1. 1-25 of 25
    1. Slowing Your (Content) Role

      Slowing Your (Content) Role

      Content is the backbone of most marketing departments today. Now there are 30 times more blog posts published a day than there were ten years ago, because it yields terrific results. So marketers are eagerly creating content at an unprecedented rate. But in many instances, they’re doing so in a thoughtless way, leaving marketers and consumers alike to suffer from content overload.

      The solution? A minimalist strategy.

      A minimalist content strategy begins with identifying a clear vision for content that is aligned with  overall business and customer goals. This gives purpose to every piece of content attached to your brand. When it comes to pioneering the strategy, Jacob Warwick of Convince & Convert stresses the importance of placing a strategic thinker at the helm:

       They set ground rules, outline distribution channels, understand performance measurement, consider budgetary needs, and build repeatable processes for more tactical producers. A strong strategic foundation is critical for scaling in a cost effective manner.

      Because results may not be furnished in the short-term, having a sound means of performance measurement is a must. If you’re feeling underwhelmed by content quality, performance, or efficiency—don’t panic and double-down on volume. Do the opposite. Sit a few plays out, hedge the cadence of your creation, and evaluate the process that may be driving ineffective content.

      Check out Warwick’s original piece for building a minimalist content strategy below.

       

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    2. Finding Your Sweet Spot: Fun vs. Stiff Content

      Finding Your Sweet Spot: Fun vs. Stiff Content

      Finding a balance between fun and professional is often a challenge for brands driving marketing and sales through content marketing. With other things to balance—including curated vs. original content, content formats, and keywords, the professional vs. fun content debate often falls by the wayside. 

      Established organizations can look to what they’ve done in the past to inform their direction, but emerging brands can face confusion when deciding what type of look and feel they want for their content. When determining the guidelines for your future content, consider the following variables before finalizing:

       Market Response

      Data matters. Regardless of how an organization views itself, it’s important to double down on content that engages your audience, rather than content that establishes who you want to be.

      Content by Function

      Workfront Content Marketing Manager Marcus Varner outlines the importance of aligning feel with function:

      Content at the top of the funnel can be a very different animal than content at the bottom. Without a little fun or edginess, you won’t last long in the realm of old media and social media. But the closer you get to the point of sale, especially in B2B, the more corporate and authoritative you may need to become.

      Be Yourself

      Regardless of intent, it’s always important to humanize your content. Your audience can sniff out disingenuous content easier than you think. Be authentic. 

      Use Branding Guidelines

      Marketing teams like to have a process. This is what birthed branding guidelines. It’s important to maintain a strong workflow and meet requirements—but not to a fault. An internal agreement with your team regarding flexible branding guidelines creates a margin of creativity that allows you to create content that fits your audience personas

      Create content that balances fun and business with the rest of Varner’s original 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. 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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    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.

      Audience

      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.

      Content

      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.

      Channels

      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. 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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    8. Three Key Considerations for Running a Great ABM Program

      Three Key Considerations for Running a Great ABM Program

      Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a methodology that’s here to stay. When done correctly it delivers prolific results and is being eagerly adopted by companies across the globe.

      The underlying objective of ABM remains the same as inbound marketing: to deliver a sales ready _____. Where inbound marketing focuses on an individual lead or title, an account-based approach looks holistically at the makeup of all parts of an account.

      Scale is the biggest hurdle facing marketers. It’s not impossible to operate a larger scale ABM program—but it is extremely challenging when the most common mistake is choosing accounts.A meticulous approach is critical when defining what a successful, sticky customer looks like. It will be the boilerplate profile for future target accounts.

      Having carefully curated a list of target accounts, your team should understand their composition, making it easier to deliver them a great experience. Apply what you know about your target accounts to every point of exposure between the two organizations. Tailor, if not personalize, every customer facing experience.

      Convince and Convert contributor Ray Kemper suggest each of these “experience” touch points should work in tandem with the other touch points:

      “Given the number of channels and touchpoints in play with ABM, your sales reps must understand how to nurture and convert your prospects. Just like bread alone does not make a sandwich, teams that are comfortable only with one channel or tactic won’t be effective, given that they must know how to drive synergy across all the ingredients of the channels.”

