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.

 

Knute Sands

[eBook] Easy-as-Pie Guide to Content Planning: 3 Recipes for Success

Knute Sands on May 25th, 2016     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

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Ever been to a busy restaurant and waited what seemed like forever for your food to arrive? Or, bought a loaf of bread only to bring it home and realize it was stale? It’s not easy to run a restaurant, or churn out dozens of perfect pastries. Cooking up quality content isn’t easy either. Much like crafting a perfect pastry, creating content that inspires an audience to action takes great skill.

Truthfully, most content kitchens are facing big problems. According to Content Marketing Institute, a mere 30% of B2B marketers and 38% of B2C marketers feel their content marketing is effective. Which is why we partnered up with DivvyHQ and created an eBook to help content marketers take their content planning from messy to simple.

Caitlin Burgess

6 Ways to Use Video to Add More Value to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Caitlin Burgess on May 18th, 2016     Content Marketing, Video

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Humans are highly visual beings, so it’s certainly no surprise that online video content is becoming a favorite source of information and entertainment across the digital landscape—and it shows no signs of slowing down.

According to a HighQ infographic, experts believe that 69% of consumer Internet traffic will be from video by 2017—and that number will rise to 79% by 2018. As a result, video is becoming an increasingly important tool for marketers as they work to capture audience attention, provide value and increase engagement across their digital properties. In fact, the same infographic reports that 52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.

Ashley Zeckman

LinkedIn Publishing: 3 Tips for Creating Better Content & 6 Marketers Setting a Great Example

Ashley Zeckman on May 17th, 2016     Content Marketing, LinkedIn, Online Marketing

 

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Let’s face it, our online audiences are being force fed an incredible amount of content on a daily basis. Sadly, it doesn’t matter if they bookmark or subscribe to blogs, find things in search or locate articles in their Twitter or Facebook feeds; it’s overwhelming.

And it’s not going to slow down. In fact, 76% of marketers recently surveyed shared that they planned to create even more content in the coming year.

Part of the problem is that despite best efforts, content is not always as targeted as it should be. So while readers may stumble into an article thinking it can help solve their problems, they often make it halfway through the content before realizing the material is not for them (hopefully that is not happening in the case of this article).

Joshua Nite

8 Ways to Build Credibility & Trust with Content Marketing

Joshua Nite on May 16th, 2016     Content Marketing

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Imagine if the Nigerian prince—you know, the one spamming your email—really did have millions of dollars he needed to smuggle out of the country. Imagine he was legitimately offering you a generous portion of the cash to help you out. Think how sad and baffled he would be as yet another email went unanswered, even unopened. His motives are pure—but he lacks credibility, and so he cries himself to sleep on a mountain of landlocked money.

You are offering something of value to your audience (aren’t you?). You’re striving to be authentic and transparent and customer-centric and every other buzzword. But like the theoretical Nigerian prince, your content can be ignored if you don’t establish credibility and build trust.

Joshua Nite

Hello, It’s Me: How to Add Conversation Back Into Content Marketing

Joshua Nite on May 3rd, 2016     Content Marketing

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It was the video sensation of last year, currently sitting at over a billion views on YouTube. It features a smoky-voiced chanteuse in a big fur coat and a thoroughly obsolete flip-phone. And it’s a great example of what’s wrong with the current state of content marketing.

I’m referring, naturally, to Adele’s video for “Hello.” In case you missed it, or any of the hundreds of covers and parodies that it inspired, here it is:

Ostensibly, the song is about trying to make a connection with an old flame. But if you listen closely, it’s the most one-sided conversation imaginable. “Hello, it’s me,” Adele sings. “I’ve been wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet…they say time’s supposed to heal you, but I ain’t done much healing.” Notice how many times she says “I” in those opening lines?

Lee Odden

38 B2B Content Marketing Case Studies for 2016

Lee Odden on Apr 26th, 2016     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

B2B Content MarketingThere was a popular article on TechCrunch recently claiming marketers in the inbound and content marketing space have no idea what they are doing and don’t know marketing. For some, that might be true.

When you’re not viewing the world through the lens of a cynic, it’s amazing what you see. Marketers at companies all over the world are planning, implementing and optimizing customer and content centric marketing programs that are achieving results.

