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

SEO Strategies for Content Marketers – Hub and Spoke Content Amplification

SEO Strategy Content Marketing

Hub & Spoke Content & Social Media Publishing

While there’s plenty of great Search Engine Optimization advice being published daily on blogs and industry websites, there’s not as much from a content marketer’s perspective.  Having been in the SEO game for over 10 years, I know there’s a tendency to give recommendations that focus on web pages, code, links and what those things mean, specific to search engines. There’s an increasing social media component to these audits too. Most SEOs will read that and say, “Of course, what else do you need?”

Lee Odden

Marketing Content During the Customer Lifecycle

Lifecycle MarketingWe’ve established the value of content marketing here through many different posts. Most of the focus has been on creating value from content at the top of the funnel in a buying cycle. That’s where a lot of marketing dollars are focused and it’s an area of focus for the consulting offered by many online marketing agencies.

Content is the source of why search engines exist and therefore, essential for any discussion of SEO. Content is also the means through which brands engage customers on the social web through helpful information, resources, advertorial and even entertainment.

Another perspective to consider is that when brands and individuals share information on social networks and media sharing sites the outcome is content. There are many ways to be more effective with social content creation, sharing and engagement that marketers are not taking advantage of.

Lee Odden

The Value of Storytelling & Persuasion in Content Marketing

While taking a short flight from Auckland to Queenstown, NZ I was thinking about the role of content as a tool of persuasion. Let me know what you think:

In every marketplace, when something new like technology comes along that requires a change in behavior, there’s a fairly predictable range of responses. Based on original research represented by Everett Rogers Technology Adoption Lifecycle that means: Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority and Laggards.

Everett Rogers Technology Adoption Lifecycle

Image Credit: Wikipedia

I think there are some interesting implications for content and storytelling when it comes to influence on adoption of technology.

Let’s say you have an objective of persuading a group of potential customers to adopt a certain technology for marketing.  One of the first steps is to profile those potential customers in terms of demographics and behaviors. A few key questions to be answered:

Lee Odden

10 Steps to Better Content Marketing & SEO

Lee Odden     Content Marketing, SEO

content marketing optimizationHow would you rate your content marketing efforts? How well are you incorporating SEO and Social Media? If you’re not sure or need to improve, read on.

We’re big fans of content marketing as you probably know and there’s a presentation on Content Marketing Optimization that I’ve been doing at search conferences lately (SES SF, SES CHI, Pubcon and soon SES London) that has evolved each time I give it. See the bottom of this post for an embedded copy of the latest version from Pubcon.

While there are an increasing number of definitions of what content marketing is, I tend to prefer:

Content Marketing: Aligning customer and brand objectives through content.

While the primary platforms for our application of this definition are online and more specifically, through search, social, online PR, email and certain kinds of advertising, I think a timelessly relevant definition needs to be general.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Essential Tips for Social Media & Content Marketing

TopRank Marketing Editor     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media

marketo user summitContent marketing is essential for B2B businesses providing both qualitative and quantitative returns.  And while 6 in 10 marketers are planning to increase content marketing spends this year, success-rates still vary greatly as it’s a new concept for most.

Maria Pergolino, director of marketing for Marketo (a TopRank Online Marketing client) shared a presentation at the Marketo User Summit on getting the message out, focused on social media and content marketing tips/tricks.

How do you succeed in content marketing?

  • Create content that sells
  • Create a content map
  • Optimize content for search
  • Repurpose content
  • Learn to succeed even in situations with little or no content
Lee Odden

Content Marketing Book Review: Audience, Relevance and Search

audience relevance searchA few months ago, the PR folks working with IBM Press sent me a copy of “Audience, Relevance and Search: Targeting Web Audiences with Relevant Content” by a trio of authors: James Mathewson, Frank Donatone and Cynthia Fishel. I have somewhat of a connection with IBM Press because of editing the Social Media Marketing chapter of Mike Moran and Bill Hunt’s Search Engine Marketing Inc., 2nd Edition. (Interview)

Funny Story: Fast forward to Oct 13th and I’m on my way through the MSP airport to catch a plane to Las Vegas where I’m speaking at Blog World New Media Expo. I complain on Twitter about $36/day parking (highway robbery in my book) and James Mathewson chimed in with advice on parking at Terminal 2. Ironically, the book I picked out to read on the plan was Mathewson’s “Audience Relevance and Search”. On top of that, James is a fellow Minnesotan and we’ve never met or had any kind of correspondence before. Writing this review was simply meant to be 🙂

Lee Odden

B2B Online Marketing Trifecta: Content, Social Media & SEO

social seo content marketingB2B Marketing offers a variety of choices for reaching customers wherever they are in the buying cycle.  Make no mistake, buyer behaviors towards information discovery, consumption and sharing online have been significantly affected by changes in social technology.

