1. Recent Articles

      1. Tips and Tricks for Keeping Evergreen Content Fresh

        Tips and Tricks for Keeping Evergreen Content Fresh

        With a constant stream of new content being thrown at us, a post's usefulness often doesn't last much longer than a few days after creation.

        Usefulness declines for the reader as well as the marketer creating it. A piece of content's contribution to marketing analytics often dwindles or shrinks to nothing over time. 

        Joshua Nite at TopRank Marketing says to consider that:

        On one level, what content becomes evergreen is up to your audience. There will always be a blog post or two that get a surprising amount of sustained attention—posts that just happen to meet an ongoing need.

        While this is true, there are a few things you can do to help your content make an impact. Writing about something specific to an event, season, or something else that is otherwise frequently changing might be helpful to your audience at the time—but it's unlikely to have a sustained impact. Content should provide a top-notch solution to the question it's answering, and be made highly visible to your audience. 

        Identify pre-existing evergreen content by looking at your site's best performing content, or content that is still performing several months after publishing. Optimize this content by refreshing, gating, reformatting, or promoting it. When updating evergreen content, consider removing the date from the post and optimizing it for SEO.

        For more of Nite's advice about evergreen content, read the full article below. 

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      2. Overcoming Content Marketing Staff and Knowledge Shortages

        Overcoming Content Marketing Staff and Knowledge Shortages

        Content marketing has arrived, with investment in and adoption of content marketing continuing to increase. According to Zazzle's State of Content Marketing Survey, 79 percent of decision makers feel content marketing is either quite or very effective.

        Despite content marketing's success, companies still face challenges in knowledge and staffing. Debbie Fletcher at Digitalist Magazine had this to say about the knowledge shortage:

        ... we can see that even though study respondents are clear about how effective content marketing is, they’re not as confident about showing how and why that is the case. Indeed, 62 percent of respondents said they were unsure of how to measure the ROI of content-led campaigns.

        In addition, 3 in 5 respondents said staffing is their greatest challenge. Here are two ways marketing teams can help overcome this challenge. 

        First, hire top-notch content marketers to fill in your team's gaps. If your team lacks good writers, hire a journalist as your next content marketer. Post your job on websites like Journalism Jobs or Hold the Front Page so journalists can easily find it.

        Another option is to help your existing team fill in your staffing gaps. Review your KPIs to make sure all team members are working to optimize content marketing goals, and to prevent your team from operating in silos. Having your SEO specialist work closely with your content marketer, for example, will benefit your overarching content strategy.

        For more of Fletcher's advice on overcoming content marketing challenges, read the full article below. 

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      3. Getting Started with Contributed Content

        Getting Started with Contributed Content

        Guest posts serve as a valuable way to power your business’s content engine.  They allow guest contributors to reach a broader audience, and ease a publication’s burden of content demand. 

        Here’s how to ensure you satisfy your guest contributors’ interests while also meeting your organization’s goals.

        Meeting Expectations

        Because most editors appreciate the benefits of contributed content, they outline expectations that need to be satisfied for new content to be published. Contributing guests should ensure all the requirements are met. This practice will help avoid frustration for both contributor and editor. 

        Think Beyond Blogs

        People prefer to consume content in different channels and formats. If you’re contributing to external publications and can create alternative content formats that still meet guidelines, pitch those. You’ll get exposure for your own brand, reach a broader audience, and create a lasting impression with fresh content—something editors are always grateful for.

        Understand Metrics and Benefits of Success

        There are plenty of elaborate metrics to measure content performance by. But when it comes to contributed content, editors tend to look at social shares and pageviews. Kelsey Meyer, a Convince and Convert contributor, elaborates further:

        If your content is widely shared, you’re expanding your audience. And when your content performs well, editors are more likely to invite you to publish more often than if your content flopped.

        For more insight on launching a contributed content strategy, check out Meyer’s original post below.

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      4. How to Automate Your Social Without Being Spammy

        How to Automate Your Social Without Being Spammy

        On average, 49 percent of companies currently use marketing automation according to emailmonday.

        Marketing automation has been a buzzword for years. And yet, many people still associate the practice with canned, intrusive messages.

        According to Sprout Social, the two most common behaviors that cause consumers to unfollow brands are those that are perceived as spammy or annoying

        Digital strategist and Sprout blog contributor Jenn Chen offers one example of where social media automation can go wrong:

        Automatic Direct Messages in Twitter are often frowned upon because they make you look like you don’t care about your followers. They sound like generic marketing messages that could be directed at anyone. There’s no personalization and customers are savvy enough today to tell.

        Automated tactics can sabotage your marketing strategy. But they can also streamline your processes, shorten your to-do list, and delight your audience. Follow these tips for using marketing automation the right way.

