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.

 

Caitlin Burgess

5 Radiant Writing Secrets Inspired by ‘Charlotte’s Web’

Caitlin Burgess on Sep 11th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Some pig. Terrific. Radiant. Humble.

In the classic E.B. White novel, Charlotte’s Web, these simple yet impactful words save a life and make another better. And for prolific writer, marketer and speaker Ann Handley, these words also make the title character the best content marketer in the world.

“In just four [phrases] she had to make her case. Wilbur was her product.” Handley passionately told Content Marketing World attendees last Thursday. “I mean she was looking to save this pig’s life people. … And Zuckerman was her audience.”

Handley’s passion for Charlotte’s marketing abilities stems from her “literary crush” on author E.B. White. She even attempted to purchase his Maine estate where we wrote 12 of his 14 novels, including Charlotte’s Web.

Tiffani Allen

The Secret to Achieving Enterprise-Wide Content Marketing Buy-In? Understanding Your Cast of Characters #CMWorld

Tiffani Allen on Sep 7th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Online Marketing

It’s certainly no secret that quality content is the foundation of every marketing strategy. And you may think the success of your content marketing initiatives rests in the capable and creative hands of your marketing team members. But you may be missing out on a big internal opportunity.

During her session titled “Driving Content Marketing Success in Your Organization: Sales, Product and Global-Regional Collaboration,” Jillian Hillard, the Director of Brand and Product Marketing for Electrolux Home Care and SDA, North America, emphasized the importance of enterprise-wide buy-in.

Using three rebranding case studies as examples, Hillard walked us through her process for getting key players from multiple departments to buy-in, get excited and see the value in content marketing.

Ashley Zeckman

An Ode to Content Marketing World: A Look Back at Some of Our Favorite #CMWorld Moments

Ashley Zeckman on Sep 6th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Can you imagine life before Content Marketing World?

I can’t, and I will only be attending my third year of this information-packed conference this week.

What Joe Pulizzi, Cathy McPhillips and the rest of the team at Content Marketing Institute have built over the past 7 years is truly amazing. Each day is filled with learnings from top content marketers, fun games and lunch and learns and awesome after-parties.

Below you’ll find fun some highlights from our involvement from Content Marketing World’s inception, to happenings at the conference this week. Enjoy!

Lee Odden

50 Influential Women in Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Sep 5th, 2017     Content Marketing

50 Influential Women Content Marketing

With over 200 speakers, moderators, panelists and workshop leaders at the 2017 Content Marketing World conference, it is a substantial task to investigate the influence of so many accomplished marketing professionals.

For this year’s list of influential content marketing speakers, I went a step further and took into account those who have presented at Content Marketing World over the past 3 years. That’s 392 speakers in all!

content marketing influencer network visualization traackr

We’ve been publishing lists like this for years and with the help of Traackr for assessing topical influence, relevance, resonance and reach, I think we have another great group of content marketing smarties for you to follow.

Steve Slater

Give Influencer Content Programs a Promotional Edge with Digital Advertising

Steve Slater on Aug 31st, 2017     Content Marketing, Digital Advertising, Influencer Marketing

It happens almost every single time. I’m finally settling in to stream a few episodes before I go to bed for the day. I fire up the old Netflix machine and there it is… options… lots of them.

There are shows I’ve seen before that I might want to watch again. Genres that I’m interested in. Highly rated shows. Maybe I watch one of those trending shows that everyone is talking about? I mean I’ve never seen that Making a Murderer show… did I miss out on that one? My mind continues to jump around with the unlimited options in front of me.

When you have virtually unlimited options in front of you it’s almost impossible to make a choice. This is probably why I’ve watched the American version of the Office about one million times (either that or it’s a really good show).

Joshua Nite

Final Boarding Call for Content Marketing World: Don’t Miss these 10 Presentations

Joshua Nite on Aug 30th, 2017     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Does anyone look forward to getting on an airplane anymore? Sure, you may be excited about where you’re going or what you plan to do when you get there. But anyone happily anticipating the screening, boarding, and flying part—well, I’ll have whatever vitamin supplement they’re on.

If you’re headed to Content Marketing World, odds are there’s a flight in your immediate future. Fortunately, this trip is definitely worth the hassle. Just keep in mind how much you’re about to learn, how many amazing marketers you’re about to meet, and you can smile your way through the unpleasantness.

