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.

 

Joshua Nite

Carlos Abler Details How Content Marketing Can Contribute to the Greater Good #CMWorld

Joshua Nite on Sep 4th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Can content marketing make the world a better place?

Let’s dial that in tighter: Can brands, businesses, make the world a better place?

And can they do it while making money at the same time?

According to content marketing leader Carlos Abler, not only can brands provide social value, they must – and, not for nothing, it’s in their best business interest to do so.

In his session at Content Marketing World 2019, Carlos shared a blueprint brands can follow to find the convergence of business value and social value.

How Can We Make Content More Valuable to Customers?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Content needs to be customer-centric, it needs to have value, and it needs to be relevant to the customer’s needs. Most content marketers could recite a similar mantra in their sleep. So if we all know better, why does content consistently miss the mark?

Nick Nelson

Ghosted: What’s a Content Marketer to Do When Your Audience Goes Silent?

Nick Nelson on Sep 4th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

How Content Marketers Can Deal with Audience Abandonment

The all-encompassing digital takeover has completely changed the way we communicate and interact as people. Naturally, in our professional realm we tend to tie this back to marketing, but the reality applies to just about every aspect of human relations. 

This includes dating and courtship, of course. The terms of engagement (so to speak) have transformed wildly. Whereas romance still can and does sprout through chance meetings, or encounters at the bar, or mutual college friend circles, it’s increasingly common for these fated connections to take place through online matchmaking sites and dating apps. (I would know — I’m marrying an amazing gal this weekend who I originally met on such an app!)

Lane Ellis

50 Content Marketing Influencers and Experts to Follow 2019 #CMWorld

Lane Ellis on Sep 3rd, 2019     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Content Marketing Influencers 2019

Content Marketing World 2019 is upon us. As the largest content marketing conference in the world, CMWorld brings together a stellar array of talented professionals who are filled with curiosity for future trends, marketing knowledge, and aspirations for new successes. For the past 11 years leading marketers from all over the world have gathered in Cleveland, Ohio for one of the world’s strongest content marketing event, and this year is set to be the biggest and best yet.

Readers of our blog know we have a long history with the conference starting at the beginning, with nine years of speaking and attending along with seven years of partnering with the Content Marketing Institute to develop speaker and influencer content marketing campaigns.

Joshua Nite

16 Can’t-Miss Acts at the Greatest Content Marketing Show on Earth: #CMWorld 2019

Joshua Nite on Sep 2nd, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Can't Miss Acts at CMWorld 2019

Come one! Come all! Come several! Come few! 

Step right up! Don’t be shy! You there in the back, with the funny hat, step right up! You over there with the earrings and the weird mustache, come on in! There’s room for everyone under the Big Top, and it’s time for the Greatest Content Marketing Show on Earth!

That’s right, Content Marketing World is mere days away. There is no more exciting place for a content marketer to be next week than Cleveland, OH(sure, it would be great if it were in Hawaii next year, but Cleveland is not without its charms). There’s a lot to look forward to: The opening night festivities! The keynotes! The sessions! The potential to see amazing marketing geniuses do bad karaoke!

Nick Nelson

Wow Your Crowd: The Recipe for Creating Exceptional Content Experiences

Expert Tips for Creating Memorable Experiences Through Content Marketing

Have you been to a stadium concert lately? The big ones touring the country tend to pull out all the stops. It’s not just a singer on stage — they are usually supported by a giant jumbotron as backdrop providing flashy visuals, along with fog machines, laser lights, platforms rising out of the ground, special guest cameos… the works. 

Why is this? Because the bar has been raised. When fans plunk down the big bucks for tickets to see Drake or Carrie Underwood or The Rolling Stones, they expect more than seeing their favorite artists performing on stage. They expect an unforgettable experience that stirs all the senses.

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Nick Nelson

Content Marketing Interview: Annie Granatstein on Creating Emotionally Engaging Content Experiences #CMWorld

Nick Nelson on Aug 26th, 2019     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Interviews

Interview with Annie Granasteing of The Washington Post

We are all products of our environments, and the experiences we carry are invariably influential to the way we approach and think about our jobs. 

Recently we shared an interview with Margaret Magnarelli, who spent nearly a decade as a magazine editor before moving into a content marketing leadership role. With her background in journalism, she offers important perspective for marketers everywhere.

The same is true for Annie Granatstein, who lives at the center of the convergence between investigative journalism and brand marketing. Annie runs The Washington Post’s BrandStudio unit, which takes The Post’s award-winning proclivity for immersive digital storytelling and leverages it on behalf of brands and advertisers.

