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.

 

Nick Nelson

Two Key Marketing Opportunities Amid Stories of Fake Traffic and Fraudulent Metrics

Nick Nelson on Jan 14th, 2019     Content Marketing

Why Transparency & Organic Content Are Important for Marketers

“What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.” — Morpheus, The Matrix

~~~~~

“How much of the internet is fake?” pondered the headline of a late-December New York Magazine feature, before answering its own question: “A lot actually.”

What followed was a systematic unpacking of that premise, via author Max Read. Though somewhat cynical and harsh, his argument was backed by facts and evidence at every turn.

He documented case after case of fake traffic and fraudulent metrics.

He shared videos of phony engagement factories known as click farms.

Lane Ellis

Rock Your Content Marketing With The Collective Wisdom Codex

Lane Ellis on Jan 10th, 2019     Content Marketing

Ancient codex books.
Our popular Collective Wisdom series has explored the entire B2B content marketing life-cycle. The eight-part series featured information-packed posts covering everything from creative conception to postmortem analytics.

As we settle in to the new year, we wanted to bring it all together here, in one handy B2B content marketing codex, to help jump-start your digital marketing campaigns for 2019. Read on!

The 1st Pillar: The Power of Planning Ahead

Collective Wisdom Series Part 1 Planning Ahead Chess Image

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” Take her famous advice to heart, and create an actionable content plan long before beginning to create actual content.

You can boost your content marketing success and plan ahead by:

  • Documenting your plan
  • Building a sharer list
Anne Leuman

Take 2019 By Storm: Get Inspired By These 11 Content Marketing Quotes

Anne Leuman on Jan 9th, 2019     Content Marketing

Inspiring Content Marketing Quotes

Another year. Another strategy. Another budget. Another long to-do list.

Ushering in the new year is both an exciting and grueling time for content marketers everywhere. We’re celebrating accomplishments from the previous year. We’re taking stock of misses and opportunities. We’re working to weave in emerging content trends into next year’s plan. And we’re setting goals.

But just like New Year’s resolutions, it can be hard to stick to the plan and tick off all of the things you want to accomplish. After all, the year is long and plans change often in today’s evolving digital landscape.

To help you take on 2019 and muster up the motivation and inspiration to achieve your goals, we gathered several inspiring (and perhaps reassuring) quotes from respected and seasoned marketing leaders. From content strategy to execution, they’ll help you find success in the New Year.

Caitlin Burgess

The Content Marketer’s Toolbox: 3 ‘Real-Life’ Tools for Gaining Insight, Inspiration, & Amplification

Caitlin Burgess on Jan 8th, 2019     Content Marketing

The Content Marketer’s Toolbox of Non-Tech Tools

In the modern content marketing age, leveraging a diverse set of tools is par for a successful marketing course. Tools help unlock insight. Tools help capture attention and reach. Tools help drive efficiency. Tools help you measure, analyze, and optimize for better success.

The simple truth is: Every content marketer needs a robust toolkit that’s tailored to their unique business and marketing needs—but that toolkit doesn’t begin or end with your martech stack. Uh-oh-oh.

via GIPHY

There’s no denying the importance that marketing technology plays in today’s ever-changing and sometimes tumultuous digital landscape. But your toolbox needs more than software. It also needs more tangible, real-life tools to help you uncover the context and insights that can help you be more effective (and help you use martech tools more effectively).  

Nick Nelson

B2B Content Marketers, Here Are Your New Year’s Resolutions for 2019

Nick Nelson on Jan 1st, 2019     Content Marketing

Content Marketing New Year's Resolutions

If you break down the word “resolution” phonically, you get “resolute” and “shun.” Kind of ironic, since we all seem more likely to shun (persistently avoid, ignore, or reject through antipathy or caution) these self-assigned goals than be resolute (admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering) in achieving them.

Too often with New Year’s resolutions, we set ourselves up to fail. We lay out ambitious mandates and drastic behavioral changes that sound great in theory, but almost invariably fall by the wayside amidst our busy lives.

B2B content marketers are plenty familiar with ambitious goal-setting. We’re optimistic. We’re driven. But perhaps we’re not always realistic.

The whole point of setting goals is to achieve them. If you’re always setting stretch goals, you’ll never know what success looks like.

Lane Ellis

Our Top 10 Content Marketing Posts of 2018

Lane Ellis on Dec 24th, 2018     Content Marketing

Top 10 Content Marketing Post of 2018 High Five Group Image

Content — it encompasses just about everything we read, view, or listen to online these days, and as our CEO Lee Odden said years ago, it’s also the reason search began in the first place.

We’re especially proud of the content marketing success our team at TopRank Marketing has achieved in 2018, for a wide-range of B2B clients. As 2019 draws near we wanted to share our top content marketing articles of the year — each loaded with best practices, research, examples, and the latest trends.

The excellent content marketers who make our award-winning blog one of the most popular in the industry include Ashley Zeckman, Joshua Nite, Caitlin Burgess, Anne Leuman, Nick Nelson, Tiffani Allen, Debbie Friez, Alexis Hall, the author of this post, and our blog’s founder and agency CEO, Lee Odden.

