1. Articles in category: Content Marketing

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    1. How To Choose Scroll-Stopping Blog Images

      How To Choose Scroll-Stopping Blog Images

      A picture is worth a thousand words. There's certainly truth in that saying. With an ever-increasing flood of content available to your audience, they're looking for reasons not to read your content, including a bad (or missing) visual.

      TopRank Marketing Blog contributor Joshua Nite explains just how important it is to find the right image for your copy:

      The right visual does more than take up space. It captures attention, creates a little mystery, invites the reader to dig into your carefully-crafted text. Good visuals are doubly important for amplification, too: Your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn shares will all include an image. The visual alone can stop the endless, half-engaged scrolling people do on social media, buying you crucial seconds to compel a click or a tap.

      How can you find a disarming image for your next blog? It's all about personality - gone are the days of flat "professional" photos. Some guidelines:

      1. Ditch the crappy stock photos, particularly stark white offices, people with their arms crossed, and anything in front of a chalkboard.
      2. Make it weird...and beautiful. No one wants another obvious image. Take a cue from Instagram and look for evocative filters.
      3. Find a metaphor. Introduce that metaphor in your opening paragraph to give yourself options for a header image.
      4. Take your own photos. It's genuine and authenticity is key to getting eyes on your content.

      For more tips on finding the right image, check out the complete article on TopRank Marketing Blog.

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    2. How to Make Your Marketing Budget Work

      How to Make  Your Marketing Budget Work

      Setting a marketing budget is difficult. A solid plan for your budget requires marketers to properly allocate funds and determine what projects or campaigns are most impactful. Fortunately, there are strategies to help ensure your budget will work.

      CoSchedule contributor, Brianna Bergstrom gives an example on how funding high-growth projects with more budget is important to your marketing team's success: 

      Say that one of your overarching business goals for the year was to increase the amount of traffic that is going to your website. It would make more sense to funnel more money from your budget into projects that contribute to that goal than say events.

      Here are some other things you should do to ensure your budget is optimized for your goals:

      • Don't go over budget! This is the cardinal rule of budget setting. 
      • Keep track of your money at all times. Keep a monthly and quarterly expense spreadsheet.
      • Develop a calculation for ROI on each project before allotting budget for it. Once you've given the project budget, use these ROI goals to measure against success. Use this information to inform goals in the future. 
      • Break your content marketing budget into categories: In addition to breaking down by campaign, divide your budget into categories including tools, employees, and paid promotion. This will give you a clearer idea of where your spend is going.

      For six free marketing budget templates, check out Brianna Bergstrom's complete article below.

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    3. How to Improve Your Blog Today

      How to Improve Your Blog Today

      Blogging is on the rise. 47 percent of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep in 2016. 

      According to Blogherald Blogger, a big mistake content writers make is audience targeting.

      This isn’t a reflection of your personal ability or your potential; you may be a talented writer and an insightful web designer, but if you don’t know how to target an audience, how to build reader loyalty, and how to consistently offer better content over time, you won’t be able to succeed.

      Blogherald Blogger suggests improving your targeting by learning from other creators: read blogs about blogging, successful blogs in your industry, and writing by industry influencers.

      While this is important, it's critical to understand that original ideation and analytical thinking can also benefit your blog. Here are other things you can do to quickly improve your blog:

      For more tactics on improving your blog, check out Blogherald Blogger's complete article below. 

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    4. Is a Video Content Strategy Right for You?

      Is a Video Content Strategy Right for You?

      Whether it's live video, Instagram stories, a vlog, or virtual reality, the options and opportunities for video marketing are expanding. This expansion in choices has made many marketers feel they need a video content strategy. 

      If you're one who feels your organization needs a content marketing strategy, don't get ahead of yourself. TopRank Marketing's Caitlin Burgess believes video marketing can be successful with or without a documented strategy to back it.

      For me, this comes down to storytelling. You need a compelling narrative that’s hyper-focused on why your organization does what it does.

      One thing to bear in mind when determining whether to implement a video marketing strategy is the amount of involvement and buy-in you need from other departments. Customer Success has to help you secure video case studies, subject-matter experts need to be comfortable in front of the camera, and upper management should support your video initiative. 

