By Allen Graves published October 16, 2014

Content Marketing Strategy 101: Make it a Game

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For your content marketing projects to get off the ground, you need to assemble the right team members, teach them the right way to do it, and get them motivated for action. It can be daunting to get buy-in from executive staff and team members who may not be well versed in content marketing. Don’t call everyone into a conference room and force a PowerPoint presentation on content marketing strategy down their throats.

Instead, gamify it.Continue Reading

By Michele Linn published October 3, 2014

Why Fewer People Are Using Content Marketing — and Why It’s Good News

sign image-question mark-arrowWhen the CMI team read the initial results from our newly-released B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends research, one finding immediately jumped out at us:

Eighty-six percent of B2B marketers are using content marketing — a number that has declined from last year’s adoption rate of 93 percent.

At first glance, this stat seems startling — especially considering how popular and prominent our discipline has become over the last few years. But when you take a look at the underlying message it conveys, this decrease is actually an encouraging sign. Let me explain. Continue Reading

By Michele Linn 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 Cathy McPhillips published July 11, 2014

A Simple Plan for Measuring the Marketing Effectiveness of Content

measuring-content-kpiWhat does it mean that your content marketing is “working?” In general, this means that it’s supporting your marketing and business goals.

In the seventh installment of our “Back to Basics” series, we explain how you can track your content marketing program and, more importantly, how to communicate this to your team and management.

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By Michele Linn 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 Michele Linn 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 Cathy McPhillips published June 20, 2014

How to Build Social Media Into Your Content Marketing Processes

Social_Content_Work_TogetherFor a time, social media and content marketing may have seemed interchangeable, but they are actually quite different. Though there can be quite a bit of overlap, the easiest way to think about their relationship is that content is needed to drive social media, while social media is most essential during two key content marketing processes:

  • Listening to your audience to understand what they care about, so you can create content that they will find engaging and relevant
  • Distributing content (from your business, as well as from others — i.e., Andrew Davis’s 4-1-1 approach) 

In short, you really can’t have one without the other.Continue Reading

By Joe Pulizzi published June 16, 2014

If Your Content Marketing is for Everybody, It’s for Nobody

audience-for-content-marketingQuick test: Who’s the audience for your blog? How about your eNewsletter? Your podcast? If you are like most enterprises that sell multiple product lines to multiple audiences, you may have two, three, four or more different audiences you are trying to target with the same content initiative. How’s that working for you?Continue Reading

By Michele Linn 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?

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By Michele Linn 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