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    1. Content Marketing Trends That Will Make an Impact

      Content Marketing Trends That Will Make an Impact

      With nine out of ten B2B marketers using content as part of their marketing strategy, it's now undeniable that content marketing is not a trend, but a subset of marketing that's here to stay. 

      With artificial intelligence, virtual reality and constantly changing SEO, it's hard to determine where your focus as a content marketer should lie.

      Speaker and author, Heidi Cohen believes the focus, no matter what, should be the wants and needs of your audience. Here's one of her top tips:

      Provide a welcome series. Don’t let your enthusiasm for qualified leads get in the way of developing relationships with new subscribers. Give readers space to get accustomed to your communications.

      Another trend to consider when planning your 2018 content marketing strategy is that reach on social is down. Use this as an opportunity to expand the ways in which you're communicating with your audience.

      Cohen suggests focusing 40 percent of your marketing budget on content and focusing on existing high-performing content to yield better results. 

      For more on which content marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2018 and how to leverage them to your advantage, check out Heidi Cohen's complete article below.

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    2. Use Events to Leverage User Generated Content

      Use Events to Leverage User Generated Content

      User-generated content (UGC) is popular with content marketers because of both its economy and authenticity. UGC refers to when an audience (users) create content around your brand. You can then share, repackage, and repurpose this content to further your marketing goals.  

      The benefits of UGC include increased brand awareness, lowered content creation cost, and the credibility that comes from external, (presumably) unbiased people singing your praises. There are a number of ways you can encourage valuable UGC at conferences and events.

      Content marketing author Heidi Cohen elaborates:

      Done well it builds your brand and your community by creating real life engagement. Even better for attendees, it helps you to connect with influencers in your category and to get some glow from their reach.

      Creating user-generated content from events is not only beneficialit's easy and inexpensive. Ways you can inspire user generated content at an event include:

      • Bring a video camera and ask questions to attendees 
      • Ask people to take a picture with a prop
      • Create your own custom hashtag for the event
      • Host a scavenger hunt that incorporates social posting

      Find out more ways to create UGC at your next conference in Cohen's complete article below.

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    3. Make Your Blog Title Better Than This One

      Make Your Blog Title Better Than This One

      Creating an attention-grabbing title is no easy feat. Your title directly impacts the success of your blog post. It determines social engagement, email click-through, and unique views. Unfortunately, creativity can only get you so far in the world of headlines. Data can take you further in ensuring your content gets the views it deserves.

      Marketer and keynote speaker Heidi Cohen advises:

      After investing precious resources into lovingly crafting content and social media shares, don’t just slap any headline on it that pops into your head at the last minute.

      Here are suggestions to improve your blog post titles.

      Upworthy recommends thinking of at least 25 headlines before choosing the best one. While this might be effective in creating a standout title, most marketers don't have the luxury of that much time. For a blog cranking out new posts a couple of times a week, coming up with five or so titles and then whittling it down is fine.

      There are also specific words and phrases that improve your blog post's clickability. According to BuzzSumo, these are the top phrases to include in your title for Facebook engagement:

      • Will make you

      • This is why

      • Can we guess

      Another tactic for successful headline creation is emotion. Try telling your audience the emotion the blog post will evoke with words like cute, heartwarming, or amazing in the title.

      For more on using data to create a great title, check out Cohen's complete article below.

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

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

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

      Heidi Cohen, President of Riverside Marketing Strategies advises that:

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

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

      Pros

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

      Cons

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

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

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

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    5. Tactics To Ensure You're Reaching the Right Market

      Tactics To Ensure You're Reaching the Right Market

      Only 23 percent of CMOs feel they're producing content with the right information, format, and timing for their audience, according to Business 2 Community.

      Despite common agreement that audience targeting is important to the success of any marketing program—it seems to be falling short. 

