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    1. Engage Influencers on Social with Content Curation

      Engage Influencers on Social with Content Curation

      TopRank's Caitlin Burgess shares best practices for identifying, managing, engaging, and activating your social media community. Of the seven tips, one is particularly meaningful:

      Do some research and create a list of 10-20 people to start with. Connect with them on all of their social channels and subscribe to their blog feeds. From there, spend a few minutes each day interacting with them through sharing your own thoughts on their posts or sharing their posts with your audience. The caveat here is to make sure your interaction makes sense. Don’t force it. Look for an opportunity to add some value.

      This hack includes a few core steps in the process of content curation excellence. 

      Once you have a list of core people you want to get involved with, start engaging with them as Burgess suggests. But don't be afraid to go above and beyond with curation. Take some of their original ideas and go further: agree with them, disagree with themor maybe just elaborate on their ideas.

      By curating your influencers' content, it can take less time to achieve your goals; such as developing a working relationship with them and borrowing their audience. You can also promote this curated content to other channels to reap even further benefits from content curation.

      Read Caitlin's original article below for more ways to boost your social media community management.

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    2. 11 Common Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

      11 Common Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

      Despite the industry rapidly maturing, there's still no shortage of bad content marketing out there. We're only human, and as a professional discipline, content marketing is still relatively young. But the way to get better is to learn from your mistakes.

      Learning from other people's mistakes is the even smarter way to get better. Joshua Nite at Top Rank Marketing has helpfully compiled a zinger-worthy collection of common clangers, entertainingly explained with memes. They include:

      1. The Random Act of Content

      2. The Lightweight

      3. The Island
      4. The Enstuffening
      5. The Sloppy Joe
      6. The Great Wall of Text
      7. The Eye Exam
      8. The Post and Pray
      9. The Authority Gap
      10. The One and Done
      11. The Maze of Gates

      Some of the mistakes Nite identifies will be obvious to any experienced practitioner, others of them not so much. But the single most helpful way to avoid the majority of them is to take the time to invest in a documented content marketing strategy such as the Content Marketing Pyramid. Doing so helps you pre-empt many potential blunders before they arise, and react quickly and flexibly if something is going wrong. 

      For the full list of Nite's amusing memes (and their helpful explanations), click on the link below.

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    3. Easy Ways to Stretch Your Content Marketing Investment

      Easy Ways to Stretch Your Content Marketing Investment

      As marketers, we always have to be thinking about how to get more mileage out of limited resources, and repurposing content is a great way to do that. In fact, based upon a recent study of 1,030 marketers, only 21% of marketers have a specific process in place to ensure optimal content reuse and repurpose. 

      Joshua Nite of TopRank Marketing offers five suggestions to "turn undervalued content into content marketing gold". I'm especially intrigued by his third suggestion: 

      #3 – Combine Thin or Repetitive Content

      ... take your thin content (related 300 word posts) and combine it, Voltron-style, into one strong Power Page.

      Here at Curata we use the Content Marketing Pyramid framework to help us be more process-oriented about content reuse. We'll create one big piece of content at the top of the pyramid and then atomize it into smaller, more digestible pieces of content as we move deeper into a content pyramid (e.g., infographics, long form blog posts, SlideShares, social media content).

      Check out Joshua's full blog post at the link below to see his other tips for repurposing your content.

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    4. 8 Smart Social Media Platform Marketers Creating Awesome Content

      8 Smart Social Media Platform Marketers Creating Awesome Content

      There is an art to planning and executing on a successful social media marketing strategy. Social algorithms are constantly evolving, new networks popping up and users are adapting the way that they use social platforms.

      Keeping up with a steady and quality publishing schedule and engagement strategy for social media is no easy undertaking. To find relief, marketers have begun taking advantage of the many social media monitoring and publishing tools available on the market today.

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    5. Time For an Influencer Marketing Reality Check

      Time For an Influencer Marketing Reality Check

      Just like account based marketing, influencer marketing is one of the hottest fields in content marketing right now. And whenever something becomes hyped, opportunists invariably jump in to try and capitalize. 

