Brooke Furry

How Content Marketers Can Tell Better, More Strategic Stories

Storytelling around a campfire

As a marketer, are you a good storyteller? Do you have a content marketing strategy that guides your storytelling?

Maybe you already know how to build a content marketing strategy, but you’re curious to know how to improve it.

Jason Miller, senior manager of content marketing for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, is a natural storyteller – and he has awesome storytelling tips for marketers. (Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client)

In his session at Social Media Marketing World 2015 in San Diego, Jason kept the audience captive, sharing what seemed like a million excellent insights on storytelling to inspire and motivate marketers.

In addition, he gave key insights on how to better use LinkedIn (his area of expertise) for more effective content publishing and promotion.

Tell stories in your voice.

Lee Odden

5 Steps to Personalize Repurposed Content for Your Target Audience

Lee Odden on Mar 24th, 2015     Content Marketing, Social Media
teamtoprank

Alexis, Kat, Jolina & Evan from #TeamTopRank brainstorming content.

Repurposing content is most often a function of efficiency. Marketers investing in content have always sought to extend the value of their content marketing efforts by repurposing, re-skinning or reimagining content into alternative forms.

In fact, repurposing is so popular, there are over 1 million search results in Google for “repurpose content”. And for good reason:

50% of marketers say producing content consistently is a top challenge. CMI/MarketingProfs

Exploding the eBook. Developing a substantial eBook for example, creates a rich source of information from which many derivative works can be created ranging from blog posts to infographics. The folks at Kapost have promoted the content pillar approach with some great examples of this.

Content Pillar Kapost

Lee Odden

Brand Storytelling in a Digital World – Alix Hart, Acting CMO at Symantec

Lee Odden on Mar 18th, 2015     Content Marketing, MIMA Seminars

Momentum Marketing

Creating demand with content that is relevant to your target audience in real-time is both a challenge and an opportunity for digital marketers. But that is exactly what Alix Hart, Acting CMO at Symantec, is doing with what she calls “Momentum Marketing”.

This post is a liveblog of a presentation Alix gave today on building Marketing Momentum at a MIMA event in Minneapolis.

The official description: As digital expands into every facet of a consumer’s life, marketing strategy and brand storytelling must shift its focus to create content driven by consumer conversations and needs. So how do brands get there? How can a brand leverage the momentum of conversations consumers are already having? Alix and her team at Symantec are taking a new approach to deliver useful and relevant information relating to what consumers are already seeking out. Join us to hear her three-step plan to capitalize on what she calls “momentum marketing”, and find out what’s next in the space.

Lee Odden

New Report: Content Marketing Performance – A Framework to Measure Real Business Impact

Lee Odden on Mar 17th, 2015     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Content Marketing Performance: A Framework to Measure Real Business Impact

It’s safe to say that in 2015, the vast majority of businesses are creating content for marketing (B2C 77%, B2B 86%) 2015 CMI/MarketingProfs.

But to what end?

Content can create impact for a business in many ways, including boosting reputation, increasing revenue, improving operational efficiencies or growing the value of the brand.

Unfortunately, most companies are chasing ROI instead of planning for measuring the full spectrum of value content can deliver for a business.

This is the challenge content strategists and digital marketers are facing in conference and boardrooms all over the world. Business executives are no longer satisfied with metrics around volume and are demanding insight into impact of content marketing investments.

Lee Odden

BADASS Book Review: The Content Code by Mark Schaefer

Lee Odden on Mar 12th, 2015     Book Reviews, Content Marketing

The Content Code

The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business is the latest book from Mark Schaefer and like The Tao of Twitter and Social Media Explained, it’s a must read.

I’ve known and admired Mark for several years. He is a very generous person and that generosity extends to the knowledge he shares in the content and conversations he’s a part of.

Mark has a valuable ability to take the complexity out of marketing and draw attention to the things you really need to know – and in a way that just makes sense. Let’s face it: marketers are definitely living in an age of increased complexity and information overload. The sheer volume of content now being produced has no chance of being consumed, ala “Content Shock” and businesses are hard pressed to find ways to stand out.

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Make Free Stock Images Work for Content Marketing

Nick Ehrenberg on Mar 11th, 2015     Content Marketing, Visual Marketing

stock images, success, content marketing

Visual content is king, but what happens if you don’t have a massive library of brand images to use for your online content? Do you try a simple Google image search and grab something that might be approved for commercial use? Or, do you simply go image-less and rely on your copy to carry the weight?

If you’re pillaging images from Google’s regular search, stop right now. Google might tell you that it’s approved for commercial use, but there are other resources that provide greater assurances (and more relief for your legal team).

In this post I’ll show you where to find (truly) free stock images, and how to use those images for the best visual impact on your content marketing.

