TopRank Online MarketingTopRank Online Marketing Blog

Content Marketing


Lee Odden

3 Content Curation Best Practices to Optimize Your Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Nov 17th, 2014     Content Marketing

content curation best practices

Blending a mix of new content with the filtering and management of other useful information streams is a productive and manageable solution for providing prospective customers a steady stream of high quality and relevant content.

There are several good services that facilitate curation tasks and software can help, but on it’s own, software isn’t the answer.

Pure creation is demanding. Pure automation doesn’t engage. Curating content can provide the best of both. Here are several best practices to help you with curation sources, types of content and where to publish.

1. Sources of News to Curate

  • Industry specific newsletters sent to you via email
  • Links to content and media shared on Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Reddit and other social sharing websites
  • Google Alerts, Google News or Google+ Search
Lee Odden

New @Marketo Guide to Engaging Content Marketing – @TopRank Style

Lee Odden on Nov 13th, 2014     Content Marketing

Definitive Guide to Engaging Content Marketing

Marketo is known for their content marketing (top 20 content marketing brand) and especially their definitive guides to all things related to B2B marketing.

The most recent is The Definitive Guide to Engaging Content Marketing which includes over 100 pages of practical and highly usable information on Planning, Creating, Designing, Publishing, Promoting and Measuring content marketing.

For this eBook the folks at Marketo reached out to a group of content marketing pros including Joe Pulizzi, Ann Handley, Brian Solis, Rebecca Lieb and many more (including me) for some perspective. While some of my interview is included in the guide, I thought I’d share the full Q and A here.

You obviously produce a lot of amazing content. Where do you get inspiration for new blog posts/ebooks/presentations, etc.?

Lee Odden

Customer Insights Are Key for More Persuasive Marketing Content

Lee Odden on Nov 12th, 2014     Content Marketing

Persuasion Content Marketing

For experienced marketers it’s no surprise that understanding the motivations of buyers and what influences them can be instrumental for creating persuasive content marketing campaigns.

While that statement makes sense intellectually, old habits die hard.

Most marketers continue to focus on how digital channels like email, social networks and search work vs. how customers understand those platforms or even why they use them. Day after day, content is being created and keyword optimized by marketers with little more than intuitive insight into customer interests and preferences for content discovery, consumption or engagement.

This is a source of great disconnect and dissatisfaction when “best practices” content marketing and SEO tactics don’t produce the intended results. An increase in search and social traffic isn’t very valuable when those visitors don’t engage and the content doesn’t resonate.

Lee Odden

How to Incorporate SEO and Influencer Content

Lee Odden on Nov 5th, 2014     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing, SEO

Optimize Influencer Content for Search

Make no mistake, discovery of content through search engines is more important than ever. But the practice of optimizing content for search visibility has changed substantially.

As search engines look for signals of credibility amongst content and links, humans do the same thing. In the way that links alone used to drive the search visibility of a web page up, endorsements and mentions from industry influencers can still boost the visibility of a brand. As a result, the trend towards influencer and advocate marketing is on the rise.

While SEO and influencer content might seem more meatball sundae than PBJ, I assure you, the combination can be whatever you want it to be, because it’s content. Understanding demand for topics reconciled with the brand’s ambitions around a topic, search optimization insights applied to an influencer content program can boost both the quantity and the quality of attraction.

Lee Odden

10 Must Read Content Marketing Posts for 2015

Lee Odden on Oct 29th, 2014     Content Marketing

must read content marketing posts

Over the past 5 years we’ve published over 380 articles about content marketing here on Online Marketing Blog. It’s a big topic after all – with plenty of opportunity to help marketers better understand the planning, creation, management, promotion, measurement and performance optimization of content.

After digging in to our web and social media analytics, I’ve identified 10 of the most popular posts on content marketing that I’m sure you’ll find useful. From our Content Marketing Maturity Model to tips, tools and measurement – the 10 posts summarized below will help you finish off 2014 in style and put your planning for 2015 in the right direction.

TopRank Content Marketing Maturity Model

Lee Odden

New Report: How Content Co-Creation With Influencers Beats Information Overload #MastersofCX

Lee Odden on Oct 16th, 2014     Content Marketing

Influencing Influencers Co-Created Content

Creating remarkable marketing isn’t just about the flash and dazzle of big ad spends. It’s about creating great experiences for your customers whether they’re early stage prospects researching solutions or satisfied clients looking for ways to better engage with the brand.

One of the best marketing investments a company can make is in the experiences they create through content. The challenge is, we live in an age of information overload where there’s more information created every 2 days than since the dawn of time to 2013 (Eric Schmidt).  While content plays an increasingly important role for attracting, engaging and converting prospects to buyers, content competition has created challenges few companies are prepared to overcome.

