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

The 4 Essential Questions Your Content Must Answer in Less than 15 Seconds

Joshua Nite on Sep 14th, 2016     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

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A rodeo cowboy gets eight seconds to become a champion. What can content marketers do with nearly twice that time?

HubSpot reports it takes less than 15 seconds for a reader to decide whether or not content is worth the effort. Think about that: In half of the Jeopardy theme, your reader’s mind is already made up.

You’re probably familiar with that statistic–it’s a marketing classic. But what exactly is happening in those 15 seconds?

There’s a series of subconscious questions anyone asks as they’re contemplating reading content. You ask them; I ask them; and our fellow human beings that we call an “audience” ask them, too.

Your content must answer these four essential questions, and fast.

Ashley Zeckman

Top Takeaways & Words of Wisdom From Content Marketing World 2016

Ashley Zeckman on Sep 12th, 2016     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

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Last week, over four thousand marketers gathered together to immerse themselves in the world of content marketing. The 2016 Content Marketing World conference was filled with insights from some of the top content marketers on the globe and offered two days filled with education and networking. In just a few short days, attendees (and even those that weren’t able to attend) began sharing their experience on social networks. In fact, last week alone there were 45,000+ posts on social networks by over 10,000 users with estimated impressions of almost 4M.

Ashley Zeckman

Learn How to Optimize Your Content Marketing Agency Investment

Ashley Zeckman on Sep 12th, 2016     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

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Each year, brands are investing countless hours and thousands if not millions of dollars in marketing to prospects and current customers with content. Often times, internal marketing teams are finding that they need content marketing agency expertise and support outside of their organization.

Working with an agency that specializes in content marketing can provide brands with a more strategic and scalable marketing program that leverages expertise and additional resources that specialize in content. However, agency retainers can be substantial and there isn’t a marketing executive out there that isn’t in search of maximum return on that investment.

Ashley Zeckman

How to Build Momentum For Your Brands Around The World Through Content Marketing #CMWorld

Ashley Zeckman on Sep 9th, 2016     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

tami-cannizzaro-cmworld-2016

Marketers are experiencing a major problem. That problem is that there is no longer a captive audience for anything. Consumers have tuned out advertising and traditional marketing tactics, leaving many marketers searching for a solution.

In her presentation at Content Marketing World, Tami Cannizzaro from Oracle offered some great insights that she has gathered from her years of experience at everywhere from IBM and eBay, to her new position as Vice President, Head of North America Marketing at Oracle.

She opened with a story about her experience on the New York Subway. One day she was getting off of the Subway and noticed that there was someone handing out money. Instinctively, she walked right by him. Similarly, marketers could literally be handing people money but people will move right by you if it feels like you’re selling.

Ashley Zeckman

The Force is Strong with Content Marketing World 2016 #CMWorld

Ashley Zeckman on Sep 7th, 2016     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

content-marketing-world-2016

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since we traveled to Cleveland for Content Marketing World 2015. These days, it seems that time (and content marketing) travels at the speed of light.

For those of you that don’t know, Content Marketing World is the largest content marketing conference in the galaxy (as far as we know), and marketers have traveled from all over the globe to spend the week learning and connecting on the topic of content marketing. In fact, Luke Skywalker has travelled all the way to Cleveland to give this year’s closing keynote!

To help you fight against the Galactic Empire (otherwise known as your competitors) here are some must-attend sessions at Content Marketing World.

Lee Odden

50 Top Content Marketing Influencers to Follow

Content Marketing Influencers 2016
Without question, the Content Marketing World conference is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to all things content. This is where I should segue into a Death Star reference and something about a love child between Joe or Robert and Princess Leia. Or was it Chewbacca? I kid.

What I’m not kidding about is that there are over 150 speakers at Content Marketing World that have spent numerous hours researching, planning and crafting presentations as well as practicing and coordinating their travel and stay at the event. When you think about it, the cumulative amount of content created amongst all those speakers isn’t just formidable, it’s outright impressive.

Ashley Zeckman

Is Your Influencer Marketing Program Not Effective? Here’s Why

Ashley Zeckman on Sep 1st, 2016     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Online Marketing

influencer-marketing-not-effective

At some point or another, we’re all guilty of falling into one fad or another. A fad is something that quickly blows up but is often short lived because people quickly realize that the quality simply isn’t there.

Many brands are in danger of allowing their influencer marketing programs to quickly become a passing fad. Why? Instead of taking the time to build relationships with influencers in a meaningful way, they’re just tapping them on the shoulder when they need something.

