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.

 

Lee Odden

Content Marketing Fitness: Are You Ready to Integrate, Optimize and Activate?

Lee Odden on May 6th, 2019     Content Marketing

Content Marketing Fitness

I’ve always thought of content marketing as a fast paced, agile and high energy approach to engaging the modern buyer.

So why does so much of the B2B content marketing that’s out there feel sluggish, low energy and bloated?

eMarketer recently reported that B2B decision makers’ top issues with marketing content reveal that marketers are clearly “out of shape” when it comes to a focus on what’s most important. The top issues shared by B2B decision makers were that content is too fluffy, not relevant, not personalized, misleading, behind a form or hard to find.

For the marketers behind these issues, a quick look in the mirror makes it easy to see why: Bad habit strategy, low metabolism execution, overly processed tactics and sugar high shiny object software that doesn’t get used properly if at all.

Anne Leuman

The B2B Content Marketing Derby: When & Where to Place Strategic Bets

Anne Leuman on May 2nd, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

When & Where to Place Smart B2B Content Marketing Bets

The Kentucky Derby has long been referred to as the fastest and most exciting two minutes in sports. And when it comes to your B2B content marketing efforts, getting your audience to sit on the edge of their seats, glued to your content for two whole minutes can be a major feat.

To generate Kentucky-Derby-like attention for your B2B brand, your content marketing strategy needs to leverage the right tactical mix for your audience, industry, product mix, and objectives. However, over the last decade, the content marketing field has become crowded and even convoluted with hopeful tactical and strategic champions. The field has evolved from traditional winners like blogging and eBooks to include a new breed of favorites like influencer marketing, interactive content, and more.

Anne Leuman

Everything Old Is New Again: Why & How to Refresh B2B Content

Anne Leuman on Apr 18th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Why & How to Refresh B2B Content

Content creation—it’s the linchpin of our B2B content marketing strategies. And 56% of B2B content marketers have upped their investment in content creation over the past year—more than any other spending area.

Without a steady cadence of fresh, quality content we can’t proactively adapt to our audience’s changing needs nor consistently reach, inform, engage, entertain, or inspire action within them. And for most content marketers, this effort is often grounded in creating net-new content. But freshness is the eye of the beholder; quality content creation doesn’t have to be done from scratch.

Refreshing existing content is a massive opportunity, playing an integral role within your always-on content marketing strategy. It’s not only more efficient to produce, but when done strategically, it can also boost results, improve user experience, and extend the life and relevance of the content you’ve worked so hard to produce.

Ashley Zeckman

5 Essential Questions to Guide Your B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy

Ashley Zeckman on Apr 11th, 2019     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Online Marketing

Greetings friend! If you’re here, I assume it’s for one of three reasons:

  • You’re interested in the concept of influencer marketing and want to identify if it’s a fit for your B2B brand.
  • You’re dabbling in influencer marketing and are looking for ways to formalize your strategy.
  • You fell down some crazy internet rabbit hole and you aren’t quite sure how you got here.

Regardless of the reason, I’m happy you’re here.

Today, we’re going to dig into five essential questions that many B2B marketers are asking themselves about influencer marketing—everything from what it actually is (very important) to how to gain leadership buy-in and show value.

So dig in, enjoy the ride and be sure to add any of your own questions in the comments!

Nick Nelson

How to Get It Done: Project Management Tips for Content Marketing Managers

Nick Nelson on Apr 9th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

When I was in high school, we had a science class project in which we were grouped into teams, and tasked with building a catapult. Whichever contraption could launch a tennis ball the farthest would win the contest.

We quickly learned that the hardest part wasn’t constructing the actual catapult. It was wrangling all the team members, divvying up assignments, and keeping a collective group of energetic teenagers on track. In hindsight, maybe that was the point.

