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.

 

Lee Odden

Content Marketing Tactics for Search Marketers – International Edition #SMXLmilan

SMXL Milan Content Strategies

Content is both king and kingdom in a digital world full of stories. Brands and consumers alike are experiencing and publishing content on a daily basis. Between information overload, increased complexity of search engines and changes in consumer search behaviors, many marketers are less than confident about how to optimize their content marketing.

How can marketers best use content marketing to improve search marketing? How does search inspired content affect content, PR and marketing programs across channels?

At SMXL in Milan, Italy this November 15th, that’s exactly what a panel of experts will be answering. I will be moderating Content Related Strategies for Search with Ken McGaffin, Lexi Mills and Jey Pandian where we’ll be discussing strategies to help identify new opportunities to develop content based on business intelligence, competitive research and historical performance.

Anne Leuman

How 7 Brands Connect With Audiences Through Long-Form Video Content

Anne Leuman     Content Marketing, Video

Content comes in many forms, including social media messages, blog posts, video, and more. But video is largely ignored with only 30% of B2B marketers believing video will be critical to their content marketing success.

Considering video accounts for 74% of all internet traffic your brand cannot ignore video marketing. With audience’s having an average attention span of only eight seconds it’s one of the best ways to hold attention and increase audience engagement. This is especially true for long-form video—videos that are roughly 10 minutes in length or longer. In fact, audiences engage in more long-form videos accounting for 63% off all time spent watching videos across devices. Long-form video is a proven and effective way of capturing and engaging audiences, but where do you begin?

Joshua Nite

B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks: How We All Can Do Better

Joshua Nite     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

B2B content marketing is having a moment—a moment that’s rapidly becoming a movement. We’re finally breaking free of the idea that “professional” means “boring.” Transparency and authenticity are becoming more than just buzzwords. Unique, emotionally compelling content used to be the outlier; soon it will be the norm.

It’s thrilling to see B2B content marketers find a new groove. As a creative, comedic weirdo myself, it’s a great time to be in the business. However, these industry-wide changes do come with significant challenges. As B2B marketing evolves, we need to continually adapt our procedures, KPIs, even our philosophy of marketing.

The whip-smart marketers at Kapost just published their 2017 B2B Content Strategy & Operations Benchmark. They surveyed hundreds of B2B marketers in diverse industries, from small businesses to enterprise organizations. Here are the challenges their research identified, and how B2B marketers can adapt to thrive.

Caitlin Burgess

How We’re Building a Content Marketing Dream Team

Caitlin Burgess     Content Marketing

A few members of the TopRank Marketing content marketing dream team.

As the digital landscape continues to grow and shift, digital marketing — particularly content marketing — has a majority stake in most brands’ marketing strategies these days. After all, nearly half of the world’s population now uses the internet, and we want our content to meet people where they are and when they’re searching.

As a result, brands and agencies alike are on the lookout for savvy, driven content gurus with proven writing, planning and strategy skills to add to their marketing teams — including TopRank Marketing.

Joshua Nite

How to Choose Dynamic Images for Your Blog Posts

I’m a content writer, not a graphic designer. My job is to make the words dance, to convey useful information in an entertaining way.

As such, for a long time visuals were just an afterthought for me. Yeah, a blog needs a header image. So after I’m done writing I’ll slap something on there, check that box, and send it off to the client.

As content continues to proliferate, though, that laissez-faire approach isn’t enough. Your potential audience has far more content available to them than they’ll ever be able to read. That means they’re actively looking for reasons not to read your content. A weak—or worse, missing—visual is a perfect excuse to move to the next thing.

Caitlin Burgess

How to Make the Switch to Content-Driven SEO #MNBlogCon

Caitlin Burgess     Blogging Strategy, Content Marketing

TopRank Marketing’s Joshua Nite made his debut on the speaker circuit this past weekend at the 8th annual Minnesota Blogger Conference held at Concordia University in St. Paul.

Charming the crowd with his unique brand of wit, creativity, mad content marketing expertise, and numerous “cats with hats” references, Josh delivered a The Good Place-themed presentation titled: “The Good News About Creative Content: From SEO-Driven Content to Content-Driven SEO.”

As someone who spent 12 years as a creative comedy writer for a video game called The Kingdom of Loathing, Josh said he was terrified by the concept of SEO-driven content when he made his transition into content marketing.