Let’s take a step back for a second and look at what influencer marketing programs should be. TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden defines influencer marketing as:

The practice of developing relationships with connected internal and industry experts to co-create content of mutual value to achieve measurable business goals.”

Joshua Nite

11 Common (and Avoidable!) Content Marketing Mistakes, As Explained by Memes

Joshua Nite on Aug 31st, 2016     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

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Question: How do you get better at content marketing?

Answer: You learn from your mistakes.

Follow-up Question: What’s even better than learning from your mistakes?

Answer: Learning from other people’s mistakes.

If you’re looking for bad content marketing, it’s a buyer’s market. Every brand is a publishing company now. Some are doing amazing work. Most are…not so much.

While bad content may not be of value to its target audience, it definitely is useful for content marketers looking to improve.

I know it’s no fun thinking about the (sometimes costly) mistakes content marketers make. And I definitely don’t want anyone to feel bad who has made these mistakes in the past. We’re not here to shame anyone; we’re here to do better.

Caitlin Burgess

10 Free On-Demand Webinars Every Marketer Should Check Out

Caitlin Burgess on Aug 30th, 2016     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

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Everything in the digital marketing world seems to move at light speed. And like most things in life, just when you think you have it all figured out, everything changes.

As a result, we marketers need to stay sharp, flexible and inspired. We need to make a concerted effort to stay on top of industry news and trends in order to grow our brands and keep pace with the competition. We need to be lifelong learnersand on-demand webinars can be incredible tools to help us do all this and more.

Not only do on-demand webinars help you learn new things and refine your skill set, but because they’re archived events you can listen and learn at your own pace and on your own schedule.

Lee Odden

10 Must-Read Content Marketing Interviews with Major Brand Marketers

Lee Odden on Aug 29th, 2016     Content Marketing

Content Marketing Interviews

Content Marketing continues to drive marketing strategy for many companies and yet, most companies don’t document that strategy. The result? Marketing departments are challenged to create a variety of compelling content on a consistent basis.

Smart, creative and results-focused advice on content marketing that actually works is in high demand and I’m happy to say that over the past few years we’ve published just under 500 content marketing articles on topics ranging from strategy to measuring ROI. To bring you a balanced view of content marketing, we’ve made sure to publish our own point of view and thought leadership as well as interviews with brand content marketing practitioners and executives.

There’s a lot of insight in those interviews and below is a list of the 10 of the most popular, featuring conversations with brands that include: MarketingProfs, Visa, Facebook, Content Marketing Institute, LinkedIn, 3M, Bank of America, Xerox, and Dun & Bradstreet. Enjoy!

Ashley Zeckman

Supply & Demand: Making the Case for Less Content #UFX2016

Ashley Zeckman on Aug 25th, 2016     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Hana-Abaza-Uberflip-Experience

The problem with most marketing teams isn’t a lack of ideas. It’s a lack of clarity and focus.” – Hana Abaza

The meaning of the expression “less is more” is one that many content marketers are still struggling with. In an effort to capture the attention of busy and distracted consumers, they’re creating more content than ever.

But more isn’t always better.

Uberflip’s amazingly talented and entertaining VP of Marketing, Hana Abaza opened up day two of the Uberflip Experience conference to have a frank conversation about content marketing supply and demand.

Marketers Are Focusing on the Wrong Things

Content Impact

Here’s the harsh (and somewhat funny) reality for marketers:

  • 90% of marketers think they’re productive, but they also work on weekends. (Workfront & Harris Poll)
Ashley Zeckman

When ABM & Content Collide: How to Build an Account-Based Content Strategy #UFX2016

Ashley Zeckman on Aug 25th, 2016     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Dayna-Rothman-Everstring

Over the past few years, B2B marketers have been abuzz with the concept of Account-Based Marketing (ABM). It’s like some sort of futuristic concept was finally here and would be the solution that we all needed.

But just like any other marketing tactic, it takes time to figure out how to approach it successfully. In order to win with ABM, marketers need to understand how to effectively incorporate content into the mix.

To help us understand how to do that, Everstring’s Dayna Rothman gave a great, info packed presentation at Uberflip Experience that covered the basics as well as more in-depth strategies for tackling an account-based content strategy effectively.

What is ABM & Why Should You Care?

ABM is the strategic approach marketers use to support a defined universe of strategic and named accounts. – SiriusDecisions