TopRank Online Marketing

Nicolette Beard

Content Marketing With Research and Surveys: Pros, Cons, Examples, Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Feb 25th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

content marketing surveysAll marketers need actionable insight to make important decisions. As the internet reaches a crescendo of voices all vying for their customers’ short attention span, the need for quality citations and third party industry research becomes even more important to stand out.

Therein lies an opportunity: Companies that create credible surveys, reports and playbooks on a regular basis can become known authorities and trusted resources – ahead of the competition. Such authority leads to trust and in the content marketing world those are essential characteristics to attract a target audience whether they are buyers, journalists or investors.

Ironically, it’s this exact labor-intensive exercise that provides some of the most sharable, citable content. The ability to attract substantial citations, social shares and attention is a very powerful capability for agencies and corporate marketing marketing departments to have right now.

Nicolette Beard

Podcasting: Storytelling for the 21st Century – Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Jan 28th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Podcasting

Podcasting for Content MarketingThe human voice can convey much more meaning through tone and inflection than the printed word ever can. It’s why millions of Americans sat, fixated, during the Golden Age of Radio – listening to everything from adventure, comedy and drama to classical music concerts, news and farm reports.

As broadcast radio gave way to television, television to cable and cable relinquishing to the internet of everything, it comes as no surprise to content marketers that, spurred by technological advancements, broadcast radio has come full circle with podcasting and represents a new platform for storytelling.

The average podcast listener stays connected for 22 minutes on average (Sticher). This is one of the reasons why including podcasting as part of a long form content marketing strategy is so powerful. You have the opportunity to build a deep, rich relationship with your target audience.

Nicolette Beard

Content Marketing with Interactive Tools: Pros, Cons, Examples & Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Nov 12th, 2013     Content Marketing, Interactive Marketing, Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy, Visual Marketing

Interactive Tool as Content Marketing TacticAt first glance, interactive online tools may not seem like a content marketing tactic. But, when you consider their educational and entertainment value, interactive tools offer exactly the kind of ‘stickiness’ marketers and brands are looking for.

From the early days of collaborative online learning to sophisticated interactive tools that allow consumers to keep track of their calorie count and fitness level, today, numerous institutions, governments, news organizations and brands have incorporated interactive tools on their websites to further educate and engage their customers and constituents.

Why incorporate interactive tools as part of your content marketing mix? Because education is such a powerful and important fundamental to improving the customer experience. The ability to invest in effort and receive output contributes to a customer experience that can differentiate your brand. At the same time, useful interactive tools satisfy a need for your target audience. Ultimately, tools that enable user interaction and feedback can drive sales, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Nicolette Beard

The Truth About Visual Content Marketing Tactics: Infographics

Nicolette Beard on Nov 5th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Visual Marketing

Infographics as Content Marketing TacticIt’s safe to say that Big Data is revolutionizing 21st century business. The big question for marketers, however, is how do you take the wealth of information at your disposal and effectively simplify and present it in an engaging and informative way? One answer is infographics.

Defining what entails a good infographic is complex. For one, not all data lends itself to creative and unique visual communication. Someone who’s expert in design may not understand your audience or how to map relevant data in a compelling way. Don’t forget: great content isn’t great until it’s discovered, consumed and shared.

Nicolette Beard

Gamification as a Content Marketing Tactic – How Brands Are Engaging Consumers

Nicolette Beard on Oct 29th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Game Mechanics as Content Marketing TacticFrom frequent flyer programs to unlocking badges in Foursquare, gamification is permanently embedded in our cultural DNA. Loyalty programs present the simplest examples of companies reinforcing consumer behavior they want repeated. Smart marketers are using the same mechanics that have hooked gamers to generate more business and, with advancements in technology, are doing so with greater creativity and complexity.

For the record, gamification is not new. Charles ‘Chuck’ Coonrandt, identified as the ‘grandfather’ of gamification by Forbes, wrote The Game of Work in 1984, in part, to answer the charge that U.S. productivity was not world class. Fast forward 29 years – we see more and more companies embracing game elements and mechanics not only as a means to identify influencers and advocates internally, but also as a content marketing tactic to attract and engage consumers.

Nicolette Beard

Content Marketing Tactics That Work: eBooks

Nicolette Beard on Oct 16th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

eBook Content MarketingAs a content marketing tactic, eBooks fit the bill for those businesses that need to communicate complex information but in a striking, easily digestible way. Infotaining eBooks raise the bar on “interesting” combined with practical, useful and even inspiring messages that align with the brand.