      To help prove your case, consider these stats:

      If you're not ready for a comprehensive video marketing strategy, it's okay to start small. Try creating a couple of low-budget videos. Use the results to get more support from your peers. 

      For more on video content marketing, check out Burgess's complete article below.

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    5. Three Marketing Areas AI Will Improve

      Three Marketing Areas AI Will Improve

      For all the buzz around artificial intelligence in marketing, there’s just as much confusion around the subject. Some marketers are concerned about becoming expendable because of ambiguity around AI’s potential implications. They shouldn’t be. AI is slated to help marketers do two things: achieve better results and be more productive. The advent of ‘automated data-decisions’ can help marketers in the following ways.


      Reporting and measurement is central to marketing success—but it’s resource-intensive. Proper reporting takes time. Finding compelling insights to make decisions with takes even more time. AI can automate the delivery of organized data for reporting—a huge time saver. Additionally, AI can identify worthwhile trends by ingesting large datasets; trends humans may overlook.

      Optimizing Ads

      Successful advertising requires testing, tinkering, and iterating. AI-powered tools can test different audience criteria quickly. Marketers in digital advertising can find their target sweetspot faster and more accurately than if a human were to target, test, and scale. However, Mike Kaput of PR 20/20 provides one disclaimer:

      “Keep in mind: in our experience, many AI ad solutions require a high minimum ad spend per month, so these tools might be restricted to brands with larger budgets.”

      Content Marketing

      The 88 percent of B2B marketers in North America using content marketing can look forward to AI helping content marketing become self-aware. Marketers will more easily create the right content, use the right channels to reach the right people, and automate the legwork in finding metrics that justify—and expand—their budgets.

      Check out Kaput’s original article below for more reasons for optimism about artificial intelligence.

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    6. Secrets to Networking More Effectively on LinkedIn

      Secrets to Networking More Effectively on LinkedIn

      If you're at Content Marketing World this week, networking will be top of mind. However, making friends with a room full of strangers can be easier said than done. Luckily LinkedIn is a great professional networking option for post-event outreach.

      HubSpot's Amanda Zantal-Weiner argues against overlooking the platform: 

      With new social networks sprouting up constantly, LinkedIn is a platform that often gets underutilized or put on the back burner. But the truth is, LinkedIn can be extremely powerfulespecially when you're aware of all the platform's hidden features that don't get nearly as much attention as they deserve. 

      For anyone who isn't using LinkedIn to network effectively, consider the following tips to take your efforts to the next level.

      • Check out who's viewed your profile and view other people's profiles. This is a great way to get your name in someone's head before sending an InMail.
      • Create your own industry-related group, and join groups related to your industry. 
      • Make sure your profile is up-to-date and complete. Add any necessary links to your website and blog. Make sure your profile includes a background image, endorsements, and any other special features that apply to you.

      For more advice on maximizing your post-event outreach, check out Zantal-Weiner's complete article below.

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    7. Go Beyond Social When Distributing Your Content

      Go Beyond Social When Distributing Your Content

      Promoting and distributing content is just as important as creating it. But it's difficult to execute distribution and promotion well. Fifty percent of content created gets eight shares or less, according to BuzzSumo. 

      While most marketers understand the importance of sharing and distributing content, determining how to do so beyond sharing on LinkedIn and Twitter is another matter. In truth, there are hundreds of methods outside traditional social platforms to share your content. 

      HubSpot's Kelsey Meyer advises that:

      Before you toast to your status as a progressive marketer who also publishes on LinkedIn and posts on Reddit, consider this: There are dozens, if not hundreds, of methods for content distribution beyond social that you might be overlooking.

      Consider these distribution methods:

      • Guest posting: Reach out to other blogs that have the same target audience as your brand. By posting to other blogs and linking back to your website, you're reaching a new audience, driving traffic to your website, and improving your website's SEO.
      • Leverage the sales team: Use your sales team to help increase traffic to your content. This will help you more precisely reach your target audience, and speed up your sales team's cycle.

      For more content promotion tips, read Meyer's complete article below.

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    8. Content Marketing World 2017 Must-Sees

      Content Marketing World 2017 Must-Sees

      If you're reading this, chances are your flights are booked and your bags are packed for Content Marketing World 2017. This year's conference is filled with grade-A speakers, networking opportunities, and vendors. 

