Everything you need to know about content marketing. Browse our most recent news stories and expert columns about the most popular content marketing trends, tools and tactics. Refer to our library of How To Guides for marketers utilizing multiple forms of digital content to reach consumers online.

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The Keys To Quality Content Are Information Density & Utility

shutterstock_104124818-densecity [caption id="attachment_45600" align="alignright" width="300"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] We can safely say that Content Marketing is here to stay. According to the latest research from the Custom Content Council, more marketers are moving their budgets to the creation, management and distribution of content than ever before. This year, spending on custom content was up to $44B, saw 9.2% YOY growth, and now commands over 39% of marketing budgets. There is growing concern being voiced by critics of content marketing that with everyone on the content bandwagon, the demands for cre [...]

How To Organize Your Informational Content: A Case Study

site-structure-revised Last month, I wrote about informational content and how the majority of searches on the Web are informational rather than navigational or transactional. This time, I’d like to explore the different types of informational content that you can use, and some ways you can incorporate it into your website. I came under fire last week because many people felt the research I quoted was too old, so I want to be clear up front that the rest of this article is filled with my opinions. These are time-tested, observationally effective, strategies, but they are not backed up with any empirical researc [...]

Managing The Migration To A New Affiliate Network

The topic of affiliate network migration is at the top of the agenda for a lot of advertisers these days. Whether a transition is driven by the urgency around the closing of the Google Affiliate Network, or you've bandied about the idea of switching networks for some time, moving to a new network requires thoughtful, strategic planning. Otherwise, you may find yourself hopping across different networks while you disrupt your brand, sales and publisher relationships. Below are five key considerations when it comes to selecting a new network followed by a seven-step migration plan. 5 Questio [...]

GAN’s Closing May Push Retailers Toward Better Affilliate Advertising Results

affiliate-marketing With the announcement of Google Affiliate Network closing its doors in July, many retailers are being forced to find new alternatives for their affiliate advertising programs during the coming weeks. While such a major task may not be at the top of any marketers favorite things-to-do list, the move could result in improved numbers for retailers using GAN that have put off migrating to a new network. After speaking with two former GAN clients, both reported significant increases in their affiliate advertising revenue since migrating from Google. One Retailer's Story Matt Khalili, a marketi [...]

3 Simple Techniques For More Persuasive Content Marketing

shutterstock_128298695-understanding What's the biggest obstacle to effective content marketing? Surveys consistently reveal that enterprises -- large and small -- feel that creating enough content is the biggest problem. But, I'm not sure that quantity is the real issue here. The problem is quality. In other words, does the content that's already getting created actually perform the intended function? Quality online content marketing gets people to perform an action. Whether that's social sharing, joining an email list, contacting a sales rep, or making an online purchase, people have to be persuaded to do something [...]

Content Curation Tools & Concepts

Social media and content distribution are often chief tactics included in a content marketing strategy; but, it’s not possible (or recommended) to share your own content 100 percent of the time. As a result, having a content curation and/or aggregation plan might be something to consider as a part of your long-term content marketing strategy. There are many tools available to aid in finding industry-specific quality content that you can share with your audience to continually position your brand as an expert. Additionally, these content pieces can serve as inspiration for future content c [...]

Cookie-Stuffing Could Land eBay’s Top Two Affiliates In Jail

ebay-logo-240px Business Insider has an interesting and in-depth article about the ongoing legal cases that could land eBay's two biggest affiliates in jail soon on charges of wire fraud. If you've been in the online marketing industry for a while, you may recognize the names Shawn Hogan and Brian Dunning. They're the two affiliates that eBay and the FBI started pursuing in 2006 after suspecting that they were earning millions while violating eBay's affiliate terms of service. According to court documents, Hogan made an astounding $28 million in affiliate commissions from eBay, and Dunning made $7 milli [...]

Remix Culture: Rethinking What We Call Original Content

Star Wars, "Stairway to Heaven," and the Apple Macintosh -- what do they have in common?  They're creative and cultural works of genius that have shaped and defined generations. We might also think that they're original works born of a lightning-in-a-bottle, "aha!" moment of creation by the lone inventor.  In fact, each one of these is a copy, combination, transformation, or remix of previous works presented as something new. Star Wars was based on Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces, "Stairway to Heaven" pulls its opening from Spirit’s "Taures," and the Macintosh [...]

PhotoDropper: A Great WordPress Plugin For Fast, Easy And Free Images

photodropper-featured-image Finding images for your WordPress site can be a challenge. Of course, you could take the pictures yourself -- but if you run multiple sites, that could prove exhausting. I have recently started using a WordPress plugin that makes it very easy to find creative commons images and credit them properly right from inside my blog. The plugin is called PhotoDropper -- and I am loving it! PhotoDropper has over 62 million free images that blog owners can access and insert right from their WordPress dashboard. They also have a premium tier that offers more professional photos on a pay-by-the-photo [...]

Tumblr Launches In-Stream Mobile Ads Today, Ahead Of Desktop

Tumblr Mobile Sponsored Post GE Tumblr launched mobile ads today with high-profile advertisers including GE, Warner Bros and ABC. The ads appear within users' content streams within Tumblr iOS and Android apps. This is the first in-stream ad try for Tumblr since the site launched in 2007. Up to now, sponsored ads have appeared in  Tumblr Radar -- the area in the right rail of users' dashboards on desktops -- and in the Spotlight area on category pages. The Tumblr staff post announced that after running sponsored Radar posts for nearly a year, "today we're bringing these posts over to our mobile apps". According to AdA [...]

