Content Marketing

Content marketing is the planning, creation, promotion and measurement of content for a specific audience and intended to inspire a business outcome. With over 90% of B2B and B2C marketers engaging in content marketing, it’s more important than ever to make sure your content stands out from the crowd.

 

As the only blog to be named #1 content marketing blog three times by Content Marketing Institute, TopRank is dedicated to helping marketers understand the opportunities, best practices and current trends in the world of content marketing.

 

Browse our content marketing articles to find tips, guides, expert interviews, conference liveblogging and best practices.

 

Anne Leuman

Lovestruck: Why We’ve Fallen in Love with B2B Content Marketing

Anne Leuman on Feb 14th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Falling in Love with B2B Content Marketing

Once upon a time, in a land of rainbows, butterflies, and evil content overload, a gripping love story is unfolding.

But this love affair isn’t what you’d expect — it’s no “Romeo and Juliet” or “Sleepless in Seattle.”

Rather, it’s an unlikely courtship with a bond sealed by three little words: Business-to-Business.

That’s right. We’ve said. The secret’s out. For the last decade, we’ve been head-over-heels in love with B2B content marketing.

We know what you’re thinking. B2B can’t hold a candle to B2C. B2B is boring. B2B lacks sex appeal. But you don’t know B2B like we do—she’s a knockout and a showstopper.

via GIPHY

What’s so darn attractive about B2B content marketing? Let us remind you of all there is to fall in love with.

Joshua Nite

10 Memorable Marketer Moods, Memed

Joshua Nite on Feb 13th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

10 Marketer Moods in Memes

As a content marketer, I’m always looking for more effective and efficient ways to communicate. I love the way communication is evolving online (with the exception of, say, YouTube comments).

Think about it: A hundred years ago, it was much harder to convey a mood in text.

  • You could trail off (…)
  • You could ask questions (?)
  • You could shout (!!)

And that’s about it.

Emoticons opened up the possibilities a bit, with “slight smile :),” “big smile :D,” and “guy wearing sunglasses sticking his tongue out 8P.” Emojis added even more nuance.

Now, though, we have the ability to embed images and GIFs in our blog posts, emails, and messages. We can convey extremely specific moods, thoughts, and insights with a single image. Like, for example, the feeling when you’re wearing socks and step in something wet:

Nick Nelson

Tip of the Iceberg: A Story of Trust in Marketing as Told by Statistics

Nick Nelson on Feb 12th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

The State of Trust in Marketing

“Step up on the railing. Hold on, hold on. Keep your eyes closed.”

Jack is holding Rose around her waist, cautiously lifting her up to the Titanic’s bow.

“Do you trust me?”

He was a stranger up until days earlier, but still, her response is almost instantaneous.

“I trust you.”

Moments later, Rose opens her eyes and she’s flying, arms outstretched as the mighty liner propels her forward. She and Jack hold hands; they kiss. Celine Dion’s music wafts in the background. Teenage boys in the theater start gagging, while romantic types swoon.

There’s a good chance you lived through this very experience. James Cameron’s 1997 cinematic landmark Titanic was an unprecedented hit, holding the title as highest-grossing film of all time for 14 years. The scene described above is perhaps its most famous — the linchpin in a love story sparked by deep, genuine trust that materialized almost out nowhere.

Lane Ellis

5 Time-Saving Tips to Overclock Your B2B Marketing Efficiency

Lane Ellis on Feb 7th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Gigahertz Overclocking Gauge Image

Is saving time important for a B2B marketer?

Your answer is likely an unequivocal yes. But saving time by upping efficiency isn’t just a one-and-done step. It should be an ongoing, living and breathing process that changes and improves over your marketing career. And that means you should be taking time to review and audit your processes to uncover opportunities for improvement.

In my 35-plus years working in online communications, I’ve come to learn several efficiency-boosting methods. So, here are five of my personal time-saving tips to overclock, fine-tune, and crank up your B2B marketing efficiency.

Why B2B Marketing Efficiency Matters

Saving a few minutes here and there throughout the day may not seem all that important — or worth devoting much effort to achieve. But keep in mind that saving two minutes each day equates to eight and a half hours over a standard business year. That’s valuable time that can be used for countless other activities.

Lee Odden

Great B2B Content Isn’t Great if No One Sees It: Here’s a Solution

Lee Odden on Feb 6th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

B2B integrated content marketing

If you want B2B content to be great, across channels you must integrate.

In B2B marketing, the expression “great content” should mean relevant, useful and maybe even inspiring information that connects with the intended reader. The problem is, even when business content fires on all of those cylinders it falls flat if few people ever see it.

That’s why business content promotion must go hand in hand with content creation.

While the previous sentence makes sense to just about everyone reading it, we also know that in practice, content promotion is more often an afterthought than a key part of content planning. It shouldn’t be a special case to improve organic search visibility, social engagement, industry media pickups and influencer shares of your content for all the (relevant) world to see, but the standard when it comes to B2B content marketing.

Caitlin Burgess

For Our Marketing Team, These 7 Super Awesome Commercials Are Big Winners

Caitlin Burgess on Feb 5th, 2019     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

Our Favorite Super Bowl 2019 Ads

It’s an absolute phenomenon.

According to the sacred laws of modern television, digital, and on-demand viewing, consumers spend a whopping 364 days a year actively avoiding advertising and marketing messages.

