By Evan Rodgers published October 14, 2014

Hear the Call? 3 Steps for Better Video CTAs

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As more of you expand your efforts in video content marketing, you undoubtedly know (and have been told) that a call to action (CTA) is an absolute must have. That all-important prompt encourages someone to actually do something and it offers an opportunity to evaluate your video’s effectiveness.

Advice on how to weave an engaging and tightly integrated CTA into your video is much less decisive. Create a funny and personal or slick-motion graphic? Incorporate in video or description? The fact is that there is no single answer. The secrets to crafting a great CTA depend on your unique circumstances.Continue Reading

By Ann Gynn published October 13, 2014

5 Ways Content Marketers Can Get More Value from LinkedIn

get-more-linkedin-powerIf you only view LinkedIn as the site where you keep your digital resume and virtual business card collection, you won’t see how it really can help grow your business, expand your content’s audience, and build valuable connections.

LinkedIn is the definitive professional publishing platform and one of the largest business publishers in the world, according to Todd Wheatland, Head of Content Strategy at King Content.Continue Reading

By Hana Abaza published October 12, 2014

A Quick and Easy Content Marketing ROI Tip Sheet

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One of the biggest challenges facing content marketers today is how to measure the effectiveness of their content marketing. According to the B2B content marketing report, this is going to be a major area of focus in 2015, and with good reason! Content marketers have to be more accountable and demonstrate that they are contributing to the bottom line, not just adding a cost center to the business.

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By Joe Pulizzi published October 11, 2014

This Week in Content Marketing: The Real Cure for the Native Advertising Blues

pnr logoIn this episode of #ThisOldMarketing, Robert and I praise BuzzFeed’s simple strategy to consistently craft viral content and Louis Vuitton’s decision to launch an exclusive print magazine. We also talk about opportunities in custom print publishing; Robert shares one popular but risqué example. We weigh in on an Advertising Week debate on native advertising, and share Rebecca Lieb’s sentiment that content is much more than today’s marketing strategy du jour. Rants and raves include Jerry Seinfeld’s take-down of advertising and an ill-conceived rant against content marketing. This week’s TOM example: Dolce & Gabbana’s Swide magazine. Continue Reading

By Michele Linn published October 10, 2014

How to Build a Better Content Marketing Strategy

better-content-marketingI would argue that a lot of marketers don’t understand what [a content marketing strategy] means. They think culling together a bunch of tactics is actually a strategy, but it’s not.
—Ardath Albee

Unless you have a focus on what it is you are trying to achieve with your content or your digital marketing in general, you will get distracted.
—Nick Panayi

These quotes are just two key points made in a recent roundtable discussion CMI developed around our B2B content marketing research. This series of conversations explores the “whys” behind our findings and provides expert advice on ways that content marketers can make their efforts more efficient and successful.

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By Pamela Muldoon published October 9, 2014

Using Backstories as a Way to Connect with Your Audience

content-marketing-backstoryWho doesn’t love a good backstory? If you’re hearing the story, it feels like you’re getting information that no one else has. Or, if you’re telling the story, you get to make a connection that can’t be achieved in any other way.Continue Reading

By Jonathan Crossfield published October 8, 2014

Are Social Media Content Agencies and Experts Taking You for a Ride?

Crossfield-social-media-content-ride

There are many agencies, consultants, and “experts” living off the perception that social media marketing is a complex science, beyond the ken of mere mortals. Their social media content strategies are driven by as many graphs, metrics, and loosely defined abstract concepts as the client is willing to pay for.

It’s a sleight of hand that creates a lack of genuine accountability. Many clients outsource because they’re convinced they lack the knowledge to manage, let alone measure, their social media content efforts. This leaves the agency to not only drive the strategy, but also to advise on what success or failure looks like. Some even control the tools that measure their own self-serving KPIs, plugging easily achieved numbers into agency-devised equations to calculate (cough) “goals” such as “return on experience” or “brand engagement.”

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By Ann Gynn published October 7, 2014

How the Entertainment Industry Can Influence Your Content Marketing Job

content-marketingContent marketers may not have cause to shout, “Lights, camera, action,” but in a way, we do work in an entertainment industry, of sorts. As Academy Award-winner and raconteur Kevin Spacey said in his keynote presentation at Content Marketing World 2014, “We’re all struggling to meet the same goal — to make a connection with the audience.”

So do you think about your content marketing job like someone in the entertainment business thinks about producing their next show? Spacey and several Content Marketing World presenters think that perhaps you should.

Have any doubts? Just look at the recent announcement from Marriott that it is creating its own global creative and entertainment studio with the goal of becoming the largest producer of travel content. Of note is that Marriott hired a former Disney-ABC television executive and producer to lead its initiative.

While most B2B, B2C, and nonprofit brands can’t make the level of investment Marriott has, all content marketers can improve their programs by recognizing how the job of a content marketer resembles the work done at a Hollywood studio. Continue Reading

By Rebecca Watson published October 6, 2014

3 Tactics to Optimize Your Website Content With Social Intelligence

Boost-Website-Content Every day, millions of social interactions are taking place across the web. The social signals to engage your current and future customers are out there — but are you paying enough attention to them? When your consumers connect with you, are you offering them the most relevant and timely information, or are they likely getting lost as they search for answers or expertise you are not yet providing?

The most valuable insights into understanding your customers’ needs come from what they are sharing on the web. When your content is shared, it validates that you are headed in the right direction with your content creation. And with the help of some advanced social-sharing tools and insights, you can get a 360-degree view of all sharing behavior happening regularly, which will help you optimize your website content for improved user retention and acquisition.Continue Reading

By Vanessa DiMauro published October 5, 2014

Why Listening Communities Belong in Your Marketing Strategy

feet-wooden floor-cco logoYour content is well-written and well-produced, engaging, even useful. But is your audience really paying attention? We all know what it’s like when someone won’t stop talking — it’s very hard to stay engaged. Have you tried listening to your audience instead?

Online communities are primordial (pre-web, even) discussion, content-sharing, and collaboration applications. While many brands use online communities for bottom-line-focused activities such as lead generation, others focus on listening, which helps them uncover powerful sources of customer insights, content, and industry credibility — all of which can support their marketing strategyContinue Reading