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42 Hot Tips for Compelling Content Marketing

compelling-content-marketing-6th-anniversarySix years ago, in April 2007, Joe Pulizzi started the Junta42 blog with a post he wrote, entitled, Why Content Marketing? Over the course of these six years, the industry has changed dramatically, and Junta42 transformed into the Content Marketing Institute. To date, we have published over 1,600 posts on our site, covering everything from trends to how-to basics (Joe, himself, has written more than 715 of those posts).  Now that’s compelling content marketing!

Even though the company is no longer Junta42, we still have a soft spot for the number 42. So, to celebrate our anniversary, we couldn’t resist bringing you 42 of our favorite posts from the past six years. This list is a combination of the posts that have had the most traffic and shares, the ones members of the CMI team find themselves emailing most often, and some gems from our super-smart contributors that we think everyone should know about.

You can view the Slideshare below with quotes and tweets from each post or browse the list below.

Definitions and basics

The History of Content Marketing [Infographic] – Corporate Storytelling is Not New: For all of those people out there who complain that content marketing is not new, we agree! This infographic depicts the 100+ year history of content marketing. (What is new, though, is people trying to figure out how content marketing should work within other types of marketing — and within their organizations.)

24 Top Content Marketing Questions Answered in Less than 140 Characters: I’d venture a good guess that this post from Joe Pulizzi answers some of the questions you have about content marketing.

The 7 Business Goals of Content Marketing: Inbound Marketing Isn’t Enough: This post from Joe Pulizzi outlines the seven goals that content marketing can help you achieve during the sales process. 

First Things First — Content Strategy Before Social Strategy: While you may be tempted to jump into your social media strategy, you need a content plan before you can do this. Patricia Redsicker explains why.

Content Marketing: The Fallacy that More is Better: When the industry first started talking about content marketing, there was a perception that more is better. If you still believe this to be true, think again.


Last week, we published The CMI Content Marketing Framework: 7 Building Blocks to Success. This white paper outlines the seven non-linear steps of the content marketing process. While we have online how-to guides that provide more specifics on each step, this is the CliffsNotes version of what you need to know:

Why You Need a Content Marketing Mission Statement: If there is one thing you need in content marketing, it’s a solid mission statement. Joe Pulizzi shares what this is and how to craft one.

Getting Buy-In for Your Content Marketing: A 3-Point Process: If you are like 22 percent of B2B marketers and 21 percent of B2C marketers, you are challenged with getting buy-in from executives for content marketing. Joe Griffin shares tips on how to do just that.

How to Justify the Cost of Content Marketing: This useful reference from Eloqua and Kapost breaks down how the cost of content marketing compares with the cost of a PPC campaign.

Developing a Buyer Persona? Avoid these 4 Common Mistakes
: Once you have justified your plan, you need to focus on your audience. Adele Revella shares the “dos and don’ts” of building buyer personas.

Content Marketing Strategy: 3 Experts on Tapping Influencers: While you may be focused on your customers, don’t forget your influencers. Amanda Maksymiw, Leslie Reiser, and Waynette Tubbs share their suggestions.

Brand Storytelling: 10 Steps to Start Your Content Marketing Hero’s Journey: You’ve heard of the importance of creating your brand’s story, right? Sounds great, but how do you actually do it? Robert Rose walks you through the specifics.

7 Steps to Creating Your Content Marketing Channel Plan: Once you know your audience and story, you need to decide where you want to tell your story. Joe Pulizzi shares the essentials on taking this important step.

58 Social Media Ideas to Inspire Your Content Marketing: If you feel overwhelmed by all of the various social media channels you could use, you are not alone. This handy eBook looks at 14 channels, and provides quick tips for each one — and an example of a company that is leveraging it well.

12 Tips for Keyword Selection to Guide Your Content Marketing SEO: Part of your distribution strategy is optimization. This post from Mike Murray walks you through the basics of choosing the right keywords in your content.

The Essential Guide for Meta Descriptions that Will Get You Found Online: Brad Shorr shares what you need to know about these powerful SEO tools.

Planning Your Content Marketing Team: Critical Positions and Salary Info: Of course, you need the right team in place to execute your content marketing plan. This post will help you with pulling that team together.

Chief Content Officer Job Description Sample Template: When Junta42 was founded six years ago, finding someone with the role of CCO was pretty rare. Now, it’s becoming much more common. This post explains what this role entails, and what it takes to excel in it.

Can B2B Marketers Become Content Whisperers?: In content marketing, listening is just as important as talking — if not more so. Ardath Albee shares ideas on how you can become a better listener.