      Top Rank Marketing's Joshua Nite rates this conference, despite any downsides.

      This trip is definitely worth the hassle. Just keep in mind how much you’re about to learn, how many amazing marketers you’re about to meet, and you can smile your way through the unpleasantness. 

      Top speakers this year include Global Head of Influencer Marketing at SAP, Amisha Gandhi. She's presenting on influencer marketing maturity. Attend this presentation if you want to bring your influencer programs to the next level.

      In addition, Tim Washer of Cisco and Erica Ayotte of Curata are speaking. They're presenting on spicing up "boring" B2B content and artificial intelligence in content marketing, respectively. 

      Want to get more out of your CMW experience? In addition to presentations, there are exciting networking events to attend and restaurants to try in Cleveland.

      We suggest attending the CMW 80s Dance Party at the House of Blues, enjoying some Midwest meat at Urban Farmer or Mabel's BBQ, joining the CMW running group, or heading over for some bowling at the Corner Alley.

      For more must-see presentations at Content Marketing World, check out Nite's complete article below.

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    9. How to Make Your Content More Linkable

      How to Make Your Content More Linkable

      For content marketing, success is measured against metrics such as page views, shares, and revenue. These are helpful for making decisions, but rarely provide a clear picture on search result position. As budgets for content marketing continue to grow, marketers need a concrete strategy that puts content at the top of search results. Here are some elements to bake into your content that will result in happy readers, thoughtful backlinks, and better search ranking.

      Original Research 

      Data tells a story. Everybody loves a good story. Original research sets the stage for interesting data, great content, and great results. Take time to understand common questions asked across your target audience, use tools to collect data, then summarize your findings in a meaningful way.

      Create Something Actionable

      Pair interesting data with a learning experience. Content that provides a lesson will increase chatter around your brand. Not only does this type of experience improve shareability, it boosts your reputation as a quality resource, helping inspire more backlinks.

      Involve Influencers

      Engaging with people that matter in your space is worth the effort.  Robert Lovell of Right Mix Marketing explains one way to get the ball rolling: 

      ...influencers in your sector are more likely to reciprocate if you have already extolled the virtues of what they have to offer.

      Creating shareable, linkable content isn’t always easy. But these are proven elements to give you your best chance of creating content that moves the needle.

      For more tips on creating linkable content, read Lovell’s original article below.


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    10. How to Make Videos on the Cheap

      How to Make Videos on the Cheap

      Over half of people online watch videos daily. Fifty nine percent of executives prefer video to text. Fifty one percent of marketers name video as the marketing format with the best ROI. Viewers retain 95 percent of a message when they watch video compared to 10 percent when reading text.

      Unfortunately, a high quality video can be expensive and time consuming to produce. But video that works doesn't need to be either.

      TopRank Marketing blog's Joshua Nite elaborates on the importance of video:

      It’s extremely likely that your target audience wants video content. Brands that create useful, engaging video will quickly surpass their competitors who don’t. So whether your brand sells baby strollers or enterprise-level cloud-based SaaS solutions, it makes sense to get into video.

      To create successful videos for your marketing team, you need to incorporate video into your content marketing strategy. While this may seem obvious, it prevents you creating random or unplanned videos.

      Try creating videos where audiences don't mind low production values. This includes live-streaming videos, vlogs, and explainer videos for social. While higher production value videos are a nice-to-have, substance matters more for the above video types.

      For more on creating videos that work with little time and little budget, check out Nite's complete article below.

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    11. Is Your Business Findable with Personalized Search?

      Is Your Business Findable with Personalized Search?

      Ten years ago, Google’s search feature returned the same results for anybody performing a search query. Today, Google returns results tailored to the user. This is a little known feature; 43.5 percent of people are unaware their results are personalized.

      The primary variables that influence search results are geography, web history, and device. This search-result personalization makes it difficult for a business to track their keyword ranking. However, marketers can focus on the following areas to improve their search rankings.

      Thinking Local

      For a local business, there are a few things you can do to make your business more findable. Tom Demers at the Marketo Blog suggests the following:

      If you want to dominate the local market, it is a best practice to put the name of your locality into your meta descriptions and/or title tags. You should also make sure that the most up to date and accurate business details are added to all online directories like Yelp and, most importantly, Google My Business (GMB).

