Blog posts, white papers and even your Facebook and Twitter presences – these are all examples of content marketing. More and more marketers are finding success in creating relationships with customers through providing them with valuable content aligned with the brand. Find out how to create and distribute compelling content through our expert columns.

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How Estimated Reading Times Increase Engagement With Content

clock-time-600 How much time does the average adult in the United States spend with digital media every day? According to an August 2013 estimate by eMarketer: 5 hours and 16 minutes. Calculated another way, that's 316 minutes per day. How many of those 316 minutes do they spend reading your content? Estimated Online Reading Time Basic website analytics can give you an idea with time-on-site and bounce rate metrics. A more sophisticated analytics implementation could tell you exactly how far down on the page your readers get, and how long it takes them to get there. But, if you just tell readers [...]


Content Marketers, Kill The Blog Category

GUN_shutterstock_126668459 Plato said Socrates thought very little of the then-newfangled objects that were books, arguing that the written word impinged upon man's ability to remember and to think. In the early 60s, Marshall McCluhan went on to write about "media determinism," an idea suggesting that our communications technologies shape the way we think. Anyone who has ever written out a manuscript with pen and ink will be able to attest to the notion that how we write with various tools is fundamentally different. Blog Post Categories It's understandable that when blogs were devised, the various blog posts were [...]


­How To Succeed With Content Marketing In Organic Search

young woman preso_shutterstock_176222933 Say you have a presentation with a very powerful message about the mission of your brand. You're qualified to speak on the subject matter because you live and breathe it -- and your audience cares, because what you do makes a difference in their lives. Your goal is to get this message in front of as many people as you can. So you sign up to talk at professional organizations, networking events, industry conferences, small groups of decision-makers and so on. After years of giving this presentation, you realize that there's one particular group of people who represent the most opportunity [...]


LinkedIn Releases Content Shock And Awe

Linkedin Releases Content Shock and Awe: The-Announcement With the rise of content marketing and the amount of content published daily always increasing, some marketers predict that eventually, the content bubble will burst. This notion, referred to as content shock, assumes that someday, there will simply be too much content to consume. I personally disagree with this sentiment for a number of reasons. However, in February, when LinkedIn announced that eventually all members will be able to publish content on their publishing platform, the idea of content shock gained more steam. With more than 277 million members, will the ability to post conten [...]


Are Your Content Channels Working Together? 8 Steps To Find Out

content_shutterstock_93818854 Look at any brand today and you'll probably see a steady output of digital content, from videos to websites to microsites to social media campaigns. At this point in the digital age, most companies have gotten the message: content is king and digital, social and mobile are the most popular parts of its kingdom. Yet many brands feel so pressured to generate digital material that they fail to step back and assess the overall impact. While assets should ideally work together to promote one consistent brand presence, they often end up disconnected in both messaging and brand feel. The result is [...]


Infographics & Visual Storytelling: How To Do It The Right Way

SearchEngineLand-Periodic-Table-of-SEO-2013-medium When Jay-Z released "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)" back in 2009, he took it upon himself to "draw [a] line in the sand." He pointed out that auto-tune had become a victim of its own success, with everyone jumping on the bandwagon and many artists using it as a crutch or a gimmick rather than a way of taking music to new and innovative directions. It was a polarizing yet seminal moment in Hip-Hop culture. The Problem With Infographics The marketing industry is having a similar moment with infographics. Over the last few years, infographics have become one of the most popular ways to build i [...]


Gaining Traction With Content Marketing: How To Build Personas

people-crowd-happy-600 Every year, the flood of content produced and distributed online only increases, making it harder and harder for any one brand to stand out. That is especially true for content strategies with an undefined (or loosely defined) target market. If you don't know exactly who you are writing for -- including their needs, challenges, likes and dislikes -- your content will only fade away into the noise. Good content does not just come from throwing it all against the wall just to see what sticks. Great content resonates with very specific groups of people that react to it in very specific ways [...]


The Case For Content Automation

social-media-content-sharing-600 Recently, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) said it's developing metrics and definitions for what used to be an intangible concept: engagement. It reminds me of the not too distant past when the once-intangible concept of marketing got the same scrutiny. Gone are the days when you knew half of your advertising worked, but not which half. We wanted accountability and consistency. The result was marketing automation, and you don’t have to go far into the inbox or the RSS feed to find someone singing the praises of marketing automation. It unifies sales and marketing. It uncovers and [...]


Micro Content, Maxi Effect — How Shifts Toward Visual Content Will Impact Marketers

Content types The written word seems to be on the decline, at least in the online space. Articles and white papers have morphed into blog posts and status updates. Hashtags, acronyms and emoticons stand in for sentences. OTP, BRB, LMK, OK?   How low can you go? In a year or two, 140 characters -- a miserly allotment now -- will seem a luxury, a vestige of an era marked by logorrheic verbosity. If you doubted it before, believe it now: a picture really is worth the proverbial thousand words. Maybe more. Opinion? Sure. But the facts bear this out. Facebook keeps redesigning to feature bigger, bolder [...]


Because She Said So: 13 Content Marketing Lessons From Your Mother

woman-computer-mom-600 "You're right, Ma." - Dorothy "Of course I am! You think I got this old by being stupid?" - Sophia Maybe you grew up watching The Golden Girls (or reruns) and can hear those voices in your head. Maybe you've never heard of Sophia and Dorothy, the sitcom mother-daughter duo who traded retorts like nerds trade Magic: The Gathering cards -- that is, with unholy glee. Either way, if you know anything at all about mothers, it's that they're always right. Always. So many of the lessons our mothers teach us are universal and applicable to nearly every situation, including marketing. Here ar [...]