        • Schedule social media posts for optimum engagement. There are many platforms that allow you to post based on when your audience is most active online. 
        • Set up RSS feeds to automatically share your content, and/or content from a valuable resource, with your audience. 
        • Automate reports to pull stats weekly or monthly. This saves time in assembling a report, allowing you to spend more time analyzing the data.
        • Add a personal touch to your posts. Posting the titles of each article you share with a link and hashtag over and over can get boring.

        For more on how to do social media automation effectively, check out the rest of Chen's thoughts below.

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      5. How Will Artificial Intelligence Impact Content Marketers?

        How Will Artificial Intelligence Impact Content Marketers?


        Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly prevalent in everyday life, from Siri to Google to Netflix. ‘Intelligent agents’ or AI will destroy six percent of all jobs in the US by 2021, according to Forrester Research. So it's easy to see why some wonder what artificial intelligence (AI) can do for marketers, and if the marketing profession is in jeopardy.

        TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden had this to say about how artificial intelligence could impact marketing: 

        Outside of considering all the ways AI and machine learning could help with extracting insight from large amounts of data and the ongoing optimization, my big takeaway from the demo was that as with all industries that change, those that adapt will survive and thrive. Those that don’t, won’t.

        AI could help marketers flourish in many areas where rapidly synthesizing, analyzing, and acting on data is beneficial to results. This includes subject line testing for emails, other forms of A/B testing, PPC and paid ads online, and recommended content on your website and blog.

        While there are many areas where AI can help marketers, it is unlikely to entirely eliminate the marketing profession. Marketers infuse creativity and provide a human aspect to marketing. Much like self-driving cars, human participation in marketing is integral to its success. 

        Odden has more on cognitive thinking and how AI will impact marketers in the full article below.

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      6. Keep Your Audience Interested with a Full Content Calendar

        Keep Your Audience Interested with a Full Content Calendar

        Most marketers recognize it's difficult to build an active and engaged audience without producing enough content to fuel their interest. 87 percent of B2B marketers surveyed by Forrester say they struggle to produce content that truly engages their buyers. 

        Joshua Nite of TopRank Marketing also believes a full editorial calendar is one of the keys to engagement. Here's how he suggests you keep your editorial calendar full:

        A blank content calendar can be daunting. But don’t fill it in with random acts of content. Start with your goals in mind, then match them with the topics your audience most wants to hear about. Plan for a good variety of content types and formats to keep things fresh, and make sure to fill the top of your funnel as well as engage the lower part.

        Producing regular content is important for audience engagement. But there are other factors around content creation that are just as, if not more important to your content's success. 

        In order to create content that truly engages, content marketers need to split their focus. Don't just look at the amount of content created. Examine your promotion strategy, social shares, and measure the results to ensure your content is optimized for engagement.

        Nite has more on how to plan content for a full editorial calendar below.

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      7. Buying MarTech with Today’s Transparency

        Buying MarTech with Today’s Transparency

        Every new challenge marketers are faced with births new technology solutions. These tools require rigorous evaluation to determine vendor and buyer alignment—but few tools deliver on expectations. Buyers continue to invest in software that falls short. Take these steps to avoid buyer's remorse.

        Outline Challenges

        This step involves people outside your immediate team. Share the pain you’re experiencing with stakeholders and tie it back to organizational goals. Marketing Insider Group contributor Jacob Warwick outlines the benefits of this collaboration: 

        By sharing your findings through a transparent and collaborative approach, you can earn internal support to find a solution, receive additional feedback to analyze, and give leadership teams insight to manage company-wide expectations.

        Consider Several Solutions

        Steps two and three are often poorly executed. Look for solutions that are a good fit for your needs and company. Make a list of products that you’ve heard of and solicit peer referrals for these products. Look at competitors, and seek out tools that might fit the bill by using an entirely alternative methodology.

        Use Transparency to Your Advantage

        Thanks to the era of solution sales, buyers now benefit from transparency. Without sacrificing negotiation leverage, share your notes during discovery calls and product demos. Use the availability of authentic peer reviews and third-party product reviews that fit your use-case, and don’t be afraid to reach out to reviewers directly for additional feedback prior to purchasing.

        Warwick has more detailed guidance in the original article below.


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      8. The Great Creation & Distribution Conundrum

        The Great Creation & Distribution Conundrum

        Marketing teams are eagerly creating content at an unprecedented rate. TrackMaven suggests brands are publishing 800 percent more content than five years ago—and there’s no sign of  slowing down. What’s alarming is the lack of reach and engagement with this content. The reason? Many content creation teams are too focused on content volume rather than content quality and promotion. 

        In addition, teams responsible for content marketing lack  budget for paid promotion campaigns. With gaps in budget for paid media, how can we resolve the over-creation and under-promotion issue?  Influencer Chad Pollitt suggests a solution at Convince & Convert:

        The bottom line for brand executives is this: Move distribution budgets as close to creative as possible for content marketing success, and start thinking like TV ad executives. For native ad tech companies, start catering to the needs of content marketers. They need your help but don’t care about CPMs and clicks. They want engagement.

