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The following is a guest post from Matt Banner. Matt is a seasoned blogger and entrepreneur, with a decade of experience in the online world of blogging, SEO, and marketing. You can find him online @BlastYourBlog.

While some people like to interchange the two terms, link building and content marketing are very different from one another. That being said, both are aimed at providing value to the reader, and in that way they compliment each other in a number of ways.

Below, we’ll look at these two terms and how they fit together, plus an infographic packed with all the latest link building strategies.

Content Marketing & Link Building: Two Peas in a Pod

When you boil it down, link building can result in epic content and content marketing can help you build links. But, on their own, they are very different approaches with varying goals. Even so, they can work together.

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“Strategy is a system of expedients; it is more than a mere scholarly discipline. It is the translation of knowledge to practical life, the improvement of the original leading thought in accordance with continually changing situations.”

— Helmuth von Moltke

Brands have a major problem using the S-word. The term strategy is so overused by marketing departments and agencies that it is, in many cases, meaningless. They build marketing or content strategies. They think or act strategically.

Too often, marketers are irresponsibly using strategy and its variants as synonyms for planning.

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Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2011 and has been updated for comprehensiveness. 

The goal of most marketing activities is to drive leads, which will convert to new customers and grow the business. To do this effectively, however, a deep integration between marketing and sales is needed, and it starts with shared information and processes. Below are three steps to ensure that marketing best supports the sales process. 

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Roughly two million blog posts are written every single day. I’ll just let that sink in

Not to mention the relentless parade of updates on our social feeds. Everywhere we look—Facebook to Twitter to Instagram—we can’t avoid promoted links vying for eyeballs. 

Talk about content fatigue...for both the writer and reader alike. So, what’s the secret sauce to differentiating?

Remember: a blog is not just a metrics driver. A blog showcases your brand’s personality, connecting internal subject matter experts to external readers. It’s your chance to showcase the heart and soul behind the per-usual ad. If you do that, you’ll likely continue to see an increase in your readership, and eventually, a community of loyal readers. 

In the wise words of Brian Clark“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.”

Implemented the right way, a blog can boost website traffic, fuel community engagement, and drive lead generation. It might be time to re-evaluate your blog from top to bottom, and awaken a more stimulating, creative brand personality. Below are five factors to consider for a comprehensive approach.

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Marketers face more pressure than ever to deliver real ROI on their marketing efforts. The good news: it’s the best time to be a performance-driven marketer. The tools, technology and talent available to build, execute and measure high-impact campaigns have never been more widely available.

But with the opportunities come obstacles from the sheer number of available courses of action. In a sea of available metrics, which ones are actually important? And once you determine that, what do you do with them?

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Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from The Marketing Performance Blueprint, and was also published on the HubSpot Agency Post.  

The marketing services industry is in a state of flux. As CMOs navigate the marketing talent gap, they are increasingly seeking performance-driven agency partners that are immersed in marketing technology and staffed with digital-savvy professionals. SMBs need partners that can deliver fully integrated solutions and in essence function as outsourced inbound marketing teams. Large enterprises commonly look for niche expertise in core digital disciplines such as content marketing, paid search, SEO, social media monitoring, and analytics to complement internal marketing teams.

The future belongs to dynamic agencies with more efficient management systems, integrated services, versatile talent, value-based pricing models, a love for data, and a commitment to producing measurable results. These tech savvy modern marketing firms thrive on change and continually apply advances in technology to strengthen their businesses, adapt their services, and deliver greater value to you, the client.

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Snackable content like listicles, quizzes and clickbait are popular in many industries. But some businesses demand a more substantial meal. Complex B2C and B2B sales require content that educates and informs buyers on intricate software, technology, engineering or financial products, processes and concepts.

For this very reason, we’ve discussed how curiosity about different subjects is one major competitive advantage marketers must cultivate. But curiosity isn’t enough when the chips are down. What happens when your sales team demands expert content on a tight timeline in an industry or on a topic you don’t know much about?

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On Aug. 8, 2015, I put on a white dress and walked down the aisle to marry the man of my dreams.

It was wedding bliss! But it wasn’t without a lot of planning, organization and preparing. For the 18 months leading up to the big day, we covered everything from flowers to cake flavors to changing my name.

It was all magazine photos and cake tastings until I realized what it really meant to change my name, both legally and digitally.

My husband was in full support of me changing or keeping my name. So I thought long and hard about it, and in the end, I decided to take his last name.

I was excited! I assumed I would get a new driver's license and Social Security card, change my name on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn profiles, and I’d be all set, right?

Wrong. It’s not as easy as you might think. And obviously your name—online and offline—is a big part of your personal brand. 

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Last month, a group of the PR 20/20 crew headed to Austin for SXSW’s 30th annual conference. This trip is great for catching up on the latest trends in tech, health, space and VR; enjoying the local Mexican and BBQ food scene; listening to live music at what seems like every corner; and finding inspiration from the Austin community and SXSW Interactive programming. 

One of this year’s panel sessions, Humans, Not Machines: Content Is About Connecting, is a perfect share for our own PR 20/20 blog audience. Thanks to the panelists Kate Lewis (@kcwl) of Hearst Magazines, Neha Gandhi (@nehaintown) of Refinery 29, and Lockhart Steele (@lock) of Vox Media, for sharing your experiences! 

Enjoy a few of my top takeaways, and feel free to add your own take on the topic below in comments.

The Ask: With more platforms than ever before, how do we consistently create compelling content that actually resonates with our audiences?

For these top digital media editors, the answer couldn’t be more obvious: “The work of an editor today is to listen." 

That ^ nugget of knowledge was easily one of my favorite takeaways on the topic, and from the trip. Especially in the data age. 

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The following is a guest post from JP Misenas. JP is the Content Marketing Director & Audio/Visual Technician/Engineer of Interact, a place for creating entertaining and engaging quizzes that generate email leads. He writes about innovative ways to connect with customers and to build professional long-lasting relationships with them. You can connect with JP on Twitter or LinkedIn

Have you ever wondered how certain brands outperform others by thousands or even millions of pageviews? The secret has to be with the kind of content they’re producing, obviously. But what exactly is that content, and what makes it perform so well time and time again? We’ve got your standard blog posts, ebooks, infographics and videos, but even those types of content can only go so far.

Take a moment and try to surmise one of the more popular types of content that you’d normally see on social media. Did the thought of those commonly seen quizzes on social media networks pop into your mind? Now what if you could take those quizzes, and implement them into your content marketing strategy? Now we’re onto something.

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