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Nicolette Beard

5 Content Marketing Tools for Better Planning, Management and Tracking

Nicolette Beard on Aug 20th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Content Marketing ToolsIn this era of content marketing, creating and maintaining an editorial calendar and managing all of your content assets are essential for implementing a successful content marketing program.

Content planning tools give you a holistic view of how your brand content editorial calendar fits into your entire content marketing strategy and answers important questions: How does content fulfill the expectations of specific customer segments? Are appropriate content types, topics and promotions in place? Does planned content fit within business growth initiatives and what are the connections to calls to action?

TopRank® Online Marketing takes an integrated approach to content planning and we write extensively on the subject, today I’ll focus on five different tools that you can use to track, control and manage online content. Using content planning tools like these, you can spend more time creating the content objects that will attract, engage and convert more traffic to grow your business.

Lee Odden

How Personas Guide Meaningful Content Creation & Optimization

Lee Odden on Jun 6th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO

Optimize Content with PersonasAs marketers accumulate information about customers, it is also important to identify common characteristics and patterns to help guide messaging, engagement and offers.

Behaviors that contribute to your business objectives like, sales, advocacy, sharing, referrals and repeat business might contribute to your understanding of an “ideal” customer that can be characterized as a persona:

Admin Bob – Influences the CEO on software purchases and cares about price, service and speed.

Being able to identify your “best” customers also means there’s another end to the spectrum:  patterns that reflect undesirable customer behaviors and an “avoid” persona:

Gatekeeper Jane – Maintains power by filtering information to the CEO about software purchases. Cares about control, recognition and status quo.

Companies that solve different problems in different markets may determine that multiple personas best represent their target audience.

Miranda Miller

Online PR for Brands: How to Make Company News, Real News

Miranda Miller on Apr 10th, 2013     Blogging, Online Marketing, Online PR

Online PRMost companies understand the benefits of a well-executed online PR strategy: improved brand visibility and industry reputation, increased traffic to the company website and even sales. It’s no wonder that companies trip over themselves to come up with a regular stream of PR related content.

Unfortunately, lower barriers to entry for publishing and distributing information have resulted in a plethora of non-news littering the web.

Is there any harm in “putting it all out there,” as in writing and distributing a press release for every event, newsworthy or not? I’d argue that yes, there is potential harm. As an industry journalist, I’ve personally become annoyed with companies or PR people sending me twice-weekly emails about everything under the sun. Whether someone has moved up internally or a company is seeking another round of funding, isn’t exactly compelling news.

Miranda Miller

11 Blog & Social Content Marketing Tools I Use (Almost) Every Day

Miranda Miller on Apr 4th, 2013     Blogging, Content Marketing

Tools for social and blog content creationContent creation isn’t easy and I, for one, am very glad. I’ve been writing online content for almost a decade now and have truly enjoyed the increased emphasis on quality over quantity and targeted messaging we’ve seen over the past few years.

Companies are now fully aware that simply distributing information on a regular basis is not enough. As Lee pointed out in a recent article on the reasons companies are challenged by content creation, “Anyone with half a brain can create information, but ‘content’ implies usefulness or utility.”

At TopRank, part of my job is the creation of content for our own channels – this blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. I also assist clients in planning and developing engaging, interesting content for their unique audiences and business needs. As a result, my day typically goes something like this:

Lee Odden

Need Great Ideas for Blog Content? Start With Questions

Lee Odden on Oct 10th, 2011     Blogging, Keyword Research, Online Marketing, SEO

blog content ideas A lot of the blog content planning for business blogs focuses on different ways to tell the same story about a company’s products, services and key messages. If it’s an SEO approach, then the focus is on content to justify visibility on search engines for specific keywords. Blogs are a great resource for people that are searching for answers, insight, how to’s, others’ experiences and opinion. Finding a way to create content that meets customer needs as well as achieving high search visibility for relevant business solutions is what makes blogs such useful online marketing assets.

One particularly effective way to get content ideas for blogging comes from reviewing web analytics for the kinds of questions people type in to search engines like Google or Bing that deliver visitors.

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