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 July 18, 2014

Effective Content Marketing: 5 Steps to Track Your Efforts

ballcap official-measuring progressOne popular definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. The definition of content marketing insanity? Creating content, just throwing it out there and hoping for good results… and then repeating the process, ad infinitum.

To break this crazy cycle, you should periodically be taking a critical look at your content marketing to understand what’s working and what isn’t — even if this means you have less time to publish new content.

In this eighth and final installment of our “Back to Basics” series, we’ll walk you through one process you can use to understand how well your content efforts are working and continually refine your content marketing program for greater success.Continue Reading

By mlinn published July 4, 2014

Build a Successful Editorial Plan: Essential Skills Your Team Needs

Content_TeamWhile it takes a wide variety of skills to achieve content marketing success, there is one essential role that any company looking to get started in content marketing will need to fill: the managing editor.

Traditional marketing and social media skills are certainly helpful for organizations that are looking to transform their marketing machine from campaign-based to content-focused. But teams also need someone who can create, manage, and measure the components of an editorial plan — a set of skills that can vastly differ from what trained brand marketers intuitively possess.

This sixth installment of our “Back to Basics” series delves into the skills needed to build, implement, and execute your editorial plan.Continue Reading

By mlinn published June 27, 2014

The Basics of SEO for Successful Content Marketing

seo drawing-detective-magnifying glassIn the content marketing world, there is a lot of talk about SEO, and for good reason. As Lee Odden recently explained:

Think of SEO this way: If a customer-focused content marketing program is the sandwich, then SEO is the mayonnaise. It touches nearly everything and enhances the overall flavor of the sandwich, but on its own, it’s not very appetizing.

In this fifth installment of our Back to Basics content marketing series, we tackle the basics of SEO — the core principles and key considerations you should be aware of in order to produce the most successful content marketing possible.Continue Reading

By mlinn published June 13, 2014

A Guide to Creating Content in the Formats Your Audience Loves

Cover image by Andrew Moir

Welcome to part three of our Back to Basics series on how to get better results from your content marketing. Hopefully, you’ve followed these discussions over the two weeks, tackled the essential elements of content marketing and started at least to build your content marketing strategy. With a strong foundation under your belt, you are finally ready to dive into the next step: actually creating content. (Note: We didn’t start talking about what kind of content until the third week, as you need a plan in place first.)

There are a lot of different types of content you can create, each with its own pros and cons. Should you start a blog? Maybe write a white paper? Oh, what about creating a video series? So how do you decide what will be the best fit for your business and the audience you want to engage?

Continue Reading

By mlinn published June 8, 2014

The Complete Guide to Influencer Marketing: Strategies, Templates & Tools

image-lips whispering in woman's earThe practice of influencer marketing isn’t new. In fact, some may argue it’s one of the most long-standing marketing techniques around. But building a high-quality influencer program in the digital era — where just about anyone can claim to be a “guru” on a given topic — is no small feat.

Creating and sustaining an influencer marketing program takes time, but our latest eBook, The Complete Guide to Influencer Marketing: Strategies, Templates & Tools, simplifies the process. (A huge shout-out to Anna Ritchie, who authored this guide.)Continue Reading

By mlinn published June 6, 2014

Developing Your Content Marketing Strategy: What You Need to Know

man with paper-content marketing strategy

Image created by Andrew Moir.

Last week, in our first “Back to Basics” post, we discussed two essential elements for getting started with content marketing. Your goal(s) and mission statement are the best benchmarks by which to measure the value your content brings to your business; but to give your content marketing program the best possible chances of succeeding, you will need a documented content marketing strategy.Continue Reading

By mlinn published June 1, 2014

A Quick Exercise to Find Big Ideas for Your Content Marketing Strategy

colored post-it notes-whiteboardAs CMI’s fearless leader Joe Pulizzi mentioned in our newsletter this week, the CMI team set aside an hour of its most recent staff meeting to brainstorm some outside-the-box ideas for strengthening our content marketing strategy and our overall business — a concept called the “10 Percent.”Continue Reading

By mlinn published May 30, 2014

2 Essential Elements for Getting Started With Content Marketing

image-blindfolded woman shruggingThis week we are kicking off a series of “Back to Basics” posts that outline the fundamental skills and information you’ll need to achieve success with content marketing. While these posts will be best suited to beginners — who often struggle to connect the dots as they sift through the enormous amount of information available on content marketing — more seasoned content marketers may benefit from using them as checklists for covering the necessary bases. Continue Reading

By mlinn published May 23, 2014

Ideas for Creating Content That Are Actually Unique

red figure-arms raised-crowdWith so much focus on the need to create epic content, not to mention the overabundance of “me too” content being delivered these days, the demands of creating content that is truly unique and valuable can often feel paralyzing. Add to that the need to keep this up on an ongoing basis and the challenge is compounded.Continue Reading

By mlinn published May 8, 2014

10 Ways to Inspire Your Inner Content Creator

person-lotus position-four elements backgroundYou can’t outsource your creativity.

This theme spread like wildfire throughout Content Marketing World last September. While it’s somewhat obvious that marketers should be tapping into their team’s own ability to find creative solutions to content challenges, that doesn’t make it easy.

For example, what if you don’t consider yourself to be a naturally creative person? Or what if you find the process of brainstorming to be frustrating and fruitless? Or maybe you have already built a reputation as a genius content creator, but find it tough from time to time to consistently keep the pump primed with cutting-edge ideas. Continue Reading