      Kemper discusses ABM in greater detail in the original article below.

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    9. Where to Turn for Your Content Marketing Resources

      Where to Turn for Your Content Marketing Resources

      Because organizations continue investing in content marketing, teams are increasing manpower to drive content-related activities. Consider these three options, before deciding what staffing approach best fits your content marketing strategy.

      Contractors and Freelancers

      The most flexible option, marketers can hire based on their needs. Whether they need a generalist or a niche expert, freelancers will drive satisfactory results. When hiring freelancers, use the following tactics to get the most out of your on-demand creators:

      • Provide a very clear description, vision, and directives
      • Identify a budget
      • Determine what a successful process and result will look like

      Agency Relationships

      Many of the world's biggest brands use agencies as an option to execute their content strategy. While potentially expensive and resource intensive in the initial stages, working with agencies is another outsourced avenue that has proven effective. Agencies are often best for detail-oriented projects as they have a greater level of accountability than freelancers.

      Internal Content Personnel

      Finding a permanent content marketing fixture for your team is tricky. A good starting point is outlining the areas that need the most support. Convince and Convert contributor, Jacob Warwick, explains how this can help:

      “Conceptualizing your needs can help you determine what factors are most important in a new hire and help you narrow in on the right type of candidate. It’s important to prioritize these attributes”

      Read Warwick’s take on content marketing resources in the original article below

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    10. The Hottest Content Trends for 2017

      The Hottest Content Trends for 2017

      42.5% of companies planned to increase their content marketing staff levels in 2016. With an increased focus on and production of content in 2016, 2017's content marketing programs will be all about finding a more nuanced, fine-tuned methodology for creating and executing content.

      Content will become more "on the fly," more personalized, and virtual reality-centered content will become more commonplace. As technology and media evolve, content marketing will evolve with them.

      Jay Baer, president of Convince & Convert, and a keynote speaker, podcaster, and the author of five books including Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers, argues:

      All brands must map all places and ways customers can interact and engage with them, and then provide optimal content – in multiple formats, ideally. This gives prospects and customers the information needed to take the next step, even in 2017’s crazy, non-linear “funnel” (which really isn’t a funnel at all but more like a bowl of behavioral spaghetti).

      In addition, as the amount of content marketing continues to grow, marketers will increasingly target quality over quantity. This means less focus on mapping to a funnel or creating a large amount of content, and more focus on testing and creating powerful content that resonates with current and potential customers alike.

      For more of Baer's thoughts on the top content trends of 2017, click the link below.

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    11. Stop Selling Fiction!

      Stop Selling Fiction!

      Companies have woken up to the power of storytelling to sell more stuff. 

      Realizing that humans are not robots, and that thanks to the Internet, we have more access to product information than we could ever possibly need, businesses are increasingly using the power of heroes and villains to shift their goods and services.

      That's great. It's better for consumers to be entertained as they're informed, and constructing stories is much more fun for marketers to create—let alone more effective.

      That said, far too many marketers either find it hard to break out of an egocentric, product focused mindset, or they get somewhat... elastic with the truth. As Jay Baer at Convince and Convert argues, many of these “stories” are straight up fiction that bear little resemblance to reality. But that's going to change for two reasons:

      First, Millennials abhor falsehoods (not that any generation craves them, but Millennials are especially angsty about marketing wolves in sheeps’ clothing). And as Millennials become the dominant buying cohort for more and more companies, storytelling will become grounded in unvarnished truth...

      Second, the rise of live video (both a cause and an effect of the shift to non-fiction storytelling) will require brands to get comfortable with documentary style communications, warts and all.

      Authenticity requires a much more 'warts and all' approach than the 'polished' approach businesses are reflexively most comfortable with. But if you want your future customers' trust (and you need it if you want to sell to them), you need to think hard about promoting more realistic stories. For Jay's full barrel of non-fiction insights, click on the link below.

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      Mentions: Storytelling
    12. Moving Beyond Social to an "Omni-Social" Community

      Moving Beyond Social to an "Omni-Social" Community

      Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and the rest have aggregated digital consumer attention to such an unprecedented degree they've forced companies to take an “if you can’t beat em, join em” approach to online community. 

