How many times have you heard the expression “content is king?” That’s the case because, in an increasingly competitive and noisy market, buyers care not so much about what you sell as about what you know, and what you are passionate about. Great content accomplishes at least two of the following objectives:
- • It helps get you “found” online.
- • It enhances your organization’s image (e.g., by demonstrating how smart and helpful you are).
- • It sets you apart (it’s not just a rehash of common knowledge).
- • It helps move a prospect along the buying cycle.
Great content fills a need for both the consumer and the producer. It helps the consumer solve a problem or improve their life in some way, and it helps the producer sell goods or services that accomplish that task. So how do you produce great content? How do you maximize your return on valuable content? How much content is “enough?” How can you optimize your content for search? What different types of content should you develop for different types of buyers and the various stages of the buying process? Where can you spread your content to maximize exposure?
Get the answers to these questions and more here in some of the best guides to content marketing of the past year.
Content Marketing Strategy and Tactics
10 Tips For Content Marketing Success by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
Adam Singer notes that with 6 in 10 marketers spending more on content marketing in the coming year, it’s getting more difficult to stand out; shares some statistics on the results that can be achieved with quality content, e.g. “56% (of corporate bloggers) say that their blog has helped their company establish a positioning as a thought leader within the industry”; and offers 10 tips to maximize the impact of content marketing, from “personality is essential” to tone is more important than perfection.
11 steps toward a content strategy by Econsultancy
Reporting that “80 percent of those who begin a corporate blog never post more than five entries…In the rush to adopt social media as a tactic, too many marketers leave strategy in the dust,” delightful author Rebecca Lieb presents 11 steps to help marketers think more like editors and develop an effective, consistent content strategy, among them defining key themes and messages, creating an editorial calendar, and utilizing multiple forms of media.
Social Media Leads Content Marketing: New Survey Reveals by Jeff Bullas
Jeff Bullas shares several interesting content marketing stats from recent research, such as: content now accounts for 33% of marketing budgets on average, up from 11% just a couple of years ago. 59% of marketers increased spending on content last year, while just 7% cut that area. E-newsletters, blogs and white papers are among the most popular types of content. While social media, mobile and online video are increasing in importance, traditional email newsletters remain among the most popular delivery vehicles.
7 “Rs” for B2B Marketing Content Planning by Customer Think
Lead nurturing content expert Ardath Albee writes that “Designing content for 1X use is wasteful. Marketers need to create a process for content planning that helps them maximize the return from their investments in developing content resources,” then provides seven tips (such as re-purposing content for different audiences) to help accomplish that goal.
How Much B2B Content is Enough? by Savvy B2B Marketing
Stephanie Tilton says a company has developed enough content “when it has created content that answers prospects’ questions at each stage of the buying cycle,” then outlines a process for determining exactly what that means in any given organization.
The 10 commandments of content marketing by iMedia Connection
10 Steps to Optimize Your Content Marketing Strategy by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
Lee Odden explains the digital asset optimization (DAO) model (“what can be searched on can be optimized”), outlines a 10-step process for optimizing content for ever-changing search results pages, and concludes with “The good news is that by following these 10 steps, a significant impact can be achieved in overall authority for the topics and keyword concepts focused on as well as the ability to attract new business, media coverage and employees. The bad news is that it’s not easy.”
Lead Nurturing by Find New Customers
Pointing out that lead nurturing is a critical process because “9 out of 10 visitors to your website are not ready to buy now,” this post presents seven keys to creating and maintaining a successful lead nurturing program, beginning with research and content mapping and progressing through continuous measurement and refinement.
Ramping Up For a Bigger Content Publishing Strategy by MediaPost Search Insider
Rob Garner recommends eight tactics for optimizing content marketing results, starting with in-depth keyword and market research and working through strategic planning, metrics and resource allocation.
Most Valuable Content and Offers for IT Buyers by High-Tech Communicator
Cheryl Goldberg reports and comments on recent research identifying the types of content that IT buyers most useful as news and articles (84%) and competitive comparisons / buying guides (73%), while b2b technology marketers often sub-optimally focus on other types of content.
How to Take Advantage of the New B2B Buying Behavior by Fast Company
Wendy Marx contends that b2b “buying decisions ultimately aren’t completely rational, much as we would like them to be…you may have the best product or service in the world but if people don’t understand its value or find you credible you might as well post your ‘going out of business’ sign,” and therefore it’s critical to build relationships, nuture leads, and write content that captures the needs of your prospects.
How Tech Buyers Consume Content: New Findings from TechTarget by Savvy B2B Marketing
In another noteworthy post, Stephanie Tilton shares results from TechTarget research which details the behaviors of “hyper-active IT researchers,” the most engaged 30% of technology buyers. Among the findings: these hyper-active researchers are constantly hunting for and gathering information, often conduct research on behalf of others, and “are most receptive to completing a registration form in exchange for content during the consideration and decision stages.”
White Paper Marketing: 5 White Paper Types and When to Use Them by SmartBug Media
Brittany Brouse defines the characteristics and key purposes of five types of white papers, including the business benefits white paper, the technology benefits white paper, and the product comparison white paper.
6 Ways to Cast a Wider Net Using a Whitepaper by Zmags Blog
***** 5 Stars
White papers are a popular b2b marketing tool, but good ones are expensive to produce. Companies can better capitalize on these investments by reworking, repackaging and re-using white paper content in different formats. Christina Pappas presents six ideas for extending the life and value of white paper content such as turning a white paper into a podcast, video, or webinar.
Measuring ROI on Content Marketing and Creation by Social Marketing Forum
Though acknowledging that “Measuring ROI on content marketing is not straightforward; that is why most firms put measurement on the back burner,” Ambal Balakrishnan presents two sets of recommendations for and examples of content marketing ROI measurement from Ardath Albee and Maria Pergolino.
2011 Trends: Content Marketing Is Critical by eMarketer
Geoff Ramsey shares research revealing that “nearly three-quarters of US companies with a social media strategy use (branded) content—also referred to as ‘earned media’—in their campaigns, making it the most common type of content used.” He then lists five questions marketers should ask themselves to determine whether or not their content is truly “magnetic” and likely to attract targeted buyers.
Developing A B2B Content Promotional Strategy In 7 Steps by Social Marketing Forum
Michele Linn recommends seven questions to ask when developing strategy for promoting your content, starting with “What is your objective?” (e.g., lead generation content is often promoted differently than thought-leadership content).
Article Submission Sites
A list of the best sites to submit articles to by Internet Marketing for Business Owners
The site is a tad spammy, but this list of seven of the most popular article submission sites is helpful.
Huge list of nearly 300 article submission sites sorted by page rank and Alexa ranking.
The 10 Websites To Get Your Articles Discovered! by Ink Rebels
Misty Belardo recommends promoting your online content using these 10 (mostly) popular social networking and bookmarking sites.
Top 21: The Best Article Directory List by Friday Traffic Report
Another slightly spammy site with a nevertheless useful list of 21 article directories with page rank.