Author: Michele Linn

Michele is the Content Development Director of the Content Marketing Institute and a B2B content marketing consultant who has a passion for helping companies use content to connect with their ideal buyers. You can follow her on Twitter at @michelelinn or read more of her posts on Savvy B2B Marketing.

By mlinn published January 2, 2015

10 Research-Driven Insights about Content Marketers in 2015

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Each year we publish a series of core research reports that highlights the state of content marketing:

While you can read the individual findings at the links above, it’s useful to look at the trends and differences across each of these markets.Continue Reading

By mlinn published January 1, 2015

A Blueprint to Jump-Start Your Content Marketing Strategy

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Even though CMI’s mission is to advance the practice of content marketing, we find that a lot of people still need help with the basics. Even more specifically, people need help connecting the dots with all of the information available (and, according to Google Trends, searches for content marketing have been skyrocketing).

In 2014, we published a series of posts to help marketers get back to the basics of content marketing or to improve what they are doing. In case you missed some or all of the series, here is a quick primer.Continue Reading

By mlinn published December 29, 2014

125+ Most Thought-Provoking Tweets from the 2014 #CMWorld Twitter Chats

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If you’re not making friends, you’re doing it wrong #contentmarketing #CMWorld

Andy Crestodina @crestodina

This sentiment from Andy Crestodina aptly describes our feelings about our #CMWorld Twitter chat community, which is hundreds of content marketers strong.Continue Reading

By mlinn published December 25, 2014

14 Checklists, Scorecards, and Worksheets to Set Up Content Marketing Success

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I’ll admit it. I have a love-hate relationship with checklists (and templates, which we shared in yesterday’s post). On one hand, I thrive on process and consistency. On the other hand, I think check-the-box mentality can result in unoriginal and rote thinking.

That said, checklists are great for some activities. When you have so many moving parts, lists can keep you grounded. Or, if you want to figure out how to tackle a new project, templates can provide the framework to get started.Continue Reading

By mlinn published December 24, 2014

Essential Templates to Help with Content Marketing, Social Media, and Influencer Marketing Planning

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Whenever I look at the stats to see how CMI’s content is performing (which I do more often than I like to admit), one conclusion is always clear: You LOVE templates. We published template roundups in 2011 and 2013, which consistently receive a lot of traffic, even years later.

As I was reviewing the templates we have, I realized they fall into three categories: editorial planning, social media, and influencer marketing. If you are someone who loves Excel (and we know from our #CMWorld Twitter chats that many of you do), then this list is for you.

Continue Reading

By mlinn published November 14, 2014

4 Content Marketing Initiatives You Need in 2015

B2C Research Roundtable We all know content marketers are working on too much, but some of our latest research puts this challenge into perspective.

When presented with a list of 28 initiatives, B2C marketers indicated they are working on an average of 13 initiatives now, and they’ll be working on an additional nine initiatives on average in the next 12 months. And, these initiatives aren’t easily achieved (i.e., better converting website visitors, creating higher-quality content, developing a better mobile strategy).Continue Reading

By mlinn published November 7, 2014

A Growing Challenge for 2015: How to Find Trained Content Marketing Professionals

How to Find Trained Content Marketing ProfessionalsEach year we track the challenges marketers are having with content marketing in our research. This year, one challenge was far more pronounced than it has been: finding trained content marketing professionals.

This challenge has seen a 320% increase for B2C marketers over the past year. Only 10% cited finding trained content marketing professionals as a hurdle last year, and 32% did this year. The research shows this is one challenge that is not alleviated with a documented content marketing strategy, which is the No. 1 indicator for content marketing success.Continue Reading

By mlinn published October 31, 2014

How To Turn Your Customers into Brand Fans: 3 Examples

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Is there anything better for you as a marketer than having your customers share their passion for your company or product?

Not much.

In the content marketing space, we spend a lot of time (maybe too much time) focused on brand awareness. We don’t focus enough energy on using content to turn our customers into advocates or strengthen their evangelism for our brands.Continue Reading

By mlinn published October 24, 2014

Is Paid Advertising Worth It? B2B Content Marketers Share Their Insights

dollars-426026_640Did you know effective B2B marketers are using paid advertising more often than their less effective peers?

While we have talked a lot about the need for a documented content marketing strategy, CMI research also reveals that effective marketers are using more paid advertising, which makes sense. As we often say, you need to market your marketing. And, while earned and owned media are quite prominent, those who fare better in content marketing rely on paid media as well. Our qualitative, executive research and conversations with marketing leaders reveal the same thing.

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By mlinn published October 17, 2014

A Single Version of Truth: One Key to Content Marketing Measurement Success

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Content marketing measurement is something that has received a lot of attention lately, and it’s not hard to understand why. According to our new research, B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America:

  • Forty-nine percent of B2B marketers struggle with measuring content marketing effectiveness (up from 33 percent last year).
  • Only 21 percent of B2B marketers are having success tracking ROI.

In fact, when we had our Executive Forum in the spring, finding the best way to measure was the “big idea” most of the marketing leaders wanted to solve.

Continue Reading