Yahoo Narrows Focus By Cutting Yahoo Kids, Upcoming, Yahoo Deals & More

Yahoo announced today that it is retiring five of its products at the end of this month, including Upcoming, Yahoo Kids and Yahoo Deals. Older versions of Yahoo Mail will be disabled as well on June 3. In an attempt to narrow their focus, Yahoo stated they wanted to put their energy into building "beautiful products," citing Yahoo Mail for iPad and Android tablets, and Yahoo Weather for iPhone, which were both introduced this week. Upcoming, Yahoo's events and calendar tool, will be cease to exist as of April 30, 2013, along with its API support. Other products scheduled to retire this m [...]

Countdown To Mother’s Day: A Four-Week Affiliate Marketing Plan

As the second biggest shopping season behind the winter holidays, more than $18 billion is spent annually on Mother’s Day gifts in the United States. Of that, 25 percent is attributed to purchases made online. This represents a steady increase over the years when you consider that in 2011, 21 percent of Mother’s Day purchases were made online. While most purchases are made during the five days leading up to Mother’s Day, the most successful affiliate marketing plans are set into motion weeks in advance. So, to help you make the most of the upcoming Mother’s Day shopping season, h [...]

Google Affiliate Network Closing Shop

Google Affiliate icon Google announced it is retiring their Affiliate Network to focus on other products. According to a statement on the Google Affiliate Network blog, the company stated that it will continue to support customers as they "wind down" the product over the next few months. Indirectly blaming the rapid evolution of CPA marketing and their investment in other CPA tools like Product Listing Ads (PLAs), remarketing and Conversion Optimizer, Google emphasized their commitment to products that will have the biggest impact for advertisers and publishers. In response to retiring the Affiliate ad progra [...]

Conducting Content: From Dissonance to Harmony

With today's pressing content demands, every organization with a website, blog and marketing communication documents needs a content marketing strategy. Below are a few questions to consider when developing your own strategy. Do you know everyone in your organization who creates and/or publishes content? Where are your organization’s creative assets stored and managed? (“My Inbox” and/or “My Desktop” are not correct answers.) Do you have an editorial calendar? Do you have content specific metrics? Do you have a channel strategy? You’ve heard it a million times by n [...]

Digg Does The Google Reader Survey That Google Should’ve Done

rss-featured It's ironic that the best survey of Google Reader users that's probably ever been done is being done by Digg. About a month after announcing its plans to build an RSS reader and asking Google Readers to help out by taking a survey, Digg has started sharing some of the survey results. Digg says it's already received 8,000 survey responses (an astonishing number, in my opinion), and no surprise: The data proves that Google Reader has a lot of power users. It makes sense because RSS never reached mainstream acceptance and has been a popular tool primarily among information connoisseurs. [...]

How Do I Get Started With Content Marketing?

Utilizing content marketing as part of a digital marketing strategy can prove to be beneficial for businesses and brands if these strategies are well executed. However, many marketers unfamiliar with content marketing don’t know where to begin to develop a successful plan.  They understand the concept, but still don’t know how to get started. In this post, seven content marketing experts share their advice for those looking to begin their content marketing journey. 1. Bernie Borges Bernie Borges is CEO of Find and Convert, as well as a social business evangelist, blogger and host of [...]

5 Free Ways To Get Your New Blog Noticed

5-free-ways-570 Build it and they will come, right? Unfortunately, when it comes to starting a new blog, that is simply not true. I see many new blog owners become hyper-focused on getting Google to send them masses of traffic through SEO. And, while Google traffic is great and should not be ignored, focusing all your energy on SEO could be a recipe for disaster. In order to really build up traffic and a blog following, it's important to get off your blog and get out to places where your target market can find you. I don't care what the sales pages and "gurus" say -- there is no software or "loophole" t [...]

Safari Still Leading With 61% Of The Mobile Browser Market

apple-safari-featured Net Applications, a site that monitors web traffic, announced today that Apple's iOS browser Safari won 61.79 percent of all mobile browser web traffic last month, a solid six-point percentage jump from February when it led with 55.41 percent of the market. At 61.79 percent, Safari ranks high above its competitors, owning 40 percent more than Android's default browser which holds the No. 2 spot in mobile browser marketshare. Android captured 21.86 percent last month, dropping from 22.82 percent in February. Safari and Android are the only browsers with marketshare in the double digits. O [...]

EMarketer: Yahoo Ad Revenue Is Growing, But Google Still Owns The Marketshare

For the first time in several years, Yahoo saw their net US ad revenue grow in 2012, reaching $3.18 billion. eMarketer forecasts this upward swing to continue, with Yahoo's net US ad revenues climbing to $3.28 billion by the end of the 2013. According to a report released by eMarketer, the forecasted 2013 numbers are based on Yahoo's Q4 search revenues coming in far higher than expected. With the continued management restructuring and investments at Yahoo, eMarketer estimates the company's net US search ad revenues to reach $1.23 billion this year, a seven percent climb from 2012. eMarke [...]

2013: The Year Of Affiliate Attribution?

You've probably read a thing or two about affiliate attribution in a trade publication or heard it mentioned at industry events. Affiliate attribution is one of the hottest and most controversial topics in the performance marketing industry today, and many Internet retailers are trying to figure out the best approach. Not only is it a consideration for the affiliate channel, but it's becoming an even bigger factor as more companies move toward omni-channel. The question remains: how do you fairly compensate affiliates for their involvement with your customer based on the touch-points [...]

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