Nick Nelson

Wow Your Crowd: How Influencers and Media Integrations Can Add Pizzazz to Your Content Act

Nick Nelson on Aug 22nd, 2019     Content Marketing

3 Pointers for Adding Pizzazz to Your Content Marketing Act

Some performers take the stage all by themselves, with no props or partners to lend support, and capture their audience with a riveting solo act. Hilarious standup comedy routines and enlightening TED Talks exemplify this ability in action. 

As a content marketer, there are occasions where a well written piece will take off on its own, with no help required beyond a powerful message presented clearly. But more often, spicing things up with added elements of interactivity or visual pizzazz provides a necessary added boost in today’s busy digital environment. And incorporating the right strategic partners is a reliable way to increase your program’s reach and impact.

Nick Nelson

Content Marketing Interview: Margaret Magnarelli on Applying Journalistic Integrity to Content Strategy #CMWorld

Nick Nelson on Aug 20th, 2019     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Margaret Magnarelli Interview

Content marketers come from all sorts of different backgrounds, with each bringing its own distinct and valuable perspective. Recently we shared our chat with Andrew Davis, whose history in television inspires him to think like a TV executive when strategizing his content. Today we’re highlighting the insights of Margaret Magnarelli, whose ingrained journalistic mindset fuels a commitment to putting her audience — and their trust — above all else. 

Prior to joining Morgan Stanley as Executive Director for Audience Acquisition and Growth Marketing, Margaret served as Vice President of Marketing for Monster, and before that she spent nearly a decade on the editorial staff at Money Magazine, rising from Senior Editor to Assistant Managing Editor to Executive Editor.

Nick Nelson

Wow Your Crowd: How Content Marketers Can Create Powerful Audience Connections

Nick Nelson on Aug 12th, 2019     Content Marketing

“Perhaps more than any other art form, comedy cannot exist for its own sake,” according to comedian Andrew Orvedahl in an essay published a few years back. “Comedy requires a bond between performer and audience. And if either ingredient sucks, comedy doesn’t happen.”

He’s right, but we could swap in content marketing for comedy and the statement would still hold plenty of weight. If your content isn’t connecting and resonating with your audience, it may as well not exist. This is one of the most critical skills of the discipline, and also one of the most difficult to harness.

Nick Nelson

Wow Your Crowd: How Content Planning Sets the Stage for Unforgettable Experiences

Nick Nelson on Aug 6th, 2019     Content Marketing

Wow the Crowd with Content Planning

We’re coming up on the 10-year anniversary of the movie Avatar, which was released in December of 2009 and held the title of highest-grossing film worldwide for nearly a decade before being unseated by Avengers: Endgame earlier this year. 

James Cameron’s signature cinematic spectacle presents a model worth following for any content marketer hoping to amaze their audience. We don’t need a $200 million budget, as Avatar had, but we should aspire to adopt the meticulous planning and strategic foresight that drove the film’s galactic success. 

This was the leading subject in our new interactive CMWorld experience, Witness the Greatest Content Marketing Show on Earth, produced in collaboration with Content Marketing Institute to create ahead of next month’s festivities in Cleveland. The show-stopper theme of the conference, and this experience, is designed to place content creators in the mindset of an entertainer, where dazzling viewers is the foremost goal.

Nick Nelson

Content Marketing Planning: How to Build Your Editorial Calendar

Nick Nelson on Jul 30th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Building an Editorial Calendar

I can’t believe I got fired from the calendar factory. All I did was take a day off!

Opening today’s post up with a bit of levity felt fitting, because calendars can cause much anxiety. They bring to mind deadlines, meticulous organization, and time crunches, which are often oppressive realities for marketers with a million things on their plates.

But the truth is that you’re likely to encounter much more dread if you don’t house your content planning within a documented and strategic editorial calendar for blogging. Building out a set schedule (with a bit of flexibility) ultimately makes your life easier because it provides a guiding light, and ensures your content strategy remains cohesive and oriented around your objectives.

Anne Leuman

Cooked to Strategic Perfection: The Layers of a Deliciously Integrated Content Marketing Lasagna

Anne Leuman on Jul 29th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Few things in this world are as delicious as a corner piece of lasagna. For starters, the top layer of cheese is both gooey and crispy. The tomato sauce is sweet yet peppery. The meat? It’s flavorful and hearty. And don’t get me started on the ricotta and mozzarella layers—my favorite by far.

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Lasagna is the perfect dish. And its perfection is not just defined by quality ingredients, but how each ingredient is artfully layered together to bring satisfaction with each and every bite. That’s where the magic happens.

Cooking a delectable lasagna to perfection is not unlike crafting an integrated approach to content marketing. On their own, your tactics may whet your audience’s appetite, but don’t pack the tasty punch of working together to make a lasting impact or drive savory results. Paid, SEO, content, social, influencer, design—all need to work in tandem to ensure your marketing objectives are met.