1. Recent Articles

      1. Should You Still Create Downloadable Content?

        Should You Still Create Downloadable Content?

        Downloadable content is still a primary driver of lead generation for most content marketers. We churn out eBooks, white papers, checklists, and other downloadable content pieces on a regular basis because they're meant to be an effective method for moving prospects through the funnel.

        But with all the changes in technology and content consumption, is this still the case?

        Yes, downloadable content is still relevantif you do it right. Johanna Rivard, executive vice president of Pure B2B, advises that: 

        There’s so much potential for value in downloadable content both for you and your prospects. It keeps information flowing, and if your content borders on the exceptional, your social media shares will shoot up too.

        However, be aware of these variables when creating downloadable content for your organization:

        • Consider the type of content your audience prefers. For example: white papers are in-depth and created by experts, while checklists are short and actionable. While both are useful, consider which format is a better fit for your audience's needs before creating.
        • Don't be too sales-y. This is the cardinal rule of content marketing. Even if your content is designed to review your product, try not to review it in a way that erodes reader trust.
        • Only gate content your audience would pay for. If they're going to submit a form—in other words, pay you with their name and email—the content should be so excellent that it has monetary value.

        Check out more of Rivard's thoughts about downloadable content below.

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      2. 3 Easily Overlooked Errors Hurting Your Content Strategy

        3 Easily Overlooked Errors Hurting Your Content Strategy

        Marketers agonize over the content creation process along with the promotion, measurement, and optimization that follows. The reporting process reveals insights for improving your content strategy moving forward. But there are many common mistakes to avoid during the creation process prior to reporting. Avoid these mistakes when creating content: 

        1. Overly Promotional Content

        To create content your audience trusts, avoid egocentric marketing. People want objective answers to their questions. Promotional content erodes your credibility by deviating from your audience’s interests. Marketing Insider Group contributor Kelsey Meyer offers her rule of thumb to avoid this pitfall: 

        If your article sounds more like a press release than a piece of educational content, it’s too promotional. 

        1. Sloppy Reader Experience

        Social media & other modern media platforms have popularized abbreviated and informal writing. This writing has no place in your brand’s content. Your content reflects your brand. When writing, consider flow, layout, proper citations, media enrichment, and grammar. An in-house editor is ideal, but tools and on-demand services are reasonable alternatives for marketers with limited resources.

        1. Content Lacking Creativity

        Original content creation is a check-box item for marketers, resulting in an Internet flooded with thoughtless content. We all crave compelling, creative content. This requires more legwork in the planning stage.

        For a creative edge, use a strategy framework to create premium, research-based content that can be  atomized into additional pieces of content.

        Meyer has more on potential content pitfalls in her original post below.

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      3. Data or Intuition: What's Behind Your Content Strategy?

        Data or Intuition: What's Behind Your Content Strategy?

        Data can help determine what content to create, how best to distribute it, how to personalize it to audience segments, and how to streamline your internal processes. 

        On average however, companies only analyze 12 percent of the data available to them. And according to Conductor, 38 percent of content marketers rarely even use data.

        While intuition and creativity are important to content marketing strategy, data is essential. Eighty percent of marketers agree that customer data is critical to their marketing and advertising efforts.

        Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Marketing, gives his opinion on where the disconnect lies:

        When it comes to content, creators are traditionally more art than science and using data to guide editorial planning is still not an advanced skill for many companies. In many other cases, content creators don’t have access to analysts to interpret data in a meaningful way or the tools and training to do it themselves.

        Odden advises utilizing data to enhance content marketing strategy in these three areas.

        • Where your audience is looking for answers and what solutions they're looking for.
        • Your audience's preferences for content format.
        • Deciding which content is driving the actions you want, and the actions each piece of content is driving. Use this data to spot trends in your content.

        We really can't learn from our successesor, arguably more importantly, show the impact on our business goals without data. It's the key to generating more leads and revenue.

        You can read more of Odden's data insights below.

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      4. How to Repurpose Like a Boss

        How to Repurpose Like a Boss

        Marketers will create loads of content this year. They should prioritize content with a long lifetime. With the proper planning, you can create content that delights your audience across formats and channels.

        Focus on What Your Audience Loves

        Look for definitive insights in your historical social and Google Analytics data. Hone in on the top topics of interest, and the audience for them This ensures you’re writing for the correct audience on things they care about.

