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.

 

Ashley Zeckman

CMWorld Interview: Eli Schwartz on Curiosity & SEO Around the Globe

Ashley Zeckman on Aug 13th, 2018     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, SEO

Should marketers ignore international and inter-linguistic considerations when it comes to their SEO strategies?

Survey says: BZZZRRRT

In a way, optimizing for search is like participating in the game show Family Feud. To align with searcher behavior and intent, marketers must make educated guesses, and ultimately it is the people who will dictate whether we’re right or wrong.

As we develop content to draw visitors for targeted keywords, search rankings and traffic trends serve as either an affirming “Ding!” or a rejecting “Buzz!” regarding our hypotheses. Web users fulfill the same function as the random samples polled to create Family Feud’s survey response boards.

Joshua Nite

How to Build a Resilient Evergreen Content Marketing Forest

Joshua Nite on Aug 8th, 2018     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

Evergreen Content Marketing

Evergreen trees are a symbol of life and renewal because they never lose their leaves; they stay green year-round.

Tell that to anyone who has dragged a Christmas tree to the garbage on New Year’s Day.

The truth is, evergreen trees are part of an ecosystem. When they’re rooted and cared for, they thrive and the whole forest benefits. Cut one down and take it home, and it won’t be green for long.

Evergreen content is the same way. We tend to think of it as stand-alone pieces of content that bring in traffic without any additional effort. Something isolated, set-it-and-forget-it. But if you treat your content that way, it will start dropping needles on the carpet with a quickness.

Nick Nelson

Design for Dummies: 5 Tips to Liven Up Your Written Marketing Content

Nick Nelson on Aug 6th, 2018     Content Marketing, Visual Marketing

Marketing Design Tips for Non-Designers

I’m not a designer. I’m not artsy. I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

I’m a writer to the core. But, as much I love words, I recognize that they don’t jump off the screen and grab people’s attention. Let’s face it: even the most beautiful prose is pretty ugly, from an aesthetic standpoint. You’re not going to find a framed portrait of blocky text hanging at the Guggenheim anytime soon.

As a marketer who is admittedly lacking in design skills, I’ve done an awful lot of reading on the subject, and I do my best to soak up knowledge and advice from the awesome group of visual wizards here in the TopRank Marketing design department.

Ashley Zeckman

CMWorld Interview: How Tamsen Webster Drives Irresistible Change in Marketing

Ashley Zeckman on Aug 1st, 2018     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Few things are more inspiring than the before-and-after weight loss photo: two drastically different figures juxtaposed against one another, usually connected by an impossibly short span of time.

It’s not just the physical transformation that is striking in these portrayals. Even more so, it’s the mental transformation. Something clicked in that person’s head, causing them to fully commit and make the difficult changes necessary to turn their goals into reality. Then, they did it.

Branding expert Tamsen Webster saw this dynamic play out, in various forms, time and time again during her many years as a leader in the Weight Watchers organization. And it’s a big part of what drove her to create Red Thread, a messaging framework focused on tapping into those deep, uniquely human motivations that spark action (or, as she puts it, make inaction impossible).

Joshua Nite

What Does ‘Quality’ Really Mean in Content Marketing?

Joshua Nite on Jul 16th, 2018     B2B Marketing, B2C Marketing, Content Marketing

Quality in Content Marketing

Have you heard the good news about quality content? It’s the latest innovation that’s sweeping the nation. It’s going to revolutionize your content marketing efforts. If your current strategy is to crank out crappy content, then quality content is going to blow your KPIs away!

Okay, sarcasm aside: Every content marketer knows their content needs to be good to be effective. We call it “quality,” or “value,” or “usefulness.” But all of these traits can vary widely depending on your audience. For example, conventional wisdom might say that 500-word blog posts don’t connect with readers. But that word count may be just the right length for the people you want to reach.

So, when we get into the specifics, quality is relative and highly subjective. But it’s possible to define quality content marketing in a more universal way:

Ashley Zeckman

CMWorld Interview: Gartner’s Heather Pemberton Levy Shares How Story First Marketing Drives Success

Ashley Zeckman on Jul 11th, 2018     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

While digging through data and market research, it can be easy to get lost in the numbers. But when assessing these insights, what really matters is the stories they tell.

This is a key point of emphasis for Gartner, and specifically its Smarter with Gartner content platform, which adds context and substance to trends surfaced by the research firm’s findings.

So it is quite fitting that Heather Pemberton Levy, who helps guide Gartner’s strategic direction as VP of Content Marketing, champions the “Story Comes First” method. This concept served as a framework for her 2016 book, Brand, Meet Story: How to Create Engaging Content to Win Business and Influence Your Audience, and will also be in play during her workshop at Content Marketing World, entitled “From 0 to 60: Building a Mature B2B Content Marketing Organization.”