      Long-Tail Search

      Small to mid-size businesses should are fortunate to be able to focus on long-tail keywords, where there is less competition. Despite low competition, search volume is high for long-tail keywords. 80 percent of all searches are long-tail keywords. Cracking the code of long-tail keywords presents a great opportunity for SEO success.

      Mobile Optimization

      Visitors want an enjoyable experience on your website. It’s important to have a dynamic, and mobile-responsive website to keep your traffic happy and engaged. 

      Improve your business’s personalized search results by reading Demers’ original article below.


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    12. How to Increase Your Blog's Exposure

      How to Increase Your Blog's Exposure

      Increasing blog traffic is a challenging necessity for marketers today. Without blog traffic, none of your other metricswhether social shares, pipeline touched, or leads generated—will follow. Content marketing is a long-term strategy for your business's growth, but there are some steps you can take today for immediate results.

      Cattis Friberg of Home Based Internet Marketing Business explains one of the struggles with creating a successful blog:

      Internet Marketing is typically a rather time consuming and slow-going process. It involves constantly posting new content to your own website, working to build links and relationships with other creators and generally doing a lot of work with very little reward to begin with.

      One of the best solutions for this particular issue is content curation. Curating and commenting on content allows you to increase your content production, improve SEO, build brand awareness, and establish credibility.

      In addition to content curation, marketers can use influencer marketing and paid channels to boost blog traffic. While paid channels give you guaranteed results instantly, they don't have a long shelf-life. Make sure your paid strategy is designed to help your blog for the long term.

      For more on growing your blog, check out Friberg's complete article below. 

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    13. SEO Can Be Easier Than It Looks

      SEO Can Be Easier Than It Looks

      Search engine optimization is important for creating a successful blog post. Without ranking on Google, you're unlikely to generate a steady stream of traffic to your content. According to Imforza, 93 percent of online experiences start with a search engine, and 75 percent of searchers never scroll past the first page. 

      Unfortunately, many writers see SEO as confusing, or a hindrance to their writing. Caitlin Burgess at the TopRank Marketing Blog explains why this doesn't need to be the case:

      You don’t need to (sic) fanciest tools or a dedicated background in SEO to craft great SEO-driven content. Below are a handful of helpful research tactics you can use to make the most of your time and create a content plan that’s flush with solid topics.

      These tactics include:

      • Search incognito for your target keywords. Google personalizes search results based on geography and search history. This will give you a clearer idea of what you're actually ranking for.
      • Use the Google Adwords Keyword planner tool. This provides volume estimates, competitiveness, and relevancy to help you decide where to focus.
      • Study your evergreen content. Look at high-performing content you've already created to help determine which keywords are working, as well as ideal style and length. 

      For more on making your writing SEO friendly, check out Burgess's complete article below.

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    14. AI at Your Organization: Cheers or Jeers?

      AI at Your Organization: Cheers or Jeers?

      People tend to fear things they’re not familiar with. And it’s happening in reaction to the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) to marketing. AI utilizes the technologies of machine learning, natural language processing, and more. Misunderstandings and information gaps has left some marketers concerned about being displaced from their jobs by robots.

      The reality is more nuanced. AI solutions will help marketers do their jobs more effectively, without necessarily replacing them. The following three considerations mitigate against widespread marketing job losses.

      AI is in Its Infancy

      Artificial intelligence is a sweeping term that covers computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, and decision-making. Many helpful AI use-cases exist, but few have yet been executed. For better or worse, we still have a way to go before marketers use AI at scale.   

      AI Requires Set Up

      To use AI effectively, you need  large data sets. Organizations that already work with big data are positioned to see immediate results with AI. For those not currently indexing data, Paul Roetzer of PR 20/20 has this advice:

      “Start by assessing opportunities to get more of your data—discover insights, predict outcomes, devise intelligent strategies, personalize content across channels and tell automated stories at scale.”


      Advanced marketing and sales technology typically have an in-house product owner. Because of the complicated nature of these tools and technologies, the product manager needs to massage the relationship between AI and the organization using it. This is something to consider when determining if your business has the resources to leverage one of these powerful solutions.

