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Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Marketing Institute gives his take on the state of content marketing

Whether videos, blogs, infographics or ebooks, content is now being consumed on an unprecedented scale. And in our multichannel, multi-device, always-on world, that means content represents an exciting opportunity for brands to make an impression on the customer during the product purchasing process. Little wonder, then, that content marketing has become such big news. In fact, the buzz for content marketing reached such extraordinary levels in 2014, that it led some to question whether interest in the discipline had reached its peak. Nonetheless, evidence suggests that there could still be plenty of growth left yet. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) recently conducted a research on content marketing in the UK, and found that 85% of respondents use content marketing, with 45% reporting they…

5 core elements for your content marketing strategy and best practices for content outsourcing

According to Content Marketing Institute, more than 80% of B2B marketers and more than 70% of B2C marketers used content marketing for their online businesses last year. The results of this investigation have been published in B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends ? North America and proved the fact content marketing tactics become a significant part of successful marketing strategy. More than 50% of B2B marketers plan to increase content marketing spending in 2015; they are ready to accept the challenge and start awesome content creation, distribution, optimization, analyzing and managing. It often happens that content creation and development is not a core skill for a marketer, and it can be quite difficult to cope with. The…

Content marketing planning and effective marketing tactics

In our recent post on the latest marketing trends, we polled readers to ask for their opinion on the single digital marketing tool they thought would have the greatest impact to drive results for their business in 2015. No surprise it was content marketing - it was in the previous year too! So, what is the latest thinking on content marketing? In our new infographic we've partnered with Jane Hunt, along with her team at JBH Marketing to summarise the key issues and give examples of what's working and what isn't. The infographic blends stats with advice including the 7 content marketing planning tactics that are crucial to your business and where to invest your budget.   Did you know that... Content marketing drives inbound traffic, proven by successes with Kissmetrics whose blog accounts for 70%…

Recommendations on the top tips, techniques and tools to reach content marketing excellence in 2015

2014 has certainly been a busy year for content marketing and something that wasn’t a surprise given the research and buzz evident at the start of the year which showed that content marketing was the highest rated marketing priority for marketers. The more recent 2015 marketing trends poll on Smart Insights showed that content marketing is still the top marketing priority for 2015. But as the year has gone on, what have we really learnt about content marketing and the lessons we need to follow in order to execute this particular area of digital marketing effectively? In this post I’ve grouped together some key content marketing themes from 2014 and links to recommended best practice articles and resources from Smart Insights and other sites. Key areas of focus

Understanding content marketing

Before embarking on content marketing for your business, it's…

The Final day of our Successful Content Marketing Series

Successful content marketing is an "always-on campaign" – to do it right, you need to keep up an ongoing flow of content, so you’re always there when a prospect wants to join the conversation or asks a question that you have the answer for. Here are three easy ways to keep the content momentum going: 1. Explode your assets: When you create a big piece of content such as an industry report or an in-depth white paper, plan and structure it so that lots of little bits can be broken off and used independently in other channels to promote and amplify – tweets, blog posts, Google+ updates and so on. 2. Brainstorm series of ideas: Don’t just look for one-off ideas…

Day 4 of our 5 days of Successful Content Marketing Series with Sticky Content

Today’s the day you start generating ideas and populating your calendar. Hold a brainstorm. Sit round as a team, look at what the competition are doing, look at what you’ve done before, look at who you’re trying to reach. Start jotting things down on Post-its: literally anything that comes to mind. [Editor's note: Readers who don't know it, check out the Smart Insights Content Marketing Matrix which was designed for sessions to brainstorm content marketing]. At this point, no idea is a bad idea, but make sure you’re generating solid concepts and not simply coming up with themes. A good idea is specific, with a clear angle that can be summarised in a neat elevator pitch. A theme is an area you want to write about, perhaps many times. So…

Day 3 in our 5 days to Successful Content Marketing series

In previous days in our series we have defined a vision and strategy for Content Marketing. Now, today’s the day to start thinking about who’s actually going to put all of this together. You’ll need to work out who does what in your content team, and how much time and effort you can realistically muster. At its simplest, your content team needs to look something like this: All of the above roles could be resourced in different ways, depending on the scale and ambition of your operation. In some cases, several roles may be filled by one person wearing several hats; in other cases, one role may be taken by a whole team or an outsourced agency.…

Day 2 in our 5 days to Successful Content Marketing Series

Yesterday I introduced our mini series by reviewing the key content marketing strategy questions.  Today's advice is all about working out how your brand and business offering can extend into a content proposition. What kind of content can you credibly create, and how can this content support your business goals? Think of a classic sales funnel, such as AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action). Your content marketing activity will typically be most valuable around the Attention and Interest top end, where search and social tend to be the key triggers of engagement. So ask yourself: what kind of content can we create that the people we’re trying to reach might care about, or be prepared to offer a click or an email address for? For a quick answer to…

Day 1 - Answer the key content marketing strategy questions

In this practical, 5 day series, I'll help define a 'quick-and-dirty' 5-day plan to help towards improving your content marketing strategy, without spending a fortune on paid media content distribution. I've said this series is 'quick and dirty' since we believe that The perfect is often enemy of the good. When it comes to content strategy, it’s easy to spend a vast amount of time thinking about what you’re going to do and worrying about how to get it just right… without actually getting any content created or distributed. But there comes a time when the Why needs to turn into the How. If you wait for all your strategic ducks to line up in a perfectly formed row, there’s a good chance the opportunity that content offers your business will…

Content strategy approval – how to win buy-in for your ideas

So, you’ve completed the research and fully understand the business focuses and audience. You’ve created the personas, organised the brainstorms and come up with a host of creative content to set the web on fire. Now all you have to do is pitch the ideas and get the buy-in of your client or MD. Easy huh? Well, not always. Part of the reason this can be harder than necessary is because some people struggle to understand that off-page content, in particular, is not designed to be a sales pitch. (It almost doesn’t matter what you write about, as long as the article is interesting, and the link is relevant and appears naturally.) It is therefore imperative to explain the true purpose of each piece of content from the very beginning and…