Creating Breakthrough Content: There Ain’t No Magic Feather #SMMW17

If you want to write amazing content like Ann Handley, don’t be a Dumbo.

Dumbo was convinced he could only fly while holding a “magic feather.” When he lost the feather mid-flight, he plummeted toward the ground. It wasn’t until he believed he could fly without the feather that he was able to take off again.

Too many would-be content creators are searching for their magic feather–the book, online course, or perfect antique typewriter that will make them a writer. And while they search, they can’t or won’t write.

So Ann began her session at Social Media Marketing World by asking us all to recite a pledge out loud:

“I don’t believe in unicorns, fairies, or Santa. There is no magic feather.”

7 Interactive Content Tools to Delight Your Audience

Your audience is reading your content on a device that is capable of wonders. Whether they’re using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, it can do much more than display text. What’s more, they’re connected to the internet, with limitless potential for communication and conversation.

In this context, interactive content makes a whole lot of sense. Why serve up nothing but plain text if, with just a little more effort, you can offer engaging experiences?

Interactive content might seem gimmicky, especially to B2B marketers. And I’ll be the first to admit: It is gimmicky. It’s absolutely designed to grab attention. But if your content provides value—if it’s worth paying attention to—interactive elements can help you bring in an audience. Interactivity isn’t a substitute for quality, just a supplement.

In a Content Marketing Slump? Spice up Your Program with These Tips

How can you turn out haute cuisine content on a fast food production schedule?

Your content team—especially if it’s a team of one—can be on the hook for creating a vast quantity of content. Between sales enablement, eBooks, white papers, and blog posts, it can be overwhelming.

The temptation to churn out uncreative but passable content is hard to resist, especially if you’re behind on the editorial calendar. This kind of rushed content can lead to each piece having a same-y feel—same format, same voice, same structure.

Not only is bland content hard for your readers to stomach, it’s not particularly inspiring to create, either. If you’re feeling like a short order cook instead of a celebrity chef, try these tips to spice things up.

How to Create Best Answer Content: 6 Inspiring Examples

Undoubtedly you’ve heard the expression “content shock,” coined by marketing expert Mark Schaefer.

With immense respect, I have to admit: I don’t believe in it.

The idea that there’s so much content out there, people are tired of content altogether? That no one’s giving new content a chance? That it’s too hard to get new content seen?

Not buying it.

I think what’s happening is simply this: People don’t want “content.”

They want answers to questions. They want a few minutes of entertainment. They want to learn something new. They want what they were searching for in the first place.

To reach our audience, we need to stop creating content and start producing the best answer to their queries.  Companies that adopt this content marketing strategy tend to top search engine rankings (Top…rankings…there’s an agency name in there somewhere, I can feel it).

Is Your Content Marketing Designed for the New Customer Journey?

Thanks to the rise of the internet, the explosion of social media and the development of mobile technologies to feed these two innovations, the customer buying journey has become much more self-directed. According to a Forrester, 74% of business buyers say they conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline purchase.

As a result, content marketing has emerged as an incredibly effective way to arm consumers with the information they seek and need, increase brand awareness, enhance engagement, and ultimately inspire action and conversions.

But content marketing isn’t about creating and sharing as much content as possible. It’s about creating quality content that allows you to be the best answer, whenever and wherever your audience is searching. And understanding today’s customer journey will be paramount to your content marketing success. Below is a great illustration from Forrester on the many intricacies that journey can entail. As you can see, it’s not an easy, neat sales funnel these days.

20 Talented Brand Marketers to Follow on LinkedIn

Marketers are always looking for new ways to inform, engage and inspire action from our target audiences, often looking to both established and well-known brands for motivation and creativity.

Thankfully, behind many of our favorite brands there are bright and talented marketing experts whom we can learn from and be inspired by.

With that said, below are some gifted brand marketers you should be checking out, connecting with or following on LinkedIn.

1. Jason Miller

Group Manager of Global Content and Social Media Marketing, LinkedIn

As the leader of global content and social media marketing for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, Jason Miller is dedicated to helping marketers understand how to take advantage of digital advertising and content marketing opportunities on the professional social network.

2017 Trends for CMOs: Ignite Content Performance with Influencers

Companies launching into new markets often spend substantial budgets on advertising and PR in order to create awareness. These investments can be significant when there is no existing affinity between the brand and the solution in target markets.

For example, Orange France faced this challenge when launching Homelive, a connected home management platform for IoT devices. Turning to their influencer marketing platform, Traackr, the company identified and engaged influencers in new communities outside of high tech and marketing to include lifestyle design and connected home. These influencers were engaged to create reviews on their blogs and inspire social traffic.

Content Curation 101: 7 Best Practices, Helpful Tools & Great Examples

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In today’s digital world, marketers know that creating quality content is key to informing, engaging and inspiring action, as well as building authority and rapport with their audiences. And oftentimes that means creating original pieces and assets that tap into their audience’s interests, address pain points and answer burning questions.

But let’s face it: marketers are busy—and creating quality, original pieces that get results and position your brand as having the best answer is incredibly time intensive.

However, there is one tactic that can come to the rescue: content curation.

What is content curation?

Simply put, content curation is all about finding, gathering and sharing the best and most relevant content the web has to offer on a specific topic that your audience cares about.

A Day in the Life: Time Management for Content Creators

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Don’t you hate the days where you’re busy all day with nothing to show for it? Maybe you started three projects and hit roadblocks on all of them. Maybe you kept getting interrupted every time you got up to speed.

However it happens, it’s a lousy feeling. There’s panic as the clock seems to pick up speed. How is it 3:00 already? And now it’s 4:30! ARRRGH! And then comes the emptiness, the realization that everything is getting pushed out to tomorrow.

It’s no fun. But it happens. Especially to content creators/copywriters/writers of any stripe. We have to balance the really interesting projects, the research-intensive maybe less-interesting projects, the “delightfully challenging,” the not-at-all-delightfully challenging, and the tiny housekeeping tasks that build up and eventually bury us.

8 Holiday Content Ideas for Busy Marketers

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While you’d probably love to slow down and smell the pine during the holiday season, let’s be honest—that’s usually not an option for marketers. It’s crunch time and you’re working hard to tie up loose administrative ends, manage holiday campaigns and prepare to start the New Year stronger than ever.

But despite your busy schedule, you’re always on the hunt for ways to boost your content marketing efforts. Am I right?

Well to help you out, below are a handful of last-minute content marketing ideas that are easy to execute and keep you connected with your audience through the holiday season.

Content Marketing: 4 Ways to Make Sure Your Mobile Content Connects

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How often do you use your smartphone as a phone? Personally, I think of it as more for avoiding human interaction than facilitating it:
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These days my desktop and home laptop are gathering dust; I can do it all on my phone. The only reason we still call them “phones” is “personal computation device” sounds too nerdy.

All of which to say: Mobile is the current and next frontier for content marketing. Reports show that 65% of digital media time is now spent on a mobile device. Not only that, all digital growth is now coming from mobile usage—expect to see desktop traffic stagnate or reduce while mobile traffic continues to grow.

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.