Author: Jodi Harris

Jodi Harris is the Director of Editorial Content & Curation at Content Marketing Institute. As a content strategy consultant, Jodi helps businesses evaluate their content needs and resources; build infrastructure and operations; and create compelling stories to be delivered across multiple media channels and platforms. Follow Jodi on Twitter at @Joderama.

By jodimedia published December 27, 2017

2018 Content Marketing Toolkit: Tips, Templates, and Checklists


Ready or not, 2018 is on its way. If you happened to catch our collection of content marketing predictions for the upcoming year, you may think you’re in for a bumpy ride. There are lots of big changes to manage on the horizon – the increasing impact of voice-activation, AI automation, and tighter consumer data regulation among them.

But just because you likely need to work a bit harder to keep your content marketing maturity level on track with your competition and on pace with innovation doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of a few shortcuts along the way. Once again, we’ve updated the toolkit of some of CMI’s best tips, checklists, and templates. They can help you tackle your usual tasks with less effort, so you can conserve your time and energy to prepare for whatever surprises 2018 might bring.

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By jodimedia published December 19, 2017

Amplify Your Top-Performing Assets With This 3-Step Curation Process


Admit it: When the stress and exhaustion of finding something uniquely delightful for every person on your holiday shopping list have brought you to the brink of madness, you’ve at least considered the idea of re-gifting.

After all, that expensive orange scarf that sadly clashes with your skin tone, the never-opened kitchen mixer you got for your bridal shower, or that trendy toy your child never got around to playing with are all lovely gifts. And who knows? They even may be meaningful treasures to someone who needs them.

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By jodimedia published November 23, 2017

How Inspiring Brands Give Thanks on Social Media


Happy Thanksgiving to all those in the United States who celebrate!

I hope you’re disconnecting from digital devices and spending at least a little quality time with your friends and loved ones IRL today. If your Thanksgivings are anything like mine, I’ll bet you could use a little distraction to help you stay sane while dodging your aunt’s probing questions about your love life and heated family debates on politics (or while letting your food coma runs its course).

Plenty of businesses recognize their loyal fans and followers with special giveaways, discounts, and other rewards (content-related or otherwise); but more can take a little extra effort to dedicate team resources to content that simply expresses gratitude – to fans, followers, customers, or even their own employees – whether or not it’s tied to a sales pitch or promotion.

Take a little extra effort to dedicate team resources to #content that simply expresses #gratitude. @joderama Click To Tweet

In the spirit of Joe Pulizzi’s recent love letter to the CMI team and community, I thought I’d share thoughtful ways companies have used their social media pulpits (and other content platforms) to give thanks to their audiences.

From grand gestures of goodwill to simple social shout-outs, the following efforts are just a sample of the ways your brand can demonstrate its genuine appreciation to those who make your business successes possible.

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By jodimedia published November 7, 2017

A Quick-Start Guide to Paid Content Promotion


No brand can exist in a vacuum. To thrive and grow, it needs a constant influx of supporters who buy into its perspectives, points, and purposes, and customers who purchase its products.

Of course, this is why marketing was invented – to draw interest by disseminating information about a brand’s favorable attributes, building desire for its products and services, and providing a clear pathway to make a purchase.

The content marketing your business creates can certainly help further all of these goals on its own; but with the high volume of noise and distractions competing for attention online, organic reach on social media in sharp decline, and search trends and algorithm changes complicating the playing field, it’s time to face a tough truth: If you want your content to get discovered by the right audience at a scale that will help further your business purpose, you’re going to need to amplify its power by incorporating paid promotion into your content marketing strategy.

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By jodimedia published October 24, 2017

10 Tips (and a Ton of Tricks) to Maximize Your Video Content Investment

tips-tricks-maximize-video (1)

Editor’s note: You may have missed the original version of this article last year. We’ve updated it and are sharing it now because video is only growing as a critical tactic for content marketers.

Video is a powerful storytelling medium: Not only can it serve as a prime proving ground for your business’ promotional campaigns, influential ideas, and experimental content efforts, video’s emotionally resonant combination of sound, motion, and visuals can also help you drive deeper, more satisfying relationships between your brand and its audience.

