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Content Marketing


Evan Prokop

5 Content Marketing Best Practices Most Businesses Aren’t Doing, but Should! #SMMW14

Evan Prokop on Mar 28th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Content Marketing Best Practices from Joe Pulizzi #SMMW14 v4

(Image credit: @aaronnak)

George Carlin famously said, the goal of human beings is to acquire stuff, then to store it somewhere.

Unfortunately, many businesses have treated their corporate content the same way, as stuff to be acquired, and used their websites, blogs, and social channels as the places to store it.

‘If we only talk about ourselves, we’ll never reach customers’ says the always entertaining Joe Pulizzi in his packed-room presentation at Social Media Marketing World 2014.

The answer to this pathological content hoarding problem is content marketing, or at least it was supposed to be. Unfortunately, many businesses are not following important content marketing best practices and are seeing disappointing results because of it. According to research from Content Marketing Institute, 90% of businesses today are engaging in content marketing, but only 45% report it to be effective.

Lee Odden

What’s the One Most Important Skill for a Content Marketer?

Lee Odden on Mar 10th, 2014     Content Marketing

content marketing empathyFocus and simplicity help ideas grow.

The changing, competitive and often complex world of content marketing could use some simplification and that’s why it was refreshing to get the following question recently:

What’s the one thing that has been instrumental for you to be successful at content marketing?

My gut reaction of course was, there is no “one thing”. There are many things and they vary depending on the industry, types of product/services, target audience, maturity of the company’s marketing, resources, timeframe and so on. In fact, I posted about an array digital marketing skills just 2 weeks ago.

But really, for me there is one thing that seems to stand out.

Lee Odden

The One Question You Must Ask And Answer to Win With Social Media Marketing

Lee Odden on Mar 3rd, 2014     Blogging, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Understand the Why of Your Social Media Marketing“Can we increase our blog readership by 50% in the next 6 months?”

If you’re a digital marketing or social media professional, questions like this are probably pretty familiar.

For many companies, specific goals are a godsend since social media marketing is still a bit of an uncertainty. It gives those who are responsible for implementation something more tangible to focus their efforts on. I’ve seen it happen many times where an objective like this is communicated by a marketing director or VP and the marketing team jumped all over themselves and each other to provide compelling answers.

But I have to just shake my head when that happens.

Nicolette Beard

Content Marketing With Research and Surveys: Pros, Cons, Examples, Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Feb 25th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

content marketing surveysAll marketers need actionable insight to make important decisions. As the internet reaches a crescendo of voices all vying for their customers’ short attention span, the need for quality citations and third party industry research becomes even more important to stand out.

Therein lies an opportunity: Companies that create credible surveys, reports and playbooks on a regular basis can become known authorities and trusted resources – ahead of the competition. Such authority leads to trust and in the content marketing world those are essential characteristics to attract a target audience whether they are buyers, journalists or investors.

Ironically, it’s this exact labor-intensive exercise that provides some of the most sharable, citable content. The ability to attract substantial citations, social shares and attention is a very powerful capability for agencies and corporate marketing marketing departments to have right now.

Lee Odden

Essential Digital Marketing Skills for Content Marketers in 2014

Lee Odden on Feb 24th, 2014     Content Marketing, Integrated Marketing

digital marketing skillsLike many other digital marketing agencies, we’ve been on the hunt for digital and content marketing talent on a continuous basis over the past few years. Increased demand and competition are driving the need to find people with skills that can actually create impact, vs. fuzzy “potential”.

Companies looking for agencies are in the same boat, challenged to find partners that can actually affect business goals. Sadly, there are few knights in shining content marketing armor, like our friend to the right.

In both cases, the ease of publishing online makes it easy for individuals and agencies to present expertise – whether they really have it or not.  There are a few ways to sift through the fluff and puff and one of them is knowing what skills, capabilities and experience your business actually needs.

Lee Odden

Essential Stages of Content Marketing Evolution – If You’re Not Growing, You’re Dying

Lee Odden on Feb 20th, 2014     Content Marketing

content marketing evolutionAn important part of developing skills and expertise is to understand where you fall on a continuum of what’s possible and then take action to evolve and advance accordingly.

With so much digital marketing advice and information on the web, it’s easy to follow along with the latest best practices. But what about 1 or 2 years from now? How valuable would it be to anticipate the challenges and opportunities beyond the current 6 or 12 months of marketing planning?

What is in your future for content marketing?

Along these lines, I’ve been developing a model of content marketing maturity to help companies better understand where they are and where they could be with their own content marketing and as a guide for using outside content marketing services. This is especially relevant as the need to develop more integrated strategies has become the minimum to compete.