        Expand the Value to the Types of Content Needed

        Content has the power to pique interest, be educational, prompt a lead to become a customer, spark advocacy, and more. However an individual piece of content will have a tough time doing all of the above. Create channel-specific content that includes a different, yet valuable, angle with each take, formatted it in the way your audience prefers. Pagely contributor Susan Payton explains why:

        “...if you customize the content for the channel, and provide a slightly different twist for each, [they’ll] seek you out on each channel to get maximum value.”

        Unpack the value in each piece of content that makes it out the door. Don’t go all the way back to the ideation stage for each new content item. Instead, use data to create campaigns around proven topics.

        Payton offers more on strategic repurposing in the original article below.

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      5. My Content Isn't Working. Now What?

        My Content Isn't Working. Now What?

        Given the access we now have to performance metrics, it’s much easier to set goals and gauge the success of our content. But what happens when your content doesn’t get traction? Try examining these variables to help refine your messaging.


        Part of any content strategy should include a sound understanding of your audience, their challenges, and buyer personas. These insights tend to evolve over time, which creates a challenge for writers. Changes in the market, trends, and new audience problems can lead to misaligned and/or outdated interests.


        The absolute best content that can be produced is content that helps solve your audience’s biggest problems. After you author an ultimate piece of content, it can be difficult to achieve subsequent success around the same topic. Readers might feel that they’ve absorbed all the knowledge they need from you. Moving forward, you may want to be more careful about the amount of thought-leadership knowledge available in each piece of content.


        Instinctively, marketers want to parade fresh content on all channels. This can take away from the reach of your content, hurting its performance. Jeffrey Cohen of Convince and Convert advises that: “You really need to make sure your prospects are on the channels you are using, so you can get engagement on those channels.” If your audience simply isn’t on a promotion channel, results won’t follow, and your efforts are only taking away from other promotional means.

        For more on improving content performance, read Cohen’s original article below.

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      6. Think About These 3 Things to Create Stand Out Videos for Your Brand

        Think About These 3 Things to Create Stand Out Videos for Your Brand

        Visuals improve the reach of your content and engagement with your audience. When done correctly, videos are more effective than a wall of text or a static image. Consider the following points to ensure you’re executing video marketing effectively.

        Is Your Video Telling a Story?

        Telling the story of your brand can be done more effectively and efficiently through video. Video can simultaneously communicate through sound, visuals, and narration to create a distinct mood for your audience. Video avoids forcing the reader to do the imaginative work in their own head that written content does. Rohan Ayyar at Convince and Convert offers this advice:

        “Make them feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves after viewing the video.”

        Capture Your Audience’s Attention

        Audience attention spans are shrinking. To help combat this, videos relay more information in less time than traditional media forms. Videos also cater to mobile-centric consumers.

        Adapt Video to the Platform You’re Creating For

        Currently, marketers are adapting video as a core way to connect with people–especially on social media. For businesses, taking video to social media opens the doors to an unprecedented level of transparency. Live video on social can bring a conference/event experience to non-attendees or expose an organization's inner-workings.

        Check out Ayyar’s original article below to see how video can fit into your business.

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      7. How to Improve Influencer Relations With Content Marketing

        How to Improve Influencer Relations With Content Marketing

        Influencer marketing is increasingly trendy in 2017. Articles on the topic are increasing in popularity, and there are many theories on the best way to create an influencer marketing program that works. 

        Lee Odden, influencer and CEO of TopRank Marketing, gives his opinion:

        The most practical and useful way to engage influencers in a way that creates value for everyone involved is through content. In fact, 80 percent of marketers say content marketing is what working with influencers has the greatest impact on. Accept that truth and your path to influencer marketing ROI will be much shorter, painless and enjoyable. 

        Here are a few things to consider when making improvements to an influencer marketing program:

        • Approach influencer marketing with the idea of building relationships in mind. Suggesting co-creation, taking time to interact with influencers on social media, and exchanging tasks for assistance all help improve your relationship with an influencer.
        • Look internally for subject-matter experts to build your own influencer within the industry. This is an inexpensive way to leverage influencer marketing while further bolstering your brand.
        • Observe active networks to find new influencers.
        • Track your influencer marketing to measurable goals in the same way you track other marketing tactics.

