Why Your Approach to Digital Marketing Should be Crafted Like a Well-Balanced Breakfast


I start each morning the same way: After feeding my spoiled dog his morning delicacy of premium dog food, hamburger, rice and veggies, I go about making my morning meal. I know that this is a luxury that many people will say that they don’t have the time to do and are instead getting ready, herding children and grabbing a pastry on the way out the door. However, I’m one of those people that loves a hearty, flavor-filled meal to start my day.

Many Americans skip breakfast saying they don’t have time or don’t need it, while foregoing what is arguably the meal that gives you fuel for the day, can seriously hinder your ability to be productive during the workday.

Is Content Marketing a Viable Lead Generation Tactic?


Hi, I’m Josh. I’m a content marketer and proud to be one.

Content marketing is unique among marketing tactics. It aims to accomplish business goals by offering people something of real value that can make their lives better.

It’s not, “you are lacking something in your life, so buy our product.” It’s not, “Read these exaggerated claims about our product and buy it.” Content marketing (as part of an integrated digital marketing strategy, of course) only works if you provide value to your audience. How cool is that? You provide value, they buy stuff, and everyone goes home happy.

As nice as it sounds, though, the previous sentence is missing a sizable chunk in the middle. Without lead generation, this is your content marketing plan:

3 Examples of Brands Using Podcasts to Increase Sales, Offer Value & Build Audiences

MIMA Event Podcasting

[Note From Ashley: TopRank Marketing team members Debbie Friez and Joel Carlson recently attended a Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) event in Minneapolis and collaborated to bring you the insights below from the event.]

Long gone are the leisurely evenings and weekends where people disconnected from the outside world and made time to relax. Today’s consumers are ALWAYS connected and constantly consuming information from a variety of sources.

The question for marketers is: how can you capture the attention of your audience while they’re on the go and multi-tasking constantly? One of the solutions that has surfaced in recent years is incorporating podcasts into your digital marketing mix.

Below we’ll dive in to three case studies MIMA social broadcasting event that uncover how different brands are working podcasts into their marketing strategy.

How to Write for People: 5 Ways to Create Connections & Personality in Your Content Marketing Efforts


Greetings, humans. It is I, a fellow human and certainly not a trench coat full of cats posing as human. I would like to tell you how to show personality in your writing so other cats—I mean, humans, like me—will enjoy reading it.

All cats aside, it’s surprisingly easy for marketers to forget that we are writing for people. We write for a persona, a target audience, an industry. When was the last time an industry sat down and read a blog post over their corn flakes? By trying to write for everyone, we can end up writing for no one.

Content Marketing Tactics: Real-Time Video Pros, Cons, Examples & Best Practices


As the digital world we live in becomes increasingly cluttered, marketers are constantly refining their content marketing strategies and embracing new tactics to stay competitive. And Real-time video is one of those tactics that is allowing marketers to reach new audiences and increase customer engagement.

Video has been viewed as an effective marketing tactic for a number of years. However, the time and resources needed to create quality video had many marketers focusing on other things. Fortunately, the introduction of real-time video platforms and applications such as Ustream and Meerkat now presents marketers with some fairly easy and cost-effective video content marketing options.

And the launch of real-time video applications could not have come at a better time. Why?

5 Opportunities to Tell Stories & Touch Hearts with Visual Content Marketing


Do you remember when great content marketing meant your copy was properly optimized for search engines so your customers could find you when searching?

Today’s customers have raised the bar, and it’s time that content marketers follow suit. As marketers, we have a unique opportunity to create a more one-to-one experience with our customers and prospects through the use of compelling visuals.

Recent research from Content Marketing Institute has found that content containing relevant images gets 94% more views than content without. Additionally, social content containing visuals typically receives 150% more retweets when scheduled using tools like Buffer.