      Given we spend more than 25% of our time online on social media, it's crucial to know how to effectively promote content on social media

      With the substantial decline in “free” organic reach in favor of pay-to-play however, social communities are now much more expensive and less efficient. But given the audiences, companies can't exactly turn their backs on these platforms.

      Jay Baer advises adopting an "Omni-Social" strategy that changes the fundamental role of leased social communities. A sound Omni-Social strategy includes these elements:

      1. A commitment to moving beyond the hegemony of rented social community
      2. Admitting that rented social communities offer user experience functionality customers crave
      3. Adding some of that functionality (or a reasonable facsimile) to a website or community your brand owns or controls
      4. Selecting and maintaining a relationship between your rented community (on Facebook, for example) and your owned assets (such as robust community functionality on your website)
      5. Communicating the relationship between your rented and owned community functions to all consumers, to avoid confusion and duplication of purpose
      6. Giving community members at least partial control of the narrative and dialog inside the owned community. Enable the community to be “theirs” in a way the Facebook page never could be.

      Baer describes a framework outlining four ways Omni-Social can work in the link below.

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    13. A Marketer’s Guide to User-Generated Content Rights and Ownership

      A Marketer’s Guide to User-Generated Content Rights and Ownership

      Image via BigStockPhoto.com

      Since the early days of social media, ordinary people have been creating quality user-generated content. Brands were not far behind the trend, looking to capitalize upon the great content their consumers were producing. Brands from all sorts of industries, from Starbucks and Burberry to Chobani, have developed marketing campaigns that benefited from UGC.

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    14. 4 Tips for Honing Your Content to Reach Gen Z

      4 Tips for Honing Your Content to Reach Gen Z

      Move over, Millennials—Generation Z is the freshest wave of movers and shakers to grace the online marketplace. Just out of high school, these incoming trendsetters don’t  know a world without smartphones, they have no clue what a two-hour wait time feel like, and Miley Cyrus probably makes more sense to them than she ever will to the rest of us.

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    15. 4 Steps to Boost Your Social Media Engagement

      4 Steps to Boost Your Social Media Engagement

      Simply too many brands use social media as a free advertising platform where they can sell, sell, sell. While the drive to push sales on whatever platform available is admirable, social media (as most of us have realized by now) plays by different rules. It’s not like broadcast television, where you buy spots on primetime, talk about your brand, and see sales walking in the door.

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      Mentions: New York Times
    16. How to Write Content Your Company Will Love

      How to Write Content Your Company Will Love

      The number one content marketing objective for companies is to drive sales and leads, as shown in our research. Sales teams often use content created by marketers to nurture opportunities as they make their way through the sales funnel. However, this collaboration between sales and marketing can sometimes be affected by lack of time, unawareness, or a disorganized content database. In this article, by Jenna Hanington, the author discusses five steps to overcome these issues and develop an effective content library that both teams will love. First step? Understand what sales needs. 

      It’s incredibly difficult to set up a system for sales without their input. Start by meeting with a few of your sales managers or top performers to learn more about what they’d like to see in a content library." 

      Working together under the same principles is essential to achieving greater results. Check out the rest of this article to find out how to improve this collaboration. If you are interested in learning more about content marketing engagement, check out our eBook, 4 Steps to Content Marketing Engagement

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    17. How to Increase Content Shareability — Before Hitting Publish

      How to Increase Content Shareability — Before Hitting Publish

      Once a piece of content is published, there are many ways to promote it — from email newsletters to promotion tools.  But, how can you increase the shareability of content before you even hit the publish button? In this post, Canva's Andrianes Pinantoan walks through how Canva ensures the content on their own blog, The Design School, is widely shared. One tip he provides? Always optimize headlines, even if it goes against your first instinct. 

      The point is not to be afraid to test longer headlines—or more generally, not to be afraid to test headlines that you’re biased against. After all, if titles are really that important, wouldn’t you do just about anything to accommodate a good one?"

      Read the rest of Pinantoan's post for even more tips surrounding content shareability. In addition, be sure to download Curata's latest content marketing eBook, 2015 Content Marketing Tactics & Technology Planner.