      Heidi Cohen argues for the importance of audience targeting in content marketing:

      It’s difficult, if not impossible, to write a strong piece of content that resonates with your readers, if you don’t know whom you’re writing for. Every writing workshop I’ve ever attended has made this point: If you write for everybody, you write for nobody.

      Before creating content designed for an audience, you must first define who they are. Cohen asserts that a marketing audience is made up of three groups: your customers, employees, and promoters. However, there are other audience segments that shouldn't be left unattended either. 

      Potential customers aren't necessarily the same audience as current customers. Developing buyer personas for all potential buyers is important to assure you're not neglecting a key area of your target market. 

      For more actionable tips on how to make content marketing more applicable to your audience, check out Cohen's full article below.

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    6. Favorite Content Curation Tips To Wow Your Readers

      Whether you’re a veteran content marketer or a content newbie, you need content curation to support your content marketing plans and improve your business results. Content curation supports your content strategy, your organization’s overarching content vision. It positions your business at the cross-section of your key goals. Additionally, content curation supports your content marketing’s tactical relationship building program.

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    7. Content Curation Grows Up: What You Need To Know

      Content Curation Grows Up: What You Need To Know

      If content marketing is a teenager who’s left home, then content curation is its ever-present romantic attachment. Like teenage love, content curation holds a strong sway over content marketing. That’s what happens when you’re in love. Content curation may never reach content marketing’s prominence. But it’s increasingly important to your overall content marketing strategy. It’s not just something that’s nice to have.

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    8. How to Avoid Wasting Your Budget on Orphan Content

      How to Avoid Wasting Your Budget on Orphan Content

      Have you forgotten about some of your (potentially best) content? If so you're not alone; around 60%-70% of B2B content marketers' output is orphan content. According to Kapost research, 75% of marketers only use a piece of content once. Riverside Marketing Strategies president Heidi Cohen outlines three key attributes of orphan content:

      • No internal links. Links support your search efforts and keep people on your site. Add internal links to other content on your site or blog. Also link to new content from existing content when you publish.

      • No on-going promotion, social media shares or curation. Content needs to get out and strut its stuff on a regular basis or it’s forgotten. Just like buying a new outfit for a party, you need to change your content presentation.

      • No updates. Adding new insights and bringing content up-to-date is critical to maintain evergreen content. It shows your audience and search engines that you care about it and that it’s still useful.

      To avoid orphan content you need a system, such as Curata's Content Marketing Pyramid. Cohen also offers seven great tips to avoid orphan content and extend your content's lifespan in the full article below:

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    9. Everybody Writes – Book Interview

      Everybody Writes – Book Interview

      Everybody Writes is a go-to guide to attracting and retaining customers through stellar online communication, because in our content-driven world, every one of us is, in fact, a writer.

      If you have a web site, you are a publisher. If you are on social media, you are in marketing. And that means that we are all relying on our words to carry our marketing messages. We are all writers.

      The post Everybody Writes – Book Interview appeared first on Heidi Cohen.

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    10. 5 Marketing Trends to Avoid Getting Left Behind in 2016

      5 Marketing Trends to Avoid Getting Left Behind in 2016

      At the end of each year there are a landslide of marketing predictions, some better than others.  The best predictions tend to be unique, relevant, insightful and actionable.  I especially like to see a prediction where the writer has taken a chance at breaking new ground, challenging the status quo. 

      Heidi Cohen, an expert in the content marketing space, has done a nice job identifying 5 key marketing trends that may transform your business in 2016. 

      1. Audience context becomes the marketing focus.
      2. Mobile first, not mobile only -- you must be cross-platform.
      3. Increased difficulty breaking through and attracting customer attention.
      4. Marketing stops being once and done.
      5. Marketing ROI is a necessity (or bye, bye marketing budget).