      In a new field there are few "experts" because few people have been doing it for long enough to become an expert. This means a lot of the advice floating around should be approached with a healthy degree of skepticism. 

      That said, you would think an actual influencer might know a thing or two about influencer marketing. Lee Odden at Top Rank Marketing blog is one such influencer, and has asked some of his fellow influencers what the most common and dangerous myths about influencer marketing are. 

      Fantastic tales of fame and success a la the latest marketing tactic du jour rarely lead marketers to business success. Realizing the potential negative effects of alluring speculation and misinformation to marketers, I decided to take the pulse of our community on what the most common and dangerous myths about influencer marketing are.

      Odden lists five key myths about influencer marketing:

      • Myth #1: Popularity = Influence

      • Myth #2: You Should Buy Influencers Like You Buy Advertising

      • Myth #3: Brands Don’t Have Time to Develop Influencer Relationships

      • Myth #4: Influencer ROI is Measured Through Participation and Social Media

      • Myth #5: Influencer Marketing Replaces Existing Marketing

      He explains exactly why each is a a major issue or myth in the full post via the link below. What's so great about influencer marketing, and how does it work anyway? Discover 10 tips to boost content marketing ROI with influencer marketing.

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    6. Is Pinterest Still Alive & How Are Brands Using It?

      Is Pinterest Still Alive & How Are Brands Using It?

      Is Pinterest still alive?

      With the rise of Instagram, Snapchat, Blab, and other visual social media networks and apps this is a question many marketers and brands may be asking.

      The answer? Pinterest is most certainly alive. And, actually, it’s growing—even it’s not getting as much press as it was getting a couple years ago.

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    7. Influencer Marketing Is (not) Dead: How to Breathe New Life into Your Program

      Influencer Marketing Is (not) Dead: How to Breathe New Life into Your Program

      What’s a marketer to do? We heard that influencer marketing was the next big thing. We heard about companies getting amazing results with it. But it seems you can’t go anywhere online recently without seeing headlines like this:

      And this:

      Note the social shares on those two articles: 242,000 for the first one and nearly 50,000 for the second one. If influencer marketing is burning down, that’s a lot of people standing by with marshmallows to roast.

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    8. 7 Content Marketing Lessons Brands Can Learn from Journalists

      7 Content Marketing Lessons Brands Can Learn from Journalists

      Before making my debut in the content marketing world, I was a journalist living out her days at coffee shops, city council meetings, ribbon cuttings and community gatherings. The daily grind was grueling at times, but it was also exciting. The prospect of breaking news always kept me on my toes and every day I worked to give my readers the latest and greatest news and information. And of course, I aimed to deliver that news and information before the competition.

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    9. What Twitter’s Change in Character Count Could Mean for Social Media Marketers

      What Twitter’s Change in Character Count Could Mean for Social Media Marketers

      Last week, Bloomberg gave digital marketers everywhere a reason to celebrate. Citing a source close to the matter, Bloomberg reported that Twitter will soon stop including photos and links as part of their 140-character limit—giving users the ability to craft longer messages. While Twitter Inc. declined to comment, Bloomberg’s source reportedly said the change would be taking place in as soon as two weeks.

      Cue the music!

      Launch the confetti!

      Let the chanting of “Hooray!” begin!

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    10. Key Concepts For Digital Marketers to Own Their Role

      Key Concepts For Digital Marketers to Own Their Role

      While it's typical for marketing departments to use their budget for greater marketing activities, an (unpublished) upcoming Curata survey shows 42.5% of companies across a range of industries are using their budgets to increase their content marketing staff. This means there will be more employees assigned to individual roles within the marketing department.

      While this implies greater specialization within the field, it shouldn't prevent anyone from expanding their role and learning about the most important elements of digital marketing. In his blog post "8 Essential Concepts Every Digital Marketer Should Understand," Joshua Nite argues why marketers should have some knowledge of all the pieces that come together for a campaign.

      The most successful marketers tend to be skyscraper builders. They understand how their role fits into the overall plan. Which means they have a base understanding of what everyone else is doing, too. Having that context can only make your work better. What’s more, you can avoid being commodified—being thought of as “the content guy” or “the SEO woman”—and expand your role.

      Joshua provides a great overview of the key concepts a digital marketer should take the time to know. From SEO to Content Planning to PPC, they're all fundamental parts of the bigger picture. Our content strategy ebook illustrates just how those pieces fit together, while Joshua fleshes out these concepts in full at the link below.

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    11. 6 Ways to Use Video to Add More Value to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

      6 Ways to Use Video to Add More Value to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

      Humans are highly visual beings, so it’s certainly no surprise that online video content is becoming a favorite source of information and entertainment across the digital landscape—and it shows no signs of slowing down.

      According to a HighQ infographic, experts believe that 69% of consumer Internet traffic will be from video by 2017—and that number will rise to 79% by 2018.

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    12. LinkedIn Publishing: 3 Tips for Creating Better Content & 6 Marketers Setting a Great Example

      LinkedIn Publishing: 3 Tips for Creating Better Content & 6 Marketers Setting a Great Example

      Let’s face it, our online audiences are being force fed an incredible amount of content on a daily basis. Sadly, it doesn’t matter if they bookmark or subscribe to blogs, find things in search or locate articles in their Twitter or Facebook feeds; it’s overwhelming.

      And it’s not going to slow down. In fact, 76% of marketers recently surveyed shared that they planned to create even more content in the coming year.

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    13. 8 Ways to Build Credibility & Trust with Content Marketing

      8 Ways to Build Credibility & Trust with Content Marketing

      Imagine if the Nigerian prince—you know, the one spamming your email—really did have millions of dollars he needed to smuggle out of the country. Imagine he was legitimately offering you a generous portion of the cash to help you out. Think how sad and baffled he would be as yet another email went unanswered, even unopened. His motives are pure—but he lacks credibility, and so he cries himself to sleep on a mountain of landlocked money.

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    14. Don't be a Marketing Monologuist

      Don't be a Marketing Monologuist

      In today's world, if marketing is too egocentric—when it's all about your company and what you're trying to sell—customers tune out, fast. So for those who feel they're constantly reaching out with content and aren't getting a response, maybe it’s because they’re monologuing, rather than trying to create a dialog.

      Joshua Nite has a few suggestions for putting the conversation back into content marketing:

      If you really want to start a dialog with your content, snap shut your flip phone and shut down the brand-centric talk. Find out what your consumers want to talk about, craft content that invites conversation through a strong point of view, then share it in a way that encourages discussion.

      Try to avoid writing in the first person and using lots of 'we' and 'our' pronouns. It doesn’t include or draw the reader in, and can be a real turn-off. Consider your customers' pain points and speak directly to them, using plenty of 'you' and 'yours' to engage and show empathy for your customers' needs. Ditch the hard sell.

      Best-in-class marketers understand that egocentric content marketing is a relic of a bygone era. They seek to create a genuine dialog with their audience, strategies for which can be found in the eBook Stop Egocentric Marketing. Or for a quicker take, Joshua outlines five useful steps for putting the conversation back into marketing below.

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    15. Sales & Marketing Rules & Realities are Changing

      Sales & Marketing Rules & Realities are Changing

      David Meerman Scott was the opening keynote at the recent Content2Conversion event in Scottsdale, AZ. Knut Sands of TopRank Marketing did a nice job of reviewing his 4 new rules and realities of sales and marketing: 

      Understand That the Way People are Buying Has Changed

      Educate and Inform

      Embrace Real-time Engagement

      Give It Away

      The one that stands out most for me is "Give It Away".  This is good advice for content marketers looking to grow leads and revenue with their content. However, I wouldn't give it away entirely.  

      Create a large piece of content such as an eBook or white paper. This is your gated asset. Then reuse and repurpose this content across many different formats and channels, providing it for free to your audience. Include calls to action within each free piece of content that lead to the gated eBook. For example, Curata created a gated asset entitled The Ultimate Guide to Content Curation. This eBook was then repurposed into a "free" long-form blog post with a call to action leading to the original gated asset.

      The process used by Curata is based upon The Content Marketing Pyramid.  Learn how to create a content strategy and replicate this process in this 70+ page guide: The Content Marketing Pyramid. (or get the content "free" here)

      And certainly check out the full post about David Meerman Scott's presentation at the TopRank Blog through the link below.

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    16. The 4 Cs of a Powerful Content Marketing Strategy

      The 4 Cs of a Powerful Content Marketing Strategy

      As content marketing's popularity continues to rise, so does the number of marketers joining the movement. Content marketing gives companies the opportunity to provide their audience with useful and educational content they actually want. This method gives consumers true value, while also allowing companies to earn better, qualified leads. Of course, achieving a profitable marketing strategy is not as easy as it may seem. This is why Joshua Nite took the time to write this piece on the four Cs of content marketing. First C? Make your content CLEAR.

      But what the audience wants is simple, direct speech that’s easy to read and process. That’s not to say you should dumb it down, of course. Just make sure your ideas are the star, not fancy words."

      Hoping to succeed in this industry? Make sure to check out this article to learn more about this essential principal. For more information on developing a successful content marketing strategy, download our eBook, The Content Marketing Pyramid.

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    17. How to Gain Fresh Content Ideas from Events

      How to Gain Fresh Content Ideas from Events

      Have you ever experienced a case of writer's block? If you are a content marketer, the answer is a definite "Yes!" In fact, recent studies show that 60% of marketers agree that creating engaging content is their top challenge. While anyone can produce reasonable quality content, not everyone can produce content that will serve its purpose and successfully engage an audience. A great way to get your creative juices flowing is by researching events, such as conferences or conventions, that relate to your industry. In this article, Lee Odden explains twelve ways to come up with great content from events. One way? Create a Daily Roundup Post.

      Curate other people’s blog posts, top Tweets, speaker quotes and photos (giving credit where credit is due). This can actually be done by someone who is not at the event using social media monitoring tools like BuzzSumo. But it’s better if they do attend."

      Are you looking for ways to increase your content supply? Check out the rest of this article to learn how events can help you accomplish this. For other ways to overcome writer's block, download our eBook, 2015 Content Marketing Tactics & Technology Planner.

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    18. Become the "Top Chef" of Content Marketing

      Become the "Top Chef" of Content Marketing

      The number of hungry consumers looking for fresh and relevant content is constantly increasing. Marketing chefs have to put together content marketing strategies to supply this excessive demand. When done right, content marketing can help marketers create delicious gourmet meals. On the other hand, without the right ingredients, content can come out cold and distasteful. This piece, by Ashley Zeckman, discusses 7 awesome ideas to help marketers generate exquisite content pieces. Zeckman proposes that marketers study what other chefs, outside of their industry, are "cooking."

      It can be easy to fall into a routine of strictly following what other marketers in your industry are doing to help determine your content marketing strategy."

      If you would like to upgrade your content to a five star quality, make sure to check out this article. For other ways to meet the demand, take a look at our eBook, How to Feed the Content Beast.

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    19. 4 Strategies to Overcome Writer's Block

      4 Strategies to Overcome Writer's Block

      Content marketing is an essential factor in achieving one's B2B marketing goals. In this market, customers look for content that is both entertaining and informative. This makes it that much more challenging for marketers to constantly come up with new content ideas. In fact, studies show that top challenges for B2B marketers include; producing engaging content and producing content consistently. In this article, Joshua Nite discusses four strategies to create quality content when experiencing a case of writer's block. The first step to overcoming this issue is starting with structure. 

      Take your complex topic and imagine what your sub-headings should be to discuss the topic. That way, you won’t get hung up on word choice or phrasing and can focus on the key information you want to get across. Once the structure is in place, it will be far easier to fill in the content."

      Don't let this common frustration dictate your content marketing strategy. Learn how to overcome it with these insightful strategies. If you would like to gain a deeper understanding of  content marketing tactics to succeed, take a look at our eBook, 4 Steps to Content Marketing Enlightenment

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    20. 6 Easy Steps to Grow Your Content Audience

      6 Easy Steps to Grow Your Content Audience

      One key element in a content marketing strategy is creating an owned media property to house all of your content. In fact, according to our 2015 Content Marketing Tactics & Technology Study, most leading marketers use earned and paid media as onramps to this owned property. But, what are some other ways to grow an audience for your owned property? In this post on TopRank Online Marketing, Evan Prokop provides six steps to build and grow an audience. Step one? Find your content sweet spot.

      It’s hard to make people care about a topic unless you care about it yourself and even harder to hold their attention if you don’t know what you’re talking about. The most successful content comes from people who have identified both:

      • Their area of expertise: what they know
      • Their passion: what they love"

      Be sure to read the rest of this post for all six steps and download our Tactics & Technology Planner for more details.

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    21. 5 Steps to Blog Rejuvenation

      5 Steps to Blog Rejuvenation

      Many companies consider blogs to be the central hub of all their content marketing efforts. In fact, according to our recent blogging study, 91% of business bloggers publish content weekly or more often. If this where you are banking your content marketing efforts, it is important to keep the blog brimming with the highest quality of content. To do this, you may need to give your blog a little bit of a makeover. In this post, Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing lists severals steps to rejuvenate your blog. One step? Revisit your blogging goals.

      Much has changed since most companies started blogging ranging from the formats and topics people prefer to the cadence and use of media. You might have started blogging purely for marketing only to find that blogging better serves as a recruiting or customer service function. That’s why it’s important to set goals and to revisit them."

      Take a look at the rest of Lee's article to complete your blog rejuvenation and be sure to check out our study, Business Blogging Secrets Revealed, for more blogging statistics. 

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    22. Content Marketers, Let Your Story Shine

      Content Marketers, Let Your Story Shine

      According to our recent study, 76% of marketers will increase their investment in content marketing in 2015. As the space becomes increasingly crowded, how can you be sure to stand out? Laura Ramos of Forrester Research says there is one key element B2B content marketers are missing from their content strategy: storytelling. Ramos states that it's time to harness the power of telling a good story and connect with buyers on a deeper, more meaningful level. What's one best practice she suggests to get the process started? Create empathy.

      Create empathy by understanding your audience and then showing you care. Feature business uses and users of your product or service as human."

      There is no doubt that creating customer-focused stories in B2B content will help draw a closer connection with the buyer. For more information on telling an effective narrative, Ramos also addresses five ways to make your content more contextual. Be sure to read the entire recap of Ramos' presentation provided by James Anderson of TopRank blog, and check out Curata's 2015 Content Marketing Tactics & Technology Planner for more content marketing best practices. 

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    23. 4 Marketing Automation Strategies to Target Prospects

      4 Marketing Automation Strategies to Target Prospects

      With the buyers journey becoming more important now than ever before, there is still a question that remains among content marketers: how can you leverage marketing automation to fill your sales funnel? According to Brooke Furry of TopRank, marketing automation is about both the journey and destination. She outlines four items marketers should know when they are trying to get the most out of their marketing automation. One tip? Segment by personas. 

      By breaking down your audience into specific personas, marketers can characterize the important topics, questions, and needs of each group and cater messaging to provide them specific value."

      Having a persona-focused strategy is only one piece of the puzzle. Furry also suggests knowing your platform inside and out, integrating with your CRM, and refining your message. Incorporating these elements into your content marketing strategy will help create more value for your prospects and their journeys through the funnel. To learn more about content marketing tactics, check out our Content Marketing Tactics Planner. 

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    How to Feed the Content Beast (without getting eaten alive)

    Download this great resource to learn some new tips and tricks on optimizing your content, curated or original. Foreword by Ann Handley of MarketingProfs.