        Pushing the creative and paid teams to work in closer conjunction with each other creates more opportunity for success for both teams. Another solution: increase the budget of the team that owns top of funnel content to achieve the goals of the distribution team.

        Pollitt provides more on the challenge and solution to this conundrum in his original article below.

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      9. How To Create A Meaningful Brand Online

        How To Create A Meaningful Brand Online

        When a recent global analysis by Meaningful Brands took a look at content marketing efforts around the globe, covering 1,500 brands in 15 different industries, it uncovered a harsh reality for digital marketing – 60% of content being created is underperforming. This failing content is considered by consumers to be irrelevant and serves the sad purpose of adding to all the clutter on the web.

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    1. Content Curation Insights

      1. Rand Paul: Accusations of Plagiarism

        Rand Paul: Accusations of Plagiarism

        The recent plagiarism accusations against Kentucky Senator Rand Paul highlight an important aspect of content curation: attributing sources. Buzzfeed reported that a piece Paul wrote for The Washington Times about mandatory minimum sentences contain three paragraphs that were allegedly copied almost verbatim from an op-ed written by a senior editor at The Week. Paul’s other works including speeches, book, and congressional testimony may also contain sections that may have been copied from other sources.

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      2. Content Curation: Copyright, Ethics & Fair Use

        Content Curation: Copyright, Ethics & Fair Use

        Fair-use and curation of other people’s content becomes an issue when it’s not handled properly because the interest of the curator and the publisher overlap significantly.  They both want a piece of the same pie: site traffic, increased SEO and visitor retention.  When the curation is done wrong, the curator’s interests are served but the publisher sees no benefit.  But if it’s done properly, in a symbiotic manner that makes it a win-win, curation can serve the interest of the publisher, and curator, and ultimately the audience.

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      3. Content Marketing: Make it Work - Your content marketing questions answered.

        Content Marketing: Make it Work - Your content marketing questions answered.

        Last Wednesday, we held a joint webinar with Percussion Software called Content Marketing: Make it Work. Pawan Deshpande of Curata and Aaron Dun of Percussion walked through real-world examples of organizations that have tackled their content "problem." A recording of the webinar can be found here. During the webinar, our attendees posted questions to us. We did not get a chance to answer them in the webinar, so we thought we take the opportunity to do it now.

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      4. Do iFrames and Share Bars Help Retain Curation Traffic?

        Do iFrames and Share Bars Help Retain Curation Traffic?

        Many content marketers contemplating curation fear that linking to third-party content will drive visitors away from their branded properties to be never seen again.  One tactic employed by some marketers is to use a share bar or iFrame which hovers over the third-party article displaying branding and a link back to the site which curated the content. Share bars must be used with caution. Here's why.

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      5. Real-World Examples of Successful Content Curation

        Real-World Examples of Successful Content Curation

        "This group of examples will not only inspire you to think about how you might use curation in your own marketing, but also shows just how powerful curated content can be to illustrate your expertise without the ongoing burden of creating your own content." - Rohit Bhargava

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      6. Content Curation & Analytics: What to watch and what to ignore

        Content Curation & Analytics: What to watch and what to ignore

        Content curation is unique among content marketing strategies because it relies on third-party off-site content.  As a result, audience behavior is very different from traditional online marketing campaigns where all content is consumed within a brand’s online properties. Let’s take a look at metrics to pay attention to specifically for content curation initiatives, and just as importantly, misleading metrics that you should ignore as well. We will provide a walk through of metrics by channels for your curated content namely sites, email newsletters, social media outlets, and feeds.

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      7. 10 Tweetable Facts from 2nd Annual B2B Marketing Trends 2012 Report

        10 Tweetable Facts from 2nd Annual B2B Marketing Trends 2012 Report

        The results are in from Curata's 2nd Annual B2B Marketing Trends 2012 Report and content marketing is on the rise! We surveyed more than 450 marketing professionals  to better understand the B2B marketing landscape. Here are 10 tweetable facts we’ve prepped to share the knowledge!

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      1. Mobile is becoming increasingly important to B2B marketers because they recognize the captivating nature of that experience. We've seen this phenomenon on our own platform with 47 percent of our traffic now coming through mobile.
        By Russell Glass
      2. We created the piece because we think our entire industry is moving more towards long form, in-depth looks at interesting subjects and content that's visually appealing.
        By Darren Kingman
      3. Designers should already have an understanding of what works and what doesn't based on research and/or professional experience.
        By Jamie Dihiansan
      4. It's important to value the local point of view.
        By Rohit Bhargava
      5. The big question is how do you apply your global mindset to create content that works across cultures without building a huge team or relying on just translations.
        By Paolo Nagari
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