Lee Odden

Content Marketing Bundle of Awesome – 12 eBooks for Better Content Performance in 2015

Lee Odden on Mar 9th, 2015     Content Marketing

Content Marketing Bundle of Awesome

The missing piece of the content marketing puzzle for most marketers is a documented strategy according to CMI/MarketingProfs research.

But the problem with most content marketing efforts isn’t just a documented strategy, it’s the lack of thinking strategically about content. The challenge of creating more, engaging content often blurs the importance of answering “why”, “for who” and “to what end”?

Solving the strategic thinking issue is essential for creating a strategy and one way to do that is to tap into industry thought leadership to identify trends, best practices and examples of what content marketing success looks like. Reconciling those observations and insights with your own marketing goals, target audience and expectations for content are the key to making your content marketing investments pay off.

James Anderson

Video Content Marketing: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

James Anderson on Mar 4th, 2015     Content Marketing, Video

Video for Content Marketing (1)

For many B2B marketers video content is the biggest step in a content marketing plan, the one thing that is tackled last because it takes more resources to produce. That mode of thinking is changing, however, as more marketers lean on video content as an effective way to cut through the crowded content marketing landscape. In a recent CMI / Marketing Profs study, 76% of B2B marketers said that they plan to use video as a content marketing tactic in 2015.

Creating video and hosting it on your company site or sending it out on social media is a way to show that your brand is video and technologically savvy but don’t just produce video for the sake of saying you’ve done it. Video has to be done right to be effective. This post will explore the pros and cons of video as a content marketing tactic and will offer examples and best practices that digital marketers can look to for support in their own video content marketing.

James Anderson

20 B2B Content Marketing Examples and Case Studies for 2015

James Anderson on Mar 4th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

KillerContentAwardsCover

We know that 93% of B2B marketers were using content marketing in 2014. That number is up just a tick from 2013 and will likely climb again in 2015. But what does this slow trend mean for content marketers in the B2B world?

It means that it’s time to step up their content game. It’s no longer enough to simply produce “more” content. Now is the time to produce killer content that knocks the competition out of the water.

If you’re looking for great B2B content marketing case studies, we’ve published 11 killer content examples here and 12 more here. We’ve also collected 20 more B2B content marketing examples from the 2015 B2B Content2Conversion conference. Below you will find a brief example from each winning entry including one for TopRank Online Marketing. I think you’ll find some great ideas and inspiration, just like I did.

Lee Odden

Content and SEO Beyond Marketing – Optimized Digital Communications

Lee Odden on Mar 2nd, 2015     Content Marketing, SEO

optimized digital communications

Content is the reason search began in the first place.

In the days before Google, directories, lists and forums were the way to discover new content on the fast-growing world wide web.

During those early days, the web was as much about the experience of discovery, aka “surfing”, as it was about finding specific answers.

Answers to what? Many marketers would have you believe the only content that exists is the information created in support of buyers to discover, consume and transact.

But there’s far more to the web than demand generation and advertising. Content is created by companies to serve a variety of business functions from customer service to corporate social responsibility to talent acquisition.

James Anderson

Build Your Own Brand Marketing Social Newsroom: Tips From SAP at #C2C15

James Anderson on Feb 18th, 2015     Brand Journalism, Marketing PR Conferences, Social Media
Brand-Marketing-Social-Newsroom

SAP’s Celia Brown and Amy Hatch pose for a photo after their session at Content2Conversion

Celia Brown and Amy Hatch came to brand journalism from different directions: One marketing and the other journalism. It’s the perfect mix for setting up a social newsroom, as the two have demonstrated at SAP. 

At the Content2Conversion Conference, the duo offered three T’s of winning the marketing moment by establishing a social newsroom:

Talent

The two skill sets that each woman brought to SAP’s Social Newsroom dovetail perfectly. Amy, who sees the reporter side, said reporters love to get the big scoop. With a reporter on staff in the marketing department, content began to offer a transparency that wasn’t always evident, Amy said, in marketing content.

James Anderson

How Optum Transformed Their B2B Marketing to a Content-Led Strategy – #C2C15

James Anderson on Feb 18th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Marketing & PR Industry

Karen-Thomas-Smith-Optum

It’s a big task to move an 80,000 employee organization on to a completely different mode of marketing thought. But that’s what Karen Thomas-Smith and her team at Optum has done, and they did it in the sometimes slow-to-adapt industry of healthcare.

Karen moved Optum — a B2B healthcare software and services organization — from traditional marketing to content-led marketing and thought leadership. Though she was met with resistance at first, she has since transformed Optum’s marketing for the better, as she presented at the B2B C2C conference this week.

Optum’s Journey To Content Marketing Success

Optum’s marketing efforts were once what Karen called “one and done” marketing, meaning trade shows, brochures and other traditional efforts. The focus was on the big sale. If a brochure were a first date, it closed with a call to action that asked for marriage.