Anne Leuman

7 Efficiency-Boosting Martech Tools & Platform Features B2B Marketers Need to Consider

Anne Leuman on Dec 18th, 2018     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Back in 2011, roughly 150 marketing technology solutions were on the market. Today, the growth of this sector and it’s options are staggering. In fact, according to Scott Brinker, the mastermind behind the Chief Marketing Technologist Blog, the martech landscape has grown an impressive 27% in 2018 to include nearly 7,000 solutions.

Of course, B2B  are rejoicing at the increased number of solutions at their disposal. Many have been steadily adding new tools and solutions to their martech stacks as the need arises to help streamline operations, automate the mundane, quickly gain new insights, track campaigns, and generate greater results.

In other words, these tools offer big efficiency gains, giving you the time, insights, or resources to make better marketing decisions.

Anne Leuman

The Key to SEO & Content Marketing Success: Understanding Search Intent

Anne Leuman on Dec 17th, 2018     Content Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, SEO

Tips for Understanding Search Intent

From changes in how people search thanks to technological innovations such as voice assistants, to changes in how search engine algorithms identify searcher needs, smart SEO is now rooted in understanding and matching the intent behind search queries.

When we marketers understand search intent, we can create new content and/or optimize existing content to be more tailored to their audience’s specific needs, problems, and questions—helping gain SERP visibility in the increasingly crowded content landscape, and attract more qualified traffic and build trust with those visitors (who will hopefully feel like you “get” them and their needs).

At TopRank Marketing, we call this SEO and content strategy striving to be the best answer for your audiences—wherever and whenever they’re searching. But where do you start?

Lane Ellis

Spicy Twists and Tactics For Unique Content Promotion

Lane Ellis on Dec 6th, 2018     Content Marketing

A variety of spice powders on a cooking slate image.

Previously in our “Collective Wisdom” series, we’ve covered pre-planning for content marketing success, the art of crafting powerful content, enduring and often-overlooked content creation best practices, and how to use a number of tried and true content promotion tactics.

Now let’s dig into several spicy ways to take existing content promotion tactics and make them uniquely your own, including a smattering of flavorful insight from some of the best in the business when it comes to the art of promoting your content.

Innovate With Your Own Unique Promotion Twists & Tactics

Regardless of how many fine lists, guides, articles, or books you read about the art of promotion, if you don’t take the initiative to innovate and create something unique your marketing success will generally be limited.

Caitlin Burgess

TopRank Marketing’s Top 10 B2B Content Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2019

Caitlin Burgess on Dec 5th, 2018     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

It’s that time of year, B2B marketers. As the holiday seasons kicks into high gear and the countdown to a new year accelerates, we all find ourselves looking into our figurative crystal balls to gauge what the new year will bring, and how we’ll improve ourselves and our content marketing strategies, capitalize on opportunities, and adapt or side-step new challenges as they come.

2018 was a big year for content marketers—from the implementation of new data privacy and security regulations like GDPR to the rise of promising new tools and technologies to enhance personalization, measurement, and data analyzation. And from our perspective, 2019 is on track to bring even bigger changes, presenting both opportunities and challenges for B2B marketers.

Nick Nelson

Flipping the B2B Marketing Script: 7 Brands That Talk to Consumers, Not Companies

Nick Nelson on Dec 4th, 2018     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Examples of B2B Brands Marketing to People

“It feels like I’m talking to a wall.”

This is the utterance you might hear from a person whose counterpart in a conversation is not particularly engaged. If you’ve been there, then you know it’s not a great feeling.

But one of the biggest issues in B2B content marketing is actually the reverse: people tend to feel like the brands marketing to them are the ones talking to walls – as in, speaking to them as if they were an intangible corporate entity rather than a human being.

For this reason, “business to business” can be a troubling misnomer. In this discipline, we’re not really marketing to businesses – buildings with walls and stairs and desks and chairs – but the people who inhabit those buildings.

Joshua Nite

Next-Gen Lead Gen: How to Refine Your Marketing to Get More B2B Leads

Joshua Nite on Dec 3rd, 2018     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

How to Refine Your Marketing to Get More Leads

A few days ago, I was watching a 2005 episode of Doctor Who with my nine-year-old. He saw a strange artifact in a character’s hand. “What’s that thing?” he asked.

“An iPod,” I responded. “It’s like a smartphone, but it could only play music and had a black-and-white screen. No, no touchscreen. It held a LOT of music, though! Like hundreds of CDs! Okay, so a CD is…”

The point being: You kids need to get off my lawn.

Okay, the actual point being: Technology has changed fast in the past decade, and what used to be mind-blowing is now laughably obsolete. That’s doubly true in B2B marketing. We have the tools and tech to do amazing, iPhone-XS-Max-quality B2B lead generation.