Lee Odden

When do B2B Tech Companies Need Content Marketing? Inspiration for 2015 Marketing Planning

Lee Odden on Oct 14th, 2014     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

B2B technology content marketing

Speaking at both a B2B Marketing and a Public Relations conference in the space of a week has yielded some insightful discussions. Many of those conversations have focused on the transition from where the B2B companies are today – a mix of tactics directed squarely at the C-level customer – and where a content marketing strategy might take them.

With my involvement in the B2B marketing space, I get to talk to a lot of marketing and PR professionals about marketing and communications programs. The desire to “do more” and innovate marketing isn’t unique – it’s pretty common across the board, especially with 2015 planning under way.

Lee Odden

What is the Future of Content for B2B Marketing? Find out at #MPB2B

Lee Odden on Oct 8th, 2014     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

B2B Content Marketing

Content makes the B2B marketing world go round in so many ways. But will content of the future be as important as it is today?

According to the “hot of the press” report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America, 86% of B2B companies are using content marketing. That’s actually down from 93% last year. The definition of content marketing has evolved as well and I suspect, so will the nature of content in the coming years.

But what do those changes mean for you, business marketers trying to create a variety of engaging content on a regular basis without blowing your budget into space? Luckily we have thoughtful insights from 3 people who know from companies that are growing and selling to business customers. These B2B content marketing insights come from none other than Moz, SnapApp and our very own agency, TopRank Online Marketing.

Andy Thomson

Ruthless Pragmatism: Kevin Spacey’s Approach to Content Marketing

Andy Thomson on Sep 24th, 2014     Content Marketing

Kevin Spacey Content Marketing

In case you missed it, the ‘ruthless pragmatism’ approach to politics of House of Cards’ Frank Underwood has stretched far beyond Capitol Hill to the world of content marketing. With the lessons learned about the changing media landscape, Kevin Spacey, Underwood’s real-life actor alter-ego, is becoming influential in Marketing as well as Hollywood.

The success of House of Cards for Netflix is unlike any previous television show and has become a symbol of the online content movement. Since the show’s release, Mr. Spacey has spoken at several conferences urging journalists and broadcasters to follow the Netflix model of producing in-depth content with a great story, yet­ he still surprised people by giving a keynote speech at the recent Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland.

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Make B2B Marketing Stories Bigger With Social Media Microcontent

Nick Ehrenberg on Sep 17th, 2014     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

storytelling in b2b marketing

Storytelling is a fundamentally human experience. We love to tell stories, ranging from whimsical fantasy to tense political thrillers. Some psychologists believe storytelling is actually necessary for human survival — we are hard-wired to respond to compelling narratives.

Storytelling is frequently cited as a best practice for content marketers, but what happens when your publishing space is limited? B2B social media marketers only have enough space for 1-2 sentences per post, so how can they tell a story with such little space?

When it comes to effective B2B social storytelling, it’s not about shrinking the story to fit within character limits. Rather, it’s about using social tools to make the story bigger. Here’s how you can make your story bigger on social networks:

Visualize the message

social media marketing, star wars, cisco

Andy Thomson

A Writer’s Guide: Calls to Action – Tips Inspired by Tweets from Content Marketing World

Andy Thomson on Sep 15th, 2014     Content Marketing

Writers Guide Calls to Action CTA

Note from Lee: Please welcome Andy Thomson from TopRank in his first post to Online Marketing Blog:

In managing the content marketing for a brand, you have to focus on the bottom line. You have to push sales to help you reach growth goals for the business. But in reality, most people who encounter your brand (especially in B2B) aren’t going to buy right away. The sales funnel has to attract, engage and convert people in a way that makes sense for them.

As content creators and marketers, knowing how and when to use calls to action to move prospective customers from awareness to purchase can be tricky. Luckily, last week’s Content Marketing World offered a flood of great content advice on the interwebs including insights on follow throughs and calls to action (CTA). Here are a few of those nuggets and some perspective:

Lee Odden

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content – Interview with Ann Handley

Lee Odden on Sep 15th, 2014     Content Marketing, Interviews

Ann Handley

The bell has rung and class is in session.

The topic? Creating content. In particular, ridiculously good content.

Your professor for this essential business skill is none other than Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, the largest marketing community on the web. During the incredibly busy week that was Content Marketing World, Ann took the time to exceed my expectations (once again) and shine her bright light of wisdom on the power of good writing.

In business and in life, writing is an essential part of communications – no matter how digital, virtual and science fiction we get in our communications. That’s why Ann’s new book launching today, Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content, is so timely.  From Twitter to White Papers to books in print, Ann has smart, actionable advice for us all.

To optimize your online marketing performance, contact us at TopRank | ©2014 TopRank® Online Marketing | Top