From strategic bathroom breaks and the embracing of alternative, bingeable entertainment channels to the installation of ad-blockers, consumers want to avoid unsanctioned commercial interruptions—whenever and wherever they’re enjoying content.

But when Super Bowl Sunday rolls around, it’s Opposite Day—and for a few glorious hours, we’re on the edge of our seats with excited anticipation of the next ad to dance across the screen. It’s the Super Ad Bowl.

For the average consumer, this phenomenon is simply an entertainment tradition. For marketers, it’s a series of case studies in marketing storytelling, creativity, and boldness in action.

Anne Leuman

Embracing Interactive Content: 19 Statistics Every B2B Marketer Needs to Know

Anne Leuman on Feb 4th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Interactive Marketing

Interactive Content Statistics You Need to Know

Modern B2B content marketing evolved out of the opportunity to provide buyers with the information they seek at every stage of their customer journey. But in an increasingly crowded content landscape and as consumer preferences and technology evolve, it’s no longer enough to just inform buyers.

Today and beyond, to connect on an intellectual and emotional level with their audience, B2B marketers need to provide engaging content experiences. And that’s precisely were interactive content can play a massive, highly-effective role.

Not sold on the potential of interactive content for B2B? Let’s look at some of the research and commentary from several sources, including:

  1. Buzzsumo
  2. Content Marketing Institute and Ion Interactive
  3. Inc.
  4. SnapApp
  5. Demand Metric
  6. Cisco
Tiffani Allen

Measure for Success: 7 Secrets of Actionable Content Marketing Dashboards

Tiffani Allen on Jan 31st, 2019     Content Marketing, Web Analytics

Elements of an Actionable Content Marketing Dashboard

Hey, content marketers. Imagine this: You’re sitting in a marketing meeting and you hear the following:

  • Our conversions are up 50% year-over-year!
  • Our blog traffic is down.
  • We saw a big spike in traffic this month to our primary service page!
  • Our bounce rate is all over the place.
  • This blog post about “X” had 2,000 page views last month!

What are the first thoughts that come to mind? For many, the first thought would likely be: Why? Followed by a: Is that good or bad? And then finally: What do we need to do next?

If you’ve ever experienced a similar scenario, you’ve come face-to-face with insight famine. The statements above simply relay data points and lack the insight needed to take any sort of action. And this is why an actionable content marketing dashboard is so incredibly important.

Caitlin Burgess

Content Marketing Gold Rush: How to Unearth Content Gold at Marketing Industry Events

Caitlin Burgess on Jan 30th, 2019     Content Marketing

The promise of professional growth. The excitement of striking new connections. The anticipation of hearing and learning from industry legends and up-and-comers. The marketing industry conference and event circuit is an absolute gold mine of opportunity.

What’s one of our favorite ways to strike-it-rich at any industry event? Panning for content gold.

via GIPHY

The content marketing gold rush that started roughly a decade ago has content marketers stamping, picking, drilling, and grinding away at content creation so they can break-ground with their audience and fend off the competition. And industry events can be boomtowns, not only allowing you to make the most of your time, budget, and resources—but also ideate, create, amplify, and repurpose compelling content that will resonate with your audiences.

Nick Nelson

A Simple Three-Point Checklist for Documenting Your B2B Content Strategy Right Now

Nick Nelson on Jan 28th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

On the first day of 2019, I laid out a series of New Year’s resolutions for content marketers. At the top of the list was creating a documented content strategy.

Maybe you came across the post. Maybe you nodded your head while reading that particular item and said, “Yup, I’m gonna do that.” But most likely, you still haven’t yet. I’m not trying to be presumptive, just speaking in probabilities: research tells us that documenting a content strategy has been the subject of pervasive and perpetual procrastination across our field for some time.

What gives? Why do we keep putting it off?

“Usually procrastination happens because the task seems too difficult,” according to psychiatrist A. Chris Heath, MD (via PsyCom). Makes sense, based on my personal experience.

Anne Leuman

5 Marvelous B2B Content Marketing Lessons From Mrs. Maisel

Anne Leuman on Jan 22nd, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Season 1 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” If you haven’t seen Season 1, please do so immediately. Oh, and read at your own risk.

The year is 1958. You’ve been an amazing wife. You’ve dedicated your entire life’s purpose to your husband—only to find out he’s leaving you for his secretary.

That is the situation that Miriam “Midge” Maisel finds herself in as the first season of Amazon Prime’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” kicks off.

via GIPHY

However, her reaction is not what you’d expect from a “traditional” 1950’s housewife. While outside forces are pushing her to reconcile with her husband, Midge is firm in putting her own happiness first for once in her life. It’s this decision that leads her to a career (gasp!) in stand-up comedy.

Lee Odden

How A Best Answer Content Strategy Drives B2B Marketing Results

Lee Odden on Jan 17th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Best Answer Content B2B Marketing

For many B2B marketers content is a numbers game, especially as the number of channels for discovery and engagement grow right along with competition for attention.

We all know how the information overload story ends: buyers disconnect, they start to ignore marketing content and they lose trust in the brands trying so desperately to reach them.

Smart voices like Ann Handley in the B2B marketing industry have called for a focus on quality and even brevity over the hamster wheel of content mediocrity. Many have listened and yet many more B2B marketers are still fighting the uphill battle of creating uninspired blog post after blog post, ebooks, white papers, case studies and who knows how many social messages – and to what end?