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    18. 5 Content Curation Tips for Success

      5 Content Curation Tips for Success

      From our 2015 Content Marketing Tactics & Technology Planner, we learned that best-in-class marketers use a content marketing mix of 65% created content and 25% curated content. Being successful at curating content involves knowing the parts that go into a curated post and various strategies. In this article, Jay Baer elaborates on 5 ways to successfully curate content. One of these ways is to curate content that is of impeccable quality.

      Curation helps you build an audience. You then have a larger group of people with whom to share your own content, and who can spread the word."

      To learn the rest of Baer's curation recommendations, read the entirety of his article. Read our eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Content Curation to learn more about effectively curating.

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    19. Harness the Power of Employee Generated Content

      Harness the Power of Employee Generated Content

      With 91% of the best business bloggers posting weekly or more often, the need to consistently produce content is at an all-time high. So how do you make sure to continually engage readers and not feel overwhelmed with creating all of this content? According to Jay Baer, employee generated content (EGC) is the key to content marketing. EGC is a way to grow your content marketing opportunities and strengthen your brand. Baer provides four tips to implement EGC. One piece of advice? Employees choose the format, not you.

      Typically, we think of content creation from employees as writing; as a blog post, or a white paper, or as an e-book, but sometimes it’s much easier for team members to create content in a different format that’s easier and more comfortable for them. "

      Getting employees on board with the idea of EGC can be tough to start as it is technically not part of their job. However, EGC helps employees to cooperate in your overall content marketing practices. If you are looking for more information on content marketing advice, check out our Content Marketing Tactics Planner

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    20. Countdown Campaigns: A Lesson from Taylor Swift

      Countdown Campaigns: A Lesson from Taylor Swift

      If you're company is launching a new product or service, you might be able to learn a few things from singer Taylor Swift's recent album launch. In the weeks leading up to Swift's 1989 album launch, she used several social media platforms — mainly Instagram — to tease bits of content (in her case, lyrics) from the upcoming album. Content marketers can learn how to do a similar countdown campaign with five key takeaways noted by Jessica Gioglio. One takeaway? The best marketing is personal:

      From the handwritten lyrics to imagery that feels in line with Swift’s lifestyle, her album promotion effort feels deeply personal and authentic and not at all like marketing. We as marketers can take a page from Taylor Swift’s playbook. Social media was intended as a channel where people can come together and share experiences and stories."

      Take a look at Gioglio's full article for other ways to create a killer countdown campaign on social media. Download our free eBook, Content Marketing Tactics Study, for more information about content promotion.

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    21. Visual Storytelling: The Breakout Trend for 2014

      Visual Storytelling: The Breakout Trend for 2014

      Content marketing is bringing with it many new opportunities to engage with readers - one of the latest being visual storytelling. Visual storytelling is all about providing positive and memorable experiences with your audience - and it's effective. As Jessica Gioglio states in her post on Convince and Convert, 

      The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.

      As the co-author of The Power of Visual Storytelling, Jessica provides seven expert tips on how content marketers can use this tactic in their current strategies. 

      Make Yourself Useful

      Earlier this year, the BBC News launched an Instagram video news service called Instafax. The program displays 15-second news clips via Instagram video as a way to deliver timely content to its busy community that doesn’t always have time to watch the news. Although positioned as a short-term experiment, the BBC is still producing daily Instafax video content on Instagram, proving the usefulness of this content to its community.

      BBC was able to shape their content strategy according to the needs and interests of their audience. Their readers needed quicker content, and BBC provided it for them. By listening to what your audience has to say, you can adjust your tactics to better provide value and increase engagement. 

      Visual Storytelling also allows readers to see the human side of your brand. This can develop trust and help consumers relate to your product or service. In addition, visuals can increase brand awareness and drive leads as this type of content is more shareable and is more likely to spark social conversation.

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    22. Jay Baer: Content Curation is a Long and Winding Road

      Jay Baer: Content Curation is a Long and Winding Road

      Jay Baer of Convince and Convert says curation is the way to go especially on Twitter:

      Many content curators tweet eight or even 10 times daily. Content sharing is today’s preferred method of content curation. And it works. 25% of tweets contain link s, but 56% of retweets contain links . Hmmm.

      But he cautions that thought curation is simple in theory, it's something that takes discipline and long term vision.

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