Nick Nelson

CMWorld Interview: Path to 1M Monthly Readers Has No Shortcuts, Says J.P. Medved

Nick Nelson on Jun 27th, 2018     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

In her introduction to The Ultimate Guide to Conquering Content Marketing, Content Marketing Institute’s Cathy McPhillips draws several commonalities between content marketing and video games: the interactivity, the trial-and-error learnings, the camradery.

But, while many marketers have their own personal “cheat codes” that help them gain an edge, there are no true hacks in content. Certain video games allow you to tap in a series of commands and gain invincibility, or jump ahead to the next level. Content marketers, however, cannot magically produce an audience or monetization out of thin air.

As the Content Director for Capterra, and also an avowed lover of gaming, J.P. Medved understands this reality. His company’s industry-specific blogs have grown to 1 million monthly readers, and it wasn’t because of any secret elixir.

Anne Leuman

5 Powerful Types (And Examples) of Link-Worthy Content

Anne Leuman on Jun 25th, 2018     Content Marketing, Link Building, Search Marketing, SEO

How to Create Link-Worthy Content

Since the inception of the search engine, marketers have spent an obscene amount of time optimizing their content and strategy for search. And while the old days of keyword stuffing and other black-hat SEO tactics are behind (most marketers), there’s two constants that remain the same for driving organic search results: The importance of good content and getting credible links to that good content.

In fact, Google’s former Search Quality Senior Strategist and current Partner Development Manager, Andre Lippattsev, made it official in a recent interview stating that content and backlinks were the top two ranking factors in Google’s elusive algorithm.

As a result, there’s little doubt that we marketers must create something irresistible for searchers and search engines if we want to score good results.

Ashley Zeckman

CMWorld Interview: Thinking Inside the (Answer) Box with Courtney Cox

Ashley Zeckman on Jun 21st, 2018     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

In a digital marketing career that has spanned numerous roles, often with a heavy focus on SEO, Courtney Cox has watched plenty of trends come and go.

But like many of us, she’s convinced that answer boxes (or “featured snippets,” or “position zero,” as you will) hold the key to search success going forward.

Not only do these “best answer” results attain prime visibility on SERPs, but as voice search continues to grow more prominent, they are likely to become the only result for many user queries within a few years.

Caitlin Burgess

Creating Content Connections: 10 Lessons in Resonance from Content Marketing Pros

Caitlin Burgess on Jun 20th, 2018     Content Marketing

Lessons in Content Marketing

Spot on.

via GIPHY

Exactly.

via GIPHY

Truth.

via GIPHY

Accurate.

via GIPHY

Yaaaaaaaaaas!

via GIPHY

It’s hard to contain the excited, “uh huh” head nodding when you read, watch, or listen to a piece of content that really hits home … strikes the right chord … illuminates something deep inside your soul.

And for us marketers, these moments should remind us of an important digital marketing truth:

Creating content that resonates is key to building rapport, credibility, and trust with our audience, and, ultimately, driving marketing results.

Ashley Zeckman

CMWorld Interview: Peter Krmpotic on Optimizing the Content Supply Chain

Ashley Zeckman on Jun 14th, 2018     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Content personalization is no longer a dream that marketers have for leveling up engagement with their audience, it’s become an essential combo for winning the content marketing game. Need proof? According to a study from Marketo, 79% of consumers say they are only likely to engage with an offer if it has been personalized. And Salesforce estimates that by 2020 51% of consumers will expect that companies will anticipate their needs and make suggestions, before contact.

But how can enterprise brands scale personalization efforts in a way that is efficient and effective?

Peter Krmpotic, Group Product Manager at Adobe, has focused heavily throughout his career on scaling personalization. He alo references the content supply chain (which is a framework for viewing content production, management and scalability) as a granular way to break down different structural elements and make them more manageable.

Ashley Zeckman

Ready Player One: Top CMWorld Speakers Dish Go-To Classic Content Marketing Combos

Ashley Zeckman on Jun 13th, 2018     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Over the years, content marketing has made incredible strides. What used to be considered more 8-Bit tactics such as print and articles, have evolved into more immersive tactics like interactive and video which truly brings audiences into the “game”.

And while the days of 2D 8-bit side scroller content may be gone, that doesn’t mean we should abandon everything we’ve learned about content.

To help uncover some of the tried and true content marketing tactics that have stood the test of time, we’ve tapped into the minds of some of Content Marketing World’s top speakers who shared expert advice in our new eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Conquering Content Marketing.