However, to be successful, you need to understand the right ways to leverage video’s tremendous power. One reason for this is, in the words of Enterprise Marketer video blogger Jeff Julian, the way we consume content is moving more and more toward video, motion graphics, and audio. “The growing sophistication of technologies like virtual reality, voice recognition (hello Alexa), and artificial intelligence means we will soon interact with screens very differently than we used to.”

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By jodimedia published October 9, 2017

How to Deliver Emails That Will Increase Reach, Impact, and Subscriber Satisfaction


Editor’s note: Because email marketing continues to be one of the most used and most effective cornerstones of content marketing, Jodi Harris updated her 2015 article.

Think of a well-executed email strategy as the backbone of a successful content marketing program. It’s an essential structure that supports your various content efforts and is the best technique for building a subscriber base – which is critical for achieving value from your content marketing program.

Just how important is the email channel? Consider this: 93% of B2B marketers report using email to distribute their content, according to CMI/MarketingProf’s B2B Content Marketing: 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America research. And, perhaps even more importantly, 74% of marketers who use email consider it to be the most effective distribution channel for their content.

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By jodimedia published September 26, 2017

Interactive Content: The Good, Bad, and Wicked Cool Quizzes and Games


Editor’s note: You may have missed the original article on interactive content from CMI last year. We’re sharing an updated version now because interactive content is a growing opportunity for marketers.

Quick confession: More than a year after writing on interactive content, I’m more obsessed than ever with online quizzes and other interactive content tools and features.

As a marketer who always strives to remain in touch with my consumer side, I can think of no better way to uphold the interests of my audience than by placing my content in a context fundamentally designed to resonate on a personal level. (And it seems other marketers may just agree with me, as evidenced by 2017 research from Content Marketing Institute and ion interactive, which found that 46% of content marketers use interactive content.) On the flip side, even as a consumer wise to the tricks of the online marketing trade, I still find it hard to resist the allure of a chance to see a bit of myself reflected in a brand’s content.

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By jodimedia published September 10, 2017

Quick and Dirty Guide for Creating Actionable Content Marketing Personas


Editor’s note: You may have missed this article when CMI published it in 2015. We’re publishing this update because well-crafted personas are so essential to successful content marketing.

“Personas? I already know who my audience is, so do I really need to create one more document that no one will likely use?”

Like all content marketers, you are probably crunched for time and always looking to trim unnecessary processes. But you shouldn’t think of personas as one of those nice-to-have tools abandoned as soon as you build them. Having documented personas, even in their simplest forms, will not only help you crystallize your ideas, but also serve as a single version of truth for everybody creating content for your organization.

If you are like the 68% of B2B and 73% of B2C marketers who are focused on building audiences as part of their content marketing strategies, stay tuned. I’m here to take the stress out of persona development – and help make them as practically useful as possible. Read on to learn the essential steps for creating and applying content marketing personas more successfully.

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By jodimedia published August 8, 2017

The Art of the Cart: How Retail Brands Can Cash in on Content Marketing

retail-cash-in-content-marketingDo you remember where you were on July 11, 2017 – a seemingly random Tuesday in the middle of summer?

If I were to venture a guess, I would say there’s a good chance you spent at least part of your day taking advantage of retail giant Amazon’s one-day shopping extravaganza, Prime Day. According to Amazon, it was the company’s biggest sales day in its history, with tens of millions of customers making purchases in nearly every retail category imaginable. To put that in perspective, Amazon sold more items on Prime Day than it did on Black Friday and Cyber Monday – combined. That’s a lot of shopping carts to ring up!Continue Reading

By jodimedia published July 24, 2017

Trends Driving Automotive Content in 2017

trends-driving-automotive-content-2017Last year, I bought my first new car, and I couldn’t be happier with it. I love how it looks, how it drives, and how seldom I need to fill it with gas. I also love how comfortable and well entertained it keeps me – even on lengthy trips (i.e., every trip, given the traffic in Los Angeles). Oh, and I love how it even remembers how to adjust my seat to my liking.

When I drove my new car home from the dealership, I immediately knew I had found the perfect vehicle for my needs – one I would enjoy driving for years to come. Mind you, this was no small accomplishment, given that it took me nearly a half year – and a ton of content – before I was ready to make my purchase.Continue Reading