5 Steps To An Integrated Approach To SEO-Friendly Content Marketing

puzzle The content explosion and the search engines’ shift toward meaning-based content in 2013 has led to a tipping of the scales in the opposite direction from where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was before Panda and Penguin. Gone are the days of black hat practices like keyword stuffing and paid linking schemes that resulted in a bad user experience and little focus on content quality. While the increased focus on quality has created a better user experience, now the challenge of the marketer is to integrate SEO best practices into the content creation process. User-friendly conten [...]


Pros & Cons Of Date Stamping Your Content

Pros and Cons of Date Stamping Your Content - Blog Stat As content marketing continually increases in popularity, more and more content is being published each and every day. In fact, more than two million blog posts are written daily. With all that content being published, date stamping is an easy way for users to gauge the newness and relevancy of a blog post or article. But lately, I've noticed that many blog posts and articles lack a date stamp. In fact, Joe Pulizzi recently posted about this very topic on Facebook, which prompted a conversation among marketers and consumers about date stamping content. The opinions were divided, with som [...]


4 Steps To Scaling Enterprise Content Marketing

content-marketing-model Back in beginning of the 20th century, the automobile was an item of luxury -- it took a long time to build (with workers "crafting" each one), cost well beyond the means of most consumers and was complex to drive. As most people know today, Henry Ford changed all that with the Model T and his innovations with the assembly line. He made a simpler-to-drive car at a much cheaper cost, making it available to the masses and bringing tremendous value to his customers. So, what does this have to do with content marketing? New Marketing Tactic? If you ask a group of people if the Model T was [...]


Why Spending Big On Extraordinary Content Marketing Is A Good Bet

content-writing-money-featured There is more to ranking for your target keywords than just writing great blog posts and then hoping you will eventually rank for what you want to. Many marketers that have found great success by spending thousands of dollars creating exclusive tools, content and videos. Though the tools themselves aren't set up to adequately monetize their use by online visitors, thus leading to an overall loss when it comes to comparing investment versus direct revenue, they've still been a good investment for marketing purposes. One good example of this is Neil Patel, who blogs over at QuickSprout and [...]


Grabbing Attention Vs. Getting People To Care About Your Content

content A Conductor study from July 2013 highlights an increasingly pervasive problem in the digital media industry. There is so much content being produced on a daily basis that the supply of content far outstrips what the attention economy can sustain. Every day, there are 2 million blog posts, 294 billion emails, 864 thousand hours of video created, and that's before you take into account social media, instant messaging and other digital interactions. As a result, 80 percent of readers only read the headline of an article and either skim or skip over the rest. The common response to these typ [...]


Why Marketers Are Now In The Entertainment Business

media-shutterstock_111209576 In digital entertainment industries like music, film, book publishing and TV, fewer and fewer hits are increasingly responsible for the vast majority of revenue. And this growing trend of a concentration of hits at the head of the long tail is only increasing year over year. According to Eric Schmidt of Google, “While the tail is very interesting, the vast majority of revenue remains in the head.” Here's but one example: “According to Nielsen SoundScan, of the 8MM unique digital tracks sold in 2011, 94% sold fewer than 100 units, and an astonishing 32% sold only one copy. In t [...]


Content Strategy Gets Tactical: Establishing The Content Workflow

Content Content strategy -- creating repeatable processes to govern content marketing and make it accountable to measurable goals -- has many components. Your first steps in putting together a content strategy include determining the goals, developing personas, analyzing content needs, and designating someone to serve in an editorial leadership capacity. From there, you'll want to establish a content workflow. This is the point at which content marketing gets tactical. It's a nuts-and-bolts process in which you will lay out content calendars, creation, approvals, style guides, templates and t [...]


With Content Marketing, Link Building is Obsolete… Right?

Link Building is Obsolete It seems that every day a new blog post is published claiming that link building is dead. It makes for a great headline, but it’s just not true. In fact, it's very much alive, and will be for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, the content marketing purists who preach the "build it and they will come" methodology are setting themselves and their audience up for failure. When I get asked about whether a business should continue with link building in the future, I usually say, "Your competitor would love it if you stopped building links to your content." Don't get me wrong -- I am [...]


For The Right Content Marketing Answers, Ask The Right Content Strategy Questions

content-marketing-featured A big box retailer's chief content officer of reached out recently with a question. Here's what he wanted to know: "What is the percentage of content you see utilized comparatively that's company generated versus user-generated versus contributor generated? I'm trying to see how others are looking at their mix." What would you have told him? The proportional mix of content marketing tactics is a topic I haven't researched as an analyst. While it would be interesting to explore, I suspect there's never going to be a "right" answer -- as is common in the marketing world, it ultimately depen [...]


2013: The Year Of The Content Marketer

ml_con_mktg Content marketing has become an increasingly hot topic in the digital marketing world with searcher interest hitting an all-time high in 2013, following a path that suggests continued growth into the new year. As big brands and small businesses alike have realized the value of content marketing and rushed to develop and implement a strategy, marketers have felt the need to educate themselves on this rapidly growing field. How do I put together a content marketing plan? Which channels are best for content distribution? How do I craft the best headlines? How can I maximize social sharing [...]


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