By Michele Linn published May 13, 2011

50 Questions Answered About Content Marketing

Whether you are a content marketing newbie or someone with more experience, you’re bound to have questions. Here are the answers to 50 common ones.

Do you have other questions? Share in the comments, and we’ll point you to an answer or ask one of our contributors to write a future post on the topic.

Getting started

What is content marketing, and how is it different from traditional marketing?
Want to learn what content marketing is or explain this to your peers? This is the post for you.

How should I get started with content marketing?
Twelve CMI contributors give you essential getting started tips (check out the end of the post for a summary of ideas).

How can I change the culture in my organization to support content marketing?
One of the biggest challenges with content marketing is getting buy-in from management. Nate Riggs gives tips on how to do this.

I’m new to content marketing and don’t have a lot of time to spend. What would you suggest?
Mark Schaefer shares how any company – large or small – can use micro-content.

How to I monitor my brand online?
You know you should be monitoring your brand online, but how exactly do you do this? CB Whittemore walks you through the steps (and check out the comments for an additional video from Brody Dorland).

Developing a strategy

What is content strategy?
Here’s an essential post from Kathy Hanbury that explains content strategy in a very easy-to-understand way.

I want to create a content strategy. Where do I start?
A great post from Chris Moritz that breaks down the first steps in a content strategy, from creating a content inventory to developing personas.

How many tactics should I use? How do I decide which tactics are best for my audience?
In a follow up post, Chris Moritz shares how to develop strategic pillars for your content marketing.

How do I create an effective content mix?
Kathy Hanbury walks you through a series of exercises to help define the right content mix for your business.

What process and templates should I use to map by B2B content to the buying cycle?
If you are a B2B marketer who has a long or complex buying process, this is a must-read post from Barbra Gago complete with templates.

Understanding your buyers

How do I develop a buyer persona?
A lot of contributors have touched on buyer personas as they are at the heart of what we do. Barbra Gago touches on the highlights and provides a solid template for you to use.

What is a web persona, and how is it different from a buyer persona?
Brian Massey discusses a web persona, which is a useful tool to help you figure out how to present information on your website.

How can I learn more about my audience via analytics?
In this five-minute video, Andrew Davis shares two tools you can use to figure out what you audience is doing online.

How can I research my buyer?
Many marketers talk about knowing your buyer, but how exactly do you do this? Barbra Gago explains.

I want to create the type of content my audience wants. How do I know how they are consuming content?
Not only do you need to know what kind of info your audience wants, but you also need to know how to present it. Here, Barbra Gago poses 20 questions to help you get the answers you need.

Where can I find demographic data?
Manya Chylinski provides a really useful list of sources to get demographic data.

Managing the process

What process should I use for content marketing?
A definitive post from Joe Pulizzi on the basic steps for managing content marketing.

I often hear the mantra that content marketers should think like publishers. What does that mean?
Jeremy Victor provides easy-to-follow ideas on what marketers can take from publishers.

What is an editorial calendar, and how do I create one?
An editorial calendar is a must-have tool for content marketers. Here is a template I use to help you get you started.

I am creating content for multiple geographies. How do I manage this?
Does your content marketing span countries? Sarah Mitchell shares tested tips for making this ever-challenging process run more smoothly.

Getting help

I need help with content marketing. Is a consultant right for me?
If you are thinking about hiring a content marketing consultant, check out this post from Robert Rose where he shares some common objections – and responses.

I want to get help with my content marketing. How can I prepare?
Russell Sparkman outlines some ways that you can get more “bang for your buck” when working with a content marketing consultant.

Coordinating the right team

Who should be on my content marketing team?
A straightforward post from Angela Vanucci on the key players in any content marketing team.

Are there certain personalities that should be on my team?
Not only are the right skills needed, but you also need the right personality mix. Ahava Leibtag shares a fun list of five kinds of people every content marketing team needs.

How can I make my team better writers for content marketing?
Looking to use internal resources for content marketing? Elizabeth Sosnow’s step-by-step bootcamp will help!

My content marketing team sometimes gets “stuck.” What can we do?
Most content marketers struggle with coordination at some point. Ahava Leibtag provides some tips on how to get out of the rut.

Creating content

What are the basic things I need to keep in mind to create valuable content?
An essential checklist by Ahava Leibtag on how to create and distribute your content.

How do I repurpose content?
One of the best ways to gain efficiencies in content marketing is to repurpose content. Here Manya Chylinski provides an A – Z list of what you can repurpose.

How do I find the right keywords from my content?
This classic post from Elise Redlin-Cook shows you how to find the right keywords for your content.

How do I curate content?
Amanda Maksymiw shares her tips for curating content for an aggregated content site.

How do I ask the right questions to get the best content?
To get to the “so what” that your readers care about, you need to ask the right questions. Dianna Huffs shows you how.

My brand isn’t very exciting (Ok, it’s boring!). What can I do?
Let’s face it: some brands just aren’t that exciting. Patricia Redsicker shares some tips and examples that are sure to inspire.

How do I make my content more engaging?
In this five-part series, our CMI contributors share ideas on how to define, create and measure engaging content.

What are some examples of great content marketing?
Sometimes  the best way to get inspired is to see what others are doing. Check out these examples from our contributors.

Content marketing takes a lot of time! Any ideas on what I can do?
Here are seven things you can do to streamline your content marketing efforts.

How can I create an effective call to action?
Brian Massey tackles the call the action. Seems simple, but many marketers don’t get it right.

Localizing content

What are some best practices for translating content?
While it’s relatively easy to translate content with tools like Google Translate, this often isn’t the best approach. Christian Arno walks you through what you need to know if you have a multilingual audience.

If I am localizing my content, what should I do beyond translation?
Ann-Christin Lindstedt share the six things you need to “switch” when localizing your content.

What are the basics of localization?
Sarah Mitchell presents this handy checklist of things you need to consider when localizing your content.

Distributing content

Once I publish some new content, how can I distribute it?
In our most popular post to date, Brody Dorland shares a useful checklist on how to distribute your blog posts, but this can be used for most content. This is one to hang at your desk!

What are QR codes and how do I use them?
QR codes are an increasingly popular way to promote content. Katie McCaskey shows you how to get started.

I have so much content. How do I organize it?
Doug Kessler shares the basics of Library Marketing, which is the art of science of presenting your content so users can find it.

Using social media for content marketing

How can I use LinkedIn for content marketing?
If you haven’t searched for your company name on LinkedIn, do it. Now.  As Constance Semler explains, you may be surprised at what you find!

How can I use Facebook for content marketing?
There are definitely better ways to use Facebook for content marketing. Katie McCaskey walks you through the basics.

How do I plan what my social media conversations?
Do you want to participate in social media but aren’t sure what to say. Here’s a handy template.

Measuring success

I’m new to measurement? What are the most important things to track?
Heidi Cohen presents a handy checklist of metrics to track for content marketing.

How do I measure the impact of my social media marketing?
Tom Pisello walks you through how to calculate the ROI of your social media program.

How do I know if my audience is engaging on Facebook?
Nate Riggs walks you through a series of exercises to help you understand how you are really engaging with your Facebook fans.

What kind of tests can I use to see how my website is performing?
Yeah, you know you should be testing, but where do you start? Scott Frangos outlines useful tests for all content marketers.

How can I use my web analytics to track my content marketing progress?
Are you like a lot of marketers who know you should use your analytics but get easily overwhelmed by all of the data? Scott Frangos walks you through a process to help you pull out the key things to measure.

What other questions do you have? Let us know in the comments below!

Author: Michele Linn

Michele is the Vice President of Content at the Content Marketing Institute. She is one of those people who truly loves what she does and who she works with. You can follow her on Twitter at @michelelinn.

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  • Anonymous

    Outstanding, Michele!

  • http://bestresearchpaper.com/ research papers

    wow))) so many) interesting.  very interesting) thanks to the author!

  • Patricia

     This is a keeper! Thanks Michele.

  • http://sorebuttcheeks.blogspot.com/ steroids

     wow, it’s going to take me a long time to read all that great info.

  • http://twitter.com/CultureHappens Ron VanPeursem

    Wow! You’ve put together a complete syllabus here! Thanks, Michelle.

  • http://www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Michele Linn

     Thanks, everyone! This was a fun post to put together, but all of the brilliance comes from our contributors.

  • Inbound Marketer

    This is definitely one of the most extensive lists I’ve seen…great job! I do have a question though which has been nagging at me lately. I work for an agency with about 15 freelance writers who are generalists and not experienced with our industries. In order for them to write about a topic we have to find an existing article so they can use it as a resource. I feel that this restricts the topics we can write about. 

    For example, if I think of a topic such as Practical Ways Hospitals Can Reduce Medical Errors I’ll need to find a similar article so they can basically rewrite it. Can you provide any tips to help get great content from a general freelance writer? Unfortunately, getting new freelance writers isn’t an option!Thank you so much!

    • http://www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Michele Linn

      This is a great question! I don’t have an immediate answer for you, but there could be a post in here. Let me give it some thought and get back to you.

  • Inbound Marketer

    Thanks Michele! I browsed around the site for about an hour so far and found some great info but nothing yet about gathering resources for freelancers. I’m determined though to solve this problem!

  • http://www.nishasalim.com/ Nisha Salim

    Thank you so much, Michele! I’m using your guidelines to set up a content strategy for a client.

  • jimdog33

    Great stuff, thank you.