Compared to many other content marketing tactics, eBooks represent a longer form of content that can educate prospective buyers about topics important to buyers and the brand. It’s a great way to demonstrate expertise in a creative way and is much more visually appealing than a white paper, yet more serious than an infographic.

This longer form content marketing tactic is inching its way into popularity, especially among B2B marketers. According to the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks Report, 34% are using eBooks as a content marketing tactic while 57% of B2B users consider eBooks to be an effective tactic.

Nicolette Beard

Digital Newsletters as Content Marketing: Pros, Cons, Best Practices and Award Winning Examples

Nicolette Beard on Oct 8th, 2013     Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Online Marketing

Digital NewslettersIt seems fitting to discuss digital newsletters during the month of October, since the birth of email harkens back 40 years ago this month.

Love it, hate it or tolerate it, without email marketing, digital marketers would have been responsible for the destruction of many, many more trees without it!

Digital newsletters are scheduled, recurring messages from companies to a list of subscribers that usually has a web page counterpart or archive which represents a specific type of content.

In contrast, many Email marketing efforts can include automated messages triggered by an auto-responder, e-blasts to a rented list or a list shared by a complementary business, or as part of a drip campaign run through a marketing automation platform.

Lee Odden

B2B Content Marketing Tactics: Pros, Cons & Best Practices of Case Studies

Lee Odden on May 29th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Case StudyWithin the realm of B2B marketing, it’s stories, not “features and benefits” that allow brands to create relevant and engaging connections with prospective customers. Successful digital marketers use a variety of content marketing tactics to tell stories according to the goals of both brand and customer.

Even though 71% of B2B content marketers use case studies, they are often an under optimized form of brand storytelling. Case studies provide a structured problem and solution format that provide context, situation and challenges that the reader can empathize with. Case studies also supply insight into how a problem was solved, paving the way for the solution and measures of success.

As part of our ongoing series on content marketing tactics, this post will share some examples and best practices of organizations leveraging case studies as part of their content marketing mix.

Lee Odden

Content Marketing: Why to How with Business Innovation from SAP

Lee Odden on Oct 8th, 2012     B2B, Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing

Michael Brenner SAP

Building the case for content marketing is an ongoing battle and while a huge number of companies are not on board with “brand as publisher” yet, many are. They “get it” but are in search of more practical advice on the how.

That’s what Michael Brenner, Senior Director, Global Integrated Marketing and Content Strategy at SAP and co-founder of Business to Community provided at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum last week in his session: Content Marketing: Moving From the “Why” to the “How”.

The world is changing faster than we can keep up with. Just a few years ago, no one used terms like “social media”. Today, it’s unusual not to. We went from not sharing much of anything to sharing a lot. Our kids are going to grow up with virtually everything digitally documented.

Lee Odden

Content Marketing: Definition & Tactics

Lee Odden on Jun 6th, 2011     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

content marketingContent Marketing – Tactics and Best Practices

Soon I’ll be starting a new series of practical tips on tactics that marketers can use to complement their content-focused online marketing efforts.

The idea of content marketing seems to vary with different people, so to start, my definition of content marketing is: “Aligning business and consumer information needs with content.” We’ll see if that holds as we build out a deep dive on each of these 30 different tactics.

A lot of the information on content marketing that we promote here on Online Marketing Blog offers process, strategy and models of approach. This series makes the bold assumption that the reader has already considered goals, audience, strategy and measurement and is looking for tips on tactics that fit within their planned online marketing mix.

Lee Odden

29 Content Marketing Tactics to Attract, Engage & Persuade Customers

Lee Odden on Apr 22nd, 2011     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Content Marketing TacticsContent Marketing is a near and dear online marketing tactic and there’s been an explosion of attention and advice over the past year. SEOs and PR professionals are “seeing the light” if you will, of the value in creating and curating content that delivers value as part of their online marketing and public relations strategies. In an online marketing model with a defined strategy, goals and understanding of the target audience, what mix of tactics makes the most sense?

Many marketers limit themselves to a handful of content types and formats leaving substantial business to the competition. To be competitive, it’s essential to be open to a mix of content marketing tactics in order to provide relevant information discovery, consumption and sharing experiences for customers. This matters at the top of the funnel as much as it does after the transaction and into engagement and evangelism.

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