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 Curation Definitions & Context for Content Marketing

content curationCompanies are realizing the value in “brands as publishers” and are making real commitments to the creation of content in their online marketing mix. It’s no longer enough to provide fundamental features and benefits information about products and services to succeed competitively online. Consumers and of course, business buyers, seek additional information, resources and others to connect with on the topics of interest to them.  Some companies choose a pure creation strategy and find it to be a formidable undertaking, especially creating unique and valuable content over a long period of time.

Within the field of content marketing, curation is becoming a popular topic of discussion. Blending a mix of new content with the filtering and management of other useful information streams is a productive and manageable solution for providing prospective customers a steady stream of high quality and relevant content.  Pure creation is demanding. Pure automation doesn’t engage. Curating content can provide the best of both.

Lee Odden

Beyond Google: SEO and the Social Web

google88 billion (OK, 87.8, we rounded up). That’s the number of search queries Google web properties are responsible for each month according to comScore.

Core to many search marketing strategies is to “Fish where the fish are” and make no mistake, the fish are decidedly hanging out on Google. YouTube, Gmail, Blogger.com and many other online services from Google make its presence ubiquotous in the online marketing world.

Now imagine if Google disappeared tomorrow. What would that do to your marketing? What would it do to your business?

Some of the people reading this post have experienced such a disappearance. Not of Google going away, but the experience of their own sites or pages disappearing from high visibility positions within Google search results.

Lee Odden

B2B Search Engine Optimization: Focus on Content SEO

MarketingProfs B2B Forum is coming up quickly next week and I will be presenting about an hour of essential search engine optimization tips and insight specifically for B2B web sites along with Vocus Product Manager of PRWeb, Jiyan Wei.

There’s a tremendous opportunity for B2B marketers to leverage SEO to increase prospect acquisition and to facilitate after the sale support and upgrades.  Most B2B marketers create a substantial amount of content to guide prospects through sales cycles that are much longer than companies selling consumer products/services.

Lee Odden

Key Questions to Optimize Your Content Marketing Strategy

I’ve been thinking about how entering the content marketing space is not for the faint of heart. It can be a signifcant undertaking both in terms of resources and a change in an organization’s approach to marketing and sales. Obviously, content marketing is better for some companies and industries than others. Outside help also makes a difference.

While increasing numbers of companies are realizing they  must provide more than product information to satisfy customers, many of those same companies fail by implementing random tactics and missing out on benefits like better search visibility.

In order to take full advantage of the significant gains in search traffic that are available with a content focused marketing effort, it’s essential to answer some key questions:

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: