Lee Odden

Enterprise Content Marketing Strategy: Ready, Set, Action! Carlos Abler of 3M #CMWorld

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Long ago, I received the best business advice for accelerating performance: Find the smartest people in the industry and learn from them.

Whether you’re a budding director with dreams of the big screen or the director of marketing charged with scaling content across the enterprise, finding the right people to learn from is essential. When it comes to content marketing, you really can’t go wrong with Carlos Abler from 3M.

Carlos is the Leader of Content Marketing and Strategy: Global eTransformation at 3M where he developed the Enterprise Content Strategy and Marketing Acceleration program. You may have heard him interviewed for the Content Marketing Institute’s Pivot Podcast or seen him present at a number of content marketing conferences. In September, Carlos will be presenting at the 2015 Content Marketing World.

Lee Odden

Interview: Content Strategy Words of Wisdom from Kristina Halvorson #CMWorld

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When it comes to content strategy for the web, Kristina Halvorson wrote the book. Literally. Now in its second edition, Content Strategy for the Web is widely recognized as the go-to resource for content strategists all over the world. Kristina is also the CEO and Founder of Brain Traffic, and the founder of the Confab conference series.

We sat down with Kristina in advance of her upcoming keynote presentation at Content Marketing World (September 8-11) for her no-nonsense, no-holds-barred-or-prisoners-taken opinion on the current state of content marketing. Read on for her thoughts on challenges content marketers face, how to really listen to customers, and why a sensible marketing approach is better than a sexy one.

When you first founded Brain Traffic, were you planning on becoming a content strategist?

Ashley Zeckman

13 Marketing Stars Show The Big Picture of Content Marketing Strategy

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“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says, ‘I’m possible!’” –Audrey Hepburn

Content marketing can quickly become a whirlwind of creation, promotion and evolution of tactics. New platforms are constantly popping up and directives can change at the top of a hat. So, it’s no surprise when content campaigns become disorganized and lose focus.

If your content marketing isn’t having the impact it could, you’re not alone: Only 37% of B2C and 38% of B2B marketers say their content marketing is effective.

If you are in the vast majority of marketers who aren’t sure their performance is Oscar-worthy, the Content Marketing Institute is here to help with a dose of old-school Hollywood magic.

Jesse Pickrain

Creating Content That Drives Revenue: Jason Miller and Shafqat Islam

Jason Miller and Shafqat Islam

It’s another packed house in the ROI track with LinkedIn’s Jason Miller and NewsCred’s Shafqat Islam taking the stage after Shane Snow’s inspiring session. The duo did not disappoint. When it was over, the gentleman seated behind me said, “that was the best presentation I’ve seen yet.” The gentleman next to him concurred.

Shafqat kicked it off with a fantastic segue from Shane Snow’s Che Guevara story, telling the crowd about the Che poster he proudly displayed on his wall when he was younger. He then cited the following George Bernard Shaw quote:

If at age 20 you are not a communist then you have no heart. If at age 30 you are not a capitalist then you have no brains.

Jesse Pickrain

Three Stories That Will Help Content Marketers Win With Storytelling

Shane Snow

Back in August of ’13, Contently co-founder Shane Snow wrote the following in a LinkedIn Influencer post:

“Every few minutes, a new buzzword rips through the business world, skids, gets a few books written on it, and ends up in a pile of tired terms next to ‘synergy.’ Today, one of the biggest corporate buzzwords is ‘storytelling.’ Marketers are obsessed with storytelling and conference panels on the subject have fewer empty seats than a Bieber concert.

Funny thing is, storytelling has been the buzzword off and on since advertising became a thing. It’s always coming out of the buzzword pile because, at the end of the day, storytelling is a skill. Stories have been an essential driver of change throughout human history. For good and for ill.”

Jesse Pickrain

TopRank’s Lee Odden Tackles Influencer Marketing in 5 Simple Steps

Lee Odden

At the largest content marketing conference in the world, over 2,500 attendees from 50+ countries converged on Cleveland, Ohio this week to learn about all things content marketing. Our agency, TopRank Online Marketing, has been involved with CMWorld since day one: presenting every year for the past 4 years as well as helping to market the conference through influencer eBooks. Saying we’re big fans of the event is an understatement.

As it happens, my first session at Content Marketing World was presented by our CEO, Lee Odden on the topic of influencers and content marketing.

What is an influencer? In a recent interview featured in Ann Handley’s Entrepreneur Magazine column, Lee described influencers as having “subject matter authority, credibility amongst a network and most importantly, the ability to affect actions amongst a network.”

Lee Odden

5 Ways to Optimize Your Content Marketing World Experience

Lee Odden     Content Marketing World

Joe Pulizzi

Content Marketing World is here! Over 2,500 attendees from over 50 countries have invaded Cleveland for the biggest, baddest and best content marketing conference on the planet. With nearly 200 speakers, including a keynote from famed actor, director and producer Kevin Spacey, there’s a lot to look forward to. Multiple tracks of sessions to attend, networking events and the exhibit hall can all seem a bit overwhelming.

But here’s the thing about events: If you think you’re getting your money’s worth just by sitting in on a few sessions and mingling on the tradeshow floor, you’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg. We’ve been mastering the art of optimizing event attendance for maximum return for many years. Here are 5 ways you can use those insights to optimize your experience at Content Marketing World:

Lee Odden

Infographic: Achieve Real Content Marketing ROI – 10 Tips from CMI, Dell, Kraft Foods, Curata, NewsCred

Content Marketing ROI

Understand Why Before ROI with Content Marketing

The rush towards the content marketing bandwagon can seem as chaotic and nonsensical as most of the adventures of Alice in Wonderland. There are Cheshire Cats offering ambiguous advice and Red Queen business managers demanding results now or, “off with their heads!”

There is no satisfaction from investing in creating more content if the purpose (or porpoise) is not clear. This is why “the why” of content marketing is so important.  Joe Pulizzi makes this quite clear with his recommendations in the Content Marketing ROI eBook:

To see if you’re on the right path, use the Why? Exercise:

Lee Odden

Content Marketing ROI eBook

Content Marketing ROI

We must hold ourselves accountable to higher level KPIs so we can stop fighting for our discipline and start fighting for more budget. Julie Fleischer @jfly

The most elusive of white rabbits in the content marketing world seems to be the question of how to best measure ROI. According to a study by CMI and MarketingProfs, over 50% of marketers are investing more budget in content marketing and the most effective marketers spend more than double than the least effective marketers. While budgets are moving in the right direction, measuring ROI still has some progress to make. According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing study, less than 50% of marketers can confirm content marketing’s positive ROI.

Lee Odden

Lessons on Marketing Strategy and Content Marketing ROI – Michael Brenner Interview

Michael Brenner interview

One of the key players and innovators in the world of content marketing is Michael Brenner. During his time at SAP as Vice President of Marketing & Content Strategy and the Managing Editor for the SAP Business Innovation site, Michael also co-created one of the most popular B2B marketing websites, Business to Community.

Today, you’ll find him working as Head of Strategy at NewsCred as well as writing for his B2B Marketing Insider blog. We’ve covered Michael’s B2B marketing presentations in the past and it was great to catch up with him for this interview.

In the lead up to Content Marketing World, our discussion with Michael touches on some of the key questions marketers are trying to tackle, from developing a strategy to growing an audience to the importance of measuring content marketing performance. Michael also shares a business lesson from one of his favorite childhood stories.

Lee Odden

Infographic: Create Better Visual Content – 10 Tips from EMC, Cisco, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Tumblr

Visual Content Marketing Infographic

“And what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversation?”  Alice in Wonderland

Tell me something. When you look at your email inbox, feed reader or favorite social network, are you underwhelmed with information?

I didn’t think so.

It’s funny to think that way back when, you could get up and grab a cup of coffee while your email downloaded though a dial up connection. Today, it’s all information overload wherever you go: laptop, tablet or smartphone. The Cheshire Cat would probably like being able to blend in with all that information noise but we have businesses to run and customers to attract!

That’s why visual content is so important. Content with images gets noticed, is more interesting and people engage with visual content more. But how?

Lee Odden

Visual Content Marketing Strategy eBook

Visual Content Marketing eBook

If a picture is worth a thousand words, visual content marketing must be worth millions.

As companies mature in their use of content marketing from simply creating “more” content for SEO purposes to creating really useful content designed to reach specific customer segments to influence business outcomes, the importance of content differentiation becomes paramount.

According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ annual studies, over 90% of B2B and B2C marketers are using content marketing. That’s a tremendous amount of competition and to stand out, successful marketers are elevating their content quality and use of visual elements.

In my opinion, it’s not enough to inform. Content needs to make us feel. Providing buyers with useful and entertaining content that leverages enaging images, video and interactive features creates an infotaining experience that stands head and shoulders above other marketers.