Learn How to Optimize Your Content Marketing Agency Investment

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Each year, brands are investing countless hours and thousands if not millions of dollars in marketing to prospects and current customers with content. Often times, internal marketing teams are finding that they need content marketing agency expertise and support outside of their organization.

Working with an agency that specializes in content marketing can provide brands with a more strategic and scalable marketing program that leverages expertise and additional resources that specialize in content. However, agency retainers can be substantial and there isn’t a marketing executive out there that isn’t in search of maximum return on that investment.

50 Top Content Marketing Influencers to Follow

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Without question, the Content Marketing World conference is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to all things content. This is where I should segue into a Death Star reference and something about a love child between Joe or Robert and Princess Leia. Or was it Chewbacca? I kid.

What I’m not kidding about is that there are over 150 speakers at Content Marketing World that have spent numerous hours researching, planning and crafting presentations as well as practicing and coordinating their travel and stay at the event. When you think about it, the cumulative amount of content created amongst all those speakers isn’t just formidable, it’s outright impressive.

Content Marketing World Keynote Interview: Stephanie Losee, Visa

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The digital world is often a small world. For example, when working with Dell on an influencer content program I met Dell’s Managing Editor at the time who seemed to be a cocktail of sophistication, intelligence and just a lovely person. She reminded me very much of Rebecca Lieb, another force of nature in the content marketing world. Why does this make digital a small world? Despite being based on two different coasts, they’re great friends!

This serendipitous content sage is none other than Stephanie Losee, who is now Head of Content at Visa, Corporate Communications. Along with many others, I’ve learned many important insights from Stephanie and I can’t wait to see her keynote panel at Content Marketing World in September.

TopRank Marketing Top Takeaways & Speaker Quotes from Content Marketing World

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Content Marketing World is the largest content marketing conference in the world. To say that the team from TopRank Marketing was excited to attend, is putting it lightly. Lee Odden, Alexis Hall, Josh Nite and I made the journey to Cleveland to learn from some of the best and brightest content marketing minds in the industry.

In a perfect world we would have been able to attend every session, but we consumed, live blogged and shared all that we were physically able to do. Below are some of what we considered to be the top takeaways and best speaker quotes from Content Marketing World 2015.

Top Content Marketing World Takeaways

Lee Odden – Participation Marketing Must Have’s

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Break the Cycle of Content Marketing Addiction: Turn Regular Content Into Extraordinary Success

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“Our content marketing success is not defined by the height of our peaks…it’s defined by the depth of our valleys.” – Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis the author of “Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships” has such an infectious energy that it is impossible not to sit up and listen when he is speaking. Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting front and center for Andrew’s presentation at Content Marketing World. Sadly, none of the Muppets from his previous work made a cameo, but this was by far one of my favorite sessions at the content rich conference.

According to Andrew, companies need to start rethinking the way that they “do” content marketing. This means breaking the cycle of content marketing addiction that plagues many of today’s marketers.

5 Tips to Help You Become a Prolific Content Creator

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The demand for consistent content creation has forced many marketers to take shortcuts. Shortcuts may enable you to get to an outcome faster, but it is often a worse outcome. Using shortcuts to create more content faster can help you to achieve more volume, but at some point, the quality goes through the floor.

Quantity and quality are not opposites. They can exist simultaneously. In fact audiences today demand that they do. To meet that demand, Jay Acunzo, Vice President of NextView Ventures, identified in his presentation at Content Marketing World 2015, that you must be, or nurture in your organization, the prolific content creator.

Being a prolific content creator doesn’t just mean creating more “stuff”, working faster or tapping into some secrets of the interwebs. Being a prolific content creator is something different. According to Jay there are 5 things which prolific content creators do really well in order to achieve the elusive quality and quantity of content.

4 Ways Brands Can Use Creativity & Comedy to Create Award-Winning Content Marketing

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“For those of you that think comedy won’t work for your brand, ask yourself: will it work for your customers?” – Tim Washer

Most the time, if you ask a group of people “do you like to laugh?” 100% of your audience will respond with a resounding “Yes!”. Seeing that, you’d assume that incorporating comedy into your content marketing would be a no-brainer, but that’s much easier said than done.

