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.

 

Tiffani Allen

Want to Prove Content Marketing ROI? You Need an Actionable Marketing Dashboard

Tiffani Allen on Mar 5th, 2019     Content Marketing, Web Analytics

Why You Need an Actionable Content Marketing Dashboard

Content marketers are believers. We believe our content brings real value to our prospects, clients, and partners. We believe our content is essential for driving demand. And we believe that content marketing is essential for bolstering our company’s bottom line.

However, we’re also realistic; as it’s often said: Seeing is believing. So, we need to be able to show proof of content marketing ROI to get our key stakeholders to believe, too.

And to do this, we need a source of truth that artfully and easily shows how we’re performing against our benchmarks, goals, and key performance indicators (KPIs), as well as where we’ve identified opportunities to improve results. We need an actionable content marketing dashboard.

Caitlin Burgess

Bye-Bye Boring B2B: Lee Odden Shows B2BMX Attendees the Power of Interactive Influencer Content

Interactive Influencer Content Marketing

Quick question, B2B marketers: How many of you wake up feeling like this about your B2B content?

via GIPHY

Not so much? Hey, it’s OK. You’re a passionate and proud B2B marketer. But finding a way to create exciting, inspiring, infotaining content that connects with your audience is hard work. After all, B2B isn’t innately sexy—it’s booooooring. Oh, and between content overload, changing consumer preferences for personalization, and diminishing audience trust, it’s increasingly hard to capture and keep attention.

So, here’s another question: Are you ready to say bye-bye to boring content and hello to exciting, inspiring, and infotaining content experiences?

Yes so much? Good. Because, as TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden told a packed room at B2B Marketing Exchange this week, you can.

Ashley Zeckman

Carlos Abler of 3M Asks B2BMX Attendees: Can Marketing Save the World?

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 26th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

For many B2B marketers, it can be so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tactics of marketing to where we don’t take the time to pause and ask ourselves: Can marketing save the world?

To help us answer that question, Carlos Abler, Leader of Content Marketing & Strategy at 3M took the stage for a keynote at the B2B Marketing Exchange conference in Scottsdale, AZ.

In his keynote, Carlos shared a variety of ways that B2B marketers can approach marketing differently to increase their impact on customers, prospects and the world. Below are some of the key takeaways.

3 Ways Marketing Can Save the World

Marketers as Publishers

In the 21st century, it’s no surprise that the internet has become THE location for conducting business. We know that the majority of customer relations are done through content. Why? The internet allows consumers to self-serve.

Caitlin Burgess

How B2B Marketers Can Make the Most of Interactive Content Tools

Caitlin Burgess on Feb 26th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Interactive Marketing

How to Make the Most of Interactive Content Tools

Informative. Engaging. Entertaining. Inspiring. Interactive content is a rising B2B marketing star, allowing brands to break free of their “boring-to-boring” reputations to give their audiences bold, beautiful, badass experiences.

And to make it increasingly easy for B2B content marketers to deliver those interactive experiences, interactive content tools—from simple web-based tools to robust platforms—have proliferated.

But here’s the thing: From upping marketing efficiency to collecting unique audience data insights, the beauty and utility of many interactive content tools extends well beyond content creation and delivery.

So, if you truly want to make the most of your interactive content investments, you should take care in making the most of your tools of choice. How? Here are a few tips.

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.