Nicolette Beard

Content Marketing With Real-World Events: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Feb 18th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Lee OddenConferences, symposiums, summits, trade shows, roundtables and world expos. From intimate, invitation-only events to sprawling Las Vegas-style exhibit halls, most of us have attended at least one industry-specific event.

While the business value has been debated off and on over the years, and it was predicted that webinars and other digital forms of online training would eventually replace live events, there is just no substitute for face time when you want to establish rapport with people who share your interests and business goals.

As content marketing strategy continues to gain momentum, an interesting phenomenon is occurring – real-world, in-person events are starting to edge out trendier content tactics, like video. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute, in-person events have been ranked as the most effective content marketing tactic over the past four years by B2B marketers.

Nicolette Beard

Print Newsletters as Content Marketing Tactic: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Feb 11th, 2014     Content Marketing, Integrated Marketing

Print Newsletters Mail DeliveryOne of the oldest forms of content marketing are printed newsletters that arrive by snail mail, providing valuable, information-rich content that your customers and prospects want. They can be an effective compliment to online promotions or serve niche markets where print is a preferred format.

Given the overall decrease in postal mail, a print newsletter can stand out to the recipient, unlike an online newsletter that can get lost in an already too full in-box. Conversely, due to the continuing rise of postal costs, newsletters are more likely to be concise and targeted, providing special appeal.

According to the 2014 B2C & B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report for North America, B2C marketers use print newsletters with greater frequency at 29% compared to their B2B counterparts at 22%. In addition, customer retention/loyalty is cited as a top marketing goal for B2C compared to lead generation for B2B.

Lee Odden

3 Ways to Raise the Bar on Your Social Media and Content Marketing Strategy

Lee Odden on Feb 6th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media

Unlock Social Media SuccessWhen marketers approach Content Marketing and Social Media as a symbiotic relationship, there’s no limit to the business goals you can achieve.

To make that happen, marketers really need to start raising the bar on their approach.

It’s far too easy to get caught up in the distractions of the latest social media and content marketing tactics. Unlocking success with social media and content marketing means developing a solid strategy: A thoughtful, data-informed approach with goals, defined target audience and measurable outcomes that you monitor and optimize for.

This post outlines 3 simple ideas that can help you break free of the crowded marketplace of content and social media du jour to stand out with those that matter most to your business.

Nicolette Beard

Print Magazines for Content Marketing: Pros, Cons, Brand Examples and Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Feb 4th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Print Magazines for Content MarketingOver 100 years ago, a tractor company set out to get the attention of farmers. They didn’t buy advertising or hire salesmen to go door-to-door. Instead, the John Deere Company created a custom print magazine, called The Furrow, designed to educate farmers on developing technology and trends in agriculture. With over 1.5 million copies currently in print and distribution in over 40 countries, this iconic company based in the heartland of America could be considered the first content marketer.

While John Deere Company was an early, early adopter, for many years, print was the sole purview of magazine publishers.

Lee Odden

Content Strategy Interview with Jonathon Colman of Facebook

Lee Odden on Feb 3rd, 2014     Content Marketing, Interviews, Online Marketing

Jonathon Colman1.3 Billion.

As of February 2014, that’s about how many active monthly users there are of Facebook. Imagine the content that gets created amongst all those connections – updates, photos, videos, blogging and plenty of cats.

But Facebook isn’t what this post is about. Not exactly.

The subject of today’s post is Jonathon Colman, a Content Strategist at Facebook. Jonathon and I first met when I was programming a Search Marketing track for ad:tech. I had known of him through his participation in the search marketing industry and really appreciated his results focused approach to optimizing online marketing performance.

As a SEO at REI, Jonathon could not only show much revenue per keyword the company was making but also how much revenue was being lost because of slow loading web pages.  I noticed he was also very attune to customer experience and content – something many SEOs are just catching on to now.

Lee Odden

What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Content for Links? The Wrong Answer Could Cost You

Lee Odden on Jan 29th, 2014     Content Marketing, SEO
Chubby Spiderman

This Spiderman aims to please, but he’s just not the real thing

As someone with roots in the search marketing community it’s been amazing to see how the the phrase “content marketing” has been adopted and redefined.

Whether it’s opportunism or simply being adaptable to the times, the difference in approach to what content marketing is between digital marketing communities like Content Marketing Institute and many in the SEO and social media marketing world is striking.

For brands investing in content marketing, the difference between content for links / SEO and content for customers can be costly in terms of risk, return on investment and performance.

What’s the difference? 

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