We Answer the Top 5 Questions People Have About Content Marketing

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As marketers, it’s our job to know our audience. To understand their pain points. To empathize. To provide them with the answers or solutions they’re looking for.

So how do we do all these things? One way is through content marketing.

Over the past few years, content marketing has been increasingly embraced by marketers. In fact, this year 88% of B2B marketers and 76% of B2C marketers said they used content marketing, according to the 2016 Benchmark, Budgets & Trends—North America reports from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

But there are still a lot people out there who are searching for some of the content marketing basics.

Why Most Content Doesn’t Get Social Shares–And How to Get Yours Seen

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It’s been a little over a year since Buzzsumo’s Steve Rayson dropped a bombshell on content marketers. After his company analyzed over one million blog posts, it was Steve’s sad duty to inform us that:

  • 75% of posts received zero domain links
  • 50% of posts received 8 shares or less
  • 75% of posts received 39 shares or less

In other words, that beautiful content we spent so much time crafting? Half of it didn’t attract enough people to fill a baseball roster. Three quarters of it didn’t attract enough people to fill a school bus.

It’s hard to feel good about numbers like that. But you don’t have to feel hopeless and you don’t have to take it lying down. Your audience is out there, waiting for great content to rise above the swelling tides of mediocrity.

20 Jokes Only a Marketer Could Love

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It’s well past time for marketers to get serious about comedy. The best way to connect with an audience is by authentically appealing to them on a human level. Adding humor to marketing is one of the most powerful ways to make that appeal.

Telling a joke does more than provide a moment’s diversion. When people share in a joke, it creates a sense of belonging. If you’ve ever sat around trading in-jokes with your friends, you know what I mean.

Humor can be a way to draw a circle around a group and pull them in—to say, “If you understand this joke, we’re in the same tribe. You get me and I get you.” That’s a powerful message to send to your potential customers. And it’s a good way to get the less relevant folks to opt out, too.

6 Truth Bombs Every B2B Marketer Needs to Hear About Creativity

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“Do you want to be creative?”

Jay Acunzo, founder, host and writer of Unthinkable.fm, asked marketers this question as he kicked off his session Unthinkable: Content Creativity For The Hopelessly Uncreative at MarketingProf’s B2B Marketing Forum last week in Boston.

Acunzo acknowledged the question was a bit silly. It’s like asking if you want more time in your day or more resources for your team. The answer is always an unequivocal “yes.”

But while this may seem like a weird question to ask marketers, it actually gets to the heart of the creative struggle we all feel: Of course we want to be creative; creativity is necessary and intertwined with everything we do. But we often find ourselves aspiring to be more creative than actually harnessing what’s already inside us as creators.

Learn How to Turn Your B2B Content Marketing Into A Profit Center

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Unfortunately, marketing is often seen as a cost center within many B2B organizations. Whenever it comes time to cut budgets, you know that marketing is the first to take a hit. But what if there was a way to not only take a lead generation approach to content marketing, but also generate actual revenue in the process?

Last week at the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, Content Marketing Institute Founder Joe Pulizzi shared some insider tips and secrets for companies that want to leverage their content to generate revenue.

When the godfather of content marketing has a session that describes how to profit from content creation, it’s a must-see. Why? Who better to speak on the subject than someone who has built a content media company from the ground up, with enormous success?

9 Sizzling Influencer Activation Tips from Lee Odden #MPB2B

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Influencer marketing is an incredibly hot topic in the marketing world—and it’s not hard to see why. Influencers add insight, credibility and authority to the content they help create, and they also have the potential to bring that content to a new audience.

But what makes someone influential? Is it popularity? Is it celebrity? Is it the fact that they have niche expertise? And how do you identify, activate and continue to build on your relationships with influencers?

During his Sexy Hot B2B Influencer Activation session at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden delivered a presentation packed with actionable tips, tools and examples that answered all these questions and more.

The Importance of Storytelling in Content Marketing #MPB2B

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Once upon a time …

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …

There once was …

These aren’t just classic fairy tale or movie beginnings. They represent memories. They evoke feelings. They get our minds churning. They signal that an exciting story is about to unfold—and those stories are powerful.

As content marketers, we need to be in the business of storytelling if we want our content to resonate and inspire. As Shane Snow, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of Contently, said during his session Create, Connect, And Optimize Through Storytelling: The New Formula For Content Success at the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum.

“When you engage in a story, your brain lights up.”

[eBook] Influencer Marketing: It’s Time to Get Real

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If you’re interested in influencer marketing, let’s do a little thought exercise:

Imagine being invited to a party full of influential people. The moment you walk through the door, you approach the first famous face you recognize and say, “Hey, I just met you and this is crazy, but can you help me move this weekend?”

Imagine the stunned silence…the sideways glance…the “And you are…?” that is sure to follow. The hardest thing to imagine would be that strategy succeeding.

In real life, we take time to get to know someone before asking them for a favor. We take an interest in them as a person. We try to do something nice for them. After a good long time, we might lay a big ask on them—once we could make a compelling case for doing so.

5 Actionable Insights from the 2017 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends Report

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If you’re a B2B content marketer, you likely remember where you were when the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs released last year’s B2B Content Marketing report. The same way different generations will always remember hearing about Elvis, Kurt Cobain, or Prince, that dark day is seared into our industry’s memory.

Last year’s report showed a decrease in documented content marketing strategy—even though a documented strategy was proven to be a vital part of success. It showed that fewer content marketers rated their efforts as effective than the previous year.

At Content Marketing World, Joe Pulizzi somberly declared content marketing had reached the “trough of disillusionment,” out of which we would have to climb.

Secluded in her tiny writing house, Ann Handley paused for a moment to wipe tears from her trademark glasses.

5 Cool Ways to Make Marketing Magic with Interactive Content

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On the occasion of the new trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I was thinking about the fantastical wizarding world of Harry Potter. Who wouldn’t want to live in a world with magical items like pictures that move, newspapers that automatically update themselves, portraits that speak?

Then it hit me: My smartphone can show moving pictures and auto-updated news, and it doesn’t have to be delivered by owl. AND it’s a lot more compact than the average Daily Prophet issue. Sure, we can’t play proper Quidditch yet—someone get Elon Musk on flying broomstick development—but as far as interactive content goes, Muggles have got it on lock.

5 Awesome Takeaways from HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2016 Report

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Today’s consumers are much more self-directed in their buying habits, leveraging the internet and mobile technologies to research, review, interact and buy the products and services they need or want. As a result, many brands and marketers are shifting their marketing tactics to join consumers on their buying journey, rather than interrupting their day with a random cold call or talking at them as they flip through a magazine.

That shift is toward inbound marketing tactics such as blogging, eBooks, whitepapers, social media marketing and dozens of other content marketing tactics—a way of effective marketing that TopRank Marketing is all about. And the growth and importance of inbound marketing is only going to grow, according to HubSpot.

Avoid Content Ennui: 10 Creative Blog Types to Serve Your Audience

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When it comes to blog content, a lot of us are serving breakfast when we should be serving dinner.

Let me explain. Odds are you have a go-to breakfast that you eat nearly every day. A bowl of cereal with a banana, some oatmeal with maple syrup, a haunch of beef seasoned with the tears of your enemies—generally there’s not much variety from day to day. On the other hand…

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For dinner, we generally require some variety. Maybe it’s that no one is fully awake for breakfast, so it doesn’t matter what you eat. Maybe it’s the realization that eggs and bacon are perfect foods.