14 Sources for Content Curation Inspiration: Content curation is an increasingly important part of content marketing. Pawan Deshpande offers 14 third-party sources you should know about when you are ready to “listen” as part of your content curation (or creation) strategy.

8 KPIs Your Content Marketing Measurement Should Include: Just because you can measure something doesn’t mean that you should. Neil Bhapkar shares what you really need to keep track of.

A Field Guide to the 4 Types of Content Marketing Metrics #eBook: Jay Baer is one of the most sought-after speakers and bloggers in the content marketing industry. Here he shares some insights from his popular Content Marketing World 2012 session on content marketing measurement.

Content ideas

Even though content marketing isn’t new, people are always asking what to write about. While we have countless posts on this topic, here are some favorites:

12 Months of Content Marketing Ideas for Slideshare: While this popular post from Roger C. Parker shares insights on what you can cover on Slideshare, his ideas can be used for many channels.

42 Content Marketing Ideas for 2013: This was widely shared, as it’s chock full of good ideas you can use when planning your content marketing efforts.

21 Types of Content We Crave: This popular post from Scott Aughtmon shares the type of content that people in any industry desire.

How to Create an Idea Dashboard to Track Your Favorite Content Ideas: Need to bring all of these great ideas together? Use this handy idea from Roger C. Parker.


Along the same idea, marketers are always looking for examples of companies that are executing content marketing strategies in successful, innovative ways. Here are some of our best compilations and examples of compelling content:

7 Tricks Content Marketing Trendsetters Can Teach You for 2013: In our 2013 content marketing research, we asked respondents to write in those organizations that they felt are doing content marketing well. Here are examples and lessons learned from some of the most-mentioned brands, presented by Mark Sherbin.

5 Content Strategies for Boring Brands: If you are thinking, “These ideas are great for exciting brands, but what about me?” this post from Patricia Redsicker is for you.

100 Inspirational, Educational, and Just-Plain-Cool Content Marketing Examples: That’s right — 100 compelling content marketing examples, all in one spot.

Content Marketing Playbook 2011: 42 Free Ways to Connect with Customers: This eBook looks at 42 tactics you can use with your content marketing program, and offers details on when to use each one — and when you shouldn’t.

How Your Content Marketing Can Ignite a Movement: In this moving example, Andrew Davis inspires content marketers to think about how their brands can be part of something bigger.

Other favorites

Of course, marketers are always wondering how to plan for, create, and distribute various tactics. While we have quite literally hundreds of posts on this topic, here are a handful of our favorites:

10 Must-Have Templates for Content Marketers: This has been our most popular post of all time.

Checklist: 15 Questions to Answer Before Starting a Content Marketing Project: Clare McDermott shares a useful list of questions that will get your team members all on the same page.

Why Content Marketers Need to Be Involved in Website Redesigns: Even though consumers are using multiple channels, your website is likely still your hub. Here’s why you need to be involved in the process of making it look good right from the beginning.

12 Things to Do After You’ve Written a New Blog Post: Brody Dorland shares tips on how to distribute your blog posts, yet his ideas can be applied to many types of content. For even more ideas, check out Brody’s 7 NEW Things to Do After You’ve Written a New Blog Post.

21 Things to Do to Help Your Infographic Go Viral: Infographics are hot. If you want yours to break through the clutter, follow this advice from Andrianes Pinantoan.

Creating Valuable Content: An Essential Checklist: Ahava Leibtag shares five core attributes of useful content, and provides a handy checklist you can use to see if yours is measuring up.

5 Steps to Creating an Effective Content Mix: Kathy Hanbury walks you through a process that strikes the right balance between being informative and being entertaining while also supporting a larger company strategy.

17 Techie Shortcuts for Content Marketing: Jodi Harris shares 17 content-related tools you can use when you are strapped for time.

One final thought

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and not quite sure what to do, you’re not alone. Part of the fun (really!) of content marketing is trying new things… and seeing what works and what doesn’t. I leave you with this video from some very smart content marketers who admit that they are still learning, as well. They also provide ideas on how they make their process better, which really is half the battle. Thanks to Amanda Nelson, Curt Porritt, Heather Meza, Leslie Reiser, Kelly LeVoyer and Brenda Spiering for sharing your ideas and inspirations with us.

How to improve your content marketing strategy from Content Marketing Institute on Vimeo.

As this list shows, more than anything else, CMI is a community — one that would not be here without you, our readers. A sincere thanks for your continued support, and a request that you let us know what questions you’d like us to help you answer in future posts. Or, if you have a favorite post that we have not included, let us know in the comments.

Cover image via Bigstock.