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.

 

TopRank Marketing Editor

5 Ways to Leverage Real Time Search in Your Online Marketing Mix

real-time searchSince late 2009 when Google introduced real time search, the concept has gained a lot of attention.

Today, real time search is at the top of the priority lists for all the major search engines – Google, Bing and Yahoo!.

As part of the new technology, Google is combining live updates from sites like Twitter with the latest news headlines and blog posts in search results.

For web searchers, real time search means the ability to discover breaking news the minute it’s happening.

For marketers, it presents a whole host of opportunities to increase online visibility. Here, we’ve provided five ways to leverage real time search in your online marketing efforts.

 

TopRank Marketing Editor

5 Tips for Better B2B Branding

Think branding only falls in the B2C court? Think again.

In fact, three of the top 10 brands in 2009, as ranked by Interbrand, generate a sizable amount of revenue from their B2B customers: IBM, Microsoft and GE.

As a B2B marketer your brand is your most valuable asset.

B2B branding is less about cool, hip monikers (the Apples and Starbucks of the world) – and more about thought leadership.

Particularly in down economies, B2B prospects and customers conduct significant research leading up to purchases. That means you as a marketer have to educate them early on, and establish your brand as a trusted resource that gets their problems and has the solution.

To help your organization be seen as the thought leader it is, we’ve identified five B2B branding tips:

TopRank Marketing Editor

How To Develop Great Content – SESNY

At Online Marketing Blog, content marketing is frequently a hot topic.  And with good reason:  it’s a vital skill for marketers. Not only do we at TopRank Online Marketing see great results implementing content marketing for clients, but the industry as a whole sees it as a clear trend.  Consider the following stats:

  • 6 in 10 marketers plan to spend more on content marketing in 2010.
  • 71% of bloggers who maintain blogs for a business – their own or one they work for – report that they have increased their visibility within their industries through their blogs (as just one example of content marketing in action).
  • Content marketing plays an integral role in many of the top digital marketing tactics marketers implemented in 2009.
Lee Odden

10 Steps to Optimize Your Content Marketing Strategy

SES New York kicked off with an excellent keynote presentation by David Meerman Scott (interview) followed by a panel on Digital Asset Optimization including Mark Knowles, Chris Boggs and myself. Richard Zwicky moderated.

The rising importance of optimizing one’s digital assets came out of Google and other search engines’ decision to start including information and file types from other sources than their main search index. Some queries trigger search results that go beyond web pages, MS Office docs and PDF files to include sources such as images, blog posts, news, video thumbnails, books and shopping.

While many SEOs were responding to the changed landscape of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and optimizing for other file types, many others were already optimizing holistically under the premise of, “What can be searched on can be optimized“.

Lee Odden

12 Tips on Live Blogging & Content Marketing at SXSWi

So here I sit in the DFW airport hanging out with David Berkowitz and Joe Morin waiting for my connection to Austin. What better way to spend that 45 min than to write a helpful blog post? A big part of my “mission” for SXSXi is to create content after all.

I have several other goals like networking (reconnecting and especially new contacts), competitive research, recruiting and potential client prospecting. But content marketing is our bread and butter. It can be an effective tactic for you too, especially if you can learn to be highly efficient at liveblogging conferences.

Here are a few tips that will not only give you a tested and proven guideline but should improve your efficiency and quality of output.

TopRank Marketing Editor

5 Sure Fire Tactics to Promote a Business Blog

Relevant, Consistently Updated Content + Flawless Technical Functionality & User Experience = Perfect Blog Launch

What’s missing from the equation above? You guessed it: blog promotion.

Creating a glitch-free blog with informative content means next to nothing without attracting readers.

Start promoting your blog today with these five effective tips:

1. Involve influential industry bloggers.

By linking to popular blogs, you can gain the attention of both the influential blogger and his or her readers.

But your blog won’t be the only one to benefit. You’ll be giving the other blog a little link juice – and be paying them a compliment at the same time.