      Find more context around AI deployment in Roetzer’s original article below.

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    15. Will Videographers Replace Content Marketing Writers?

      Will Videographers Replace Content Marketing Writers?

      Video is arguably taking over modern marketing. According to Brightcove, videos are shared 1,200 percent more than hyperlinks and text combined.

      HubSpot's Raj Chander explains how this is impacting writers' mindsets:

      In late 2015, a Gartner report predicting that 20 percent of all business content would be machine-generated by 2018 led to a string of articles proclaiming the death of writing jobs. High profile advocates of writing rushed to the medium's defense soon after, but it didn't curb the worry: HubSpot's recent State of Inbound 2017 report indicated that many marketers who earn a living from writing and editing are afraid their careers will "diminish more and more with [the rise of] video."

      Many of these concerns are, for the most part, unfounded. The role of writing will change in marketing, just as it's adapted for the stage, radio, and blogs. Video needs writing to create a compelling story. Research by Quartz shows that in-depth white papers and articles are still highly valued by company decision makers.

      To continue succeeding in a content marketing career, writers should fine tune their craft and track changes in the industry. Networking helps you keep a finger on the pulse of the content marketing world.

      For more on how video will impact content marketing careers, check out the full article below.

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    16. What is Permission Marketing Anyway?

      What is Permission Marketing Anyway?

      We are inundated with ads. The average consumer sees between 4,000 and 10,000 ads a day. And we tune them out.

      Permission marketing is a solution to this problem. This marketing strategy requires the consent of the individual you're marketing to before contacting them.

      While more difficult than traditional marketing, it's easy to see the benefits. PureB2B contributor Johanna Rivard explains why permission marketing exists:

      For more on the pros and cons of permission marketing, see Rivard's complete article below.

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    17. Tips for Capturing Audience Attention with Video

      Tips for Capturing Audience Attention with Video

      As we race into the future, video makes up a larger chunk of the online environment. By 2020, it’s estimated that 82 percent of all web traffic will be video. Given this increase, creating standout video is a real challenge. Use the following tips to improve the ability for your video to capture the attention of your audience. 


      The purpose of a web page is to communicate information to your audience; let video be your vehicle for doing so. Ensure you’re positioning the video as the primary eye-catching element. Videos are more engaging than text by nature. If you provide something stimulating, the viewer is only tasked with not leaving the viewing experience. With text-based content, you’re asking the reader to process the words, make connections, and more. Videos help your audience learn without requiring as much focus.

      With video, your audience receives more information in less time. For this reason, when video is placed in an easy-to-access location on your site, it improves engagement as well as conversion rates. Viewers convert better from a landing page with a video than a landing page with a bulky blog post. Positioning your video as the primary content for its respective page is a game changer. 

      Supporting Imagery

      Thumbnails are to video as headlines are to blog posts. They’re the first impression your audience has of your video content. Proper use of images to support content is vital to most content creation. Here are a few best-practices when using images to support video:

      • Build comfort and trust with a happy and/or recognizable face

      • Avoid spooking your audience with low-res images

      • Create positive emotional expectations by leveraging the right colors

       Create a Conversation

      Questions help create conversation. For a video, position a question at the video’s start will spark viewer response. Jefri Yonata of Bread N’ Beyond explains why this works:

      “The “ask a question” title format in a video often leads to viewers wondering what the answer to that question is, and it can lead them to at least checking to see if the answer is similar to what they had in mind.” 

      A question can help your audience gain interest and increase viewership.

      Check out Yonata’s detailed advice in his original article below.

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      Mentions: Blog Curata Video
    18. Should You Incorporate AI in Your Content Marketing?

      Should You Incorporate AI in Your Content Marketing?

      Over 63 percent of consumers are already using artificial intelligence (AI) and don't realize it. From IBM's Watson to Google's RankBrain, artificial intelligence is here to make your life easier.

      This is especially true for marketers. Sophia Bernazzani of HubSpot elaborates:

      When processes are optimized and made faster by technology, not only can businesses achieve better outcomes, but humans also have more time freed up for critical thinking, data analysis, and long-term planning when they aren't bogged down with more rote tasks.

