully challenging,” the not-at-all-delightfully challenging, and the tiny housekeeping tasks that build up and eventually bury us.

Caitlin Burgess

8 Holiday Content Ideas for Busy Marketers

Caitlin Burgess on Dec 20th, 2016     Content Marketing

holiday-content-marketing-busy-marketers

While you’d probably love to slow down and smell the pine during the holiday season, let’s be honest—that’s usually not an option for marketers. It’s crunch time and you’re working hard to tie up loose administrative ends, manage holiday campaigns and prepare to start the New Year stronger than ever.

But despite your busy schedule, you’re always on the hunt for ways to boost your content marketing efforts. Am I right?

Well to help you out, below are a handful of last-minute content marketing ideas that are easy to execute and keep you connected with your audience through the holiday season.

Ashley Zeckman

A Year in Blog Posts: TopRank Marketing’s Most Popular Content Marketing Posts of 2016

Ashley Zeckman on Dec 15th, 2016     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

content-marketing-posts

Each year, marketers are investing more time, effort and resources into creating content. The good news is that 45% of organizations believe that they have been more successful this year than they were last year.

The key indicators to this success has been largely due to increasing the quality of content, developing a strategy and prioritizing content creation.

As a content marketing centric agency, TopRank Marketing has covered various topics throughout the year that are aimed at helping other content creators find their way in a sometimes tricky industry.

Instead of just selecting our favorite posts of the year, we let our readers decide what was most useful. The 10 posts below represent our most shared content marketing posts of the year.

Joshua Nite

Content Marketing: 4 Ways to Make Sure Your Mobile Content Connects

Joshua Nite on Dec 7th, 2016     Content Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Online Marketing

mobile-content-connects

How often do you use your smartphone as a phone? Personally, I think of it as more for avoiding human interaction than facilitating it:
phonechart

These days my desktop and home laptop are gathering dust; I can do it all on my phone. The only reason we still call them “phones” is “personal computation device” sounds too nerdy.

All of which to say: Mobile is the current and next frontier for content marketing. Reports show that 65% of digital media time is now spent on a mobile device. Not only that, all digital growth is now coming from mobile usage—expect to see desktop traffic stagnate or reduce while mobile traffic continues to grow.

Ashley Zeckman

The Future of Content Marketing: Experts Share Content Predictions for 2017

Ashley Zeckman on Dec 5th, 2016     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

2017-content-marketing-predictions

At a time in the not so distant future 2016 will come to a close and many content marketers will reflect on 2016 and think, “Man was that unfair!”. They’ve tightened their belts, worked hard to develop a content strategy and tried to stay up on latest content trends. But the sad reality is that content still isn’t having the business impact that they had anticipated.

In order for us to look to the future of content marketing, we have to take a critical look at the past and present. One  that we have always known to be true is that creating content just to improve rankings and to say that you “do” content marketing is never going to be good enough. So many marketers get caught up in creating content for content’s sake and find that they’ve wasted hours, months or years developing messages that nobody will ever read or share.

Caitlin Burgess

We Answer the Top 5 Questions People Have About Content Marketing

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

top-content-marketing-questions-answered

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

10-deals-for-digital-marketers

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

content-social-shares

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.