Try out a few of these ideas for leveraging other blogs:

TopRank Marketing Editor

10 Tips For Content Marketing Success

TopRank Marketing Editor     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

As more companies, marketers and industry professionals flood the web with content, the value of those with a true understanding of content marketing keeps going up. More noise increases the value of signal. If your content marketing defines you as that source of signal, you’ll consistently be found, referenced and chosen ahead of competitors. With 6 in 10 marketers spending more on content marketing in 2010, now, more than ever, is the time to find where content fits within your marketing strategy.

Some statistics from Technorati’s 2009 state of the blogosphere back up the efficacy of content marketing:

  • 15% of bloggers say they are paid to give speeches on the topics they blog about
Lee Odden

How to Source Content on Twitter

With the increasing emphasis on content marketing for both SEO and Social Media, I thought I’d offer some specific tips on dealing with one of the most prevalent issues companies face in this area:  long term sourcing of content.  While we’ve written about content sourcing for corporate blogs in the past, but this post will emphasize how to use social media darling Twitter to find a goldmine of useful resources, tips and information that your customers will love and keep coming back for more.

The irony here is that there’s been speculation as to whether the growing popularity of Twitter has reduced the effectiveness and popularity of blogging. The reality is that Twitter and blogging compliment each other exceptionally well. Here are 5 tips on how to use Twitter to do just that:

Lee Odden

A Challenge: Content or Die

Time after time, when I discuss the search and social media based opportunities for companies to reach new customers and achieve other online communications goals, it comes down to content.  Most companies understand the need to have a web presence and publish some kind of web site. For many, the creation of a web site is a one time event with minimal updates. Marketing budgets are tight and companies are frugal.

For the most part, updates and new content on many web sites are limited to news, an occasional press release or product announcement. Site owners are happy with the design and employees are happy they don’t need to come up with new content. IT staff do whatever they can to minimize site maintenance (which often means shortcuts or templatization that makes page level editing difficult). Essentially, this kind of web site with static content is a tombstone when it comes to being a search marketing asset.

TopRank Marketing Editor

How to Write Compelling Social News Headlines

Crafting unmissable headlines which resonate with social web users is something which appears deceptively simple. Yet it’s an art form requiring writers, bloggers and marketers to craft thousands of headlines to perfect.

As someone who has been successful with creating content that goes hot across social channels I’ve come to appreciate the art and challenge of crafting sticky headlines. In fact, crafting headlines is equally if not more challenging than leads and even content itself.

Something many bloggers have down, but communications professionals aren’t always fluent in, is the art of crafting headlines specifically for social news sites/users. While there is no one formula for success, I’m going to share 5 things I’ve learned from experience as a blogger, social news user, PR pro and marketer.

TopRank Marketing Editor

5 SEO Tips for Online Retailers

Retail SEO

Online retail websites face a unique set of obstacles when it comes to improving sales through better search engine visibility.  Repetitive product descriptions, a lack of content and frequent churn of products can all be hurdles to overcome. But with these specific tips for retail search engine optimization, online retailers can turn those challenges into opportunities and maximize their organic search traffic.

1. Add fresh content to the website. Many online retail websites focus on selling products rather than informing and providing value to customers, and hence severely lack content. It’s a good idea to include pages on a retail site that are purely content-based. Not only will informative, optimized content improve search rankings, it can help retailers sell more products by engaging customers.

TopRank Marketing Editor

5 Tips for Making a Corporate Blog Stand Out

These days it seems as if every corporation has tried its hand at blogging. The more corporate blogs that exist in the blogosphere, the more difficult it becomes to gain blog subscribers by creating one that’s truly unique. To ensure your corporate blog stands out from the crowd, follow these 5 tips:

1. Talk about something other than yourself. Too many corporate marketers make the mistake of creating blogs as purely another mechanism to talk about their products and services. While increased sales and improved brand visibility may be two fundamental goals of a corporate blog, there are more effective ways for achieving those goals that just pushing product.

The most successful corporate blogs leverage product and service information with relevant industry news, human interest pieces, case studies and other useful information. That balance is what keeps readers coming back time and again.