There is often the struggle between knowing how far to take humor, and incorporating comedy that speaks to your larger audience. Last week, Tim Washer of Cisco Systems provided a giggle inducing presentation at Content Marketing World aimed at helping marketers smartly inject comedy into their content marketing programs. Here are 4 ways according to Washer:

How Blackberry is Activating Employees as Brand Ambassadors with Content Marketing

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One of the most important audiences for content–the people who can make or break the success of your organization–is also the toughest audience to impress. They know your company inside and out. They have highly evolved B.S. detectors. They are the ones who decide whether what you say about your brand is true.

This crucial audience is your organization’s own employees. Enthusiastic and engaged employees can boost revenue, increase job creation, even increase the appreciation of your stock. Are your employees passionately bringing your story to life?

Type A Communications President Carla Johnson and BlackBerry’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Mark Wilson took the stage at Content Marketing World last week to discuss how we can bring the skills and strengths we have as marketers to address our internal audience. Mark used examples from BlackBerry’s internal marketing program to illustrate how to turn employees into brand ambassadors.

John Cleese: Creativity, Imagination & Tortoise Enclosures #CMWorld

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The incisor growth rate of an average beaver is 32 feet per year.

The hatchet fish is the only creature with eyes on its wrists.

And now for something completely different…

John Cleese–actor, comedian, and 1/5th of Monty Python–started his presentation with the preceding two useful facts. Having armed the audience with knowledge, he proceeded to disarm us with his wit and wisdom.

“If you listen to what I’m going to say,” he began in earnest, “I guarantee by the end of this you will be more creative than you are now.” It was a bold statement, but entirely believable (far more so than the hatchet fish claim) from the man who gave the world the Ministry for Silly Walks and the Dead Parrot Sketch.

Creating a Content Galaxy: How to Save Time and Improve Quality with Repurposing from Amy Higgins #CMWorld

Amy Higgins ImageOn the second day of Content Marketing World, it is apparent that one of the huge pain points of this industry is the struggle between quality and quantity of content. We all seem to feel the need to create more content and publish more often, in order to be seen. However, we also feel the squeeze of resource and time constraints.

Given this struggle, it is no surprise, that the room is packed front to back for 101 Ways to Repurpose Content, a session from Amy Higgins, Senior Manager of Social Media for Zendesk.

Amy opens by assuring the room that with proper planning you can have it all, quantity and quality of content. She shares three primary ways to gain efficiency to ramp up volume and create better content.

Incorporate Participation Marketing for More Scalable Content Marketing – Lee Odden #CMWorld

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“The best should win, but creating the best is a challenge.” – Lee Odden

Yesterday at Content Marketing World, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden delighted a packed room of marketers by providing inspiring and actionable advice on how to successfully approach participation marketing. Lee assured marketers that if they wanted to produce quality and scalable content, without having to scale marketing budgets, this was the place to be.

So, how can we get some relief from all of the hard work it takes to create a truly impactful participation marketing program?

Among the many things covered in his session were:

  • A methodical approach for deconstructing and repurposing marketing to make it more useful.
  • How to integrate influencers, social and SEO into your content plan.

Michael Brenner’s Tips, Tools, and Templates to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy #CMWorld

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“The world has changed. Most content stinks. Attract people through stories they love.” –Michael Brenner

NewsCred Head of Strategy Michael Brenner knows the challenges facing content marketers. Consumers no longer accept that content has to be ad supported. They–or, rather, we, since we’re all consumers–no longer tolerate interruptions. Not only that, but the best content we as marketers create still has to compete for attention with pictures of babies and puppies.

Michael’s solution? Create content your customers will love. Talk to them, understand their questions, and leverage the intelligence your organization already has. Michael estimates that “50% of the content you need is already present in your organization.” Auditing your existing content, and tapping your knowledgeable co-workers, can get your content hub off to a roaring start.