Managing Content Marketing Projects and People

Content marketing managers deal with these types of responsibilities on a daily basis. There are so many roles and functions typically involved with a time bound content initiative that we often must act as project managers, facilitating collaboration and ensuring that everyone is in a position to succeed.

Lee Odden

The Future of B2B Content: Data-Informed, Interactive, and Influential

Lee Odden on Apr 8th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

Future of B2B Content

Before starting on any new marketing initiative or trying a new tactic, B2B marketers need to answer and essential question: Why?

While most B2B marketers won’t admit it, many still practice some “spaghetti/wall marketing” wherein each year they throw new digital tactics “against the wall” to see what sticks without really knowing why a tactic would work for their audience over another.

This is not to say that you should slow down on innovating and trying new things. But it’s important for success to be strategic and test. I challenge marketers to do more research around customer insights and preferences so that any changes they make are driven by data and informed hypothesis—rather than simply trying new things just to see if they will work.

Anne Leuman

B2B Marketers, Are Your Content Marketing Efforts Sparking Joy for Your Audience?

Anne Leuman on Apr 3rd, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

How to Spark Audience Joy with Your Content

Best-selling author, tidying expert, and star of a massively successful Netflix show, Marie Kondo, is really on to something. Her simple yet effective tidying method is brilliant, but what it stands for is what’s truly inspiring.

All over the world, people are asking themselves a simple yet powerful question: Does it spark joy?

via GIPHY

But be honest, B2B marketers: When’s the last time you stopped to consider whether your marketing efforts were sparking joy for your audience? (Was it before, during, or after you dropped your latest white paper?)

Joy is a powerful emotion—it signals happiness, triumph, and exuberance. And in a time where delivering amazing, personalized experiences to our buyers is the new bar, we need to commit to delighting our audience throughout their journey. When we do this, we not only give them what they want and need, but we can also build a stronger connection with our brands.

Ashley Zeckman

Dear Friend: Secrets to Creating a Newsletter People Want to Read From Ann Handley

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 26th, 2019     Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing World

Do me a favor. Go and check your work email inbox.

Then, look to see how many newsletters from individuals or brands you’ve received in the past week (for me it was around 20). After you have that number, look to see how many of those newsletters you’ve actually opened (for me it was 3). Lastly, think about how many of those newsletters you engaged with in some way (replied, shared, etc.), or which ones contained memorable content that you’ve added to your memory bank (for me it was 0).

Yikes! Can you imagine the manpower and dollars that likely went into developing and distributing those email newsletters that are just sitting in your inbox gathering dust? And worse yet, are your subscribers feeling the same way that you do, but about the content that you’re sending out?

Ashley Zeckman

Robert Rose Shares How to Add Purpose & Focus Back Into Your Content Strategy at SMMW

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 21st, 2019     Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing World

Over the past few decades, we’ve seen the rise, fall, and rebirth of content marketing. The launch of the internet changed the value of content and at first, companies saw a lot of early success. But then, the web was flooded with a high quantity of low-value content as content creation had become much easier to execute.

What many brands were missing was a true content strategy that had a purpose, focus, and aligned tightly with business goals.

In his session at Social Media Marketing World, Robert Rose helped the audience face the hard facts about why many of today’s content marketing strategies simply aren’t working and what can be done to flip the script on bad content marketing.

Caitlin Burgess

Once Upon a Time: Storytelling in Today’s B2B Content Marketing Landscape

Caitlin Burgess on Mar 20th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Everything—no matter how innocuous or dated—had its use. It was a mantra he lived by. Born in 1946 to an Irish immigrant father and an American mother of French-Canadian descent, his parents’ coming of age was marked by the Great Depression plus decades of war.

Unsurprisingly, this meant that his parents, Pat and Stella, were more than practical when it came to purchases and investments. They were intentional. They were frugal. It was “waste not, want not.” And they never threw anything away—a way of life that he held on to long into adulthood.

But one day, Pat and Stella’s hoarding and his resulting belief that everything was useful, changed my life.

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.