Win a Free Pass! Get Content Marketing Smart at MarketingProfs University in Minneapolis

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One of the biggest problems that many marketing organizations are facing today is creating quality content on a consistent basis. It can be a challenge to make sure every piece of content you produce is effective at helping to attract, engage and convert target customers.

In fact, according to research from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, only 38% of B2B marketers state that their content marketing is effective. If you are one of the 62% of marketers that really need to improve content marketing performance, we have just the ticket. Literally!

Our friends at MarketingProfs are hosting a series of workshops focused on helping marketers reach content marketing success. From September 30 through October 2nd, these workshops will be held in Minneapolis.

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.

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.

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.

Break These 6 Bad Content Marketing Habits to Set Your Content Free

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It’s a feeling that all content marketers have experienced, and it’s not a pleasant one. You research your audience, you create content that speaks directly to their needs, and you say “Fly and be free!” as you release it into the world.

And then it falls flat on its metaphorical face. If this has happened to you, you’re not alone: Over half of marketers say they struggle with making their content effective.

There are chains that keep content marketing from soaring. They’re bad habits that you might not even know you’ve developed. Let’s shine a light on these chains and break them—with light? Special chain-breaking lights? Maybe lasers. Lasers break chains, right?

We’ll address the perils of mixed metaphors in another post. For now, let’s focus on breaking six bad content marketing habits to help your content soar.

Book Review & Interview: Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi

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The Godfather of Content Marketing has struck gold again. Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi has a new book that will hit shelves and Amazon carts this September.

His newest book, Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses is a delightful blend of inspiration from Joe’s personal experiences building Content Marketing Institute and advice businesses can follow to create an actionable content business model.

Content Inc. takes readers down the logical path from starting their journey, to monetization and creating next-level content.

When the Godfather releases a new piece of content it is always worth a read. If you don’t, you may have to answer to his loyal base of subscribers and followers. Below are some highlights of Content Inc. as well as an exclusive interview with Joe on his new book.

The Future of Content Marketing: Integration, Optimization and Participation

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In 2015 the world celebrated the 126th birthday of Paris’ iconic Eiffel Tower. This important piece of history is comprised of over 18,000 individual pieces and was built by nearly 300 people participating in the project.

Developing content for content marketing programs can be approached with a similarly participative framework and in a way that satisfies some marketers’ top needs. According to Altimeter Group, 60% of surveyed marketers said that content creation was a top need while 53% named distribution. That means it’s time for organizations to begin looking outside of their marketing teams for content co-creation partners and to improve content promotion at the same time.

But how does an optimized, socialized and co-created content program work?

4 Digital Marketing Investments All Companies Should Be Making Now

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It’s safe to say that not one company is sitting around scratching their head saying “I have all of this marketing budget to spare, what can I spend it on?”. Budgets are tight, and marketing budgets are often the first to feel the pain of cuts.

Traditional marketing tactics often come at a high price, and it can be difficult to track return. Alternatively, the vast array of digital marketing tactics evolve frequently and can quickly become overwhelming.

Each year, companies are investing more and more in digital marketing. In fact, Econsultancy found that 77% of marketers were planning on increasing digital marketing budgets in 2015. But the question on many marketers’ minds is: Where exactly should these digital marketing funds be invested?