Kevin Cotch

Create Ranking Content by Conquering Competitive Keywords

Kevin Cotch     Content Marketing, SEO

Learn how to Conquer Competitive Keywords

Content marketing and SEO have become more challenging over the last couple years. But why? SEO has become more data driven to help search marketers prioritize what keywords they should be targeting and how to setup a proper strategy. Additionally, the increase in digital competition and investment from companies has had a significant impact.

To conquer any keyword you want to rank for, there are multiple steps that you should take as a marketer to see the best return on your investment. SEO still works and is not “dead.” Instead, SEO takes patience and dedication to see the results that you are expecting. There are no silver bullets for search engine optimization. With that being said, let’s go through the steps to rank for competitive keywords.

Joshua Nite

How to Get Started with Video Content Marketing (Without a Blockbuster Budget)

Joshua Nite     Content Marketing, Visual Marketing

Back in my day, all online content was text-based. If you had two animated .GIFs on a website, you had to wait 30 seconds for the site to load. Four .jpgs on a site would crash your browser. We were grateful when posts were just words! We didn’t whine about “visual stimulation” or “content variety” back then, let me tell you.

Of course, we also dressed like this:

So maybe we didn’t get everything right. For better or for worse, the early days of the Internet are long gone, and modern consumers want video content. Over half of all people online watch videos daily. And they’re not just watching cat videos and Jimmy Fallon clips: 59% of executives say if text and video are available on the same topic, they prefer the video. And 54% of senior executives share work-related videos with colleagues weekly.

Caitlin Burgess

6 Quick & Dirty SEO Research Tips for B2B Content Planning

Caitlin Burgess     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, SEO

When it comes to crafting compelling content that informs, engages and inspires action, seasoned B2B digital and content marketers know our content needs to captivate both humans and search engines to be effective. After all, 81% of B2B decision makers conduct research before reaching out to a vendor, so we know our content needs to meet them whenever and wherever they’re searching.

As a result, striking that “perfect balance” between SEO and user experience is a must—and that perfect balance is rooted in the content planning stage.

“SEO needs to be baked into the process early so that the optimization is as natural as possible,” Kevin Cotch, TopRank Marketing SEO analyst, says. “It can’t be treated as an afterthought. It’s not only more efficient to do your research up front, but it also enhances the content by helping you touch on the specific phrases your audience is using to search to solve their pain points or answer their questions.”

Caitlin Burgess

Behind the Marketing Curtain: An Interview With Comedian, Marketer Tim Washer

Caitlin Burgess     Content Marketing, Video

As we marketers long to make meaningful connections with our audience, we often look deep into our figurative crystal balls in hopes of finding a way to lay an irresistible field of content that will trap their attention. Unfortunately, we can end up putting our audience to sleep—leaving the door open for more colorful characters to swoop in and carry them away.

So, how can we take to the sky and get our audience to surrender to our content? By crafting a  narrative that has empathy, humility and wit. And there’s certainly no better person to look to for inspiration than comedic treasure Tim Washer, Creative Director of Marketing for the Service Provider Division for Cisco.

Anne Leuman

How 6 B2B Brands Climbed to New Heights with Content Marketing

Anne Leuman     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Eighty percent of the fastest growing B2B companies employ content marketing, according to data from Mattermark and Drift.com. But not all B2B marketers are seeing fast results.

In fact, the Content Marketing Institute surveyed B2B marketers and found that only 34% of them believe their content marketing strategies were effective or extremely effective. The remaining 66% of B2B marketers feel their content marketing efforts are unsuccessful.

If you’re among those 66 percent-ers, it’s okay. After all, failure is just a stepping stone on the path to success. To help you recalibrate your content strategy for high-flying results, we’ve highlighted how six B2B brands use content marketing to fuel their business and what you can learn from each one.

#1 – Cisco

Caitlin Burgess

New Report: 5 Statistics You Need to Know on How Content Influences Purchases

Caitlin Burgess     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

These days there’s no question that great content is a foundational element of any marketing strategy—especially in B2B. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) 2017 benchmarking report, 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing to “attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

And thanks to yet another insightful report from CMI—the latter objective is our focus today.

Last week, CMI and SmartBrief released their How Content Influences the Purchasing Process report, featuring data and insights collected from 1,200 SmartBrief subscribers. The aim of the report was to dig into the minds of those who are actually consuming content, and uncover what types of content are most influential, how decision-makers perceive vendor content, and more.