      I especially like #5 regarding the increased need for marketing ROI.  No where will this be more important than in the discipline of content marketing, especially if you agree with Gartner's assessment of content marketing currently sitting in the trough of disillusionment.  Marketers need to be more data-driven, identifying the impact of content across their marketing and sales pipeline. (e.g., leads generated and influenced by on-site and off-site content)

      Content marketers should work closely with their marketing operations teams to get at this ROI, as well as tapping into the emergence of content marketing platforms for more rapid access to this data and related insight.  (e.g., Curata CMP content marketing platform)

      Read Heidi's full blog post to best prepare yourself for the upcoming year.

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    11. Fill the Advertising Gaps with Content Marketing

      Fill the Advertising Gaps with Content Marketing

      Although native advertising has been a go-to method for increasing product awareness,  it has become more challenging to reach a target market due to consumers being able to filter out your messaging. While it may help customers keep spam mail and unwanted ads away, it makes it more difficult for marketers to predict the ROI of their efforts. On the other hand, content marketing allows for predictable and measurable results, since content is helpful to the consumer in nature. In this piece, Heidi Cohen explains seven ways content marketing can help to fill the gaps in advertising. One way? Levering social media platforms where customers seek shopping ideas. 

      Be present on networks and platforms where your target audience is considering future purchases and actively seeking product information."

      To learn more about how content marketing can help improve your marketing strategy, take a look at this article. For more information on how to better engage your audience, check out our eBook, 4 Steps to Content Marketing Enlightenment

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    12. How to Whip Your Content Into "Summer" Shape

      How to Whip Your Content Into "Summer" Shape

      With the summer just beginning, there are plenty of opportunities to cater your content to this warm time of year and multiple avenues to go down for inspiration. In order to whip your content into the best "summer" shape, Heidi Cohen offers up five tips to make your pieces flourish. One suggestion? Create a summer editorial calendar and review it for opportunities.

      Take advantage of the summer’s sense of energy and upbeat outlook. As you refine your content marketing plans, leave room for notes since there are always outside factors beyond your control. Document them. This will help you improve your efforts going forward."

      The summer is not a time to slow down on your content strategy. Evaluate what's worked and what hasn't, and plan out ways to repurpose existing content. To learn Cohen's other four tips, check out the rest of her article. For more information on content marketing best practices, download Curata's 2015 Content Marketing Tactics & Technology Planner

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    13. 10 Steps to Integrate Internal Content Curation

      10 Steps to Integrate Internal Content Curation

      Content curation can serve as the perfect compliment to created content. According to our research, best-in-class marketers employ a mix of 65% created content, 25% curated content and 10% syndicated content. Diving deeper into this stat, Heidi Cohen says that in order to get the most out of our content, we must take advantage of internal content curation. She defines internal content curation as "giving new life to content that you've already produced and published." Many content marketers forget that implementing this strategy can cut costs and time on content creation as well as expand the reach of their audiences. Cohen walks through 10 steps to maximize internal content curation. One step? Audit existing content across your organization.

      Don’t limit yourself to the information that exists in your marketing department. Look at what you’ve got in your communications, sales, customer service, human resources, and investor relations. Where appropriate scan content into your content management system (CMS)."

      To get the most out of content, it is important that we take action on this strategy of internal content curation. For the other nine steps, be sure to read the rest of Cohen's article, and to learn more about content curation, check out our eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Content Curation. 

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    14. Show Don't Tell with Visual Content Curation

      Show Don't Tell with Visual Content Curation

      As content marketers, we know it can often be difficult to consistently come up with fresh content. In this post, Heidi Cohen outlines the five most popular blog content curation formats. One of these formats is show and tell. Cohen points out that show and tell posts are a great way to let the visuals do all the explaining. As we learned from our Ultimate List of Content Marketing Statistics, marketers will increase their original visual assets by 70%. Readers prefer to be shown how to do things, so providing images or videos is a great way to have your audience enjoy your content.

      Blog content curation involves more than just collecting links, that’s aggregation not curation. It involves selection, enhancement (titles and images) and commentary."

      To find out the remaining curation formats along with five bonus tips on how to enhance blog content curation, read Cohen's full post. To learn more about supplying your audience with various types of content that will keep them engaged, read our eBook, How to Feed the Content Beast.