“The worst content to write, and the worst content for people to read, was the stuff that [search engine] robots liked to read to most,” Josh said.

Ashley Zeckman

If You Only Had $1k to Invest in Content Marketing, How Would You Spend it?

Budget is always top of mind for content marketers, but especially this time of year. In order to get even close to the budget that you want or need, you have to justify the spend.

Unfortunately, we’ve been ineffective at content for a while. But the question is, can we change the narrative?

In his presentation last week at the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, GE Digital’s Chris Moody gave the audience insights into why we’re ineffective, and what we can do to improve, without having to spend a significant amount of money.

Where Are We Failing?

While approach and hurdles will vary from brand to brand, there are three key reasons that content marketing isn’t working today. Below are three stats that paint a very clear picture of where we’re going wrong:

Alexis Hall

The Netflix Experience: Create Binge-Worthy B2B Content with Ardath Albee #MPB2B

73% of Americans have binged on content. If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking of those rainy Sundays spent on a Netflix bender. Netflix, Hulu, HBOGo make it so easy to continue the binge. One more episode, you think, as the next installment automatically queues up. Finished Stranger Things in one weekend? Here are 6 new, easily clickable suggestions to start a new binge.

Now what if that same principle could apply to your content marketing?

In fact, 93% of B2B buyers want bundled, bingeable content (Content Preferences Survey, 2017) , but only 42% say it’s easy to find the next piece of relevant content (Why Your Website Fails Buyers, 2017).

Ashley Zeckman

2018 B2B Content Marketing Report Indicates Marketers are Finding Content Marketing Success

Ashley Zeckman     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

As a community, content marketers have experienced some significant ups and downs over the years. For every step forward we take toward content success, it sometimes seems like we take a couple backwards.

But perhaps, this will be the year that changes.

Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs just released their annual report–The 2018 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends.

We’ve come to rely on this report to be a definitive content marketing guide of sorts that provides a finger on the pulse of our industry and shows how we align (or don’t) with our content marketing peers.

In order to move forward, we have to know where we are today, including what is working and what is not. Below are what I consider to be some of the top learnings from the report.

Joshua Nite

Funny Content, Serious Business: How to Use Humor in Content Marketing

Joshua Nite     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Everyone likes a good joke. Everyone wants to be entertained. But when it comes to using humor in content marketing, people still hesitate. We are, after all, not here purely to entertain. Our content needs to serve a business purpose, inspire action, and rack up the sweet, sweet conversions.

Can potential buyers really take your brand seriously if you make them laugh?

I call this the Roger Rabbit/Goodfellas conundrum, best expressed by these two quotes:

How do you get the Roger Rabbit benefits of making people laugh, without becoming a Joe Pesci-esque laughingstock?

It can be done. You can still be funny and do serious business. The question is not whether to use humor in your content, but how you use it.

Ashley Zeckman

Top Insights, Takeaways & Favorite Moments from #SocialBrand17

For the past six years Nick Westergaard has brought speakers from around the United States to the good people of Iowa for his annual Social Brand Forum.

This event has drawn speakers like Lee Odden, Ann Handley, Joe Pulizzi, Jay Baer, Tim Washer, Scott Monty, Mitch Joel, Chris Brogan and many more!

This year, I was lucky to join some amazing speakers including Robert Rose, Melissa Agnes, Jason Falls and Marcus Sheridan as one of the speakers at this premiere Midwest event.

Since I know that many of you weren’t able to attend this awesome event, I’ve taken the liberty of pulling some of my favorite takeaways and moments from #SocialBrand17.

Nick Westergaard – The Man Who Made it All Happen

Anne Leuman

The Mighty Cheeseburger: How to Construct Your Content for the Perfect Bite

You might not know this but today, Sept. 18, is a national holiday to remember: National Cheeseburger Day. We know, we know, everyday now has an arbitrary national holiday that has little to offer outside of free food or funny tweets. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth celebrating.

For our own National Cheeseburger Day celebration, we took a look at what makes a great burger. From a perfectly toasted bun to secret sauces, there is a lot that goes into creating the perfect staple of American food. And as content marketers, we could relate to trying to find the perfect mixture of ingredients and techniques to create something that people love.