        Read Odden's complete article via the link below.

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      8. Templatized, Easy-to-Produce Content, Yay or Nay?

        Templatized, Easy-to-Produce Content, Yay or Nay?

        Everybody has read blog posts with titles like: 3 Ways to Improve Your (noun) or 6 Best Examples of (tactic you're using to Achieve your goal). Templatized, easy-to-produce content  is rampant and often scoffed at in content marketing. Despite the overuse and negative sentiment around this kind of content—it might actually be beneficial to create.

        Heidi Cohen, President of Riverside Marketing Strategies advises that:

        Using the same content format can help you build your audience and amplify your content reach. While it may not work for every content marketing plan or blog, one-trick pony content can be a viable content option that yields results.

        Among other things, posts that are easy to create allow you to ramp up creation and create enough content to support your content strategy. Here are some pros and cons of creating this kind of content:


        • Improve relations with influencers
        • Become more creative within the templatized constraints you set for yourself
        • Plan and create multiple posts at the same time


        • Not enough variety in your content offering
        • More work at the beginning reaching out to influencers and doing background research
        • More support for other forms of content creation such as images or videos

        While this kind of content isn't for everyone, most organizations can benefit from having a combination of easy-to-make, templatized content and time-intensive content like thought leadership pieces or in-depth informative articles.

        For a deeper dive on when to use template content, click the link below.

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      9. Email Mistakes That Will Cause You Unsubscribes

        Email Mistakes That Will Cause You Unsubscribes

        Seventy two percent of US adults prefer companies communicate with them via email. However, it's easy to watch unsubscribe rates climb if you execute newsletters poorly. Fortunately, there are many things we can do to improve lead generation while preventing unsubscribe rates from increasing.

        Here's how Malinda Wilkinson, CMO of SalesFusion, stays at the top of her email marketing game:

        One of the best things you can do to keep your email marketing strategy relevant and your list of email subscribers high is to regularly educate yourself. Join email communities for email communities for email marketers. 

        Check out these common mistakes that cause email unsubscribes, and what you can do to fix them:

        1. You're sending too many emails. Consider the purpose of the emails you're sending, the relationship your brand has with the recipient, and successful campaigns you've delivered to similar recipients before determining email frequency and type.
        2. You're ignoring them. Make sure you're responding to email responses, questions, etc. No one likes to feel neglected!
        3. You're using overdone, clickbait-style subject lines. These include: secret, shocking, you won't believe, etc.
        4. You're calling contacts by the wrong name. Unfortunately, this isn't entirely avoidable when using merge tags to personalize fields. The number one thing you can do to prevent more problems is ensuring you have a plan for when a field you're inputting isn't populated.
        5. You're ignoring mobile. Forty three percent of people check emails on their smartphones every day. Make sure the images in your email are optimized for mobile and the process to click through to your website is simple.

        For more common email mistakes to avoid, Wilkinson explores the topic in detail below.

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        Mentions: Email Marketing
      10. Are Newsletters Good for a Content Marketing Strategy?

        Are Newsletters Good for a Content Marketing Strategy?

        Fake news, the ease at which unsubstantiated stories can spread on social media, and the generally low barriers to entry for any yahoo to create and publish content on the Internet has many struggling to find trusted news sources.

        As a result, people are finding that email newsletters are a quick and simple way to get the information they need.

        Keith Sibson, VP of Revenue at Sparefoot, advises that:

        The email newsletters publishers have long relied on to boost engagement and ROI are now being recognized as a means to hold onto these new subscribers. Though derided and routinely declared dead, email remains a favorite of audiences and publishers alike simply by playing to its strengths: delivering easily-digestible content that increases traffic.

        Here are four important characteristics of major newsletters to adopt at your organization:

        • Make important content easy to discover for your audience
        • Add in curated articles and contextual narrative to provide additional perspective for your audience
        • Use articles that are tangentially related to your audience's interests. Exposing people to new content they wouldn't otherwise find is attention grabbing
        • Create newsletters that are short and simply laid out, making them easy to digest and finish 

        For more on making newsletters a trusted source for news, read Sibson's full article below.

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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. Join the Content Curators Group on LinkedIn

    2. Topics in the News

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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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