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    15. 3 Convincing Cases for Content Curation

      3 Convincing Cases for Content Curation

      A large part of many marketers content marketing strategy consists of curating content. In fact, according to recent research, content marketers are curating 25% of all content.  However, if there there are any marketers who still aren't convinced on curation, these three benefits will certainly change their mind. Whether you are thinking about increasing your content curation efforts or just getting started, these three reasons to curate content from Heidi Cohen are a great refresher. One reason? Curation is a great fix when resources for content are low.

      To meet the challenges of not being able to generating enough quality content, use content curation and interweave your brand into a combination of your own and other people’s content. Then share it across different social media platforms."

      Take a look at Cohen's post for the other two reasons to curate content. For a complete, end-to-end guide to content curation, be sure to check out our latest eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Content Curation.

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    16. The Secret to Successful Curation: Distribution

      The Secret to Successful Curation: Distribution

      Many marketers have realized that the secret to a successful content marketing strategy is a good mix of created and curated content. In a recent Curata study, we found that best-in-class marketers provide 65% created content, 25% curated content and 10% syndicated content. Heidi Cohen offers up three tips to ensure that the content you curate gets the maximum amount of exposure through distribution. She even says that you should spend 80% of your time distributing content. One of her tips? Publish on a regular schedule.

      To leverage the power of curated content to achieve your business goals, you must train your audience to expect your content. This is the logic behind traditional newspaper and television schedules. This point is about your audience not you. Realize that to build your thought leadership and related goals you need to build your tribe. Distributing content on a consistent basis is part of this."

      To find out what Cohen's other two tips are, read the rest of her article. For more information on content curation, download our eBook, Taming the Flood of Online Content.

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    17. The Battle of Curated & Created Content: Who Wins?

      The Battle of Curated & Created Content: Who Wins?

      When some marketers hear the words "content curation," they run away, scared that using this type of content might be duplicating other people's work. However, in recent years, marketers who curate content ethically and add additional value for readers have seen massive success. Heidi Cohen compares and contrasts the performance of curated versus created content in this in-depth analysis. One advantage of curated content? Automatic social shares.

      Unlike original content, curated content has a built-in base of supporters who will help distribute and add trustworthiness to your content. This helps it break through and get read."

      Cohen lists several pros and cons of curated content and ultimately advises readers to consider curation as a viable tactic. For more information, take a look at our recent study to see how best-in-class marketers are fitting curation into their strategy.

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    18. Educate Your Audience with Content Curation

      Educate Your Audience with Content Curation

      With the overwhelming amount of content crowding the web, the pressure to create great pieces has certainly risen. However, content creation should not be the only focus. Curating content can give your target audience a different way of viewing fresh, relevant content. Heidi Cohen describes three ways that content curation can give you superpowers. One way? By being a tastemaker. 

      Highlight your most recent content as well as your most relevant content mixed with other people’s content, including your competitors. The prize goes to the person or brand that can cull through everything that’s flooding into our communication channels and select the useful, important gems based on understanding your audience’s persona."

      In addition to being a tastemaker, she also highlights the value of repurposing and reusing content, as well as leveraging other people's audiences. Whatever the case may be, content curation has the power to please your target audience in more ways than one. 

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      Mentions: Content Curation
    19. Kickstart a Conversation With Your Content

      Kickstart a Conversation With Your Content

      It is widely known that content marketers should be marketing their content on various social media channels. But, this content should also be inherently social — allowing community interaction through comments and contribution. Heidi Cohen explains: 

      Social content is shorthand for the terms “social media” and “content marketing.” It represents content and link sharing on various social media platforms. Yet, for marketers, the social content definition is broader and, often, not well understood. Social content is about how the content is created, not shared or distributed!"

      Heidi points out that content should always be created with user participation in mind. Check out her list of 4 ways to generate these conversations. 

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  2. Feed the Content Beast eBook

    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.