At a conference I recently spoke at, an attendee made a statement that social media only works for consumer marketing. The reality many marketers forget, is that B2B buyers are people too.  They have the same social needs and influences as anyone else. Social media, in my opinion and experience, is a great fit for business to business marketing.

Lee Odden

6 Tips For Making Content Pop on the Social Web

content marketing social webWith the growing momentum of content marketing, a lot of companies get hung up on making investments in quality articles, white papers, videos and other media only to find they’re not getting much traction. I’ve heard it time and time again at conferences in discussions with brand marketers where they’ve invested in creating great content and digital assets but are frustrated at the lack of reach.

Over the past 6 1/2 years of blogging, followed by contributing articles, posting videos, photos, PowerPoint slides, reports in PDF format and other types of content publishing for our own agency and for clients, here are a few guidelines that stand out for helping content get better reach.

Lee Odden

Everything I Know About Marketing I Learned from Google

Everything I Know About Marketing I Learned from GoogleAaron Goldman is an accomplished digital marketer that I know through MediaPost’s Search Insider Summit conference. He reached out to me while writing his new book, “Everything I Know About Marketing I Learned from Google”, and asked if I’d like to contribute. Such a request is a great honor to me but unfortunately, I never did end up sending anything to Aaron even though he was incredibly patient and went out of his way to make it easy.

I know what you’re thinking: Smart AND nice guy? Yes indeed, that’s Aaron and now he’s on a blog tour to promote his new book, graciously stopping by Online Marketing Blog with a video recognizing how TopRank Online Marketing “Acts Like Content” (Chapter 7) as well as offering insights from the book on the value of content for marketing. Overall, the book offers 20 lessons “straight from Google’s playbook” that I think you’ll get a lot of value from. Check out the video:

Lee Odden

Social Media SEO Success with Blogging

Army Golden Knights

Army Golden Knights: SFC Dave Herwig (@gkdave), SGM Steve Young (@gksteve), LTC Joe Martin (gkjoe)

My presentation on how to leverage Social Media SEO to improve the reach and effectiveness of blog content for marketing at OpenCa.mp DFW this weekend ended up being a lot of information in a very short period of time. The use of a video interview I did with Brian Clark as the segue into my presentation ate into some of the 30 minutes I had to present plus I simply had too many slides.

(Thanks to Lt Colonel Joe Martin for the photo taken right after the presentation. His team were literally sponges for information at the event.)

Lee Odden

Brian Clark on Content Marketing with Blogs

Brian Clark CopybloggerOpenCamp’s Sunday schedule included presentations on blogging that included Chris Pirillo, Brian Clark and myself. I caught up with Brian before he gave his presentation to give us a little preview. John P. ended up using the video as the segue between Brian and I as we changed microphones.

Watch as Brian talks about the importance of planning content and understanding its purpose in order to be effective with blog copywriting. He also mentioned that traditional media is still doing some things right and we new media types would do well to identify what those things are and use that insight for our own publishing and content marketing efforts.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Blog Marketing & SEO: A Recipe For Success At SES SF

Lee Odden & Sally Falkow At SES San FranciscoIt’s been several years since I have seen TopRank CEO Lee Odden contribute to the panel ‘SEO Through Blogs & Feeds,’ so I was eager to sit in on this session to close out my first day at this year’s SES San Francisco.

Joining Odden on his panel, moderated by Craig Macdonald, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Covario, was PRESSfeed President Sally Falkow.

As Odden states, creation and promotion of a successful business blog is just as simple and just as complex as planning a friendly dinner party. How, exactly? More on that shortly.

While Odden opened the session, let’s begin with insight from Falkow as her remarks help expand the notion of traditional blogging.

“According to Google,” Falkow states, “a blog is simply a webpage with a feed.”