5 Digital Marketing Tactics to Help Your Brand Stand out in 2016


It’s tempting to think of your brand as a beautiful and unique flower. You believe in the work you do, you take pains to know your audience and craft messages that should resonate with them. So you bring your exquisite rose to the world—only to find they’re standing waist-deep in a flower garden.

In the crowded content market, it’s entirely possible to do everything right and still struggle to capture attention. Knowing your audience, doing the research, and making great content are the new table stakes. To really get noticed, you must be exceptional.

Here are five digital marketing tactics that can get your brand noticed, with examples from brands that are doing it right.

How An Integrated Approach Can Help You Become Content Marketing Royalty in 2016


The stories that we are told as children are largely focused around kings, queens, princes and princesses. These characters are beautiful, intelligent and live a life that others can only dream of.

Today’s royalty take somewhat of a different form. They are marketers that inevitably stand out from the crowd due to their digital marketing creativity, smarts and success. But what is it that makes these marketers royalty?

The key to becoming content royalty in 2016 is taking an integrated approach to content marketing, or a “content plus” model. This approach shows a level of content marketing maturity and looks beyond content as a singular element, and combines it with other digital marketing services and best practices.

7 Ways to Optimize Your Web Content for Humans & Search Engines

optimize for humans

In case you haven’t heard, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not dead. In fact, SEO is an absolute must for successful content marketing, but gone are the days where the first two words dictate how you execute the third.

Ever since Google dropped its Penguin update in 2012, user experience has become the primary focus of good SEO. Yes. Today’s SEO is about finding the perfect balance between user-centric content and convincing search engine crawlers that your content is supreme.

Now, I’m pretty confident that everything I just said isn’t news to you. However, actually accomplishing that perfect balance may be something you’re still working on. And that’s where I aim to help.

Below are some best practices and tips for optimizing your on-page content for human users and search engines:

TopRank Marketing’s 2016 Influencer Marketing Predictions


This year, headlines throughout the marketing blogosphere proclaimed that influencer marketing is “the next big thing.”

At TopRank Marketing, we have been refining our influencer marketing strategy for nearly a decade. It’s our past, present, and next big thing. When done well, influencer marketing can boost brand credibility, provide valuable exposure for the brand and the influencer and create killer content your audience will love.

Now that influencer marketing has officially arrived, how will it evolve in 2016? We asked our in-house experts, and some of our favorite marketers outside the TopRank Marketing team, for their opinion. Here are the influencer marketing predictions for 2016.

Steve Rayson

Director, BuzzSumo

Content Marketing Tactics: Earned Media Pros, Cons, Examples & Best Practices


For any brand, reputation is everything—and reputations are often built (or torn down) with earned media. From a glowing news article about one of your products to that horrific Yelp review, every brand experiences the benefits and drawbacks of earned media.

And in today’s socially connected world, marketers are increasing their use of earned media as a contact marketing tactic as it continues to be a crucial factor in consumer decision making.

In fact, a study by Nielsen and InPowered shows that expert content—credible, third-party articles and reviews—is the most effective source of information in impacting consumers along all stages of the purchase process across product categories. The study also showed that earned media is 88 percent more effective than owned media content alone.

12 Content Marketing Lessons Learned in 12 Years of Blogging

Content Marketing Lessons LearnedHappy 12th Birthday to TopRank Marketing’s Online Marketing Blog!

In Malcom Gladwell’s book, Outliers: The Story of Success, he mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, which describes the key to achieving world class expertise in any skill as a matter of practicing for a total of 10,000 hours or so.

By many definitions, this humble marketing blog has involved many more than 10,000 hours of practice. While we’ve achieved many milestones from being the only blog ranked the #1 content marketing blog three times by CMI to helping our boutique digital marketing agency reach a worldwide audience, it continues to be a work in progress.

There are multiple dimensions for evaluating a blog’s impact. Here is some statistical trivia about TopRank’s Marketing Blog (thanks to BuzzSumo) representing some of this “practice makes expert” effort.