      Some ways marketers can use AI to simplify their lives include website design, content marketing, content curation, search, and marketing automation.

      While AI can make your life much simpler, it's important to remember AI isn't right for everyone. Make sure to weigh out the possible costs, benefits, and time savings before investing in AI software.

      AI development is still only in the early stages of marketing applications. We recommend keeping an eye on companies creating AI programs to solve common marketing problems. Adopt AI software when a solution that's right for you is complete.

      For more examples of AI in marketing, read Sophia Bernazzani's complete article below.

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    19. Why No One Cares About Your Emails

      Why No One Cares About Your Emails

      With so many sexy tools to choose from, email is often overshadowed by the next shiny distribution method. If you're not seeing results this is often especially true. But email drives more conversions than both search and social. For this reason, email is central to marketing success.

      Marketing Insider Group CEO Michael Brenner argues that email is the most important facet of your distribution strategy:

      Blogs may generate leads like a machine and social media can grow your brand’s reputation like a gardener with two green thumbs, but your email messaging is the glue that keeps the whole content marketing strategy together. This is because email is where you are reaching out to them, a still necessary concept in the era of inbound marketing.

      Improving your emails is easier said than done. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your audience doesn't ignore your emails:

      • Write Better Headlines: A good rule of thumb is to create headlines that evoke a feeling of curiosity.
      • Personalize, Personalize, Personalize! Personalized emails have a 29 percent higher open rate and a 41 percent higher click-through rate.
      • Use DataWhether this means A/B testing your subject lines, or analyzing optimal times to send your email, it's important to utilize the data available to you. Ensure you're doing everything you can to improve your email's chances.

      For more about how to enhance your email performance, check out Brenner's complete article below.

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    20. Does Your Company Need a Soap Box to Succeed?

      Does Your Company Need a Soap Box to Succeed?

      People prefer to buy from companies that stand for something. According to Cone Communications, 87 percent of Americans will purchase a product from a company that advocates for an issue they care about.

      Alicia Tillman at D!gitalist Magazine weighs in on how this impacts B2B marketing:

      This trend is turning marketing on its head, as purpose is fast becoming the number-one driver of brand value. The recent BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2017 study shows the digital world creating overlap between business and consumer environments. Therefore the border between B2B and B2C is disappearing, creating what BrandZ calls B2H—business to human—brands.

      Creating a position for your company entails a lot more than deciding what your company advocates for. We recommend you also ensure your audience cares about that positioning and you convey that position to your audience succinctly. The following actions will help you achieve that goal.

      1. Make sure your product design, brand visuals and voice in alignment with your brand positioning.
      2. Partner with other companies that also support this positioning.
      3. Tell a story with your content that conveys emotion around the company's purpose.

      For more information on developing a brand purpose for successful content marketing, read Tillman's complete article below.

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    21. Content Marketing: A Must for Emerging Brands

      Content Marketing: A Must for Emerging Brands

      If you’re looking to establish your new business, you don’t just find the biggest business in your space and punch them in the mouth. You need brand recognition. One of the best ways to build brand recognition is content marketing. Here are three reasons why content is the perfect initiative for an emerging business.


      To today’s audience, a business with desolate content channels looks dead or dying. This is why it's important to keep your online presence alive with original and third-party content. Offering free, actionable content to your audience shows you’re invested in the problems they face, proactive, and responsive. It builds goodwill equity and establishes you as a reliable thought leader.

      Traffic and More

      Content is the bait that lures people into your marketing and sales funnel. Without it, you’re left with temporary promotional methods that involve recurring costs. Amanda Clark of Grammar Chic frames it this way:

      “Content marketing is the gateway. It’s what gets people through the door. But once they’re in, you can use compelling calls to action to point them to your website, where you can lead them down the sales funnel. As a subset of that, you can always use content marketing to grow your contact list…”

      Clarifying Your Value Proposition

      Content should help your audience solve their problems. Writing about the challenges they face helps place your business as a solution for these problems. Given consistent content, when a consumer is finally ready to buy, they’re already aware of you, they know you have a solid understanding of their problem, and they trust you. Content marketing makes you the logical (and emotional) choice.

