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

content-marketing-royalty

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

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

Steve-Rayson
Director, BuzzSumo
@steverayson

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

content-marketing-earned-media

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.

TopRank Marketing’s 2016 Content Marketing Predictions

2016-Content-Marketing-Predictions

Was 2015 the year content marketing died? A quick Google search for “the death of content marketing” pulls up at least five articles written in the last six months, each seeking to put the final nail in the content coffin. To confuse the issue, for every “content marketing is dead” article, there’s a “traditional advertising is dead. Long live content marketing!” piece to balance it out.

Is this a Schrodinger’s Cat scenario? Are we holding a wake, or should we be performing CPR? In reality, it’s non-strategic content marketing that’s on life support. Audiences are increasingly ignoring the glut of mediocre content tossed haphazardly onto the web.

That’s good news. It means exceptional content with strategic creation and promotion can thrive. Making quality content the new minimum requirement is good for marketers and customers alike.

Creating Chemistry: Our Top 5 Content Marketing Posts of 2015

top-content-marketing-posts

Great content marketing is like chemistry: If you combine the right elements with careful timing and measurement, you can get a positive reaction. Get the formula wrong, and you could get no reaction at all. Or you could find yourself standing in a crater, smoke wafting up from your eyebrows.

According to the Content Marketing Institute and Marketo’s 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, 76% of B2B and 77% of B2C marketers plan to produce more content next year than they did in 2015. But as the volume increases, effectiveness is still lagging. Buyers faced with an onslaught of information are opting out of all but the most exceptional content.

Content Marketing Tactics: Webinar Pros, Cons, Examples & Best Practices

Webinar-Content-Marketing-Tactic

Quality, useful, and engaging content is the foundation of a marketing strategy. However, content is much more than just words on a page.

Humans are visual learners by nature—and we crave visual, interactive content in reality and online. As a result, in today’s digital world, marketers are using webinars to connect and engage with their target audiences. Additionally, webinars create a great opportunity for co-creation and collaboration as well as content repurposing. 

In fact, 66 percent of B2B marketers said webinars are one of the most effective content marketing strategies around, according to as recent report from Content Marketing Institute. In addition, 51 percent of marketers said visual content will be a top priority for their campaigns in 2016.

Definition: Webinars

How to Create Content that Abides, Dude: Content Marketing Lessons from the Big Lebowski at #MNBlogCon

Ashley-Zeckman-Creative-Content-Marketing

Does pondering content marketing strategy make you feel a little out of your element? Are you missing the key components that really tie a strategy together? Do you sometimes feel like stepping away from the laptop, pouring a White Russian, and zoning out to Creedence Clearwater Revival?

You’re not alone. Only 30% of B2B marketers believe they are effective at content marketing, and more than half don’t know how to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. And as buyers are inundated with more and more content, it can be difficult to get your message out there.

Fortunately, when it comes to content marketing success, there are rules. And at the 2015 Minnesota Blogger Conference, TopRank Marketing’s Directory of Agency Marketing Ashley Zeckman laid down the law, Big Lebowski-style. Here are the key takeaways:

How Collaborating With Influencers Generated Over 110k Views on SlideShare

Influencer-Marketing-Header

Brands large and small are searching for ways to separate themselves from the pack. At the same time, most marketers are struggling with everything from producing enough content, to measuring content effectiveness. As more and more brands become publishers, it has become increasingly difficult for brands to create a variety of engaging content on a consistent basis.

To stay relevant and continue learning, many marketers attend workshops, trainings and industry events. Unfortunately, there are so many to choose from it can be difficult to weed out those that may not be worth the investment.

Therein lies the challenge:

  • Quality conferences need to build awareness of their events
  • Influential speakers need to drive people to their presentations
  • Marketers need useful information presented in an engaging way

How to Be the Best Answer with An Integrated, Optimized Approach to Content Marketing

Be the Best Answer - Lee OddenA study from Ericsson reports that by the year 2020, there will be over 50 billion internet-connected devices. That means consumers will be able to create, consume, publish interact and transact anytime, anywhere.

Many companies are responding to the rise in information access and consumption by creating even more content to stand out. A LOT more content.

But is more content better?

Internet in Real Time
With over 24,000 gigabytes of data uploaded every second (Internet in Real Time) I think it’s safe to say information overload already has enough of “more content”.

BuzzSumo released a report in conjunction with Moz based on analysis of 1 million articles and found that this increase in content production has a promotion problem: 50% of content gets 8 shares or less.

Content Marketing: Make Your Content Shine with These 4 Editing Tips

4cs

A few years ago, best-selling author and wizard-ninja hybrid Seth Godin said, “content marketing is the only marketing left.” The industry took him at his word. Over the last decade, marketers have devoted ever more time and energy to creating content.

This year, 76% of B2B marketers plan to produce more content next year than this year. Only 2% plan to produce less.

As someone who creates content for a living, I find this trend encouraging. As a marketer who wants my content to be seen, the content explosion presents a challenge.

Seth expanded on his statement in an interview with Contently this year: “Real content marketing isn’t repurposed advertising; it is making something worth talking about.”