For example, each year at the Content 2 Conversion conference, the Killer Content Awards recognize B2B marketers implementing effective content marketing campaigns. And each year, we highlight many of those examples here.

Ashley Zeckman

Keeping it Real with Content Marketing: Why Integrity, Storytelling & Creativity Reign Supreme

Ashley Zeckman on Apr 12th, 2016     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

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Marketing is often seen as a game. A game in which the marketers are the strategists and the customers are the pawns. Unfortunately, that is a game in which nobody wins. Marketers may feel a quick rush due to their success but customers that feel duped or mislead will surely, and quickly spread news of foul marketing practices.

There is no shortcut to providing value to customers through your marketing. In fact, now more than ever self-directed buyers are relying on the content they read online to lead their purchasing decisions and if something “feels fishy” they’ll quickly move on to a more reputable source.

Because of the amount of content being created today, that also means that not only integrity, but creativity and storytelling are an incredibly important part of creating content that connects your customers to your brand.

Caitlin Burgess

Learn How to Create a Better Customer Experience with Omni-Channel Marketing

Caitlin Burgess     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

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In today’s world, the customer experience extends beyond the walls of a brick and mortar store. Customers engage with your brand through content that’s spread across multiple channels and accessed by multiple devices. And with so many possible touch points, it’s becoming increasingly important for brands to ensure consistency throughout–especially for their millennial audience.

A survey by SLD, a customer experience software and services provider, revealed that 44% of millennials surveyed expect their experience to be consistent across all devices. In addition, 60% said that they expect the same experience across all customer touch points–from phone service to in-store and digital interactions.

So how do you create that consistent customer experience? Through omni-channel marketing.

Caitlin Burgess

What is a Content Marketing Strategy (And Why Do I Need One?)

Caitlin Burgess     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

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With traditional marketing tactics becoming less effective as the Internet breeds more self-guided buyers, content marketing has risen up to provide marketers with another way to engage with their target audience.

Rather than pushing out a one-size-fits-all message, content marketing allows you to give your audience tailored, relevant and meaningful information. It helps you build a trusting relationship with your audience–often times before they even become a customer.

But just because you do content marketing, doesn’t mean you’re doing it effectively. According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs annual research report, 55% of marketers said they didn’t know what content marketing success or effectiveness looked like. This is where a content marketing strategy can help you define a path to successful content creation.

Ashley Zeckman

Learn Where Influencer Marketing Fits in the B2B Customer Journey

Ashley Zeckman     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

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When you lose a potential customer to a competitor it can leave you reeling with questions and wondering what they did to set themselves apart and how they did it. Companies that work hard to be the best answer wherever their customers are looking and build trust and credibility early in the sales cycle are typically those that win new business when it comes time for customers to make a decision.

One way that brands can begin building trust and credibility early on with prospects is to incorporate influencers into content meant to represent different stages of the buying cycle. In fact, recent research has found that 51% of marketers believe that incorporating influencers into their marketing helps them get better customers.

Caitlin Burgess

What is Content Marketing? Definition, Examples & Resources for Learning More

Caitlin Burgess     Content Marketing

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Thanks to the rise of the Internet, today’s consumers are much more self-directed in their buying journey. With so much information at their fingertips, they’re taking the research reigns and using the information they discover to make their purchasing decisions. In fact, research shows that B2B buyers conduct an average of 12 searches before ever going to a brand’s site.

Of course, this means that traditional advertising and marketing techniques are becoming less effective, and many marketers are looking for another way to successfully reach their audiences. And that way is through content marketing.

What is content marketing?

Let’s dive in.

Joshua Nite

Embody the Form: How to Master SEO & Influencer Marketing

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Here’s a parable about SEO and influencer marketing mastery:

I can play the guitar. If there’s no one else in the room who knows anything about guitar, I can pass for a guitarist. Give me a chord sheet for your song of choice, and I can lead a sing-along like nobody’s business. Unless there are weird chords like C#m7, of course.

Stevie Ray Vaughan could also play guitar. In his hands, the guitar seemed like a living creature. It moaned; it wailed; it could sound happy or sad or righteously ticked off. Give him a backbeat and a bass line, and his fingers could fly up and down the fretboard, no chord sheet required.

So what’s the difference between my clumsy strumming and Stevie’s divine riffing? Mastery.