      Check out Clark’s original piece on why content marketing is a must for new companies.

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    22. How to Create a Successful Content Marketing Team

      How to Create a Successful Content Marketing Team

      Many content marketers have not yet developed a clear formula for structuring their departments, or for hiring the right content marketer.

      According to Curata research, as many as 43 percent of companies are hiring more employees specifically to produce content. There were more than 19,000 content marketing jobs posted on LinkedIn’s platform in fall 2016.

      HubSpot contributor Sophia Bernazzani researched how four marketing technology companies structure their content teams. She discovered that:

      It’s always valuable to look at how other organizations within your industry get things done every day. And It’s particularly valuable to look at how an organization you admire, or aspire to emulate, has nailed what they do.

      Though all companies had a slightly different structure, there are some key similarities. 

      Cost effectiveness should inform your content marketing team's structure. For smaller companies who want a variety of content, this might mean using freelancers. For larger companies, full-time hires are probably the smarter option.

      Another useful strategy for your organization: wait for a channel or strategy to prove it's creating valuable ROI before hiring a full-time employee to manage it.

      In the same vein, take care to uncover the hidden abilities on your content team. From SEO to video creation, many, if not most content marketers have talents far beyond writing.

      Structure and responsibilities are important to your content marketing team's formation. But who you hire as a content marketer is even more impactful. 

      For more examples from B2B companies on how to form your content marketing team, check out Bernazzani's complete article below.

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      Mentions: ROI B2B marketing
    23. Improve Your Promotion To All Three Audience Segments

      Improve Your Promotion To All Three Audience Segments

      Marketers understand that creating and publishing content is not enough—even if the content is spectacular. The diminishing returns of organic reach require us to find clever alternatives to extend the reach of our content. To give your content the exposure it deserves, these tips will help optimize for all three basic media audiences.

      Owned Audiences

      This segment has already approved you to deliver them content. This opens up several opportunities to maximize promotion. Sending out a ‘new blog’ alert to subscribers is low-hanging fruit for driving blog views and serves as a friendly nudge for readers that may not have your content top-of-mind.

      Paid Audiences

      Best practice dictates addressing your paid efforts after completing your owned-audience efforts. Paid social and PPC ads require well-controlled testing for success. One powerful yet simple tip: bid low. Advertising platforms typically advise to run with their auto-bidding. Start your bids at a rate well below the recommended rate and then test up until you see satisfactory results.

      Earned Audiences

      Earned media has many benefits. Your brand gets fresh exposure to audiences who may not be familiar with you. Earned audiences also help boost your search ranking through backlinks to your owned content. Shannen Laur of PR 20/20 advises the following approach:

      “Pitch relevant media about featuring the assets. Or, offer to submit a guest post to take the effort off their plate, while including CTAs to the content’s landing page.”

      There’s plenty more to learn about maximizing results across these audiences. Check out Laur’s original post below for more on the subject.

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    24. One Simple Tactic For Making Relevant Content

      One Simple Tactic For Making Relevant Content

      Creating content relevant to your audience is crucial to achieving your marketing goals. To do this, many marketers take a leaf out of Oreo's book and focus on current events

      Frank Thomas, head of Adidas's content strategy and content marketing, used a different method. When he launched Adidas's Game Plan A, a content hub, he had this to say about it: 

      The goal of this venture is to engage employees and attract the right talent and build relationships with like-minded people (be they internal or external) who have a cultural background compatible to our own. While all of this will help create advocacy in the long term, driving revenue isn’t a primary goal of GamePlan A.

      This strategy has more longevity than Oreo's, because current events' relevance doesn't last. A better way to achieve relevancy is developing durable branding that resonates with your audience. Then filter all aspects of your company's communications through your brand definition. 

      Strong branding strategy works. According to Bop Design, 64 percent of people cite shared values as the main reason they have a relationship with a brand. 

      Thomas suggests that after filtering all communications through your brand definition, you should "Dare to disregard the numbers." This is an interesting concept and can be good for testing and ideation. But it's important to use analytics to ensure your content works. Yes, try alternatives to what's worked in the past, but if your test fails, it's time to abort and start anew.

      For more information on how Adidas created relevant content for their brand, check out Thomas's full article below.

      Read Full Article
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